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  1. Of course Kelsey, just a different way of doing it.
  2. You're quite right Ben 10. I was just making a generalisation. Have seen kit beers win at shows including one of mine, a Coopers Pale Ale Citra.
  3. A bit strange Highlands. I brew a lot of kit beer, I'm and old fart with not much money. Recently I have been brewing Coopers OS Lager. The kit yeast is n not a lager yeast but it doesn't matter. I always use BE2 with it, and I find I get a beer worth drinking. Far better than the commercial cat's piss that is available. The maltodextrin in BE2, not being fermentable, gives some mouth feel to the beer which I believe is generally missing in the commercial beers. I also like brewing Coopers OS Dark Ale. Again I use BE2 and get a nice drinking beer. Honestly, kit beers are quite good, but they cannot match AG or even BIAB. By adding crystal and similar, along with additional hops, and even a different yeast, you will improve your kit beer. Guess it comes down to what you expect from a kit beer. Cheers Bill
  4. Hear what you say Kelsey, but would differ a little. I'm actually drinking a Coopers OS Lager as I write this, and I'm not about to tip it down the sink. As a moneyless pensioner, I don't always have a lot of choice. But I do use BE2 in it along with the yeast on the tin. IMHO, it certainly tastes better than megaswill, I'm a bit biased of course. But it does have a slightly better mouth feel than mega. In fact I had some XXXX heavy at a mates place today around lunch time and whilst it is better than the mid strength products, it is still flavoured water at just under 5%. When you then move to the Coopers Lager, the difference is noticeable. But it's all personal tastes. But I must add Rick, I wouldn't be bothered trying to reduce the strength of it. If you do it again, make it full strength and think about a box of BE2 to go with it and just use the yeast provided. I know it's not a real lager yeast, but it does the job pretty well. Cheers Bill
  5. Like Worthog I use PET bottles. Lost count of the number of times I have used them. Have about 120, so they get rotated fairly well. Cleaning anything is a pain in the butt, but it has to be done. Normally I just cold rinse and agitate as I empty them. This seems to fit the bill okay. But like everyone else's, they start to cloud up after a while. Haven't noticed any effect on my beer though. But when I notice that a few are getting this way, I commandeer the bath and soak about 60 overnight in Aldi's Napisan stuff, the purple one. So 12 - 24 hrs in the percarbonate, and they come out sparkling. I have never used bleach. And I never use hot, or even warm, water on my PET bottles. Has a tendency to weaken them, and being a stingy old sod, I don't like buying new ones if I can help. One thing that I do though is regularly inspect my bottles, generally after I have rinsed, and then before I bottle. Not the usual haze I'm looking for, but any other extraneous matter that can sometimes find it way into your bottles. Had the very occasional gusher, more so in very hot weather, but I've never had to tip a beer. Cheers Bill
  6. Interesting topic. We all experience strange results from our brewing. I am no expert in home brewing, but one thing I remember is that if my OG is 1.050, then I need to double up my yeast. Christina and Otto have both suggested that you are under pitching. With a straight kit recipe, there should never be any reason to up your yeast. But as you seem to add specialty grains etc, you should be checking your OG. As I said, I am no expert, but I do read up on the subject, and this is one thing I read, and I apply this rule. I use the kit yeast and then throw in some S-04 or some US-05. It seems to work for me. I'm not really up on hop flavours. Being a pensioner, I can't afford to experiment as much as I would like. But, as Christina mentioned, Citra hops are beautiful. I won a local show using Citra in a Pale Ale. So mate, keep at it, keep experimenting. You will come up with a brew that will blow your mind. All you have to do then is remember what ingredients went into the brew Cheers Bill
  7. G'day Potatoes Not an uncommon problem. I get the same thing all the time although maybe lesser than you. I rinse, only in cold water because I use PET bottles, and they usually come out quite clean. But after several uses the residue you mention starts to build up. What you are doing with the sodium percarbonate is spot on. I do the same thing. I just fill the bathtub with water and SP and soak overnight. I'll do as many as 30 bottles at a time. They come sparkling. Don't know if it's your water, although coming from Victoria a long time ago, Melbourne always had an excellent water supply. I only have tank water, no options, and don't have any great problem. Maybe other members have other suggestions but using SP as required will solve your problem. Cheers Bill
  8. G'day AZ If you are brewing to 23 litres, then as Ben & Otto said, you need 30 bottles. That is two boxes of Coopers PET bottles. And Otto is also correct in saying that you need an extra 30 so you can get your next brew going. I've got a number of fermenters and often have two brews going at a time, so I need 60 for that. But then I need another 60 so I get the next brews going. I've currently got 8 boxes of PET bottles, so like 120 bottles. That covers me if I start making ciders or something different that I want to put away for a while to age. So it's really up to you as to how involved you get. But a minimum of 30 for your brew, preferably 60 so you can keep brewing. Have fun Cheers Bill
  9. Just by the way. Apples have carb content of 14%, whilst Mango is 15%. I don't understand the chemistry here, not my field, but those figures suggest there is little difference in the two when it come to sweetness. But when you compare the taste, Mangos are much sweeter tan Apples. In the words of Pauline Hanson, "Please Explain"!
