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Brian N.

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Brian N. last won the day on October 5 2016

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

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  1. 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!).
  2. 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.
  3. Brian N.

    First taste

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

    Can yeast ferment to fast

    The Screwy Brewer has a nice brief summary about yeast on his web site. Worth checking out.
  5. 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.
  6. I have to admit - I've been lazy and not using the hydrometer. I just let the beers ferment three weeks, regardless. There may be a bit of residual sugar left (???) as the basement is rather cool, and the stick on thermometer never seems to get above 68 deg F. I move the plastic bottles closer to the boiler and they harden up quickly, and carbonation is perfect for my palate. After the last couple of bottle bombs, I no longer use glass. Naturally, YMMV.
  7. Yes, plain white granulated sugar.
  8. For the 740 mL bottles I've been using 1 for less malty beers and 3/4 tsp for more malty beers. However, I don't like my beers fizzy like soda pop.
  9. All good information above ^. My inclination is to go over the 3 weeks, if only by a couple of days, when I can't bottle "on time". No harm either way.
  10. Brian N.

    Used wrong yeast

    No need to add more yeast. The S-33 is popular for Belgium style (wheat) brews with spicy yeast accent. The under the lid yeast I believe will be slightly "cleaner" in taste. Not sure about attenuation. Anyway, you'll still be making a good beer.
  11. Brian N.

    Trying to brew again

    What Shrike said 1+ . I like the US-05 yeast for beers like the American lager. Also, I would add a half pound of light DME. The hop profile should be fine.
  12. Brian N.

    Bottles only half full

    If you used plastic bottles give them a squeeze in a few days. You should be able to tell which have sugar (carb drops). I would add some plain sugar to those which are still soft. Also, I would use a paper towel with some sanitizer and wipe the bottle top, dip the caps and work quickly, one at a time, minimizing the time each bottle is left open. Can't hurt. Good luck.
  13. Brian N.

    First Beer

    70 deg F is the ambient temperature; the wort fermented at a higher temperature. While not terrible, most of us have found (for most ales) fermenting mid to upper 60's produces "cleaner" taste. Being your first beer, reflect on the process, what could you do next time a bit better. And, a hardy welcome to the forum!
  14. Brian N.

    Mr Beer American Lager Temperature

    If you kept the temperature that low from day one, probably nothing fermented. The good news is that the yeast are going to be OK. Most likely they have re-hydrated themselves, balanced themselves in terms of osmosis, but have not really started the fermentation process or reproduction. Truthfully, my gut feeling is to give the whole process a full three weeks again (yes I know that seems like a waste of two weeks gone by). Good luck and keep us posted on the progress.
  15. Brian N.

    New Brewer Today

    Welcome - and what RickBeer said