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Never dump your beer!!! Patience IS a virtue!!! Time heals all things, even beer!

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BoomerHarley

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Lol.. It sounds like you need to change towards brewing beer that at least has a fighting chance of being good. That stout sounds damn nasty lol
Aint that the truth. My buddy and I used to brew a lot together and he always wants to brew weird stuff. Now, I mostly brew IPAs and whatnot.
 

Whattawort

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Worst beer I ever made was a honey weizen. Recipe called for more honey than grain and I should have known better, but followed through with it anyway. Simply undrinkable after 3 weeks in a bottle but I decided to keep it around as a control for how much better my beers were getting. It got a little better after a couple of months, but then started to waiver again after the 6 month mark. I still never poured it out. Ended up choking the rest down with a couple of spicy meals (couldn't taste it). As a side note, I reserve Notty for 1gal ciders only. It's a lot easier to control in small amounts. After almost losing a lid and risking wort all over the ceiling/walls/windows and eternally pissing SWMBO off, it's off limits. I'll probably catch a little flack from you guys for not using it again, but I'm a little gun shy to use it again. A happy SWMBO makes the whole process less stressful.
 

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It's about time I chime in. My first AG was a Duvel clone that I brewed in 2009 and for months and months afterwards it was terrible. I fermented WAY too hot and there were just all types of funky off flavors. I gave up on it 2 years ago but never dumped it (hey, I'm lazy!) By chance I came upon this thread yesterday and found the remaining 12 pack of this that was sitting quietly in a dark corner all this time and decided to throw a couple of bottles in the fridge. Anyway, I just cracked the first one open an damn, it's GOOD! After THREE years. It's very mellow but still has some really nice character there. Lesson learned. Thanks Revvy and everyone else!:mug:

Eric
 

HopZombie99

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I'm about to brew my first beer soon and this is a fantastic thread to read. Thanks very much to everyone who left a story here.

I and many of the other posters believe, that if you dump a beer too soon...the beer is a 100% failure.....
"You miss 100% of the shots you never take" - Wayne Gretzky
 

Ari

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I just brewed my first two batches two weeks ago. The first is an IPA that I bottled yesterday and that batch tastes and smells great. The second was and all grain Belgian wit. After brewing this one, I realized I made a few mistakes. I splashed the wort to cool it and I used a glass of fresh squeezed oj because I didn't have very much orange zest. the first day it smelled great coming out of the airlock and then it smelled more like rotten orange and then vomit. I have been sampling it as I check the the gravity periodically. Today it tastes like soapy harsh wine with a ramen/bullion aftertaste. Today I racked it to a secondary and I was planning on bottling it in a few days. It is pretty ruthless on the mouth as it is but I'm prepared to just bottle it and leave it in my closet for a while. Has anyone ever had these flavors? My concern is that I haven't read anything about these flavors popping up anywhere, other than a sherry flavor. Are these the type of flavors that can clear up or did I mess it up with the juice and the hot aeration? I don't want to toss potentially good beer but I also don't want to hang onto bottles of fizzy dishwater for a long time.
 

Whattawort

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I just brewed my first two batches two weeks ago. The first is an IPA that I bottled yesterday and that batch tastes and smells great. The second was and all grain Belgian wit. After brewing this one, I realized I made a few mistakes. I splashed the wort to cool it and I used a glass of fresh squeezed oj because I didn't have very much orange zest. the first day it smelled great coming out of the airlock and then it smelled more like rotten orange and then vomit. I have been sampling it as I check the the gravity periodically. Today it tastes like soapy harsh wine with a ramen/bullion aftertaste. Today I racked it to a secondary and I was planning on bottling it in a few days. It is pretty ruthless on the mouth as it is but I'm prepared to just bottle it and leave it in my closet for a while. Has anyone ever had these flavors? My concern is that I haven't read anything about these flavors popping up anywhere, other than a sherry flavor. Are these the type of flavors that can clear up or did I mess it up with the juice and the hot aeration? I don't want to toss potentially good beer but I also don't want to hang onto bottles of fizzy dishwater for a long time.
I'd say the biggest player in your predicament would be that you used a very acidic juice. Typically, you just want to use the zest of the fruit for aromatics and compliment with spices or yeast profiles to get the rest of the taste you're looking for. Unfortunately (in my personal experience), wheat/weizens don't act like most other beers in the bottle. You might see it mellow out in a month or two, but they can also go downhill in that same amount of time. BUT I only say that out of caution. I personally have a strict policy regarding my beer. I will never do a drain dump or be a witness to one when it comes to homebrew be it mine or someone else. I just believe that either you can muscle through drinking it to find out what the off tastes are and how you can improve. You can find another purpose for it (like cooking, plant food, practical joke ammo, etc.). If nothing else, you'll have a definitive baseline of what your worst beer is.

