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  1. ChristinaS1

    Quick Xmas brew for SWMBO

    The trouble with these juices is that most are fortified with 100% of the RDI of Vitamin C, which is tart, so yes, it will need back sweetening with a non-fermentable sweetener. Blackcurrants are naturally high in Vitamin C. They are an acquired taste: they taste like cat pee smells due to high thiol levels. https://www.compoundchem.com/2015/07/23/blackcurrants/ I have two blackcurrant bushes and the smell is very noticeable when I pick them. Cheers, Christina.
  2. ChristinaS1


    I didn't know that the temp got up to 40C in Norway. Cheers, Christina.
  3. ChristinaS1

    Boiling water good enough to sterilise?

    There is sterilizing and sanitizing. To make water potable in an emergency situation you need to boil it (rolling boil) for one minute (source CDC). Sterilizing takes longer, but probably isn't necessary if you are using a fresh package of yeast every time, and are not under-pitching. Why not use Starsan? Boiling water is energy intensive (= expensive) and time consuming. Most home brew is infected to one degree or another; it only becomes noticeable if it reaches a certain level. If you want to get an idea of how infected your brews are, do a wort stability test: collect a small sample of wort in a sterile jar before adding your yeast (sterile specimen container from a lab works well) and put it in a warm place (ideally 30C, but room temperature will do) for three days and examine for signs of cloudiness or change every 12 hours, for 72 hours. If you make it to 48 hours with no change, you have nothing to worry about. If you make it to 72 hours, you are doing very well. https://www.morebeer.com/articles/lab_tests_quality_beer Cheers, Christina.
  4. ChristinaS1

    Fruit Beer

    Yes, it looks delicious. Congratulations. Cheers, Christina.
  5. ChristinaS1

    Max percentage of crystal malts for ales.

    Isn't crystal a type of specialty malt? Isn't a specialty malt anything that isn't a base malt, generally used as less than 20% of the grist. Cheers, Christina.
  6. ChristinaS1

    Max percentage of crystal malts for ales.

    If you are going to use that much crystal malt, make sure that the majority are 60L or lighter, or it could end up harsh tasting. http://beersmith.com/blog/2017/08/31/harsh-zone-crystal-and-colored-malts-in-beer-brewing/ Personally I don't make IPAs, but I take my cue from NEIPAs when designing my APAs: just 2% Honey Malt, or CaraVienna, and lower IBUs, so that it still tastes balanced. But different strokes for different folks. Good luck with the brew. I will be interested in what you come up with and how you like it. Keep us posted! Cheers, Christina.
  7. ChristinaS1

    Brewing with Honey

    I agree about not heating honey but, like IanH9, I am scared of a bad batch....I would choose a yeast with kill factors over heat pasteurization. Actually I have never made mead....I used pasteurized supermarket honey the one or two times I brew with honey. Honey is very expensive in Canada. I came *this* close to starting to keep my own bees last year, even built my own hives, but in the end I did no go ahead with it, for two reasons: I did not want to attract bears, and the expense. In Canada beekeeping is an expensive hobby. It is very common to loose 30-50% of your hives over the winter, due to cold, bears, and disease, especially Varroa mites. I believe Australia is one of the last countries in the world not to have varroa mites....Bear fencing is expensive, and not all that effective. Bears are strong and can push through most fencing. Electric fencing only works if they happen to put their nose on it. Just wondering Ben, do you use hot water to dilute your honey when you make mead? If so, might that serve the same purpose? I have used apples from my orchard, home juiced and unpasteurized, to make cider and apple wine, which is also loaded with wild yeast. I have often wanted to use Lalvin 71B, a malic acid reducing wine yeast, but have never dared, as it does not possess kill factors. In other words, I have always stuck to wine (K1-v1116) or champagne (EC 1118) yeast that possess kill factors. Cheers, Christina.
  8. ChristinaS1

    Fruit Beer

    Citrus came up in this thread recently:
  9. ChristinaS1

    Fruit Beer

    Cool. Doesn't look like beer though. Does it taste like beer? Cheers, Christina.
  10. ChristinaS1

