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My First Cerveza

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fletcher

bibo ergo sum
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getting my fermenting fridge set up soon, to be able to properly ferment a lager at the right temperature and i'd like to try a cerveza.

i've got:

1.7kg coopers cerveza can

500g malt}
250g maltodextrin} these three in a pack
250g dextrose}

1kg dextrose

US-05 dry yeast

i put it into the spreadsheet and it looks okay so far albeit on the 'very malty' side of the scale. would adding hops bring it back to a nice balance? i've never added hops (or anything else) to a brew, and never done any stove top steeping and that sort of stuff. i'd like to, but would probably need some basic (read: hardcore lamens terms) advice on how to do it :)
 

crd0902

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If yOu want to try a simple hops addition just put a cup full of boiling water add ya hops , either like a tea bag or throw the pellets in, let it sit for few minutes and throw the lot into the brew. Good step into starting hops before doing stove tops. Also you can dry hop which is put some hops into the brew after about 5 days of fermenting and let it go. As for what hops I'm not sure for a cerveza. Do a google search and see what ya come up with.
Chris
 

slash22000

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That is a crapload of dextrose. It will add a huge amount of alcohol but contribute nothing to flavour and it will make the beer very thin in the mouth. Perhaps try 500g dry malt and then dextrose up to ABV.
 

fletcher

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aaah yeah fair enough. i wanted one with a wee bit of a kick, but i think you're right in that it will be too high in alc content and very thin. i might cut that second 1kg back of dextrose in half
 

yum beer

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I agree, cut the dex in half and add an extra 500gm of LDM.
The coopers cerveza really benefits from the extra malt.

I usually add 1kg LDM, 500 gm dextrose. Nice balance of malty taste, good alc level and thin,light body.
 

JakeSm

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Try some saaz hop in your cerveza, its what i used to use and tasted fantastic. Just leave it in some boiling water as mention and you will be happy.
 

fletcher

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thanks guys, i'll have a play around.

@yum beer - the 500gm of LDM (that's liquid right?) is that another tin of goo just with no hops and whatever else added?

@jakeSm - sorry to ask a stupid question, but exactly how would i add them? would i leave them in boiling water for 5 or 10 mins, then drain it and add it to my fermenter with the rest of the stuff? coffee plunger kind of thing?
 

crd0902

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Ldm is light dry malt. It's powder. Lme is liquid malt extract, your tin of goo. If you put the hops in the boiling water for 5 minutes you can either tip the whole lot in or strain it off or remove the tea bag depending how you buy the hops. Some people don't like the hop sludge in the brew but if I buy them in a bag I rip it open and put the whole lot of sludge into the brew. When the ferment has finish I crash chill which drops all the sludge and sediment out so I have no hop particles floating
 

fletcher

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thanks for that clarification mate!! :)

easy done. i'll know what to ask for now...i need to write myself a little reference sheet for all the acronyms til i get used to em!

i might try the pellets of hops so i'l look to boil them and then strain (coffee plunger) and tip them in the fermenter when i add the other junk.
 

crd0902

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Look uP ahb abbreviations there's a whole list on here
 

fletcher

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ok, so i've tailored my ingredients and i had a few more questions; thank you for being patient with a new home brewer...i'd rather not mess it up first if i can help it. got looking at a few sites (howtobrew.com) and other threads on here that mention secondary fermenting for lagers and probably read too much info which got me thinking. anyways -

ingredients:

1.7kg Coopers Mexican Cerveza can
500gm LDM
250gm Maltodextrin
600gm Dextrose
12gm Saaz pellets
S23 Yeast
19L ferment @ 12 degrees
bottling using carb drops, in 740mL PET

at this stage because it's incredibly hard to mix the dry ingredients and make sure they're dissolved in the jerry can fermenter, my aim was to mix and measure temps of initial ingredients before pitching, in my coopers fermenter (which doesn't fit in bar fridge). once everything was mixed and added, i'd pour into the jerry can and aerate the wort, and finally pitch yeast.

my problems arise when adding the hops. i know saaz are normally used for flavouring, so do i just keep em (as others have said), in water and after 10-15 mins, dump them into the fermenter too?
wouldn't that prolong their bitterness if kept the entire fermenting time?
or should i add them initially in the mixing of ingredients with the boiling water and then take them out after 15 mins for my desired bitterness/flavour according to the time in the spreadsheet?
what's the difference between taking them out and keeping them in?

