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Old 02-16-2008, 08:40 PM   #291
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Thanks so much for your reply. I had originally planned on keeping it in for 14 days so I'll stay the course.

Does the temperature of the room the affect how l should keep it fermenting? Do cooler temps (60-65 degrees) take more time and warmer (65-70 degrees) take less time?

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Old 02-16-2008, 08:52 PM   #292
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The MRB guidelines of 7 days vs 14 is a result of how much fermentables you have in your keg. More being longer.

7 days ~ 1.2 lbs liquid malt extract w/ booster
14 days ~ 2.4 lbs liquid malt extract; 1 Hopped & 1 UME.

If you ferment at the recomended temps you should be OK. Using these giving times. As for the yeast bite, although possible I think this occurrs as result of really excessive times for beer sitting on the the yeast. Like as if your talking multiple months, coupled w/ high temps, long start-up or lag times, and poor sanitation.

I think that the dreaded yeast bite is an outdated concern. Assuming you are not irrresponsible enough to leave the fermenting wort for several months in the original fermenter. If you are trying to make a light ale or pilsner its more of a concern because any kind of flaw is really noticable. Watery beer won't taste like water if its got flaws.

My advice to you is this. Get a 3 gallon water PET bottle from Lowes ( look for the triangle with a 1 in the center to designate PET or PETE), then get a S-Style airlock & an orange carboy cap. The carboy cap & airlock will tell you when fermentation activity has ceased. The CO2 gas will slow down to just about nothing. Daily monitoring will tell you when its done. The fluid levels in the airlock will go to high & low w/ constant gas passing during fermentation as fermentation slows the bubble rate will diminish. Eventually the fluid levels will come together level-wise with the 1st & 2nd chamber.

see this link if you don't follow what I wrote.... ( This is one of my apfelweins at full bore).

Hang onto your keg and use it as a bottling bucket. (this is were you syphon to it and add the priming sugars in bulk. )

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Last edited by Schlenkerla; 02-16-2008 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:26 PM   #293
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thwizzit
I've been reading through these forums for a few days now as well as searching the web for answers and I came upon a little bit of contradictory information that I'm not sure how to resolve regarding Fermenting Times.
+1 on what Schlenkerla and monk said. If you go with a 3 gallon BB as a primary, then you might as well add a hydrometer and a wine theif or turkey baster (to draw samples) you shouldn't rely on airlock activity as an indicator of completion of fermentation...generally 3 days of the same reading is an indicator that fermentatiion is complete. But like they said, with a mr. beer repeated openings of the fermenter shouldn't be done.

If you're not ready to make the jump to a carboy and airlock and want to stay with the mr beer fermenter for awhile, then get a 2 gallon cooler and use that as a bottling bucket...you can even mount a hose and bottling wand on the spigot for easy bottling.

With the rubbermade cooler you can even experiment with going all grain in a mr beer if you feel like stepping up from the canned extracts. You can mash with 1 & 1/4 gallons and sparge with the same amount of water...Which will give you 2 1/2 gallons of wort which would boil down close to 2 gallons (figuring in evaporation loss)....So you are doing the same type of full volume boils that the "big boys and girls" are doing outside on their propane turkey fryers...only inside on your stove and fermenting in your mr. beer,

You wont need to modify the cooler with a manifold or a braided hose. Just use a folding steamer basket in the bottom of the cooler then use a grain bag. The steamer lifts the grain above the spigot entrance which helps prevent stuck sparges... This is a good article on using the 2 gallon cooler if countertop partial mashing http://byo.com/feature/1536.html

The only difference is that you're not technically Partial mashing...but going all grain. A lot of the brewing software (free or online) allow you to tailor the recipes according to batch size...so you could take any 5 gallon all grain recipe and scale it down to figure out the grainbill....the only limit with the 2 gallon cooler is that it only handles 4 pounds of grain comfortably. If the recipes even scaled require more than 4 pounds of grain, then you could go with a larger cooler...or you could bulk out the rest of the grainbill with dme (but then you wouldn't be doing all grain tecnically...but your ratio of grain to dme would be higher than a typical countertop partial mashing for a 5 gallon batch...so your small batch of beer would be of a higher quality then the diluted PM bashes...

Just something to think about, before you relegate the Mr Beer to the back of the brew closet.

People trash the mr beer kits...but if you move away from their ingredient kits and stick to using it as a small volume fermenter then you have a lot of flexibility and the potential to make some awsome brews. No different from what people are doing on a larger scale.
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Old 02-17-2008, 12:27 AM   #294
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my beer is super duper foamy. like when i pour some beer in a glass it only takes like me to fill the glass 1/10 th of the way up to have a full glass of foam. or maybe it is too foamy because i need to condition my beer longer? i tried this out on a premature carbonated beer that i drank at day 6 and not at the suggested day 7 of carbonation.

im just wondering if that is normal.

