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Nickfixit last won the day on September 20

Nickfixit had the most liked content!


About Nickfixit

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    Brewing Guru

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  1. Nickfixit

    Something other than booster

    And for those that expect to use a LOT!!!! this is just the bargain! although I am not totally sure I am reading this properly. 20030?? https://www.ebay.com/itm/183296760517
  2. Nickfixit

    Something other than booster

    YAY! Let's hear it from the Booster boosters!
  3. Nickfixit

    Something other than booster

    In adding Extract, I figure that Mr Beer has formulated their HME for the desired flavor. If you add other than Booster or VERY Pale malt you will change that. I am not saying that is good or bad, you have to taste it first to see. Booster will keep the intended flavor and add alcohol and body. If you like it more malty add malt If you like it more hoppy add hops, if you like the balance but want more intensity add malt AND hops to keep the balance. Adding Wheat malt is a nice way to go often, it does not change flavor much, maybe mellows it a little and it adds body and head retention. In terms of how much, the Mr B packs are intended to add 1% alcohol to the brew. So 1 or 2 Malt packs will get you from ~3.3% ABV to ~ 4.3% or 5.3%. Booster adds ~ 1.2% Some brewers here make monster beers and get much higher than that. Much will depend on the yeast, which will convert 70 to 80+ % of the sugar depending what kind (attenuation.) So yes, you can certainly add and most of us do, but what to add depends what result you want. You can look at posts here or ask or look at Mr B. recipes. Start off slow with adds until you get a feel for what you like. I am still wondering about the aversion to booster.
  4. Nickfixit

    Something other than booster

    Just curious, Planewrench, Why don't you like using booster?
  5. Nickfixit

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    I hope the Mr. Beer competition requiring entries to be shipped to Tucson is not part of that. Maybe they only address the sting to those that make competitive beers lol. The Federal Beer Investigators will be on it.😮 That dumb rule about shipping beer needs to change - it would be no commercial competition issue for limit of say 1 liter (or 2x 12 oz.) per pkg.
  6. Nickfixit

    Backstory on my brewing experience

    I tried in the UK in the 1960's using HME from Boot's drug store. (Yeah, I am no spring chicken either which is one reason I like 2 gal LBK that I can carry, instead of 5 gal monsters.) Dissolve malt and sugar yeast and wait. I also tried using grain and hops, what a pain. No info about sterilization/sanitation except wash thoroughly. I covered my plastic pail with a tea towel to keep dust out. I got alcoholic beverage for sure. It tasted beerish but not great. I gave one to a neighbor and he walked around his yard for an hour with a colander on his head (don't ask). I tried again in the USA in 1980's. I got some beer but not great again. When I found Mr. Beer 215 brews ago It was so easy and results were good enough that I continued.😀
  7. Nickfixit

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    Typically I have has fairly old HMEs, now I am mostly caught up and using HMEs within BB date. and some are really fresh (BB2020 e.g.) This is a factor that could go into the Twang chart I mentioned too. it caqn't hurt to use fresh HMEs of course. I also though have had some twang using Briess LME e.g. I could only get Vienna extract in LME not DME. And I got more taste than I expected from it. Very dark LME I had no problems with though even old. So I have not kept rigorous notes, and I cannot point to any consistent factor. The answer though is in volumes of data so back to the "twang chart".
  8. Nickfixit

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    I will admit my first thought with twang is not CT above but this guy.
  9. Nickfixit

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    @ MrBTim. Maybe we need a HME/Twang chart, based on brewer's experience. That can serve 2 purposes: one - to guide brewers that are twang intolerant towards beer they like better, and two - to guide Mr Beer/Cooper's HME designers towards making them all less susceptible to twang. You cannot get improvement so easily unless you get the feedback. Having lots of experience samples will be good. I will say I have had twangy Oktoberfest before now, and more recently have been avoiding it, but this last batch I had a really fresh can (BB2020) and fermented at low temps and had a PM and did not add extra malt but used booster and I have no twang at bottling. I have some Diablo plain in the LBK due to bottle next week. I will see how that is. I do think having a score card would help.
  10. Nickfixit

