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Old 04-12-2012, 08:02 PM   #11
gp68
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Thanks. Sounds like that will be my plan. I actually found a package of yeast he included in the package but didn't mention it in the recipe. It is
Saflage w34/70.
Should i use that instead of the coopers?

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Old 04-12-2012, 09:29 PM   #12
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Well, I received my Coopers DIY kit today... the seller included a note saying he was out of the European lager kit so he sent a Thomas Coopers Selection Pilsner and 1kg of Brewferm light spray malt instead of the enhancer2. He basically included a recipe: said to boil 2 gallons of water; add the spraymalt and mix well; once I get the break remove from heat and add 30grams of the saz hop pellets; boil for 15 minutes then pour into the fermentor. Add the can of extract; get the temperature down to 17deg celsius(63F) by adding cold water to the 20liter mark; sprinkle the bag of yeast on top add the sleeve and cover. Ferment for 2-3weeks. He said this will produce a great beer, try it and if I'm not satisfied he would send me the European lager when he gets it in stock

Does this sound right? Do i need to add sugar or is just the kilo of spray malt ok? Do I just pour the hop pellets in and strain them out later?

Thanks. I really appreciate the tips.
That plan is spot on, similar to what I suggested. If you don't have a pot big enough for a 2 gallon boil, it's fine to use less water, even 1 gallon would be fine. The kilo of dry malt extract is all you need, you don't need to add any sugar. Take good care with sanitation and temperature control and you'll have good beer.
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:55 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by gp68 View Post
Thanks. Sounds like that will be my plan. I actually found a package of yeast he included in the package but didn't mention it in the recipe. It is
Saflage w34/70.
Should i use that instead of the coopers?
You will need a refrigeration with thermostat control to hold your fermentor at 45 - 50F (check the package) to use that yeast, if you don't have that the coopers fromunda (you know the yeast from-under-the-lid) is your best bet.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:34 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the tips.
Well I started today. Got all my equipment ready and sanitized and meanwhile found out that the kit was missing the fermenter spout and bottle filler tube...GREAT!! and the LME was out of date...Great!! Call the company, they will send me the pieces and a new LME. But I was geared up to go.
So I went to a local brew shop in town, picked up a regular bucket fermenter
with an airlock, a Coopers European Lager kit and 2 packets of Saflager S-23(recommended by the clerk). Figured I'll do a trial just using the Brew enhancer and adding some hop pellets. (will save the DME for when i get the Pilsner kit back). I dissolved the enhancer with a gallon of boiling water and added the LME. In a seperate pot I boiled, for 15min, about 25grams of Saaz hop pellets and 25grams of Cascade(NZ) hop pellets. Which i then strained into the LME + enhancer mixture. I then added cold water to the 23liter mark and the temperature read 28deg C. Gave it a good stir and sprinkled on the 2 packets of yeast. Took it right out to the shed where its been around 12 deg during the day and 4-5deg at night. Figured i'd keep an eye on the temp and wrap it with a sleeping bag tonight.
Oh, before adding the yeast, i took a hydrometer reading and got 1036. Gave the sample a taste....was kind of bitter with a strong hop taste. Goal is to keep an eye on the temp tonight and see how it goes down and what i need to do to keep the temp at around 12deg. C . Right now the high temp outside during the day is 8-12deg so i think keeping it cool is not going to be the problem. It will be trying to keep it warm enough.

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Old 04-15-2012, 10:38 AM   #15
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50 Grams of aroma hops (15 minute boil = aroma + very little bittering acids) + plus the IBUs in the Coopers kit is going to make for a very hop forward lager. You didn't say how much water you boiled them in but Beer Smith is telling me

25 Grams of Saaz in 4 liters of water for 15 minutes = 8.5 IBU in a 23 batch
25 Grams of Cascade in 4 liters of water for 15 minutes = 11.7 IBU in a 23 liter batch

That coopers Lager is about 20 IBU so you are doubling the bitterness of that beer. The 25 g of saaz was probably all you needed.

