coopers extra strong vintage ale, a few questions

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jlove3232

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Hi all, still relatively new to home brewing, but have enjoyed the batches I've completed so far.
To mix it up I've been looking at different recipes and have stumbled across one for the coopers strong vintage ale
containing;
- Coopers original real ale
- Coopers international Australian pale ale
- Dextrose 1kg
-Nottingham Yeast 11g
-Nelson Sauvin finishing hops

A few questions regarding this recipe that i have are;
1. I've seen a few people using 500g of Dextrose over 1kg, does this just reduce the ABV?
2. Is dextrose more appropriate than say LME or DME
3. Is this a suitable brew for a newer-ish brewer
4. I've never added hops to a beer before but plan on adding the finishing hops straight into the FV, is this correct or is there a better manner in which to do this?

Thanks all for reading any advice at all would be amazing, with the weather at a perfect 17-19 degrees for next few weeks in Vic hoping to put a few batches down and make the most of the opportunity.
 

butisitart

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no expert on kit beer, but ....
if you're using 2 cans plus dextrose/d-lme, i'd consider either making a yeast starter (as opposed to a yeast dehydration) to increase your yeast, or loading 2 packs into it if you're not confident about doing a yeast starter (plenty of threads here on that).
whatever your recipe for nelson states, i'd tone it well down, rather than up. it can be pretty dominating if you overdo it. and cos it's a pretty strong hop, try loading it into a small pot of boiling water for 20mins, then fine sieve it into the wort. remembering that kit beers are already dosed with hops, you're probably looking for 2-4 gms max to lift it. unless you want to store it for 6 months to let the hops settle down. if you want to load it straight into the fermenter, i'd max 2-3gms nelson (hops with low ibu's could go more). the end result may be more subtle, but then you'll know how to tweak it. too high and you'll probably wish you hadn't, especially if you want to enjoy it as a younger beer. my first use of nelson was off a recipe and it still reeked of lemon/pineapple after 5 months. it's well up there on the aromas.

unless i'm completely out of touch with reality, dextrose will increase the abv. LME DME will keep adding malt flavours equally, and dextrose won't increase flavour composition. so if you want a bit more bang on the malt flavours, add malt extract, L or D. if you just want to increase alcohol without beefing the malt, add dextrose. personally, i would go the malt for flavour. you're making beer, not alcoholic lolly water. leave that to the commercial brewers. dextrose tends to water the flavour down (cos it's not adding to the body).

if it's got one more step than you're used to, then it's THE perfectly suitable brew.
 

jlove3232

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thanks so much for the reply, ill certainly look into lowering the hop addition to the brew as i usually drink half of my bews your and keep the rest for later on.
 

jlove3232

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will certainly look into those more, ive never used crystal malts before but am considering waiting and using some with the BIAB method in this brew once i can get the equipment, have read it makes for a far far better brew and my main issue previously has been the 'home brew' taste.
 

TheWiggman

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Coopers have a recommendation for this recipe on their wwebsite which I would recommend you follow. That recipe calls for 500g of dextrose and some crystal malt (grains) and 3 different hop varieties. Some things worth noting -
  • Dextrose is a simple sugar, almost pure glucose. Use this to increase alcohol while adding very little flavour.
  • Malt extract is a combination of different sugar which is produced by mashing malted grains, then drying it. You can make beer using 100% LME or DME. It's less fermentable than dextrose but will add body and flavour to the beer. It's not necessary to add it in this case when you're using the two cans.
  • Nelson Sauvin, as per butisitart, is an assertive hop. I would advise not using it altogether because it's easy to stuff up and you may not like it. It's a bit like aniseed, a little goes a long way and it tends to polarise drinkers.
  • Bravo, Ella and Galaxy all have very high IBUs (bitterness) and need to be used carefully. Because the extract tins (Pale Ale and Real Ale) in this recipe are pre-hopped I would dry hop only. There are numerous ways to do this but if you're new to it, add the hops when the beer gets close to the final gravity, or around 1.020 for this beer. Straight into the fermenter either as whole pellets or inside a bag. Then allow a few days for the beer to reach final gravity, for the yeast to finish it's work, then bottle.
Note that if throwing whole hop pellets in the fermenter you will want to chill the fermenter to allow the hops to drop. If you aren't using a fridge, keep them in a bag like this one.
 

shacked

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Hey mate,

I've made this recipe 3 times and it turns out great.

The original recipe was for 21L, so with the 1kg of dex you should be shooting for an ABV of around 7.5% like the commercial example.

At these sort of levels, I'd definitely recommend properly re-hydrating your dry yeast and 2 packs are also a good idea. The three times I've made the recipe, I only used one re-hydrated pack and it was ok; but it's still probably best to go with 2.

Here is a video on re-hydrating: https://youtu.be/SL92Bd4kfbQ

I've made this with 24g of Nelson dry. There is plenty of bitterness in the 2 tins, so I'd suggest giving that a go. Just wait until your fermentation is almost finished and chuck the hops in a few days before you bottle / keg.

If you have temp control, I'd kick off around 18/19C and ramp up towards the end by a few degrees to make sure it finishes out properly.

Steeping a small amount of crystal is good for this. It's pretty easy, just get a grain bag and heat a couple of litres of water to around 65 - 70C, throw it in and leave it for 20 - 30 mins. Pull the bag out and give the resultant liquid a boil to kill any nasties add your tins and dex, cool and you are away.
 

jlove3232

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thanks so much to everyone again for the replies, getting excited to give this a go, will certainly pick up some more yeast and look to rehydrate both before brewing and will change the hops i plan on using.

will let everyone know how it goes !
 

AlwayzLoozeCount

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You don't really need any special equipment for steeping grains, I just use a couple of saucepans and a fine mesh sieve.
 

Dozer71

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AlwayzLoozeCount said:
You don't really need any special equipment for steeping grains, I just use a couple of saucepans and a fine mesh sieve.
Even just a colander and a large chux instead of a sieve
 

butisitart

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go the steeping grains - they'll lift a can brew at the same time as getting your nose into different malt flavours.
probably a more important step in the greater scheme of things than throwing more hops at it.
and there's something reassuringly malty about the kitchen smell, too. :D
 

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