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Old 07-06-2013, 08:19 PM   #5081
Brewologist
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Just rinsing with one step won't do much, if that's all you're using you definitely want more contact time. I fill a bucket enough to cover the bottles and soak a bunch at a time, drain them and let them drip in the dishwasher (stand them neck down on the racks) for a little bit before bottling. I've had best results with that technique, aside from using Iodophor, which kills everything.

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Old 07-06-2013, 08:31 PM   #5082
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My last two batches (Cowgirl Honey Light and Bohemian Bronze) have both had a sour, citrusy taste on the finish that made it difficult to enjoy. The only new thing I'd tried with these two is the Avinatore bottle rinser. I'm wondering if the bottles are being properly sanitized - I'm using the packet that comes in the MB kits. Does the sanitizer need to remain in contact with the bottle longer than the few splashes provided by the rinser?
Which yeast did you use? Were these the older cans (pre-Cooper's)? If so, the yeast would be getting pretty old by now and may have been slow to kick off? Regarding your sanitizing question, yes, you need longer contact time for the no rinse sanitizer to be effective. The Avinatore is a great little device for winemakers who use sulfur dioxide for sanitizing, but that is because the wine sanitizer is SO2 gas which remains on the bottles even after the liquid is gone. Not a great sanitizer for beer, unfortunately. I'd fill your beer bottles with the no-rinse sanitizer and let them set for 5 mins or so, then pour the contents into the next bottle. Hope this helps.

Scott Birdwell
DeFalco's Home Wine & Beer Supplies
Houston TX
www.defalcos.com
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:33 PM   #5083
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewologist
Just rinsing with one step won't do much, if that's all you're using you definitely want more contact time. I fill a bucket enough to cover the bottles and soak a bunch at a time, drain them and let them drip in the dishwasher (stand them neck down on the racks) for a little bit before bottling. I've had best results with that technique, aside from using Iodophor, which kills everything.
Excellent. Thanks so much. I really like the convenience of the bottle rinser, so I might check with my local supplier and see if he provide me with some better sanitizer. Do you recommend Lodophor?
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:42 PM   #5084
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Excellent. Thanks so much. I really like the convenience of the bottle rinser, so I might check with my local supplier and see if he provide me with some better sanitizer. Do you recommend Lodophor?
I like star San. I've never used iodophor, but people who use it seem to have good results with it. Star San foams a lot, but don't fear the foam. I think iodophor can stain things.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:51 PM   #5085
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Originally Posted by defalcos
Which yeast did you use? Were these the older cans (pre-Cooper's)? If so, the yeast would be getting pretty old by now and may have been slow to kick off? Regarding your sanitizing question, yes, you need longer contact time for the no rinse sanitizer to be effective. The Avinatore is a great little device for winemakers who use sulfur dioxide for sanitizing, but that is because the wine sanitizer is SO2 gas which remains on the bottles even after the liquid is gone. Not a great sanitizer for beer, unfortunately. I'd fill your beer bottles with the no-rinse sanitizer and let them set for 5 mins or so, then pour the contents into the next bottle. Hope this helps.

Scott Birdwell
DeFalco's Home Wine & Beer Supplies
Houston TX
www.defalcos.com
Thanks for the info. Great insight on the Avinatore. I feel like this is the source of my problems . . .
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Old 07-08-2013, 04:35 PM   #5086
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Thanks for the info. Great insight on the Avinatore. I feel like this is the source of my problems . . .
If the beer tasted good when you bottled it, but then went south in the bottles, you just might be right that poor sanitation at bottling was the problem. If the beer smelled &/or tasted bad at this stage (I taste the beer at every step), then it wasn't the bottles that let you down, it was probably the yeast. As for sanitation, Iodophor is excellent and I've never really had staining issues as you dilute it to 1 capfull to 2 1/2 gallons of water. In it undiluted form, it can stain. I've used Star San a lot, too. It foams like a sonofagun, which is why breweries like it so much. It gets into nooks and crannies that other sanitizers can't if you are not completely filling the vessel. Fortunately, for homebrewers, filling our vessels is not cost prohibitive as they are so small. Bewarned - Star San is murder on acrylic - things like racking canes and bottle fillers. Both of these products are excellent sanitizers, but are not good cleaners. I use different products for cleaning and sanitizing. Hope this helps.

Scott Birdwell
DeFalco's Home Wine & Beer Supplies
Houston TX
www.defalcos.com
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:22 PM   #5087
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I'm becoming a little disenchanted with MrBeer. I started brewing in January, and like others, became obsessed. So I bought another "Little Brown Keg" fermenter. The first one quickly dented, and got infected. I replaced it. Now one warped while soaking with warm water (not too hot to put my hand in). So I've owned three, and two lasted less than six months. I'm not crazy about their HMEs either. I still think it's a great business concept, and an easy way to get started, but I may be over them.

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Old 07-19-2013, 05:37 PM   #5088
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I'm becoming a little disenchanted with MrBeer. I started brewing in January, and like others, became obsessed. So I bought another "Little Brown Keg" fermenter. The first one quickly dented, and got infected. I replaced it. Now one warped while soaking with warm water (not too hot to put my hand in). So I've owned three, and two lasted less than six months. I'm not crazy about their HMEs either. I still think it's a great business concept, and an easy way to get started, but I may be over them.
It sounds like Mr. Beer has served its purpose: you've learned how to make beer at a very basic level and you've developed a passion to learn more. Now might be a good time to go to a more traditional set-up. If you still want to brew 2 - 2 1/2 gallon batches, you could opt for a glass or PET plastic 3 gallon carboy as a single fermenter. If you think you're ready to yield more beer for your time & effort, you might consider going with the standard double pail single stage set-up or the pail & carboy double stage system. Any local homebrew shop can set you up, if you think you're ready to move up in size and get more involved with the recipes. Hope this helps.

Scott Birdwell
DeFalco's Home Wine & Beer Supplies
Houston TX
www.defalcos.com
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Old 07-19-2013, 06:20 PM   #5089
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defalcos View Post
It sounds like Mr. Beer has served its purpose: you've learned how to make beer at a very basic level and you've developed a passion to learn more. Now might be a good time to go to a more traditional set-up. If you still want to brew 2 - 2 1/2 gallon batches, you could opt for a glass or PET plastic 3 gallon carboy as a single fermenter. If you think you're ready to yield more beer for your time & effort, you might consider going with the standard double pail single stage set-up or the pail & carboy double stage system. Any local homebrew shop can set you up, if you think you're ready to move up in size and get more involved with the recipes. Hope this helps.

Scott Birdwell
DeFalco's Home Wine & Beer Supplies
Houston TX
www.defalcos.com
Thanks Scott,
I've fermented a few batches in a 12qt enamel pot, and I bought a stainless one. I still like the flexibility of small batches, I brew every week. Easy to bottle when it's only one case. I've got three grain batches in bottles conditioning now, one extract batch fermenting, and three more extract cases conditioning.
-John
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Old 07-22-2013, 01:27 PM   #5090
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Need advice on first lager brew. Using Saflager 23 yeast and have keg in cooler with frozen water bottles. What are the necessary steps to brew a lager correctly? Do i ferment at 55ish for 2 weeks then bring up temp to mid 60s for a week to finish fermenting then bottle? Also for bottle conditioning should i carb at room temp for 3 to 4 weeks then put in fridge for couple of weeks to finish?

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