Keeping the temp constant is just as important as the right temp. Particularly with lager yeast. If those yeasties get stressed they are going to start creating sulfur, diacetyl (buttery taste) and all kinds of other nasty off flavors.

Using that yeast once primary has completed I recommend a diacetyl rest @ 65F for 2-3 days. You will then need to rack to a carboy to get it off the yeast cake and lager it at 32.5 - 33.5F for at least 5 weeks based on your OG (which seems a little low, but that could be a poorly mixed wort.) I would do 6 weeks min. Then bottle with corn sugar and condition for at least 4 to 6 more weeks.

This is why those kits come with neutral ale yeasts or warm lager yeasts most beginners aren't able to meet the needs of true lager yeasts. You are going to find that making beer is science and practice before art. Its best to start very simple and work your way up once you have the basics.

I recommend picking up an ale kit (maybe the Coopers Canadian Blonde if you like lagers) and 1.5 kilos of DME to do when your missing parts come in.

Boil 2 gallons of water dissolve the DME and bring back to boil. Remove from heat then dissolve the Coopers Blonde Ale and stir well. Fill the fermentor halfway with room temp water, then add the wort concentrate in your pot, top off with more room temp water. Pitch 2 packs (14 grams) of coopers ale yeast or 1 pack of Nottingham (11 grams) wait 10 minutes and rock the fermentor back and forth until it froths. Ferment at 65F for 3 weeks, bottle and prime with coopers carb drops (1 for 500 ml bottles) then let them condition at 65F for 3 - 4 weeks.

Chill and enjoy, you will be drinking this at least a month (probably longer) before the lager is drinkable.


Good luck!

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Old 04-15-2012, 05:42 PM   #16
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.... Guess i was to excited to just start a batch but I'll follow your tips. I knew i was in for a long haul with a lager but i am the patient type so i can deal with the time. So i will definitely follow your guideline. With the D rest, do you mean that after 3 weeks of fermenting i place it at 65 deg or should i do it before fermenting ends? I set the fermenter out in the shed right after i pitched the yeast and it was dropping 1-2 degrees celsius every 30 minutes the first few hours( it was 28deg when i set it in there at 11:30p.m and 18 deg at 3:30a.m) Once it hit that 18degrees is when i saw the first bubbling in the airlock, every 30-40 seconds or so. Then this morning at 10a.m it was at 14 deg celsius( airlock action every 18-20sec), by 7 p.m today it was at 12 deg celsius( and airlock bubble every 8-10 sec) so i wrapped it with a light sleeping bag and a fleece throw since the nights are pretty cold still and see if i can stabilize it at 12deg.
I will definitely batch up an ale when i receive the missing kit parts!

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Old 04-16-2012, 07:09 AM   #17
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The ferment will get stuck around 3 to 4 weeks (gravity readings will be the same) this is when you give it a D rest. Many people say to raise the temp slowly to 65F over 3 days and that is enough, others say to just move it to a room temp location for 1 - 3 days. You many not need to do this, you can taste it to see. But even if you don't have a lot of diacetyl it will benefit from a d rest to help the yeast to clean up. Once this is complete you can lower the temp down to near freezing and lager. This is when fermentation will actually complete and you will reach your FG (which I think should be around 1.006 - 1.008 that OG and yeast).

Your description of temps, times, and airlock activity sound like you are off to a good start. Well done checking it regularly, keeping a close eye on it will let you catch things like blow off, temp issues and whatnot before they become problems. It will also let you look back and make changes to your process in the future so take notes. Take note of the smell, it may give off a mild rotten egg or mastiff fart smell (those with bully breeds will know what I mean, some call it a rhino fart but they clearly have not smelled a Neapolitan Mastiff fart) over then next few days, but if it gets really unbearable it could be a sign the yeast are stressed, make sure the temp is right and staying stable. It must be nice to have a naturally cooled space to ferment, I'm doing a Blonde and a Pilsner this week and I will need to use a fridge and temp controller to do the Pils

Also I strongly recommend a program like Beer Smith, it will let you build recipes, predict OG, IBUs, SRM, calculate priming amounts, and all kinds of other things.

