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Old 11-22-2010, 12:28 AM   #1
william_shakes_beer
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Asked this as a follow on to my thread in the beginner forum, thought I'd see if I can get better luck here rather than topping the other thread.

If I buy 1 can of prehopped LME is it always going to be hopped for bitterness appropriate to a full (IE 5 gallon) batch? Or are there some LME manufacturers that only hop for the volume of malt in the can, requiring 2 cans of prehopped? If there is a difference in malt manufacturers, how would I tell by reading the can? Still getting ready to do my first batch, and trying to understand what's what. Expect to move to steeping grains and hopping myself shortly, but expect to start off will all extract until I am certain my brewing practices are up to snuff.



 
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Old 11-22-2010, 03:11 AM   #2
FatherJack
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I would say you're ok with just the can and maybe another can of unhopped LME.

Or, if you don't mind it bitter, two cans of the same stuff.

Or, if you don't mind another bitter variation, use the prehopped, an unhopped can and finally add your own hops.

I did this last one with a stout and it came out pretty decent, it wasn't too bitter at all.

If you have a high tolerance for bitterness, why not play around with it?


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Old 11-22-2010, 03:15 AM   #3
Revvy
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The trouble is that the IBUs of the cans of hopped, pre diluted lme is through the roof. If you look at the data for coopers kits, the pre-diluted extract in that can is like 700IBUs...it's only when it gets diluted it comes down to what we get in the final product.

At least once a year someone comes on here after reading the cooper's website freaking out or thinking it is a misprint. But someone on here actually wrote to them and they explained. I post this like once a year.

Quote:
I fell for that one myself. 710 IBU and 560IBU is for the bitterness at 1.7kg level. By the time you dilute to (say) 23litres, the IBU of the wort is no where near that level.


Coopers Kits

Lager 90 EBC 390 IBU
Draught 130 EBC 420 IBU
Real Ale 230 EBC 560 IBU
Bitter 420 EBC 620 IBU
Dark Ale 550 EBC 590 IBU
Stout 1800 EBC 710 IBU
Canadian Blonde 70 EBC 420 IBU
Bavarian Lager 90 EBC 390 IBU
Mexican Cerveza 53 EBC 300 IBU
Australian Pale Ale 90 EBC 340 IBU

This is for the concentrated form in the can - to get the figure for 23litres: multiply by 1.25 and divide by 23.
To convert EBC to SRM: SRM = (EBC - 1.2)/2.65

Therefore 710 IBU in can = 710 x 1.25 divided by 23 litres = 38 IBUs.


Here's a followup post with an email exchange between a homebrewer and someone @ Cooper's.


Quote:
QUOTE (My email)
How do you calculate how bitter a beer is?

I made a Coopers Bitter, which from your website says is 620 IBU. This is the bitterness of the tin yes?

If made to 23L, what would the bitterness of the beer be?

Would it be 620IBU/23L = 27IBU?

Thanks for your help,
Rob.

And got the reply:

QUOTE (Coopers reply)
G'day Robert. You're close. You also need to take into account the volume of can (1.25l) and allow 5% loss during fermentation:

(620 X 1.25)/23 X 95% = 32 IBU

Cheers, Frank.
Hope that helps somewhat give you an idea.
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Old 11-22-2010, 01:49 PM   #4
william_shakes_beer
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Thanks for the clarity and the patience. My pallet does not have a taste for high hops. I am in the tasting mode, trying different specialty beers and using the Beer Judge cert docs to compare my impressions. Tried a 6 of Sierra Nevada torpedo extra IPA as a representative of a high hopps beer and decided i'm not a hop head.

In looking through the Zainasheff/Palmer book "Brewing Classic styles" I see the IBU range for an IPA, which would be on the upper end of the hops range, goes from 50-200.

Based on your formula, If I was using a combo of LME and DME, and my pallet wants to target the 30 IBU of a stout, I'd need to find a combo of extracts that list their "in the can" IBU at 581.

 
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Old 11-22-2010, 01:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by william_shakes_beer View Post

Based on your formula, If I was using a combo of LME and DME, and my pallet wants to target the 30 IBU of a stout, I'd need to find a combo of extracts that list their "in the can" IBU at 581.
I don't now, no one's ever approached it "backwards" like that, I think. Because I don't think a lot of people who are using cooper's are at the stage of learning where they even think about IBUs yet, especially since it's pre-hopped. And I don't know if OTHER brands give the IBU info the same way.

BUT iirc some software does list hopped extracts in their inventory, so I think you can crunch numbers and build recipes with coopers cans. But even if they don't I think you're on the right track. Obviously you can lower the ibus of a recipe based on a can simply by adding a few pounds of plain old dme to the recipe.

I glad you brought this up, because I think it's a good way to work with this stuff.
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:52 PM   #6
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The problem I see with trying to mix cans is simply that you end up with a lot of leftovers, unless you do double batches. As you are just getting started, why not make the beers per the instructions and judge them.

Remember that bitterness and hoppiness are not the same thing. An Extra Special Bitter can have almost no hop aroma and be as bitter as an IPA. Some Pales are in the 20 IBU range, but have high aroma. With a pre-bittered kit, you can reduce hop flavor and aroma just by boiling longer.
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:43 PM   #7
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Generally speaking prehopped kits are formulated to make 23 liters with some additional malt or sugar. The bitterness is not insane but more than what you'd find in mainstream beer. It varies a little based on style so even without knowing the IBU's you can make an educated guess. The "Lagers" and "Draughts" being on the lower end and on up from there.

 
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:12 PM   #8
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With all this work you're going through trying to figure out the bitterness, it might just be easier to use an unhopped can and add your own hops. Just choose an ounce of pellets with about 10-12%AA and chuck them in once the whole mess starts boiling. This should give you about 28-30 IBU's if you boil for about an hour.

 
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Old 11-23-2010, 12:19 AM   #9
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Short answer is yes the cans have enough bitterness in the can for a full 23 liters. I make these all the time. Here is a video I made of a nice simple recipe for a beginner. Experiment with different combos ect..... Pretty hard to make a bad beer if you use good sanitation and good fermentation temps - cheers


 
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:52 PM   #10
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I have nothing to add, but your username is THE BEST!! HAAHAHAHAHAAAA


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