2nd Brew (2nd time around!)

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I've been reading this site for a few weeks now trying to improve my knowledge and gain some help and it's a fantastic resource.

I guess I'm like most others looking to brew better beers! Well, even drinkable beers will do me at this stage,

I bought a couple of fermenters 4-5 years ago and tried a couple of coopers cans and brew enhancers. From what I remember, they weren't undrinkable but they had a real sugary twang to them. I thought I must have done some things wrong.

A month ago I grabbed the fermenters back out and after a thorough clean, made a coopers larger can. Its been bottled for 10 days now and I had a sample today and it tastes very similar. I will leave it for a month and try again but not hopeful.

Now, I followed alot of tips and articles this time in regards to cleaning/temperature etc and am almost certain I haven't stuffed anything up. So I've started to think maybe I haven't done anything wrong. Maybe this is just how a can and a box of brew enhancer taste...??

I have a can of Coopers Pale Ale. With this I have a kg of dextrose, a kg of Light Dry Malt, 250g Carapils Crystal Malt, B-Saaz Hops, Cascade Hops (both pellets) and US-05 yeast.

I bought these in an attempt to brew something better. But not really 100% sure about where to go now.

I would appreciate any advice on the best way to use these ingredients to produce a nice ale. Or even a drinkable ale!

Please bear in mind I am pretty much a complete novice. :unsure:

Thank you
For the first K&B (kit & bits) I'd look at something like the tin, 500g dex, 500g LDME, maybe 150g of the carapils (I'm going to assume you know how to use it already) and maybe 25g of the cascade boiled for 10 min (I am again assuming you know the process). That might end up under done for some tastes but it'll give you an okay idea of what changes different ingredients make and you can go crazy on the next one with a bit of a better idea.
It's quite possible that kit brews simply aren't for you. You may be able to taste the "kit twang" many brewers refer to. I haven't tasted it myself, but many have.

There's a way you can try to rule this out....drop your brew enhancer, which will rule out the taste being caused by either dextrose or maltodextrin. Instead brew this:

1 x can of Coopers Australian Pale Ale
1 x can of Coopers Light LME
Top up with (preferably boiled and/or filtered) water to 21 litres, pitch US-05 yeast, ferment at 18 degrees

That will make you a 4.9% pale ale (after bottle conditioning) with 20 IBU's.

Another choice is to put the Aussie Pale Ale can into 11 litres of water, use half a pack of US-05 yeast fermented at 18 degrees. Then you get a small batch of pale ale with a more substantial 38 IBU, 5% alcohol. And you save $11 on a can of LME.

If that still has the twang you describe, it's a kit issue. If you want to keep doing home brew, consider moving to full extract brews or even brew in a bag all grain brewing.
Welcome fellow Tasmanian. OK, a few really quick suggestions on technique.
1. Sanitise everything that your beer will touch - bleach and vinegar will do but most prefer Starsan. (If you use bleach and vinegar be careful to dilute the bleach first before adding the vinegar).
2. Ferment at 18 with that US05 you bought.
3. If you received instructions from your LHBS to "top up the fermenter after a few days" or suchlike do NOT do this (local Hobart brewers will know what I mean). The CO2 layer on top of your beer will keep out the nasties.
4. Let your beer ferment out for 2 weeks. (yeah I know, the waiting kills you)
5. Use your hydrometer. Get an OG and wait till you have a stable FG over a few days.
6. Ignore the airlock. Better still, chuck away your lid and use glad wrap to cover the fermenter using the o-ring from the lid to seal. Don't worry the CO2 will get out. Your fermenter will not explode.
7. Use IanH's spreadsheet to put together recipes. http://aussiehomebrewer.com/topic/29655-kit-and-extract-beer-spreadsheet/
8. Continue to read all the guides on AHB but don't be afraid to ask questions.
9. Relax, have a....you know the rest.

Enjoy the journey and the ensuing upgraditis.
I know the taste you are talking about and my theory is, the yeast has a lot to do with it.

I have a friend that did a side by side comparison with exactly the same ingredients and brew conditions (for coopers Australian pale ale) - one with coopers ale yeast and one with US-05. The US-05 brew turned out much cleaner and without the coopers kit taste.

