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UdderJuice

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Hello everyone. The past weekend I was with the wife in Bed Bath and Beyond and saw a little beer brewing kit made by Lakeview Valley Farms. It was only 30 bucks so I thought "what the hell" and took it home.

It makes 6 beers per batch in a little plastic square with an air valve on top. I started my first brew Saturday night following their sanitization instructions however I have some concerns.

First of all the dry malt that came with the kit was hard like a brick. I had to take a rolling pin to it to crush it up. Secondly it said to add my starter yeast mix to my boiled wort after the wort had cooled to 65-70 degrees F which I took to mean room tempature.

Two days later it is bubbling but only very tiny bubbles can be seen rising to the top and the surface of the wort is bassically calm with only the ocasional bubble popping on the surface.

So I guess my questions are:

Is this kit crap?

Can I use the equipment but get fresh ingredients somewhere?

Should I have chilled my boiled wort in the fridge before adding the yeast? It would never reach the specified temp. as the air temp in my apt is around 75 degrees.

Thanks.
 

Rahbek

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UdderJuice said:
Can I use the equipment but get fresh ingredients somewhere?

Should I have chilled my boiled wort in the fridge before adding the yeast? It would never reach the specified temp. as the air temp in my apt is around 75 degrees.
Yes, it should be no problem finding a home brew store on the net. You might find that 6 beers at a time is very little and that a complete kit with bucket, airlock etc. for brewing 3 or 5 gallons extract brews is not much more expensive.

It depends, how warm do you think the wort was when you added the yeast? If it was more than 100 degrees F, you might as well get rid of the brew because then you have probably killed the yeast and something else (nasty) is fermenting your beer...

I can really recommed Charlie Papazian's book "The complete joy of homebrewing", it is really good an explain everything from the bottom up in a humorous and straight forward manner. Check your local library or (internet-) book shop.

Charlie's advice to homebrewers can more or less be summed up to: "Cleanliness is paramount" and "Relax, Don't worry and Have a home brew!"

Good luck and Let us know how you go!

Christian Rahbek, Denmark
 
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UdderJuice

UdderJuice

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Rahbek said:
Yes, it should be no problem finding a home brew store on the net. You might find that 6 beers at a time is very little and that a complete kit with bucket, airlock etc. for brewing 3 or 5 gallons extract brews is not much more expensive.

It depends, how warm do you think the wort was when you added the yeast? If it was more than 100 degrees F, you might as well get rid of the brew because then you have probably killed the yeast and something else (nasty) is fermenting your beer...

I can really recommed Charlie Papazian's book "The complete joy of homebrewing", it is really good an explain everything from the bottom up in a humorous and straight forward manner. Check your local library or (internet-) book shop.

Charlie's advice to homebrewers can more or less be summed up to: "Cleanliness is paramount" and "Relax, Don't worry and Have a home brew!"

Good luck and Let us know how you go!

Christian Rahbek, Denmark
Yes, I've been looking at 5 gal kits that only cost 10-20 dollars more than what I spent. I think I'm going to get one of these as you are correct, 6 beers is not many. I wish I had done some more research first as I could have spent the money I wasted on glass bottles.

At any rate I can tell that this batch is not fermenting properly. The surface has barely any foam and the air lock on top is not bubbling at all. Oh well, it has been a learning experience.

I will keep you posted on my progress.
 

Rahbek

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UdderJuice said:
Sorry for the double post but I just wanted to add that this http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/equipkit.asp is the starter kit I'm looking at getting. It seems like its pretty complete. Does anybody have any suggestions for a better price or is 50 bucks pretty good?
It looks like a pretty good kit. You just need a big pot to boil the wort in and I would also recommed that you get hold of a book on home brewing. There are a few different ones, I really like the Papazian ones.
 
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UdderJuice

UdderJuice

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Rahbek said:
It looks like a pretty good kit. You just need a big pot to boil the wort in and I would also recommed that you get hold of a book on home brewing. There are a few different ones, I really like the Papazian ones.
Hi, thanks for the reply. I actually decided to go with the Mr Beer system. After doing a lot of reading I determined that the 5 gal system with 2 buckets A) made way more beer than I can drink and B) is more work than I want to get into. I just want to do this as a relaxing hobby, at least to start with.

The Mr. Beer system looks like they simplify the process some and it only make 24 beers. I should get my kit tomorrow and I'll let you know how it turns out.
 

