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  1. Phil_McGlass

    Mangrove Jack's craft series kits

    With regard to MJ yeast, as it has been raised! I have had good experiences. The M36 Liberty Bell is good, have used it a few times. The M44 West Coast made an excellent Black IPA for a friend. I got a very nice beer from M20 Bavarian wheat, which had orange peel and coriander and US hops, and another mate made a really nice 'pilsner' with the M54 cali lager. I also did a saison with M29 French Saison that was pretty good, though you can't match the liquid saison yeasts in my experience. I'm currently fermenting a lager with M76 Bavarian lager. These days I use a mixture of yeasts that I culture from commercial beers and other people's home brews, and dried yeasts, which are increasingly from the MJ range. I like Danstar Notty for some beers, but I reckon M42 is probably the same thing.
  2. Phil_McGlass

    Mangrove Jack's craft series kits

    I've done the Red IPA and the NZ Pale. Both went down very well. I did do grain mashes with them rather than adding extract though, and I added some extra hops too. A mate did the Berliner weisse and it was very good. I intend to get one of those and do it with raspberries, which i have in the freezer waiting. Very easy sour beer, and very nice.
  3. Phil_McGlass

    Grains in Extract beer

    A marketing person from Mangrove Jack told me one of their yeasts is re-packaged Nottingham. Has to be M42, surely?
  4. Phil_McGlass

    Grains in Extract beer

    300g of Crystal isnt crazy, the beer should not be overly sweet. There are other possible causes, especially whether the yeast has stalled or not finished fermenting. Which would leave unfermented sugars in the beer. Did you measure the gravity?
  5. Phil_McGlass

    Aurora Hops?

    Aurora were bred from Northern Brewer, as were Bobek, another Styrian hop. They got quite popular here in England a few years back, but have become pretty scarce now. I think thats mainly down to the huge range of hops we now have, and the constant search for new things. They do go well in pale and golden ales, Deuchars IPA has used them, maybe still does. I agree with the suggestion to use them in a mix. They are different from Cascade but maybe work in a similar way. I would say they are a bit Perle-like. Aurora and Cascade could go well together. Useful info here: https://learn.kegerator.com/aurora-hops/ And: https://www.hopsteiner.com/variety-data-sheets/Aurora/
  6. Phil_McGlass

    Max percentage of crystal malts for ales.

    I'm not sure where you are getting these recipes from either. Most IPAs are low on crystal malts, 2 to 5% or so. Otherwise you don't get the dryness that you mention. SNPA is about 10%, and there are beers with more than 10%, but 20% is not common at all, from what I've seen of searching recipes over the last ten years.
  7. Phil_McGlass

    Yeast starter vs yeast cake

    Seems to be about acetaldehyde. "To me, the yeast cake beer was dominated by a green apple character reminiscent of acetaldehyde, pushing any malt and hop flavor to the background." I'm guessing that's being released by spent yeast in the yeast cake?
  8. Phil_McGlass

    MJ California Lager M54 Yeast

    Ive used M54 twice. It made pretty good beers, certainly not foul.
  9. Phil_McGlass

    Yeast starter vs yeast cake

    Ha ha, me too! On the other hand, if a starter really is better, then we have an opportunity to make better beer! ?
  10. Phil_McGlass

    Yeast starter vs yeast cake

    Not a lot in it though. "5 tasters reported preferring the yeast cake beer, 7 liked the yeast starter beer more, 1 person had no preference despite noticing a difference, and 3 reported perceiving no difference."
  11. Phil_McGlass

    IPA Recipe

    Why not branch out and do a recipe with plain extract, some grains and hops? Simple, and you can construct your own beer. Buy a tin of Coopers pale liquid extract and 1.5kg of DME, and some crystal malt, which you will steep in 2-3 litres hot water for about 30 minutes. In the biggest pan you have. Then boil the water (top up to at least 6 litres or so) with hops and a bit of the extract, to create the bitterness. Add it to the FV with the rest of the extract, and water, and add lots of dry hops later for the IPA aroma. For example, at a very simple but effective level... For 21 Litres 1054 5.5% 40-50 IBUs Coopers Pale malt can + 1.5kg DME 250g Crystal malt 50g Centennial hops boiled for 30 minutes 50g Cascade hops - Dry Hop (Or Citra, Amarillo, Mosaic, Simcoe etc) 50g Centennial Hops - Dry Hop US05 yeast (or 2 packs of Coopers kit yeast is fine, both are good up to 25ish) You can change the hops to suit your tastes. Citra and Amarillo is a great combo, for example. But you may prefer to use English hops, or Aussie, or Kiwi. I often mix English and American. I'm English, after all, I was weaned on English beer. I like First Gold, Challenger, Northdown, Styrian Goldings, Brewer's Gold, Progress and others. I love Galaxy and Vic Secret, and Nelson, Riwaka and Motueka too, mind. For the 30 minute boil find a hop that has an AA% between about 8% and 12% to keep the bitterness about right for the recipe above, or you can adjust the amount of hops or boil for longer. It's not an exact science, the IBU thing. And brewing isn't rocket science. ?
  12. Phil_McGlass

    Dark Ale

    Even if you just buy one of the two hops in Ol Brown Dog, and add the crystal malt, you woukd get a huge improvement, I believe. I always add some hops and some grains if I do a kit. It improves the hop and the malt character of the beer very noticeably.
  13. Phil_McGlass

    Just a question or 2 about yeast....

    The safety zone varies according to the yeast strain. Some yeasts really beed to be kept on wuite a tight range, others have a a much wider range for acceptable results. The latter are obviously better for fermentation without temperature control.
  14. Phil_McGlass

    English bitter specialty grain/extract recipe

    This is a good recipe. (DME = dried malt extract) Don't feel tied to First Gold and Fuggles (which works great mind), most English type hops are pretty interchangeable - EKG, Challenger, Progress, Pilgrim, Northdown, Styrian Golding all work well in a bitter. The yeast will make a big difference. A good liquid yeast like Wyeast 1469 or 1318 will provide nice esters and mouthfeel. Liberty Bell seems like a decent dried yeast alternative from my couple of uses of it. Personally, some of my favourite beers here in England atm are the traditional cask bitters that have had American hop added, often it is Cascade - so maybe add a bit of Cascade or something, as I often do. We get some excellent cask bitters that are 100% Cascade, or Amarillo, for example, but I do like those that blend English and American as well, alongside traditional English malts and yeasts. Best Bitter 19 Litres OG: 1.045 FG: 1.011 ABV: 4.4 % IBU: 36 2kg DME Light 0.130 kg Biscuit malt (3.85%) 0.110 kg Crystal 145 EBC (3.26%) 0.110 kg Crystal 250 Dark (3.26%) 0.028 kg Chocolate (0.83%) 20.0 g First Gold Pellet (7.9% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes 28.0 g First Gold Pellet (7.9% Alpha) @ 15 Minutes 28.0 g Fuggles Pellet (5.7% Alpha) @ 0 Minutes English Ale Yeast
  15. Phil_McGlass

    Mouldy Hops

    I bottled a brew a week ago that i dry hopped with home grown hops harvrsted in September that I was given. A white mouldy crust developed on the hops in the FV. It wasn't there when the hops went in. So my dry hopping fears are back!!! I guess hops are anti bacterial to a point, but there's no 100% guarantee.