First time brewer

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by cheech226, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. cheech226

    cheech226 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    retired pipe fitter
    Location:
    houma, la
    i found a good deal on a mr. beer kit and purchased it. the instructions seem the be fairly easy and for my first time i plan to follow then to the letter. the only problem i anticipate is temperature control. mr. beer says 68 to 75f. just how close and constant must this be? can someone give tips on how to maintain the target temps?
    i have more than the layman's knowledge of chemistry and biology. when i grew mushrooms i used an aquarium heater in water to maintain the temp and humidity when fruiting. i need tips on how to do it for brewing. tia!
     
  2. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2017
    Messages:
    1,772
    Likes Received:
    2,116
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    For your first brew, try finding dark area in your home that maintains a fairly stable temperature in the range you specified. Without knowing the type of yeast and it's specific characteristics/preferences it's difficult to say where you should specifically target (temperature-wise). But for a Mr. Beer kit, I'm going to assume that the yeast is a very forgiving yeast for temp variablility.

    Don't lose faith if the beer isn't the greatest, as it is a Mr. Beer Kit, but still should turnout okay.

    If you enjoy the experience and want to ramp up your brewing game, try a simple Extract beer kit. With Extract beer kits, you probably have most if not all the tools and equipment you need to make beer in your kitchen. Stock pot, thermometer, etc.

    Be warned.... you are treading in dangerous territory.... home brewing will become your new favorite obsession...er uh hobby!

    The two most important rules of thumb for brewing is sanitize, sanitize, sanitize and RDWHAHB!

    And if you have any questions, the folks in this forum are extremely helpful and friendly and will help get you on your way.

    Please keep us posted. And if you don't mind, let us know what beer style and Yeast came with your kit.
     
    cheech226 likes this.
  3. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,473
    Likes Received:
    2,686
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    I started with Mr. Beer when I got back into brewing a couple of years ago. It is easy, but it's pretty limited in terms of the quality of beer you'll get. It'll be exciting to produce your own beer and you'll enjoy drinking it, but it won't be long before you want to push further to up the quality.
    Temp control is a big thing, but don't be too worried about it. With the yeast that they provide, keeping it cooler is actually much better. Ignore the 75F thing. Don't let it get that warm. If you can get the wort down to 65 before you pitch and keep the air temp at about that for the first week or so, you'll be fine. Letting the temp too low may cause problems but if it stays steady anywhere in the 60s, it should be fine. It's easy to get better yeast but you might as well use what they're providing...it'll work.
    If you're using the typical kit it'll have a can of Classic American Light extract. If you brew that as is, you'll get pretty flimsy beer but if you have access to a few basic brewing ingredients, you can up the quality immediately with very little effort. A pound of Dried Malt Extract and a packet of Cascade or Hallertau hops will give you a totally different and better beer.
    And even though I like the Mr Beer system for beginners and I think they do a service for the homebrew community, you shouldn't bother buying the cans of extract for future brews. You can easily brew using the fermenter and doing small batches of extract with generic (better quality) ingredients and have much better results.
    Good Luck!

    BTW...do you have a homebrew supply store in your area? if you don't there's plenty of stuff available on line - you're stuck paying shipping, though.
     
    cheech226 likes this.
  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    7,767
    Likes Received:
    3,976
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Managment
    Location:
    The Ozark Mountains of Missouri
    If you have a farm bucket, you can add some water then add your carboy then once a day throw some ice cubes in, you can also wet a towel then chill it down in the freezer then cover
     
    cheech226 likes this.
  5. cheech226

    cheech226 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    retired pipe fitter
    Location:
    houma, la
    thanks for the fast replies! yeah, i know this will become an obsession.....my starter mr beer kit is for churchill nut brown ale btw, i should have said that up front. i'm glad i was advised to keep temps in the high 60's, kinda cold here.
    i have lots to learn and i'm happy i found a good place with good people to go to for help.
    edit RDWHAHB i'm new what is this? i know of rtfm and kiss already.....
     
  6. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,240
    Likes Received:
    1,557
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Put it in a closet and forget about it for a week to 10 days. You’ll get beer.
     
