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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

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    Sailing, camping, fly fishing, hiking, archery, ham radio, family & friends -brewing

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  1. Brian N.

    Can I condition THEN carbonate?

    Question - Does your mini keg system allow you to carbonate with CO2 under pressure? If not, I would prime with sugar and carbonate/condition as usual.
  2. Brian N.

    Don't Sanitize Utensils In the Fermenter

    The Darwin Awards are always awarded posthumously (after the recipient removes them self from the gene pool) 😁
  3. You can get an estimate based on how much malt and sugars were used in making the wort. You can look on the Mr. Beer web site too. For example if you followed a particular recipe they give you the expected ABV.
  4. Start with cold water - the most important factor. Air is much more soluble at cooler temperatures. Shaking, stirring, whisking will all saturate the water with air quickly. I say air, unless you are bubbling pure oxygen from a tank. Well aerated wort will reduce lag time for the yeast, and get them off to a good start before they start their anaerobic phase. However, don't go crazy, as the same yeast, same recipe, and the same environmental conditions might give you different results brew to brew despite your best efforts.
  5. Brian N.

    Fermentation & Bottling

    Have patience. You can't go wrong with three weeks fermenting (at the proper temperature) and letting the bottles sit for a month at room temperature while they carbonate and condition. Basically, you need 2 months (including a few days in the fridge before you imbibe your potent potable) 😉
  6. Brian N.

    Infection Leading to Sour Aftertaste?

    Cider-like taste and sour are very different. Often too high a temperature during fermentation will result in a cider taste. Sour is like a sour pickle (minus the salt).
  7. Brian N.

    LME Softpack versus Brewmax Booster

    One thing to add - keep the bottles OUT of the fridge unless you are going to drink them all . Put what you expect to drink into the fridge 3-4 days before. Let the rest sit and condition longer. You'll notice a difference (a positive way) in the ones that condition longer. BTW I always opt for added malt rather than booster. I've never found that a packet of LME or a few ounces of DME wildly swings the flavor to make the beer too malty.
  8. Brian N.

    Carbonation versus Conditioning

    I can't add much, except to repeat what has already been stated. Ferment most ales at around 66-68 deg F for three weeks, and you should have beer free from "off" flavors. Let them condition a full month at room temperature. A few days before you want to drink the beer, put what you expect to drink in the fridge (leave the rest out).
  9. Hydrometers are easy to use, look under RickBeer's post. No harm in going a few extra days either, but if the yeast are very cold, they have stopped working ( ale yeast). I think that 66 deg F is perfect, and I try to brew near that.
  10. Brian N.

    Thanks

    Glad to hear that you're well into the hobby. Brew on!
  11. Brian N.

    18-Day Fermentation?

    Yeast prefer to metabolize sugars. When "hungry" they metabolize some other products as well, left over from fermentation of sugars. This is the clean up. Too much biochemistry to get into (and truthfully I can't remember it all from Grad school nearly 40 years ago!).
  12. Brian N.

    Pet bottles problem

    I like the plastic bottles, but the caps can be problematic. As NicKfixit suggested, the caps may have deformed and leaked. Get new caps. I observed, that at room temperature, the caps on fully carbonated, PET bottles have a very slight convex shape. Once cooled in the fridge they are flat, supporting the idea of a slight deformation. I can't get a good photograph of side by side comparison, but both my sons confirm that it is not an illusion. Anyway, most seem to last about 4 uses, then are shot. I need to order a bunch as I'm past that. BTW Nick - that math hurts my brain - I need a beer.
  13. Brian N.

    First taste

    Nice Job! Beers will improve, most definitely.
  14. Brian N.

    Can yeast ferment to fast

    The Screwy Brewer has a nice brief summary about yeast on his web site. Worth checking out.
  15. Brian N.

    Alcohol content

    What is your goal? Not to sound mean, but if you want high alcohol drink scotch or vodka. Craft brewing is more about creating beers that have great flavor (subjective, of course). Often these beers are of a particular style (such as Oktoberfest, for example). Some have more alcohol, some less. You can boost alcohol, as mentioned by adding fermentable sugars. But, it reaches a point for the home brewer where the yeast are done (I would say 8% or so). Wines top out at 16-18% and they can be very dry. Your choice of yeast is important too; some attenuate the sugars more than others, besides adding to the flavor profile. Anyway, welcome to the forum.
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