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DonPolo

Flat Beer

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lol Yeah I've had some good and bad English beers. Mostly good though, and I enjoy them. What we call "warm" though is really about 8-10 degrees, maybe 12... cellar temps. They aren't drinking beers at 25 degrees or something like the average punter seems to think.

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lol Yeah I've had some good and bad English beers. Mostly good though' date=' and I enjoy them. What we call "warm" though is really about 8-10 degrees, maybe 12... cellar temps. They aren't drinking beers at 25 degrees or something like the average punter seems to think. [/quote']

 

Correct. And I always defended their beers on the basis that they were just different. Many people like things to stay the way they've always been and Australians are no exception.

 

BUT

 

I once visited a local pub (name and place withheld) that stocked some English beers and some 'English style' beers that they brewed themselves. I can't remember now if it was one or the other but I kid you not, it literally tasted like dishwater.

 

Now having never actually drunk dishwater I could only make that conclusion based on what a detergent-filled grimy sink of dishwater smells like. But I reckon it was a good approximation.

 

I was very crestfallen that what I had always assumed to be the narrow-minded opinions of people who suspected all things foreign, could possibly be true! biggrin

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I have reused PET bottles up to 8 times now, and I occasionally get one with lower than normal carbonation for the particular batch. This is most noticeable with PETs conditioned for more than 6 weeks. I know my bottling process is good because I pick up 2 lollies in one hand and a cap in the other, drop in and cap. I also use new caps all the time.

Now when I get the occasional low fizz/poor head, I pitch the PET bottle in the bin, not to be used again.crying

For this, and other reasons, I am gradually phasing out PET and moving to glass. biggrin

....Worst of all was the Bewitched amber Ale that came with my craft brewing kit.

I've had exactly the same with that craft brew. It just does not like time in the bottle' date=' it loses it's fizz; in PET bottles anyway.[img']sad[/img]

...I wish I could pinpoint it to the glasses but have done everything by the book including hot water rinse and air drying. This glass came out of a closed cupboard.

I have 3 different glasses I use from a pint glass to a smallish pilsner glass. I have been mostly successful lately' date=' scrubbing them in hot water and Alkaline Salts, then making sure all the salts are removed by hot rinsing. Then I cool the glass in the fridge prior to filling.

I agree with Kelsey that sometimes they need to be rotated through a hot detergent wash to remove oils; then back through the hot salts and rinse process.[img']wink[/img]

Cheers,

 

 

 

 

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I have reused PET bottles up to 8 times now' date=' and I occasionally get one with lower than normal carbonation for the particular batch. This is most noticeable with PETs conditioned for more than 6 weeks. I know my bottling process is good because I pick up 2 lollies in one hand and a cap in the other, drop in and cap. I also use new caps all the time.

Now when I get the occasional low fizz/poor head, I pitch the PET bottle in the bin, not to be used again.[img']crying[/img]

For this, and other reasons, I am gradually phasing out PET and moving to glass. biggrin

....Worst of all was the Bewitched amber Ale that came with my craft brewing kit.

I've had exactly the same with that craft brew. It just does not like time in the bottle' date=' it loses it's fizz; in PET bottles anyway.[img']sad[/img]

...I wish I could pinpoint it to the glasses but have done everything by the book including hot water rinse and air drying. This glass came out of a closed cupboard.

I have 3 different glasses I use from a pint glass to a smallish pilsner glass. I have been mostly successful lately' date=' scrubbing them in hot water and Alkaline Salts, then making sure all the salts are removed by hot rinsing. Then I cool the glass in the fridge prior to filling.

I agree with Kelsey that sometimes they need to be rotated through a hot detergent wash to remove oils; then back through the hot salts and rinse process.[img']wink[/img]

Cheers,

 

 

 

 

 

Well blow me down if the next bottle wasn’t perfect. Dense foam which stayed the whole time and small beading throughout the glass. Same batch ?????

