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Nickfixit

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Everything posted by Nickfixit

  1. Nickfixit

    Bottle Capper

    I mate the caps up with the bottles when I sanitize them, put sanitizer in the bottle hold the cap on it and then invert the bottle letting a little sanitizer get out and over the top of the bottle and around the bottle/cap seal area. Then I stand the pair up to sit for the 10 min. Then when I fill them I have the caps right there. I have a bench capper but I don't wash it - it does not contact any beer related surfaces.
  2. Nickfixit

    Stick on Thermometer

    $10 aquarium or "ray gun" thermometer is battery operated with digital readout. But it may not be more accurate, it just implies that it is 😎 I did have the $1.95 (now on sale for $1.45!!) stick on one but the readability faded on me.
  3. Nickfixit

    Problems with Mr Beer Website

    Yes I see now - some menus do not show pics etc.
  4. Nickfixit

    Stick on Thermometer

    If you have a Meat Refrigerator Pool Oven you can use this - it goes way high up there.
  5. Nickfixit

    Problems with Mr Beer Website

    Seems fine now. Well done 😎.
  6. Nickfixit

    Stick on Thermometer

    I have used ones like this at work, but $11.99? That is a REAL bargain. Maybe I will get one 😄 No wait - $10.99 and FREE ship[ping!
  7. Nickfixit

    Stick on Thermometer

    Better to get a $10 aquarium digital thermometer and tape it on, then you get actual degrees.
  8. Nickfixit

    Problems with Mr Beer Website

    Why would the French attack Mr Beer? Oh wait, You are attacking their wine market now...……………… Not serious, but there has to be some reason DDOS is just to mess with you, not like it is scouting your customer database. Although you may get that too. Time to get the FBI or whoever. Probably someone took over a French computer to do that.
  9. Nickfixit

    Boiling Yeast?

    When you use tired old yeast, would it be better to make a starter? Talking of yeasts, there was an interesting comment on effect of rapid temperature change on yeast from one manufacturer data sheet I read (Lallemand). On reconstituting yeast, they wanted you to do it at 85-95 deg. then cool gradually to wort temp 5 min per 10 deg, using small amounts of cool wort.. Their assertion was not that the cells got killed, but that rapid temp changes cause UNWANTED MUTATIONS, potentially causing off flavors. I usually just sprinkle it onto the wort though it seems to work but I am not sure of the impact on the yeast rehydration process - and how much better my beer would be if I followed their process. ***************************************************** Some Yeast Facts ***************************************************** Lallemand data sheets are interesting to me, for example they illustrate difference between the yeasts and why they behave differently. Why choice of yeast affects beer sweetness and attenuation. e.g. London which they say will not eat maltotriose sugar, leading to the sweeter beers, "London does not utilize the sugar maltotriose (a molecule composed of 3 glucose units). Maltotriose comprises an average of 10-15% of total sugar in all-malt worts. The result will be fuller body and residual sweetness in the beer. Be advised to adjust gravities and mash temperatures according to desired result. " https://www.lallemandbrewing.com/en/canada/product-details/london-esb-english-style-ale-yeast/ (If you pick the yeast in Brewers Friend calculator it does this compensation for yeast sugar usage for you.) or Belle Saison which they say is a variety diastaticus. "Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. diastaticus strains are capable of utilizing some types of dextrins. Extra care should be taken to ensure proper cleaning procedures are in place to avoid any cross-contamination with other brews. " https://www.lallemandbrewing.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/TDS_LALBREW_PREM_BELLESAISON_ENGLISH_DIGITAL.pdf I put some by accident in a brew of Sticky Wicket stout and it was very dry tasting. Choice of yeast affects Dry Hopping Also they describe the different effects for dry hopping incising different yeasts. Some yeasts produce chemicals that accentuate hop flavor. https://www.lallemandbrewing.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/LAL-bestpractices-Biotransformation-digital-1.pdf This is a fascinating paper detailing effect of various hops and transformation of the desired flavors, and includes the use of coriander as a source of chemicals for yeast transformation into similar flavors. Don't be put off by the chemistry speak, skim to find the conclusions (unless you are chemistry geek lol). https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/j.2050-0416.2010.tb00428.x Quote Rehydration guidelines are quite simple and present a much lower risk of contamination than a starter, which is unnecessary when using the recommended pitch rate of dried active yeast. Sprinkle the yeast on the surface of 10 times its weight in clean, sterilized water at 30-35°C (86-95F). Do not use wort, or distilled or reverse osmosis water, as loss in viability may result. Stir gently, leave undisturbed for 15 minutes, then stir to suspend yeast completely. Leave it to rest for 5 more minutes at 30-35°C. Without delay, adjust the temperature to that of the wort by mixing aliquots of wort with the rehydrated yeast. Wort should be added in 5 minute intervals and taking care not to lower the temperature by more than 10°C at a time. Temperature shock of >10°C will cause formation of petite mutants leading to extended or incomplete fermentation and possible formation of undesirable flavors. Do not allow attemperation to be carried out by natural heat loss. This will take too long and could result in loss of viability or vitality. Inoculate without delay into cooled wort in the fermenter. Belle Saison yeast has been conditioned to survive rehydration. The yeast contains an adequate reserve of carbohydrates and unsaturated fatty acids to achieve active growth. It is unnecessary to aerate wort upon first use.
  10. Nickfixit

