First brew - Coopers English bitter

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DarrenHurst

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Hi all,
My first brew with the Coopers home brew kit is a Coopers English bitter which I followed instructions to the letter, but added 14gms of galaxy hops (steeped in boiling water for 25mins) with the tin, BE1 (came with lager as supplied with kit) and spring water. OG was 1.035.
Kept at 19 degrees for 14 days, gentle swirl of FV on last 5 days to encourage last of fermentation). Tested FG on day 10 and 14 and 1.010 (only 3.28ABV !!!).
Bottled yesterday with a mix of secondary primers, I have PET bottles and have tried 3 of each of the following-
2 x carb drops, 6 & 8 gms of each - honey, black treacle, brown sugar, golden syrup and molasses to see how they each effect carbonation and flavour.
Will now leave at 22 degrees for 2-4 weeks and will crack a bottle after week 1 & 3 to check them. What to do while I am waiting !!!!!
So just purchased the Coopers Pale Ale and BE2 and going to add 18gms of galaxy at start and then a further 50gms after a week. Might do the same with priming sugars again, not sure. I am thinking by being so experimental I can quickly determine which are best to avoid multiple brewing.
All the best to all in experimentation finding that liquid euphoria.
Daz
 

Georgedgerton

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Well good luck, sounds like your enthusiastic enough. To start with just ensure good sanitation, use a good products like Oxonia, Proxitane or one of the other well respected sanitisers, good temperature control and don't be in a rush to get it off the the yeast, they are still doing good work when you think they're having a nap, and go from there.
 

MaggieO

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I expect an update when you start into them.

Good luck with it!
 

Vini2ton

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Dry-hop after ferment has settled down, instead of steeping and adding at start of ferment. Carbonation is important yeah, but white sugar bulk-priming is the go. The differences are so marginal in the long run, for all the faffing around with stuff I've found.
 

DarrenHurst

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Dry-hop after ferment has settled down, instead of steeping and adding at start of ferment. Carbonation is important yeah, but white sugar bulk-priming is the go. The differences are so marginal in the long run, for all the faffing around with stuff I've found.
Hi Vini2ton,
I am a little bit confused as to when you suggest to add dry hops, you mention "at start of ferment" and then "after ferment has settled down".
Do I take it that's 2 lots of dry hopping, at wort mixing stage at the start and then again say day 5-6 when settled. If so how much on each or single occasion please?
 

Vini2ton

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Sorry for the confusion Darren. You could do it twice, but what I meant was to add the dry hops after the krausen (foam) has dropped. As it is a kit, it already has bittering hops in it. If you put them in at the start of the fermentation, much of the taste and aroma is negated by the action of the ferment. If I dry hop, I do it 3 or 4 days before bottling. 50 grams of galaxy is a lot. Passion fruit city.
 

DarrenHurst

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Well good luck, sounds like your enthusiastic enough. To start with just ensure good sanitation, use a good products like Oxonia, Proxitane or one of the other well respected sanitisers, good temperature control and don't be in a rush to get it off the the yeast, they are still doing good work when you think they're having a nap, and go from there.
Sorry for the confusion Darren. You could do it twice, but what I meant was to add the dry hops after the krausen (foam) has dropped. As it is a kit, it already has bittering hops in it. If you put them in at the start of the fermentation, much of the taste and aroma is negated by the action of the ferment. If I dry hop, I do it 3 or 4 days before bottling. 50 grams of galaxy is a lot. Passion fruit city.
Thanks for clearing that up, so it appears I will have a very bitter hoppy tasting pale ale then lol. Trial and error and will only put in 25 grams next time after krausen ring dropped and approx 3-4 days before bottling. Live and learn lol. Thanks for advice
 

DarrenHurst

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So an update for all.
So bottles have been conditioning at temp controlled 21°.
So managed to resist the craving till day 11 and fridged a bottle at 1.5° to test a bottle with 2 x carb drops 24 hours later.
First photo shows the darker looking bitter - only a slight hiss on opening PET cap, good colour, good head initially but faded quickly. Only slight fizz evident. Taste was good.
Turned every bottle in an attempt to stir some carbonation improvement.
Resisted the overwhelming temptation untill day 18 and popped another with 8 grams brown sugar priming in fridge for 24 hrs at 1.5°.
Day 19- Better hiss and good head initially but soon disappeared, slight bubble rising in glass, delicious tasting.

Hoping it just keeps getting better as the weeks go by.
Need someone who has been doing this for a while to test and see if
 

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Barry

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You find the OG was higher than measured given the ingredients you mentioned. The extract can be stratified even with good mixing. So you can get a low OG from the top of the wort and a very high OG if taken from the bottom of the wort. It all evens out in the fermentation so no worries. All the best with your first beer it sounds like you are on the right track. Often the missing ingredient when brewing is patience.
 

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