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Hi there!

Postby MuckyFunster » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:09 pm

Hi folks!

First time poster, long time listener. :D

I’ve just bought my first homebrewing set - a Coopers DIY Beer starter set with Coopers IPA kit.

I’ve fancied giving homebrew a try for ages but haven’t known where to start. Since buying the kit I’ve ordered “The complete joy of Homebrewing” book which I’m stil waitimg falling through the door. I’m planning on swotting up a bit on the book before I start the kit, so hopefully I won’t make any glaring mistakes!

Looking forward to having fun and hopefully being able to drink some decent beer too! As someone else said just recently - it’s the best damn drink in the world!
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Re: Hi there!

Postby PhilB » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:16 pm

Hi MuckyF, and welcome to the forum ;) :cheers:

I can almost smell the excitement from here ... I'm sure you're going to enjoy your brewing ;)

Cheers, PhilB
The answer is probably ... RDWHAHB ... Relax, Don't Worry, Have A Home-Brew ;) :cheers:
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Re: Hi there!

Postby MuckyFunster » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:36 pm

:cheers: Thanks for the welcome Phil! My excitement is bubbling like a happy yeast culture!
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Re: Hi there!

Postby Pete. » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:41 am

Hello MF! Do tell us how your brew days goes. Coopers kits are good, I have brewed the lot, some several times and never regretted one.
Its beer, Jim. But not as we know it...
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Re: Hi there!

Postby MuckyFunster » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:59 pm

Thanks Pete. Yeah, I will do. I’ll hopefully start it on Sunday. I’ve not had a decent chance recently due to work and Family stuff, etc.

I’ve bought some Amarillo hops and I think I’ll do a Hop tea after I boil the kit extract and add the brew enhancer and some additional light DME. Then il dry Hop some as well. Hopefully it’ll brew something hoppy and interesting!

:)
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Re: Hi there!

Postby Pete. » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:37 am

May I be so bold as to recommend not boiling the malt. There really is no need to and the beer is not improved by the boiling. Not boiling the malt is a thing I learnt to do after about three years of kit brewing. Boiling the malt is an anachronism left over from all grain brewing. It is quite possible to simply pasteurise the malt in boiling water while dissolving it in the brew bin. But even that isn't required as the malt is sterile in the can.

Of course the head (home) brewer may brew as personally preferred. But as @MF I s a novice kit brewer I thought I should emphasise the point. Boiling malt can make a real mess when it boils over and it is bad scolding hazard , much worse than water or hop tea.

IMHO, adding DME or LME is better than brew enhancer as sugar is not needed at this strength and the beer would benefit from greater body. Adding a kilo of DME would make fine ale.

With all this use of hops and more extract, it would be easy to move from pre-hopped can kits to extract and hop and yeast and adjunct kits (like brewuks made up kids), just don't boil the malt whatever the instructions say! :D ). Once there the brewing world is your metaphorical oyster. :cheers:
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Re: Hi there!

Postby PhilB » Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:42 pm

Hi Micky

Oh, so much advice ... but which to take :?

I'm guessing your notions of boiling the extract have come from your readings from the Charlie Papazian's, “The complete joy of Homebrewing” ... but the thing is, Americans don't really do canned, pre-hopped kit homebrewing, so he probably doesn't give any/much useful advice around what you should be doing with that particular set of ingredients ... and just because there's malt extract in that can, doesn't mean you should brew it up using the method he advises for brewing with malt extract, that approach uses different techniques, for different purposes :?

If you look at the instructions that come with the Coopers Kit (I think the DIY Beer starter set even comes with a DVD, doesn't it) there's no boiling involved ... sterilise equipment, hot/warm water to dissolve the kit contents and other fermentables in, cold water to dilute to brewlength, pitch yeast and "Bob's yer uncle" ;) ... now, OK, you're wanting to take that kit a little further again, "tweak" it even, with the addition of some fresh-er hops ... a little like "improving" a can of Campbell's condensed mushroom soup, sure you could just add the contents of the can into your pan and add water, warm and serve it, but it'd turn out much nicer if you soaked some dried mushrooms and added them, and the water you soaked them in, into the pan, and even nicer again if you then added some fresh mushrooms as well :?

All of the techniques you might consider using for "tweaking" a kit are described in that post over there (link), now that may be referring to a particular (Woodfordes' Sundew) kit, and talking about Cascade hops, but the general approach can be used for just about any pre-hopped kit, including your Cooper's "Brew-A" IPA kit ... which should be very nice with the orangey flavours from those Amarillo hops ;) :cheers:

Cheers, PhilB
The answer is probably ... RDWHAHB ... Relax, Don't Worry, Have A Home-Brew ;) :cheers:
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Re: Hi there!

Postby MuckyFunster » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:33 pm

Hey Folks,

Yeah, I got the notion to boil the extract from “The Complete joy of homebrewing” book. The author says quite early on that it will increase the quality of the brew, but TBH I’m glad you’ve both advised me not to bother as the biggest pot I currently own max’ is about 4 litres! That’ll save me having to add and add water out the kettle to stop it drying up. I’ll still try the Hop tea and the dry hopping as described in the linked link.

Thanks for the tips! I plan to have my first brew day on Sunday. Can’t wait! :)
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Re: Hi there!

Postby Pete. » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:06 pm

Its always nice to help others as we were once helped ourselves. Good luck with the brew. Do tell how it goes and turns out.
Its beer, Jim. But not as we know it...
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Re: Hi there!

Postby MuckyFunster » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:58 pm

I had my brewday yesterday!

When I opened up the box it turned out I actually had a 1.5kg tin of Cooper’s liquid light malt extract, instead of the Brew Enhancer that I thought I had. Thinking back - the staff member in my LHBS might’ve swapped out the Brew Enhancer for the malt extract when she swapped out the Lager kit for the IPA kit.

I made a Hop tea with roughly 25g of Amarillo hops (my kitchen scales are the old school ones, probably not the most accurate, and certainly not easy to read at small weights) by boiling the hop pellets in water for a while and then straining it into the fermenting vessel. I poured in the IPA kit and the liquid malt extract then topped it up to 23 litres, stirred it, and then pitched in the yeast.

My OG reading was 1.042. I had been expecting a higher reading but I’m not sure what I’m basing that assumption on. It seemed a bit low to me anyway and I’m wondering if I’ve maybe not stirred it all in properly...? It was pretty gloopy when I began stirring, and I stirred for a few minutes until I felt it had smoothed out.

Ahh well, we’ll wait and see...

The Coopers FV is clear plastic which is pretty good cause I’ve been able to snoop at the liquid without disturbing it. I’ve looked in on it a few times today. The temperature seems to be reasonably steady throughout the day at 22*C, but it is just brewing in my back room. The central heading is on through the night so hopefully it’ll maintain the steady temp without issue. There is a small amount of bubbles forming on the top. Not at all frothy, but they are there. And I can see some small cheesy-looking lumps and particles rising and falling in the Brew, so I’m guessing something is going on in there.

It feels a bit like a science experiment! I’m enjoying it the experience so far and am excited to see how it progresses.

I’m planning on dry hopping another 25g of Amarillo hops after 4 days and leaving them in there until bottling day.

:cheers:
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