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ChristinaS1 last won the day on April 2

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  1. My leak was in the connection between the gas line and the barbed end disconnect. The hose clamp needed a bit more tightening. I am on my third 5lbs tank of gas since September. Hopefully this last one will last longer, now that I have fixed the leak. BTW, the PRV of one of my tanks, which I bought secondhand, was also leaking. Had to replace the lid and the PRVs my LHBS carried were not compatible. Cheers, Christina.
  2. Sounds similar to what happened to me for the first six months I was kegging, except I was force carbonating. Took forever to carb up, even after a couple of days at 35-40PSI, and it was still quite flat after that, but with lots of foam on pouring. Just found the leak recently, quite by accident, at a connector. You said you have had your CO2 bottle for a little while, but what does that mean? How big is your tank and how often do you have to replace it? Not sure I would have been aware I must have a leak had I 1.) not been attempting to force carbonating, or 2.) had I had bought a larger tank. My tank is just 5 pounds. The gauge showing how much gas was left in the tank would go down noticeably after a couple of days at high pressure. A bigger tank might have made this more difficult to notice, plus I would not have been having to buy more as often. Cheers, Christina.
  3. Have you brewed with majoram, Joe, or do you mean in a general sense? Is Rosemary spiced ale a thing in Columbia?
  4. Rosemary? Interested to hear how this one turns out. I have never heard of anyone using it before. I predict it will taste awful. Such a penetrating flavour. Please let us know what you think when it is ready. Cheers, Christina.
  5. You may be onto something. Coopers actually recommend a solution of 60gm sugar in 600gm of water when culturing their commercial yeast, from the dregs of a six pack of Coopers Ale. https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+culture+Coopers+yeast+from+a+bottle&rlz=1C5CHFA_enCA774CA774&oq=how+to+culture+Coopers+yeast+from+a+bottle&aqs=chrome..69i57.13575j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#kpvalbx=_NdLKXp_hFqqvytMP6MqwsAU26 I read somewhere, might have been on the Lallemand website, that dry yeast manufactures use a molasses based solution to culture their yeast. I found that so interesting I remembered it, because it ran counter to what I had read in various places that DME should be used. I suppose the reason for the advice to use malt is because, "it is known that high levels of glucose and fructose in a wort (e.g. >15–20%) will inhibit the fermentation of maltose." https://byo.com/article/sweetness-brewing-sugars-how-to-use-them/ Perhaps you don't run into problems because you are still under 15-20%? Cheers, Christina.
  6. For your first time out, make the kit as directed, just to use up the bloody BE1, but I would dry hop it, to kick it up a notch. When yeast activity dies away in the fermenter, usually around day 4, add 25-30gm of dry hop pellets. Use any one you like the description of, and that smells good to you. Best to contain the hops in something. After two or three days, fish them out with some sanitized tongs. Dry hopping after fermentation leads to more flavour and aroma than making a tea and adding it before fermentation; you get more bang for your buck, so to speak. The kit yeast is designed to work with Coopers Brew Enhancers, none of which contains more than 500gm of DME. If you use more malt than that, say 1.5kg of LME, you should use more yeast. A pack of third party yeast is a little larger (10-11.5gm) than a pack of kit yeast (7gm) and is usually good for brews up to 1.050. There are free calculators online that will tell you how many grams of yeast you need for any given gravity. @Journeyman I see you recommend rehydrating the yeast. I did that faithfully for years. Coopers has never recommended it, and over the years I saw Mangrove Jack, and then Fermentis, stop saying you had to, so I started dry pitching (sprinkling). I saw no difference so I stopped rehydrating. I think Lallemand is the only manufacturer that still recommends it, but there are loads of brewers who dry pitch Lallemand yeast with success. The only time I would still consider rehydrating was if I had a stuck fermentation. Mind you, I have never had a stuck brew. Cheers, Christina.
  7. If you are making 10L batches, you might want to consider the craft series kits for pre-bittered batches. The bitterness level of the regular Coopers kits is designed for 23L batches and will make a very bitter brew made to 10L. Aim for SG 1.040 for the wort you use for the hop boil. That works out to ~100gm/L of DME. Not sure why but IanH's spreadsheet recommends no less than 6L of wort be used for a hop boil. A 6L boil is just as convenient as one of 2L. It might take a couple minutes longer to come up to a boil, but that is not going to make or break your brew day. If you boil 2L of wort for 60 minutes, for a traditional bittering addition, there won't be much left of it. You can boil shorter if you use more hops. Cheers, Christina.
