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spicks

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I've bought myself a Coopers Dark Ale kit, and was thinking of whipping up some homebrew. But - as I've stated in earlier posts - my first brew was terrible and, whilst my second lot is maturing, it is no doubt to be challenging the first in being sickly sweet, without body and over carbonated.

I bought a book at a specialist store and have come to realise it's no doubt the ingredients in my beer.

I'd like to know what this recipe might taste like (I bought some malt at the store too):

- The dark ale kit and its yeast
- 500g of Coopers Brew Enhancer no. 1
- 500g Powdered Malt Extract - Dark Malt Brew Improver for Dark Beers and Stouts.
- Made to 23L

What would adding all the Coopers Brew Enhancer do (1.5k in sugar total)? I'm guessing the Alc. Vol. would go up, but how much and what would it do to the taste?

Also, what would make a simple recipe like that taste much better?

Thanks,

Spicks.
 

Dunkel_Boy

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I assume you used sucrose in your first brew.
This should turn out fine, although you'll still have to let it mature.
Generally the darker the extract, the more 'twang' you get, which I'd describe as being a stale, processed taste... it's difficult to escape, but that beer should be fairly good, especially if you age it.

kg for kg, malt extract will not give the same alcohol as sugar, as it's about half as fermentable, but this is why it is recommended in beers. The fermentability means your ABV will be lower, but you'll have more residual sugars which will add body and character... if you add the entire 1.5kg, it will increase the alcohol and you'll get more dodgy flavour; I can't recommend it.

To make it taste better, perhaps try a better yeast (Muntons Gold), make sure your fermentation is complete (2 weeks in the primary should do it), and age it well. Or if you want to change the recipe, I'd probably use that kit, add 1.5kg Muntons extra pale and steep some high quality (ie German/British) chocolate/dark crystal malt. This should make it taste fairly good. I've forgotten what the Coopers yeast tastes like (if it's the same as the commercial yeast, I say it's fine) but Muntons Gold is my favourite dry yeast at the moment.
 

spicks

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I used "Brewing Sugar" - the Coopers supermarket stuff in my first and second brew. As to whether they contained sucrose, I don't know but I'd say so. But I'm learning, and when I learnt I checked the Brew Enhancer which wasn't 100% dextrose but didn't mention sucrose.

Dunkel_Boy said:
if you add the entire 1.5kg, it will increase the alcohol and you'll get more dodgy flavour; I can't recommend it.
I guess I'm somewhat immature in that the thought of "light" beer scares me. But, I will go the 500g and 500g combo.

Dunkel_Boy said:
Or if you want to change the recipe, I'd probably use that kit, add 1.5kg Muntons extra pale and steep some high quality (ie German/British) chocolate/dark crystal malt.
Excuse my ignorance, but do you mean substitute my Coopers Dark Ale for the Muntons, or add that kit in as well? That would be 3.2kg of beer stuff.

So much to learn.

Thanks for the reply.
 

bonk

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spicks, use both the kit and the muntons in the brew.

the crystal will add some sweetness and depending on the type add some toffee flavours.

and its a never ending learning curve :)
 

Tallgum

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Hey Dunkel, just a quick question , Ive got 2 ales fermenting with Muntons Gold at the moment, I have Been using Safale but decided to give the Muntons Gold a go for a change, Tell me mate do Muntons make a good lager yeast as in the next month or so I will be starting to brew lagers and last year I was using Saflager .
Thanks mate.
 

Dunkel_Boy

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Muntons make a shocking lager yeast, unfortunately.
Their standard yeast is pretty average too.
Although 1 out of 3 is a pretty poor performance from Muntons, I think the Gold still makes it worth it. :)
I'd recommend Saflager 34/70, or Superior Lager Yeast.
S-23 is pretty dodgy too.

EDIT: Spicks, yeah this is 3.2kg worth of extract, but it's the equivelant of... *grabs calculator* about 2.5kg of dry extract, which isn't a tremendous amount. 350-500g chocolate or dark crystal (depending on your taste) would go very well I think. If you wish to learn about steeping, look it up, or just ask.
 

Tallgum

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Thanks again Dunk, looks like its back to Saflager 34/70.
 

Dunkel_Boy

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Tallgum said:
Thanks again Dunk, looks like its back to Saflager 34/70.
[post="47402"][/post]​
You can always try a Whitelabs (German Lager, Czech Budejovice are both good), and then grab the yeast off the bottom of the primary, so your $15-$24 ends up being $3-5 after 5 batches...
 

Weizguy

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Dunkel_Boy said:
I've forgotten what the Coopers yeast tastes like
[post="47383"][/post]​
Shame Dunkel, shame. (Derryn Hinch taught me that one, years b4 he was humiliating himself by dancing on TV). :D
You should refresh your tatstebuds annually, at least, with the taste of Coopers, and in Adelaide where possible. It was good to have a night in Adelaide on the Coopers at pub prices, no pokies, and they won't throw U out unless someone complains.
Support Oz beer and taste a Coopers today, or maybe buy a carton and cellar it for 12 months. Hmmm, that reminds me...
Seth out :beerbang:
 

Dunkel_Boy

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Wow, last time I had a Coopers was... Sunday night!
I'm a massive fan, don't you worry about that.
I just don't know if the kit yeast is the same as the brewing yeast, if you get me.
I brewed a Coopers Lager kit about 4 years ago... that's why I can't remember! :D
 

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