Out of my depth please help!

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Ok hands up I feel way out of my depth here I have only made kit cider and a few wines.

I have very basic kit eg plastic FV's no way to force carbonate.

I am looking to make 2 kits an Irish Stout - ok with that as Coopers lit that i will add a few things to, ok with that I think make as normal in the FV rack off add priming sugar and bottle leave for many weeks.

My concern is the other AG kit from CML it is their The Crowned Mexican stove top kit so only 4.5 ltr. I am ok with the boil in the bag process to make this i think. My concern is how i ferment and bottle it etc as it classed as a lager looking online that seems like loads more work and beyond my skills or equipment, this is for my son (I don't like the stuff) so can't justify expensive kit for a one off brew.

The kit is -

CROSSMYLOOF BREW ALL GRAIN RECIPE 4.5 Litres
TITLE The Crowned Mexican
STYLE Lager
BATCH SIZE - FERMENTER VOL. (LITRES) 4.5
BOIL SIZE (LITRES) 6
BOIL GRAVITY 1.035
BREW HOUSE EFFICIENCY 75%
BOIL TIME (MINUTES) 80

ORIGINAL GRAVITY 1.047
FINAL GRAVITY 1.011
ABV 4.80%
IBU 16.9
SRM COLOUR 3.6

FERMENTABLES:
Lager Malt 0.729kg 81.93%
Dextrin 0.107kg 12.05%
Sugar (Not Supplied) 0.054kg 6.02%

HOPS:
Galena 2g. Boil 60 mins. IBU 13.8
Galena 1g. Boil 10 mins. IBU 3.1

OTHER HOPS (OPTIONAL):
Motueka 5g Dry Hop 5 days

MASH:
Mash Schedule 65c for 60 mins. 2.4lt strike water @ 71.5c
Sparge 75c *Sparge until boil volume achieved

OTHER INGRIEDENTS:
Irish Moss 0.1 tsp 10 min Boil

YEAST:
CML Hell. Atten 75/80%. Flocc High. ferment @ 12-15c


I do not have chiller or means to have a stable 12c fermentation, lowest i can go is about 15c or 16c. My plan was to ferment at 16c for 2 weeks then rack add fermentation sugar and bottle, previously I would store at room temp for 2 weeks then transfer to garage for at least 2 weeks.

I have read about the need to cold crash, i could lower the temp in the garage the concrete floor will lower the temp.

As I will be bottle carbonating and the CML kit uses Irish moss as a finings, is a cold crash needed? if so how and when do I do this with no means of accurate temperature control.

Any help or suggestions appreciated

Thanks
 
Lager yeasts such as CML Hell do need to be fermented at cooler temperatures, otherwise they will produce a lot of undesirable fermentation flavours.

If you can't control to a cool temperature then a work-around would be to use a very clean ale yeast, such as those used for making Kolsch. CML Kentucky would be a good option.

You don't need to cold crash, it can help clear a beer more quickly, but you'll get the same result leaving it for a bit longer at room temperature.
 
Hell is a pretty forgiving lager yeast - the packet says you can ferment up to 21C. It won’t be as “crisp” but should still be a good beer at warmer temperatures.
IMG_7313.jpeg
 
Thanks for the replies, I can look at ways to reduce the temperature i might be able to turn off the heating in downstairs bathroom will check what that drops to as its on exterior walls and will creep below 16c am sure.

how do cold crashing work i get the concept quickly drop the temperature to help clear it, my question is if i do this, do I cold crash the whole FV or rack it off into a clean FV and cold crash it ad for how long? Can i add priming sugar and bottle after cold crash?
 
I’d second using a different yeast. I like you ferment in plastic buckets with no more temperature control than which area of the house I put it in.

CML do a Kolsch yeast that’s happy at room temperature and would be fine at 16deg. Delivery’s cheap as well 😊😊

Wouldn’t recommend for this, but I’ve made a Vienna lager with a clean ale yeast (CML FIVE) and bottled with enough sugar to give lager like carbonation. No one was any the wiser..
 
Hell yeast is absolutely fabby 🥳 , it will contentedly ferment down to 9°C quite comfortably. If you have an outside shed then put your fermenter in that or otherwise even put a thick bin bag over it in the back garden providing the sun doesn't get to it, just make sure to do so before the summer properly arrives. If you get your timings right then the outside temperature will rise gradually over then next month to the mid to high teens C and you'll be right where you need to be. As for cold crashing, just put the whole fermenter after 10 to 14 days wherever you can that's coldest and give it at least a week to settle. Hell yeast is pretty good at settling out. As for bottling. If you have a second container then the best bet is to dissolve the sugar you need in a small amount of boiled water, add to the second container and syphon your now clear beer into this, the syphon effect should mix your beer sufficiently, don't go mixing it up as it will add too much air, then bottle within a few hours, and leave at cool room temperature for at least a week.
 
Hell yeast is absolutely fabby 🥳 , it will contentedly ferment down to 9°C quite comfortably. If you have an outside shed then put your fermenter in that or otherwise even put a thick bin bag over it in the back garden providing the sun doesn't get to it, just make sure to do so before the summer properly arrives. If you get your timings right then the outside temperature will rise gradually over then next month to the mid to high teens C and you'll be right where you need to be. As for cold crashing, just put the whole fermenter after 10 to 14 days wherever you can that's coldest and give it at least a week to settle. Hell yeast is pretty good at settling out. As for bottling. If you have a second container then the best bet is to dissolve the sugar you need in a small amount of boiled water, add to the second container and syphon your now clear beer into this, the syphon effect should mix your beer sufficiently, don't go mixing it up as it will add too much air, then bottle within a few hours, and leave at cool room temperature for at least a week.

