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Lab Cat

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Lab Cat last won the day on May 6

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  1. Even for a 10l brew, that look very light on for hops, given using plain dry malt. The spreadsheet is handy to give you an idea of the numbers, but can't help thinking there'll be little to no flavour there.
  2. I have found IanH to be very accurate. If 1020 is where it says it'll finish, that's reliable. It has often contradicted Coopers own recipe, and with brews I've done, the spreadsheet has shown to be the right one. I always bump up ales a few C for at least a couple of days, even if my OG looks to have bottomed out. Both brews above are about done. Temp variables may be why they didn't get down to 1020. If you haven't warmed them up already, I would, but they've only a few points to go and might not get there.
  3. Only for the initial sample. The wort has to be well mixed or you can get false readings.
  4. Neither brew are that far off finishing, I wouldn't call them stalled - the Coopers predicted FGs has a decent amount of wriggle room. Give them a few more days, maybe bump up the temp 2-3C. If they don't shift, they're done. Sometimes beers don't get all the way down, and some of Coopers calculated FGs are simply wrong.
  5. Why do you think it has stopped fermenting? Even if there is no visible signs, it's probably still going. The Hydrometer will tell you where its at.
  6. Around 200g lactose seem usual in Stouts. That makes what was called a Milk stout, and was a sweeter drink than stout or porter.
  7. For a kit and kilo this is too high. Probably not enough mixing before taking the reading. Take this into account if you want to calc your ABV when it's finished. OG should be around 1036 give or take a couple points.
  8. Haven't done Marty's suggestion, but the Scotch ale is a winner.
  9. All normal. Both brews still got a few days to go. Depending on your ingredients, hydrometer should read around 1010 or below. When it's the same 2 days in a row, it's done.
  10. If we're looking at this from making improvements in brews, it comes down to some simple experience in doing it. Gear is nice and everything, but it's just stuff, the beers don't get better in a SS fermenter just because it cost more. Reading your post and you haven't done any hopping yet, I think the best investment you can make is time. Brew beers, starting with Cooper recipes page, keep the recipes you liked and make notes. Adding short boiled hops pre ferment, and dry hopping WILL make a big difference to KK beers. The only added cost is hops and some experience using them and getting to know what you like.
  11. It's better to leave the bag hopping until the largest part of the ferment is over, or the hop flavour can be reduced. There's no right or wrong, but 10 days is too late for me, I'm generally bottling by then. I check my hydrometer that the gravity has dropped significantly, but it's usually day 5 I add hops.
  12. That's what I've started doing the last 2 batches. It's good if you have various sized bottles, they all get the same amount regardless. Many people will syphon off to a second bucket that contains the sugar mix, but I just stir in the fermenter and let it settle while I wash bottles.
  13. Rereading, I'd still be suggesting the other Mr Beer kits and Coopers recipes. If your mate has only been brewing the one kit with tweaks, they are going taste much the same. The different base kits are different beers. Not sure AG or extract is the way to go. He doesn't sound like he's got much experience brewing. Especially when you say he's been messing around with weird flavours. If you don't know how he's been brewing and what with, not sure that opening up the full chemistry set is likely to help at this stage?
  14. Giving beer away really screws with your stock levels. I've tried to stop it, but the expectations from the freeloaders for good free beer is monumental.
  15. Lager is not generally associated with good beer in Aus. It's the mass produced tap rubbish that all tastes the same of nothing. You can brew a lager yourself, but it takes more experience and gear. You WILL need a brew fridge and controller, as Lager yeast brews at around 12C. It's probably easier to brew these in the UK, as you can store them cold easier - which is a must for lager. Until you are comfortable with the process, stick to ales. If you like wheat beer or Belgians, two of coopers simple recipes make great beers. Look for the Abbey Blonde and Hefeweizen on the recipe page. These beers are down to the yeast variety used. Where most ale yeast is mean to do little more than brew, these yeasts impart flavours of their specific styles
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