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thomasando

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Hi all, I'm Tom.

I first brewed about 4 years ago using a starter kit. I think my first beer was a Morgan's lager kit. It didn't turn out too bad, but was flat.
I then followed up with another of the same - it was horrible!

Fast forward to now. I've just decided to get back into it. I made up the batch yesterday afternoon and have just looked over the notes I made and have a few questions.

I used instructions from http://www.howtobrew.com and inserted temperatures etc. from the instructions on the can.

I've attempted a Coopers Sparkling Ale - recipe suggests the can of extract, 1.5kg Coopers Light LME, 500g Light DME and 300g Dextrose (bought the DME and Dextrose in a prepackaged set from the local home brew shop).

Following the instructions from the website above, I boiled my water, added the extracts (simultaneously) while it was off the heat, and then boiled it all together for 20mins (to get through the hot break). Cooled it, then put it into the fermenter where I had a previous batch of boiled then cooled water waiting. I had to add some cold water (straight out of the tap) to bring the volume up to 23l and the temperature down. The wort wasn't as cool as I thought!

Yeast went in at 32 degrees, that was the lowest I could get the temperature without waiting for ages to put the yeast in. The instructions with the kit said that 18-32 degrees was ok for adding yeast.

Onto the questions.
1. I later found out that the Coopers kits are pre-boiled - did boiling it kill it?
2. Did the yeast go in at too high a temperature?
3. Our tap water here is pretty good, very little or no taste generally. Is the 4 litres of tap water I had to add likely to have a significant impact?

The airlock is bubbling away (releases a bubble about every 5 seconds) now so I guess that's a good sign that the temperature was ok for the yeast.

It's now down to 26 degrees. Hoping it will keep dropping to 21!
 

roverfj1200

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Welcome Tom.

After reading your post I need to know a few things more.

The extract you used was it a kit can or was it as I suspect unhopped extract

If using unhopped extract you need to add hops in the boil.

You have pitched your yeast into wort that is in real temps to hot. But if you get it down fast it will be OK. Should be.

Cheers.
 

zabond

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Hi & welcome
1 no you havent killed it,but you dont need to boil unless steeping grains,hop additions
2 yes a bit,around 25*c ideal for most yeasts,but as ferm has started should be ok but may have some unwanted flavours
3 should be ok
forget airlock as a sign of ferm,hydrometer is your friend
try to keep it around 18*c
 

thomasando

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The extract you used was it a kit can or was it as I suspect unhopped extract
It was a kit can, so I gather one should presume it is hopped already? I can't find any info to say whether it is or not.
This is the kit: http://www.thebrewshop.com.au/coopers-thom...rkling-ale.html
It also called for 1.5kg of Light Malt Extract (I used a Coopers can), 500g Light Dry Malt and 300g Dextrose. I purchased a pre-packed bag of 'Brew Enhancer' with those quantities from my home brew shop.

You have pitched your yeast into wort that is in real temps to hot. But if you get it down fast it will be OK. Should be.
Temp had dropped to 28 within about 4 hours, it's now just above 24 degrees after 17 hours.


forget airlock as a sign of ferm,hydrometer is your friend
try to keep it around 18*c
Thanks, I'll have a look this afternoon once I hit the 24hrs mark and see how it's going.

I hope I can get it down to 18 - even though it's winter it doesn't get real cold here, average overnight is about 12-15 and during the day is 22-25. It's in the coolest part of the house already so we'll see how it progresses, I guess!

Thanks for the feedback, sounds like it'll be ok. At any rate I should know more later today when I check the SG.
 

roverfj1200

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Yeap it should be OK.

When making a kit like the one in your link. I put all the ingredients in the fermenter then add 2 litres of boiling water stir till de-solved and top up with tap water. No need to boil everything. Try and pitch yeast under 24deg and ferment at 18deg. But kit yeast is pretty tolerant and you will do alright if kept under 24deg.

Hope that helps

Cheers.
 

thomasando

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Brilliant stuff Rover, thanks heaps - I'll try it your way next time and see if it works out much different. I did have a heap of fun doing the whole boil it all thing, so I can see myself moving that way and trying additional hops and flavours in the near future.

Glad it sounds like this batch will be alright for now though :)
 

thomasando

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Brilliant stuff Rover, thanks heaps - I'll try it your way next time and see if it works out much different. I did have a heap of fun doing the whole boil it all thing, so I can see myself moving that way and trying additional hops and flavours in the near future.

Glad it sounds like this batch will be alright for now though :)
Specific Gravity tonight is 1.044 (down from 1.055 when I added yeast). All is well in the universe, it would seem!
 

jakethesnake559

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I hope I can get it down to 18 - even though it's winter it doesn't get real cold here, average overnight is about 12-15 and during the day is 22-25. It's in the coolest part of the house already so we'll see how it progresses, I guess!

