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What's in Your Fermenter? 2021


Shamus O'Sean

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Starting off @Otto Von Blotto's thread for 2021.

This one is similar and somewhat inter-changeable with Brew Day!! Watcha Ya Got, Eh!?  However, it is good for reporting progress during fermenting too.

Link to last year's thread below:

 

I currently have my version of the Coopers recipe Dass Alto waiting to be bottled and kegged later today.  It's currently at 1°C.

Also just finished putting down the Coopers Vintage Ale 2020.  It is sitting in the laundry at 21-22°C waiting for me to deal with the Dass Alto, so the Vintage can be put in the fermenting freezer.

Happy New Year everyone.

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Two small batches in the fermenters at the moment.  An American Wheat Ale and a Black IPA.

Just brewed and hot cubed another small batch Weizenbock.

Just in the last week have bottled a Belgian Pale Ale and a London Brown Ale.

Yes, I've been busy during holiday time 🙂

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First brew for 2021 down and it was a Pirate Life Pale clone partial recipe I'd seen probably years back and finally gathered all the ingredients together (I also recently purchased a grain mill, which was a fantastic idea!).

20min boil with 150g hops is the biggest/most expensive beer I've ever attempted. I'll throw another 150 in as dry in a few days.

Broke one of my brew spoons and then proceeded to splash hot wort over myself with the backup spoon and now have a red raw mark down to my belly button.

I reckon it's gonna be a ripper, considering the pain and time I've poured into it. (Not biased at all)

Really just hoping the US05 kicks in as it was 4th gen harvest from a brew back in August. If not I'll dump some fresh voss in there which will make light work of it I'm sure.

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Got three (Voss) Kveik brews down on Friday to coincide with a decent run of 30+ C weather. Did my first mini mash to bring a bit of haze and mouthfeel to a couple of these beers.

First is an 8L single hop Sabro hazy pale. Just a short 5min hop addition followed by two more dry hops at 12 and 24 hrs post fermentation.

Second is a 15L hazier take on a Stone and Wood, basically a single hop Galaxy hazy pale. 30/15/5/0 min hop additions and a dry hop at 12hrs.

Third is a 23L Kingsley's Ginger Beer. The classic tried and tested recipe.

The ambient temp has been sitting at around 30-32 in the room I have them in, so they're bubbling along nicely.

Happy to post full recipes if anyone is interested at all. I plan to cold crash these which is also a first, and then bottle.

Fingers crossed for a bountiful harvest.

Edited by rugbrod
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@Aussiekraut Re your "Mid-strength Pacific Ale. Not bad for a first attempt. Needs a little more body, which I hope the added light crystal will fix. Quite a drinkable beer for 2.9% (bottled). 2nd batch is in the making as we speak. Waiting for strike temp to mash".

How did the second batch go?  Also what mash temp or rest profile did you do the first one and second one? Did first one lack body because of a lower mash temp you think or was it just the slim grain bill?  TIA.

Cheers - AL

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3 hours ago, iBooz2 said:

@Aussiekraut Re your "Mid-strength Pacific Ale. Not bad for a first attempt. Needs a little more body, which I hope the added light crystal will fix. Quite a drinkable beer for 2.9% (bottled). 2nd batch is in the making as we speak. Waiting for strike temp to mash".

How did the second batch go?  Also what mash temp or rest profile did you do the first one and second one? Did first one lack body because of a lower mash temp you think or was it just the slim grain bill?  TIA.

Cheers - AL

I bottled the 2nd batch today. 

I think it was the grain bill. I used some light crustal for this one to add some colour and a little body. Mash temp was 72C for 45 minutes. This drops the ABV of the beer and aids body. 

To be honest, now where it is a little older, the original is pretty good. It still lacks a little but it's pretty good. A commercial middie is thinner, that's for sure 🙂 ABV is around 2.5% before bottle conditioning. So for kegging, you may be able to add a little more malt to compensate and get more body in.

 

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I am a bit worried about my Coopers Vintage Ale 2020.  Brewed it on Saturday 2 January.  OG 1.068. 

Took a SG sample on Wednesday 6 Jan: SG 1.040.  I keep the sample in the tube sitting beside the fermenter and measure it rather than taking a fresh sample and wasting precious beer.  The reading has steadily dropped:

  • Thu 7 Jan: SG 1.037
  • Fri 8 Jan: SG 1.034
  • Sat 9 Jan: SG 1.030
  • Sun 10 Jan: SG 1.028
  • Mon 11 Jan: SG 1.025

Today 12 Jan, the saved sample read 1.022.  I also took a fresh sample from the FV, except it reads 1.030.  WTF!  The main krausen in the FV dropped late last week, but it still kept a thin frothy layer.  The sample tube had a similar thin mini-krausen each day.

I am now worried that the fermenting brew has stopped well short of the predicted FG.  My 2019 and 2018 Vintages both got down to 1.010.  But they both had the brew can yeast in them as well as the Coopers yeast harvested from Pale Ale bottles.

I increased the temperature to 20°C.  I will check it tomorrow.

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2 hours ago, Shamus O'Sean said:

I am a bit worried about my Coopers Vintage Ale 2020.  Brewed it on Saturday 2 January.  OG 1.068. 

