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Noob - help taking the next step...

Discussion in 'General Brewing Techniques' started by Pharmacisticus, 22/8/19.

 

  1. Pharmacisticus

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    Posted 22/8/19
    Hi All,

    Looking for some help, I've made a few home brews now and have had some success. But only using Cooper's store kits and a 23L fermenter, very basic stuff.

    I'm looking to see what is the next step up to make a 'better' beer?
    Mostly I like pale ale or Japanese style lager, so looking to get my beer crisper and cleaner in taste if that makes sense?

    Appreciate any tips but please be aware I am still a novice.

    Cheers,

    Josh
     
  2. camNZ

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    Posted 26/8/19
    Hi Josh,

    The Japanese Lagers are going to require brewing with rice and lagering. Having not brewed a Japanese lager or extensive knowledge of extract kits I can't tell you if there's a way of brewing with rice using a kit. However the next logical step for most people is moving to brewing with specialty grains, maybe this will help: https://aussiehomebrewer.com/threads/a-guide-to-extract-with-specialty-grain-brewing.70529/

    Lagering involves fermenting at low temperatures, usually in a secondary fermenter. So maybe your next homebrew purchase is a fermenting fridge?
     
  3. Tim Smith

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    Posted 26/8/19
    Hi Josh, in what way are you wanting improve? We really need to know more of your process to help, do you temperature control? This is a big step to better beer. Are you wanting to go All Grain brewing or partials. Partials will help the cans.

    Provide a bit more info and we will do our best to help.

    Cheers Tim
     
    Pharmacisticus likes this.
  4. NoClue2Brew

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    Posted 26/8/19
    Josh

    Temperature control for fermenting will make a huge difference.

    Throw away the yeast sachet that comes with the can. By a decent yeast from a home brew shop. (US05 is a great yeast to start with)

    Throw away the instructions on the can that day too ferment in the mood 20 degrees. Ferment at around 18 as a simple guide.

    Get an old fridge and a temp controller. (Inkbird are great or if you are handy with a wondering iron wire up an stc100 of eBay)

    From there I'd suggest steeping some specialty grains with the can of goo. 100-200 g of crystal steeped then added to the fermenters makes a huge difference.

    Adding hops is pretty easy to. Easiest option is to dry hop. Which is simply throwing some good into the fermenter about half way through the ferment. Adds aroma, some might argue no flavour addition comes from this process.... But it definitely makes better beer.

    Read up on temperature control, steeping grains, partial mashing and hopping.

    The internet is your friend.
    Read heaps.
    Trawl through this forum there is a wealth of knowledge on here.
    there may be other homebrew forums that are useful the English homebrewtalk which I think is owned by this company is good. and there might even be other Australian craft brewer forums but this one's definitely got a lot of history on it.

    Good luck.
    Hope that's enough to get you started
     
    Pharmacisticus and onemorecell like this.
  5. Pharmacisticus

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    Posted 26/8/19
    Hi,

    Thanks for the replies!
    Looks like temp control and yeast are the most approachable changes for me at this stage.

    Cheers again,
    Jos
     
    NoClue2Brew likes this.
  6. Mikeyr

    " wait.. I had something for this.."

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    Posted 27/8/19
    +1 on temp control and yeast.

    Since you are in Albury getting things cooler will be easy for the next couple of months!! 18c is the magic number! and US05 an excellent suggestion.

    Also a very quick step up is try a fresh wort kit from your HBS. The drums are a real flavour change from the can in my opinion and you can add some extra hops or malts if you fancy.

    You will read on the forum a lot of the crew ..."cube", which means they pack their finished boiled Wort straight into a plastic jerry or cube to cool and store and then ferment at their leisure. The fresh wort kits are a commercial version of the same process.

    Cheap way of proving you really can do it and flavour is so much better.
     
  7. Timbo

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    Posted 27/8/19
    +2 Temp control...can use the fridge to cold crash after fermentation is complete too. That’ll help clean the beer up a bit too.

    I’d suggest, as well as asking questions, read up as much as you possibly can. Ive brewed for over 10 years, but I’m still learning as I go.
     
  8. W.stephaner

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    Posted 28/8/19
    Hi Josh,

    I started brewing a couple of years ago on my stovetop. Doing nano-brews in a 9L stockpot. I went straight into all-grain BIAB (where you just dunk all your grain into a mesh bag) which was a great first step.
    I'd suggest trying a partial extract brew: where you use dry or liquid malt extract and combine them with some fresh grain to ease yourself into all-grain brewing.

    Also, I'd highly suggest using some software. I have used Beersmith since my first brew and honestly couldn't do it without it.

    Read lots: Palmer's 'How to Brew' is a good start and an older version is free from his website.
     

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