  10. G'day y'all, haven't been around much lately, but been busy trying to make a dollar. Anyway, the subject of making cider as a homebrew has been discussed many times on the forum. That includes submissions from myself. The major problem as I understood it was that our homemade cider was too bitter. Very understanding as the yeast will eat up all the lovely sugares in your apple juice. My attempts were with apple juice bought from my local Aldi. I like a dry cider, but even I have to admit, this cider was a bit over the top. I remember reading about a Mango Wine on the forum, and still have the recipe somewhere. Well was in Aldi, as usual, and saw some Mango Juice. 2Lt bottles at about $1.89 each. Actually they were 90% Apple Juice and 10% Mango Juice. Well thought I would give this a try. A box of 6 bottles gives me 12 lt. So first up I tipped that 12 lt into the FV and then topped it up to 15 lt. Why 15lt? I think it relates to a recipe I have somewhere. I just used ordinary beer yeast. In fact it was SO4. I used Coopers brewing sugar. Well the result was amazing. Still dry but with that little bit of sweetness. By the way, it was about 7.5% ABV. Made another one and it was the same, so I guess it proves the recipe. Well just did it again, but used a packet of BE2. Also used US05, just what I had in the fridge. Sitting here drinking it now, and I'm amazed. A lot sweeter than previous, but still with that dry finish I look for. The first two bottles I opened were heavy in trub. I have a "bad" habit of draining my FV as much as possible. Guess I'm a tight wad. Well I can report that those bottles with a lot of trub were like drinking a Mango Puree, with a kick. I liked them, but can't guarantee y'all will feel the same. But can say for sure, I will get another box of juice this week and make another batch. Actually took a couple or three bottles down to Brisbane last trip, and my mate, female, loved it. She did comment that she could feel the alcohol in her sinuses. At 7.5%, I don't doubt it. So there you go people, where there is a will, there is a way. And Christina, one for you to think about. Cheers all Bill
  11. Hey Christina Just a little geography lesson needed. Sydney is on the east coast, but where the 47 degrees happened was in Penrith, which is a western suburb. Typically, as you move west from the east coast, it gets a lot warmer, and in winter, a lot cooler but nothing like you blokes are suffering. Where I live in Queensland, next state north, we are sub-tropical. So our capital, Brisbane, is normally around 32-40 in summer. And 40 is hotter than normally expected. But we stay at those temperatures for nearly 6 months of the year. Further south, in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, you get hotter extremes but then you get cool changes more frequently. I live about 300+ km north west of Brisbane, and I'm about 150 km west of the coast. So believe me, we get it hotter than Brisbane. The only thing that might cool us down a bit, is if we get our wet season (monsoon). Reasonable so far, but expecting a lot more. But a lot of that will come as afternoon storms, but then just as hot tomorrow. The big advantage of living out here (on a farm) is that our nights are generally cooler than Brisbane. Brisbane nights will normally sit at 20+ for 3 -4 months, and it is very humid. at least our night temperatures normally drop below 20 and often into the mid teens. Still humid, but a little better. We often joke, that by the end of summer, we have all gone mouldy. Australia is quite a different place. We go from the tropics to temperate. Then when you get into our outback, you can have 30-40 degree days, and freezing nights. But that is typical of desert or semi-arid country. Then the west coast, well it's different again. Beautiful place, can get very hot and at times very wet, especially up north in the tropics. Western Australia, comprises about a third of the whole country. So a very diverse country Christina. Cheers Bill
