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Scotty1525229188

Yet Another Newbie

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Hey Guys. Mainly hoping on to say Gday and Yes you have another newbie here to deal with. As I have seen in so many threads already I believe my first brew may not be the best. I started my first brew on sunday and sadly ended up after mixing my Lager can and brew enhancer in water somehow ended up at about 32 degrees. I tried to bring temp down by placing FV in the sink with cold water but it wasn't cooling very fast. I was in a way worried after seeing reports that the Yeast should be pitched asap so I pitched at about 30 degrees. The temp came down over the next few hours and I have since been fermenting at around the 20-22 degree area. Im not totally worried after reading a number of posts in the forum that show that a few people have done the same and brews havnt turned out to bad. Also I planned on bottling this weekend but have also learnt that I may be better off leaving for another week to allow brew to clear up.

Any help and advise would be highly appreciated and I look forward to many more brews and learning all the secrets over the coming years.

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Hi Scotty and welcome to the dark side of beer.

Although I dearly love Coopers and all they have done for us, I have no idea why the Lager kit is included for your first brew.

I don't recall tasting it but by all reports it leaves a little to be desired.

Be sure to smash out another brew the same day you bottle as an empty Fermenting Vessel (FV) is a lonely one.

What commercial beer do you buy?

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Hey Ben10 thanks for the Welcome. I have recently been drinking Hollandia mainly due to the price but also enjoy the beer. I also enjoy pure blonde and the usual Aussie beers in VB and carlton Draught. I will not be leaving the FV empty for long as I have already been eyeing the Canadian blonde and maybe even the pale ale. I would like to get a cider in before summer hits also but am thinking I might look for a smaller FV for the cider (maybe 5-10liters max).

I have heard from a few people the lager mix that comes with the kits is abit ordinary and not to expect to much. Do you think it will be any worse because I have pitched at a high temp? It seems to be looking and smelling OK although I don't really know what a good look and smell is yet I suppose.

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Hi Scotty

 

In almost all cases of a problem, you won't be in any doubt at all if it smells or tastes bad. If you are in doubt, in 99.9% of cases it will be a problem related to your recipe.

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Do you think it will be any worse because I have pitched at a high temp?.

 

I don't know really.

It appears you like lagers, unfortunately these are at the harder end of the brewing scale.

Little Creatures Pale Ale and 150 Lashes (James Squires) would be something I'd suggest tasting to educate your palate.

Grab a couple of six packs and we can go from there.

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Cheers Guys thanks for the Help. I will grab a few samples of those Ben10 and see how I go. I have recently been experimenting with different beers and have found I am a fan of Pale Ales but not a fan of Pilsners. Other beers I enjoy are Heineken and Stella Artois but im pretty sure im still barking up that Lager tree there.

Im slowly expanding my pallet though not to long ago I would only drink VB or Draught where as now I will give most things a go.

 

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Cheers Guys thanks for the Help.

 

We'll sort you out mate.

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OK I took you advise and grabbed a six pack of each those beers Ben10. Was a bigger fan of the 150 lashes than the Little Creatures pale ales, it was a much smoother beer to me. if I can brew something similar to that I will be very happy.

 

Brew Update - I took my first gravity reading since OG yesterday and it was at 1018 then and 1015 today so seems to be going as planned. I will continue to take readings daily from here and see what the gravity does. Beer looks, smells and tastes like beer so that's a positive.

 

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Very easy to make a 150 Lashes like beer. Coopers have a wonderful recipe section here, as well as the marvellous and palate expanding ROTM (recipe of the month).

The following are all brews that you could make and are not overly expensive.

Golden Ale

ANZAC Ale

Chubby Cherub

Cascarillo Amber Ale

Celebration Ale

 

Plus, if you buy your hops in 100g bags, quite a few of these have in common, thus saving you money, and some are interchangeable too if you don't want to buy too many different ones.

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Cheers Ben10 I really appreciate the advise. I live in Melbourne and with summer just around the corner which would be best suited to the higher temperatures of summer?

I was actually looking at a few of the basic brews from the international and Thomas Coopers section for my second brew. Are they any good?

I will Try a few of those other brews with more steps after I have tried a few times. Would rather ruin a crappy brew than a good one.

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Need to keep the temp down as best you can.

Do you have a cooler room or a spare laundry tub you could tie up for a few days?

I managed 19° in a tub of water.

And yes the basic brews are fine. The TC kits are very good.

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G'day Scotty, the Thomas Coopers Selection kits are great, although I have mostly used them as a base for added tweaks rather than on their own.

 

If you like German wheat beers (Erdinger, Weihenstephaner etc) you could try the TCS Wheat beer. That might be a little more forgiving of higher temperatures but you definitely wouldn't want to go above 24 degrees C. You won't get quite the same character with the yeast included with the kit but it will be very tasty and refreshing for summer. There's a Hefeweizen recipe in the same section Ben linked to above.

