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Old 05-08-2008, 03:42 PM   #601
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hmmm.... i could look into it. What benefit does this provide beside removing some haze? (I dont really care if its hazy - more worried about taste)

So, from my understanding, racking would be this:

Basically decant beer into 2nd container (gently) to leave sediment behind, add sugar/water solution to carb. Let that sit, then distribute into bottles?

I could grab this from my local brewing supply store: 3.5 Gallon Plastic Bucket (with lid and #2 stopper) $8.39
Racking to a secondary will allow your beer to clear, since you have a lot of fruit unless you remove it from the trub it will remain cloudy. Yeah a bucket that size could work, though usually we use some from of a carboy as our clearing tank....That's why I suggested one of those squat 3 gallon water jugs from the grocery store...they take most standard carboy caps or stoppers for airlocks....

It's recomended to keep from oxygenating your beer too much to use an auto siphon...if you don't have one, carefully attach a sanitized hose (I think 1/2") to the spigot and fill from the bottom up, carefully....

Your beer should be clear in 2-3 weeks in secondary, then you can bottle...
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Old 05-11-2008, 11:39 PM   #602
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We got one of these kits on sale for an Xmas gift for a friend (ok, well, it was mostly to give to the friend and for me to use...) and knowing what I know now, my best guess is that the yeast was totally dead. I understand this is a great way into the hobby, but after this kit and the "Dein Bier" I used in Germany (dead yeast on both - probably), it was more frustrating than anything, and it took me a while to make another attempt after that.

IMHO, take the money you would have spent on Mr. Beer, add another 20 bucks, get the buckets and kit from a reputable webpage so that your chance to succeed is better.

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Old 05-12-2008, 04:46 AM   #603
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I bought my Mr. Beer a couple of months ago. My first batch I made from the kit they send out with it. I think the yeast was dead. But it fermented finally. The end product had a flavor that hit the back of your tongue rather funny. My second was a boysenberry with vienna lager malt. Rather tasty. I'm waiting on my ingredients for my third, raz hef. For the most part I love the **** out of it. But, I'd really like to brew 5+ gallon batches. As well as get away from Mr. Beers rediculously high shipping rates. and spread my wings a little. I hope to learn to brew all grain, but since there is no brew shop in my town. My learning process has been growing rather slowly.

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Old 05-12-2008, 02:31 PM   #604
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Well on the 2 week mark I tasted my Cranberry Maibock. Besides being cloudy, it tasty rather good. Still had some sweetness to it (with some krausian on top still). Also had a slight carbonation to it.

My quest is this: I know typically you dont want it to be sweet when you bottle because the fermenting isnt done, but, does that hold with fruit beers as well? Should I wait, or bottle?

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Old 05-12-2008, 03:05 PM   #605
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Just because it's sweet doesn't mean the fermentation isn't done. Yeast never clean their plate completely--the attentuation that you will see yeast rated in describes how much of the available sugars they will typically consume. A bock tends to be a little sweeter/maltier so it's not necessarily a bad thing. At the same time, if the yeast *isn't* done and you bottle, you run the risk of bottle bombs. If you are going to a secondary you should still wait until the fermentation is complete, but you get a little more breathing room thanks to the extra two weeks.

Situations like this typically get the response, "What do your gravity readings say?" I assume the Mr. Beer kit does not include a hydrometer, so that information isn't available.

If this is being fermented cool (<60 F; typically Bock beers are fermented at low temps) it could easily take > 2 weeks to ferment out. If you're fermenting warm (>65 F) it may be done. If they gave you an ale yeast (suited for higher temperatures) it's normal to see yeast on the top of the fermenter. This doesn't mean it is or isn't done.

You can almost never wreck a beer by giving it more time (hence the acronym RDWHAHB) so unless you have a hydrometer, give it another week.

These problems can be largely solved by taking the step to 5 gallon batches and the equipment associated (plug, plug).

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Old 05-12-2008, 05:39 PM   #606
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Just because it's sweet doesn't mean the fermentation isn't done. Yeast never clean their plate completely--the attentuation that you will see yeast rated in describes how much of the available sugars they will typically consume. A bock tends to be a little sweeter/maltier so it's not necessarily a bad thing. At the same time, if the yeast *isn't* done and you bottle, you run the risk of bottle bombs. If you are going to a secondary you should still wait until the fermentation is complete, but you get a little more breathing room thanks to the extra two weeks.

