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Beervis

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Everything posted by Beervis

  1. Hey hey, I got the craft fermenter recently after returning to brewing, so I'm using it as well as the 23L. So far I've only tried two, and I've got the ROTM on the way. Brewed the Amber that came with the kit, must say my attention to detail was shabby as and I cut a few corners. Finished product is drinkable but I didn't love it. Bit homebrewey but I don't know if that's me, an old can, etc etc. Second go was the Diablo IPA, and I added 500gms LDM to give it a bit more of a kick. I must say, it's delicious and one of my best brewing attempts! I nearly fell off the couch when I tasted it and that was only after a week. I don't think it even needs dry hopping although I'm sure it wouldn't hurt. Just amazing. Overall I'm not sure what to say about George. I'm gonna keep running the ROTM's for something to do, and that IPA, and I love how easy it is with everything being small . I just don't know how economical it is, and seriously, I thought a carton was a fair bit but I get a sad face going when I see how quickly I'm getting through them :P If I had a big enough fridge to run George and a 23L at the same time I'd be less annoyed about this - maybe I need another bar fridge.
  2. Thanks for the tips- it never occurred to me to attach the sensor to the side of the brew but when you think about it, that's so obvious. I might just blu-tack it on, less fuss than tape and it will give it a sorta layer of insulation. Not perfect but it'll do til I get something better. I think most of the cleaners, as opposed to sanitisers, that brew stores sell are a bit of a rort. Sure it takes the fuss out of knowing whether something's suitable but really... $6.50 for couple hundred grams of sodium carbonate... I used napisan to clean my bottles before the last time I took a break from brewing, and I never had any issues. Lasts forever, just need to rinse them well. Even dishwashing liquid was fine as long as I rinsed well and sanitised afterwards. Guess that's the beauty of the PET bottles, they aren't supposed to last forever anyway, if you get a particularly difficult one, it just goes in the bin ;)
  3. Hi Christina, Thanks for the advice. I've got a couple of bottles of powdered sodium carbonate and some no rinse sanitiser, I think it's a relative of star san but not quite the same thing. I used the bleach initially because I didn't have anything else and one of the fermenters hadn't been used for over a year - but never again! If you're washing thoroughly with some kind of brew wash and using no rinse, probably don't really need to soak anything I would think. I think you really have to be careful about what products you use. One of my other old fermenters still smells like detergenty beer after over a year in my warm garage . Napisan is fine to use as a fermenter cleaner and bottle washer right? Not to soak just to wash? I hear different things, but it's $2.99 a kilo and the brew wash I bought was $6.50 for about 300 grams I think. I've got an analogue temp controller I bought off a brew supplies site, and yes I have just been dangling the temp sensor in the fridge. Would something like a sock do in place of packing foam? Don't have any at the moment. Or could I just tape it to the lid? I haven't had any issues with the controller on any of my other recent brews, just with this one I couldn't see any visible signs of fermentation so I turned it up and down a few times. Cheers, Beervis
  4. Thanks for that Lusty, think you've confirmed some of my hunches. After I'd put the brew on I'd noticed in a few threads and reviews that the dark ale kit has a reputation for being quite bitter. I had a box of LDM, kicking myself for not throwing that in too. Anyhow like you suggest, the plan is to leave it in for another week and see how it shapes up. The temp may have strayed up as far as maybe 23/24 at its height, so I guess that's warm enough to generate some off flavours. It's hard to know what to do with the temp control sometimes, cos you need it to be warm enough to get going but since the yeast creates a bit of its own warmth... I tend to leave it at 18 on the controller and the wort hovers a couple degrees higher than that. On a side note, I'm chucking out the fermenter after this batch, I left it soaking in bleach for way too long (2 & 1/2 days) and the bleach stripped a bit of the inside layer of plastic off giving the fermenter (and all the other stuff I had in there) a slightly rough surface feel. It wouldn't have caused any issues I don't think tho because I washed it in hot water to within an inch of its life and sanitised the crap out of it. But yeah, anyone who's reading this, if you're using bleach dilute a lot or only soak for a short time. I'll see how it is after another week, but if it's just bitter that's fine, it's a cheap brew, no reason I can't water it down or make a shandy out of it thanks for the advice, this forum is so helpful!