  7. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,473
    Likes Received:
    2,686
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    You'll like that a lot better. The typical beer from those cans and using their yeast has some tendency towards acetaldehyde production and a sort of extract "twang" but off flavors are covered over somewhat in darker beers. You'll enjoy it.
    Cheers! ;)
     
  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,473
    Likes Received:
    2,686
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Homebrewers' mantra: Relax...don't worry...have a home brew.
    Of course, you have to get to your second or third batch before you can drink homebrew while you're waiting.
    :)
     
    Medarius and cheech226 like this.
  9. cheech226

    cheech226 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    retired pipe fitter
    Location:
    houma, la
    so from what i've learned from y'all so far, i should taste my first brew after 10 days or so to see if it's ready to bottle. as of yet i have no means to measure the specific gravity (?) of my brew. mr. beer is telling me 2 to 3 weeks, no more than 4. i have no clue what type of yeast the kit contains. i've been reading a lot on brewing and i will have to get more measuring equipment. my kit comes on thursday, i hope, i'm trying to get a solid idea of procedure before i start.
     
  10. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,240
    Likes Received:
    1,557
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Buy a hydrometer, probably about $8. When the reading doesn’t change from one day to two days later, it’s done.
     
    cheech226 likes this.
  11. cheech226

    cheech226 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    retired pipe fitter
    Location:
    houma, la
    #11 cheech226, Jan 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
    like this? i need a cylinder too. the cylinder doesn't need to be graduated does it?
    https://www.amazon.com/Homebrew-Guy...r=1-6-catcorr&keywords=hydrometer+for+brewing


    edit: as i'm being a small batch guy, i don't like wasting 8 oz on every time i measure. is there a better hydrometer/cylinder pack out there y'all would recommend?

    edit 2: i'm doing too much brainstorming i may just wing it on the first batch. time to watch football - thanks for all the help so far
     
  12. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,358
    Likes Received:
    6,586
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    There's the refractometer option. A couple drops per sample. Problem is that the instrument is only accurate without correction for the Original Gravity. There are spreadsheets out there to correct and this site has a correction calculator.
     
  13. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,240
    Likes Received:
    1,557
    Trophy Points:
    113
    That’s the type of hydrometer I meant, yes. I have a beer thief that probably doesn’t even use 2 ounces for the sample. And I drink it after fermentation.
     
    cheech226 likes this.
  14. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,473
    Likes Received:
    2,686
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    With Mr. Beer batches, just don't worry about a hydrometer yet. Be fastidious about sanitation, follow the basic directions for brew day, pitch the yeast, screw the lid on, put in a place where temp will stay as close to 65 as possible, ignore it for at least 2 weeks. Don't plan on cold-crashing and bottling until day 21. Yes, it'll probably be done fermenting before then but those extract beers need all the time they can get in order to get rid of esters and acetaldehyde.
    The yeast they provide for most kits is essentially Coopers Ale yeast. It's okay, but there are a lot better options available for your future brews.
    Eventually you'll get it all figured out, but for now just keep it simple, keep it clean, don't take samples and give it plenty of time. If you do get curious and have a little taste after a couple of weeks, clean the spigot with sanitizer or vodka in a squirt bottle. At some point when you do want to take samples, get a glass, not plastic, cylinder and hydrometer and sanitize the crap out of them before you take a sample and you can gently pour the sample back into the fermenter.
    You'll outgrow the little brown barrel soon enough but in the meantime, It'll give you some good beers if you stay within the limitations. I think I have some extract batches in my recipes that are formulated for Mr Beer equipment. I'll look through at some point and make sure they're searchable.
     
    cheech226 likes this.
  15. bestazy

    bestazy New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Home Page:
  16. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,473
    Likes Received:
    2,686
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    I think maybe you intended to start a new thread? ^^^ You could delete and put the same post into a new thread and get some input. Otherwise, you're sort of derailing the OP's thread. :)
     
    cheech226 and bestazy like this.
  17. bestazy

    bestazy New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Home Page:
    Thanks for the advice.
    I'll leave this post for now, and I want to start a normal topic with a detailed description.
    To get the same detailed advice.
     
    J A likes this.
  18. cnash

    cnash New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Hello!
    I am also new and instead of starting a new topic about temperature I figured I would post it here.

    I live in South Florida. I actually have a Brooklyn Brew Kit (bought some extra stuff already like strainers, hydrometer, bottle filler, etc.)
    But I was wondering if I should get a mini fridge to ferment in?

    It's hot down here and the significant other won't let me turn the A/C below 74 which is to hot for me so I know it won't be good for brew.
     
  19. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2017
    Messages:
    1,772
    Likes Received:
    2,116
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    74 is on the high side of most yeast strains. Check the yeast strain and look up their temperature range to be sure.
     
  20. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,240
    Likes Received:
    1,557
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Buy a 5 cf chest freezer if you’re considering a mini fridge. Then you can lager at freezing temps. Combine that with fermwrap and an STC-1000 and you’ll have total control over fermentation temperature.
     

Share This Page

arrow_white