A lot of kit brewers post about improving their kit brews with additives and "tweaking" to get away from the perceived "home brew taste".
I've just been presented with a tin of Coopers Australian Pale Ale and a kilo of Coopers Brew Enhancer 2. I also have a batch of Coopers Bottled Ale yeast in the fridge - "recultured".
Ideal opportunity to do a keg filler. If you do something along the same lines you will end up with a basic knowledge of mashing and can easily proceed to all grain brewing if you like the idea.
Most of the equipment listed below is general purpose household stuff. You would have a thermometer and probably a stockpot anyway.
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- Here I use a Decor Brand 8.5L food storer that I normally keep my brewing salts in.
- Paint strainer bag also sold as hop bag by many LHBS, mine came from Craftbrewer, about $8.
- Stockpot. Mine's the excellent Aldi 10.5L one with the glass lid and thick base
You will also need a heat source. I have a wee cooktop, your stove is fine. Camp gas stove excellent as well. Electric kettle etc to provide hot water.
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- kilo of milled pale malt (your supplier will supply milled)
- yeast - there's plenty of info on the forum about growing Coopers Yeast out of the bottle dregs.
- 10g hops, Pride of Ringwood here
This recipe should give a beer around 5.4% ABV with the yeast esters and hop character you find in Coopers Sparkling Ale.
Brewmate (free software) .is useful for calculating temperatures and volumes.
- In the esky provide a water bath at 70 degrees that will come up the sides of the inner container.
- Line the inner container with the fabric bag and pour in hot water to provide 6.8L water at 70
- Quickly but carefully mix in the milled grain, which will yield a bit over 8L of mash at 67
- Put lid on as well as you can and lower into esky, careful not to flood the grain
- Fit esky lid and walk away for an hour
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The grain will now mash itself to yield fermentable sugars and dextrins etc.
The water bath temperature isn't too high, it won't actually do much to the mash except insulate it quite nicely and will itself cool down a fair bit during the mash.
Back later with the second half.
Edited by Bribie G, 02 June 2013 - 04:15 PM.