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Old 01-27-2013, 10:28 PM   #1
arnies
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Default Can beer tips

Hi there,

currently onto our 3rd/4th batch of Malt can beer. We enjoy the process and have made hop teas to make the beers just that little bit more exciting.

How can we improve these beers without getting into partial extract beers?
We love hoppy beers so we'll be playing around with more hop teas, and dry hopping in the fermentor.

What is the ideal temp for Ales, and for Lagers? We had quite a few off flavours in our last batch, but its getting better with time.

Basically do you have any tips to get better beer out of these?
I'm thinking about buying some polystyrene sheets and making a box for our fermentors, just to get a constant temp and possibly even lower the temp (it's summer in NZ - 20c deg days are common) - I've heard constant temp is more important that high/low temps, it this right?

Cheers!


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Old 01-27-2013, 11:18 PM   #2
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Temperature control is crucial and lack of it is one of the primary reasons for homebrew problems. Yes consistency is important but you have to be at the right temperature range first. Fermentation @ 17-20C is fine for most ales. Higher than that risks off flavors from unwanted esters and fusuels, below that many ale yeasts get very sluggish. I'm not sure about NZ but in the US many homebrew suppliers sell ingredient kits with un-hopped malt extract as the base with the addition of specialty grains for steeping, like crystal malts and roasted malts along with separate hops to add to the kettle. If you are brewing just straight tinned beer kits, switch to plain, un-hopped extract and use steeped specialty grains to add desired flavors & color to the recipe. Add your choice of hops (variety and quantity) to control the bittering and hop flavor of the beer. This is only a small step beyond the tinned kit approach and will give you more choice and control.


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Old 03-12-2013, 09:08 AM   #3
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Hey I'm back. We made an IPA first and it was okay. It had a hop tea in it with about 1oz of hops.

In our next batch we want to create a really tasty hoppy IPA with a bit more ABV.
Has anyone got any recipes for this? We'll probably start with a Coopers IPA kit and then add hops into the wort, then some Citra for aroma in the last days of fermentation.

I've just read a bit about cooling the wort, and hop timings.
Can anyone let me know if this is important. Previously we have pitched the coopers yeast @ about 30deg C. That's too high I know - how low should we go?
Also should we boil our malt extract can + dextrose etc for 1 hr, and add hops along the way?

sorry a lot of questions here but we love beer so want to make it right
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnies
Hey I'm back. We made an IPA first and it was okay. It had a hop tea in it with about 1oz of hops.

In our next batch we want to create a really tasty hoppy IPA with a bit more ABV.
Has anyone got any recipes for this? We'll probably start with a Coopers IPA kit and then add hops into the wort, then some Citra for aroma in the last days of fermentation.

I've just read a bit about cooling the wort, and hop timings.
Can anyone let me know if this is important. Previously we have pitched the coopers yeast @ about 30deg C. That's too high I know - how low should we go?
Also should we boil our malt extract can + dextrose etc for 1 hr, and add hops along the way?

sorry a lot of questions here but we love beer so want to make it right
Regarding the questions - no problem, keep them coming. We are all here to learn and to help each other.

As far as a recipe, there are roughly a billion IPA recipes on this forum. Search under the recipes or let us know what you like (really hoppy, malty, dry, etc.).

As far as temperatures, yes I think 30 is a bit high. Depending on the yeast you use, there are some options. Whatever you get, you should be able to find out the yeast's preferred temp range. If it says 16-19 deg, I like to cool the wort to 15 and VERY slowly increase the temperature. That way I can make sure to hold it at 16-17 without it getting to 18-19 (not that 19 would be terrible, it IS in range - however, staying on the cool side makes for a little longer fermentation but better beer, IMHO).

Cooling the wort as quickly as possible gives a better cold break. As far as I know, that makes for a clearer beer with fewer proteins in suspension. If I am wrong on that, someone please correct me.

Hop timing:
During the boil-
45-60+ minutes boiled gives bitterness. Generally longer boil means more bitter.
15-25 minutes gives hop flavor
0-10 minutes gives aroma

You also mentioned dry hopping (adding hops to cool beer in the fermenter). This gives aroma as well. There are other times when it is possible to add hops (first wort, for example, when you add to the brew kettle before it boils, after mashing or steeping specialty grains and it gives bitterness).

As far as your last question. If the extract is pre-hopped, do not add to the boil. This will affect the balance of the beer. Instead, boil the water to sterilize and add the can after you turn off the heat. If the extract is unhopped, you CAN add it to the beginning of the boil (same with the dextrose), but many choose to add only some of the extract at the beginning (maybe 1/3) and add the rest at the end. This usually results in a lighter color and less of a "cooked extract" flavor.

Hopefully this helps. Any more questions, let us know. Happy brewing.
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:09 PM   #5
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And,here-we-go...(joker). If the can was Cooper's,Munton's,Alexander's,etc,it's pre hopped & should be added at flame out. Look under my avatar & click on my recipes. Then click on BuckIPA (the state of Ohio is known as the buckeye state,get it?). It uses a Cooper's can as a base,But I'll give you the short version here. since the Cooper's can is pre-hopped,it can't be used in the boil. What to do??
I use half a 3lb bag of Munton's plain light DME in the 2.5-3 gallon boil in a 5 gallon (20 QT) SS stock pot. Do all hop additions. At flame out,add the remaining DME & stir to dissolve clumps. Add & rinse Cooper's can to kettle,stiring it off the bottom till completely dissolved. Having done this quickly,the brew kettle will still be near boiling hot. Cover with lid & steep a few minutes to pasteurize,which happens about 162F.
Then place BK in ice bath till it gets down to 65-70F. Santize fermenter,etc.
Add chilled wort to fermenter,I like to strain it at this point. Less trub at bottling time. Add top off water & stir very roughly 5 minutes to mixx well the wort & top off. This will give a more accurate OG reading on the hydrometer. My BuckIPA recipe will give hop addition details,etc to make it with a Cooper's can.
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:55 PM   #6
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This question is asked alot here on the forum, and the general concensous seems to be that the following are the biggest factors to take good beer to great beer:

1) Strict Temperture Control
2) Yeast Pitch Rates (proper starters for liquid yeast)
3) Oxygenation for Yeast Pre-fermentation

Do those three things properly, and your beer will jump to another level.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:30 PM   #7
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With the DME mentioned above, is that hopped DME or unhopped?
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:42 PM   #8
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I always use plain (un-hopped) DME for use in the boil. It doesn't caramelize or "darken" like LME does.


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