1 Posted: Friday, June 16, 2017 9:04 PM

Gday all,

For an introduction: name's Mark and I love beer and food, dirtbikes and 4x4ing.

Thanks to Cooper's I got off lagers and got into ale. When it comes to beers I've gotten a lot of flack from my mates for drinking “Sludge beer” (Cooper's products that are bottle conditioned and have sediment), but slowly they are coming around and admitting that for cheapish beer coopers pale ale is the go! Especially off the tap, at the “Tap Bar”.

If money was no object I'd be towing a car trailer with my Suzuki Sierra on 34“ swampers to drive hard tracks around Australia with a 200RWKW GU TD42TI wagon drinking Six Tanks 5 hop IPA out of an in car keg.

Reality isnt the same as the dream unfortunately. I'm drinking pretty ordinary home-brew, my sierra is on 30's and my GU has a ZD30 and probably makes around 70RWKW.
Not sure if I have the right section here, but have been reading this forum flat out and would like to thank all the regulars for their input (it comes up in google searches a lot)

So far I think my biggest hurdle is temperature control being in Darwin. I hope to buy a cheap fridge tomorrow and have a fridgy mate who will sort out the temp control.

My issue is this, so far I've done 3 brews (#3 still in fermenter and not including 2 ginger beer batches).

So far I've ended up with sweet beer. The first batch was obviously a stuck fermentation as the finished product was flat and sweet. The 2nd batch was carbonated and still sweet, however reasonably drinkable. The bottles were individually primed with 1tsp of white sugar. I still cant work out what the hell happened here as its been over a month and they are the same. (beer hot and flat from the fermenter was NOT sweet)

Any insight to what would cause the sweetness? I have been told I used too much sugar, but surely if this was the case I would have got bottle bombs?

Cheers.

PS, when will Cooper's do an IPA/PA with ”new world" hops?

2 Posted: Friday, June 16, 2017 10:52 PM

You don't really need a fridgy to sort out temp control. All you need is an external temp controller. You plug the fridge into the controller, and the controller into the wall socket. Then simply set your preferred temp and maximum swing. The controller will turn the power on and off to keep the temp in the range set. Much easier than mucking around with the fridge itself.

As for the sweet beer, that's a bit of a mystery. You're right that.too much sugar will cause bombs, not sweetness. What kits did you use? Flat beer always tastes sweeter because it lacks carbonic acid from the carbonation, but fizzy and sweet suggests that it doesn't have enough hop bitterness. More information needed to be able to properly diagnose the issue

Cheers

Kelsey

3 Posted: Friday, June 16, 2017 11:24 PM

1st kit was an “OZ-Brew” Australian Pale Ale, with 500 grams of DME and S-04 yeast. This got hot and was a stuck fermentation. I managed to drink the 20L, somehow.

2nd was a coopers pale ale can with cooper's kit yeast, with 1kg of BE-2. K&K. Drinkable but sweet. 1tsp per bottle of priming sugar.

3rd is in fermenter. coopers pale ale can, again with coopers kit yeast and 1KG BE-2, this time did a hop steep of POR, added to fermenter including hop sachet, plan on doing a dry hop at one week (tomorrow). This brew tasted dry from the fermenter. But so did the other??

Edit: as for the fridge. I have an eBay controller here. But a fridgy mate said he'sgive me a controller for free and wire it up. He guarantees his controller wont burn out the compressor.

4 Posted: Saturday, June 17, 2017 7:15 AM

ditch the be2 for Light Dry malt.

I stopped using be2 after my first 3 brews (apa, draught and larger) all tasted sweet.

Went to the malt…better tasting beer.

I have a mate (who got me into homebrewing) who still does APA and be2, where i have moved on to hops and such. My beer is better than his. He makes a drinkable beer, mine is more refined

5 Posted: Saturday, June 17, 2017 8:52 AM

Hey Mark

I agree with RepSpecabut the Brew Enhancer, sweetness is in the palate of the beholder but I personally found that maltodextrin produced a sweet beer. This was especially the case with the Coopers Lager and Pale Ale kits. The Canadian Blonde was a little less sweet with the brew enhancer but from there I switched to the Coopers LDM.

If you have a stock of BE2 try a more bitter kit, the OS Real Ale or the Innkeeper's Daughters Sparkling Ale, TC Brew A IPA or the Bootmaker's Pale Ale.

