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Quokka

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  1. I might get howled down, but I think you'll be OK if it's Cooper's yeast. If you have power in the garage you might need the fan during the day, and actually sitting it in a cheap tub (like the plastic laundry basket type you put ice and drinks in for barbies) will keep the towel wet and help to stabilise it. Oh, and there are no stupid questions - stupid is not asking questions because you think you know everything. Not a lot of losers in the home brew scene, so most will help where they can (especially those of us that have already made all the dumb mistakes for you.)
  2. Wrap your fermenter tightly in a towel, sit it in a tub of water and point a fan at it - should keep the temp down to an appropriate range for Coopers yeast. I realise I'm a bit late, but if you pitched at 32C and start cooling it down it should be fine. I know the experts all say 30C, but yeast aren't quite that fussy and aren't doing much except waking up and getting horny for the first several hours. Try to keep it 26 or below and stable - if that tub holds enough water it should keep it fairly stable even if it gets cool at night. I'm not whistling Dixie here - I successfully brewed a number of beers in Kalgoorlie summers doing this, only works with Coopers kit yeast, though.
  3. Depends what quality you are looking for. I usually go 15 minutes for a flavour addition that will be removed. If I am looking only for lighter, more aromatic aspects such as chasing the "anise-like_ flavour from Ella I will go down to as low as 5 minutes, but extraction will be low. For most I would go 15-30 minutes before your cube, then dry hop if you need more aroma. Shorter times in the wort can actually produce cleaner flavours with some hops.
  4. Quokka

