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Peterock

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Ok so I'm planing on brewing my first batch this weekend. I bought my supplies from local brew shop with the help of one of the customers.
I bought a 3.75lbs can of Coppers Australian Ale. The guy that help me recommended that I also buy 3lbs of Muntons (powdered) and 2oz Cascade hop pellets to add to the extract. So the directions that came with the coopers says to boil 2 liters of water and add extract with any other fermentables. Is this when I should add the Munton? Should I add 1/3 of the hops at this time as well? How long in between adding the rest of the hops? Should the wort still be boiling? Or simmering? How long should I boil or simmer for? Should I strain out hop pellets when still hot?or cold? I need direction.....HELP. I'm sorry for all the dumb questions but these directions are Terrible and not clear at all. I also watched the vids in the forums but that guy was brewing with grains and didn't mention times and temps.
Thanks,Pete
 

Tom

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Yes add the muntons with the extract. The directions should give you the boil and hop timing.
I havent done extract in a long time but 2 liters is short. I'm thinking 2 gallons for boil
 

Wade E

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Yes add both the LME nd DME according to instructions. When doing so add slowly whie stirring well the whole while and you can even take the pot off as you are doing this so as not to burn either of these until they are stirred in. you can add 1/2 the hops at 15 minutes into boil and the rest at 15 minutes left before flame out.
 

pkeeler

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I would bring 2 - 2.5 gal. of water (if you have a pot that is big enough, you will probably need a 5 gal. pot). If not, then reduce the water as the LME is liquid already. As soon as it boils, add the LME and 1 oz of the hops. Boil for 30 min. Add the other oz of cascade hops and the DME and turn off the heat as soon as it is dissolved. Cool the wort down to under 75. Then dump it all into a primary fermenter with enough water to make 5 gal. Don't worry about straining anything. You can rack the wort from the brew pot to the fermenter (let it splash) and leave the hops and break behind, but it isn't necessary. Stir vigorously for 3 minutes, pitch your yeast, stir some more, fix an airlock on there and put it somewhere dark with stable temps in the 65-70 range for three weeks. Then prime and bottle.
 

Peterock

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Ok as I said the directions that came with the coopers is very poor. I did some online reaserch to find out that this coopers extract is a No boil kit. Will it affect the extract if I boil it anyway? Don't I need to boil wort to get full effects out of added Munton and hops? Should I boil just the munton and hops and wait till it cools some then add the extract? Also I saw a few brew directions and vids where the person added 1-2 cups of corn sugar as well. Do I need to add sugar as well? That's deffenitly not in the directions. Is it just to get higher alc content? Can I use table sugar?
Thanks, Pete
 

EngineJoe

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Ok as I said the directions that came with the coopers is very poor. I did some online reaserch to find out that this coopers extract is a No boil kit. Will it affect the extract if I boil it anyway? Don't I need to boil wort to get full effects out of added Munton and hops? Should I boil just the munton and hops and wait till it cools some then add the extract? Also I saw a few brew directions and vids where the person added 1-2 cups of corn sugar as well. Do I need to add sugar as well? That's deffenitly not in the directions. Is it just to get higher alc content? Can I use table sugar?
Thanks, Pete

Do not boil a no-boil kit. They are designed to not be boiled!!! Since the hops are already in the extract you are using, additional boiling will impact the aromatics and bitterness in your brew. If you are adding additional hops and extract, those need to be boiled. I would boil them separately, then cool it and add it to the rest (make sure you have the right volumes for the correct amount of finished beer).

EDIT: just read the 3# of Muntons and 2 oz. of Cascade. I'd do about 2 gallons of water (less if you want to rocket the gravity up to IPA proportions. Bring to boil, kill the heat, then add the Muntons and stir it in. Bring back to a boil, add 1 oz Cascade, then boil for 8 minutes, add the other 1 oz. Cascade, boil for two more minutes, then cool. Add this to your Cooper's kit and bring total liquid volume up to 5 gallons in your fermenter... and pitch!

Corn sugar/table sugar is just added to increase the alcohol level without adding any additional body/mouthfeel to the beer. Be careful about adding too much, it can impart a cidery taste to your brew.
 
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pkeeler

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Ok, I would make beer out of the DME and cascade hops with a boil. Then cool that and add the no-boil kit and the yeast.
 

EngineJoe

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Ok, I would make beer out of the DME and cascade hops with a boil. Then cool that and add the no-boil kit and the yeast.

Right. :db Again, just make sure you have your full five gallons before you add the yeast. Top off with water if you need to (better to use filtered water at this point; you don't want chlorine in there. The boiled water will be OK because the chorine will evaporate, but any used to top off needs to be chorine-free).

Oh, and go ahead and splash and stir as you combine everything in the fermenter. It'll help work in some oxygen, which the yeast will need (just like with wine). When you boil water, any non-molecular oxygen dissolved that was in the water will evaporate. So you have to work some back in.
 

Peterock

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Thanks alot guys. At what point do I remove (rack?strain?) the remains of the hop pellets from my boil?
Whats the difference in using corn sugar or table sugar?I'm thinking I'd like at least 5% alc in the brew. Is threre a certain SG range I should be shooting for pre pitch?
 

