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Beervis

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Everything posted by Beervis

  1. Beervis

    8.5L Craft Brewing Recipes

    Something I've been doing that works quite well is to use that small kit for small batch extract brews. It sounds complicated until you look into it. All you need is a can of light dry malt, or I'm not sure about this but maybe 2 and a half of the boxes, some hops and a 20 litre stock pot which you can get from Big W for $10. Then you just google around looking for hop boil schedules for the hops you've chosen and bam. My most recent effort was LDM + El Dorado, a small amount for bittering and loads in the last 15 minutes and at flameout. It was surprisingly good, the only problem with it was 10 litres runs out way too quickly! I know you're looking for absolute beginner stuff but this is really simple. Just google extract brewing and you'll find a million simple articles explaining it. My method was a bit 'she'll be right' and it still turned out better than most of the (more expensive) kits n bits brews I've done.
  2. Beervis

    8.5L Craft Brewing Recipes

    This is what I was gonna suggest too. I hate to say it, but as far as straight kit brews go, I didn't really like any of the Mr Beer extracts. None of them were that nice without added hops and grains, they all just tasted like kit to me. Another tip from someone who's been down the same road before is to make sure you age any beer you make from those kits for 4 to 6 weeks, they all taste bad when young - haven't had the same issue with the bigger fermenter. I would recommend the ROTM (recipe of the month) for sure, it allows you to take your brews to the next level for the minimum of fuss and extra work. I've had mixed results with them - some a bit ordinary, some excellent, but they've all been better than the straight kits. Something else you can try as a beginner if you like 'big' beers, is to use one of the bigger kit tins from the Coopers series, make it to 10L and don't add any extra malt. I've heard some of them work quite well that way.
  3. Beervis

    8.5L Craft Brewing Recipes

    I quite often do that too, just because the LDM is easier to get - I walk past Big W on the way home from work every day. I've gone the full 500 gm for a couple of IPA's that turned out pretty nice.
  4. At those prices I find it hard to justify these days... I'll do it for a treat but when you start thinking about how much home brew you could've had for the same price suddenly the whole thing loses its appeal. Nights out in the land of Oz are stupidly expensive! That's weird, isn't 425 a Schooner? Is that a random historical thing? Speaking of odd glass sizes, has anyone else noticed that some of the craftier venues have started using older glass styles and names that are non standard? I've found myself paying pint prices for pots that look like brandy balloons without realising. Another sly trick I've noticed lately is using pot glasses that are thinner and narrower and cut to look like larger ones. But you're still paying the schooner/pint prices. I get that decent beer costs more to produce, but it's tough for punters. With a mortgage and bills and stuff to save up for I can't enjoy a session out anymore without watching the bank balance.
  5. It's not just the price of craft beer at the bottleo that's ludicrous - I find the whole pub scene for discerning beer drinkers has gone to shit in the last few years, at least where I'm at in Brisbane. Drinks are expensive, range is limited at bigger pubs because they're all owned by Coles or Woollies and full of megaswill and megacraftswill. You can get a nice beer at a dedicated craft place around town, but I've had sessions where 3 schooeys have set me back the cost of a whole batch of kit swill. And then, all the interesting places close early now cos of the lockout laws. It feels like prohibition by stealth! These days I go out for something to eat, try a couple of interesting brews and go home and tuck myself into bed before curfew, so I don't anger the fun police. I wonder how long it'll be before they try to ban home brewing cos health
  6. Beervis

    ESVA ROTM

    I've got a few months left to go then - popped the rest of the 6 pack in the cupboard after that aborted attempt at drinking them. We'll see what it's like over winter. I'll probably love it and then kick myself for not buying more! The ESVA's are an interesting beast. I try and get my hands on them every year, but there aren't many I've enjoyed as much as the Celebration Ale. Personal taste I guess. As far as kit recipes go, you'd be hard pressed to find anything better at this effort level though.
  7. Beervis

    ESVA ROTM

    This might explain it, I've never had an amber ale I liked... apart from I think it was a Sierra Nevada that was so full of hops it may as well have been an IPA.
  8. Beervis

    ESVA ROTM

    I did a side by side when I brewed the 2018 ROTM, both very nice beers, although I couldn't help but notice that even after significant ageing, I felt like the real ale/apa combo was a fraction too bitter compared with the original. Maybe it would benefit from extra steeping grains, although from memory it did have a few hundred grams.
  9. Beervis