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Old 04-16-2012, 07:22 PM   #18
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Again, thanks for your tips. I kind of feel like a kid with a new toy. Everytime i pass the shed, i have to go in and wait for the airlock to bubble...them i find myself grinning foolishly.
To update: i checked it this morning at 8 and it was at 10deg C, airlock bubble every 19-20 sec and yes, that slight rotten egg smell. I actually put my nose over the airlock and waited for the bubble so i could catch a good whiff. It was noticeable but not overwhelming. And there was a thin ring of white gunk about an inch over the brew. I wrapped another sleeping bag around it and when i got back from work at 4:30, it was at 11deg C ( temp inside the shed was at 5deg). I'm enjoying this and hope i can keep guard on it for the next 3-4 weeks. My teenage kids think i'm wacky Just wondering, what are the temp fluctuations that are acceptable during fermentation? And with the d rest, do i rest it at 65 for 3 days in the same fermenter then bottle it and give it another 5-8 weeks at the near freezing?
Again, thanks and i'll keep updating......just hoping i get a drinkable beverage at the end of all this. And, yes having a natural cold room is nice but i do miss the 70 deg spring time weather back home.

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Old 04-26-2012, 04:09 PM   #19
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just wondering?....it's been about 13 days since i set the batch of European lager to ferment. The temperature where it's been fermenting(outside shed) has fluctuated from @41deg - 50deg and keeping an eye on the thermometer on the FV over those days the FV has averaged @48 deg+/-2deg each day. I had good airlock activity the first 3 days, it was bubbling every 10-15sec and then slowed to every 30-50 sec. Now it's bubbling once every 90 sec or more. Is this normal for a lager? should i just wait the full 3 weeks and then take a hydrometer reading? I'm a little apprehensive on opening the lid....possible infections and all...but the lid is pretty swollen and seems to be alot of condensation under it

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Old 04-27-2012, 11:47 PM   #20
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What you describe is pretty normally for any beer. If the lid is bulging out, you can burp it like Tupperware (lift the edge of the lid slightly) to release excess pressure. It should not be bulging if the airlock is working properly, it might have gotten blocked. Its not really a big deal though.

edit: 48 deg+/-2deg for the temp in your FV is perfect

If you going to go the traditional way this is the point you would take a gravity reading. If approx 80% of the original gravity has been fermented out you would raise the temp to ~66F over 36-72 hours, then rack to a secondary with vodka in the airlock. You will get suck back into your beer when you lower the temp again. Try to use a secondary with very little head room to keep the amount of air and vodka sucked in to a min. Then lager 1 week for every 8 points original gravity. Then prime, bottle and condition at room temp.

^^^pain in arse and not really worth it for a $10 can of coopers lager.

The much simpler way to do this is to give it 3-4 weeks in the primary. If you can see in though the sides of the fermentor you can look to make sure any floaties have sunk to the trub. Also during active fermentation you will notice the beer appears carbonated when you shine a light on it (do so quickly). If all appears still after that rack to bottling bucket prime and bottle. Condition at room temp for three weeks (rest and carb). Then move the bottles to the fridge for 8 - 12 weeks, longer if you can wait, this will be the lager period. this is what i am planning for my pilsner.

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Next: Irish Red Ale, Mild, BC Pale, Scotch Ale, Helles, Pils
Planning: Bombardier clone (The real ale cask version, not that sh!te in the bottles)
P1: Chocolate Oatmeal Stout P2: Pear Wine P3: Air P4: Oxyclean
Keg 1: Stout Stout Keg 2: Dead Intruder Mailbock
Bottled: Lots

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