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ozlizard

First brew questions & where to next?

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Thought I would start a post as I have some questions and probably many more to come!  Started my first brew on the 8th, (Blushing Blonde). Ordered two packs of bottles from Coopers on the 10th, thinking they would be here in plenty of time. Ha! Turns out I won't be getting them until the 23rd or 24th. 14 days from Queensland to rural WA. I thought Queensland was still part of Oz?

Anyway, so the first question is, will the brew be ok until then? Still looks ok and smells ok, nothing funky going on. I would hate to throw it out, but no great cost if I have to.

Second question is I would like a recommendation for my next brew (yeah getting ahead of myself, have to drink 30 bottles first!). Was thinking of a slightly more advanced brew eg adding some hops etc and something more suitable to winter. Not usually a huge fan of dark beers but I am sure I could be persuaded! I prefer beers with fruity or citrus notes, not too bitter.

This brewing malarkey has got me hooked! Thanks in advance for your advice and comments.

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The beer will be fine in the fermenter until then. I'd suggest getting more bottles, probably 3 batches worth so you can put another one on whenever you have 25 or so empties, after a while you'll build up a stockpile and won't have to run out of beer after every batch.

Amber ales are pretty good in the cooler weather, you could try an amber ale with a kg of dry malt and throw in 30-40g of hops a few days before bottling. Cascade, Citra, something like that would go alright for the citrusy influence.

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Cheers Otto, I will probably get some more bottles, they have some locally but you pay a bit more, but what the hell they are still cheap. Yeah amber ale sounds good, I will have a look at some of the recipes on the site.

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Posted (edited)

Where in rural WA? You can buy bottles from Dan Murphys stores - and many other Coopers HB products. You can grab a box there if you want to get it moving.

You can also try Brew HQ in Balcatta, they have bottles n all sorts.

No, no, no... You don't wait to finish one batch before starting another. Otherwise it's 3 weeks between drinks. I try to have one brewing, one conditioning and one drinking. I'm only succeeding at the last one...

 

Edited by Lab Rat
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+1 for the extra bottles .... it will depend on your drinking habits but HB bottle ages beautifully and you will need to get to the point where you are drinking beer that is around 3-4 months old  ... as i say it depends on drinking habits but 100% need more bottles .... also try to get glass, PET are fine but over time you will find that the PET may not serve you as well as glass ... also if you don't have one yet get a second fridge and an InkBird temp controller so you have control over the ferment temp and that improves the beer quality dramatically ... if you want to do recipes this Coopers page has a recipe resources that has 170 odd recipes on it ... the link for that is on the top right hand corner of the page ... good luck ... Oh and final bit of advice time is not your enemy it is your friend the longer it takes to brew, within reason, and the longer it is in the bottle the better it will be ...  

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1 hour ago, ozlizard said:

Was thinking of a slightly more advanced brew eg adding some hops etc and something more suitable to winter

Mate have a look at the Coopers Fruit Salad Ale recipe, introduces you to Hop Steeping and is super easy.

https://www.diybeer.com/au/recipe/fruit-salad-ale.html

Its a very popular recipe and tastes great. I make it using 23 litres not 21 as per recipe. 

1 can Pale Ale,  1 can of Liquid Malt Extract, 25 grams of Amarillo, 25g of Cascade and use the Yeast from the can. Brew @ 18c if possible.

I use a Coffee Bodum to do the Hop Steep, that way you dont get any bits and is super easy just to pour into the FV.

Example:

 

BOD.jpg

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I agree with OvB. You need a lot more bottles. I have a heap of stubbies I collected instead of taking them to the recycling plant for the refund, bought some boxes of Grolsh style flip top bottles, and bought at least 4 cartons of Coopers PET tallies. I've got enough empty glassware to bottle on the w/e but the weekend after, it'll be a different story. Currently have another carton of PETs on order. I think I need to drink more beer 🙂 

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Labrat we are down in Bridgetown. Out local Mitre 10 has some stuff but they only had one box of bottles so would have had to order more in, had I known it was going to take so long I would have sourced them locally. 3 weeks between drinks is no good! TBH I don't drink that much beer in winter, so was going to do one winter brew then start stocking up for next summer. Which leads me to another question. How long do home brews keep for?