Took a SG sample on Wednesday 6 Jan: SG 1.040.  I keep the sample in the tube sitting beside the fermenter and measure it rather than taking a fresh sample and wasting precious beer.  The reading has steadily dropped:

  • Thu 7 Jan: SG 1.037
  • Fri 8 Jan: SG 1.034
  • Sat 9 Jan: SG 1.030
  • Sun 10 Jan: SG 1.028
  • Mon 11 Jan: SG 1.025

Today 12 Jan, the saved sample read 1.022.  I also took a fresh sample from the FV, except it reads 1.030.  WTF!  The main krausen in the FV dropped late last week, but it still kept a thin frothy layer.  The sample tube had a similar thin mini-krausen each day.

I am now worried that the fermenting brew has stopped well short of the predicted FG.  My 2019 and 2018 Vintages both got down to 1.010.  But they both had the brew can yeast in them as well as the Coopers yeast harvested from Pale Ale bottles.

I increased the temperature to 20°C.  I will check it tomorrow.

Shamus, have you retained the 1.030 sample? I do as you do and take a sample and let it sit next to the FV so I can keep an eye on progress. Then when it's done or close to done I take another fresh sample, as you have. Sometimes this fresher sample has a spike in reading but I've found it's settles lower after awhile. Could it be the effervescence in the FV is giving a false high reading and just needs time to settle?

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9 hours ago, jamiek86 said:

@Shamus O'Sean how much harvested yeast did you use this time or did u make a massive starter? that's a massive og maby ill get there with a strong one soon.

I made a starter using the yeast from 8 Pale Ale bottles plus a 6 month old culture of the same yeast.  The culture would have died off a fair bit, but I still should have got something from it; nutrient for the active yeast at least.  The standard Coopers reactivation says use 6 Pale Ale stubbies.  I do not think that is enough, but 8 should have been.

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7 hours ago, MUZZY said:

Shamus, have you retained the 1.030 sample? I do as you do and take a sample and let it sit next to the FV so I can keep an eye on progress. Then when it's done or close to done I take another fresh sample, as you have. Sometimes this fresher sample has a spike in reading but I've found it's settles lower after awhile. Could it be the effervescence in the FV is giving a false high reading and just needs time to settle?

Thanks for the ideas, Muzzy.

I kept the newer 1.030 sample to continue monitoring it.  I find the newer sample usually exactly the same or a few points lower.

I did leave the new sample for a while, gave the hydrometer a spin or two and dunked it up and down, so bubbles on the hydrometer should not have been an issue.  However, there were bubbles rising in the sample, so there is hope that what is in the FV is still fermenting, just slower than the earlier sample (that I did tip).

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So my 2020 Coopers Vintage Ale is now at 20°C.  The good news is that the sample in the tube has a thin little krausen on it, so it seems to be fermenting still.  I will check again tonight.

Also swirled up the yeast cake a bit with the Chux dry hop bag.  That might help things on a bit.

This brew is throwing out my schedule a bit.  I was planning another brew day this weekend.  However, at this rate, the Vintage Ale may not be finished by the weekend, let alone cold crashed and ready to bottle/keg.  I will not have the fermenting space for a new brew.  First world problems, I guess.

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2 hours ago, Shamus O'Sean said:

I kept the newer 1.030 sample to continue monitoring it.  I find the newer sample usually exactly the same or a few points lower.

Yes its a very good idea and practice to have your first sample in the tube left fermenting along side the FV so you have the two running in parallel.  In other words the FV and the mini FV. 

I have done this nearly every brew.

I also find the reading in the sample tube the same as the fresh sample of the FV, IF / WHEN taking the fresh sample draw a bit though the tap first into a glass or waste container and discard this bit then draw the fresh measurement sample into your hydrometer tube.  If you skip this step you may draw a higher proportion of more dense beer / un-fermented sugars which will skew your readings. 

You may have accidentally on purpose missed this step there Shamus because it is a very precious Coopers Vintage Ale batch. 😆

Cheers - AL

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On 1/10/2021 at 1:01 AM, rugbrod said:

Got three (Voss) Kveik brews down on Friday to coincide with a decent run of 30+ C weather. Did my first mini mash to bring a bit of haze and mouthfeel to a couple of these beers.

First is an 8L single hop Sabro hazy pale. Just a short 5min hop addition followed by two more dry hops at 12 and 24 hrs post fermentation.

Second is a 15L hazier take on a Stone and Wood, basically a single hop Galaxy hazy pale. 30/15/5/0 min hop additions and a dry hop at 12hrs.

Third is a 23L Kingsley's Ginger Beer. The classic tried and tested recipe.

The ambient temp has been sitting at around 30-32 in the room I have them in, so they're bubbling along nicely.

Happy to post full recipes if anyone is interested at all. I plan to cold crash these which is also a first, and then bottle.

Fingers crossed for a bountiful harvest.

All three of these fermented out within 72hrs and i did an ice bath cold crash for the two beers. The temperature wasn’t as low as I wanted it but it dropped all the hop matter anyway. I think this was good in a way as it meant that the yeast didn’t all drop (maybe, I actually don’t know).

Big day of bottling but it’s all in the cupboard now. Next batches will be some stouts that will hopefully be aged in time for winter.

 

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