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Old 11-04-2012, 02:21 AM   #31
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Seems as though I might be going against the grain here. I did extract with steeping grain kits the first few beers. Then switched to all grain. All grain is not an exclusive club for elitist, well not in my book anyway.

Maybe with the couple extract/steeping grain kits I made my process was poor. I never got thrilled about the flavor of them and even trying other people's extract beers wasn't to thrilled.

Extract is a great place to learn the fundamentals but call me an a@@. It doesn't make great beer.

That's my experience. Counts for nothing. Maybe the extract beers I made (only a couple) or the ones I tasted from other brewers just weren't done well. I'm biased I suppose. Would love to taste a great extract brew... just haven't yet.

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Old 11-04-2012, 02:30 AM   #32
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When I took a gravity reading today my hydrometer submerged completely for about 10 seconds then came back up. Should I be concerned?

Also I siphoned into a glass carbony from a plastic bucket today, is there a good method to not lose my hydrometer while taking a reading in it?

Also if it helps I am 7 days in
Yes. Invest in a hydrometer test tube. About five bucks for a plastic one.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:45 AM   #33
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So I appear to be ready to bottle. Hydrometer readings have stopped changing. But I only have about a dozen bottles. Any suggestions on how to get more? Also anyone used the Mr. Beer plastic bottles?

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Old 11-17-2012, 12:58 AM   #34
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So I appear to be ready to bottle. Hydrometer readings have stopped changing. But I only have about a dozen bottles. Any suggestions on how to get more? Also anyone used the Mr. Beer plastic bottles?
Buy craft beer with "pop-top" bottles. Clean them and re-use. Ask your friends to save bottles (and 6-pack holders!) for you. Travel to a nearby college or university and raid the recycling bins. Once the word gets out that you need bottles, the flow becomes pretty steady. I generally have at least 2 batches bottled (52 bottles per batch) and enough empty bottles for 1-2 more batches at any given time. At this point my inventory contains at least 200 bottles. I usually find myself running short on 6-pack holders and empty beer cases. I have now started asking my friends/family to save these for me. In response, I got a delivery today of 5 empty cardboard 6-pack holders and one 4-pack container.

Ask, and ye shall receive!
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:14 PM   #35
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First bottling is tomorrow. How can I tell if its carbonated and ready to drink?

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Old 12-03-2012, 06:37 PM   #36
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First bottling is tomorrow. How can I tell if its carbonated and ready to drink?
You could do what us old timers do and wait 3 weeks and try it. Chances are it will be ready by then.

Or you wait 1 week and try it, and try a bottle a week until you feel it's ready.

Or you could sanitize a 20oz soda bottle and bottle some in there and check the firmness. Once it's nice and hard you just chill it in the fridge and crack it open and try it. It's a nice gauge for carbonation.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:51 AM   #37
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Or you could sanitize a 20oz soda bottle and bottle some in there and check the firmness. Once it's nice and hard you just chill it in the fridge and crack it open and try it. It's a nice gauge for carbonation.
+1 to this. I often bottle one beer in a soda bottle to use as a carbonation gauge. It allows you to track the carbonation level without opening numerous beers before they are ready. In my experience with this method, it takes about 3-5 days after the soda bottle gets "rock hard" before the beer is fully carbonated. It is a super-easy way to track the progress of your bottle conditioning.
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