You should be looking to get into the TC Brew A IPA anyway given your utopian vision for the future

PS If money and health were no object I'd build a two storey house with one floor devoted to a Speakeasy bar. I'd still do my own home brewing as I'd have plenty of time on my hands, although I'd have a souped up 3V system in the back room of the bar, with a Grainfather and a Braumaster as extra toys. Rather than changing my kegging system to family packs (50 litre) I'd upgrade to new 19 litre Cornelius kegs and run a dozen full ones at any given time. Of course in my utopian vision Beer is a super food, you drink it and are always happy, it replenishes muscles, helps your metabolism burn fat, feeds the brain and protects the heart. There's always a full jug handy so that anyone can receive its health benefits at anytime.

Cheers & Beers
Scottie
Valley Brew

6 Posted: Saturday, June 17, 2017 9 AM

PPS How are you storing your bottles after you prime them?

7 Posted: Saturday, June 17, 2017 9:12 AM

Hi everyone I have just bought a beerdroid and started my first brew. I have linked it to my phone app and everything seemed to be going ok.
I got notifications to say the brew started , then entered propagation zone and then entered fermentation zone. 4 days later I got a message to say error fermentation start not detected it has sent that last message for 3 days.
Has anyone got any ideas on what to do as the brew has been on for nearly 7 days and I'm not sure when I am ment to start kegging. I have rang and emailed the beerdriod help line and waiting for assistance. Any help would be appreciated as I'm very green to all this ????

8 Posted: Saturday, June 17, 2017 9:54 AM

Hey Beechy

Welcome to the forum.

I am not familiar with this app or how it works. I assume that you have put down a real brew in a real fermenter . Is beerdroid an app or a brewing system?

I am not sure what kind of interface could exist between your beerdroid app and the fermentation process, can you shed light on this.

As for old school brewers, we get an indication that fermentation has started by condensation on the see through lid, the formation of a Krausen (Foam atop the brew), or a drop in specific gravity.

In a similar way we get an indication that the brew has finished when yeast activity subsides. The Krausen has subsided, the brew looks still and the specific gravity has been stable for two days. At this point we can keg or bottle the brew.

Cheers & Beers
Scottie
Valley Brew

9 Posted: Saturday, June 17, 2017 9:59 AM

Used Dr Google ;

I don't know how many people here use a Brewart, I know there is a thread. Perhaps you should look for a Brewart forum.

Like this one https://community.brewart.com/

I think that it is good for the home brew hobby that businesses like this are trying to cash in. My failed attempt at the Mr Beer Machine led me to Coopers DIY and 5 years of a fulfilling brewing hobby. I guess that as others try these gadgets that promise great results in short time, they to will get hooked on home brewing and turn to traditional methods like Coopers DIY. Either that or fall victim to a short term fad with all the usual marketing hype.

Two Cents from
Scottie
Valley brew

10 Posted: Saturday, June 17, 2017 10:34 AM

Thanks RepSpec, Otto and Scottie for the advice. Appreciate all the replies I got after I called it a night. I also wondered about percieved sweetness vs what's actually going on. From the kit there was almost nil bitterness and aroma from standard. My latest brew is the same thing, again no temp control, 1KG BE2, and to test this theory I did a hop steep with POR and will dry hop it today with cascade.

Hot and from the fermenter, last night (close enough to one week) it seems more bitter than the last brew so I may be onto something there. But two concerns, the last brew IIRC tasted fine from there too, and it's still very fresh so to speak where as the other brew is coming up to a couple of months I guess.

So with the swap to dry malt extract, are you guys suggesting to do a straight swap kilo for kilo, or say 500g dry malt and 500g sugar to help dry it out?, effectively making my own (less sweet? BE2)

Bottling and storage of bottles goes like this: I put the bottles into hot soapy water to release the labels, I then scrub all the gunk off inside and out. Bottling day I chucked them in the dishwasher, hit em with sanitiser and rinsed them (yes, I will have no rinse stuff before my next bottling day) I bottle them, the bottles are washed in room temperature water to rinse spilled beer, I put them into a storage crate on their side and that's it. The room is about 26C. Probably too hot but not much I can do, somebody on Patrol 4x4 came up with the theory that his yeast gives up in the bottle, hence leaving your beer like an unstirred coffee. Is this a thing?

Haha got a chuckle, your beertopia sounds good also. Edit x2: and welcome to the other guy too.

