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Old 11-14-2011, 03:10 PM   #1
zippy84
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Going to start an Xmas brew in the next day or 2 (cutting it bit late though) I was thinking of maybe just using a coopers pilsner and adding maybe some muscovado sugar, orange peel, throwing in a cinnamon stick and a pinch of cloves for an extra wintry feel. Can anyone here with more experience foresee a conflict of flavors/styles or recommend a better kit beer to use? I was thinking; let the beer ferment out with the muscovado sugar for 2 weeks.. with about 2 days to go, make a 'tea' boiling some water with the cinnamon, cloves, orange peel for about 10 mins and add it to beer. Then after a day or 2 bottle condition and bottle..

Thoughts? Would I be better just using an ale or a bitter for the wintry feel?
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Old 11-14-2011, 03:57 PM   #2
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The cooper's English bitter (International Series) should be great with those additions. Put'em in a hop sack,& chuck'em in the last 10 minutes of the boil. If you're not using additional plain DME to do the boil as I do,then put the sack of spices/zest in when the water starts boiling for 10 minutes,maybe 15. Depends on what strength winds up working for you.
I've done this for "hop teas" in the beginning of a short boil before taking off the heat to add the cooper's can. Then I started adding plain DME's to the equation.
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Old 11-14-2011, 04:56 PM   #3
zippy84
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I've had the English bitter before... so I was thinking of trying a new one, I did enjoy the bitter though, but I'm trying to get through as many different types as possible. Maybe you're right though, may be more suited to that style, plus it would probably mature quicker.
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Old 11-14-2011, 05:02 PM   #4
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It seemed to mature about as fast as the cooper's OS lager did,which is actually a light pale ale. 4 weeks at room temp,then 1-2 weeks in the fridge. I've found that 2 weeks fridge time gives thicker head,& longer lasting carbonation.
The extra maltiness of the bitter will def lend itself well to spices & zest with it's bigger malt backbone. Come to think of it,my wife's first batch used zest & spices,& 15 minutes boil time was a bit light. Maybe 20 minutes looking back...
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Old 11-14-2011, 05:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
It seemed to mature about as fast as the cooper's OS lager did,which is actually a light pale ale. 4 weeks at room temp,then 1-2 weeks in the fridge. I've found that 2 weeks fridge time gives thicker head,& longer lasting carbonation.
The extra maltiness of the bitter will def lend itself well to spices & zest with it's bigger malt backbone. Come to think of it,my wife's first batch used zest & spices,& 15 minutes boil time was a bit light. Maybe 20 minutes looking back...
Maybe I'll do the bitter again so... unless someone can convince me something else... with the dme (dark?) and some extra muscovado, and maybe a little maple syrup. You would boil the additions along with the dme in water for 20 mins?
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Old 11-14-2011, 05:42 PM   #6
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I wouldn't use darker than plain amber DME in a EB. Depends on how much DME you're adding. More than a pound,say 3lbs (about 1.4kg) would need some hops at 20 minutes as well,about 1oz (28g). And def spices & zest at 20 minutes.
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:07 PM   #7
zippy84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
I wouldn't use darker than plain amber DME in a EB. Depends on how much DME you're adding. More than a pound,say 3lbs (about 1.4kg) would need some hops at 20 minutes as well,about 1oz (28g). And def spices & zest at 20 minutes.
I'm guessing the standard call from coopers is for 1kg of dextrose for their bitter kit (and these kits are pre-hopped).. so if I do 500g of dme and 500 of muscovado along with 200-300g maple syrup, do you think I'll need extra hop additions? My taste doesn't necessarily require a stringent bitter finish, but I do like a little bitter.

Thanks for suggestions.
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:15 PM   #8
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I'd take it easy on the maple syrup,as it adds fermentables as well. But some English hops would be nice,maybe 1/2oz,or about 14g.
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:23 PM   #9
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Ok so adding maple syrup takes longer to ferment out is that what you mean... because it is more complex and contains different sugars and impurities?
Maybe I'll leave it out. But why do you suggest more hops? Think the last time I brewed the Coopers EB was with plain sugar and it was pretty bitter on it's own hops. Does adding dme mellow the bitterness or do you just personally rather extra bitterness?
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:31 PM   #10
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No,maple syrup isn't more complex,it's just adding a lot of simple fermentables that don't add anything-or little-to the flavor or body,just ABV. The DME adds to the beer's color & body. Sugars add ABV,unless they have some flavor components. Then you'd get a bit more complexity.
And when I use hops,DME,& a cooper's can,the hops go in about 20 minutes from the end of the boil. More flavor,less bittering to add a bit more balance to the brew. Cooper's cans,the OS series,& the EB have some bittering only with Pride of Ringwood hops,but just a little. To my tastes,anyway.
I like malt flavor,but I like it balanced between malt,hops,& carbonation level. Less co2 volume accents the malt profile,where more seems to accent the hops. But that balance also depends on the yeast.
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