    International series yeast strain

    Good luck with it! I reckon, don't overthink experiments, especially with kits n bits. If it seems like it might be OK, just do it and hope for the best. I've had some good results with that method! After all, if it doesn't get infected the worst it can be is a bit ordinary. And these days you pay $60 for a carton of ordinary so if it cost me $20/$30 for 2 and a bit cartons then I'm not complaining.
  10. Beervis

    ESVA ROTM

    I tried the commercial version of the 18 ESVA after I'd already bought the ROTM (haven't brewed it yet) and I'd have to say... I intensely disliked it! I don't know why, I'm normally open minded about beer. I just found it so heavy and rich and in all the wrong ways. The previous year's ROTM was excellent though. Even in PET's after 8 months of aging it kept getting better and better.
  11. Beervis

    International series yeast strain

    Wow. I'm really surprised that worked out so well. I would've thought there wouldn't be enough lager yeast in the mix for some of those high OG's, plus I would've assumed 12-15d would be too cold for the ale part. Did you make a starter? And with the re-pitching, is that washing the yeast first or a more she'll be right method? For a long time I didn't use that yeast at all, because when I first started brewing the wisdom seemed to be that Coopers yeast would produce inferior flavours/kit taste. I still wouldn't use it exclusively with more interesting brews, but I find it works great for keg filler type beers. If it can handle that mead, I was obviously wrong about it!
  12. Just tasting the first of my second attempt at this kit and I'm not a fan either. Partly it's because I'm generally not a fan of pale ales, I prefer them to be a bit lighter, lower in alcohol and fruity like some of the NZ pales, or heavier in hops and alcohol like the US ones that by Aussie standards are pretty much IPA's. I find a lot of Aussie pale ales sit uncomfortably in the middle, too much malt flavour and not enough alcohol. First attempt at this kit was like that. I used 1.5kg LDM and a 30gm Chinook hop tea. My partner liked it, but it didn't suit my tastes. This batch I've tried to make it lighter and easier to drink, so I went with BE3 and the 30gm Chinook again. It's quite nice and easy to drink but a bit thin and kittish. That should smooth off with ageing, but I swear this kit just tastes like a slightly nicer real ale or something. If it wasn't for the Chinook I added I don't think it would have much of any flavour at all.
  13. Beervis

    Tap Seal

    I looked at this at Big W the other day, was wondering how it would go. I assumed you'd need a different tap head to get it to work with the Coopers FV. I've been thinking of upgrading to stainless steel FV's with a threaded tap and just using food grade tubing, but it'll be a pricey upgrade for just kits n shits which is all I'm brewing currently. I'll give the Brigalow one a try on my next brew! Cheers for the tip.
  14. Beervis

    Mr beer kit

    There was a great ROTM using that kit - 'Mudlust Brown Ale' - loved it. Was like drinking a boozy chocolate cake with a bit of coffee style bitterness thrown in. I'll have to grab a couple of those cans. I wonder why they're discontinuing it? I thought it produced better results than the dark beer tin.
  15. Beervis

    Bottles

    This might explain some of the issues I've been having... brews that were fine at 4 weeks but start to overcarb after a few months. I've been told it's the yeast breaking down residual and harder to ferment sugars, but it has only happened with brews that have more ingredients - like you say, an extra .5 of LDM or LDM plus a can of LME + spec grains, etc
  16. Beervis

    Bottles

    That must be it. I experimented with the same thing with a six pack of Cooper's Blue last night, noticed an improvement with it as well. It's annoying because stubbies are so convenient and easy to keep cold. Depends how much you value the contents I guess. I've been making a lot of light, cheap, pissy beers lately and those go well drinking out of the bottle.
  17. Beervis

    International series yeast strain

    I frequently throw those in together on kits n bits leftover brews, but I wouldn't brew them that cold. The lager strain is the lesser amount in the mix (if I remember correctly) so I never go much below 20 degrees which Coopers often lists as the temp to brew in their recipes. Obviously this only works with ales, but for a simple brew I find this yeast quite good. I've never noticed any lager character in these brews, but they ferment out quickly and nicely. Lawnmower lager recipe is good swilling beer, just add some extra Hallertau hops.
  18. Beervis

