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Old 01-08-2013, 08:28 PM   #4361
Kealia
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1. Based on no hydrometer I assume I should let the primary process run longer then a week. I was going to go for two weeks just to be sure. Does that sound right? The kegs are in a dark spot with perfect controlled temp.
Yes, plan on two weeks for better results. You can go longer if you think there is an issue, but with a simple refill you should be golden at two.

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2. I have read that if I want better beer I should not use white sugar in the secondary process, that it would be a better idea to use a little more HME in each bottle instead. Is this a good idea? And if so how much more HME should I use in each bottle? Or do I add more HME to the keg and then bottle adding more fermentable product prior to bottling?
If you mean the bottling and conditioning phase, just use sugar. The trace amount used to carb your beer will not make a difference.

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3. I already have the bug and have order hops pellets of various kinds and will be here prior to the completion of my primary fermentation cycle. Can I add hops in a sack to the brew prior to bottling to add some flavor? Or is it only worth adding during the initial heating of the HME prior to starting the primary cycle?
Hops added at that point (dry hopping) will only add aroma, no flavor.

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4. I plan on being very patient on the secondary cycle and waiting 3-4 weeks in that phase un-refrigerated from what I read. Is this to long for an IPA?
Good plan.

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5. I also assume that refrigerating for an additional two weeks would be a good idea as well. Do you agree?
Try one after 48 hours and then keep sampling every day or two to decide for yourself if 2 weeks of cold conditioning helps. Some will swear by it, others just use a few days in the fridge.

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6. Finally on my next batch I intend on using two cans of HME in the primary stage with hops etc and so liquid yeast (better quality I guess based on the price lol) and a booster pack. In that case I am assuming a richer beer with heavy mouth etc. but my question is baed on all that fermentable material do I still need to add more HME or sugar prior to bottling to create carbonation in the secondary stage? Or is the extra HME in the primary stage going to leave enough unprocessed fermentable material to forgo the addition sugar or HME prior to bottling to create carbonation.
You will always need to add priming sugar regardless of how many fermentables you started with.

Cheers. And welcome!
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:39 PM   #4362
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Thanks so much for the quick reply!!!!!! Now if I could fast forward two moths that would be great lol cheers as well!

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Old 01-08-2013, 08:49 PM   #4363
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Hello I have a hand full of questions. I am sorry if the answers are in this 5000 page thread lol I did not it all.

To set up my questions here is what I have done so far.

Around Christmas I got a mr beer kit with the colors light flavor. Then wouldn't you know it I get a present from my dad and what are the chances it is another mr beer kit only the master version with 4 craft beers IPA etc. kind of strange coincidence as I have never thought of brewing before and neither gifting party knows the other lol. I make home made hot sauce, mustard etc and pickling etc. so I guess they both thought on the same year this was a good next step for me. Anyway I decided to make two batches by the book to start. Made sure I was a sanitation freak and all looks good. I started the fermentation process Friday last week. All looks good bubbles, foam etc. I do not have a hydro meter.

Here are my questions based on all the reading I have done here so far.

1. Based on no hydrometer I assume I should let the primary process run longer then a week. I was going to go for two weeks just to be sure. Does that sound right? The kegs are in a dark spot with perfect controlled temp.

2. I have read that if I want better beer I should not use white sugar in the secondary process, that it would be a better idea to use a little more HME in each bottle instead. Is this a good idea? And if so how much more HME should I use in each bottle? Or do I add more HME to the keg and then bottle adding more fermentable product prior to bottling?

3. I already have the bug and have order hops pellets of various kinds and will be here prior to the completion of my primary fermentation cycle. Can I add hops in a sack to the brew prior to bottling to add some flavor? Or is it only worth adding during the initial heating of the HME prior to starting the primary cycle?

4. I plan on being very patient on the secondary cycle and waiting 3-4 weeks in that phase un-refrigerated from what I read. Is this to long for an IPA?

5. I also assume that refrigerating for an additional two weeks would be a good idea as well. Do you agree?

6. Finally on my next batch I intend on using two cans of HME in the primary stage with hops etc and so liquid yeast (better quality I guess based on the price lol) and a booster pack. In that case I am assuming a richer beer with heavy mouth etc. but my question is baed on all that fermentable material do I still need to add more HME or sugar prior to bottling to create carbonation in the secondary stage? Or is the extra HME in the primary stage going to leave enough unprocessed fermentable material to forgo the addition sugar or HME prior to bottling to create carbonation.

Please forgive me if my questions sound noob as I am one, but I have been reading for several days straight to try and closet he gap as quick as possible.

Thanks in advance for any answers!!!!!!!!!!
Hello Tuna and welcome to the Asylum!

1. 2 weeks should be your minimum. For complex recipes go longer. 3 or 4 weeks is not uncommon. Get a hydrometer ASAP, you will not regret it!