  5. Hey team, I've had a similar issue and thought I'd pop it in this thread so noobs like me can find it later for reference. I have got back into brewing recently and have been doing a bunch of 'test' beers to get some basics down. I put down a cooper's dark ale, with BE3, used two packets of kit yeast - 1 from the dark ale and one from a Brew A IPA I had lying around, filled to 21 litres and temp controlled around 20 (my fridge is a bit old and clapped out so I find that even with the STC it isn't always 100% bang on) It seemed like not a lot was happening in there for days, despite the extra yeast, although when I checked it with the hydrometer the gravity had dropped from 1035 to 1007 in like 2 days. Maybe 3. It's been almost a week now, I taste tested it again last night, and while the initial flavours are good, it has a sharp, almost chemical bitterness that lingers. I'd go so far as to say it was practically toxic. Swear I've tasted that in food before but I can't remember where. I used half spring water from woolies and half Brisbane tap water. Any ideas? My theories are: Not enough water in the fermenter (I was trying to give it more flavour), too much or wrong sort of yeast, some kind of infection, using too much no rinse san, might've dissolved the BE3 in water that was too hot? This was a test run so I'm happy to tip it out, the scientist in me is obsessed with knowing what happened though. So any ideas, shoot!
  6. Thanks Lusty, I've found that I'm learning new things with every brew. I always thought the temperature might be more important than I was giving it credit for. Anyhow I've stuck with this tallie just to avoid tipping it out and apart from the lack of carbonation it does have a flavour that grows on you. I guess Cooper's Pale Ale doesn't have the pronounced hoppyness that is characteristic of more recent (recipe) craft Pale Ale's that are all the rage these days, so with that in mind I feel like the carbonation is the main culprit with this brew. The brew enhancer 2 is an improvement though, I'm enjoying the lingering malt flavours missing from the lager I brewed. I'm looking forward to experimenting again with a more controlled temp.
  7. Thanks for that guys, I'm using PET bottles so I guess it's possible that the lids weren't tight enough/and or they're too old - but only got a few brews out of them so far so I doubt that's the problem. They've been stored around 22 degrees (colder at night) in a dark spot for 10 days. Early on I know, but I normally test one after about that long out of curiosity. I don't have the gear at the moment to keep the temps as low (and as consistent) as you suggest Lusty, but after I move house in the next few months I'm thinking of investing in an old bar fridge, or some fancy pants stainless steel kit with a temperature modulating thingo I saw on cleverbrewing.com.au. Lusty, would you say that an ester presence is something along the lines of 'that homebrew taste' that gets mentioned so often? I do find with most of my brews, even though I quite like them, there's always some niggling background flavours that I put down to my she'll be right brewing techniques. I'm wondering if those fusal alcohol esters are the culprit. Anyhow when you're getting beer for 90 cents a tallie it's kinda hard to complain. Maybe I can corner the market in 'quite alcoholic malt flavoured water' B
  8. Hey Brewers, Just taste testing my first attempt at the coopers pale ale kit - can I get some impressions, what you guys would rate it? I'm working my way through the different kits trying to find some staples. So far I've had great results with the sparkling and the lager and mixed with the IPA... But this pale ale is just bad. It fermented out fine, sanitising was fine, but didn't taste that great when I did the hydrometer readings and I've ended up with a bland, flat brew. I'm testing it early, as in, it needs a couple more weeks conditioning, but I've done this with all my other brews and they've been fine. Only thing I can think I might've done wrong was to leave it in the fermenter at a highish (Brisbane :P) ambient temp for too long - but to be honest I'm not sure it's infected. Any reason 2 carbonation drops per tallie would be giving me a flat beer? I used the kit + kit yeast + brew enhancer 2, 2 weeks at around 22/24 degrees. beervis
  9. Thanks for the resources Lusty, I found that beginners guide really useful. some good basic no nonsense tips in there. Thanks for the advice about leaving the brew to sit for an extra week, wish I had've done that with the IPA. Anyhow for some reason I'd got the impression that bottling had to happen more or less immediately after 7 days or 2 consecutive same FG readings, or it would go off or something... I'll have to hassle Coopers about an IPA too! If I had to guess I'd say it might be close to the Vale IPA which is a bit heavier body and malty flavours, rather than a clearer more fruity IPA like Green Beacon. If you get a chance, check out Tuatara's 'Double Trouble APA' more hops than you can poke a stick at. Cheers for your help + good luck with the brewing! Beervis