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    Aaaagh! Yes indeed. Tweak does not always improve. I am probably less scientific too than it reads - lol - certainly I am less picky about my process too than many here (not a control freak 😄) .. But overall I am up to 215 brews now. I do get some with funny flavors still. I very rarely get any that are undrinkable. Differing from Creeps, I prefer the ease of using HME, and I find the beers drinkable and my friends do too, so that is good enough. Also SWMBO hates brewing smells so prolonged boiling etc. is not tenable. But I like the ease, starting or finishing 1 LBK brew in about an hour including cleanup. (maybe more for PM) Today I bottled Oktoberfest enhanced with PM (2 oz each Munich, Vienna and Biscuit grain ) and strengthened by 2 packs of booster and flavored more with 0.5 oz Hallertauer hop at flameout in a bag. This tasted good with no off flavors. It was fermented in ambient low-mid 60's using Mr. Beer yeast. Why booster? #1 I have a bunch of it, #2, I do not like too malty as I also do not like too hoppy. I also have been messing around with beers so much I though I should try tasting more of the Mr Beer intent. I think it will be fine, having a sweetish start and a balanced finish where you can taste hops. Targeted at Halloween/Thanksgiving timeframe. The only place I am picky on is sterilization using Mr Beer sanitizer or Onestep. Having a basement room at 63-65 deg also helps. I actually have to warm some brews up in a different room if I want 70+. (Wheat or Saison) I use directional lamps with spot light bulbs as heaters - 2 for 80 deg, one for 70-72 deg. I do not use temp controller I just use a thermometer on the LBK and move lamps closer or further away to get desired temp. It seems close enough. For 80 I have to partly wrap the LBK in towels though. When people ask me about the long process of brewing, I tell them I do it the easy way. If you think warm temperature is your problem - cool the LBK ( I use Coleman cooler chest and ice packs) or ferment a beer that likes warmth e.g. Saison. For cheap temperature monitoring I use a $10 digital aquarium thermometer taped on the LBK side with paper towel insulation over the thermometer and under the tape. If you have a cooler with a drain hole, you can run the wire through that and see temp without opening the cooler. If you are concerned about temperature fluctuation, putting the LBK in a container will help even it out - even a cardboard box but cooler is best. Early on I used a $2 foam one (you can still run the thermometer wire out if you make a little groove where the lid fits) and that worked too,. But keep at it - try cooling the LBK in a cheap cooler with freezer ice packs of frozen water bottles (2/3 full only) first.
  11. Nickfixit

    Guiness Irish Wheat Clone

    Today it smelled much more aromatic and less overall hoppy, or they melded. Should be good.
  12. Nickfixit

    Guiness Irish Wheat Clone

    Thanks, I have to try that. I used carbo drops not DME too figuring it had a variety of fermentables in it.
  13. Nickfixit

    Guiness Irish Wheat Clone

    Currently I have a good 3/8 inch of foam in the LBK, so we re off to a good start. It is smelling REALLY hoppy though. I may have put too much in.
  14. Nickfixit

    Guiness Irish Wheat Clone

    Thanks for the comments on yeast saving. I figured that any live yeast would grab onto any sugars if present. How would you go about resuscitating it if alive in small numbers? There was probably 1/16 inch sediment in the jar from the 6 bottles.
  15. I have sometimes done that too to pitch cool. But on the other hand sometimes I follow other suggestions which say = if it below 90 you can pitch and then cool it. Their idea being better to have the yeast in eating the fermentables than risk infection. I do not have a good correlation recorded between results and actions. I think Fermentis has changed its instructions though since I last looked. I could swear they had listed 90 deg max for making a starter. Current instructions ➢ Direct Pitching Pitch the yeast directly in the fermentation vessel on the surface of the wort at or above the fermentation temperature. Progressively sprinkle the dry yeast into the wort ensuring the yeast covers all the surface of wort available to avoid clumps. Ideally, the yeast will be added during the first part of the filling of the vessel; in which case hydration can be done at wort temperature higher than fermentation temperature, the fermenter being then filled with wort at lower temperature to bring the entire wort temperature at fermentation temperature. ➢ With prior rehydration Alternatively, sprinkle the yeast in minimum 10 times its weight of sterile water or boiled and hopped wort at 25 to 29°C (77°F to 84°F). Leave to rest 15 to 30 minutes, gently stir and pitch the resultant cream into the fermentation vessel.