Also, no need to secondary a wheat unless you just want to free up a primary. Personally, I see no need for a secondary at all. But that's just the way I roll. I also no/slow-chill, so perhaps I'm just lazy... or brilliantly efficient.
 

TimpanogosSlim

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I'd say the biggest player in your predicament would be that you used a very acidic juice. Typically, you just want to use the zest of the fruit for aromatics and compliment with spices or yeast profiles to get the rest of the taste you're looking for.
I dunno about the acid being a problem.

Right now, and for the last year or so, "radlers" (shandies) are very popular in central and eastern europe.

Whole lotta people mixing beer and lemon soda. You can get it in a bottle. I have had it. It was not the worst thing i've tasted. My slovenian friend assures me that every brewery in europe makes one these days.

"smells like vomit" could be lacto, no?
 

Ari

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I don't think it has an infection personally. I was really sanitary with it. I'm pretty sure it's the oj and hot side aeration that is so bad. Sounds like it's incurable. It's gonna go in bottles and sit for 2 months with a few samplings in between before I toss it.
 

TimpanogosSlim

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hardly anybody thinks that hot side aeration is even a thing. Nobody has been able to explain a plausible mechanism to me.

When you say you splashed it to cool it, what do you mean by that? A lot of people stir or agitate when using immersible chillers with no issues. Also you may have noticed that boiling is a somewhat violent experience for liquids but the thing is that it forces gasses out of solution.

If you added the OJ after the wort cooled, anything hitching a ride in the OJ could infect the wort.
 

Ari

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Well... My friend and I had it boiling in two separate pots and I noticed that if we pick up a ladle full and pour it back in it cools way faster than just stirring it. It was pretty much as much as you could splash it without spilling it.

The oj was in the boil for 10-15 minutes. We boiled it for 45 then added the spices, nutmeg, coriander, two oranges worth of zest, two oranges worth of juice... I'm thinking that's what the problem was more and more though. I did rack it in order to take the yeast off the bottom. The beef bullion flavor worried me that my yeast was dying and I wanted to save the cake for a batch of something else later.
 

TimpanogosSlim

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Out of curiosity do we have a good definition of what yeast autolysis tastes like? I'm under the impression that it may be the savory sort of soy sauce flavor that turns up in some brews.
 

Ari

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ok, I'm drinking a shock top and it tastes exactly like my beer. Maybe I just don't like this kind of wit or something. I like blue moon, but the ramen, vomity soap flavor is present in this shock top too. hmmm...
 

ajohnson153

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Probably three months ago I brewed a Belgian dark strong ale and forgot to sanitize my fermenter before I put it in there. I was tempted to dump it and call it a loss (Everyone had told me that sanitization is the most important part of brewing, so I figured that if I had failed in that aspect then the beer couldn't possibly work out.) It's still in secondary but my samples have all tasted absolutely fantastic! I'll be bottling this up soon to give as Christmas gifts this year. One of the guys a Hop City, which isn't my usual LHBS, said most infections happen at bottling so I guess I will be going overboard on my sanitary procedures when I bottle. I hope this works out since it would be a shame for this beer to be wrecked in the bottle after it fermented and aged so perfectly.
 
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So I have been following this thread for over a year and would like some advice on one of my brews that I hope to save with time.

I swung for the fences with this brew... hoped to clone Dogfish Head's World Wide Stout (20% ABV). I achieved 19.6% ABV with daily oxygen infusions and nutrient treatments. The WWS clone was bottled and stored in a dark closet in my apartment (about 68-72 degrees). I opened the first bottle 6 months after brewing and noticed right away that there was 0 carbonation! I was heart broken but tasted the brew anyways. WOW! The hops were really over powering and nearly numbed my tongue.

Dejected, I decided to wait until the one year brewversary to test another bottle. The taste and flavor was much improved when I tasted the one year bottle. However, still FLAT.

With such a high ABV, what are my options for bottle carbonation? I am planning on testing another bottle on the 2 year brewversary but would like to see a great head and hear the PISST upon uncapping.