    Fermentation & Bottling

    It may be carbonated adequately at 2 weeks, but the 4 weeks gives the yeast more time to clean up any off flavors. And be patient, give it 3 days in the fridge before opening it for best results - this impacts proper absorption of the carbonation. If you are really impatient, put several in and you can hopefully see the difference over the few days. If you see no difference I guess it won't matter for you.
  11. Nickfixit

    Full Mash Kit Instructions Faulty

    For the Mr Beer with partial mash, I use water about 165 or 170 deg (my kettle does that ) and it come out in the pot in the 145-155 range generally. Then I sit it on the warming ring on the stove. IT will stay between 140-160 - not really accurate for careful all grain work, but I think for my PM it seems to work.
  12. Nickfixit

    Full Mash Kit Instructions Faulty

    Running the volume and grain in brewer's friend - it rates this at 4% ABV It is beer - but very sessionable - but lower ABV than most. Mind you, some Mr B brews with HME and 1 soft pack LME come in at 4.5% or less, and I do personally brew some of them that strength. So ABV is a matter of taste. I don't need really strong beers that much - usually I make 4.5-5.5% beers with very occasional higher. But I will agree 4% is pretty much on the low end. Someone gave me a Red Ale kit that was 1 gal. similarly and I made it in the Mr Beer LBK. If you got an LBK from Mr Beer kit, you could use that and it would not matter if you were over a gallon.
  13. Nickfixit

    Carbonation versus Conditioning

    If you don't want to steep grains, adding the Golden (wheat) LME/DME or even booster or maltodextrin powder will help head retention too. When you sanitize the LBK before putting the wort in, don't forget to open and shut the spigot a few times quickly before letting it sit its 10 min. The spigot sanitizing flow can be used on the plate for your utensils to sanitize that too. Also to sanitize it ALL over inside, I invert the LBK and shake it a bit as well as shaking it right side up before adding the spoons etc. to sanitize there as well. After the 10 min I put the utensils on the plate and invert/shake it again to be sure then give it another 5 or as long as I can based on the other parts of the process. I used to get infections but have not since I started doing that. I also use some sanitizer from the bottles in the LBK after cleaning, before putting it away when bottling.
  14. Nickfixit

    Carbonation versus Conditioning

    I don't think it will be problem. The yeast should wake up again and continue. You can always momentarily invert the bottle to get it up to suspension again if you are concerned. Don't shake though...……….dagnabbit - what do you think this is - champagne? lol. Wait until you win in Nascar.
  15. Nickfixit

    Carbonation versus Conditioning

    This is my opinion, Rick Beer may differ and provide better suggestions LOL. Just to emphasize - conditioning is out of the refrigerator. Carbonation is good at 65-70. The temperature for conditioning depends on the beer style ales - 60-75 is OK. I have mine in mid 60-s. Lagers colder. so maybe you could condition lagers in the fridge but it has to be a temp at which the yeast can be somewhat active. Then, putting it in the fridge for >= 3 days to allow carbonation to absorb. More carbonation is absorbed in the liquid at cooler temperatures - so that will affect head retention and initial carbonation gush.
  16. Nickfixit

    TV Moonshiner and temptation...

