1 Posted: Tuesday, November 07, 2017 4:11 PM

How yez all goan,

I'm up to me 7th brew (Stout, Dark Ale, Stout, Dark Ale, Real Ale, Amber Ale) and so far so beaut.

This time I want to try something. I have the lager tin that came with the kit, minus its yeast sachel (chucked that in the second stout when I added extra, or what I believed to be extra, sugar, turned out to be same as normal, because I got the start wrong, but it turned out fine).

I also got the Family Secret Amber Ale on a discount for nine bucks from Dan Murphy's. Pretty stoked, it's normally 23.

I reckon lager and amber ale would mix nicely, but I have since learned what makes Lager is the yeast variety (which creates the longer brew time). So, if I am not using lager yeast, I can just make some kind of mongrel ale with the tin, right? Kind of?

So my plan for brew 7, a celebratory brew with festive and recreational intent, is:

- Coopers Lager tin (minus its yeast) + 5g Brigalow brewing yeast, what I got from Big W for a few bucks to try out
- Coopers Family Secret Amber Ale tin with its yeast
- 500g Coopers light dry malt
- 1kg Coopers Brew Enhancer 2
- 23L pure dihydrogen monoxide

If anyone objects to this union, let them speak now or forever hold their peace. Or, if you have any suggestions (i.e. procedure, content), I'm keen to hear them - planning to brew tomorrow arvo.

What do youse reckon - should it work? Should I bung in other stuff?

2 Posted: Tuesday, November 07, 2017 5:39 PM

Greetings from the north of England. Personally, I think it'll work. Personally, I'd chuck some hops into it in the second week of fermentation. Always provides a flavour lift IMO.

Be aware that each kit can provides the bitterness for 5 gallons of beer, so you'll have double the bitterness. The bitterness is usually pretty gentle in these kits though, so probably nothing to fear. I believe the Cooper's Brew A IPA is high bitterness, not to be doubled up, but these two should be ok unless you don't like a bit of extra bitterness. And you are adding quite a lot of malt so the extra bitterness should be a good thing I reckon.

3 Posted: Tuesday, November 07, 2017 6:03 PM

As mentioned, the combination of the two cans will result in quite a bitter brew though I know of some who have combined cans and not found it to be a problem. BUT…

Me Old Mate:

+ 5g Brigalow brewing yeast

This aint gonna cut it. I don't know anything about this yeast but I can tell you now, 5g aint nearly enough.

The yeast supplied with the lager can is actually an ale yeast, probably the same as the yeast in the amber can, so I would use both or… one of those packets and the Brigalow yeast. Either way… for this proposed brew you really want more yeast than any one of those singles packets provides on its own.



4 Posted: Tuesday, November 07, 2017 6:39 PM

The Brigalow yeast and the Family Secret yeast are both in the list.

5 Posted: Tuesday, November 07, 2017 6:47 PM

Thank you Phil and Blacksands.

Phil,

Second week of brewing? As I suspected - it will take longer to be ready to bottle due to concentration? I don't mind that actually. I don't mind the bitterness, but wasn't aware of how this worked. The Amber Ale is very hoppy already, quite stunning, if I hadn't already brewed a straight AA batch I'd not touch it, but this is for a lark and I hate lager so won't make that can on its own. I will shop around for hops, no idea where to go in Melbourne. I'm hopping it will balance out as is with the malt and brew sugars. Perhaps I can add more later, and more yeast (pre-revived, at that stage).

Blacksands,
I'm putting in the yeast from the Amber Ale, plus the Brigalow yeast. But, I also have some other yeast from a supermarket for bakers I could also chuck in to see what happens. Maybe not.

I'd be curious if the lager can yeast is the same as the other cans, my understanding is that lager yeast is different from ale yeast, and defines lager, by requiring the lower temperature and longer brew time, due to being a particular strain. But anyway - I'll be chucking in two yeasts (5g and 7g), and have a box of some other yeast for bread, maybe that will do the same thing too, if I soak it first.

6 Posted: Tuesday, November 07, 2017 7:54 PM

Hi Me Old Mate.

Recipe thoughts aside, my only concern is that you might be taking a risk with your yeast volume. You have a fairly hefty brew there using a good whack of fermentable materials, & I feel you are asking a lot of the kit yeast + the Brigalow yeast (12gms total) to adequately ferment out the brew.

When you first start out homebrewing you don't really have a good understanding of how important the yeast is to making your beer (I admit I didn't!). After a while you certainly learn how important it really is.