I'd appreciate any help and advice on this matter.
 

kylevester

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I made a double chocolate cherry stout that turned out horrid. I followed advice here on chocolate and used Hershey's cocoa powder in the last few minutes of the boil and pie cherries in the secondary.

After 3 months in the bottle, it was terrible. 6 months, just as terrible tasting so I dumped almost all of it. It smelled of vomit while pouring it down the drain. 12 months in the bottle and the two I opened had developed a copper flavor and still smelled of vomit. The rest got tossed.

I don't know what the hell happened on this brew, but damn was it wretched and unsaveable.
 

Seedly

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My dont pour it out story happened 4 weeks ago.

I had a Belgian Golden that I was making with a few pounds of peaches out of our back yard. This was my second BIAB batch and things seemed to be going well through the mash up until the last 10 minutes or so. See, I had found some 'advice' about a great way to get cheap BIAB bags from WalMart curtains. I am no seamstress (seamstor?), but i thought, what the hell...could save me a couple bucks (note: if you ever find yourself thinking along these lines...STOP IMMEDIATELY AND USE SOME COMMON SENSE).

In those last 10 minutes, i noticed that I had grains floating outside the bag...

Sure enough, I made the bag slightly too big and it melted to the bottom of my brew pot. And whats worse, when I went to lift the bag the melted part ripped out dumping my grain back into the wort!

I probably stood there for a full minute in silence as various combinations of expletives ran through my head. I suddenly realized that i was secondarily screwed as I had no backup bag/filter. The only thing I had was a hop strainer that fits over the top of a fermenting bucket for straining post-boil. Going slowly, I start straining the just barely under 5 gallons of wort and grains from the (5 gal) kettle. It actually didnt go too badly at first, allowing me to sparge each batch of grain separately and then scoop the spent grains into the trash.

That is, until the last gallon or so. I was ready to be done with the ordeal and poured a little too aggressively. The hop strainer over-filled and spilled a fair portion of sweet wort and grains all over the floor.

I couldnt hold back any more. I let loose a tirade that was so violent it had the misses running to the kitchen but only peeking around the corner. We frantically grab some shop towels and basically cover half the kitchen floor with them.

After containing the mess, I look in my brew pot and was horrified at the charred mess of blackened God-knows-what on the bottom of my pot. Thoughts are swimming thought my head at this point of just what melted cheap chinese window curtain is going to do to my beer...

I couldnt stand it. I grabbed the pot and some steel wool and just walked out of the kitchen into the back yard. As I sat scrubbing (which took half an hour, mind you. Even had to resort to using a flat head as a scraper to get the last few bits of suborn crud out), my ever patient, ever loving wife came out to see if I was ok. Having 20 minutes to take my frustrations out on the bottom of my kettle with the steel wool, I let her know how upset I was that everything was going wrong and that I was ready to just dump everything out and forget it.

Again, being the ever patient, ever loving wife, she asked me which would make me feel worse: dumping everything out and trying to forget it or finishing the beer and having it turn out bad.

And then I thought of Revvy.

Damn.

The rest of the brew day (sans an extraordinarily long cleanup) went normally despite running almost 7 hours when it should have been 4. The fermentation was normal. Hell, even the bottling went smoother and faster than ever before.

Oh and the beer? Its in my fridge right now. Not a hint of window curtain to it, although sadly the peach didnt come through very well (note to self: next time puree, dont slice). Im not going to say that its the best brew I ever made, but other than the lack of peach it came though exactly as Id hoped.

So, lessons learned:
- Window curtains are for hanging on windows, not brewing. Get good gear and use it as intended.
- Murphy loves the unprepared. Have a backup plan.
- In addition to being patient and loving, the wife is usually right. Especially when you want to react out of anger.
- Puree, dont slice.
- Dont Dump it Out!!
 

mrjones1975

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this post just answred a million questions for me thank you to the great brewer who posted this.
 

onerainmaker

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As a nooooob, this thread is a salve to my paranoia. I thank you.

(First ever brew, English Bog Standard Bitter by Coopers (antipodean atopia?), 5 bottles primed with Honey, the rest with gran sugar, in a heated seed propagator (I do plants :) ) (not to be mistaken with "I 'do' plants" :) ). Excited and impatient. Sounds like a bad recipe.)

By the way, when overpriming, exactly how far does glass fly?
 

