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Everything posted by Beervis

  1. wow, I missed this thread earlier in the year but thanks everyone for an interesting discussion and for sharing personal stories - by far the best of anything I've read about the SSM campaign. And on a home brew forum at that! I'm not personally all that bothered about marriage even though I'm gay and in a long term relationship... but I'm glad to see a positive endorsement for basic equality! IMO, be as religious as you like, but as soon as that interferes with equality before the law or my right to quiet enjoyment of our shared social space, then those beliefs have to take a back seat. It's been a pleasure to read a discussion where people have engaged with each other respectfully to share ideas, and allowed themselves to be open to new and different possibilities. So much better than the atmosphere we get around public debate these days when someone makes an offhand comment or an innocent mistake and gets run out of town by Twitter mobs bearing flaming torches! Coopers made a bit of an error of judgement with this I think, but they engaged with the debate around it and tried to respond in a way they thought was appropriate. I don't hold it against them, I don't want to live in a world where it's not OK to make mistakes and it won't stop me enjoying their products. I'm just glad they didn't double down and really look like fools.
  2. I sometimes wonder if all those hops as a dry hop is worth the money. All of the times I've dry hopped there's been a couple of bottles early on that were a flavour bonanza, and then the rest just taste normal. I've decided to just start throwing them in at flameout so there's less mess and fuss later. If you're making an English IPA you could use the IPA kit as a base and save a bit of hops there too, as it's already pretty bitter and tastes a lot like a classic UK IPA.
  3. Whoops forgot one. White Shield UK IPA, bought a longneck of that. Apparently UK's oldest and most award winning IPA. Tasted exactly like the Coopers kit with no additions. Good on ya Coopers! I can make a heavily decorated concoction at home with a tin opener and a big plastic tub.
  4. I walked into my local Liquorbland, expecting to be disappointed if not enraged, like usual Ended up walking out with a 6 pack of Yeastie Boys Bigmouth Session IPA and was pleasantly surprised. It was $23 or so but that's not much more than they charge for Becks , and it was a decent drop. Hoppy and easy to drink but still up around the standard Aussie full strength % so you don't feel ripped off. Had a Byron Bay cloudy pale lager the other day too, that's another very nice drink. But mostly, like everyone else, I don't go in there cos I feel offended at being asked to pay $$$ for what I can make at home for cheap. Had a cocktail last night, very average, and for 2 of those I could've made 3 cartons....
  5. It is a pretty boring crap recipe, I agree. Still, that was one of the better ones I did without temp control. Think of it as the Nescafe of beer, I just chucked piles of ice in that one on the hot Qld days in summer and it was fine. Like your very own home made Chang
  6. Did you use the kit yeast as well? Some of those recipes tell you to use the specialty yeast + kit. That recipe has 1 x 1.7kg Thomas Coopers Preacher’s Hefe Wheat 2 x 500g Coopers Light Dry Malt 1 x 250g Crystal Malt Grains 1 x 100g Caramel Pilsner Grains + 0.5kgs dex, Maybe it's just not enough yeast to ferment everything out properly. I don't know if those grains are fermentable or just for flavour. I'd probably just wait another week and if nothing is happening, throw in the kit yeast as well.
  7. Dark ale with ginger sounds really good now that I think about it! Could be a good Xmas beer. Could even chuck in some vanilla or something. Good to know about the non-alcoholic ginger beer, I've been meaning to give it a try. You use the craft fermenter right? But the can would be for a 23L one?
  8. I think the idea of beer with Ginger in it rather than a ginger beer is a good one. Most of the commercial alcoholic ginger beers I've tasted have this nasty sort of vodka-ish alcohol taste that ruins the flavour of the ginger.
  9. Those Brigalow cans use artificial sweetener if I remember correctly, so my guess is they'd be pretty sweet no matter what you did. Personally I wouldn't water it down too much, maybe a bit but I think 4 litres might run the risk of it being flavourless. What about grating a bunch of fresh ginger and throwing that in the FV? or another idea I had was to make a shandy, mix it with a bitter beer that won't add much flavour, maybe one of the German lagers or something. Or you could try buying some Jalapenos and popping one of those in each bottle to give it a kick since it's an experiment may as well go nuts right?
