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Enhancing Flavors

I am new to this. I am embarrassed to say I am using the Mr Beer that my wife bought me. I hope to graduate up to something a little better soon. I am really enjoying learning about brewing. The first batch was not too bad. I am using the extracts and am curious as to if there is something I could add that would enhance the taste but not add a lot of bitterness. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks DRS

What do you have in mind? What kind of beer do you prefer?

It is not a bad thing to start with a Mr Beer kit. We walked on the moon by first learning how to walk upright.

Much of how a beer tastes has to do with controlling the fermentation temperature and using the right amount of good yeast. I would concentrate on temp control and the yeast before adding something to the kit ingredients to make it taste different. Brew the same beer again with emphasis on fermentation temperature and perhaps a new yeast to see if there is a taste difference

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I have never experimented too much with craft beers. I have always been a Bud Light guy. I am in the boiler business and one of my customers is Revolver Brewing. Seeing their massive setup and the smells of the brewery peaked my interest in trying to make my own beer.

I fermented the first batch for three weeks at 72-74 degrees. What would you recommend on the yeast and does the temp sound good? Thanks DRS

If you have a way to control temps something like a kolsch style beer, alt, or California common might be in your ball park. But they require temps to be around 60°.

72°-74° is too warm for most yeast. Actual fermentation temps will easily rise 5° over ambient even for moderate OG beers (1.050). Too warm fermentation will cause off flavor, eaters, and fusel alcohol. Most ale yeast like mid 60°s and lagers like low 50°s.

If you want to add hop aroma and flavor without making it too bitter try concentrating on adding additional hops late in the boil, with only 5 or less minutes remaining.

Type “swamp cooler” into the search box. You will find very simple methods to control fermentation temperatures without investing a load of dollars.

Most ale yeast yield the best, or neutral, flavors at 66°F to 68°F.

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Thanks guys for the information. I think I will give the swamp cooler idea a try. i have a very large styrofoam ice chest that may work. I will also try the different yeast as well.

got to start somewhere me do brew now over a year still learning best thing read what flars and loopie do write you learn lots from them

Thank you.

I started a new batch and went to a brew supply. he gave me a different yeast. I have a batch that I had already started fermenting. It has been going for about a week. Can I put it in the swamp cooler after it has already been started?

You could, but the first 72 hours of fermentation are the most crucial when it comes to temperature control. Go ahead and try it out but use it from the get/go next brew. Keeping the temp around 68 degrees is a good temp for most yeasts but I try to keep it even lower 62-64 degree range initially and depending on style.

They sold me Safale US05. I was told that would work well with most of the hopped extracts. I bought a can of Cooper’s Mexican Cerveza HME. Do you think this yeast would be good for that as well?

I’m not familiar with that kit so I looked it up. It does come with dry yeast already. Might want to try it once as is before changing it up. In general us o5 is a multiple purpose yeast, yes.

Thank you for the information.

I was thinking of using an Igloo cooler for a swamp cooler. It is big enough for my keg with room to spare. I have some frozen water bottles in the freezer for this. Should I put water in the cooler with the fermenting keg and then the ice bottles or just the ice bottles?

Start out with water in the ice chest. The water will absorb heat produced by the yeast during active fermentation. Whether or not you will need ice or a wet towel with a fan depends upon the ambient temperature where your fermentor is located. I like to hold the active fermentation with US-05 at 66° to 68°F. Seems to produce no phenols or esters at this temperature. Below 65° this yeast can produce a peach flavor that is noticeable in some styles of beer. I haven’t noticed unusual ester production letting the fermentation temperature rise to 70° though.

Holding a stable fermentation temperature during the first 3 to 5 days will give you the best results whether this beer ferments at 66° or 70°.

Thank you Sir.

How long would you recommend fermenting with the US-05 yeast? It has been 8 days and it does not look like it is doing anything. I tasted it and it does not have a sweet taste. It just pretty much taste like a flat beer. Would it hurt to leave it longer or should I bottle it? Also is it true the longer it ages in the bottle before refrigerating the better? Thanks for all of your advice. I really appreciate it. DRS

Might be might not. Without a way to test it I would give it another 10 days. It only improves with time

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