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Old 06-09-2009, 09:50 PM   #1
bigfeetbrewer
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Hi everyone, I'm pretty new in this, just finished my first batch (Coopers Lager) and turned out a surprisingly tasty first experiment. I followed most of the instructions, adding the brewing sugar and later used the carbonation drops.

But for the next batch, I have only the hopped malt concentrate can and the yeast (no brewing sugar or carbonation drops, as sold in the "complete brewing kit" from Coopers). I've been reading and some sources recommend to avoid using sugar (corn), but others even mention the use of table sugar. I think the purist's option would be DME, but that means waiting, maybe months, till I can get ahold of that, and I'm a little impatient. Would I get fermentation if I just use the can and yeast?? (That would mean low alcohol content, right?) or you recommend corn sugar??

Also, for priming, considering a worst case scenario where I cannot find corn sugar, would table sugar do??

I've read some other posts that have been helpful, but would like to get it clear for this particular case.

Thanks a lot!

 
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:20 PM   #2
flylock_jac
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DME would be your best choice ,but yes you can brew with just the coopers can. You'll probably end up with a low ABV . Not familiar with that particular brand but I'd guess it would be about 2 1/2 % abv. Another option would be to reduce the amount of water and make a 1/2 batch. That would bring it back up .
You can use cane sugar for bottling. Heres a link for the different fermentable and amounts for a 5 gallon batch. Adjust the amount if you make a smaller batch.

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Old 06-09-2009, 10:21 PM   #3
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Hi there, I'm pretty new too, and so far dextrose has worked out fine for me, no it's no the purists way, but it will still give you a drinkable beer. If you just use the can then I think that it'll probably be very watery, with no body to it. Another option could be to use less liquid, but then it'll be pretty bitter, and possibly a little sweet at the end. Not sure how you'd go using table sugar, I have heard of people doing that, but I don't know how much quality suffers.
I've foung that table sugar can be fine for carbing, you use so little that I'm sure it won't have too much impact.

 
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:56 AM   #4
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So you can get tins of hopped malt extract and yeast, but you can't get other supplies?

Not trying to be snarky; trying to figure out a plan!

If you can get tinned, hopped extract, just use two tins per batch. Don't even have to boil it; just bring the water to a boil, switch off the heat, dissolve the extract, cool, ferment. 6.6 lbs of extract syrup in 5 US gallons will yield a normal-strength beer.

Bob

Edit: Use common table sugar for priming. There are online calculators that'll tell you how much to use. I use this one all the time when I can't use ProMash on my laptop.
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Old 06-10-2009, 02:00 PM   #5
brian_g
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First, let me say that I not one of those no-sugar-ever Nazis. I do think that all malt is better for just about all beer styles. That being said I think you should know what the effects will be if you follow any of the suggested options. Your choices are as follows:

1) 5 gal batch one can Coopers + apx. 2 lbs of sugar
2) 5 gal batch one can Coopers + nothing
3) 2.5 gal batch on can of Coopers + nothing

here's the results
1) Beer that's thin and lighter then expected, with normal alcohol content.
2) Beer that's thin and lighter then expected, with 1/2 normal alcohol content.
3) Beer that's full bodied, but twice as bitter as expected, with normal alcohol content.

All three choices will produce beer. They will all ferment. I just done personally see any of them as a good choice for a stout. Stouts are suppose to be full bodied beers. That's why they don't have "light stouts." Doubling the bitterness isn't appealing either. Stouts are generally on the bitter side, but there not suppose to be like an IPA. Finally, I don't like option 2 because if the beer turns out bad, you'll have to drink twice as much to get a buzz.

Why are you asking about this? Are there no home brew stores available to you or are you just trying to avoid the expense. If it's the expense, then we may be able to work out some substitutions to get your costs down. If it's availability, there not much I can do except to say to wait.

 
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Old 06-10-2009, 02:26 PM   #6
bigfeetbrewer
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Thank you a lot everyone. It's not about the expense, but there are no homebrew stores near where I live. I got my kit online through a friend that lives in the states, but after using up the ingredients in my first batch, I am in need of more supplies, which I will get, but probably in about a month, when my friend comes to town. I thought of driving to Texas, but the HBS are not located near the border, at least that I know of. Shipping and handling internationally is way expensive, and customs might get on the way.

That is why I am considering options, also for the sake of experimentation I guess, so as to understand the variables.

What would you think of using option 3) with 1 lb of sugar????

 
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:43 PM   #7
brian_g
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfeetbrewer View Post
Thank you a lot everyone. It's not about the expense, but there are no homebrew stores near where I live. I got my kit online through a friend that lives in the states, but after using up the ingredients in my first batch, I am in need of more supplies, which I will get, but probably in about a month, when my friend comes to town. I thought of driving to Texas, but the HBS are not located near the border, at least that I know of. Shipping and handling internationally is way expensive, and customs might get on the way.

That is why I am considering options, also for the sake of experimentation I guess, so as to understand the variables.

What would you think of using option 3) with 1 lb of sugar????

Best options
1) wait
2) drive up to San Antonio (Googling found me about three homebrew shops.)
3) also check out this article
Guadalajara Reporter
It's about this bar that's trying to get a home brewing club started it Mexico. The article mentioned them selling kits. They might be willing to ship you supplies without international shipping costs. or maybe they can tell you where you can order in Mexico.

To answer your question, if you make a 2.5 gal batch with 1 lb of sugar, you will end up with a stout that is twice as bitter as normal and about 6.5-7% ABV.

 
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Old 06-10-2009, 07:32 PM   #8
shawnbou
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I've never tried this, but maybe someone has ...?

Faced with the options above, what about using brown sugar instead of white table sugar? From what I understand, brown sugar has some unfermentable sugars and molasses that should add a little more body to the finished product than white sugar would. I can't imagine doing it in an IPA or anything light, but in a stout it might not be too bad - not as good as DME, obviously - but another option to consider?

Any thoughts?
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:55 PM   #9
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Maltodextrin might also help add body to your beer. I mention it since it's also sold in some health food/athletic training outlets as a dietary supplement (non-sugar carb source), so you might be able to find it locally. Just make sure it's just maltodextrin: if there are sweeteners or other things it might make very strange beer. I've seen brown sugar or molasses used in stout recipes too, in moderation. I don't know if using brown sugar for the whole amount of extra sugar would be too much, though.

 
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Old 06-11-2009, 01:59 AM   #10
Hang Glider
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I've used one pound of dark brown sugar in a nutbrown. Noticible, but not unpleasant molasses-type flavor.

good luck with whatever you decide to do, bigfeetbrewer. take notes, (so you can repeat if you like it!) and let us know how it turns out.

 
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