EngineJoe

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CLose ferment with an airlock. This is not wine! :D

As for the hop matter, just pour the wort (preferment beer) you boiled (water/extract/hops) through a sanitized strainer. That will catch most of the pellet material. you might want a sanitized spoon on hand, as the pellet matter can clog up the strainer. That said, straining the hops out of the primary is a good idea -- even a wise one -- but not a vital one.

Corn sugar is a little easier for the yeast to metabolize, and thus is less likely to produce esters/phenols that are inappropriate in beer than table sugar is. In small quantities, this is not a big issue... but can get to be a consideration if adding more than a pound or so.

I don't know the expected gravity of the Cooper's kit, but 3# of DME in 2 gallons of water will give you over 5% abv on its own -- about 1.066 OG with an expected/average FG of 1.016 (depending on your yeast strain). That would be 6.7% ABV. The gravity of the cooper's kit properly diluted will probably take that down a bit, but the exact amount is kit-dependant. On average, they give 5% ABV, so between the kit and the extra extract, I'll guess you'll see a 1.057 or so OG with a 1.015-1.016 FG, or about 5.5% ABV.

But note that those are fairly unscientific calculations based on assumptions about your kit.
 

Peterock

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So I'm thinking of adding some corn sugar to raise alc level some. I'm thinking about 1 cup. I don't want to add any more than that untill I get to know brewing a little better. Is adding 1 cup worth it? Once the boil contents and extract and extra water are all added and yeast is pitched and stired then covered and airlocked...Do I need to stir or do anything else at any point in time before bottling? How long should I keep the fermenter at 75ish degrees?
 

Wade E

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Id be careful as you are already doing so with the DME and if you push this yeast too far it may not carbonate in the bottle later as it may be exhausted
 

Peterock

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I was kinda questioning the yeast that came with the kit from the get go (considering it's in the kit just sitting on the shelf). I have to make a run to local brew store before I brew any way, should I pick up some other(better) yeast?
 

EngineJoe

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I was kinda questioning the yeast that came with the kit from the get go (considering it's in the kit just sitting on the shelf). I have to make a run to local brew store before I brew any way, should I pick up some other(better) yeast?

I certainly advise it to my customers when they buy those Coopers kits. You just can't be confident as to how it has been treated. A good Safale yeast (US-05 for clean American characteristics, US-04 for more British nuttiness) would be good insurance.

Do I need to stir or do anything else at any point in time before bottling? How long should I keep the fermenter at 75ish degrees?

No stirring after pitching. Leave it in the fermenter until airlock activity is down to 1 or 2 times a minute, and rack to a carboy for clarification. Then bottle.

I would ferment a little cooler than 75 -- most ale yeasts perform better in the mid-60s. The English yeasts in particular tend to kick off a lot of fruity esters above 70F.
 

Peterock

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Ok I brewed for my first time yesterday! :db It went pretty well. Thanks for all the help guys. :b I scraped the kits yeast for liquid WYEAST Activator (london ale). I think I definitely under estimated how long it was going to take to cool down the wort. Because of this I was soo anxious to pitch yeast, that I forgot to take S.G. reading. :sm I did in fact add an additional 1 cup of Muton to the already 3#. I plan on using the remaining leftover Muton for priming (which should be about a cup and a half). I guess now I need to start removing labels and cleaning bottles. Any thoughts on a bench capper? Make ?Model? I'm thinking of buying those O2 barrier caps. Do they need to be stored any certain way?

Thanks Pete
 

Hugh_Jass

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Ok I brewed for my first time yesterday! :db It went pretty well. Thanks for all the help guys. :b I scraped the kits yeast for liquid WYEAST Activator (london ale). I think I definitely under estimated how long it was going to take to cool down the wort. Because of this I was soo anxious to pitch yeast, that I forgot to take S.G. reading. :sm I did in fact add an additional 1 cup of Muton to the already 3#. I plan on using the remaining leftover Muton for priming (which should be about a cup and a half). I guess now I need to start removing labels and cleaning bottles. Any thoughts on a bench capper? Make ?Model? I'm thinking of buying those O2 barrier caps. Do they need to be stored any certain way?

Thanks Pete

1028 (London Ale) is a great yeast strain.

I'd think 1.5 cups of priming sugar would be too much (see bottle bombs)

I've never used the O2 absorbing caps, but I'd doubt oxidation will be an issue, this being your first batch and the beer not likely to stick around long.

use this calculator to determine how much sugar to prime I'd shoot for 2.5 volumes.

good luck.

http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/priming.html
 

Wade E

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Couldnt tell you on the capper. I bottled one batch and then said screw this and bought 4 corny kegs. I now have 7 of them but still only use 4. Sometimes I do naturally carb a batch in a keg which allows me to still have 4 on tap at any time.
 

pkeeler

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1.5 cups of DME for priming 5 gal. might be correct. However, I would suggest you use sugar (corn or cane), 3/4 cup for 5 gal. DME will work, but you will get a krausen ring in your bottles (or so I have read). Being your first batch, it might be a little unsightly and/or disturbing.
 
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