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Old 11-04-2009, 04:49 PM   #1
Ian2400
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Default Stepping it up

Alright, I'm four batches deep on my mister beer and I'm ready to step it up. I need advice on what to get. I have a 3 and 5 gallon carboy, but no siphoning equipment or stoppers. I've got brushes for cleaning the carboy, and a big bottle of starsan. I also have a 5 gallon plastic bucket I was going to use for sanitizing, but I'm not quite sure how to use the starsan to sanitize (only used the mr beer stuff thusfar).

So with that in mind, what all do I need to step up to brewing 5 gal batches, AND is there any way I can efficiently get beer from the mr beer to the 3 gal carboy without aerating the hell out of it? If there is a nice guide somewhere feel free to call me a dumbass and point me to it, I don't mind

Oh, and this is my LHBS that I'll be buying it at when I find the time to drive down there. If anyone could recommend a good batch or two from their selection I'd appreciate that as well:

http://www.southhillsbrewing.com/

Thanks guys!

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Old 11-04-2009, 05:02 PM   #2
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You've got most of what you need to get rolling. For 5 gallon batches, you really want a carboy closer to 7 gallons. 5 gallons of beer in a 5 gallon carboy is sure to foam over during fermentation. So, I suggest a 7gallon bucket or carboy.

I assume you are going to be bottling your beer?

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Originally Posted by Ian2400 View Post
I'm not quite sure how to use the starsan to sanitize (only used the mr beer stuff thusfar).
From the manufacturer's website:
http://www.fivestarchemicals.com/tech/starsan.pdf

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is there any way I can efficiently get beer from the mr beer to the 3 gal carboy without aerating the hell out of it? If there is a nice guide somewhere feel free to call me a dumbass and point me to it, I don't mind
If you buy some flexible tubing (you'll need this for a siphon anyway), you should be able to attach that to the spigot on Mr. Beer and put the other end down to the bottom of the carboy and transfer that way. As long as the tube stays under the surface of the beer in the carboy, you won't be aerating it.
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Old 11-04-2009, 05:07 PM   #3
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You can pick up a bucket for fermenting for under $20 at most LHBS

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Old 11-04-2009, 05:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker-san View Post
You've got most of what you need to get rolling. For 5 gallon batches, you really want a carboy closer to 7 gallons. 5 gallons of beer in a 5 gallon carboy is sure to foam over during fermentation. So, I suggest a 7gallon bucket or carboy.

I assume you are going to be bottling your beer?



From the manufacturer's website:
http://www.fivestarchemicals.com/tech/starsan.pdf



If you buy some flexible tubing (you'll need this for a siphon anyway), you should be able to attach that to the spigot on Mr. Beer and put the other end down to the bottom of the carboy and transfer that way. As long as the tube stays under the surface of the beer in the carboy, you won't be aerating it.
Yes, I will be bottling my beer. Is there any way to make a 5/3 gallon carboy work? and if the mr. beer is 2.5-3 gallons, should I be putting that into the 5 gallon and calling the 3 gallon useless?

EDIT: Also, will using the carboys eliminate all sediment, or just most of it? the sediment is probably my #1 complaint with the final product, I hate wasting the ass of the beer
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Old 11-04-2009, 05:43 PM   #5
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Mr beer can be drained to the small carboy because fermentation is done. It's just that initial fermentation that needs some room to work its magic.

Carboys won't eliminate sediment. Bottled conditioned beer will always have sediment in it, but ... not being too familair with Mr. Beer, you might be getting more sediment than is necessary.

Do you go straight from Mr. Beer and into the bottles?

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Old 11-04-2009, 06:14 PM   #6
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Yes I do, and I was hoping putting it through a secondary would minimize the amount of sediment transfer.

If I buy a 7 gallon, do you think I could use the 7 as a primary and the 5 as a secondary, and use the 3 as a secondary for the mr beer? That way all I'd have to buy is the 7 and the right tubing/racking equipment, and I can brew a 5 gallon and 3 gallon batch at the same time. My goal is never to have to buy beer at the store again

Oh, one more thing. In these bigger batches is the 2 week primary 2 week secondary 2 week in bottles rule still good, or should I tweak the timing?

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Old 11-04-2009, 06:25 PM   #7
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Yes I do, and I was hoping putting it through a secondary would minimize the amount of sediment transfer.
Ok.. Yeah, using a secondary will probably help then. I would imagine that going straight from Mr. Beer into bottles picks up a good bit of sediment. Going to a secondary and letting more sediment drop out, and then going to bottles, careful to avoid the sediment, should help considerably.

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If I buy a 7 gallon, do you think I could use the 7 as a primary and the 5 as a secondary, and use the 3 as a secondary for the mr beer? That way all I'd have to buy is the 7 and the right tubing/racking equipment, and I can brew a 5 gallon and 3 gallon batch at the same time. My goal is never to have to buy beer at the store again
That's a good plan. If you have a 7 gallon carboy, you can use the 5 gallon as a secondary. That's what most people do. Of course, you can also buy a 7 gallon plastic bucket instead of a 7 gallon carboy if you want to save a little $. A spigot on the bucket would make transferring to the 5 gallon carboy easier, plus you could transfer BACK into the bucket when you are ready to bottle. (spigots are really handy.)


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Oh, one more thing. In these bigger batches is the 2 week primary 2 week secondary 2 week in bottles rule still good, or should I tweak the timing?
That schedule will still be fine.
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:24 PM   #8
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Oh sweet, I didn't know plastic could be used as a primary (I know it is not good for secondary). I'll head over to my LHBS and pick that up with some siphoning equipment and hopefully be good to go. Any recommendations on recipes? I prefer ambers and stouts to light beers. This fourth batch I just put into bottles is nearly guinness black, I can't wait to try it out!

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Old 11-05-2009, 04:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian2400 View Post
Oh sweet, I didn't know plastic could be used as a primary (I know it is not good for secondary). I'll head over to my LHBS and pick that up with some siphoning equipment and hopefully be good to go. Any recommendations on recipes? I prefer ambers and stouts to light beers. This fourth batch I just put into bottles is nearly guinness black, I can't wait to try it out!
Do you prefer to brew from kits or piece together your own stuff?

If you like stouts and ambers, you would probably like porters and brown ales.
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:21 PM   #10
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If you start using primary fermenters instead of a mr beer kit, you can use an auto-siphon to gently siphon the beer. Also, if you lift your carboy/bucket up to an elevated position (kitchen counter, table, island) and let it sit for 30 minutes, the sediment will settle to the bottom again. Then, use the auto siphon.

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