    We fermented and distilled at high school as part of chemistry courses. Of course we surreptitiously saved the distillation product and took it home. It tasted OK mixed with orange juice. Of course this was only a small volume, probably less than 0.5 oz. Understood there could be alt byproducts in there, but at that time we did not know but we carefully distilled, monitoring temp for alcohol boiling point.
  17. Nickfixit

    How Old is Too Old??

    No I am not referring to myself, although knocking off a few years would not hurt 😁 however, this is probably one factor in the ruminations below. I think though that seeing the way I figured this rather than me just announcing the result might let you see if I was being illogical or trigger better ideas - I am always willing to learn. Looking through my basement (typically temp at mid 60's and these stored on the cement floor) for pre - 2018 brewing supplies to use up, I find I have a 2x Baltic Porter Seasonal (best by date Oct 2017) I know this is still good as I made one a couple months ago. 1x Cooper's Dark Ale 6 gal (best by date Mar 2017) Last one of these I made was 2017 - but I think it will still be OK Unopened Special Dark LME (mfr. date 12/21/2016) Weighs 3lb 8 oz for approx. 3lb 5 oz LME. Partly used Porter LME (mfr. date 5/28/2015) Weighs 2 lb 10 oz Partly used Vienna LME (mfr. date 2/20/2015) I never liked what the Vienna LME did to my brews so I think I will junk that. I am inclined to use the old LMEs or some of them with the Dark Ale since the Dark Ale HME itself only makes ~ 2% ABV, and needs other fermentables to make a good beer. I think the porter can make decent wort straight up, but I have only seen the special dark used up to about 50% of malt bill. I have used special dark in amounts up to 8 oz per 2 gal to enhance HMEs before but have not used more than that. So this is how it figures: LME container weighs ~ 3 oz. so I have ~ 2 lb. 7 oz. Porter LME, & split 3 ways = 13 oz. LBK --> adds approx. 1.4% ABV. That leaves me another 1.1 ABV to find. I can add 1 booster per LBK or I can add 10 oz of Sp Dark per LBK or I can add other fermentables. or I can add ALL the Sp Dark - adding 1.9% per LBK making it go to ~ 2 + 1.4 + 1.9 = 5.3 % So what are the votes here? toss it all in? Assuming "yes"...……... I will need more than the Cooper's yeast for this - especially since it has a date code 06115 (week 61 year 15) For info on Cooper's yeast markings https://community.diybeer.com/topic/8573-diy-beer-brew-cans-yeast-and-aroma-hop-details/ Seems like that yeast is a candidate for adding as nutrient - or I add more. Recipe builder suggests that this beer needs 56B cells per 2 gal so 1/2 a pack (110B cells/pack) of S-04 would just do, but that 5g of Cooper's ale yeast is not sufficient. So I could use this as a yeast experiment, since all except the #3 yeast are already sunk costs, it is cheap entertainment and I might actually get something I can drink out of it: I can use #1 - 2x Mr Beer yeast (on hand - or 1x Mr B and the Coopers yeast from the Dark Ale) #2 - 1x S-04 yeast (on hand) #3 - Some other interesting yeast from this list https://www.beercraftr.com/beer-yeast-list/stout-and-porter-yeast-list/ Comments and ideas welcome. Will it be TOO dark? What interesting yeasts in that list (#3) have you tried with dark beers?
  18. Nickfixit