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I have to share my experience here. I brewed a brown ale and an amber ale the same weekend and fermented both in the unseasonably warm summer temperatures of my living room. (I didn't have any other options) I would say the average temperature of the carboys were high 70s for most of the two weeks that I fermented them. Both batches turned out with a gnarly funky taste which I attribute to the high fermentation temperature. I bottled them anyway and sampled bottles every couple weeks to see if the flavor would mellow out but it never did. I can't imagine anyone voluntarily drinking those beers so I sadly shed tears while pouring them all out in the sink. I have since bought a new home with a much better place to ferment beer. And I will be certain to never ferment beer in such warm temperatures again.
 

PricePeeler

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In response to the last reply, a $25 Craigslist fridge and a $25 dollar temp controller from eBay works well too. Plus some wiring.
 

Marmike600

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Glad I found this thread.

I am a complete noob. Brewed my first extract kit 2 weeks ago (Head Scratcher India Pale Weizen) and the instructions say to keep in a warm dark place for fermentation. I figured "warm" is pretty relative so room temp it was.

Started reading that most brew temps are around 65f as the interior temp can be 5-10 degrees more. Oops.

I shift to secondary this weekend. Figure I will leave it there for 3 weeks (with two hop additions in that time) and then bottle. Here's hoping its ok right off the bat but if not, it will get shuffled to the basement till I find it again.
 

Marmike600

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Should I worry about secondary??

Sorry, like I said. I am a nervous nelly noob.
NVM, I am reading another thread on this and have become aware that I broke a cardinal rule of not rehashing something that has been done to death. My bad.
 

electric_beer

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So I had given up on a small batch of raspberry mead I made years ago. I packed the remaining 6 bottles into a crate with other "experiments" and forgot about them (knowing that age can help). I tried it after a year or so of fermentation and it was hideous so I figured it might be a lost cause. Low and behold, year 3 and the mead is FINALLY starting to shine. I'd venture on it tasted good! Only a few bottles, but I feel like I found a few epic freebies that I was going to toss. If you can wait a few years, things can finally settle down and blend.
 

TheEndlessObsession

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Well, I figured I'd end up here sooner or later with a story...

Dumped a batch a few months ago, got lambasted for it by HBT, and recently had a batch that I THOUGHT was going to be a dumper for sure. Seemed oxidized, lacking flavor, etc. Well, I thought back to the good Reverend and decided to rack and keg this 70 shilling and hope for the best. Thank GOODNESS I did! Turns out time heals all wounds and a little bit of carbonation turned what I thought was a dumper into one of the best beers I think I have ever brewed. SO DON'T GIVE UP ON YOUR BEERS!!!
 

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buddy and i brewed up a 10 gallon hefe split into to 5s with different yeasts. one turned out great, the other was a lame version of an america hefe. after being "neglected" in my kegger for 2 months (not including my standard 1 month age) i thought "ah what the hell, might as well drink it so I can use the keg again". After that long period of rest, it was GREAT! Crisp, tart, and floral. Nothing at all like how it was at kegging or at the 1 month age.
 

progmac

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Dumping a batch from an underpitched lager. Sorry guys, time aint healing this one
 

HopZombie99

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I have a question.... I stupidly used some twine to tie hop bags closed. I believe that dye from the twine has leeched into the beer. The beer tastes really, really bad. I couldn't drink more than 2 sips. Its very cloudy, light does not pass through the bottle. Is there any chance that this will fade over time? I have 24 swing top bottles (750ml) of the stuff. I'll be able to make use of those bottles in about two weeks when my next batch is ready.
 

joerose

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I'm having a party to get rid of the ones that didnt come out as plannned
 

mendozer

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I have a question.... I stupidly used some twine to tie hop bags closed. I believe that dye from the twine has leeched into the beer. The beer tastes really, really bad. I couldn't drink more than 2 sips. Its very cloudy, light does not pass through the bottle. Is there any chance that this will fade over time? I have 24 swing top bottles (750ml) of the stuff. I'll be able to make use of those bottles in about two weeks when my next batch is ready.
hmm idk. i have dry-hopped with butcher's twine. use that next time, it's flavorless, no dye, and generally food safe. i still soaked it in star-san though. or just buy the small nylon hop bags and use those
 

progmac

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i really doubt the dyed twine is the problem. what was the beer style, how much yeast did you pitch, and what was the fermentation temperature?
 

HopZombie99

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The style is an IPA. I pitched a single packet of US-05. Fermentation started after a little more than 2 days. The yeast was pitched at approximately 86, but the temp came down to approximately 70 over the next 24 hours. Fermenation temps were controlled and stayed between 64 and 71.