DocAnna thanks yes I have a 2nd FV with a tap that I use a bottle wand with to avoid splashing it about, that whatI do with cider, syphon from FV to a 2nd vessel gently add priming sugar solution (just enough boiled water to dissolve sugar), bottle then leave at room temp for 2 weeks.

I have checked i can go down to 14c in one room, 16c in the other and can control heat from 18c upwards as I have an aquarium heater that use in water bath that has worked well with gallon DJ's.

So if I can control the temp from 14c to 16c and 18c and above what is the best way to manage this ie how many days at what temps etc?

many thanks

Alan
 
DocAnna thanks yes I have a 2nd FV with a tap that I use a bottle wand with to avoid splashing it about, that whatI do with cider, syphon from FV to a 2nd vessel gently add priming sugar solution (just enough boiled water to dissolve sugar), bottle then leave at room temp for 2 weeks.

I have checked i can go down to 14c in one room, 16c in the other and can control heat from 18c upwards as I have an aquarium heater that use in water bath that has worked well with gallon DJ's.

So if I can control the temp from 14c to 16c and 18c and above what is the best way to manage this ie how many days at what temps etc?

many thanks

Alan
Always go cold with a lager yeast. It doesn’t matter if you go too low as it will always recover. The last thing it needs is heating up. If you have a room that is at 14 then leave it there for a week then move it to the room at 18 for 3 to 4 days. Most importantly though is don’t add the yeast till the wort is cool down to the 14 or lower - even if you have to leave it covered overnight to get it there. Just about the most critical part for the lager flavour is the first couple of days at a lower temperature.
 
Hell yeast is absolutely fabby 🥳 , it will contentedly ferment down to 9°C quite comfortably. If you have an outside shed then put your fermenter in that or otherwise even put a thick bin bag over it in the back garden providing the sun doesn't get to it, just make sure to do so before the summer properly arrives. If you get your timings right then the outside temperature will rise gradually over then next month to the mid to high teens C and you'll be right where you need to be. As for cold crashing, just put the whole fermenter after 10 to 14 days wherever you can that's coldest and give it at least a week to settle. Hell yeast is pretty good at settling out. As for bottling. If you have a second container then the best bet is to dissolve the sugar you need in a small amount of boiled water, add to the second container and syphon your now clear beer into this, the syphon effect should mix your beer sufficiently, don't go mixing it up as it will add too much air, then bottle within a few hours, and leave at cool room temperature for at least a week.
I have just brewed a Helles Lager and awaiting the temp to drop to pitching temp (CML HELL yeast). I do not have full temp control but will put mine in the garage which will be @15c at this time and it will be fine.
Also use yeasts that can brew to your temps in the house there are plenty out there until you decide if you are going down the temp control method with a fridge etc.
 
Bril
Always go cold with a lager yeast. It doesn’t matter if you go too low as it will always recover. The last thing it needs is heating up. If you have a room that is at 14 then leave it there for a week then move it to the room at 18 for 3 to 4 days. Most importantly though is don’t add the yeast till the wort is cool down to the 14 or lower - even if you have to leave it covered overnight to get it there. Just about the most critical part for the lager flavour is the first couple of days at a lower temperature.

Brilliant! thanks for you assistance, steep learning curve from cider and wine.
 
Going by my experience, you’d be amazed how “poor” a beer would have to be for friends/family not to lap it up…

Son is a fussy bugger only likes Corona with lime, so this looked good especially with the Motueka to add and only heard good things about CML and every time i have met him he has been more than helpful
 
Son is a fussy bugger only likes Corona with lime, so this looked good especially with the Motueka to add and only heard good things about CML and every time i have met him he has been more than helpful
Just don’t be surprised if the clarity isn’t as good as the commercial versions, although it will improve the longer you keep it. With your experience brewing wine you might find it worthwhile to use two-part finings on it before you bottle…
 
Just don’t be surprised if the clarity isn’t as good as the commercial versions, although it will improve the longer you keep it. With your experience brewing wine you might find it worthwhile to use two-part finings on it before you bottle…

Cheers have good results with clear it for wine, I am told the Irish Moss helps with this small kit
 
It will be ok.
You have already seen that the temp drop is bigger than expected so maybe a higher strike temp but also try and keep your grain somewhere warmer i.e in the kitchen as it is cold grain which makes the temp drop too much.
I used to insulate with towels and a old duvet if you have one with bungy cords which works reasonably well.
 
It will be ok.
You have already seen that the temp drop is bigger than expected so maybe a higher strike temp but also try and keep your grain somewhere warmer i.e in the kitchen as it is cold grain which makes the temp drop too much.
I used to insulate with towels and a old duvet if you have one with bungy cords which works reasonably well.

I anticipated the temp drop adding the grain so started at 70ish will check and stir every 15 mins so far no major disasters finger crossed
 
Do you think it was the uneven temps in the mash then that caused this fluctuation?
 
Do you think it was the uneven temps in the mash then that caused this fluctuation?

number of things, thin walled stainless pot, glass hob, poor insulation and heat loss when stirring etc.

If i do more might invest in a small induction hob they seem better at regulating heat.

This is trial with the small 4.5 ltr kit see how it goes
 
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