Hi Thomas,

Excellent work getting back into homebrew!!

It's really hard to get the temp down when you pitch that high.
If you get a plastic tub that is large enough to fit your fermenter in, you can use it to control temperature.
Freeze 4 water bottles overnight.
Stick the fermenter in the tub, fill it with cold water and add the frozen water bottles during the day.
You can take them out overnight (room temp should be cool enough) to re-freeze and repeat each day.
Having the fermenter in the water bath will also reduce any temparature fluctuations.

Yeast can make funny flavours when it ferments at high temperatures, so if you can keep it down to around 18, that's ideal for an ale.
But, sounds like you are on your way to making beer again...so well done !!

Good luck.
Jake.
 

thomasando

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Thanks for the feedback Jake.

I fear I've left it at a highish temp for too long now to try and get it down too much further (aka 18 degrees). Are my fears ill-founded?

I've moved it onto the floor (it was on a bench for easier access) to get the temp down a bit. I don't know that I'll quite go as far as putting it in water but it should be a bit cooler on the floor.

I'll see how this batch comes out I think, unless it's still worth my while to try and get it down further. I'll definitely be aiming for a lower starting temp next time. The boiling part made it really difficult to control, I think!
 

yum beer

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From experience you will have a very small window in which to drink this beer,

get the temps down as best you can for now, but realistically its all too late, the damage is done, ignore the happy campers who wanna tell you its gonna be alright...
let me tell ya...it aint gonna be alright.
Pitching at such a high temp is going to throw some real nasty flavours.....


Anyway once you have a steady SG for 2-3 days allow to sit another 5 days before bottling. Leave it 3 weeks and start drinking,
although most home brew will improve with age my own experience tells me you will have about 2 weeks max to drink that batch before it turn to nasty stuff
you really dont wanna drink.

Get some kind of way of keeping temps down in place before your next batch goes on, ignore the kit instructions, pitch yeast at 18-22 and keep ferment as close to 18
as you can, lower if possible.

Dont boil kit cans, malt extract tins you can boil, get some water in the fridge the day before you brew to help get temps down lower for pitching.



Most important, do a bit more reading, ask more questions, youll be making great beer before you know it.
 

thomasando

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realistically its all too late, the damage is done
Thanks for being honest :). Guess I'm going to be really, really thirsty in a few weeks and make short work of it!!

You mention that boiling malt extract is ok, but not to boil kit cans. In situations where there's a combination of a kit can and extracts, what would you suggest is the best way to proceed? Boil the extracts and use it as the hot water base for dissolving the can mix into once it's in the fermenter, then top it off with cold water to bring the temp back down?
 

mwd

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No need to boil extract or kit tins. You may want to boil some extract with water 100g/litre if you intend to boil hops for your brew.

With liquid extract and kits I put them in the oven at lowest setting 50C for about 1/2 hour it makes the goop runny and easy to pour.
 

Eyelusion

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No need to boil extract or kit tins. You may want to boil some extract with water 100g/litre if you intend to boil hops for your brew.

With liquid extract and kits I put them in the oven at lowest setting 50C for about 1/2 hour it makes the goop runny and easy to pour.
I just place mine in hot water in the sink for 10 min to make the goop thinner and easier to pour out, either way will work.
 

thomasando

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I just place mine in hot water in the sink for 10 min to make the goop thinner and easier to pour out, either way will work.
Yeah I did this too. Heaps easier than I remember the first ones being.

Well all this no need to boil will see my next brew day go through more quickly. I've got a lot of very good tips here for next time guys, keen to see the results. I'd better back it up straight away with another sparkling ale so I'm comparing just the differences in what I've done :)
 

mattyra

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When I make beer there are 3 main things that I look for when doing it which makes the beer as good as possible.

1. Cleaning and sanitising, make sure all your equipment is clean from any odors or tastes before using and make sure its sanitised. Starsan or Iodopher are good no rinse sanitisers when mixed to the correct proportions.
2. Temperature, Make sure the temperature of the brew gets to the ideal temperature. I usually have cold water in the fridge if need be. I also use a fridge with a temperature controller to keep the temperatures steady over the brew day (I got a free fridge donated to me from a mate, I already had the heat belt and i purchased a temperature controller for $25 on ebay).
3. Quality of your ingredients - When using the Malt Extracts and the kit cans, the freshness is a major player of how well your beer will turn out. I always check the Use By dates of the cans in the store and grab the one with the longest time left. It is the one that has been created last out of the lot.

If you can get those three things right you will be on the road to making great beer. Then you will have to learn about adding hops grains.
 

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