I also believe if you use alternative yeasts such as US-05, keeping the temp at 18 deg C becomes even more important as off flavours are more exagerated at higher temperatures. Coopers kit yeast seems to be a little more resistant to temperature.

My 2c, from limited experience.
Just adding to what everyone else already rightly said:

I found when I did kits that the freshness of the kit and malt extract (that includes brew enhancer) had a big role in the "twang". If you use really fresh ingredients, practice good sanitation and don't ferment at stupidly high temps then you shouldn't get any twang.

You left out what temp you were fermenting at but other than that I think you're on the right track - can't see too much wrong with your technique.
Welcome to the forum and good to see another Tassie brewer.

My first suggestions is you try and catch up with some other Hobart brewers that are on the forum.

Second suggestion (as you have the ingredients so should be willing to try) something along the lines

Can of Coopers Pale Ale
1kg Light Dry Malt
250g Carapils steeped at 65C for 30 minutes
20g Cascade 20 minutes
20 g Cascade Dry Hopped

Whilst steeping grains does not require much water, it may be better to use the volume you are going to boil and measure the volume of water.

The 20 minute boil of Cascade Hops will add some bitterness to the beer, this is usually done at an SG of about 1.040. Take your volume of water in litres subtract 1 (for the Carapils) and add 100g Light Dry Malt per litre. (so if using 5 litres minus 1 gives 400 grams Light Dry Malt to be added)

The Dry Hopping should be done after about 5 -7 days in the fermenter for about 5-7 days.

Whatever you make with those ingredients to going to be a pale coloured brew.

As others have said US05 yeast and ferment at 18C if possible.

I would also leave it bottled conditioned for at least a month.

Edit just noticed you mention fermenters pural, one thing you did not mention is whether you are using the carbonation drops or sugar or dextrose for conditioning. If using carbonation drops I would suggest going to bulk priming with Dextrose.
You'll find the Coopers Pale Ale a huge step up on the OS Lager kit. I brewed both at the start with the 1kg of BE1, the Pale Ale was head and shoulders above the Lager. Having said that doing what others have suggested and using 1kg of Malt, some speciality grain and a short hop boil should produce one of the best beers you've ever had. Cascade hops and Coopers Pale Ale are a match made in heaven. If not then follow carniebrews suggestion!
Hi peoples,

Many thanks for the replies.

I would definitely be keen to learn off some Hobart brewers if there would be anyone with the patience and time to pass on some skills.

Just to answer a couple of questions as I didn't include them in my initial post;

I bulk primed.

Also, I fermented at approx 22 degrees. Although I did notice it fluctuate to as low as 18 on one occasion but mostly around 22. It was in the coolest place I could find.

Which leads me to another few questions.

It's pretty warm still at the moment so am delaying putting this brew together for fear I wont get near 18 degrees.

So, should I look at a fridge to brew in?

I am renting at the moment and there is a spare fridge (not mine) under the house that I can use. However I won't be able to alter it in anyway. I remember reading somewhere of a device that you could just plug in and control temperature in the fridge.

Or would I be better off purchasing my own second hand fridge to set up permanently?

Or not bother and try get the brew as cool as I can....??

Also, with the smaller 11l batch suggested by carniebrew, would the extra space in the fermenter be ok?

Sorry for more questions, just really don't want to bugger it up. :mellow:
So I have done the following:

Coopers Pale Ale can.
750g Light Dry Malt
250g Dextrose
150g Carapils (steeped for 30 mins at 65 degrees)
20g Cascade (boiled for 20 mins)
US05 Yeast

Its currently fermenting at 20 degrees but its in the fridge and going to get it to 18.

Would it be worth cold conditioning or cold crashing this before bottling??

If you want your beer to clear up, cold crashing will do that. If you don't mind cloudy beer don't worry about it.

I ferment mine for 5-7 days, transfer (rack) to my secondary, give it about another week and then cold crash for 1 week.

Crystal clear, every batch.
Now that sounds like a ripping brew, looking forward to hearing how that one tastes for you.

My opinion on cold crashing....purely personal preference. If you're really keen to make a 'brighter' beer, go for it. But the beer will brighten up with a couple of months of bottle conditiioning anyway....cold crashing just speeds that up.

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