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Steve T

Pale Ale Problems??

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Hi

 

I have been trying to brew a pale ale to equal the bottled brew for about 3 months (10 brews) and i must say I am getting quite frustrated.

 

The first 4 brews i followed all directions given, I used Brew Enh. 2 started with 1035 at about 28 degrees after 6 to 8 days finished at 1005 bottled using carb. drops and after 4 weeks waiting ended up with a flat dark malty beer really quite undrinkable after 2 or 3.

 

 

 

I then decided to get my yeast from 4 pale ale stubbies I started at 1038 at 28 degees, 7 days later I bottled at 1005 using carb. drops waited 4 weeks and now have a beer that is really overcarbonated ???

 

I pour it in a glass and the head grows out of the glass It is also quite undrinkable too.

 

 

 

To top it off I tried a corona brew followed all instuctions used the yeast supplied and ended up with again a very flat beer.??

 

I have tried bottling in cleaned stubbies reusing the twist tops and new PET bottles it doent seem to have any effect on the finished product.

 

I have just put another Pale Ale brew down this time using yeast supplied plus yeast from pale ale stubbies hoping to get the right carbonation is this a good idea or should I use bulk priming and adjust the dextrose down in the hope of getting less carbonisation??

 

I have also started to cool the wort down to 24/26 degrees hoping it will give a better tasting brew.

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Hello Anonymous,

 

It appears that you have a number of issues with your brews.

 

The first is that you are fermenting at way too high temperatures for the results you are trying to achieve. Try fermenting closer to 21degC.

 

As for the other points you raise, I think it is probably a good idea, as I am not the quickest on a keyboard, to ring our Home Brew hotline 1300 654 455 and we can talk through your issues\u2026you may get Frank or Darren but you are welcome to ask for me if you like!

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Hi there,

 

I am in Darwin, and the temperature never gets to 21 degrees. But I am having no problems getting my pale to work at around 34 deg.

 

I know this may sound bad, but how is the cleanliness of your fermenter ? and are you bottling into the PET bottles or glass brownies ? My neighbour/brewing buddy and I find the pale ale stubbies are perfect for homebrew, with good soft caps available from most homebrew shops ( they are made specially for re-capping screw top bottles ) Also, you can over sterilise, which will stop the yeast from working properly. Miltons anti-bacterial solution which is the same stuff used to sterilise baby bottles is great for your fermenter and bottles. About 1/2 a capful will sterilise your fermenter no worries, but rinse it really well or your brew will smell a bit chloriny !! Hope this helps.

 

Happy brewing

 

 

 

Simon.

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Thanks Paul I will ring you shortly

 

Also thanks Simon I dont think the fermenter cleanliness is a problem as they are both brand new but I may be guilty of over sterilisation I am using coopers brand sterilizer but may not be rinsing enough giving me flat brews

 

Steve

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Simon, please note, we do not recommend the use of glass bottles, which have "NO REFILL" for Home Brew.

 

Coopers brand Crown Seals are made with the same materials as the seals on our commercial beers...they work fairly well, I reckon.

 

You can never over sterilise/sanitise providing you ensure residual chemical is rinsed away completely with very hot water.

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Hi Paul,

 

To be honest mate, the PET bottles supplied by Coopers may work in theory, or in other parts of this great brown land. And they are good for ginger beer etc. However, and I do acknowledge the fact there is a "no refill " on the glass bottles, after doing my first brew in the plastic ones, I resolved to take them to the recycling depot and get my dollars back. People have been using glass bottles for as long as homebrew has been around, and I think that although they say not to refill, it would be irresponsible to deny the fact they are in use.

 

I never said that the seals marketed by Coopers are no good, I just mentioned that I happened to find a better seal using a different product and at the end of the day it may take some different items, not all necessarily Coopers to bet your homebrew right.

 

 

 

Steve, don't give up, but don't forget that experimentation is the key. I use a mix of dextrose, powdered corn syrup and light dry malt in my pale ale, with carbonation drops for secondary fermentation and it works just fine.

 

 

 

I would be happy to hear from loyal drinkers that the bottles Coopers market their beers in are being put to good use, and not just ending up at the tip like everything else !!!!

 

regards, Simon

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Hi Steve,

 

Have been following your case closely; I have only been home brewing for 5 months so am still a beginner. However I have brewed Coopers Pale Ale succesfully a number of times. I am in the Pilbara (W.A.) and the temp is usually high 30's to mid 40's here. I place 5 x 1kg. butter containers of ice in the wort before adding the yeast to bring to temp down to 28 - 30C, and use Brew Enhancer, Carb drops and Coopers Pet bottles - result - a perfect drop every time. The brew gets to about 32 - 34C during fermention, so don't know how I am doing it but am happy with the end product. As mentioned I am no expert, and look forward to reading the advice others more knowledgeable than me.

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Thanks Paul for the time spent on the phone sorting out my problems and others who have written to help also.

 

I was guilty of two of what I think are probably the most simple and usual mistakes made by new brewers.

 

The first brews were fine I was testing and tasting the beer in brand new glasses bought specifically for my home brew, the problem being they were never clean and I was avoiding detergent when washing so they were always dirty

 

I took Pauls advice and poured the beer into brand new plastic cups and the differance is unbeliveable

 

Problem 1 solved.

 

Problem 2

 

I had made up a yeast culture from Pale Ale stubbies for my next lot of brews and it somehow got an infection, unknown to me I then took yeast samples from the fermenter split it into 4 and thus infected the next 4 brews.

 

Problem 2 solved

 

I just wish I had noticed the slight infection when I bottled the first brew not 4 weeks later after I had patiently waited but brewed 4 more infected batches.

 

Anyway my lesson has been learnt and i am back on track and will continue my quest to brew that perfect pale ale

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Hi

 

 

 

I have been following the suggestions about using new plastic glasses with interest. I have been brewing for some time but I am still having difficulty with the beer going flat in my glasses. I have tried most things from just plain hot water to the dishwasher but can't seem to get it right.

 

 

 

Any tips?

 

 

 

David

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This may be a radical solution but, there are glasses now available with a sandblasted base, they encourage the release of Co2 keeping the beer working and consiquently a good head.....However, this will cause the beer to go flat if you leave it awhile, but if you keep glasses cold,clean and in use, it is fairly successful. I tried several methods of emulating this condition only to the detrement of a few of my glasses, the one successful solution I came up with was to get a piece of emery paper, a piece of dowel or similar and gently sand the base of the glass to introduce some minute scratches that will encourage the beer to keep working. It would pay to have a few glasses treated so that you can rinse and chill as you go, it seems that they still go flat after a few beers especially at barbies! (FAT) Try on a couple of dispensable glasses first to make sure you are happy with it.

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Why muck around with yeast , just use the satchel provided and glasses - well isnt a stubby made of glass ??? The only trouble I have is trying not to send Pale Ale FLAT out down my throat.

 

...Like that victorian crowd say ..matter of fact I feel like one now!!

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