  12. Just to finish off on this post, I would like to give an update on the brew, a couple of weeks down the track. Since bottling, the brew has matured very well. still dry, but with some sweet overtones. Drinking very well and not mouth puckering. Must add, that when I bottled, being a very mean sort of person, I squeezed every drop out of the FV. Well it looked very cloudy and I didn't think it would be worth much. It totally about a bottle and two thirds. Well they had a very thick sediment in each, but that settled down over a couple of weeks. But after chilling those two bottles, and then having a taste, I was very pleasantly surprised. The sediment was very much like having a fruit smoothie, but with a bit of a kick. Very acceptable taste. So there you are. Bit of a play and experimentation, and I have a very yummy home brewed cider, with no mucking around. Will be buying another carton of Mango Juice this week when we go shopping. Just love it. Cheers Bill
  13. Thanks Christina For the record, it would appear that Mangos do not contain any sorbital. Quite high in fructose and sucrose of course, which is probably why they are so delicious. Still waiting for my mangos to ripen. The are Bowen Mangos which is the most popular natural mango here. Couple more weeks I reckon, and then we will have a feast and make pigs of ourselves. :D Cheers Bill
  14. Hi Y'all Hope Y'all had a great holiday and a great New Year. Ours was very quiet apart from our normal afternoon storms this time of year. I am a lover of Apple Cider, and I mean HARD cider. Have read a lot of posts on the forum about it, but everyone seems to suggest it is hard to get any sweetness into it. They all tend to be rather astringent. What interested me was the suggestion of using Apple Juice from your local supermarket. I can buy Apple Juice, and others, for $1.89 per 2 litres. So thought this was a good proposition. Well tried that, and it wasn't too bad. Quite dry so you had to have a liking for a VERY dry cider. Have brewed it a couple of times, both carbonated and still. Very heady, and very dry. But even for me, it was really just a bit too dry. Well came across a Mango Juice that was blended with Apple. Actually it is 90% Apple and 10% Mango. Anyway, I thought I would give it a try. I hoped that the Mango would give it that little sweet edge that I needed. So bought a box, 6 x 2lt bottles. So with 12 lt of juice I added 600g of brewing sugar, and chucked in a sachet of S04. Gave it 2 weeks in the FV, and bottled it with one level teaspoon of table sugar per 740ml bottle. After a week in the bottle, I couldn't resist trying it out. I was pleasantly surprised. Very drinkable, and whilst still quite dry, just a nice side taste of sweetness. So I'm thinking that the sweetness of the Mango, plus the brewing sugar, has given it a nice sweet edge to a dry cider. Just cracked another bottle tonight, and, IMHO, it tasted just that little better than the first bottle. So will be interesting to see if it keeps improving. So at about 94c per 740 bottle, it is a bloody good view. With everything I've read on making a cider, it was always the bitterness of the result that was a problem. So maybe the sweetness of the Mango , and the dextrose component of the brewing sugar, is the secret. What can I say, I like it.
  15. G'day Don First up, I'm no expert. Done a few posts here, but that doesn't prove anything. I think you need to get hold of some brewing software like Beersmith. Then you can imput what you think you would like to brew and it will tell you such things as ABV, bitterness, and etc. It is a very good tool to use. The other thing I have learned is, if your OR is 1050 or more, you will need to use more yeast. At 1050 I would use a minimum of 2 pkts of dry yeast. Others on the forum will explain that you can make up a liquid yeast base that will give you the required amount of little munchies required. The more fermentables you have, the more yeast you will need to process them. If you have an OG of, say, 1060, one pkt of yeast will give up before the job is done. Just my thoughts Don, but get hold of Beersmith or similar so at least you have a better idea what your recipe might produce.
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