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So, another PET, this time a lager toucan with LDM. Late hopped (galaxy).

 

Bottled before Christmas stored in good temps 20-22 degrees.

 

Refrigerated for 48 hours.

 

Firm bottle, sound of gas escaping on opening the top.

 

Bubbles but no discernable head. Fresh glass, perced and air dried. Same glass that had the excellent 'Draft' result above.

 

Excellent flavour.

 

No idea.

 

 

 

 

 

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Well the beer obviously isn't flat, it's just not holding a head for some reason. You could try steeping some Carapils or something and see if that helps it.

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Well the beer obviously isn't flat' date=' it's just not holding a head for some reason. You could try steeping some Carapils or something and see if that helps it.[/quote']

 

I think that is where I'm heading.

 

I've always told people I was going to be lazy and not go down the grain route but it seems to be sucking me in!

 

I thought I'd add some dry wheat malt next time but I'm having trouble sourcing it.

 

My LBS had these plastic bags of 'wheat malt mix' but when I looked closer it seemed to be some sort of 'kit in a bag'. I was in a hurry but all I saw was that it was a mixture of wheat malt, barley malt, dextrose and a few other things.

 

So as I understand it, I source some Carapils from somewhere, crack the grains then steep (according to some directions) and then strain into the FV.

 

Any suggestions on amounts for a 11L batch with a Mexican Cerveza Can and perhaps some other LDM?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I'd probably start with 100-150g for an 11L batch. You shouldn't really need any more than that anyway.

 

You can crack them or you can get the brew shop to crack them, but either way they need to be cracked. Heat about 2L of water to 70C, pop in the cracked grains and let them steep in the water for about half an hour. Strain the grains out into another pot and then bring this mini wort to the boil for about 10 minutes. Then either tip this into the FV to mix up the kit and whatnot, or cool it down first and then do that. Rehydrate and pitch your yeast and away you go. cool

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I'd probably start with 100-150g for an 11L batch. You shouldn't really need any more than that anyway.

 

You can crack them or you can get the brew shop to crack them' date=' but either way they need to be cracked. Heat about 2L of water to 70C, pop in the cracked grains and let them steep in the water for about half an hour. Strain the grains out into another pot and then bring this mini wort to the boil for about 10 minutes. Then either tip this into the FV to mix up the kit and whatnot, or cool it down first and then do that. Rehydrate and pitch your yeast and away you go. [img']cool[/img]

 

Thanks for the advice. I did see on another thread that you should keep the steeping water at around 70C as you have advised. However they also said don't go above this temperature for fear of extracting tannins and other unwanted flavours.

 

It makes sense that after you have strained out the grains you could boil the mini wort but I didn't see that step in the other threads. What does this boil do for the process?

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Boiling kills any (or most) potentially infectious bugs that might be in the grain that would obviously end up in the wort after steeping it.

 

The steeping temperature is not critical. If you heat the water to 70 and dump in the grains, just leave it sit, it doesn't matter if it drops down to 63 or whatever over the half hour. You're not doing a mash so a stable temperature is not required. On the other hand, if it goes a little over 70 you're not gonna have any issues with tannins either. It might be different if you were steeping the grains at 90 or something, but 70 or a little over is actually used as a mashing temp for some styles of beer.

 

My mashing schedules include two rests after the main mash in the mid 60s: one at 72C for about 15-20 minutes, and another at 78C for 10 minutes. Never had any tannins or astringent flavors in the beers as a result of doing this.

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Boiling kills any (or most) potentially infectious bugs that might be in the grain that would obviously end up in the wort after steeping it.

 

The steeping temperature is not critical. If you heat the water to 70 and dump in the grains' date=' just leave it sit, it doesn't matter if it drops down to 63 or whatever over the half hour. You're not doing a mash so a stable temperature is not required. On the other hand, if it goes a little over 70 you're not gonna have any issues with tannins either. It might be different if you were steeping the grains at 90 or something, but 70 or a little over is actually used as a mashing temp for some styles of beer.

