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Old 03-29-2006, 06:16 AM   #1
h2dk
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Default Coopers Lager...problems

I brewed a batch a couple weeks ago (needed a cheap brew for my 5 tap kegerator) and it tastes terrible. Undrinkable terrible... (Primary for 1 week, secondary for 1 week, day four in keg)

It tasted terrible when I tried the hydrometer sample when I trasferred from primary, but it was really yellow, almost lemonade looking at the time...very bitter and dry. It cleared up in secondary using gelatin and looked fantastic (sample from hydro before transfer to keg almost tasted good)

Now it is back to the taste from primary, and I can barely hold down a sip, let alone a whole pint. It is very bitter and dry, with a horrible aftertaste. Should I just dump it and spend a little more and brew a decent beer? or is this going to get better with age?


---It had a weird fermentation faze. No movement in the stopper for two days, although the bucket had a good 3" of foam in it. I removed the stopper and put it back in, the air bubble was immediately blasting through the stopper...this then went on for several days.---


Ugh...it has been 30 minutes and I still have the taste in my mouth from one sip...

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Tap 2: Amber (Fat Tire clone) --- running on fumes
Tap 3: Raspberry Wheat --- very low
Tap 4: Cooper's Lager (yuck! will pull and let age)
Tap 5: Root beer

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Berry Wheat
Secondary: Porter, Amber

Future:Lemon Wheat, ??
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Old 03-29-2006, 10:23 AM   #2
Regicider
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Hmm.

Some questions:

  • Did you use the yeast that comes with the kit?
  • What was your fermentation temperature?
  • Did you follow the instructions from Coopers? If not, what did you do differently? (For instance, they specify adding table sugar. I use dried malt extract instead.)
  • What was the OG and FG?
I have a batch made from the same type kit. It's in secondary, and has been for quite some time. (So far quite tasty.) The dry yeast that comes with the kit is supposed to be a lager-type yeast, so if you've fermented it like an ale (it looks like that from your one week phases), that might produce off-flavours.

I pitched a Coopers Bitter kit onto the yeast cake from my Lager, and fermented it at ale temp. That made for very estery beer -- it's literally going bananas.

This doesn't sound like the dry and bitter taste you describe, though. I wonder -- is it a "not enough maltiness to balance the hops" dryness, or is it astringency (often compared to sucking on a teabag)?
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Old 03-29-2006, 03:04 PM   #3
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Normally, I'd recommend using gelatin to reduce the bitterness, but you did that already. Set it aside at room temp. for three weeks, then try it. Lager or ale, it's WAY too young for drinking.

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Old 03-29-2006, 03:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Regicider
Hmm.

Some questions:
  • Did you use the yeast that comes with the kit?
  • What was your fermentation temperature?
  • Did you follow the instructions from Coopers? If not, what did you do differently? (For instance, they specify adding table sugar. I use dried malt extract instead.)
  • What was the OG and FG?
I have a batch made from the same type kit. It's in secondary, and has been for quite some time. (So far quite tasty.) The dry yeast that comes with the kit is supposed to be a lager-type yeast, so if you've fermented it like an ale (it looks -like that from your one week phases), that might produce off-flavours.

I pitched a Coopers Bitter kit onto the yeast cake from my Lager, and fermented it at ale temp. That made for very estery beer -- it's literally going bananas.

This doesn't sound like the dry and bitter taste you describe, though. I wonder -- is it a "not enough maltiness to balance the hops" dryness, or is it astringency (often compared to sucking on a teabag)?


- Yes I used the dry yeast
- Temp was low 60's
- Yes I used table sugar (per instructions)
- OG 1.042, FG 1.006

Definately astringency (BINGO! I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to describe the taste...sucking on a teabag is exactly right)

Is there any way to "fix" this? I am not against dumping it (as it was for my non-"dark" beer drinking friends) but I am having a poker party friday night and was hoping to have a 4th beer on tap. I guess I could always go grab a couple cases of coors light and fill the keg with it
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Tap 1: ---
Tap 2: Amber (Fat Tire clone) --- running on fumes
Tap 3: Raspberry Wheat --- very low
Tap 4: Cooper's Lager (yuck! will pull and let age)
Tap 5: Root beer

Primary:
Berry Wheat
Secondary: Porter, Amber

Future:Lemon Wheat, ??
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Old 03-29-2006, 03:46 PM   #5
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From what I read on an Aussie discussion forum, the Coopers Lager kit comes with an ale yeast. That does make sense, since the kit says to ferment at or just under room temps.

I have made this kit with the supplied yeast, and it did produce the fruitiness of an ale yeast.

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Old 03-29-2006, 04:21 PM   #6
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I brewed one of these kits when I started out and it started tasting good after 3 or 4 weeks in the bottle... Time will sort it out, trust me.

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Old 03-30-2006, 03:01 AM   #7
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I've never seen a Cooper's lager yeast. They have a generic "brewing yeast" that usually ferments fast as hell, and makes very good beers. You won't get the classic clean zip of a lager yeast, but you won't get awful tasting stuff either. My guess is that the table sugar got you down, and possibly you infected your beer with some bacteria or other to boot.
Try DME next time, and you'll make really decent beer. Those Coopers kits are just fine, quality wise. If you use DME and dextrose 50/50 and get an OG over 1.040 you'll be happy.

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Bottled:
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Super Saazy Saaz Pilsner Saaz (It's a little green, yet)

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Old 03-30-2006, 03:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasquatch
I've never seen a Cooper's lager yeast. They have a generic "brewing yeast" that usually ferments fast as hell,

You sure got the fast part right! Monday evening I pitched a packet of their dry yeast on a Coopers Draught kit (with a kilo of DME) at 70 degrees F., and that sucker was finished this morning. Less than 48 hours. I couldn't believe it, so I did some searching here. I hope it's true that these fast ferments produce the best beer.
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Old 03-31-2006, 02:10 AM   #9
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Lizard, that draught is known in this house as the draught of living death. It's awesome.

We've seen Cooper's dry yeast go from pitched to 99% finished in 32 hours. It's crazy, nuclear-mean stuff.

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Primary: Lager

Secondary: Sangiovese, Honey Nut Brown, some Pilsner/ale kinda thing that just won't quit...

Bottled:
Tar Sands Porter, Special Dark Bitter,Oaky Red ale, Hammer & Tongs Black Ale, Black Draught, Cooper's Bitter, Baron's Pilsner
Super Saazy Saaz Pilsner Saaz (It's a little green, yet)

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Old 03-31-2006, 02:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasquatch
Lizard, that draught is known in this house as the draught of living death. It's awesome.

We've seen Cooper's dry yeast go from pitched to 99% finished in 32 hours. It's crazy, nuclear-mean stuff.

That's comforting! Thanks. I used extra light DME and only did a 15 minute boil, because the extract is already hopped. I did toss in a 1/2 oz of Northern Brewer pellets, for the last ten for some aroma. The brew isn't as light in color as I expected from a Draught, but it sure is a nice copper color.

Do you do 5 or 6 gallon batches? I did 5. Does yours turn out copper, too?

I can't imagine evern needing a starter using this yeast!
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