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#20

2 questions about the Coopers Lager

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Hi guys,

 

Brand new to beer brewing and this is my first post here, so go easy on me :-).

 

I bought the Coopers DIY a few weeks ago, and brewed the Lager that comes with the kit Sunday 10 days ago. I have kept the temperature around 22-24 degrees all the time. As the instructions told me to do (21-27 in the instructions). Reading on this forum it looks like it is concensus that this is a little on the high side. But I don't understand why Coopers recommend that temperature range if it's not the best for this kit. I would guess that it is in their best of interests that the beer turns out as good as possible for me. Well - that aside. It's done anyway :-)

 

1.) On Saturday (Day 6) I had a SG of 1.014. On Sunday (Day 7) it was 1.012. On Monday (Day 8) it was 1.012. I therefore thought I could bottle yesterday, being the same two days in a row. But yesterday (Day 9), it was 1.011. New reading this afternoon (Day 10). If it is 1.011 again today, should I just bottle it? Or should I let it sit for a few more days?

 

Some says it is good to let it stay in the FV for a few days longer, while other says it is good to get the beer off that yeast cake at the bottom as soon as FG is reached. Could that yeast cake cause damage to my beer (off flavors etc) if the beer is sitting to long on it? I am confused..

 

2.) My OG was 1.036 and SG is now 1.011. There is a chance it will stop there. Meaning I have a ABV at the moment of 3.35%. After adding the carbonation drops and storing in the bottles, it will become a beer of about 3.8%. A little on the low side, isn't it?

 

My readings is right where they should be comparing it with what it says in the instructions(on the DVD). It says:"The recipe in this kit should start with an Original Gravity (OG) around the 1034 to 1038 mark, and finish with a Final Gravity (FG) of around 1012 to 1016".

 

By calculating a little around these values given by Coopers and saying we are lucky enough to get an OG of 1038 and a FG of 1012, that means a 3.5% abv. With carbonation we are looking at an ABV of up to 4.0% at the best with this kit.

 

Is this correct? I was expecting it to be more like a normal beer/lager with an ABV of 4.5-4.7%.

 

What do you guys think?

 

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Welcome to the forum #20L

 

Brand new to beer brewing and this is my first post here, so go easy on me :-).

 

No worries there mate you passed the first test by calling it a Lager instead of a Larger\u2026.you\u2019d be surprised how many Larger people are making [biggrin]

 

Tempwise you should be ok but for ales you should aim to keep it at 18-20C\u2026and you are making an ale even though they perplexingly call it a lager. They suggest a pretty wild temp range because the average first timer in this hot and arid country probably doesn\u2019t have the best temp control at their disposal\u2026.and they assume the average person is an idiot [innocent]

 

1.) If it is 1.011 again today, should I just bottle it? Or should I let it sit for a few more days?

 

I\u2019d be inclined to leave it a few more days. My rule of thumb is to allow a week for fermentation plus a week for the yeast to clean up after itself and for the beer t o clear more\u2026and then after that I crash chill it for a few days minimum but I do all my brewing in a temp controlled fridge so you can wait until the new hobby really takes hold to worry about the last bit [lol]

 

As for getting the beer off the yeast cake don\u2019t stress out. It\u2019s fine for up to a month but once it gets over this other factors come into play. It may be fine longer than this but it depends on multiple factors that are neither here nor there at this stage.

 

2.) After adding the carbonation drops and storing in the bottles, it will become a beer of about 3.8%. A little on the low side, isn't it?

 

That is a pretty low but if I recall correctly what they unfortunately put in the kit makes a beer of around 4% so you are in the ballpark but I\u2019ll have to check and get back to you on that one\u2026either way the kit beer made as per instructions is a pretty average drop as best but don\u2019t be discouraged it only gets better if you stick with it.

 

 

 

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Hi 20L, welcome to the forum, and brewing!

 

My guess is they recommend that range because it's easier for newbie brewers to maintain since most of them don't have fridges with temp control or anything like that. It's more an introduction to brewing to get you familiar with the basic processes. And then you can visit forums such as these if you want more info on temps and ingredients and such.[biggrin]

 

Anyway, I'll try to answer your questions as best I can.