    Brewing with Honey

    Clover honey = bees fed on clover flowers Orange blossom honey = bees fed on orange blossoms Strawberry clover honey = not sure but I am guessing a combo strawberry blossoms and clover flowers, which bloom at the same time. Do orange blossoms smell like oranges? I have never had the opportunity to smell an orange blossom, but I kind of doubt they resemble each other. Flowers make fragrances that attract pollinator insects; fruits often produce compounds which repel pest type insects. Is honey from the supermarket guaranteed to be pasteurized? No, but the majority are. Ones that say "raw" are unpasteurized. Unfiltered honey is likely unpasteurized, but I am not sure about that. Organic means that the flowers that the bees fed on were organic; it could still be pasteurized and filtered. "Natural" honey is most likely filtered and pasteurized, and there is a good chance it is adulterate too. Apparently some countries don't allow the word "unpasteurized" to be on the label, and prefer the word "raw." Not sure what the regulations are in Australia. Christina.
  11. ChristinaS1

    Brewing with Honey

    Generally that is true, but there may be exceptions. Read the label to find out if it is pasteurized. Lots of people use supermarket honey because that is all that is available to them, or is the only kind in their budget. Whether you decide to use it in beer or not is a matter of choice. The more honey you use, the more effect it will have on the flavour and aroma of the beer. Using 300-500gm of honey in a 23L batch will produce a hint of honey in the flavour. If it makes up more than 30% of the ingredients, honey will dominate the flavour of the beer. Mixing 1.5kg of honey with a Coopers kit (1.7kg), honey will make up 47% of the fermentables. It will taste strongly of honey. It will also thin the body of the brew. I think that when the percentage of honey grows to 51%, it stops being called beer and is called braggot, which is one of the many sub-categories of mead. Meads of 8% ABV or less are called "short meads" and do not require much aging. Cheers, Christina.
  12. ChristinaS1

    Brewing with Honey

    There are two issues being discussed: the purity of honey (or lack thereof) and pasteurization. You can get orange blossom honey at the supermarket but it will most likely be adulterated. There is big money in honey, which creates a high incentive to "stretch" it with sugary syrups of various kinds. Almost all honey imported from Asia has been adulterated; it is very difficult for the authorities to detect. If you buy honey from a local beekeeper, it will be 100% honey. Your palate may or may not detect a difference between pure honey and adulterated honey. Depending on the type of flowers the bees were feeding on, honey can have different flavours. Orange blossom honey is a nice honey. If you use supermarket honey, it is probably pasteurized, so you do not need to heat it. Some local beekeepers pasteurize their honey and some do not; check the label or ask the beekeeper. Unpasteurized honey contains wild yeast. If you don't heat it, or use a killer wine yeast, there is a chance that the wild, natural yeast will ferment your brew instead of the ale yeast you pitched, since beer yeast do not posses kill factors. Wild yeast can produce either nice or unpleasant flavour. One thing you can do to help your ale yeast dominate the brew is to make a starter. Cheers, Christina.
  13. ChristinaS1


    M42 has a reputation as a fast fermenter. You might want to take a hydrometer reading. Ben10 uses it a lot and is a fan. I have only used the strain once, and it seemed to ferment more quietly than Coopers Ale yeast. Cheers, Christina.
  14. ChristinaS1

    Brewing Bible?

    Ah yes, silly me. 🤣Maths was never my strong point. I got tripped up by the fact that 23L is 16.7% more than 5 US gallons. I never multiplied, always used a recipe calculator. I just struck me as I was writing the post that multiplying would be easier. Cheers, Christina.
  15. ChristinaS1

    Brewing with Honey

    Ian is quite right that most supermarket honey has been adulterated. Buy it from a local beekeeper. Ian, if you use a wine yeast with kill factors, you might not have to heat it. Not sure if you can get Lalvin K1-v1116 (Montpellier) yeast, but it makes a nice mead; Dr Clayton Cone on the Danstar website said that this yeast used to be used as a kit yeast in some beer kits, years ago. It does require some aging to smooth out the acetaldehyde. Cheers, Christina.