First Brews, Recipe Help.

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Hi Guys,

Since this is my first post I'm going to make it a bit of an intro so sorry if its a bit long winded. I'm pretty new to the home brewing, I've always wanted to brew my own but never taken the plunge. Over the last last month I've been getting my feet wet with some simple ciders and even put down a JAO mead. I recently got given a decent brewing setup by a mate who found it cheap at a garage sale (old coopers kit, 60 longnecks, a benchcapper and a bunch of other goodies for $20 :D) so now I can get into making some beer.

I was initialy just going to grab a can and add a kilo of sugar for my first brew but reading around here it seems its not too hard to spice things up a little. I found the kit and extract spreadsheet which is wonderful tool, big thanks to everyone who helped put it together and I've come up with a couple of recipes. I plan on doing a couple of kits and bits with a small boil 2-4L for the hop additions for my first two brews.

Coopers English Bitter 1.7kg
Coopers Light LME 1.5kg
BE2 1kg
East Kent Goldings 20g @ 20 mins
Fuggles 20g @ 5 mins

OG 1.059
FG 1.017
IBU 40.2
EBC 24.1
ABV 6.0%

Coopers Real Ale 1.7kg
Cooper Light LME 1.5kg
Dextrose 500g
Fruggles 20g @ 5 mins

OG 1.051
FG 1.011
IBU 32.1
EBC 13.3
ABV 5.7%

For the first one I'm after something with hop driven taste and a nice kick to back it up like a full bodied english ale or ESB even getting into IPA territory. The second I'm after something similar but more sessionable and something I can give to less serious beer drinkers when they ask to taste my homebrew. Being so new to this I kind of feel like I'm jumping in the deep end (at least as far as kit and extract brewing goes) and I'm worried that these recipes wont taste so great. My main concerns being that I've gone a bit heavy on the malt extract additions giving me too high a final gravity and too much alcohol to be enjoyable and that my hop boil might need a bit more hops in it to realy add the flavour and aroma I'm after especialy taking into account the low volume boil.

It's realy hot in melbourne at the moment and I realy dont have anything in the way of temperature control so this might have to wait a while yet. How hard is it to keep a fermenter at 18-20C when its 25-35C ambient? Is this even acheivable with a tub and ice method?

What do you guys think these would taste like? What would you change? Should I just keep it simple and do a can plus a kilo of BE2 for my first brew or do you think I can pull it off?

hey sudobee, welcome

looks like your on the right track pretty much, as you say with the high abv, drop your dex and enhancer additions.
Its always better to use just malt for fermentables.
Your hop additions should be fine.

As for temp, tub and ice should keep you in a workable range, even 20-21 will give a decent result for these kits, yes 18 is ideal but you can work on that down the track,
in the meantime you can get something decent you can drink.

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