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Old 03-26-2012, 05:07 AM   #3711
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Originally Posted by Justibone View Post
I ferment my MrB keg-thingie inside a cooler with ice bottles and cold packs to keep it about 10 degrees below ambient temperature. That's a nice way to keep brewing in the summer, and a big benefit as compared to brewing bigger batches.
I do the same thing with the Mr Beer keg and it works great even out in AZ. I have just switched to 5 gallon All-grain batches after making a total of 4 Mr Beer kits. The swamp cooler method in a rubbermaid tub and frozen bottles worked just as well on the larger batches, if not better. I would not submerge the LBK since it has a spigot though.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:45 AM   #3712
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I do the same thing with the Mr Beer keg and it works great even out in AZ. I have just switched to 5 gallon All-grain batches after making a total of 4 Mr Beer kits. The swamp cooler method in a rubbermaid tub and frozen bottles worked just as well on the larger batches, if not better. I would not submerge the LBK since it has a spigot though.
I've done the water bath thing with my 5 gallon batches. It works just fine, of course, and makes a good, clean beer. The issue is one of convenience, and stuff growing in the water. Dumping out all that water is a major pain! (I don't dump it down the tub drain, since our tub drain is what I would call "sensitive".)

Others might not have my issues.

With the MrB keg, though, it's a dry system. A Coleman(tm) cooler fits the keg nicely, with room for three frozen water bottles and a cool pack. I wouldn't submerge MrB either, but the dry system is a lot neater and less mess/fuss, plus SWMBO likes how it fits neatly and quietly in a corner, as opposed to sitting in our tub for two weeks. (If you have a house instead of an apartment, you have more room, and if you have a basement then you are golden. Us, we're city-dwellers.)
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Old 03-26-2012, 03:32 PM   #3713
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I do agree the cooler method is super simple and works great. I have found that with one 2 liter bottle I can get the temps down 10-15 degress below ambient with swapping for a fresh bottle 1-2 times a day. The water bath is not as easy and I have experienced what you have. I am still using the Mr Beer (making apfelwein with it at the moment), but I was drinking it faster than I could make it so it made sense for me to upscale.

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Old 03-26-2012, 08:42 PM   #3714
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I'm just starting brewing for the first time and I can't decide how to get started. Should I go with the Mr. Beer?

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Old 03-26-2012, 08:48 PM   #3715
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For the price, ease of use and size I say yes. It will teach you the basics without overwhelming you.

You'll get a million suggestions on how to make it better, but let me start with the easiest one. If you buy a kit, they typically come with the West Coast Pale Ale (WCPA) and a pack of Booster. Replace the Booster with a can of the Pale UME and then follow the rest of the directions as far as heating and mixing and you'll be much happier.

Temp control and sanitization will be your best friends.
And extend the timing to: ferment for 2 weeks. Leave for AT LEAST 2 weeks in the bottle at room temp before chilling.

And read - lots.

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Old 03-26-2012, 08:56 PM   #3716
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For the price, ease of use and size I say yes. It will teach you the basics without overwhelming you.

You'll get a million suggestions on how to make it better, but let me start with the easiest one. If you buy a kit, they typically come with the West Coast Pale Ale (WCPA) and a pack of Booster. Replace the Booster with a can of the Pale UME and then follow the rest of the directions as far as heating and mixing and you'll be much happier.

Temp control and sanitization will be your best friends.
And extend the timing to: ferment for 2 weeks. Leave for AT LEAST 2 weeks in the bottle at room temp before chilling.

And read - lots.
That's great, thank you. I can see how so many people here say that this ends up being a time consuming hobby. I haven't even started brewing yet and I have already spent at least a few hours just reading about it! Time to take the plunge and get started.
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:04 PM   #3717
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Originally Posted by Kealia View Post
For the price, ease of use and size I say yes. It will teach you the basics without overwhelming you.

You'll get a million suggestions on how to make it better, but let me start with the easiest one. If you buy a kit, they typically come with the West Coast Pale Ale (WCPA) and a pack of Booster. Replace the Booster with a can of the Pale UME and then follow the rest of the directions as far as heating and mixing and you'll be much happier.

Temp control and sanitization will be your best friends.
And extend the timing to: ferment for 2 weeks. Leave for AT LEAST 2 weeks in the bottle at room temp before chilling.

And read - lots.
Buy a hydrometer; best tool you will own as a homebrewer.
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:27 PM   #3718
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I didn't start using a hydrometer until I started making 5 gal. batches. Since the Mr. Beer keg is so small, I felt like any loss to the hydro tube was too much. UME is Unhopped Malt Extract. I'll see Kealia's two weeks and raise her one week. I think you should leave it for three and three. Read, like she said...
Welcome to the addiction. Pete

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Old 03-26-2012, 09:56 PM   #3719
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Yeah, if I were being 100% honest with my input I'd say ferment for 2, carb/condition for room temp for 4 total and then sit in fridge for a week before tasting but we all know that nobody has that patience for their first outing so I was trying to be realistic

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Old 03-26-2012, 10:24 PM   #3720
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Default Floating DME?

I recently used DME to replace booster in recent batches of Cowboy Golden Lager and Classic American Blonde Ale. I drew a hydrometer sample after 3 weeks to check to see if I'm approaching FG.

Both samples had small brown floaties which I assume is undissolved DME. Will these fall out of suspension in the bottle, or is there something else I need to do?

Thanks for all the help

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