 

1.) You can safely leave it in the FV until the weekend if you want. Most of us leave our ales (which the Lager is as it comes with ale yeast), in the FV for two weeks minimum before bottling as it lets the yeast clean up a bit and the beer clear a little more before bottling. If your cleaning and sanitation processes are all good, leaving it in there on the yeast cake won't have any ill effect. I left a lager I just bottled today on the yeast cake for about 4 weeks.

 

2.) Those numbers sound about right. I'm guessing you used Brew Enhancer 1 with the Lager kit? This contains 40% Maltodextrin which doesn't ferment. Assuming you used the full kilo, you've basically brewed the kit with 600g dextrose which would give an ABV around the 3.8 to 4% mark. You can increase it by adding more dex which probably isn't advisable as it turns the beer into cidery fizzy water. If you can get some light dry malt, maybe try 500g of that plus 250g dex, or 750g LDM and 250 dex, to boost the ABV a little.

 

Hopefully that helps a little![cool]

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Stick with it 20

 

You've just had two of the most knowledgeable blokes on the site give you some advice. Between these 2 and Hairy, you'll be brewing stuff that you won't believe by your second or 3rd brew.

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Dave I'm flattered [lol]

 

Kelsey and Hairy on the other hand might be a bit disappointed being lumped in with me though [bandit]

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Between these 2 and Hairy' date=' you'll be brewing stuff that you won't believe by your second or 3rd brew.[/quote']

You will be very, very uncomfortable if you were between those two and Hairy. I don't recommend it [biggrin]

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Excellent questions, I must say. Very thoughtful indeed. #20L, I can already see that you're going to do well at this. And for the sake of reinforcement why not - most of us ferment ales at 18-20 for two weeks.

 

Fridges make for great temperature control, however if you can't have one then a little ingenuity goes a long way. You should see my "evaporative cooler" in full swing!

 

And yep, confusingly the Original Series Lager is actually an ale because it uses an ale yeast. I think Coopers specifically developed it to brew like an ale but taste like a lager, since lagers require much lower temperatures and are therefore more difficult to brew.

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Ooh and another tip! Measurements are great fun at the start but if you take too many you end up with less beer at the end! Enjoy the fiddling for now, but eventually you might find yourself taking the initial one, one on day 10 (or when it should be finished) and one more before bottling. Some guys dont even bother until bottling day and compare the reading to their expected FG. One guy I know doesn't even measure it at all ... but he gets lots of "bottle-bombs".

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Wow guys. The response in here is fantastic. I had hoped for maybe one reply.

 

A part of me would really like to respond to every one of you individually. But given I tend to be a little longwinded in my writing, there is a chance I would be sitting here typing until over the weekend...and I am going to be bottling this weekend [cool] ....Choices, choices... So instead of replying to every good advice, I would therefore like to thank all of you. Really appreciate it guys. As I understand I got replies from some of the most knowledgeable guys around here too. Not bad for a newbie, but that tells me what kind of a nice and fun community you guys have in here. I can sense that by the way you guys have a go at each other :-).

 

Going to follow the advice and leave it in the FV for a few more days. The weekend is perfect timing. That makes it 13-14 days before bottling. As for the abv, it is what is is now. If the beer ends up pretty good tasting, I can live with that the first time around.

 

Regarding the temperature, it's not much to do about it now. It's not that bad and it's not that much over what could be considered ideal. But it's a lesson learnt, and I now understand that temperature is important for a good brew. A few weeks ago I didn't know that much about beer brewing. It was a bit disappointing really, finding out that beer doesn't come from the beer tree [biggrin].

 

I am from Norway. So it shouldn't be much of a problem keeping the temperature down at proper brewing temperatures for the most part of the year (all of the year?). Easier than it is for you guys down under, I would imagine.

 

Cheers guys. And thanks again. I will keep you posted on how it goes. Can't wait to have the first taste in 2-3 weeks. Let's hope it doesn't taste like ****.