  10. I had the same issue the other day - wondering why there was liquid in the bottom of my brew fridge, thought it must've been condensation or something until I noticed a leak from the FV I was soaking. It's the snap lock Coopers ones - had the same thing with red rubber flaking off. I think it's from a too-long soak in bleach a few months back. I really like the elegant simplicity of the Coopers set-ups, compared to starter kits in the US that are all carboys and siphoning tubes it's so much easier. I think the tap is a draw back though really, a standard screw in fitting would be better I think. I guess you can have too much of a good thing!
  11. I'm thinking of trying the same thing - John you use the craft fermenter for small batch extract/partial mash type brews right? I reckon it probably wouldn't be too much of an issue to just dilute some of the craft ROTM's and kits and bits brews to 11 litres - squeeze a few extra bottles out of it and make them a bit more sessionable. Most of the craft recipes aren't exactly school night beers I wonder if the jump from 8.5 litres to 11 would be too much extra water to keep a similar flavour profile.
  12. Personally I never go less than 2 carb drops per tallie, even for dark beers. Don't know if it's that I've grown up with fizzy lagers, or the plastic bottles, or my conditioning cupboard or what, but pretty much all of the kits and bits beers I brew seem on the low side carbonation wise. 1 carb drop, it'd be like drinking tea!
  13. I always hated megaswill - although I swear its got worse over the last 17 years. I remember drinking Carlton Cold and TED and managing ok with that. The only beer I've ever had that could go head to head with an Aussie megaswill in the 'this is disgusting' stakes was Pabst, but for $3 a pint at least I got what I paid for. I agree with you Kelsey, German/Dutch megaswill tops Aussie megaswill anyday. My go to at the moment is Bitburger, even after drinking decent beer for weeks, it still tastes ok when I need it. Anyone remember Amsterdam? That was shit but it was just acceptable enough and so damn cheap! Since I've been brewing my own I don't care as much, but I feel like we need legislative change here urgently, the craft beer industry has so much potential and its just being sat on by government policy. They should be encouraging a world class beer industry instead of punishing our international visitors with ludicrous prices and awful product. I'm embarrassed by it, it's just shameful. It's like they want me to move back to NZ
  14. If it's turned off it doesn't have beer in it! Actually mine's like that at the moment too. Too busy with work and life
  15. I think that will turn out really nice. I've made a few brews with the APA + 1kg LDM and then a bunch of hops, and to me (depending on what hops you use) they turn out reminiscent of some of the session IPA's I've had in NZ and USA. The APA is a good base, to my tastes at least I couldn't see any point in going lighter than that. It's a bit on the lolly water side as it is.
  16. Friday night I was relying on the kindness of family for a few brews, and what was available was Great Northern Lager. I was truly blown away by this beer. I mean I was flabbergasted that a commercial setup could produce a beer so uniquely shithouse. Everything about it was terrible but I drank em all anyway . Seriously a can of OS Lager and BE1 would've been a lot nicer. Makes you wonder. Made up for it by having a supplementary Friday last night, Mangrove Jacks Grapefruit IPA - lovely brew for a kit beer, the grapefruit cordial notes won't be to everyone's taste but I felt like the malt and dry hops were strong enough that after a couple it all felt right. Also had a couple of the Challenger Brown IPA (craft ROTM), really nice drop.
  17. 99.9% flavour free, just how we like it in Oz
  18. Don't bin it, I think it'll be fine. And yes still put it in the fridge if you can get hold of one. 24 is a bit high but it's not terminal. I used to brew without a fridge in Queensland in summer - under the house, and some of those still turned out OK so you should be right I reckon.
  19. I've never used it either, I've had a few crazy krausens but nothing that attempted escape. I think temp control has something to do with that, I mostly brew Coopers recipes and they generally lower the ferment temp if it looks like a volcano might happen. I'd probably use it if I could fit the whole fermenter in the dishwasher, then it'd be a super easy cleanup.