    Bottles

    Oh and with the PET's, I use them until they're too filthy to clean or they've got visible damage. Or if it's an older brew and it's gone flat, I chuck those as well
  19. Beervis

    Bottles

    Asahi's are my faves only issue is I have to drink what's in them before I can use them for my brews Squires work good, stone and wood, anything with a pop top. I'm not brewing highly carbed beers though. Tried that a couple times with the PET's and although it worked, they were way overcarbed and ruined the flavour. PET's are fine but from much experimentation, 3/4's of the beers were no good after about 6-8 months. Flat, DOA, some of them were overcarbed. I would only recommend using PET's for simple beers you are gonna swill as soon as they hit 4 weeks in the bottle. One thing I'm finding with stubbies is they tend to distort the flavour if you drink them out of the glass? Some brews I've done have been hard work, until I poured them and then bang, great. I wonder if they need to 'air' like red wine.
  20. Beervis

    New Recipe Section

    Legendary effort, will definitely help with my cupboard and freezer full of random ingredients from long forgotten ROTM's. Have had to go back to kit brewing cos of shift work and low motivation so this will be really helpful.
  21. Beervis

    Tap Seal

    Wouldn't filing it down just make it pop out more often? I don't think I'd want to try that either. I've got two, one won't go in to the tap at all, period, and the other one falls out probably 3 times if I'm bottling a 23 litre brew. I've been thinking of super gluing it into one of the tap fittings, but I'm not sure I could get the whole contraption into the spare fridge like that. Generally I think Cooper's gear is great, but this one step is by far the most frustrating aspect of the brewing process. When this batch of gear dies, I'm considering switching to a different FV just to avoid the %^&^^%ing bottle wand!
  22. Beervis

    Ten Days on the Bintang

    10 days on the Bintang you poor bastard was my first thought. Still at Bali prices I'd be up for that. When I was in Thailand a couple years back I didn't see Beerlao Dark or any of those others... wish I had! Got used to the Singha tinnies pretty quick though, I thought they were the pick of the cheapo 7/11 beers. At those prices I was in pisswater heaven ? I'm not sure I'd call Oz the lucky country, in terms of beer anyway. That's NZ or the USA. Pulling the campervan into a drive-through drug store near Death Valley and walking out with a carton of Sierra Nevada for $15, it was traumatic walking into the local BWS on my return. That's a lot of my motivation for homebrew at the moment, I can't afford to drink the kind of beer I like in Australia, it's just unjustifiably expensive. Got bills to pay!
  23. Beervis

    Caribbean porter

    I'm using a mixed bag of bottles at the moment, some stubbies I bought online from a HBS, worked out quite cheap but they aren't as thick as the Asahis. Trying to get my hands on as many of those as possible but to do that i have to drink them... meh. Starting to accumulate more Coopers longnecks and whatever I can scrounge out of the complex recycling bins. Someone here drinks a lot of Little Creatures. No bottle bombs yet touch wood but I have been trying to be more particular about taking hydro readings.
  24. Beervis

    Caribbean porter

    I'm switching to all glass for beers like this from now on, probably keep the PET's for the wheat beers and K+K lager-ish brews that are designed for quaffing after a couple weeks. I know what Coopers say about the PETs being good for 18 months post bottling, but that hasn't been my experience, and maybe it's psychological but damn the glass bottles in the fridge look like real beer, rather than the brown coke bottles. They look like nasty hooch I brewed in a big plastic tub in the garage. Technically true but I don't need to be reminded ? I'm also suspicious about the PETs possibly losing carbonation slowly, but sooner than they are supposed to. To me, the 750mls primed @ 2 carb drops felt like low carbonation, and I'm not normally a fan of traditionally highly carbed beers. I don't drink a lot of commercial lagers, pilsners or wheat beers. Paul
  25. Beervis

    Caribbean porter

    Caribbean Porter is now my oldest beer that I've still got stock of, over 8 months I think? Still got about 12 tallies left. Damn fine beer, I'm still really enjoying it. I've had 2 dud bottles - as in, they were flat when I re-organised my brew cupboard last, which I'm putting down to the perils of PET. My only criticism would be that it doesn't retain the head for long, which someone mentioned.. and possibly slightly undercarbed for me @ 2 carb drops per tallie. I know that's supposed to be high for the style, I just find my K+K beers taste more like commercial beer when there's a higher and consistent level of carbonation.
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