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About DonPolo

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  1. I was just wondering if people consider the ROTM packs you can buy from Coopers to be value for money? Or is it more the opportunity to try different recipes without investing on large amounts of ingredients?
  2. Bought a bottle yesterday and couldn't find any reference to any fragrance on the label.
  3. Occasionally I'd like to give the FV a good sanitising hit. Up until now, I've used a spray bottle of Morgan's Sanitize solution to sanitise it before brewing. However, I've had a couple of batches that might have been a bit compromised, I don't know. I've seen on here that people have recommended 'non-scented' bleach. So far I have been unsuccessful in finding any (I haven't tried that hard yet, only Aldi and Woolworths). The ones I've looked at all seem to have lemon or lavender scent in them. Having not tried the scented version, I would have thought that the lemon scent was the least of the problems, the chlorine smell being the biggest one. Nevertheless if I could buy some un-scented bleach I would do so. Any recommendations? PS I clean the bottles with Aldi Di-San Oxy Sensitive and sanitise by filling and refilling them with Morgan's Sanitize solution before draining and filling with beer.
  4. I have tried different styles of addition with Cascade, Centennial and Galaxy, usually adding all three to the one brew. I was also using 100% LDM as the addition to the Kits in each case. The first hop additions I did were dry hopping after ferment. Then I did a few hop teas just before pitching the yeast. And the last ones I did were some short boils and/or additions at flameout. They all worked for flavour and aroma to differing degrees but of course the dry hopping was more subtle and disappeared after a few months. I think I like the short boils best because they seem to impart a more long lasting flavour. But I didn't notice any improved head retention. The beers were carbonated but the heads all disappeared very quickly like the head from pouring a coke. In addition, I would say that they all lost their carbonation fairly quickly in the glass even though mine don't spend too much time in the glass! In each case I only used about 10g of each hop (30g in total) because I was brewing in a craft fermenter, generally to 11L. I would say that the addition of 100% LDM did nothing for the head retention in any of my brews. I got much better results from adding BE2 or BE3 perhaps because of he maltodextrin in them. I think I read somewhere that the effect of the wheat malt on head retention was largely due to extracting maltodextrin or a compound similar to it. I have no idea if this is correct, it is just something that I picked up on a website.
  5. Fair enough but having the thought about all the extra bottles, cans of Coopers and all the rest, when I saw it in Big W, I just thought "damn I'm here now and it's here, so I might as well buy it" In any case, the day before I did check the Coopers website but I didn't see anything similar. I only looked at the Brew Kits section and of course the fermenting vessel is hiding in the Accessories section ... who knew?. So now I have an extra hydrometer and an extra bottling valve and no krausen collar. The valve looks like it would survive an nuclear attack so I'm not sure I'll be using it. However, my original hydrometer has always been about 5 points low so maybe the other one will allow me to stop doing mental arithmetic. Krausen Collar? I've so far never had need for one, even filling my 15L craft fermenter up to 11L. I thought I might have trouble because generally the recipes for the 15L FV are around 8.5L. So now I'm convinced I don't need one, you know what's going to happen next..... One question for the experienced operators here: Can I assume that if necessary, there's nothing wrong with doing a small brew in a large vessel? I'm always interested in the comments from people who have an airlock. Coopers don't seem to think they are necessary. But if I had a brew of say 12L in a FV which holds 34L, would that be a problem?
  6. I just bought a Coopers Brew Box at Big W for $69. https://www.bigw.com.au/product/coopers-diy-beer-brew-box/p/822127/ Its funny because I was considering buying another FV but didn't want all the extra bottles etc that the product comes with. This product only has: 1 x 34L Fermenting vessel and lid (makes 23L of beer) 2 x Lid clips 1 x Coopers snap tap 1 x Adhesive thermometer strip 1 x Durable hydrometer & measuring flask 1 x Bottle valve Suits me.
  7. I have had some excellent results from doing a steep of Voyager Winter Wheat Malt grains for about 30 minutes @ around 70-80C in about 2L of water. Only used about 200g so it didn't really effect the taste either. I also added some extra hops but I've done that before and haven't noticed a significant difference.
  8. Two drops seems a lot. Have you chosen the Asahi and Grolsch bottles because they are stronger? I'd be wary of explosions.
  9. Well just to confuse things, my last PET bottle containing a toucan Australian Pale Ale with wheat malt steep and three extra hops came out perfectly! Wheat malt?, Hops? The screw seal was one of those tops without the blue liner. The can of APA was quite fresh compared with the two previous brews. Other than that there was not much other difference.
  10. Quick update on the measuring spoon. I used my electronic scales to see how much the two scoops dosed. Interestingly the small scoop registered 4g a few times as well as a few 3g. This could mean it could sometimes measure out 4g and/or 3.5 - the scales aren't that accurate at that weight. The large scoop consistently measured out 6g. My conclusion therefore is that for the swing top/crown sealed bottles I've been putting in 3.5-4g each time and 6g into the PET bottles. So your 8g recommendation seems to be definitely in the right direction! On the basis of the figures above I might even consider 9-10g if the first experiment doesn't work. Mindful of course that I don't want to blow out the PET bottles!
  11. Thank Muzzy, I'll try the 8g and see what happens! Cheers.
  12. Well I've often had the same problem with the PET bottles. I've tried everything and can honestly say that the beer that comes out of them never holds a head as well as those that come out of swing tops or crown sealed bottles. I understand the 'squishiness' is standard when they are being refrigerated for the reasons cited above. Mine are carbonated but they often have the carbonation that is similar to coke or champagne poured quickly in a glass, the head is fully of big bubbles which dissipate very quickly, leaving no head but a few bubbles rising up from the bottom of the glass. One thing that just occurred to me. I first started using carbonation drops and then switched to a measuring 'spoon' that has a small scoop for small bottles and a large scoop for the larger PET bottles. Now swing tops and most of the other bottles that I use are 330ml. The PET bottles are supposed to be 700ml. Could it be that twice the dose that goes into a 330ml bottle is making a difference? 2 x 330ml i.e. 660ml is not twice 700ml. Or would an extra 40ml not make that much difference? Having said that, my last batch, a Coopers APA toucan with steeped wheat malt and three different hops has a lovely fluffy, long lasting head in both the PET and swing tops; but the swing tops are better. The batch before that was a straight Coopers Lager also with the wheat malt and a hop tea of Galaxy. This was bottled exclusively in the PET bottles. They don't have anywhere near the same fluffy heads as the last brew so I'm stumped.
  13. Some good tips here. It does worry me when I'm tilting the FV back and forth at the end of the bottling process. Is there a consensus on tilting the FV back during the fermenting process? It certain sound feasible if the trub doesn't start flowing down hill during the bottling.
  14. That's a really important observation. I've had quite a lot of beers that had 0G over 1.048 and only used one packet of yeast. Perhaps that is the reason for some of the head issues I've had. What do you think about saved trub from a previous brew? I've saved about a cup from my last brew and intended to use it in 11L in the 15L craft FV.
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