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Old 02-17-2008, 01:18 PM   #295
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cola
my beer is super duper foamy. like when i pour some beer in a glass it only takes like me to fill the glass 1/10 th of the way up to have a full glass of foam. or maybe it is too foamy because i need to condition my beer longer? i tried this out on a premature carbonated beer that i drank at day 6 and not at the suggested day 7 of carbonation.

im just wondering if that is normal.
A big no. That's not normal. You bottled too early or added too much sugar. I'd put them all in the fridge now. Drink ASAP

The problem w/ MRB is that you really can't blindly follow the suggested days fermenting. These are only a guideline. See my post above and watch w/ the Youtube link.

Temperature and the amount of fermentables have the biggest influence on time. The age of your yeast has a good deal to do with it too. Older yeast means a slower start.

As for the time I'd always consider them a minimum. There is a general rule of thumb for fermenting ales.

1-2-3

1 week in the primary.
2 weeks in secondary.
3 weeks carbonating.

No secondary, go w/ three weeks. This assumes you are hitting the target temps and you're not making something w/ a crazy amount of fermentables. A High Alcohol Brew more than 6%

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Old 02-17-2008, 03:54 PM   #296
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I agree. That much foaming isn't normal. Most likely, you followed the directions to the letter and ending up bottling too soon. Mr Beer likes you to think that things are very clear cut and consistent in brewing...but they're not. If the temp of your wort at pitching was a little low, or your fermentation temp was a bit low over the week or so in the fermenter, it's likely that the beer didn't ferment out completely and you bottled with some sugar still in the mix.

I did this twice before I realized what I was doing, back when I started.

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Old 02-17-2008, 03:56 PM   #297
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Thanks, Schlenkerla and Revvy once again I appreciate your taking the time to impart advice. This is a most friendly and helpful forum :-)

Quote:
Get a 3 gallon water PET bottle from Lowes ( look for the triangle with a 1 in the center to designate PET or PETE), then get a S-Style airlock & an orange carboy cap. The carboy cap & airlock will tell you when fermentation activity has ceased
Quote:
then you might as well add a hydrometer and a wine thief or turkey baster (to draw samples

I'm seriously thinking about doing just that. I'm considering upping to the 5 gallon set up but to be honest, I don't think I'd drink all the brew I'd produce before it went off. Only being a few days into fermenting my first batch, I'll probably just be taking notes on all this for now and writing down which equipment I'll need for the next step and evaluate where I want to go after the first batch is done.

Thanks again :-)
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Old 02-17-2008, 04:39 PM   #298
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thwizzit
Thanks again :-)
Your Welcome!! I'm happy I could help!!
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Old 02-17-2008, 05:14 PM   #299
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thwizzit
I'm seriously thinking about doing just that. I'm considering upping to the 5 gallon set up but to be honest, I don't think I'd drink all the brew I'd produce before it went off.
Don't be afraid of a 5 gallon batch turning bad before you could drink it. Properly made home brew can easily last a year without losing flavor or getting off tastes. If you and your friend can't drink 5 gallons in a year, you may be thrown out of the beer drinking club.

Honestly, 5 gallons will go much faster than you think.
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Old 02-17-2008, 05:38 PM   #300
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Quote:
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Thanks, Schlenkerla and Revvy once again I appreciate your taking the time to impart advice. This is a most friendly and helpful forum :-)
Glad to be of help.

and like Nurmey said...don't fear the 5 gallon setup. Even though you may not drink all the bottles right away, the longer they sit, the better they will get. You'd be surprised how different the beer will taste after a couple of months in the bottle. And with the higher grav beers such as barley wines..they often don't even become drinkable for a year.

I heard a podcast with Charlie Papazian (this week's basicbrewing.com where he's got a lot of beers in storage...in fact in last's months Zymergy he wrote about how he has bottles in storage that were winners of all the great american beer festivals going back to the first one. He opened several bottles for the first GABF and reviewd them...very few were the worse for wear...most of them actually got better with age.

As I'm starting to build up stock, I've started setting aside one of the 2 cases from a 5 gallon batch for longer term storage. I figure with 2 or 3 batches coming online in terms of drinkability, It will take a few months to finish the first cases...and when I'm ready to break into case 2 of each style, they should be really really good!

But before you commit, play around with the mr beer or the smaller carboy, work on your technique...even make up small batches of beer recipes found here and ferment them in your mr. beer....And then when you do step up to larger batches...don't throw away the mr beer...you can use it for apfelwein, mead or for fiddling with recipes to perfect them before you brew a 5 gal batch.
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