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Brian N.

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Everything posted by Brian N.

  1. BTW just to add to my previous post - NEVER use a sponge! Paper towel for all cleaning and dispose of before moving onto a new surface.
  2. After a while sanitizing becomes part of the routine. I go so far as to sanitize the stove top, back splash and range hood. I also completely do the sink, faucet and handles, and of course all the counter tops and cabinet pulls. Sounds excessive, but I also bake bread occasionally and I don't want those other yeast around. All equipment gets a good dunk, and like a surgeon, I set up a sterile field. Don't forget your hands! Downstairs where I store my keg and bottles, the plastic table-top gets a good wipe down too. BTW - your spouse will love you for the extra clean kitchen!
  3. Congratulations. I'm not a fan of mead, but it does seem appealing. Interesting recipe and process.
  4. Rafts of yeast can be "normal" Leave it alone until fully fermented (I usually let it sit 20 days or so). Dark spots also seem to appear from time to time during fermentation. Don't keep opening up the keg, as you risk letting some nasty bacteria in. Your risk causing infection with the thermometer is low, opening the keg increases the risk. BTW a stick-on thermometer works well.
  5. Brewed my FREE MB WDA yesterday (expiration Nov 2019). What a monster fermentation after just 24 hours. Looking forward to a really yummy beer. Have not brewed in a few months, but now is the season!
  6. I misunderstood - I thought it was odd to boil or sanitize the vanilla (guess my brain had a disconnect). Yea - clean the measuring spoon, and all is good.🙄
  7. Are you adding vanilla extract? If so, I would expect that it is fine (usually is in an alcohol base). A measuring spoon well washed in hot water or from the dishwasher should be OK. I would open the lid minimally, just enough to slip the spoon in, then close right away. The risk of infection is low. If you are worried, boil as Creeps McLane suggested, but boiling such a small volume might prove difficult. Microwaving boiling such a small volume might turn it into a very viscus goop. Another approach might be to dilute the vanilla in a cup of water and boil that.
  8. Year old yeast is questionable. Go with the MB yeast that was under the lid. You can always add the US-04 if there is no fermentation within a day or so. Even if half the yeast are no longer viable - there are plenty left to get the fermentation started. Lag time might be a little longer. WDA always seems to have a vigorous fermentation.
  9. Drink beer (or two) rinse well with hot water and dish soap. Before brewing sanitize with oxygen cleaner. Same for plastic bottles.
  10. I observed some caps that had a definite convex curve after a few weeks of carbonation. I think the pressure was enough to deform the cap, breaking the seal allowing the beer to vent. Once the pressure decreased, it formed a seal again.
  11. Plastic bottles can vent from the cap, releasing some pressure and beer.
  12. The Beer Purity law was passed for reasons other than "pure beer". You certainly don't want harmful plants or substances added to your beer but, it's YOUR beer. Add what you like, fruit, wheat, corn, oats, honey, molasses, coffee, chocolate, etc. Brew a beer because it is a style you want to drink or share. If it happens to have just malted barley, water, yeast and hops, you still have beer. I think part of the fun of home brewing is discovering how many recipes result in a good, tasty beer.
  13. I'll go with a local craft beer when i am out at a restaurant, if they have any. Some are very good, and I like to support "Local" small brewers. At home I drink my own, mainly because i made them the way I like, and they mostly turn out great. Plus, I like the hobby of brewing. On the issue of MB changing the fermentation and carbonation times, I bet it is to help those new brewers get a beer done in less than two months (which is typical for me). They will still get beer, and mostly it will be fine.
  14. If your bottles caps are not leaking, the temperature is correct, and you are positive that you put sugar in to prime, you might want to try putting a few grains of yeast in - then recap and wait. Work quickly and as sterile as possible. Give them a full four weeks to carbonate.
  15. One of my favorites MB Oktoberfest, brewed with US-05. Keep the temperatures around 65-68 deg F if you can, and give it the full three weeks. I tend to go lower on the carb sugar, but that is a personal preference.
  16. Beer may not have been fully fermented at the time you bottled. In other words there were unfermented sugars left in the wort.
  17. Looks Delicious! Cheers!
  18. The Darwin Awards are always awarded posthumously (after the recipient removes them self from the gene pool) 😁
  19. You can get an estimate based on how much malt and sugars were used in making the wort. You can look on the Mr. Beer web site too. For example if you followed a particular recipe they give you the expected ABV.
  20. Start with cold water - the most important factor. Air is much more soluble at cooler temperatures. Shaking, stirring, whisking will all saturate the water with air quickly. I say air, unless you are bubbling pure oxygen from a tank. Well aerated wort will reduce lag time for the yeast, and get them off to a good start before they start their anaerobic phase. However, don't go crazy, as the same yeast, same recipe, and the same environmental conditions might give you different results brew to brew despite your best efforts.
  21. Have patience. You can't go wrong with three weeks fermenting (at the proper temperature) and letting the bottles sit for a month at room temperature while they carbonate and condition. Basically, you need 2 months (including a few days in the fridge before you imbibe your potent potable) 😉
  22. 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).
  23. 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.
  24. 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).
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