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Jourdo

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Hi guys, I'm just about to bottle my first brew:

Can of Coopers Lager
BE1
500g LDM
Kit yeast

I'm planning on starting my next batch straight after I bottle. This first batch stayed nicely at 20c through the whole fermentation process so I think I will use US-05 yeast for my next brew.
I would like to try the Canadian Blonde kit and was looking for suggestions on what to add. Hoping to get a brew with at least 4% ABV, preferably a little more..
Should I use the LDM again? Or just the extract and a BE?


Would love to hear from anyone who has used this extract before and what you added.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks!
 

r055c0

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Why not try exactly the same brew but with some hops & steeped grains so you can compare and taste the difference?

I would boil 2L of water in a pot on the stove and add 20g (or so) of hops (maybe a Cascade or something like it, have a look around on the interwebs to get an idea of what hops are out there and what flavours they bring), be prepared to stir it quickly for a few seconds as adding the hops will make it foam up a bit at first. Leave the hops boiling for 5 minutes then turn the heat off and put a lid on the pot, leave the hops to steep in the hot water for 10 or so minutes, then add 100g - 300g of crystal malt grains to the water, stir, put the lid back on and leave to steep for a further 30 minutes, then strain the lot into your fermenter, add the can, BE1, LDM and water up to 23L, pop the yeast in and ferment as normal. You'll be amazed at the difference.
 

iralosavic

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This is funny - I did the exact same brew that ro55c0 is suggesting (minus the steeping grains) back to back with the version Jourdo has done and my feedback is this: DO NOT boil hops to add to this base recipe. The blonde even with DME does not provide enough body to balance any extra bitterness. It was way too bitter to enjoy.

So basically if you want to mess around about, here are my two suggestions 1. if you are not steeping speciality grains, do not boil extra hops, if you are, maybe chuck them in with 5 mins to go, not 20. 2. If you aren't steeping grains, consider doing a tea infusion of hops and pouring the infused water into the fermenter. Ie don't boil the, just dunk them in hot water and allow their flavours/aromas/oils to be extracted.

US05 will produce a nice mellow psuedo lager (which suits the blonde) at 17c.

Cheers
 

r055c0

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I never found I got too much bitterness out of boiling Cascade for 5 minutes but then I do enjoy a bitter beer. How much bitterness you get will depend on the alpha acid in your hops (cascade is around 5%) so if you were using a high alpha hop like Chinook (around 11%) you might want to decrease the boil time or skip the boil altogether. There is some good info on hops and their alpha acid levels here.

I always found I got a little more complexity out of my hops by boiling and then leaving to steep, and leaving them to steep with the grains will also give you a bigger malt mouthfeel that will balance out any bitterness, plus a delicious biscuit flavour.

Like iralosavic I wouldn't suggest you boil your hops alone for 20 minutes unless you were looking to make a big bitter IPA.

Also important not to boil the grain as this will pull out tannins which taste crap, let the water get below 90C before adding the grains.

The most important thing is to have a go at different methods and see what you like ;)
 

Hoppers

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Try a Coopers Pale Kit, !kg Brew Enhancer 2, 500g LME, 30g Galaxy, 30g Nelson Savin, 30g Amarillo, and use a good yeast

Makes a nice drop
 

Jourdo

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ro55c0 said:
Why not try exactly the same brew but with some hops & steeped grains so you can compare and taste the difference?

I would boil 2L of water in a pot on the stove and add 20g (or so) of hops (maybe a Cascade or something like it, have a look around on the interwebs to get an idea of what hops are out there and what flavours they bring), be prepared to stir it quickly for a few seconds as adding the hops will make it foam up a bit at first. Leave the hops boiling for 5 minutes then turn the heat off and put a lid on the pot, leave the hops to steep in the hot water for 10 or so minutes, then add 100g - 300g of crystal malt grains to the water, stir, put the lid back on and leave to steep for a further 30 minutes, then strain the lot into your fermenter, add the can, BE1, LDM and water up to 23L, pop the yeast in and ferment as normal. You'll be amazed at the difference.
Thanks ro55c0, this sounds like a great idea and you've explained it really well. Just wondering, do I take the hops out when the crystal malt goes in? Or do I leave it til I strain the lot? Also, is that what it people are referring to when they say "Cascade @ 5min"?
Thanks again, and thanks to all the replies!
 

