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Brian N.

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Everything posted by Brian N.

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. Brian N.


    Glad to hear that you're well into the hobby. Brew on!
  6. 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!).
  7. 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.
  8. Brian N.

    First taste

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

    Can yeast ferment to fast

    The Screwy Brewer has a nice brief summary about yeast on his web site. Worth checking out.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Yes, plain white granulated sugar.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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!
  19. 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.
  20. Brian N.

    New Brewer Today

    Welcome - and what RickBeer said
  21. Brian N.

    Dry corn sugar instead of booster

    I would use the booster, or better yet forget the booster and corn sugar, and use extra malt. I think RickBeer has the breakdown on what is in booster as opposed to corn syrup and dry corn sugar.
  22. Brian N.

    Looking for opinions.....

    Human kind has been drinking fermented grains and fruits for 10,000 years as stated. Some anthropologists suggest that this was the foundation for civilization. However, what these beverages tasted like (according to re-creations) were not what most people would consider very good. Stick to malted barley, hops, yeast and pure water for beer (as we know it by modern definition).
  23. Brian N.

    Miller Lite

    Two sides to every story (perhaps three or four). If someone likes a particular beer, so let it be. Brewing MB recipes may be a learning process in two ways. First, learning to brew. Secondly, a sophistication of the taste buds and learning to appreciate more flavorful styles of beer. RickBeer is correct, AB InBev may control much of the market, but hey I like some of those beers anyway. I've grown since my college days drinking Rolling Rock, but still drink a couple every now and then. BTW -just thought that I would add that I graduated college in 1979 - long before Rolling Rock was bought out.
  24. Brian N.

    Leaking Spigot

    The "leak" has been discussed several times, in different threads. The solution appears to be a light sanding of any burr on the LBK, and re-seat the gasket (correctly oriented) hand tight. Just my experience, but once I got the spigot correctly seated and tightened, I have not touched it again (correct - I do not disassemble it to clean). A complete sanitation of the whole LBK with the spigot in place works for me. YMMV.
  25. Brian N.

    Partial Mash

    I believe that some of the extract "Twang" and off flavors has to do with the fermenting temperature (often too high) and short conditioning time. Lately, all my beers are extract with a little extra malt and perhaps hops added, and they have been very good. Perhaps my taste buds are not so refined.