Beer snob, new to brewing.

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Handsome Jake

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Hi all,

Just started my first brew yesterday using the Coopers kit and their lager wort. I'm not expecting it to be brilliant, but nevertheless I'm excited to drink it.

Further down the line I'm hoping to start adding to the standard commercial syrups and make something interesting. I'm particularly interested in making a coffee stout. I'm a big fan of Pale ales, porters and stouts, and I'm yet to taste a lager I've been impressed with, but I'll keep trying more until I find one.

I don't really need any help at this point as the coopers instructions are pretty clear, but one thing I was wondering for later on is when would be the best time during the brewing to add extras? (such as coffee in my hypothetical coffee beer.)

Cheers, Jake.
 

bum

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Handsome Jake said:
I don't really need any help at this point as the coopers instructions are pretty clear
Interesting juxtaposition there...

Coopers instructions, while very direct, are not well regarded in terms of accuracy/suitability. Chuck them out (and the idea that you know what you're doing now).

As for extras, it depends what you're adding and what you hope to get from it. There could be good arguments for adding coffee at any of many stages of the process.
 

Handsome Jake

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bum said:
Interesting juxtaposition there...

Coopers instructions, while very direct, are not well regarded in terms of accuracy/suitability. Chuck them out (and the idea that you know what you're doing now).

As for extras, it depends what you're adding and what you hope to get from it. There could be good arguments for adding coffee at any of many stages of the process.
I see what you mean by that. They don't exactly go into specifics so, no, I still don't know what I'm doing, but they're supposed to be pretty foolproof.
 

djar007

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I thought I was a beer snob until I came here. Wait until they start talking belgian and german amongst themselves. Good luck with the beer mate.may your first be your worst one
 

Econwatson

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The instructions are very clear, but they are not good instructions.

The most important one brought up by lots of people is the fermentation temperature range. I think the instructions say anything up to 27c is acceptable, which isn't the case. You want to be fermenting at closer to 20c.

Best of luck with the brewing :)
 

Handsome Jake

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Econwatson said:
The instructions are very clear, but they are not good instructions.

The most important one brought up by lots of people is the fermentation temperature range. I think the instructions say anything up to 27c is acceptable, which isn't the case. You want to be fermenting at closer to 20c.

Best of luck with the brewing :)
Cheers. That's actually good news as it's consistently around 22c now.
 

Troy294

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I learnt the hard way I did coopers lager and had around 25-27 degrees and end result was very bitter and bad after taste . The tallies are only just becomming bearable now . But I learnt for my second brew I changed yeast to us-05 and I had it down to 18-20 degrees
 

manticle

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Handsome Jake said:
Cheers. That's actually good news as it's consistently around 22c now.
Is that what the stick on thermometer says?

They are not that accurate and as fermentation generates its own heat, it may be a lot warmer.

Take a hydrometer sample (presuming you have one that came with a sampling tube) and measure that immediately with a glass stick thermometer for a more accurate picture.
 

Lecterfan

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I consistently find the worst thing about being a 'beer snob' is some of the shit beers I brew.
 

jakethesnake559

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Welcome aboard and congrats on your first brew!!
It may not taste awesome, but it's hard not to like something you made yourself :D .
One thing I wish I realised earlier in my brewing life was temperature control...ferment at the right temp and your beer will start tasting way better way sooner.
 

pk.sax

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I have a problem with the constant bagging of the stick on thermometers.

Granted I don't really use them anymore but they've always been within a degree or two at most of what any other thermometer said. And quite a decent reference when casual glancing what the temp of the fermenter is wrt what the temp of the fridge is. Of course, fermenting in a fridge the temp stays pretty constant, however fermenting at ambient around 18-22 with that fluctuation in the day never harmed my beer. I fail to see how a degree or two out (at most) will affect your beer. Sure, estery yeasts, a few degrees difference... But the poor newbies are using kit yeast or us-05. How good is your advice to them!
A stuck on thermo is way better than none because its a hassle to put up an electronic probe and thermo.

Anyway, that was plenty of derailing. Hope the op learns to take the advice on here with a little pinch of salt (and learns to suck and see).
 

chefsantos

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all I can say is if you want to make good beer you need to read as much as you can on this site and any other site (and that takes a very long time)also just remember brewing is not cheap (to do it good ),everyday the wish list gets bigger and bigger of things you want and need . good luck may your first brew be better then my first brew :D
 

Yob

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Hi, my names yob and it's been 2 months since my last equipment buy, its still hard to walk past a brew shop and I'm taking it one day at a time....
 

petesbrew

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Welcome to the site, Jake.
If you're into experimenting with different styles & ingredients, you're going to love this hobby.
 

