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First Brew in a very long time - Advice appreciated.

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Hi All,

This forum looks like a great resource. I'm looking for some advice with my first brew in a really long time. Years ago I brewed several batches of home brew using extract kits. Whilst they were drinkable, they were really not good.

Last week I purchased an extract kit:
Mangrove Jack Munich Lager brew extract can (1.7kg)
2.3kg liquid malt extract.
1kg brewing sugar
Californian lager yeast

I have been brewing it at 16 degrees and it seems to be happily brewing away. It has been 6 days and it is still going. I'll check the gravity tomorrow but I suspect it will need a little more time.

Where do I go from here? I have a couple of kg of brewing sugar left so I'm thinking once the gravity is stable I'll mix siphon the brew into another fermentor, mix in the sugar and then bottle.
Once bottled, I was going to leave the batch in the garage at around 10 degrees.

Does that sound like a good way to go? or does anyone recommend doing anything futher?

I'm located in Belgium so home brew supplies are quite hard to come by. I'll drive to my local store (1.5 hours away) on Friday and pick up anything else I need.

Thanks
 

RM-MN

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I have been brewing it at 16 degrees and it seems to be happily brewing away. It has been 6 days and it is still going. I'll check the gravity tomorrow but I suspect it will need a little more time.

Where do I go from here? I have a couple of kg of brewing sugar left so I'm thinking once the gravity is stable I'll mix siphon the brew into another fermentor, mix in the sugar and then bottle.
Once bottled, I was going to leave the batch in the garage at around 10 degrees.
According to one source I found, the yeast is an ale yeast, not a lager yeast, but by keeping it cool during the initial part of the ferment it will be a clean ferment much like a lager. With your 6 days at 16 this should be good. Now is probably the time to let it warm up as the yeast tends to go to sleep if kept that cool too long and may not finish the last of the intermediate compounds it may create during the first couple days. I'd bring it to about 22C if possible. Although you can bottle as soon as the beer is at final gravity as proven by 2 successive identical readings a day or 2 apart, giving the beer more time will allow more of the trub to settle out to be left in the fermenter instead of in your bottles or keg. I often leave my beers at 22C (room temperature) for another 2 weeks before bottling.

Make sure to use a priming calculator when you are ready to bottle to be sure to have the proper amount of sugar. You can leave the bottles in the garage but at that temperature it will take a very long time to carbonate. It would be better to leave them somewhere warmer for at least a couple weeks before moving them to the cool area.
 
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112

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According to one source I found, the yeast is an ale yeast, not a lager yeast, but by keeping it cool during the initial part of the ferment it will be a clean ferment much like a lager. With your 6 days at 16 this should be good. Now is probably the time to let it warm up as the yeast tends to go to sleep if kept that cool too long and may not finish the last of the intermediate compounds it may create during the first couple days. I'd bring it to about 22C if possible. Although you can bottle as soon as the beer is at final gravity as proven by 2 successive identical readings a day or 2 apart, giving the beer more time will allow more of the trub to settle out to be left in the fermenter instead of in your bottles or keg. I often leave my beers at 22C (room temperature) for another 2 weeks before bottling.

Make sure to use a priming calculator when you are ready to bottle to be sure to have the proper amount of sugar. You can leave the bottles in the garage but at that temperature it will take a very long time to carbonate. It would be better to leave them somewhere warmer for at least a couple weeks before moving them to the cool area.
Ah yes, I should have mentioned that. It is that yeast - it's meant to produce a lager taste at ale brewing temperatures.

I have increased the temperature in the room and should easily be able to get the liquid temperature up to 22.

Last time I bottled my beers as soon as I had a consistent reading, I'll leave it a while before bottling this time. Hopefully it will produce a better beer! I'll also check out a calculator - my carbonation drops are out of date but it seems I have plenty of time to buy more.

Thanks for the advice - it is just what I needed. Fingers crossed for a better beer this time!
 

charliethebum

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You're not talking about adding a couple kg of sugar as priming sugar are you? Bottle bombs are no joke...
 

RM-MN

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The carbonation drops you have should still be fine even though they are out of date. In any case, the carbonation drops make it simple, just follow their directions.
 
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You're not talking about adding a couple kg of sugar as priming sugar are you? Bottle bombs are no joke...
Ha good point. No, I was going to measure it out and use a calculator. I'll also be keeping the bottles in a big storage tub as it will be my first time using glass.
 
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The carbonation drops you have should still be fine even though they are out of date. In any case, the carbonation drops make it simple, just follow their directions.
Oh OK even better! They went out of date in April of this year. I did think that sugar probably should last a lot longer. Thanks.
 

charliethebum

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Ha good point. No, I was going to measure it out and use a calculator. I'll also be keeping the bottles in a big storage tub as it will be my first time using glass.
Ok good deal I must've misunderstood. Carb drops work fine and make it much simpler but you won't be able to decide your carbonation level. Since you're just getting back into it that's not a bad option at all.
 
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