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I tend to do brewing activities on weekends and it makes it easier to leave things alone for longer. If it doesn't get bottled on the weekend then it gets another week in the FV [wink]

 

Listen to the guys about temperature but don't be too concerned about this brew. 22-24 degrees isn't ideal but it isn't that bad either. It won't result in a beer that will make you puke; well maybe if you drink enough of them [biggrin]

 

It is a good community here so stick around and let us know how you go. I don't think we have had many Norwegians on here; its good to get a foreign perspective.

 

Good luck with it all.

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Hairy: Being a weekend to weekend brewer seems like a nice work schedule. I'm gonna keep you updated on whether I puke or not from it [biggrin] .

 

Mainiac: Cool. I'll be at the airport with my FV [cool] . Business or pleasure? Have you been here before? Brace yourself man. The beer is very expensive [devil] .

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Hairy: Being a weekend to weekend brewer seems like a nice work schedule

I would much rather work 2 days a week and brew 5 days a week [biggrin]

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Open your own brewery and you can brew 7 days a week! [w00t]

But then I will be working 7 days a week, which is two more than now [tongue]

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Well I have to thank #20L & all of you guys who have answered his questions! As I was wanting to know the answers to all of those too! I am also new to brewing & currently have the lager in the FV day 6 just took a reading (OG-1.040 & FG-1.016 currently) & I was considering bottling to morrow but after reading all of this awesome advice I think I will be leaving for next weekend!! However I may have made my first major F@#k up! That yeast cake on the bottom is it really bad to stir the brew to mix it all up? [unsure]

Cheers again guys for all of the advice on this post!! VERY helpful for newbies!! :-)

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Well I have to thank #20L & all of you guys who have answered his questions! As I was wanting to know the answers to all of those too! I am also new to brewing & currently have the lager in the FV day 6 just took a reading (OG-1.040 & FG-1.016 currently) & I was considering bottling to morrow but after reading all of this awesome advice I think I will be leaving for next weekend!! However I may have made my first major F@#k up! That yeast cake on the bottom is it really bad to stir the brew to mix it all up? [unsure]

Cheers again guys for all of the advice on this post!! VERY helpful for newbies!! :-)

Welcome aboard Dman!

 

It isn't 'bad' per se to stir it up, unless you are unsanitary or splashing a lot and oxidising the beer. But you don't want it floating around in your beer come bottling time.

 

If you have stirred it up then just give it a little time to settle before bottling. Chilling will speed up the settling process so you can stick it in a fridge if necessary.

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Ok cheers Hairy!! As for the whole brewing fridge thing for the future is it just a normal fridge with a different temp control switch thing? I currently have a "beer fridge" which will be keeping the new hand made beers cold!! Lol & have access (mrs has a spare unused big fridge I can nick)So is it just a matter of switching a part out?

 

Again thank you for all your help!!

I can see this new hobbie becoming .......... a little more than a hobbie! Lol maybe in time I will get another FV to have more on the go at once!! Especially as its easier to temp control in winter in the house! Lol

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Nice work scoring the unused fridge.

 

You will need a temp controller which will turn the fridge on and off to maintain a certain temp range.

 

Do a search for STC 1000 and you will find a lot of threads on that topic.

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Hi guys,

 

Been AWOL for a few days. What's the punishment for that around here? [innocent]

 

The status of my brew, is that I let it be in the FV for 13 days and then bottled it. Following your advice of letting it be in the FV a few extra days after FG was reached. My FG was 1011.

 

Saturday it has been in the bottles for 2 weeks, so this weekend I\u2019m gonna taste it for sure. Been tempting to crack one open, but I have been patient and able to stick to my own rule of waiting 2 weeks. Not bad, eh? [cool]

 

Had a small taste when I bottled it and it tasted pretty ok actually (Didn't really know what to expect to be honest). At least considering it was both warm and flat. So looking forward to the weekend now.....

 

BTW \u2013 changed my name to #20. That \u201cL\u201d at the end, was never meant to be there in the first place. No idea how it was able to creep in there during the registration.

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If you have stirred it up then just give it a little time to settle before bottling. Chilling will speed up the settling process so you can stick it in a fridge if necessary.

 

Hi Hairy. Can I just pop the FV in my box freezer for a few hours?

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