Troy294

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Well I tried my second brew . My first was s*it I used cooper lager with kit yeast and average temp about 27 .
My second brew I used coopers lager with us -05 yeast and average temp of 20 degrees and the taste was no comparassion . Second brew is sooooo nice and hands down change yeast and ferment at low temp I learnt hard way
 

manticle

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practicalfool said:
I have a problem with the constant bagging of the stick on thermometers.

Granted I don't really use them anymore but they've always been within a degree or two at most of what any other thermometer said. And quite a decent reference when casual glancing what the temp of the fermenter is wrt what the temp of the fridge is. Of course, fermenting in a fridge the temp stays pretty constant, however fermenting at ambient around 18-22 with that fluctuation in the day never harmed my beer. I fail to see how a degree or two out (at most) will affect your beer. Sure, estery yeasts, a few degrees difference... But the poor newbies are using kit yeast or us-05. How good is your advice to them!
A stuck on thermo is way better than none because its a hassle to put up an electronic probe and thermo.

Anyway, that was plenty of derailing. Hope the op learns to take the advice on here with a little pinch of salt (and learns to suck and see).
Utter bollocks mate sorry.

The advice is good because people can ferment at what they think is 18 when they are really fermenting at 23 (or fermenting at 26 when they think the are fermenting at 21). Maybe your stick ons have been better than mine and maybe the insulation properties of your plastic is less effective than mine. My stc-1000 probe, calibrated inside the fridge with 2 glass stick thermometers, that read within 0.5 deg of each other in boiling, iced, ambient fridge and mashing temps will still read around 2.5 degrees lower than the wort measures during active fermentation for most beers. You want to trust a sticker that tells you the side of the fermenter measures somewhere between 20 and 24 because it's glowing blue somewhere in the middle, you go right ahead. I'll recommend that anyone serious about temp control, measures the wort temp. If that's bad advice, I'll draw on my face with crayon and change my name to Humphrey.


Never said anything about probes and whatnot - my method is to take a glass stick thermometer and put it in a hydrometer tube.Take a sample and measure, then measure the gravity and taste the beer all in one. I'm pretty lo-tech.

Just reading an old PM from someone who I gave that advice to a few months ago- in a specific instance, their wort measured 9 degrees warmer in their fermenter when measured with a probe than the stick on suggested. That was prior to pitching.
Add fermentation generated heat and you may as well make saisons every brew.
 

anthonyUK

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I have measured the temperature difference in my fermenting fridge and have measured the wort to be approx. 4°c higher than the internal air temp during the initial stages of fermentation.
The two temps are otherwise pretty close at other times.



Live fridge temps
 

stakka82

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I use a calibrated digital therm and 95% of the time its within a degree of the sticker therm readout.

With a yeast like 05 I honestly can't see it being an issue, doubly so if you're a beginner and concentrating on absolute basics like sanitation.
 

manticle

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And you know that because you checked, which is basically what I'm recommending. Measure your wort temp during early fermentation and control that.

My opinion on stick ons is secondary to this point.
 

pk.sax

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Ok, 9 degrees is a fair bit out. I've never copped it that bad.

I've been quite low tech too, once in a while I'd stick a digital thermo in to compare but usually it's stuff like the bimetallic freezer/fridge thermo etc that I'd compare to. Mine have always been quite close. So much so that even various stick on ones have been close to each other. Besides, one thing I like about them is that they are stick and forget. No batteries, no careful handling really. Especially when putting down your first few brews, you walk past and it indicates, at a minimum what its sitting at relative to when you last checked. Especially it you are using the current weather to brew these are pretty nifty. It gets the newbie in the door and through improving a bunch of things without worrying about inaccurate thermos. Of course he's gotta avoid the ones you've encountered. I've bought off eBay even and had no issues! The guy might not even have a glass one, now he's gotta think he might be doing hocus pocus since he can't even trust his temps... Drop the rest of whatever he's tying (bit of an extrapolation, please forgive me).

Once you get the hang of controlling temps and the danger periods it gets less critical to 'keep an eye' all the time. Well, that's what I think. Then the stick ons are pretty much ditched. Also, by then, won't you have progressed to a fridge and controller? Natural progression... Also, incidentally, what and how are you measuring with the stc. Thermowell into fermenter?

btw, chuffed my new place has a sort of basement/cellar that stays pretty constant. All I need now is a keg to cut open (in Canberra) :) I'm not coming down to melb brewers again without a beer to bring along.
 

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