 

My mashing schedules include two rests after the main mash in the mid 60s: one at 72C for about 15-20 minutes, and another at 78C for 10 minutes. Never had any tannins or astringent flavors in the beers as a result of doing this. [/quote']

 

Perfect explanation thanks!

 

Just before pressing the submit button I had an inkling that the boil was to sterilise the wort. Never know what is lurking in the grains. And with the grains gone no chance of extracting tanins.

 

Thanks once again.

 

BTW where would one get some of the said Carapils? And is the effect on mouthfeel and head retention mostly limited to Carapils or would some of the other Cara-malts or indeed other malts do?

 

For example my local BrewDog (he dispenses out of his garage) stocks Weyerman CaraAroma which is darker than Carapils but from the same maltster and goes for $5.00 per kilo. I'd imagine there would be a difference in flavour and colour.

 

He also stocks things like Voyager Winter Wheat, Biscuit, Munich etc etc.

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Heh, yeah Caraaroma is nothing at all like Carapils. It's a very intense dark crystal malt with flavors of raisins, as well as caramel and toffee, whereas Carapils is a very very light crystal malt that doesn't really add any flavor or sweetness at all, it's mainly there to boost head retention and body in the beer. I use Caraaroma (and Carapils) in my red ale to great effect and in smaller amounts in ESBs to bring those toffee flavors out more, but it doesn't suit all beer styles. It would be out of place in the beer you're making for instance, but Carapils would work fine.

 

If you can't get hold of Carapils, you could use some light crystal malt instead. They all boost head retention and body but the darker they get the more sweetness and other flavors they give. The other malts you listed require mashing; in the case of wheat malt I'm pretty sure it needs to be mashed with a base malt but I could be wrong there.

 

 

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Heh' date=' yeah Caraaroma is nothing at all like Carapils. It's a very intense dark crystal malt with flavors of raisins, as well as caramel and toffee, whereas Carapils is a very very light crystal malt that doesn't really add any flavor or sweetness at all, it's mainly there to boost head retention and body in the beer. I use Caraaroma (and Carapils) in my red ale to great effect and in smaller amounts in ESBs to bring those toffee flavors out more, but it doesn't suit all beer styles. It would be out of place in the beer you're making for instance, but Carapils would work fine.

 

If you can't get hold of Carapils, you could use some light crystal malt instead. They all boost head retention and body but the darker they get the more sweetness and other flavors they give. The other malts you listed require mashing; in the case of wheat malt I'm pretty sure it needs to be mashed with a base malt but I could be wrong there.

 

[/quote']

 

Thanks once again. Turns out my supplier does stock Weyerman Carapils. He also stocks something called SIMPSONS PALE CRYSTAL which could be a fall back if the Carapils is out of stock. Would that be right?

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It will provide the same sorts of benefits in terms of head and body, plus add a bit of a caramel sweetness to the beer. Being a pale crystal it probably won't add much of that, besides you could always add more hops to hide it if you wanted to.

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It will provide the same sorts of benefits in terms of head and body' date=' plus add a bit of a caramel sweetness to the beer. Being a pale crystal it probably won't add much of that, besides you could always add more hops to hide it if you wanted to.[/quote']

 

So I picked up a kilo of Carapils and a sachet of US05 yeast (11grams).

 

He suggested that I use the US05 yeast in the 11 litres in preference to the kit yeast.

 

The plan is to use 200g of Carapils for the steep and then boil the strained wort for about 10 minutes in a pot as you suggested. He also said the put the 7g of kit yeast into the boil to provide extra nutrient for the US05.

 

I asked if I should use half the yeast since I was only brewing to 11 litres. He replied that I should use the whole sachet and not bother to rehydrate the yeast since there would be plenty of yeast cells available even accounting for any lose through an osmotic process.

