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Panther Branch Brewing

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  1. That's what I do. Cooper's makes great canned kits but the price is just too steep to justify. I just bought 9 kilos of pale malt and 120g of hops for $30 USD. Much better deal.
  2. $5.35 AUD. That's like $3.75 USD. Can't find a Dark Ale kit here in the states for less than $20 USD which is about $30 AUD to you guys. This just for the can of goop too. I do love this forum! Bunch of friendly and KNOWLEDGEABLE people's here.
  3. Maybe it's me cleaning the bottles before bottling day but I can have a batch bottled in less than two hours, cleaned up stored away and done. I'm hand priming each bottle too with 2cc of sucrose. There are advantages to kegging. One issue I have though is room. I'm in in smaller house with no garage. I don't have room for a kegerator. Bottles can be fit in nooks and crannies throughout the house if needed. Just got to keep some in the fridge for when I want one. Also, I've heard of and actually had one bottle bomb. Never heard of a keg bomb.
  4. There are some web sites out there that have formulae for converting refractometer readings after fermentation begins. I just stick with a hydrometer. At most I lose 200-300ml of beer when measuring. It's not really lost though because I drink the sample.
  5. On a side note, I do mine in batches over a few days, 10 to 15 at a time. Sitting down to clean ~50 bottles in one pass isn't a fun time. I fill mine with sanitiser and let them sit 20 minutes. I then dump and cap with a screw on cap then store them upside down. I use mostly plastic bottles.. Guess you could cover them with cling film until ready to use. I use a product we have in the states called One-Step. I think it's mostly sodium percarbonate. Been using it for years and haven't had a problem. Cleans you coffee pot and coffee mugs to look like new. also.
  6. Maybe, but, I don't have to worry about... Faulty o-rings, faulty regulators, faulty taps, faulty gauges, faulty valves, running out of CO2 when I can't get more for a couple days, bad keg seals, leaking hoses, dead kegerator (bottles fit in the household fridge a lot easier than kegs do). I've never once had a beer fail to dispense from a bottle. Never.
  7. If you're only using the yeast in the kit I recommend picking up something like S-04 or S-33. These will add different flavor to your beer. I like like S-04. It adds a bit of fruitiness but is still pretty clean if fermented on the cooler side.
  8. Made a wheat beer using Mangrove Jack's M21 yeast. Great beer, great flavor.. I let this go two weeks and had two equal hydrometer readings so I bottled it. Seems this yeast is known to stop then restart. So, it ended up deforming a number of my bottles. See the bottle on the left in the picture. As they've been severely stretched should I continue to use them or toss them? Beer is clean with no off flavors so I'm fairly confident the yeast is the problem.
  9. Extract beers tend to finish higher than expected because extract has a lot of unfermentable dextrins that don't ferment. This is a result of the manufacturing process. Read something earlier this week about what's called the "1.020 curse". Apparently a lot of extract beers stop there unexpectedly. Just the nature of the beast.
  10. At least a week. Two sure doesn't hurt.
  11. I will add, regardless of time in the bottle, once carbonated, your beer will be better with a week or more in the fridge before drinking. I keep about a weeks worth in the fridge and replace them as I consume them.
  12. I've pitched four year old dry yeast and had no problem with it starting, finishing, or creating off flavors. Actually the yeast would be the least of my concern as dry yeast is incredibly tough. I'd be more worried about the old goo myself. Not that it would be infected but it will probably taste a good bit "off". At this point I'd stop worrying about it and let it finish, then make a decision.
  13. What did you use as a sanitizer? You need something more than boiling water unless you can keep that temp up for a bit. Boiling water will not get into any surface imperfections. You need something like iodophor, Star-San, even diluted bleach. You must rinse well behind bleach though as it will cause off flavors. Bacteria can be hard to kill off. I'd trash that fermenter then get a good sanitizer and soak all my other stuff in it for a day, or two.
  14. I've heard that "broken ice pack" look is a good sign of a lactic acid bacteria infection. If you're not into sour beers it was probably best to dump it.
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