  20. I really like my craft kit, just so easy to use, easy to clean and perfect for small flats/apartments, all round I much prefer it to the larger fermenter. Only issue is, and it's important I think for anyone considering purchasing one of these, is that it's not as good value for money overall, you can easily spend around the same price as a recipe for the larger kit but end up with a 1/3rd of the product. Also, when you do brew a really tasty recipe, the fact that you're only getting 1 carton out of it can be disappointing cos it just gets drunk so quickly! That is becoming a big turnoff for me using the small FV. Another issue I'm having with it is when I brew a ROTM I really like, I'm not sure how to scale up the ingredients to get a similar effect from a larger batch. That's something I'm sure I can fix with trial and error but it's not immediately obvious to a novice brewer. Some advice with the craft FV as well is definitely invest in hops, at least some finishing hops, but a short boil even better, and spec grains if you can. I find the straight kits for the craft FV a bit unbalanced, the higher alcohol doesn't seem to sit with the flavours that nicely without additions. The Bewitched Amber for example I thought was a pretty rough nasty brew by itself, especially compared to a straight kit for the larger FV, but when combined with a cascade boil addition it was delicious.
  21. Some really helpful hints and tips here, thanks everyone. I've found my beers a little on the low-carbonated side, but I always assumed that was just to do with style, and subjective - like I don't think I've ever had a stout that was carbonated to the level of say an Extra Dry on tap. A friend suggested using an extra carb drop for styles that call for higher carbonation, like the fizzy sweet pale ales my partner likes. I haven't bothered graduating to bulk priming, I like the drops and I'm not bothered about the money. I just figure it's another step that allows for potential infection. Wondering now if it this carb issue might have something to do with the temp, even in a warm sub-tropical climate, the concrete slab in my Harry Potter cupboard under the stairs probably gets down too low. Might invest in one of those thermometers. Can't remember if it was this thread or the other one, but I never get a crazy krausen with US-05 either. Those brews, there's been a few, I was seriously wondering about stalled ferments until I realised they were all the brews that used US-05. I used two packets on one and ended up with a never-ending thick blanket of foam over the top, bottled it like that anyway after 3 weeks so hopefully I haven't ruined it. Warm beer - I drink Coopers Extra Stout at room temp and it's even more delicious than usual. Brings out all the different flavours that the cold tends to mute. Which of course is essential in Australia because 90% of what we serve on tap here is so god awful if anyone could actually taste it we'd be in big trouble! I'm looking at you Extra Dry
  22. I'd recommend that. It's a good option that's also low effort. Soak plus rinse = done. When I first started brewing I was washing and cleaning each one, rinsing then sanitising and it was a total ordeal. Soaking = no work except waiting!
  23. I used to work at Officeworks so trust me you don't want to be doing really professional looking labels except for a novelty - one pack of the necessary labels will cost more than your last batch of beer! I've been struggling to find an efficient way to differentiate the brews, I've gone with a Chinagraph pencil but it really isn't ideal. Thought about liquid chalk pens, fun colours available in those But the masking tape/sharpie combo sounds best. Also with the sticky labels - what happens when you need to wash your bottles? That was what put the nail in the coffin of that idea for me.
  24. I don't bother sanitising my bottles anymore, it's a lot of effort and I probably only get 1 dodgy bottle out of every 50 or 60. Seriously! I do soak them for a few hours in cleaner first then rinse. I don't clean the new bottles or rinse them or anything and I haven't had any trouble with that either. Beauty of the pet's is they're disposable so they just go in the trash if they're giving me too much trouble. Thoroughly rinsing them out after you're done drinking them has made the biggest improvement for me. Can't let that sediment dry out or it's much more difficult to clean. My LHBS sell alkaline salts as the cleaner, but I haven't been able to see any reason that it would be better than sod perc or any of the other products out there. Curious if anyone else might know anything about it? the alk salts aren't the most cost effective product for sure, but they seem to do a really good job soaking the bottles. It makes good sense to do some research about this, to cut on costs. An example: Mangrove Jacks's cleaner (not steriliser) is just sod carb in a tiny bottle for big $$. Could get triple the quantity for less at Coles.
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