when fermenting, i understand i keep the temp at 12 degrees or 10 or thereabouts, and then once FG is stable over a few days, raise the temperature for diacetyl rest, up to approx 20ish degrees? leave this for approx 3-4 days, then bottle and store/age again at 12 degrees for however long.

how does that sound? just confused with hop additions and the lagering process :)

thanks in advance for anyone who can answer my newbie questions.

brewlove
 

yum beer

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Hey Fletcher,
for best utilization of you hops,
mix 2 litres of water with 200 grams of LDM, bring to the boil, add your hops for 10 mins.
Strain this liquid into your fermenter and use in place of your initial hot water..do not add the hops to your fermenter ( in my opinion. IMO , you will get too much flavour
for a cerveza by adding the hops in, it works in stronger flavoured beers but leave it for now.)

Brew at low temps till steady, then raise for D-rest leave 3 days then drop temp to 1-2 degrees for a week or 3. Then bottle.

I have found the Cerveza is best drank after about 3-4 weeks in the bottle or left for 4 months plus. It starts out fresh and clean then seems to pick up a twang in the bottle that takes a while to smooth back out, try them regularly and when good get into them. Ole'
 

fletcher

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Hey Fletcher,
for best utilization of you hops,
mix 2 litres of water with 200 grams of LDM, bring to the boil, add your hops for 10 mins.
Strain this liquid into your fermenter and use in place of your initial hot water..do not add the hops to your fermenter ( in my opinion. IMO , you will get too much flavour
for a cerveza by adding the hops in, it works in stronger flavoured beers but leave it for now.)

Brew at low temps till steady, then raise for D-rest leave 3 days then drop temp to 1-2 degrees for a week or 3. Then bottle.

I have found the Cerveza is best drank after about 3-4 weeks in the bottle or left for 4 months plus. It starts out fresh and clean then seems to pick up a twang in the bottle that takes a while to smooth back out, try them regularly and when good get into them. Ole'
thanks mate! that's exactly what i needed :) sounds perfect
 

fletcher

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@yum beer

just checked and my fridge won't get lower than about 6 degrees - is this a normal bar fridge temp at it's lowest?. is there any disadvantage of NOT crash chilling after D-rest? Could i drop to as low as it can go after D-rest? and if so what would the time frames be?

sorry to be a pain. got a fridge and STC1000 and it's all up and running, but can't get below that for some reason. i'm guessing it could if i removed some part of the fridge's electro-goodie-bits but i'd have to get a sparky for that i'm assuming.

EDIT: it's getting lower...just taking it's time. ugh. i'll edit later once the lowest temp is reached
 

yum beer

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Put it in that fridge as cold as it will go, you would prefer0.5 - 1 degree but if 6 is best you can get then that will do...would be suprised if it doesnt go to at least 3c though,
you may need to play with the setting in the fridge itself.
Leave it in there for a week to condition.
 

bignath

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on the fridges temp control (not the stc unit), do you have it cranked to it's coldest setting?
 

fletcher

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thanks guys, yeah I made sure the dial on the inside was at its lowest and this morning it was around the 3.4-5 mark. I'm guessing that's close to average for it at its coldest give or take. can this be made to go any lower?
 

yum beer

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thanks guys, yeah I made sure the dial on the inside was at its lowest and this morning it was around the 3.4-5 mark. I'm guessing that's close to average for it at its coldest give or take. can this be made to go any lower?
The fridge will only go as low as its internal thermostat allows, try your STC set on 1c and see how low it goes.
The problem you can get is that a fridge ideally only needs to run at 3-4c, so a lot wont get any lower. Does your fridge have an inbuilt freezer, if so you
can try taking the door off to drag colder air into the fridge.
 

fletcher

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ah yeah, taking the door off shouldn't be hard. I'll try that!! thanks man :)

apart from that I've decided I'd like to do away with kits and head down tr grain trail using biab. any suggestions for this no doubt simple lager recipe above with grain ingredients and not the coopers kit? still need to purchase a large pot for stove work and a grain bag an thermometer but that shouldn't be hard.
 

paulmclaren11

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I actually think the Coopers Cerveza tin is pretty good for the style (I normally do BIAB now). It's a great one for summer and seems to please everyone who I have given it too.

My last one was a mid-style with just 500g LDM and about 15g of Chinook @ 10 mins. Fermented at 10c with S23.

Gave it a nice flavour kick whilst still remaining an easy guzzler! :chug:
 

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