    older yeast

    The only thing is that if the initial cell count was low you might get additional flavors from yeast growth phase compared with having a higher cell count. But it probably is to late to impact that. I agree, and would do the SG check as noted above with pitch as needed. From dry yeast, my experience with US-05 is that is gives a pretty good start within 24 hours or even less so if the liquid one is the same this is a pretty long time for it to get going, but I have not used that exact one. If this was purepitch, then this gives some indications on viability with time. If not, it refers you to Mr Malty for viability calculations with age. So you could backtrack and see if there could have theoretically been an issue then compare with recipe builder pitch rate calc. *********************optimistic*********************************** https://www.beeradvocate.com/community/threads/white-labs-purepitch-yeast-some-numbers.573302/ This says Purepitch has a package date and a "best before" date on the pack and that at the "best before" date : The “Best Before” date comes from hundreds of internal trials, ultimately showing that after five months in PurePitch® packaging the average viability of first generation yeast remains at more than 79%. **********************pessimistic******************************* But Mr Malty is less optimistic - presumably not allowing for the improvements in packaging. Feeding the date into this gives viability of 0. Hmm. https://www.morebeer.com/content/yeast_viability_calculator Also this might be of interest https://eurekabrewing.wordpress.com/2012/11/18/yeast-basics-check-yeast-viability/ (you lose 50% in 60 days in fridge) https://www.whitelabs.com/faq/general/how-much-yeast-my-white-labs-homebrew-purepitch
  19. Nickfixit

    Upcoming Brewing Schedule

    Now that is dedication - good for you 😎 Hope everything else resolves soon.
  20. Nickfixit

    How Old is Too Old??

    The one that was opened, was reclosed after I put 1/2 a shot of vodka in it on to of the malt to kill any beasties, and it is mold free. I have had good success doing that - using a container over several brews. And I do have extra Mr. B yeasts that are probably more recent than the Dark Ale Cooper's yeast so maybe I will do that. I am not sure it is the same yeast blend though - Australians have different tastes 🤣
  21. Nickfixit

    How Old is Too Old??

    The last old hops I used turned out OK so I am a bit cavalier with that. But I hate to throw stuff out. (I was born in times of scarcity.) Still you are right, absolutely fresh ingredients would be better - and if I was doing all grain - no other choice.
  22. Nickfixit

    Upcoming Brewing Schedule

    Plan change - first use up American Ale that is oldest. (other than 2 Baltic Porters and a Coopers 6Gal Dark Ale. all dated 2017 (!) but they are dark anyway. The Baltic Porter probably next after.) Fruity American Ale 2 - American Ale HME with booster and 8 oz wheat DME, 1 oz mix HBC438 (SABRO) and Brambling Cross. 1/3 15 min boil, 1/3 flameout, 1/3 7 day DH. Mr B yeast, 5g is OK for OG 1.050 Aroma notes - a real rural fruit salad. Sabro: coconut, grapefruit, lemon grass, and wood. Bramling Cross: lemon, black currant, and hay aromas
  23. Nickfixit

    Octoberfest

    Basic Oktoberfest will be more malty than hoppy - but if using basic with booster not LME, you get less malty. Look at some of the recipe suggestions on Mr B page for those that use that HME and have more malt/hops in if you have more of the Oktoberfest to use up , otherwise make something else - there is a lot to choose from. The Bindlestick wheat I am drinking now is quite craft-beer like in nature. For more ABV bite, add malt/booster pack depending what your taste is.
  24. Nickfixit

    Upcoming Brewing Schedule

    I will go as far as a week or 5 out only. I have 2 HMS from 2018 date still. Porter maybe with anise (Maybe with Blackbeerd grains too) American Ale - fruity with booster I have to use up (I get 2 per HME) and misc left over hops. Last one was good. then Irish Red Ale (based on CAL, as I find Oktoberfest is too heavy maybe Oktoberfest needs more hop to balance?)
  25. Nickfixit

    Black Beer'd porter

    Now it works PHEW! Yeah, I am not totally liking their new web site either, but change is always tough once you are used to something. I have to rate them by number of clicks/scrolls to find what I want. If more than 3 it is a problem. But also (I guess because I am aged, I do not like scrolling, after all, a page is a page. Pages were a technical evolution thrusting us from the scroll era to the tablet ere. many 100's of years ago. I also have a beef with multi column pages which are OK on paper but a real pain to read on electronic devices, in that you cannot see a whole page at once. Still who else cares - if you cannot say it in 280 characters is it worth saying?
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