 

Unfortunately it's a hard time of year to get started unless you can cool your fermenter somehow. From what I have read there's a few ways of doing it:

  • Sit it in a tub of water - this might be enough by itself before it gets too hot;
  • Sit it in a tub of water with some frozen bottles of water floating - change these every day or as they melt;
  • Sit it in a tub of water and 'dress' it in an old tshirt soaking up the water. This will keep it cooler via evaporation. Blow it with a fan for more effect; or
  • Stick it in a temperature controlled brewing fridge, but this is a bit of an investment to set up.
  • Pack up until Autumn - but you probably don't want to do this!

 

If you stick the fermenter in a tub of water you probably want to put a styrofoam cup or something under the tap to prevent possible contamination. Might not be a big deal, but that's what i would do as a precaution. If you have a large Esky this could do well as a tub.

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Hello! I'm new as well (very new, waiting on my first ever Coopers brew kit to arrive). I've heard the Lager Can it comes with is not the best of their range, but I've read good things about the English Bitter & the Australian Pale Ale - can anyone comment first hand?

 

I was also wondering - is the yeast in any one of their cans more resilient to heat fluctuations? I'm going to brew in my garage and won't have that much control over fluctuations. Temps here are 15-25 so fairly ideal this time of year before we go to 40deg day & night, but even now there is still quite a fluctuation.

 

Just one more question if you don't mind! There are a lot of experts here on the forums mixing & matching, sourcing quality ingredients, etc... Is it possible to brew a good drop just using the stock-standard Coopers ranges?

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G'day Duff - can we call you Dan?

 

OK - sorry about that. I've never had the so called "lager" Coopers put out in their kits, but for most of my brewing career have been quite happy on Real Ale and Draught cans. Lately, and this forum is largely to blame, I've been getting into more interesting brews - but they haven't been that complicated as long as you know the ingredients to use. (Refer Coopers Recipes page.)

 

For a good beginner's beer, I don't think you can go past the Cooper's Pale Ale can - very simple and not at all shabby. Might pay to keep the temperature down at the time of pitching because the yeast tends to take off when it gets warmed up and in summer, it's pretty hard to slow down. The old tub of water etc might help - being on good terms with the missus doesn't hurt either!

 

Happy brewing.

 

Mike

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Hello! I'm new as well (very new' date=' waiting on my first ever Coopers brew kit to arrive). I've heard the Lager Can it comes with is not the best of their range, but I've read good things about the English Bitter & the Australian Pale Ale - can anyone comment first hand?

 

I was also wondering - is the yeast in any one of their cans more resilient to heat fluctuations? I'm going to brew in my garage and won't have that much control over fluctuations. Temps here are 15-25 so fairly ideal this time of year before we go to 40deg day & night, but even now there is still quite a fluctuation.

 

Just one more question if you don't mind! There are a lot of experts here on the forums mixing & matching, sourcing quality ingredients, etc... Is it possible to brew a good drop just using the stock-standard Coopers ranges?[/quote']

Welcome to the forum DuffBeer!

 

It all comes down to personal opinion and mine is that the Lager kit isn't the best. But you have to do it as it is a rite of passage into home brewing biggrin

 

Both the APA and English Bitter are great kits. You can make perfectly nice beer with simple kit & kilo type recipes using Coopers kits. But it doesn't take much much to tweak them either. Get a couple of simple brews under your belt and then try a few different ones from the Recipe Database involving hops and grains.

 

It seems that fermentation may be your biggest issue and is an often neglected area of brewing. Mixing the ingredients is the easy part but if you let the ferment temperatures get too high then you can ruin it.

 

Around 18-21 degrees is perfect. A few degrees higher will be OK but you may produce a few more esters. You don't really want to go above 24-25 degrees and you are really going to struggle on the 40 degree days.

 

You should look into temperature control. The best way is to use a fridge with an external thermostat hooked up. But do some research as there are many ways to keep your fermenting wort cooler.

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I made a similar mistake with the temperature and then I started to panic and through ice in. My first batch was infected and tasted sour like sulfur. Should have practiced as per instructions first.

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I made a similar mistake with the temperature and then I started to panic and through ice in. My first batch was infected and tasted sour like sulfur. Should have practiced as per instructions first.

Welcome to the forum, AbbeyBeer!

 

The first two things to master with home brewing is sanitation and temperature control.

 

Give your equipment a good dose of bleach, rinse well and then sanitise. Then go again.

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I made a similar mistake with the temperature and then I started to panic and through ice in. My first batch was infected and tasted sour like sulfur. Should have practiced as per instructions first.

Welcome to the forum' date=' AbbeyBeer!

 

The first two things to master with home brewing is sanitation and temperature control.

 

Give your equipment a good dose of bleach, rinse well and then sanitise. Then go again.[/quote']

 

Absolutely; even some of us more experienced brewers get complacent from time to time, & suffer the indignity, frustration, & inconvenience of a bad brew or infection.

 

No matter how experienced you get, how many brews you do, or how complex or simple your brewing methods & equipment, the cornerstone of good brewing practice is temperature control & sanitation.

 

Get those sorted & you eliminate about 95% of the variable factors that can ruin a brew.

The only other really important thing is good quality ingredients, preferably as fresh as possible.

Keep that in mind & you're on the road to making consistently good home made beer.

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