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Lab Rat

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Lab Rat last won the day on April 24

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  1. Lab Rat

    Todays tastings

    Big win at hockey today. Buggered as, little appetite for beer so... Similar to Glenfiddich to my palate, but always way cheaper. Buy this one regularly. Bugger it, go a chaser with my Anarchy IPA.
  2. Lab Rat

    Gravities finishing high

    Thanks everyone, I think the dark malt, grain steep and yeast might be contributing based on replies. My grains were 250g. I didn't think I'd be anywhere near a double pitch - I thought that was only for toucan brews and stouts. Good to know about the 30 points. I'm just on that, so looking at a 4.5% brew. My ABV app is showing 3.7% on my gravities, so I was thinking that's pretty low, even after adding the sugar. My K and 1.5kg malt in the past have usually been at least 1% more. Not really bothered about 'hitting' numbers, just trying to understand why certain stuff happens. It still hasn't shifted, so it's CC now.
  3. Lab Rat

    Gravities finishing high

    1 point high. It's a new glass one, my cooper kit cheapy died. It is odd, and that's why I'm baffled. The beers aren't suffering, but it does make it trickier to call it and crash. I've been using temp control for a few months, but it's only the recent brews at issue. That's why I wondered about grain steeps, the only new variable. But I didn't use any wit the pils, and still finished high, so I remained confused. I do check the working range of whatever yeast I'm using. But that's usually 20C for ales and 12C for lager. Like a lot of you, I'm bumping up the temp after 4-5 days to make sure it's done and cleaning up. My only reason for switching between MJ42 and US yeasts lately is to see it that is my wayward variable, but it's not.
  4. Lab Rat

    Gravities finishing high

    Thanks - this is what I was suspecting. All the ales in question have added steeped grains, and consistently higher FGs. But my pils also finished high which was a KK and no steeped grains. 1040-1016, so only 3.5%, with the bottle ferment. I can't explain this one, and with all the ales doing the same thing, it was bugging me as to why.
  5. Lab Rat

    Gravities finishing high

    Cheers I always do kit and 1kg malt - no dex or other sugars. Except this current brew, where I used an extra 500g malt. MJ42, US05 and 04 with the ales.
  6. Hi, I've asked brew shops and a brewer at work about this, and everyone shrugs. My last 4 brews are struggling to get down to the Kit Kilo FG ballpark, I'm fermenting out to 1016. 1 beer got to 1014. I'm working on the premise a KK should finish around 1010-12 or lower with an OG/FG ABV of around 3.8% + 0.5% for the bottle sugar. But they're all finishing lower for ABV based on gravity calcs. My testers don't think any of these beers taste thin or 'lite' though. They've all been good beers. last 3 have been KKs wth some steeped grains. 1 was a pils KK with just hops, no steep. My current one is an ESB, but with an extra 500g malt. This started at 1045 and won't get below 1017, even upping the temp, for 3-4 days as I always do, but none of these brews have responded with further ferment activity. Hydrometer checked, it's about 1 point out with a water check. I'm out of idea. Anyone?
  7. Lab Rat

    Clearing beer after dry hopping

    You're probably right. My experience is based on 2 CC and siphoning episodes. Both times the sedimentation was really minimal, and carbing slower than usual. But my garage is far cooler this year as well. Beer only took an extra week, and it's likely more to do with temperature. I remember posting about one of my first non-fridge brewed beers that took ages to carb. Plenty of yeast in that one, but the garage couldn't stay warm enough to get them going.
  8. Lab Rat

    What are the unusual floaties in my beer

    They look like tags, someone must have put them there. Handy for flip tops. Where do find them?
  9. Lab Rat

    Heat Pad Or Heat Belt??

    I can't say it would lead to a brew fail, but trying to control ambient temperature outside with a pad, is making it really hard work for yourself. For ales, you need to keep the temp around 20C. For lagers around 12C. Very hard to achieve either relying on the ambient outside weather and a pad under the fermenter. For most of us in Aus, the day/night temp fluctuations are too large for the pad to work outside, without a means to control it, such as inside a fridge - which insulates. The end result? Inconsistent brewing. You could brew the same beer all the time and get different results, due to the fluctuation in yeast temp during the process as you brew at different times of the year. Some brews might not even ferment fully because the yeast couldn't say active (warm) enough.
  10. Lab Rat

    Clearing beer after dry hopping

    For me, it's about taste first, second and third. I'm less bothered about how the beer looks, but a beer you can see through is a nice feeling, so long as the beer tastes good too. The only reason I crash for a couple of days is to avoid floating sediment, which has happened with a few of my pales before I did this. One of them was like a snowdome - yuk. But when I crash too long and siphon, the beer takes 3-4 weeks to carb, up as I've filtered out too much yeast. It does get very clear though, but I hate waiting that long.
  11. Lab Rat

    Heat Pad or Belt?

    I'm 2nd guessing...yeast have a given range of working temperatures. So heat directly applied to the the bottom heats the yeast first and is likely to cause it to get too warm, before any noticeable change in wort temp is achieved. Depends how cold the wort was to begin with though. I was loaned a pad and without a fridge, it was pretty ineffective. In a fridge just laid up against a wall, it would probably work well. I just use a pan of warm or hot water. For ales this time of year, I don't need to adjust temp much it's pretty stable even without the fridge on.
  12. Lab Rat

    Clearing beer after dry hopping

    That's a lot of steps, and too long I think. You're not going to get any clearer by leaving it longer and doing transfers. Ales needn't take more than 14 days all up. For me, that's about 7 days to ferment, couple of days kicking the temp up a bit, and 2-3 days of crashing to help filter. All done in the one FV. I've found good control over your temp, crashing, and even syphoning from the top of the FV instead of using the tap to bottle, all do a lot to clear the beer.
  13. Lab Rat

    Clearing beer after dry hopping

    It's not clear where your beer is at. Is that the final sample before bottling? If so, pretty normal. Secondary ferment in the bottles will clear it up a lot. I've taken to cold crashing for a couple of days to clear things up a bit before bottling, easy and requires no additions. I know other wait longer.
  14. My Hopgobbler. Not quite the Cooper recipe, as no Amber malt, but this is a very fine winter beer. Really happy how this one turned out. Like a cross between an old ale and a lite chocolate porter. My beers seem to be fermenting short lately and this one just made it to 4.0% with the bottle sugar. Tastes much bigger. There is loads of flavour in this. Pic is backlit, but held to the light this is a deep ruby and clear as.
  15. Lab Rat

    Dark ale ideas

    When I put 100g of choc in my Hopgobbler (close to Yeastyboy's recipe), it was way bitter to start with. It's mellowing out to something like a lite Porter. If I was to go 200g, I'd be upping the malt to counter it. For me, BE3 would make a thin beer, I like malt backbone in my bitters and darks. At 19l, you might end up with a Mocha monster. If that's what you're going for, it should get there.