2. Table sugar is just fine. There is so little of it, there's almost no risk of off flavors being imparted.

3. Boil hops to add bitterness, dry hop to add aroma!

4. Like K said, try one after 2 weeks and see what you think!

5. if you have the patience and the fridge room, it will do nothing bad to your beer. Patience is your friend!

6. Primary fermentation should remove all fermentable sugars from your wort. Carbonation is adding a little more sugar and storing under pressure to carbonate your beer. You will need to add table sugar to accomplish this.

Don't worry about sounding like a noob. We were all one at some point ( I still consider myself one after 5 batches!) read the threads here and ask away!
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:02 PM   #4364
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Can the beer be harmed by leaving it in the keg too long after fermentation has stopped? The kit says to ferment for 7-14 days, and everyone here recommends at least 3, maybe 4 weeks. If the fermentation has appeared to have stopped after 16 days and I left it in the keg for a full 21 days, could the batch go south? Or is it better to be safe than sorry? Thanks.
Unless I have a problem that caused a stuck fermentation (or if I'm busy, out of town, etc), I rarely go longer than two weeks. Primary fermentation is going to be finished within a week in most cases, but leaving it for another week or two gives the yeast time to do additional cleanup. And if you don't have a hydrometer, it's safer to ferment a little longer to ensure fermentation has truly completed.

I've had a few cases where I left a batch in the fermenter for a little more than 4 weeks.

There are some potential issues with leaving a batch too long. Odds are that you won't have a problem unless you leave it for months (and maybe not even then), but normally, you don't want to leave it in the fermenter longer than 3-4 weeks.

Some of the yeast in the trub is still alive, but some is dead. some of the dead yeast cells can rupture, causing something called autolysis. Due to the design of the Mr Beer fermenter (long bottom, so not as much pressure on the trub), this is less likely than with other designs, but over time, it can still happen.

Also, since primary fermentation has stopped and there is no more active CO2 production, with the "passive airlock" of the Mr Beer fermenter, there is some chance that you'll get some contact with the outside air, which can lead to faster staling and increased risk of infection.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:19 PM   #4365
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Thanks again for the help. Another question.


In the mr beer instruction it said "sprinkle the yeast into the keg and seal" and nothing about stirring or agitating the yeast into wort. In some of the reading I have been doing some folks say " stir the yeast into the wort and agitate it"

I followed the instructions and just sprinkled it in a sealed.

What is the consensus on that?

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Old 01-08-2013, 10:25 PM   #4366
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Should I get new sugar for my beer and keep it sealed? I have sugar I use for baking, some in the paper wrapping it comes in, some in plastic containers for pouring, different stuff. Can stuff in sugar ruin my beer (I'm talking about when I add it during the bottling phase)?

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Old 01-08-2013, 10:25 PM   #4367
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Both will work. You'll get beer either way. Those yeast know what to do!

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Old 01-08-2013, 10:28 PM   #4368
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Originally Posted by bigtuna101 View Post
Thanks again for the help. Another question.


In the mr beer instruction it said "sprinkle the yeast into the keg and seal" and nothing about stirring or agitating the yeast into wort. In some of the reading I have been doing some folks say " stir the yeast into the wort and agitate it"

I followed the instructions and just sprinkled it in a sealed.

What is the consensus on that?
The reason behind stirring the wort isn't to mix the yeast in, but to aerate the wort.

At the start, the yeast need to reproduce until there are enough yeast cells to begin converting the sugars into alcohol and CO2. The existing yeast cells need unsaturated fatty acids and sterols to create new cell walls during this phase. They can synthesize these using oxygen, so we usually aerate the wort so that the yeast cells can reproduce in a healthy manner.

If the yeast manufacturer saturates the yeast with unsaturated fatty acids and sterols, the yeast will have enough available and will not need oxygen to synthesize them.

If the package says you don't need to aerate (or stir) the wort, it is because the yeast have sufficient nutrients packaged with them and do not need to synthesize them. It wouldn't hurt to introduce oxygen at this step, but if the instructions don't say it's needed, you can skip that step.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:33 PM   #4369
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Should I get new sugar for my beer and keep it sealed? I have sugar I use for baking, some in the paper wrapping it comes in, some in plastic containers for pouring, different stuff. Can stuff in sugar ruin my beer (I'm talking about when I add it during the bottling phase)?
What kind of stuff do you have in your sugar?

Sugar is sort of a natural preservative because it is too dry to support bacterial growth. But if you're storing the sugar in a way that it's getting a bunch of junk in it, once you add the sugar to the beer, it won't be dry any more. But if you're keeping it clean, you should be okay.

If you want to be really safe, you can switch to batch priming. When you batch prime, you add all the sugar for the batch to a small amount of water, bring it to a boil, then add the sugar water and wort to a priming container and bottle from that.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:38 PM   #4370
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Nothing specific and it isn't 'dirty', just might have crumbs, maybe from a measuring cup with a bit of flour in it, or has been left open on the counter while I'm baking. Since I sanitize the keg and everything that touches the wort, seems logical I should have 'sanitized' sugar too... but at that stage maybe it isn't as critical?

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