Situations like this typically get the response, "What do your gravity readings say?" I assume the Mr. Beer kit does not include a hydrometer, so that information isn't available.

If this is being fermented cool (<60 F; typically Bock beers are fermented at low temps) it could easily take > 2 weeks to ferment out. If you're fermenting warm (>65 F) it may be done. If they gave you an ale yeast (suited for higher temperatures) it's normal to see yeast on the top of the fermenter. This doesn't mean it is or isn't done.

You can almost never wreck a beer by giving it more time (hence the acronym RDWHAHB) so unless you have a hydrometer, give it another week.

These problems can be largely solved by taking the step to 5 gallon batches and the equipment associated (plug, plug).
Awesome, that helps a lot. I'm fermenting at ~70 or so and I bought a ale yeast from a supply store (since mr.b yeast sucks). I think I'll let it sit another week, then bottle it.

I dont think I'm going to do a secondary (although it is cloudy), just because it sounds difficult to transfer it there and then to bottle it aftwards (as opposed to the tap on the mr.b fementer).
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Old 05-14-2008, 02:57 PM   #607
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Well, I figure this is a good place to make my first post, as it is how I got started.

I have the Mr. Beer kit with 3 of the plastic barrels, and I have already made a few batches of beer:
-Nut Brown Ale
-Weizenbier
-IPA(in the barrel)
-Canadian Draft(in the barrel, bottling today/tomorrow)


I'm glad I started reading on this forum, as I am going out today to get some ingredients for the apfelwein as it appears to be a fan favorite here. I am also going to get the proper sugar for priming the bottles.

My experience with MRB has been great - the beer hasn't been "the best", but I liked the initial simplicity. A lot of the information in here I did figure out on my own (the longer I leave it, the better it is, etc.) and It's great to see that I can still use the little barrels for something. They were only 10 bucks, so I think it was a decent buy.

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Old 05-15-2008, 12:47 PM   #608
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Welcome to the obsess.... er, hobby. homebrewtalk will be the single best thing that ever happened to your brewing. You WILL be making "the best" beer soon enough

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Old 05-18-2008, 03:34 AM   #609
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Default My first batch is in the barrel.... wooo hooo

First let me say thanks to all who share your knowledge with us newbies.

I got a Mr. Beer kit for Christmas and finally decided to give it a shot today.
So, here's what I did:

  • Sanitized everything.
  • Filled the water to the 4q line. (Plain tap water. Mine tastes pretty good.)
  • Put 4 cups of cold water in the pot.
  • Mixed in a 1 and 1/2 cups of the booster.
  • Once it was completely dissolved I placed it on the burner and brought it to a nice rolling boil.
  • Let boil 1 minute.
  • Removed the water/booster from the heat and added one can (1.2lbs) of west coast pale ale mix.
  • After that was completely dissolved, I added 3/4 cups honey.
  • Once that was dissolved I added the mixture to the fermenter and stirred vigorously.
  • Filled to the 8 and 1/2 quart line and stirred again.
  • Added contents of yeast packet and let it sit on top of wort for 5 min.
  • After 5 min. I stirred one last time and put the lid on.
  • It's in the utility room of the basement now. (basement temp: 69 deg. F @ mid afternoon. It should be a little cooler at night.)

The plan now, is to let it sit for two weeks in the fermenter then bottle. Then, Let it condition in the bottles for three weeks in the basement. Then a couple of days in the fridge. See any problems so far?

Also, I have another question? The kit directions call for priming with granulated white sugar. I've read the white sugar isn't recommended. (cider taste.) What kind of sugar should I use? And, can I get it in a grocery store?

Thanks in advance,

Kornbread
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Old 05-18-2008, 09:14 AM   #610
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Also, I have another question? The kit directions call for priming with granulated white sugar. I've read the white sugar isn't recommended. (cider taste.) What kind of sugar should I use? And, can I get it in a grocery store?

Thanks in advance,

Kornbread
Sounds like you've done well! As to sugars for priming...The most common and recommended is corn sugar, often labled priming sugar, other than at a homebrew shop or online, you may be able to find corn sugar at a health food store.

The second common alternative is dry malt extract...usually only found at HBS's.
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