For the sake of $5.00 I'd purchase a good quality 10-11gm sachet from your LHBS & combine this with the Amber Ale kit sachet to reach a volume of somewhere around 17-18gms of pitched dry yeast for your intended brew.

You can certainly chance the 12gms of combined yeast you have planned to do the job, but if this was my brew, I wouldn't.

It's your call really.

Cheers,

Lusty.

7 Posted: Tuesday, November 07, 2017 10:59 PM

Thanks Lusty. I have absolutely no idea what I am doing, so tips like that help a lot. I shall sally forth and gain me some yeasty comestibles for this brew to bump it up to the eighteen gram mark.

Is there a down side to over-yeasting the brew, and what would you consider over-yeasting for 23 litres?

Oh, also - - how come? I am basically just doubling the fermantable volume, actually slightly less, as each brew requires 1kg of powdery stuff from them red boxes, and i'm only putting in 1.5kg. So why do I need to quadruple the yeast content? If it's fungus, it will reproduce if given time, right? Or is it because of the higher eventual levels of alcohol and c02 killing the yeast off as it gets through the wort?

8 Posted: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 12:01 AM

You are doubling the amount of fermentables but keeping the volume 23L. That is why you need more yeast.

To figure out how much yeast you need, use a yeast calculator, like MrMalty, which takes into account the gravity of the wort, the volume of the batch, and the age of the yeast. It assumes you are using all malt, so no sugar or brew enhancers, and that you are rehydrating the yeast.

A lot of kit manufacturers provide the barest minimum of yeast. Packets of 5gm or 6gm are designed to be mixed with 1kg of dextrose. Dextrose is easier for yeast to ferment than malt, so it requires less yeast. Coopers kit yeast are a bit bigger, 7gm, because they are designed to be mixed with 1kg of brew enhances, some of which contain a bit of DME.

Cheers,

Christina.

9 Posted: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 8:32 AM

Thank you Christina S1.

I can't help wondering, is it possible to make a brew where the fermentables = the batch size? I.e., no water - just fermentables and yeast, which should (in my primitive mind) equal a solid block of pure alcohol once fermentation is over? You could break a bit off and chew it like jerky, like a muesli bar, but beer.

10 Posted: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 8:57 AM

Me Old Mate:

Thank you Christina S1.

I can't help wondering, is it possible to make a brew where the fermentables = the batch size? I.e., no water - just fermentables and yeast, which should (in my primitive mind) equal a solid block of pure alcohol once fermentation is over? You could break a bit off and chew it like jerky, like a muesli bar, but beer.


Don't think so, but you could maybe concentrate / dehydrate the extract even more and turn it into hopped toffees and market them to beer lovers.

Cheers,

Christina.

11 Posted: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 8:57 AM

Me Old Mate:

Thank you Christina S1.

I can't help wondering, is it possible to make a brew where the fermentables = the batch size? I.e., no water - just fermentables and yeast, which should (in my primitive mind) equal a solid block of pure alcohol once fermentation is over? You could break a bit off and chew it like jerky, like a muesli bar, but beer.


Don't think so, but you could maybe concentrate / dehydrate the extract even more and turn it into hopped toffees and market them to beer lovers.

Cheers,

Christina.

12 Posted: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 10:59 AM

Me Old Mate.

Yeast behaves differently in different conditions, and this will affect the beer. Lusty's advice is sound, yeast is the key ingredient in beer, and kits tend to skimp, and kit yeast often reaches us in less than ideal condition. I think 12g is probably enough for your brew, but it makes sense to get a good 12g packet and also chuck in the kit yeast. Best to have a bit too much, yeast gets stressed if expected to work too hard. If you can get hops, great, if you like a particular hop then go for that. I like a fresh hop flavour in my beer that kits don't provide, and they also improve the condition of the beer I think, the mouth feel and the head.

13 Posted: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 11:52 AM

The OG on that brew would be somewhere around 1.070, probably more. 12g of yeast even re-hydrated isn't really gonna be enough. According to Yeastcalc, based on the standard ale pitching rate, you'd need to be pitching somewhere in the vicinity of 300 billion cells, which 12g won't provide. I'm with Lusty on grabbing one of the 11.5g packets to bring the total up more around 17-18g, maybe chuck in the 5g Brigalow yeast as well to bump it up even more. You can go over the rate a little with high gravity brews without issue, which leads to my next point…

It is possible to pitch too much yeast, but you have to go over by a fair whack for it to have any noticeable effect on the beer; the most likely effect is that it tastes a bit blander because the yeast haven't had to multiply as much, or at all if you overpitch to extremes. It's also not great for yeast health. However, in this instance if you pitched somewhere between 17-22g of yeast, it wouldn't be an overpitch, and if it was it would only be by a small amount, not enough to have any detrimental effects on the beer.