11 Posted: Saturday, June 17, 2017 11:12 AM

Hey Mark

Best to lose the soap from your brewing process, especially the inside of the bottles. Glasses washed in soap have trouble developing a head. Nothing to do with the sweetness though. PBW is a good brewery cleaner, as is homebrand napisan.

I too was thinking that the yeast wasn't working in the bottles (secondary fermentation), more due to low temperature than anything else; if it was alive and thriving in the fermenter it will have no issues in the bottle at your temps. Are you using a bottle wand for filling the bottles? I find this leaves the correct headspace in the bottle. I prefer to store them upright but that shouldn't affect carbonation.

When I switched to malt I stayed away from sugar, 500g isn't good for an Ale IMHO. To get more bitterness in the APA kit you should do a hop boil rather than a steep. Once your get your Light Dry Malt you mix it 100g to 1 litre of water, as a rule longer boils (60 minutes) will give you all bitterness, mid range boils (20 mins) will give bitterness and taste, steeping will give mainly taste and aroma.

This is the beauty of the APA kit, as a base you can transform it into most styles. If it is the only kit you can get easily then doing a 30 minute boil of 25g of Pride of Ringwood is going to give you a decent hit of bitterness. You could supplement this by steeping 25g of Cascade or better still throw the 25g of Cascade in with the POR when there is 5 minutes of the boil left. This I believe should make you lick your lips. For this recipe I would use 1kg of LDM, if your are worried about a thick mouthfeel then go 750g LDM and 250g of sugar or dextrose.

Cheers & Beers
Scottie
Valley brew

12 Posted: Saturday, June 17, 2017 7:49 PM

Scottie:

Hey Mark

Best to lose the soap from your brewing process, especially the inside of the bottles. Glasses washed in soap have trouble developing a head. Nothing to do with the sweetness though. PBW is a good brewery cleaner, as is homebrand napisan.

I too was thinking that the yeast wasn't working in the bottles (secondary fermentation), more due to low temperature than anything else; if it was alive and thriving in the fermenter it will have no issues in the bottle at your temps. Are you using a bottle wand for filling the bottles? I find this leaves the correct headspace in the bottle. I prefer to store them upright but that shouldn't affect carbonation.

When I switched to malt I stayed away from sugar, 500g isn't good for an Ale IMHO. To get more bitterness in the APA kit you should do a hop boil rather than a steep. Once your get your Light Dry Malt you mix it 100g to 1 litre of water, as a rule longer boils (60 minutes) will give you all bitterness, mid range boils (20 mins) will give bitterness and taste, steeping will give mainly taste and aroma.

This is the beauty of the APA kit, as a base you can transform it into most styles. If it is the only kit you can get easily then doing a 30 minute boil of 25g of Pride of Ringwood is going to give you a decent hit of bitterness. You could supplement this by steeping 25g of Cascade or better still throw the 25g of Cascade in with the POR when there is 5 minutes of the boil left. This I believe should make you lick your lips. For this recipe I would use 1kg of LDM, if your are worried about a thick mouthfeel then go 750g LDM and 250g of sugar or dextrose.

Cheers & Beers
Scottie
Valley brew

Yeah, I've got santiser here from OZ-Brew that I use, but it's not no-rinse stuff as many people say is the go. I only use the soap for the intial clean of all the gear and rinse it well. Beer is holding a head reasonably well from what I can tell. Better than a lot of commercial stuff anyway. But I'll try to phase out soap if you say so…

I am pretty keen when it's time for the next batch to follow that advice with doing a hop boil, getting some Cascade in there frankly sounds delicious, but didnt want to do a boil on my second batch, as my first batch (It stuck!!) was less than inspiring and I wanted to keep-it-simple-stupid. As I said I would I dry hopped the beer with Cascade today. First time opening a hop sachet other than POR. WOW. That smell was what I want to be drinking.

I just happen to have 1KG of light dry malt here, so it sounds like a plan.

Yes, using a bottling wand. OZ-Brew again. Seems to be a cheapy. Picked up another fermenter bucket and an auto siphon to use as a bottling bucket to go to batch priming, to try and get a more consistent carbonation and clearness. (I also have a ginger beer plant going, so I'll use that other bucket to ferment out the sugars in the mean time and then I'll bottle prime - my last batch of ginger beer would have been bottle bombs if it wasnt for using PET)

Thanks for the input guys. No doubt I'll have some more basic questions soon.

Last edited by DieselGU (Saturday, June 17, 2017 7:49 PM)