Rahbek

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I somehow can't fathom your Point A): Way more beer than you can drink? I would be happy to drink 2-3 pints of good homebrew a day - And just imagine what happens when your friends find out that you are home brewing... :D

However, I fully understand your point B): My homebrew setup is somewhat more advanced than Mr. Beer, but it also requires more work to make beer this way. I am sure that excellent beer can be made (in first attempt!) using a Mr. Beer setup, and if you feel like it, you can just move on to another setup later. Just remember this (Citing Papazian):
1) Cleanliness is paramount!
2) Relax, don't worry and have a home brew!

Good luck, let's know how you go!

Christian, Denmark
 
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UdderJuice

UdderJuice

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Rahbek said:
I somehow can't fathom your Point A): Way more beer than you can drink? I would be happy to drink 2-3 pints of good homebrew a day - And just imagine what happens when your friends find out that you are home brewing... :D

However, I fully understand your point B): My homebrew setup is somewhat more advanced than Mr. Beer, but it also requires more work to make beer this way. I am sure that excellent beer can be made (in first attempt!) using a Mr. Beer setup, and if you feel like it, you can just move on to another setup later. Just remember this (Citing Papazian):
1) Cleanliness is paramount!
2) Relax, don't worry and have a home brew!

Good luck, let's know how you go!

Christian, Denmark
Well I was thinking that 24 would be enough when the MR Beer instructions said that I'd be brewing 24 every two weeks. But I read that for best results you should let your beer sit in the bottle for 10 days to 2 or 3 weeks.

I had another question about the bottling proccess as well.

I read here http://www.leeners.com/mrbeer.html that you should never use table sugar for carbonation and to make a syrup by boiling corn sugar and water. However the Mr Beer instructions http://lib1.store.vip.sc5.yahoo.com/lib/mrbeer/BrewInstructions.pdf clearly state to use table sugar and not corn sugar or their booster sugar for bottling.

Can you think of why it would be bad to use corn sugar instead of table sugar?
 

Rahbek

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I'm not really sure on the priming sugar issue; I use table sugar and I don't get any problemes due to this. Some recipies call for Dried Malt Extract (DME) for priming, but I don't think it will make much difference. Be carefull not to add too much sugar, go by the recommmendations from the beer kit or recipe that your are using. I use about 5 1/2 to 6 ounces of table sugar boiled with a cup or so of water for 5 gallons of beer. I'd recommed that you always boil the priming sugar with water for sanitation raesons. The fermented beer is (like the wort) very sensitive to infections.

Regards, Christian
 

sweepking

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I am a dedicated Mr. Beer user, and I have always followed the carbonating instructions per Mr. Beer. I have never had an infection problem, and the carbonation turns out fine. I once tried Coopers, and I did not get as good results from those. I don't know why other places always suggest corn sugar...table sugar is just as if not more fermentable, and at that low amount doesn't add funny or cidery flavors. The little sugar measure Mr. Beer sells on their website works great too.
 

Tense

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I am sorry to bring this post back up. I am in need of help though.
I have this kit. But, one of my roommates threw away the manual. I am at 7 days of fermentation. I am curious to know if someone has a copy on the manual they could scan and email. Or at least drop me aline with the next instructions after fermentation. I know I must prepare the dextrose for cabonation and bottle the beer. But, because the kit is measured so exactly I need a heads up to the amounts. Thanks. I hope I can get the info before it over ferments and goes bad. Thanks again/
 

Dude

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Tense said:
I am sorry to bring this post back up. I am in need of help though.
I have this kit. But, one of my roommates threw away the manual. I am at 7 days of fermentation. I am curious to know if someone has a copy on the manual they could scan and email. Or at least drop me aline with the next instructions after fermentation. I know I must prepare the dextrose for cabonation and bottle the beer. But, because the kit is measured so exactly I need a heads up to the amounts. Thanks. I hope I can get the info before it over ferments and goes bad. Thanks again/
Relax, don't worry, have a home brew.

What kind of style is the beer? The amount of priming sugar will depend on how many volumes of CO2 is need to carb the beer to style.
 

Tense

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Well, I appreciate all the reply's. But, after a little digging on the site. I found a post where the exact instructions were posted. Thanks again. I went to Barnes and Nobles and ordered The complete Joy of Homebrewing today. I should have it in a couple of days. I can't wait to enlarge my horizons.
 

darkside1

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heyy i lost my directions for my lakeview valley farms instructions ive looked online i cant find any things does anyone know where i can find them any help would be greatly appreciated thanks
 

jaepak

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Hi Buddy,

I got the same thing and I want to try it out.
Have you gotten any response to your post?

Yours,

Jae

My email address is [email protected]
 
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