  8. What yeast are you using to ferment your Belgian Stout? What is the temp rating on it? Most ale yeast has difficulty getting started below 18C. On the package Mangrove Jack says their cider yeast is best between 18-24C. On their website it says it can ferment as low as 12C, but be prepared to be patient. I used Mangrove Jack's cider yeast once, to ferment a cider at ambient in the winter. I was quite excited to try it as it gets good reviews. I had my furnace set to 21C but the FV was sitting next to an outside wall. After three days of no airlock activity I discovered the temp was 16.5C. I moved the cider to my brew fridge and set the Inkbird 22C, but 24 hours later there was still no airlock activity. Perhaps I should have been more patient, but I pitched another yeast onto it. Cheers, Christina.
  9. Those temps are too cold for any ale yeast, even Nottingham. The small volume in a bottle cools off quickly and does not warm up again easily. Highly doubtful the beer will get anywhere near 23C during the day. Recommend putting the beer in the warmest spot in you house and protecting it from temperature fluctuations with a sleeping bag. Yeast do best with stable temps. Cheers, Christina.
  10. If you used the kit yeast for your cervesa, it is half lager yeast, half ale yeast (as is the case with the APA kit as well). The lager portion of it will get the job of carbonating done in the cooler months of the year. One thing that has not been mentioned is that if you don't have a brew fridge you may have to adjust your priming level on a seasonal basis. Before getting a brew fridge I was using more primitive methods of temperature control, involving ice packs etc. I did my best to keep the temp of the FV 18-20C during the first three days of active fermentation, which was long enough to prevent temp related off flavours, but then allowed the temp to rise to ambient until bottling time. I noticed a marked difference in the amount of priming sugar needed to attain the same level of carbonation: about 180gm of bulk priming sugar in summer vs 140gm in winter. The warmer the temp, the less residual CO2 is left in solution....It is important to change the temp in the bulk priming calculator to whatever the highest temp was that the beer reached prior to bottling. That being said, the beer carbs up faster in the summer than in the winter. Personally I find that at a stable 21C, two weeks is good, but if the temp is lower than that, three weeks is required, or even four. I have had Coopers dry ale yeast (comes with the Original Series, Blonde, and English Bitter kits) stall on me and fail to carbonate at 16C. Cheers, Christina.
  11. As far as I know, and please correct me if I am wrong, but you have yet to try kveik yeast or pressure fermentation. Without them, I agree that temp control is essential. Cheers, Christina.
  12. @James of Bayswater You are correct: back when I was fermenting in a glass carboy, which weighs a fair bit even when empty, I did complain about having to lift a full one into my chest freezer. In fact, I could not do it and made concentrated 18L batches instead. But I find lifting a 19L keg into a chest freezer manageable, even for a 60 year old woman. When I started using my old freezer for kegging I had to buy something else for a fermentation chamber. In my area secondhand fridges cost as much as a new mini chest freezer. To my own surprise I ended up buying another chest freezer. The new freezer was not tall enough to hold a glass carboy so I ended up switching to a plastic bucket for fermentation. Personally I find I can lift a 23L batch in a plastic bucket into the chest freezer without too much difficulty....If I had had a history of back problems I would go with a fridge. The point of my previous post was to encourage moving to kegs sooner, rather than later. In the past there was no doubt that a brew fridge was the #1 thing a new brewer could do to improve the quality of their beer, but now you have options. Cheers, Christina.
  13. I did it the other way around: used a chest freezer as my fermentation chamber and several years later switched to using it for kegs. I was lucky that the secondhand freezer I bought just happened to be tall enough to fit Pepsi kegs without having to build a collar for it. The conversion to keg fridge consisted of nothing more than turning the temp down on the Inkbird. If I was starting over, but knew what I know now, and I didn't have enough money for both a brew fridge and a chest freezer, I would strongly consider a chest freezer. Nowadays, what with kveik yeast and spunding valves (which allow you to ferment under pressure), you can make good beer at ambient temps. Kegging is great, and bottling is a pain. Cheers, Christina.
  14. Ha-ha. Yeah, just a light coloured kit whose bitterness level is around what I was looking for. The grain bills of the light coloured kits are mostly base malt. I view them as blank slates. I pick based on IBU level. Cheers, Christina.
  15. I am not sure Shamus, the yeast might have a lot to do with. I love the results I get with this yeast, and am getting used to working with it. I strongly suspect that it is one that is able to do biotransformation, and I chose my hop timings assuming that it does. You are right that I would never had guessed that there was Cascades in this if I didn't know, and I had no idea what to expect to from Motueka. There is not much info about Motueka; only the major components are published....Of course when you put two hops together, the ratios of oil fractions change completely; it is like it becomes a brand new hop. Cheers, Christina.
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