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Old 11-29-2013, 08:41 PM   #1
Husher
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So I knowingly bought a kit that was 10 months old, for 10 bucks even, thinking I'd just replace the yeast. It was cheap and didn't want to walk away from it. So after googling old extract, I've learned that extract darkens over time. The retailer had 3 more kits I could buy for the same price and expiry and I'm thinking 'cheap beer' that might not be much worst that a regular beer kit. So please give me feedback on what I'm thinking;

I bought the real ale kit. I was thinking of dry hopping with just pumpkin spice and flavouring as a pumpkin beer. I figure if the beer itself has a negative characteristics, that would cover it up. Having never used pumpkin spices, but always wanting to, I'd like to know how much to add? I also have a can of pumpkin extract I could boil and add, but roasting in the oven is too much mess. I brew a bundle of beers in one day, and I want to keep this experiment simple if I can. Can I just add the pumpkin and spices to the fermenter after boiling? Or best to just go with the spices? And how much spices? and should it just be a dry hop? Plan on doing it to 5 gallons with dextrose.

Ok, second kit was a stout. And since I've never done one, I though I'd just buy some steeping grains to freshen up. Roasted barley? Chocolate? What should I use and how much? 5 gallons, with dextrose.

And finally they had two coopers bitters. I was just going to add the two to the fermenter without dextrose and make to 6 gallons. I've heard that turns out better than the standard kit anyways so that's my simple plan.

All three experiments would use Nottingham yeast.

I'm proceeding with the assumption that this isn't optimal, but then neither were a lot of my brews so far and I still drank them. My tastes have gravitated towards extract and steeping, but if it's OK beer (as in like most typical kits), then please let me know how I could make the best of it.

Thanks



 
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Old 11-30-2013, 05:06 AM   #2
Calder
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Apart from darkening, it should be fine to use as is. 10 months is not that long.

Just make sure you use a decent fresh yeast.



 
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Old 11-30-2013, 05:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calder View Post
Apart from darkening, it should be fine to use as is. 10 months is not that long.

Just make sure you use a decent fresh yeast.
Ok, so just to be clear, people are bitching about the COLOR only and that the TASTE or mouth feel should not be much different? I've read about 'cider' or twang, which I could never detect. Or cardboard taste but I'd think that would have more to do with oxidation than anything else.

 
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Old 11-30-2013, 05:52 PM   #4
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I brewed up a 2 year old Cooper's OS lager once with plain DME & some hops. It came out like a sessionable Salvator doppel boc. Strange for an ale to do,but that's what I got. I even made a small starter for the 2 year old 7g yeast packet & it needed a blow off. Here's a pic of the beer;
http://
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Old 12-01-2013, 12:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
I brewed up a 2 year old Cooper's OS lager once with plain DME & some hops. It came out like a sessionable Salvator doppel boc. Strange for an ale to do,but that's what I got.
Not familiar with that beer but it appears to be well liked. So what you're saying is I'll get a darker beer that what's pictured on the label, but it'll still be drinkable and maybe not bad, just darker than intended...OK. Good to know. I went back and bough another real ale and decided to just throw two in for 6 gallons rather than LME or dextrose. Easy peasy. Think I'll end up roasting some pumpkin though...

 
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Old 12-01-2013, 05:19 PM   #6
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Toucans (read two cans) have been popular in Australia on the Cooper's forums. So for 6 gallons,that'll be a good beer if good prctices are followed. The Cooper's yeast will work well around 66F. Rehydrated is even better for the little 7g yeast packets. Using two packets from the cans is good too. NB & Midwest both sell the 15g Cooper's ale yeast packets as well. They're usually fresher than the ones that come with the cans.
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:51 PM   #7
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if you have concerns you can add some extra hops to your boil like 1/3 of what you would usually use for 5 gallons of unhopped extract- i think diminishing hop flavor is the main reason for having a pull date at all, extract should have a loooooong shelf life otherwise

 
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:05 PM   #8
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I used normal hop amounts,but I also used plain light DME in the boil for flavor hop additions. Then added remaining DME & the Cooper's can(s) at flame out. With a toucan,you'd be restricted to doing a hop tea,which I also found works pretty decent in that scenario. Just get maybe 2 gallons of water boiling,then add your flavor hops. Say 1oz @ 20 minutes,another ounce @ 12 minutes till end of boil. At flameout,mix in the two cans till no more can be scraped off the bottom of the kettle off the heat source.
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:58 PM   #9
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Well it's done. Think I already regret it. I seem to recall the real ale kits looking dark reddish. Both kits (real ale and bitter) looked BLACK. And since I doubled up on the kits, the mixed solution didn't look any lighter. I dunno, maybe I'm imagining things. In 5 months I'll bottled and maybe gag then. Hopefully the pumpkin pie spices will cover any flaws in the real ale batch.

I'll post with what I've learned then.

BTW, I decided not to get the stout kit. Stout's a hard sell for me, and I go that way, I'd prefer it to be a good example of what a kit can be, not a passable one.

 
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Old 12-08-2013, 06:35 PM   #10
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Interestingly, I found 2 cans of Coopers Irish Stout extract on the shelf last week - they're a year out of date. I had good success with fresh product a few years back, so I made up a batch using 4 lbs of Briess light (bumped the SG to 1.052 for 6 gal) and a fresh packet of Nottingham that I re-hydrated. I've got bubbles galore today. I let the first batch age 9 months and it was good. Planning to bottle condition and do the same with this one. I'll report back.



 
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