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GolGolPistola

SMOTY Ale

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Hi everyone,

After a long summer here in South West Sydney it is finally cool enough to start brewing again. This will be my fourth brew. I have fairly basic equipment (starter kit with an AL FV). First two brews were basic kit beers (Mangrove Jack Lucid Pils and a LHBS brand Stone and Wood Pacific Ale imitation) that were drinkable but nothing special. Third was another Mangrove J kit (Aus Pale Ale) that is undrinkable. It has a sort of nail polish flavour. I suspect the cause was first big heats of december reaching 38°C outside and probably much hotter in my garage.

So for my fourth beer, I've landed on the Coopers SMOTY Ale recipe. I've bought Safale-05 yeast to replace the supplied one. Appreciate any feedback and I'll post updates of course.

Cheers 🍻

 

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Posted (edited)

Did that brew once, didn't replace the yeast though, just used both kit yeasts. It turned out quite nice. 

I'd be looking at some temperature control for next summer if you're able to do it. Your beers will improve quite a bit with it.

Edited by Otto Von Blotto
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Thx Otto. I heeded your advice and used the kit yeasts.

Pretty easy recipe to follow. I made my EKG tea as instructed and topped up to 23 litres. I used about 12 litres of cold filtered water I had prepared the night before and topped up the rest with tap water. I chucked in some big ice cubes to bring the temperature down fast. When I did the Coopers Brewery tour in Feb, Frank advised me that bringing the wort down to pitching temp asap renders best results. Hence I did. From the point of reaching 23ltrs to pitching at 22°C it had been less than half an hour.

OG was taken at 1.044 and it's the best tasting Wort I have made to date.

Throughout I was hydrating myself with a relatively local brew. Coal Coast Brewing Co. Pit Pony Pale Ale.

Let ya's know how I go ;)

 

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Yeah I like to get the wort down to ferment temp or a little under before pitching the yeast. Doesn't always happen but I find it works better, especially with lagers. 

I'm sure the brew will turn out well. When I did my batch I didn't have any real temp control other than a wet towel and a fan and it was still nice. I use a fridge and temp controller now, have done for the last 6-7 years. Definitely improves the beers. And you can brew all year round.

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So after two days i have managed to get the temperature down to 20-22°C. I have the FV in a Multi-purpose plastic bucket and placed a bag of ice inside it up against the fermenter. Not ideal I know but I don't have space for a temp control fridge.

I've been looking for instructions on how to transform a bar fridge but haven't been able to find anything definitive.

Two more days and I'll add the remaining hops the recipe calls for.

 

 

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Don't need to transform anything, just plug the fridge into a temperature controller and you're good to go. 😎

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7 minutes ago, GolGolPistola said:

I've been looking for instructions on how to transform a bar fridge but haven't been able to find anything definitive.

Hi GGP, Assuming your fermenter fits in your bar fridge, you will need a temperature controller.  Search on eBay for an Inkbird ITC-308 or similar.  That is what I use.  There is also a WI-FI version of it now to.  However, I know nothing much about its capabilities.  There is also an Inkbird ITC-310 that is programmable.  However, the WI-FI 308 might now be equivalent to the 310 in terms of programmability.

You set the controller (308) to a particular temperature, say 20°.  You set a temperature difference, say 0.5°.  Plug the fridge power cord into the controller power socket.  The controller also has a temperature probe that you put into the fridge (under an old stubby holder or piece of wet-suit taped to the side of the fermenter).  Although the fridge is quite capable of getting stuff down to say around 4°, the controller will not let power through to the fridge for it to turn on until the temperature in the fridge gets above 20.5°.  When this happens, the controller lets power through to the fridge via the controller power socket and the fridge turn on.  But, and this is the good bit, the controller only lets power through to the fridge so it will only stay on until the temperature drops to 20°, then it stops the power and the fridge turns off.  The cycle starts again, the fridge slowly warms up to 20.5° and then gets turned on again.  The 310 has the capability to set different temperatures say if you want to brew at 20° for 10 days and then cold crash at 10° for a day and then at 2° for a week without have to be there to change the temperature.  Many folks like to manually make these changes in case some of the stages take a bit longer.

To confuse it just a bit more, you can have a heating source (heat belt/heat pad) plugged into the controller so if the temperature goes the other way and drops, the controller can power up the heating source.

It will be more apparent once you get a hold of one of the above controllers and check out the instructions.  Maybe do some googling first too.  Others will provide some sage advice I am sure.

Cheers Shamus

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Hey troops,

Thinking about brewing the SMOTY next. It seems that being a darker beer it would benefit from ageing but since I keg, is it decent as a 'fresh' beer?

Cheers 

Steve

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Even as a kegger there is no reason not to age a beer, unless your short on kegs. Kelsey ages beer in kegs when required all the time. I brew 23l so excess always hits bottles. These are the ones i age. Decent as a fresh brew? Yes they are, but they improve so much with ageing. 