    Six Days

    Good job. I've been working on the "new" car and after several hours of knuckle-scarring work covered in grease and dirt, plus the car was bought off backpackers and full of red dust, the smell of which reminds me of the outback, I find it very hard to resist the temptation of a pint or two at the end of the day lately. But when I first saw your thread my mind completed it with "...on the road and I'm gonna make it home tonight."
  5. Interesting. I have caps that I have been using for years after sanitising as well. It is the new ones (as eventually the caps get to a point they don't seem will seal well,) which I have found I have to tighten really tight, and even then some still seem to leak. They are usually unbranded from the local brew shop.
  6. Um, I think they were referring to removing the tamper ring from the last bottle cap, not the new one. But, yes, I have had trouble with the caps not sealing. I tighten the crap out of them when I use them now, but I am just using them up for giving beer to people I know won't return my bottles. I scored a great deal on over 100 king browns on ebay, but now I have a kegging setup I am thinking of moving some of them if you are in Melbourne?
  7. I actually have tested a number of single infusion mashes that appear to be finished at 20 minutes, but I worry that my sample may not represent the whole mash and that my eyes might be less than perfect. When you add that we are often relying on other enzymes to further break down the chains, I still let it go for 60 minutes. As for your second comment - at the moment saving an extra dollar actually matters to me I also tend to use neutral bittering hops and by 60 minutes most flavour input has been eliminated. Ironically, I will miss one of the original high AA bittering hops for the subtle citrus note it would leave, even after an hour (POR of course, I have been using Magnum lately, which leaves no discernible flavour after 60 minutes.)
  8. Looks like you nailed it. Love your mash setup - keeps the mash safe as well as warm!
  9. I have been following the thread over on AHB, as well as reading some other interesting articles. One which was supposed to be about step mashing, went into great details as to why we mash for longer than is theoretically necessary (and the steps are usually much shorter, he explains that well too - all enzymes are active to some degree up to the temperature at which they denature.) After going into great depth about the benefits of different single infusion mashes, he suggests sticking with the standard 60 minutes and/or doing an iodine test to determine when the conversion is complete - ordinary tincture of iodine from the pharmacy will change colour in the presence of starch, when conversion is complete it doesn't change colour. As for the boil - I have had successfully clear beers down to about 20 minutes with partial mashing, it depends on the recipe. The main reason I have gone back up to 60 minutes or more with all grain is economy - I need less bittering hops with a longer boil. I do think it is more than coincidence that I have not had a less than crystal clear all grain beer except when a faulty thermometer caused me to stuff up the mash.
  10. I'm not a commercial brewer, but I've been around a while, and took a serious look at it when my sister still owned her bar... i. When we cold crash an Ale we usually drop it into a nice cold keezer to drop the yeast right out and start clearing - if done right it eliminates chill haze (must crash and hold about 2C or more below serving temp) and usually other cloudiness. When lagering the temperature should be gradually reduced to lagering temperature (usually no lower than 2C) and it is commonly believed that the yeast retains some activity at these temperatures. ii. Lagering traditionally was done on the yeast bed, but in modern commercial breweries it is "racked" as they want as little beer-type flavours as possible. Not many Specialty brewers do true lagers, but I believe most also rack (but never filter.) iii. Commercial lagers are almost universally force carbonated after lagering - in the old days they would re-use the CO2 produced from fermentation, but these days just buy it in. I believe the original real lagers were naturally carbonated. iv. I think you are thinking of modern pressure fermentation, which should work well, except your pressure fermentation vessel will be tied up for a month or two. v. Commercial slugging beer is filtered, sometimes through mediums including carbon or such, Pasteurised and often otherwise messed with, such as centrifuge, so any remaining natural carbonation is insignificant. vi. Carbonation is often confused with conditioning in bottle conditioned beers, as they share some of the same time (the carbonation occurs during the warm initial part of the conditioning.) Good beers - including as far as I know the traditional Cooper's - do not undergo Pasteurisation or filtration. vii. Good question - is there a reason you asked it in American? I'm not sure any beer truly stabilises, though there are ideal periods to drink various styles. viii. Fining usually refers to two of the main steps of clarification. The first is a good hot break - nothing but a rolling boil can achieve this. The second is a kind of secondary hot break or whirlpool where whirlfloc, Irish moss, etc. are very helpful. The third is the cold break - achieved by chilling the wort below 65C within 15-20 minutes, though this kind of crosses over with the whirlpool break. The last is the conditioning fining - usually done a day or two into cold break. Gelatin is the best and cheapest, but if you can't use it for religious or other reasons there are apparently some good (though more expensive) synthetic substitutes. ix. Traditional ales were naturally carbonated in casks, hence the low carbonation levels. As far as I know all modern bulk ales are force carbonated, only some bottled ales are naturally carbonated (and some cheat.) x. The diacetyl rest is most important for lagers, which should be raised to 16-18C for 2-3 days once primary fermentation is complete to allow increased activity of the yeast to digest the diacetyl - any undesirable byproducts of lager yeasts at these temperatures are insignificant as most of the fermentable sugars have been consumed. It is rarely needed for ales, but the taste and smell will tell any experienced brewer the beer should be left another day or two before the cold-crash/lagering.
  11. While I think it is a fine flavour, I think you will struggle to use a whole can at a time unless you are into partials, or a fan of very traditional stouts/porters. Having said that, throw it together with a traditional Coopers kit and about 15-20g EKG at 10-15 minutes, plus 1-400g lactose (depending how sweet you like your stout,) and give it a bit of time in the bottle. Ironically, those cans work well with partial mash or an addition to an "all-grain" - the roast flavour comes through well.
  12. That's why gelatin has been used for a couple hundred years for fining beer. Be aware it is usually made from pig trotters, so you can't share your beer with Jews, hipsters and a couple of others.
  13. Lusty, I wish someone would tell XXXX that XXXX Bitter is not actually bitter and isn't even remotely bitter. Cheers - Morrie. While it may not seem bitter to us and it is one of my least favourite beers, it is probably the closest to meeting the official guidelines, and certainly meets the style traditionally known as an ordinary or mild bitter. Remember back in the day high AA bittering hops were not available at all and good hops tended to be too expensive for plebian beers. Strangely enough, if you find yourself in the outback and an Abo offers you a warm XXXX you should accept it - it is about the most drinkable Aussie beer when hot.
  14. I was going to joke that after 2-3 months you are creating new life, but it seems you discovered this yourself. Take heart - we've all had to ditch a brew or two. You can lager at 0-2C for 5 months, but at ale temps about 4 weeks is the limit - and even then you want to be pretty good with sanitation.
  15. Fair cop, but I wouldn't suggest a Best from the kit. The bitterness does drop a bit through the ferment, but I admit it's more of an Australian Bitter than an English. One reason why it fits better as an Ordinary or Mild.
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