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Brian N.

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Everything posted by Brian N.

  1. Brian N.

    Why the longer brew cycle?

    Experience. Better results. Also MB has done a great job with the quality.
  2. Brian N.

    Bottles Overflowing

    Are you using the plastic MB bottles? I find that I occasionally have the same, and I am positive that I did not add too much priming sugar. Always seems to happen with "dark" beers too. My best guess is that the bottle, suddenly "vents" when the pressure builds. The sudden release of pressure causes the CO2 to come out of solution (as the bottles are not cold) which causes the bottle to vent even more. The result is the bottle loses 1/3 or more of the beer as it vents. Why dark beers? Perhaps as mentioned, there are residual sugars, even after three weeks of fermentation. However the other beers of the same batch are not overly carbed and it seems odd that just one would have residual sugar and not the others. My feeling is that some bottles deform a tiny bit at the neck (not enough to notice by eye) which breaks the seal at the cap, and whoosh. That is one reason that I mostly bottle in glass now.
  3. Brian N.

    Wort aeration is bad?!

    There is a lot of biochemistry going on when you pitch. Yeast are not "obligate" anaerobes and will gladly use an aerobic pathway (oxygen) to gain more energy from the maltose. As oxygen levels decrease in the wort (higher yeast cell count) they will rely upon an anaerobic, less efficient pathway that produces ethanol as a waste product. Other pathways, using different enzymes, can lead to sulfur compounds. Nearly forty years ago in grad school, I knew more, but in theory aeration of the wort gets the little guys going faster.
  4. Brian N.

    An experimental comparison

    Interesting experiments -especially the Oktoberfest idea. My palate is not that sophisticated, so for me subtle differences would probably go unnoticed. Keep us informed.
  5. Brian N.

    I cannot lager

    Hot Redheads? Like this? Or Like this?
  6. Brian N.

    I cannot lager

    US-05 would be a great choice, especially if you could maintain it at the low end, say 62-65 deg F. Also aerate the heck out of the wort, it will get the yeast off to a great, clean start.
  7. Brian N.

    My first batch of brew

    Congrats on your first! Stick with it and you'll be making some great beers.
  8. Brian N.

    MrBeer 11216 5g CHURCHILL

    I like to keep all the dry yeast packets in the fridge, and take them out an hour or so before use. Probably makes very little difference in terms of freshness, as long as the packet stays sealed. However - in my mind (or what is left it) - I feel it may help preserve the precious lives of our microscopic buds (get the humor and word play?)
  9. Remember, most of what is sold are lagers, not ales. MB brews are mostly ales. And, absolutely experience matters! Thinking back to my first brew, it tasted like a combination of apple cider, band-aids and cheap beer.
  10. Brian N.

    Old Yeast Question

    Jdub - The MB yeast are just fine, unless you have a recipe brew that requires a special yeast. Tim or Josh can probably fill you in on more specific details, but I find that the MB yeast attenuate the sugars fairly well and flock well too. I don't cold crash and my beers are clear: After a couple of months in the bottle, everything settles. When I pour my beers I leave a little in the bottle at the end and pour slowly.
  11. Brian N.

    My LBK leaking

    One reason that I always leave the spigot in place and don't remove it is the fear of a leaking gasket. I just clean and sanitize the LBK before and after brewing. Probably some will disagree, but no infections (yet).
  12. Brian N.

    Old Yeast Question

    Just remember the time spent cold crashing does NOT count as time fermenting
  13. Brian N.

    My LBK leaking

    Lots of old threads on this. Perhaps RickBeer can provide the links (Thanks in advance to Rick)
  14. Brian N.

    Old Yeast Question

    No harm in letting it go 21 days. You're probably correct, it is done, but sometimes the yeast surprise you.
  15. Brian N.

    My first mistake

    I experimented using spring water and tap water for the same recipe. No difference. As for distilled water - probably no significant difference either. The water used in making the extract will most likely have the correct mineral content, pH and so on to support good yeast growth. Unless your tap water tastes bad (sulfur, chlorine, petrochemicals) it is fine to use.
  16. Brian N.


    To the smaller regular refills I like to add one package of LME. It kicks it up just enough, and add that extra flavor and body.
  17. Brian N.

    My order arrives today!

    If you liked it - go for it. Just minimize exposure once you open the keg, and use a sterile spoon to transfer the chocolate and coconut pieces.
  18. Brian N.

    Six Month Old American Porter

    Sounds Yummy!! Some of my brews have been very good after 6 months and even a year.
  19. Brian N.

    Long Ferment?

    Perhaps someone from MB could tell us. Enjoy!
  20. Brian N.

    Long Ferment?

    That is great attenuation. Which yeast?
  21. Brian N.

    Long Ferment?

    Let it go. I've let brews ferment 4 weeks. No harm.
  22. Brian N.

    My order arrives today!

    Not right. Porters can have a chocolate or coffee undertone, but I don't see coconut as a flavoring. Perhaps it's me, and it is your beer to do as you please. I think the MB recipe is good without the coconut. To get to your question, yes, add it to a clean muslin sac a week or so in. Minimize the time the LBK is open, Hold the lid in one hand, do not place it on a surface, and slip in the sac.