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18 hours ago, Shamus O'Sean said:

Hi GGP, Assuming your fermenter fits in your bar fridge, you will need a temperature controller.  Search on eBay for an Inkbird ITC-308 or similar.  That is what I use.  There is also a WI-FI version of it now to.  However, I know nothing much about its capabilities.  There is also an Inkbird ITC-310 that is programmable.  However, the WI-FI 308 might now be equivalent to the 310 in terms of programmability.

You set the controller (308) to a particular temperature, say 20°.  You set a temperature difference, say 0.5°.  Plug the fridge power cord into the controller power socket.  The controller also has a temperature probe that you put into the fridge (under an old stubby holder or piece of wet-suit taped to the side of the fermenter).  Although the fridge is quite capable of getting stuff down to say around 4°, the controller will not let power through to the fridge for it to turn on until the temperature in the fridge gets above 20.5°.  When this happens, the controller lets power through to the fridge via the controller power socket and the fridge turn on.  But, and this is the good bit, the controller only lets power through to the fridge so it will only stay on until the temperature drops to 20°, then it stops the power and the fridge turns off.  The cycle starts again, the fridge slowly warms up to 20.5° and then gets turned on again.  The 310 has the capability to set different temperatures say if you want to brew at 20° for 10 days and then cold crash at 10° for a day and then at 2° for a week without have to be there to change the temperature.  Many folks like to manually make these changes in case some of the stages take a bit longer.

To confuse it just a bit more, you can have a heating source (heat belt/heat pad) plugged into the controller so if the temperature goes the other way and drops, the controller can power up the heating source.

It will be more apparent once you get a hold of one of the above controllers and check out the instructions.  Maybe do some googling first too.  Others will provide some sage advice I am sure.

Cheers Shamus

Mate, top reply and I was feeling good. Presented it to my life business partner and she was having none of it 😂.

Looks like it's ice packs, etc for me. Tbf we have a very small space already at its limits. We're looking to move in 2020 and a suitable brewing space is something we've both identified as a must as she brews Kombucha herself. Thanks for the detailed post. It definitely painted a clearer picture for me.

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Hey GGP, I know noting about Kombucha, but at least if your partner is brewing something she will understand some of the issues you will want to overcome as you move forward.  Keep working at it, she might come around.

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The AL stopped bubbling after 1-2 days and while I know that doesn't mean the yeast has stopped working I was somewhat worried. Re-reading the recipe now I see it says:

"On day 4, after the foam has subsided, add the remaining EKG Hops (we recommend wrapping the hops in a mesh cleaning cloth, pulled straight from the wrapper)."

So it's day 4 and I have added the final 25g of EKG hops that the recipe calls for using 2x DIY tea bags. Although I am now aware that the foam subsided in line with the AL stopping, so 2 days early. I hope it won't affect the beer too much. Temperature has fluctuated between 18°C and 24°C

I degassed a sample and have measure at 1.012 which is what is meant to be the FG (1.010-1.014). I will measure again tomorrow and the next day before updating again.

This pic is more so you guys can see how the colour has changed.

 

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It's probably finished fermenting but leaving it for another few days or even a week will improve it.

I know it doesn't look like a dark ale in the picture but being a small tube and having yeast suspended in it will do that. By the time it's in the glass it will be darker than it looks there.

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It's done. With two kits it's not likely to drop any further than that. Give it a few days then get it in the bottles.

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Sweet. I'll start cleaning out my bottles tonight and bottle over the weekend. Might have to bottle in a couple of sittings as don't think I'll have the time to do it all in one go.

I have tasted the sample from yesterday and was definitely beery and any signs I thought of ester flavours seem to have either dissipated or have been in my mind.

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Just finished bottling. Got 31x750ml bottles. I could have snuck in a 32nd but didn't have another bottle handy/clean.

FG came in at 1.012 and by my calculations from OG of 1.044 = 4.2% ABV. Recipe says it should finish at 4.9%.

Can anyone help explain how/why I've missed the ABV?

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Should be about 4.5-4.6% after carbonation. I seem to remember mine being about 5.2% when I brewed it for some reason. Maybe my measurements were out 😂

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1 hour ago, Shamus O'Sean said:

Have you added 0.4% for the sugar/carb drops used to carbonate the beer?

I just used IanH's spreadsheet and that gave me 4.4%. If I add the 0.4% brings it up to 4.8%. That's better.

Let you know how it tastes in a couple of weeks.

Thanks for all the advice everyone.

 

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37 minutes ago, GolGolPistola said:

I just used IanH's spreadsheet and that gave me 4.4%. If I add the 0.4% brings it up to 4.8%. That's better.

Basic OG minus FG calculation suggests 4.2%

IanH spreadsheet can allow for in bottle priming as shown below (ignore the numbers, they were for another recipe)

If you change the weight of sugar, the ABV changes

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