 

According to the IanH spreadsheet using the whole Mexican Cerveza can and 200g of Carapil will give a profile very similar to an American Pale Ale except for the colour which I don't particularly care about: ABV 5.3% bottled IBU 40.6 (50.2 on another spreadsheet) OG 1.051 FG 1.013 EBBC 6.4. That would seem to be enough alcohol, or I could add some LDM to give some more maltiness.

 

I wondered if I should do a 15 minute hop tea with about 5 g each of Cascade and Cenntenial and then dry hop with 10g of each of them as well. He seemed to think that was a reasonable idea.

 

I don't have a hop sock so I guess I should do the Carpils steep in a chux or something. I was thinking I could use my large tea strainer but am worried I might get too many particles coming through. Same for the hop tea. I've never used the chux before. I have been a little concerned that the colouring could add something not intended to the wort. I could use some muslin but it has been used to strain cheese and although I could soak it in perc and sanitise I'm not sure I would get every particle of milk out of it.

 

Finally, I don't have a mill but he suggested I use a mortar and pestle to crack the grain (not to flour though). I guess that will be OK provided I give it a good scrub out. It is a large granite type and has been used for grinding herbs and spices for curries etc.

 

 

 

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If you've just got a normal kitchen sieve/strainer you can use that to strain the grains, they won't be in small enough particles, or shouldn't be, to get any through. It doesn't really matter if a couple of specks get through anyway. I suspect they'd be a bit restricted in a chux cloth. Given the grains only need to be cracked, just put them in a ziplock bag and run over them with a rolling pin. You could do them 100g at a time to make it a bit easier. It's probably quicker than a mortar and pestle too.

 

He's probably right about 1 packet of US-05 being enough without re-hydrating it, but if you do go down that route it seems a bit pointless boiling the kit yeast. Personally I'd keep the kit yeast in the fridge in case of emergency. The dead cells that will occur on pitching should be enough nutrient, besides that the wort itself contains plenty of nutrients especially since it's all malt. I wouldn't use half a packet, it's not really good storing open packets of yeast. You can still use some of the slurry afterwards for a second batch.

 

Not a bad idea with the hops, I'd go along with that.

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your "flat beer" issue sounds like what my mate has with his beer.

He brews

1 x apa can

1 x 1kg Brew enhancer

1 x kit yeast

fermented at around 24ish (or whatever his laundry is)

 

He often complains of his beers having no head...i put it down to temp control and his use of a brew enhancer (which is 50:50 malt and dextrose for memory)...

 

I use

Apa can

1-1.5kg LDM

Us-05

temp controlled at 19c (for most standard ales)

 

and mine all come out with solid head that hangs around. I wonder if it has anything to do with my beers often finishing around 1010ish where his would be far lower unsure

 

I also store my inside for 2 weeks before moving them into a garage that is on the cool side of the house...then have them in the fridge for at least 2 days before drinking...

where his are on the sun facing side of a "old style" tin garage...

 

i also drink mine from 2 weeks (due to hop fade out) where he leaves his for 8 weeks before drinking (for some reason)

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If you've just got a normal kitchen sieve/strainer you can use that to strain the grains' date=' they won't be in small enough particles, or shouldn't be, to get any through. It doesn't really matter if a couple of specks get through anyway. I suspect they'd be a bit restricted in a chux cloth. Given the grains only need to be cracked, just put them in a ziplock bag and run over them with a rolling pin. You could do them 100g at a time to make it a bit easier. It's probably quicker than a mortar and pestle too.

 

He's probably right about 1 packet of US-05 being enough without re-hydrating it, but if you do go down that route it seems a bit pointless boiling the kit yeast. Personally I'd keep the kit yeast in the fridge in case of emergency. The dead cells that will occur on pitching should be enough nutrient, besides that the wort itself contains plenty of nutrients especially since it's all malt. I wouldn't use half a packet, it's not really good storing open packets of yeast. You can still use some of the slurry afterwards for a second batch.