The twine in question was a decorative twine with a red and white swirl through it.
 

RevZen

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Wrong.....unless it's been a year or more there is still plenty of Yeast still in suspension to do the job. Yo don't need to re-yeast if it's only been a few months or weeks. I've done 6 months aged beer without adding more yeast and they carbed just fine.
Okay, I guess this is the thread for me. I'm a longtime noob just off a 14 month hiatus - I started brewing in summer, 2011 - brewed 6 different kits then that turned out just wonderfully, except a batch of IPA that was just plain flat - no carbonation. Me being lazy, I just let them sit in the pantry, trying one every couple of weeks until after a couple of months I came to the conclusion that somehow, I had done something wrong and they should be dumped. But I never did that. Tonight, I came upon them, and just for kicks opened one - and it is quite lovely, perfectly carbonated. I just checked my records and these were bottled 9/26/11. Lesson learned - laziness pays off. I have a case plus a six-pack of IPA with the family gathering for the holidays. Terrific!

That was the good news. Now comes the question. Around the same time, I brewed three different kits - on 9/25/11, 10/2/11 and 10/3/11. Then, for a variety of reasons, I couldn't get back to them and got pulled away from brewing - so there they have sat, the 9/25/11 in the secondary and the other 2 in the primary... for 14 months, plus.

I was going to start brewing again tomorrow and was just going to dump these ... until I saw this thread. Should I consider continuing with them?? And if so, should I add more yeast? The one in the secondary is an oatmeal stout, and the older of the two in the primary is a nut brown ale - those could be fine, I guess (???) but the third is a pumpkin ale and I'm guessing there might be some interesting sights when I open that primary.

Anyway, I want to be prepared if it's possible that these can be salvaged - should I get some extra yeast? Or just proceed as if this were a year ago? :confused:

Obviously, I'm embarrassed at this... but wondering... Can This Beer Be Saved?

Thanking you for this encouraging thread...and any good advice!!

Slaínte,
RevZen
 

progmac

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RevZen --

This is exciting! You have normal gravity one + year old beers. Most of us don't have anything like that. BuSt out a camcorder or camera and share the opening of those buckets with us.

Were they in buckets?

All three will be oxidized to some extent. Oxidization is not necessarily a bad flavor. It will probably work in the brown and the stout if it isn't too overwhelming...not sure about the pumpkin.

If there are critters on top, siphon some beer out from underneath and give it a taste. Nothing in there will hurt you.

And most importantly, REPORT BACK!

--yes, if you bottle you'll want to add yeast. go choose a cheap dry ale yeast and mix it in at bottling.
 

RevZen

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Oh boy! Thanks progmac!

Two are in buckets - and I think I can skip the secondary after 14 months :rolleyes: - and the Oatmeal Stout is in a Better Bottle. It has about a 4" patch of what looks like yeast on top.

How much yeast would I add at bottling, and how would I do that? Sorry to be such a dolt - I was a noob before with only 6 brews under my belt, and now I have to learn the whole process all over again. I guess I can also ask at the local brew supply store. They're very kind.

Actually, funny story - I was going to go ask them about this a couple of weeks ago, and as I got to the store entrance, I saw signs posting that they were filming an episode of "Beer Geeks" inside and by entering, I would be granting permission to be filmed. While some may want their 15 minutes of fame, I didn't, particularly if it were in me asking what to do about 3 batches of year (plus) old beer.

No camcorder here, but I will happily photograph the process.

Thanks!
 
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Revvy

Revvy

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Were they in buckets?

All three will be oxidized to some extent.
How can you be so SURE? I've left beers in Buckets for that long, and they tasted perfectly fine. Don't assume what you hear about "oxygen permeabilty" is going to be a given.....People believed autolysis was a given too, that if you didn't move your beer after a week you might have well just dump it.

One thing I've learned in this hobby, not to make generalizations, our beers are pretty resilient creatures, and I don't believe focussing on a worst case scenario with certainty is giving good advice.
 

progmac

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4" patch of yeast on top? I don't know. Do you have a pic?

found this, maybe it will help https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/primary-1-year-proceed-369820/

i would add like a half a pack of dry yeast along with the usual 4 oz or so of table sugar per 5 gals made into a simple syrup. the amount of yeast isn't critical, too much means more sediment but no bombs or anything like that. too little means it will take longer to carb up.
 

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