  10. Hi Lusty, Working on that Lawnmower Lager as we speak, so had a chance to take a reading on the IPA again as well - after couple weeks in the bottle it's sitting at 1.022, which is probably high enough to be responsible for the sweetness as you suggest. Although the hydrometer seemed to move around a bit, I ended up leaving it sit in the tube for an hour and looked at it a few times, that 1.022 was the most consistent. A couple of times it seemed to move down then back up (the hydrometer inside the tube I mean) . I wonder how accurate those things are. I'm really surprised it didn't ferment out, it wasn't cold, and I left it for the full 7 days, looked to all the world like nothing was happening in the tub, and most of my brews seem to finish fermenting after 4 or 5 days at this time of the year. My friend who gave me the kit suggested he didn't think it was worth leaving the brew to sit for an extra week like some people suggest, since in his experience the FG never comes down after 2 consecutive consistent readings. Some of the Cooper's recipes suggest bolder ales don't ferment out as low, which is also what the Coopers guy told me on the phone. I've had a bit of taste variation between bottles too which I put down to old PET bottles that probably weren't sanitised enough. Confusing. I'm thinking that aside from the high FG, it could just be partly explained by the recipe, As far as I know Coopers don't produce a commercial IPA that I could compare it to, but I'm guessing if they did, it would taste like a hoppier Sparkling, and that's sorta what mine taste like, apart from the honey-ish finish. I'm keen to try it again to get it right, so many suggestions on here of what to do, stir the brew to reactivate yeast, use two packets, etc etc. Beerviss
  11. Thanks Lusty I'll check those resources out. Think I have actually been reading the hydrometer wrong - didn't realise I needed to de-gas the sample first - Coopers guy gave me some tips on that. I've played around with it a bit and the FG for a batch of Sparkling I've just finished using the same ingredients below and the packet yeast came out at 1.010 over 2 days and tastes quite good. That IPA should improve with age I reckon so I might just store those for a couple months and work on something else in the meantime. Terms of taste stuff, I'm looking to brew something a bit milder and more sessionable. Those heavy home brew beers have a real kick to them. Three of those IPA tallies and I felt like I'd been kicked in the head! Wondering if anyone has any tips - Lager? Pale ale? I've got a lager kit that came with the 2nd brew kit I bought so I'm gonna try that and see how it turns out. Beervis
  12. Thanks Lusty, You're probably right, I've had trouble with the FG on most of the more 'interesting' beers I've brewed, the only brews that seem to come out at the right FG are the really basic lager type beers. The IPA brew came out at 1.2 over 3 days consistently, which is about what I've got from the last 2 batches of Sparkling I've made as well. I'm not hugely fussy with the temperature control but being in Brisbane I find it rarely gets cold enough to worry the brew. It's worrying getting readings that high all the time though. The guy at Coopers thought I was reading the hydrometer wrong I reckon it might have something to do with the kit yeast, the best brews I've made I've used the kit yeast plus a packet of ale yeast from the local brew shop. Don't think Coopers sells them. So next attempt I'll throw in extra yeast see if I can get that FG down a bit. Beeervis
  13. Hi guys, I'm pretty new to the homebrew world, but have made a bunch of nice kit beers over the last year with minimal effort (seriously, cut lots of corners and haven't had many problems) and some tutelage from a friend: Had a question about this IPA kit, I haven't got up to the 'adding hops' level of enthusiasm yet, but I did the brew with a 1kg brew enhancer (50% malt, 25% corn , 25% dextrose) , FG was a bit high which I can fix by adding extra yeast next time. Without going to the adding hops level, any tips on this brew? I found the final product rich,tasty, good head retention, nice bitterness, but it has this honey flavour I just can't stand. Honey on the way in, bitterness lingers after. I thought it might be from using too much malt, although the kit suggests using more than what I did. If I ran the brew again with straight dextrose and no malt, would I achieve a sharper taste or would it just taste weaker/flatter? Also, any advice on how Coopers malt compares with others out there? They say to use coopers own malt (of course) but I'm skeptical that there'd be any noticeable difference. Anyhow I'm ok with sweet flavours if it's citrus, but honey, no way cheers
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