Second fridge would be ideal but first I have to build my brewing room under the house (we are on poles).

That fruit salad ale sounds pretty good, might have to mark that one down for summer.

Cheers!

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Posted (edited)

It depends on the style and ingredients. You don't want to wait 4 months to drink a super hoppy beer or a beer that is built around hops and little malt influence, like the fruit salad ale. You would want to drink that early and not let it go past 3+ months, in my opinion.

True lagers and generally most dark beers are a different story. They have a lot of malt influence and you want that to shine so drinking those after 2 weeks is kind of not the idea. Let those beers age for a month, at least after carbonation, and they will get SO much better with time.

As for how long the homebrew will last, if you keep them in a stable environment out of light with little to no temp swings you will be able to keep them for over a year. I made a batch back in 2004, I only made 2 batches, they were good, but the LHBS closed down, anyways, I made the batch and then deployed for a year. When me and the platoon got back we cracked them and they were lovely. It was an Amber ale, the LHBS owner made the recipe for me and I brewed it, I had no idea what I was doing, but it worked!  Because that beer was based around the malt it simple improved with time. So it was probably sitting for about 13 to 14 months.

Cheers,

Norris

Edited by Norris!
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In glass bottles they last years if sanitation is good. I found some beers last year that I'd brewed and bottled back in 2012 so I decided to try them. They tasted pretty much the same as I remember; they had been somewhat ruined by oxidation but they weren't infected or anything.

For me, generally speaking the darker the beer the more ageing it needs to be at its best. Hoppy ales are better after a few weeks because after that the hoppiness tends to fade. Dark ales, porters and stouts are better after 6+ months in my experience, although dark ales don't take quite as long. 3-4 months is good for them. Lagers are a different beast and require certain processes and at least a month stored cold to be at their best. 

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Cheers guys. I am guessing that you can brew a small batch (8.5lt kit) in a 23lt fermenter? With wine you can't have too much head space but not so with beer?

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2 hours ago, ozlizard said:

Cheers guys. I am guessing that you can brew a small batch (8.5lt kit) in a 23lt fermenter? With wine you can't have too much head space but not so with beer?

Hi OL

I have done lots of the Coopers 8.5L craft beers in my 23L sized fermenter without issue.

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So bottling my first brew tomorrow and was wondering, as you do, if there was anything I should/could do before bottling to enhance it? Like adding hops etc? I just followed the exact kit recipe (Blushing Blond) and used frozen raspberries for the fruit. Too late or not worth the bother?

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I'd leave this one as is.

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Cheers. Will try a slightly more "complicated" one next time!

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Got a few small spots of white mold or something on top of the wort, anything to worry about or just scoop it off before bottling? Still smells ok.

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Posted (edited)

Actually just rechecking it is more like a thin film over the top and if you disturb it, it forms white bubbles.

Edited by ozlizard

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19 minutes ago, ozlizard said:

Actually just rechecking it is more like a thin film over the top and if you disturb it, it forms white bubbles.

Post a picture!!

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Looks fine. I wouldn’t go prodding or poking and removing the lid. The less chance of oxygen being introduced to the wort, the better 

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Looks like a good colour. My local Big W (dunno if they have those in WA) stocked up on Coopers DIY products and other no-name PET bottles.

Good luck with the bottling.

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28 bottles done, tastes good, hint of bitterness, hint of raspberries, we will see in about 2 weeks! 

IMG_20190424_121938.jpg

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Apologies for the crappy previous pic. I make amends.

DSCF0663.jpg

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I preferred the rolling hills of Bridgetown myself...

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