 

Not a bad idea with the hops, I'd go along with that. [/quote']

 

Sounds like the go. Will probably keep the yeast as you said for an emergency (although not sure what that would be!) biggrin

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... then have them in the fridge for at least 2 days before drinking...

 

I suspect the two days in the fridge has a lot to do with it. I'm going to take much more notice of when I put them in the fridge.

 

I know I've opened a few after only 8-24 hours and my gut feeling is that they are not as good as those in for 48 hours +.

 

Having said that' date=' mega-swill beers aside, a lot of the 'commercial craft beers' also have decent heads. What are they doing that we can't do with our 'kit n kilo' versions?[img']unsure[/img]

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Sounds like the go. Will probably keep the yeast as you said for an emergency (although not sure what that would be!) biggrin

Stalled fermentation or when you go to brew a batch and suddenly realise you forgot to buy the yeast lol those are probably the main two that could occur.

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Having said that' date=' mega-swill beers aside, a lot of the 'commercial craft beers' also have decent heads. What are they doing that we can't do with our 'kit n kilo' versions?[img']unsure[/img]

Well aside from having complete control over the recipes and brewing process which you don't have with kit n' kilo, they often add a shitload of late and dry hops to the beers, especially with pale ales or anything resembling that style. The hops assist with head retention as well. Likewise, I often find I have pretty decent head retention with my AG beers, although it wasn't too bad with the kit or extract beers I brewed either.

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Given the grains only need to be cracked' date=' just put them in a ziplock bag and run over them with a rolling pin. You could do them 100g at a time to make it a bit easier. It's probably quicker than a mortar and pestle too. [/quote']

 

I reckon I'll be restricted to the mortar and pestle. My rolling pin is actually hollow plastic so it probably doesn't have the required gravitas to get the job done.

 

I do have a kitchen mallet though. It has a flat side for flattening chicken breasts and the like, so I could use that. Hopefully I wouldn't crack the counter or something.

 

If I did use the mallet, the zip lock bag sounds a good idea.

 

So we are aiming at just cracking the grain, or actually splitting each grain into two or three pieces?

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Right then!

 

This evening I just pulled out a 9 week old (pet) bottled brew, Coopers APA kit. I brewed it with 1.5kg LLME, used Nottingham yeast rehydrated, and commando-ed 40g of Amarillo. That's all!

 

Gotta say, the carbonation was small and consistent enough to push the foamy, small bubbled head consistently, in my new and properly pre-prepared 'nonic pint beer glass'.

 

The Amarillo aroma/flavour was still evident after 9 weeks. I went back to my 'results criteria matrix', rescored it by my 7 criteria, and it is now my BEST BREW of 38 kitsnbits brews.biggrin

Cheers,

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Yes you just need to crack the grains open Don, they don't need to be pulverised into a million fragments wink

 

Good to hear your brew turned out well too Worthog!

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This could be either in the Flat Beer or No Head threads, but I wanted to show the benefit of both Lusty's and Kelsey's advice for fixing "no head".

 

Stick with the malt avenue. Dextrose & sugar ferment out completely & add nothing to flavour' date=' body or head retention &/or development. If the maltodextrin route isn't for you, then look into using grain steeps to add notable body to your beers. The crystal grains come in varying levels of sweetness & body adding levels. For less colour & sweetness, grains such as CaraPils, CaraFoam or CaraHell are what I'd recommend. You'll have to experiment a little to gauge how much of these grains is required to hit the targets you want, but it won't take long.

[/quote']

 

I took their advice and I am now drinking great beer; The result of adding the grains to my kit can and malt extract can. Below are pictures of my pint glass of Coopers OS draft based kit with grains and hop additions as I drink it. The head has lasted more than 20 minutes.

1521880188_98_564.jpg

1521880223_52_477.jpg

 

The beer was PET bottled and nearly 7 weeks old.

 

Cheers,

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