I would also be re-hydrating it all - pitching dry can potentially kill half the cells and in a brew like this, or any brew really, you want as many of the pitched cells to survive as possible. Pitching the proper amount reduces the lag time, reduces the chances of infection, reduces the chances of the fermentation stalling (i.e. promotes full attentuation), and generally improves the overall quality of the beer. On the other hand, not pitching enough yeast can lead to off flavors from yeast stress/multiplying too many times, sluggish, stalled or incomplete fermentations, increased lag and chances of infection, and generally decreases the quality of the beer overall.

I honestly don't think yeast is a subject that is given enough ‘airtime’ with new brewers, kits hardly ever provide enough unless you're brewing middies… without it we don't have beer at all so it should be treated with as much importance, if not more importance, than the grains and hops etc.

Cheers

Kelsey

14 Posted: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 12:45 PM

Thank you Otto von Blotto (my favourite town, btw).

It certainly seems like yeast deserves more focus, given the comments. As it is a living organism it's certainly worth the effort and as such would have to be (as someone said above) considered the main ingredient. If it isn't happy, its product won't be either.

Ok. Final question: I have some Defiance brand baker's yeast. If I rehydrate that and bung (I don't pitch my yeast, I bung it) it in, will that do the job of boofing up the yeast quotient into the special number thing to make it all better?

15 Posted: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 12:49 PM

With you on the hops, Phil. But no idea where to buy them in Melbourne.

16 Posted: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 2:06 PM

Bung, pitch, same difference .

Baker's yeast will certainly bring the amount of cells up but I wouldn't use it. It doesn't lend a very good flavor to beer.

17 Posted: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 2:20 PM

Phil_McGlass:

Me Old Mate.

Yeast behaves differently in different conditions, and this will affect the beer. Lusty's advice is sound, yeast is the key ingredient in beer, and kits tend to skimp, and kit yeast often reaches us in less than ideal condition. I think 12g is probably enough for your brew, but it makes sense to get a good 12g packet and also chuck in the kit yeast. Best to have a bit too much, yeast gets stressed if expected to work too hard. If you can get hops, great, if you like a particular hop then go for that. I like a fresh hop flavour in my beer that kits don't provide, and they also improve the condition of the beer I think, the mouth feel and the head.


If kit yeast is ale yeast, Top fermenting at higher temps and lager yeast is bottom fermenting at lower temps 12-15 degrees, and you are brewing a lager at 14 degrees is,nt there a conflict of interest so to speak.

I mean by putting the kit yeast and lager yeast in the 1 brew.

18 Posted: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 2:24 PM

Henry:

If kit yeast is ale yeast, Top fermenting at higher temps and lager yeast is bottom fermenting at lower temps 12-15 degrees, and you are brewing a lager at 14 degrees is,nt there a conflict of interest so to speak.

I mean by putting the kit yeast and lager yeast in the 1 brew.

No use putting ale yeast in with lager yeast and fermenting at 14 degrees because it's too cold for it, exception being Nottingham ale yeast. Some of the kits do contain an ale and lager blend of yeast, but this yeast is best fermented around 17-18C.

19 Posted: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 2:36 PM

Otto Von Blotto:

Henry:

If kit yeast is ale yeast, Top fermenting at higher temps and lager yeast is bottom fermenting at lower temps 12-15 degrees, and you are brewing a lager at 14 degrees is,nt there a conflict of interest so to speak.

I mean by putting the kit yeast and lager yeast in the 1 brew.

No use putting ale yeast in with lager yeast and fermenting at 14 degrees because it's too cold for it, exception being Nottingham ale yeast. Some of the kits do contain an ale and lager blend of yeast, but this yeast is best fermented around 17-18C.


thanks Otto V B I was looking to put down a brew off of the Coopers recipe site, true aussie bitter the yeast they say to put in is saflager w-34/70 a lager yeast and then chuck in the kit yeast witch I think is an ale yeast. I am only using 1 KG of DME so I might forgo the kit yeast.
The can is a Canadian Blonde. and I will be brewing at 14d

20 Posted: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 2:49 PM

I think that tin has the ale/lager blend as the kit yeast but I'm not 100% sure on that. If it is, then basically you'd be adding 15g of lager yeast and the other 3.5g of ale yeast would just go dormant during the fermentation if you ferment it at 14C. Given the ingredients and ferment temp etc. I would use both yeasts but re-hydrate them together before pitching, this will ensure the optimum number of cells being pitched as I described above.