r055c0

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No probs Jourdo. Leave the hops in when you add the grain, means a little less stuffing around and gives your hops longer to impart flavour.
The whole @5min thing confused me for ages but its actually how long before the end of a boil you are adding something. So if you were brewing an All Grain beer you would probably be boiling your beer for 60 minutes, you might have a recipe that calls for hop additions like 10g @60min, 15g @20min, 20g @5min and 25g @0min. You would add 10g of hops with 60 minutes of the boil to go, 15g with 20 minutes of the boil to go, 20g with 5 minutes of the boil to go and 25g at the very end of the boil when you turn off the heat (usually referred to as Flameout).
For brewing with a kit you can take the @Xmin to mean how long you should boil for, you might boil half your hops for 10 minutes and then add the other half with 2 minutes to go to get some different flavours from them.
Hope my rambling helps ;)
 

bum

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Those boil instructions are almost completely backwards, IMO.

Boiling hops in plain water is very good at extracting IBU but not much chop for anything else. You want to be boiling them in wort.

The liquor from the grain steep must be boiled. Grain can harbor lots of nasties and you don't want to put them directly in your beer.

Here's how I'd suggest you do it:
  • steep the grains for 20/30 minutes at ~65C(ish)
  • drain the steeped liquor from the grain
  • rinse the grain with some hot water and collect that water with the steepings
  • boil for at least 15 minutes
  • (optional) add some extract to get the SG of the liquid to 1040-ish (software of some description will help here)
  • boil your desired hops in this liquor - hop times (i.e. @20min, etc) can be included in the 15min mentioned above.
 

Bribie G

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For more body, and the ability to support more hop flavour and bitterness, consider doing a "toucan" of Canadian Blonde and boil the hops in a portion of the extract diluted to around 1040.

US-05
 

manticle

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bum said:
Those boil instructions are almost completely backwards, IMO.

Boiling hops in plain water is very good at extracting IBU but not much chop for anything else. You want to be boiling them in wort.

The liquor from the grain steep must be boiled. Grain can harbor lots of nasties and you don't want to put them directly in your beer.

Here's how I'd suggest you do it:
  • steep the grains for 20/30 minutes at ~65C(ish)
  • drain the steeped liquor from the grain
  • rinse the grain with some hot water and collect that water with the steepings
  • boil for at least 15 minutes
  • (optional) add some extract to get the SG of the liquid to 1040-ish (software of some description will help here)
  • boil your desired hops in this liquor - hop times (i.e. @20min, etc) can be included in the 15min mentioned above.
Follow the advice above on steeping grains and boiling hops - both ro55co and Jourdo.
 

r055c0

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Happy to bow to Bum's superior knowledge, I did it my way for about 4 years when I was doing kits and never had a problem but what bum says does make sense.
I found I got some good aroma out of boiling / steeping hops in plain water, nothing like as good as you get from boiling with the wort in an AG brew but I doubt many kit brewers are going to the trouble of boiling their wort.
 

manticle

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No but you can boil up a few litres of water with some extract and use that as the hot water to dissolve the kit goop.
 

bum

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ro55c0 said:
Happy to bow to Bum's superior knowledge
New sig!

Nah, nothing particularly learned about my advice. I don't doubt it is possible to make good beer the way you were but I do believe that better results can be had with changing the order up a bit and not really working any harder.

[EDIT: removed minor weirdness]
 

r055c0

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I originally wrote "Happy to fall to my knees and bow before Bum" but changed it when I realised it wasn't that kind of forum...
 

Jourdo

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Hey I should probably start a new thread for this but I figure its an easy one.. Remember my first brew?
Jourdo said:
Can of Coopers Lager
BE1
500g LDM
Kit yeast
It's gravity has been the same for the last 4 days but its at 1015.. Is that too high for a FG? Could it actually be ready or do you think it's stalled?
 

yum beer

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Bottle it.....
 

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