Brian N.

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Brian N. last won the day on October 5 2016

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About Brian N.

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    Brewmaster in Training

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    Sailing, camping, fly fishing, hiking, archery, ham radio, family & friends -brewing
  1. I've made the Churchill Nut Brown - and I thought it was very good without additions. I used the MB yeast but US-04 would be a good choice too. I just reordered the Churchill's craft refill, and as soon as my basement cools down to mid 60's I'll start brewing.
  2. Your first beer is not going to be your best, just like your first game of golf or anything else that requires practice. Plus, you'll learn more along the way. Keep your first few beers simple, don't add a ton of extras or experiment. Ferment at the lower range of recommended temperatures for three weeks, then bottle condition for month (or more). Before you know it, you will be making beer that your friends will ask for.
  3. I have a German made SS growler with a side spigot. Make sure you get the correct plug for the top, with the plastic piece that pushes in when you are ready to tap. An ordinary cork will not hold under any pressure. The advantage of the side tap is that i can push in the plastic piece from the top plug then dispense from the side. The little bit of yeast from carbonation sits under the spigot, and really none gets into the beer. If you don't have a side tap you'll need to pressurize it with CO2 and a siphon top. Not very expensive to buy. BTW, if you plan to carbonate in the growler, you'll need a lot less sugar for the same volume of beer as you would ordinarily use. I use about half the amount as if I were bottle priming. Can't explain why, but trust me. Chill for several days before drinking and keep it on end. The one big problem is cleaning. It takes a lot of shaking and rinsing. Good luck.
  4. Gets better with time is correct. Myself and a few others on the forum advocate longer conditioning times for most beers. They seem to mellow, flavors meld and mature. I have found (anecdotal evidence only) the head and body of the beer improve as well as the flavor, with longer conditioning time. Now that you tasted your beer young, let a couple of bottles sit 3 months or more (hope you can wait!).
  5. I use the sugar scoop tool from M.B. Easy to use, gets close enough. As for the amount of sugar. I use the Screwey Brewer calculator.
  6. 61 deg F ambient temperature is on the low side, even for beer very actively fermenting. Keep in mind that the 2 gallon keg from MB will not retain heat as well as a 5 gallon pail. I aim for 64 degrees Fahrenheit, ambient air temperature. Seems to work well for me, whether I'm using the MB yeast, US-05, US-04 which are my most frequently used yeasts.
  7. Just a note on that 130 proof - most home "moonshine" and similar are way below the guesstimated proof claimed. However, if your friend does have the proper distilling and ageing equipment, they may indeed, produce something good.
  8. Hang in there, you'll be rewarded with a great beer! In the meantime, treat your self to a craft brew, or better yet, go to a local brew pub for a tasting.
  9. I've been using a lot less sugar than recommended by MB. Screwy Brewer seems to have a good sugar calculator.
  10. KaijuBrew - Just reflecting on your brew, The Munich was a good choice, a hint of Crystal OK and pale LME. I think it was the choice of hops and yeast that don't match an Oktoberfest. Anyway, you never know, it might turn out very good. Glad you did not throw everything in to create a "Monster mash".
  11. Just one question - What were you aiming for? Just my personal opinion, not meaning to be so negative, but throwing ingredients together, without a goal or idea of the results is not good brewing. Secondly, fermenting at 70 deg F is rather high, for most ales. Hope for the best and let us know how it turns out.
  12. I believe that is correct. Cool fermentation, how cool depends upon the yeast variety, warm it up a couple of days, then cool lager period (not sure how cool). Once bottled, just like any beer. You probably need to rack to a secondary for lagering. Keep us posted.
  13. Jasbo - I was thinking the opposite. let the brew sit on the yeast a couple of days longer. Hopefully the yeast cells will metabolize some of the by-products which cause the cider taste.
  14. Just go with it. If your first bottle has a cider taste, often longer conditioning time will tame it down.
  15. A final gravity of 1.24 sounds somewhat high, considering your O.G. What is the expected F.G.? Was this a straight refill with a hop addition, or did you add a lot of malt too? What temperature did you ferment at? What yeast did you use. My gut feeling is that the F.G. should be lower, but need more information.