Three Homebrews in Three Hours: Coopers Bitter, Australian Heritage Draught and Boutique Australian Candi Lager

This is a Coopers Bitter aged for three months in the bottle. The ingredients list is dead simple. It includes a 1.7kg can of Coopers Bitter, a 1kg bag of Coopers brew enhancer 2, and the kit yeast, all made up to 23 litres. It was fermented at 16C for two weeks before bulk-priming and bottling. The final product is an intensely flavoured bitter brew with a very oaky character. The copper colour reveals that Coopers used a lot of roasted malts in this product. A distinct though cheap and easy beer to make.

This is a Boutique Candi Lager. This brew used a 1.7kg can of Farmland Lager purchased from Coles, a 1kg bag of Coopers brew enhancer 2, 20g of Saaz hops pellets (aroma) and 500g of homemade Belgian candi sugar cooked to a deep amber. The brew was fermented with a W34/70 lager yeast at about 10C for three weeks before bulk-priming and bottling. The final result is a very consumable lager with slight toffee notes thanks to the candi sugar. A great session beer.

This is an Australian Heritage Draught. This one was made with a 1.7kg can of Wander Draught, 500g of dried light malt extract, 500g of dark dried malt extract, 200g raw sugar, 20g of Saaz hops pellets (aroma) and a steep of 20g of chocolate malt, 40g of roasted barley, and 100g of crystal malt. The brew was fermented at 16-18C for around 10 days with the kit yeast, which is an ale. The final result is a very consumable beer with a fruity aroma and a very nice toasted malt character. The colour is a beautiful deep amber hue. Another great session beer that’s not too bitter.

If you have any questions about how these were made and any kit & kilo homebrewing questions feel free to leave a comment.



3 thoughts on “Three Homebrews in Three Hours: Coopers Bitter, Australian Heritage Draught and Boutique Australian Candi Lager

  1. Do you use something to maintain different temperatures?
    When I made Derek, my Pilsner, I left the fermenter on the back porch in mid-winter, to meet the 9-14° requirements of the yeast.
    But now I’ve got this Wheatbeer kit, and it’s asking for a higher temperature, but we’re fluctuating between 5° and 20°, so I’m not sure how to maintain it at a regular temp?
    Also: from what I can make out here, you are taking your beer out of the original fermenter at some stage, and into a new fermenter with no sediment, so you can prime the beer instead of all those bottles. Is this is tricky process? (I am a bit of a double-thumb)

    Thanks. And the pictures look great, even at this time of morning. 🙂

  2. Hi gizo. Thanks for your response.

    In regard to temperature control I only have one device to regulate tempertaure and that is a heat belt. They are available in Home Brew shops and some bigger supermarkets, at least in Australia. This is a device that is covered in rubber and shaped like an adjustable coil – you place around your fermenter. It plugs into the wall and like a mini electric blanket it brings up the temp of your fermenting beer. If the weather is cold and you need to make an ale, stout or a wheat these are a reasonably cheap and effective option; but you don’t want to leave it running all the time or the beer will get way too hot. I usually turn it on and bring the brew up to the desired temp by reading the electronic thermometer on the side of the fermenter before I turn it off.

    To be honest though I just try to use the weather to my advantage. So, in winter I make more lagers and leave the fermenter outside in a partially open laundry we have here at home. This gives me about a 10C fermenting temp in winter. If I do make any ales in winter I usually have the fermenter inside and use the heat belt, turning it on and off as neccasary. In spring and summer I only make ales, stouts, porters and wheats; no lager at all – although the option of making a California style steam (=lager made at ale temps) is possible I guess.

    Now to bulk priming. I only have one fermenter and I still manage to successfully bulk prime to carbonate my beers. It is not the general HB orthodoxy but it works well for me and doesn’t create any extra sediment in the bottle IMO. Here’s how. Firstly, when it’s time for bottling I move my fermenter to the bottling area. For a 23L batch of beer I then boil 180g dextrose with 180mls of water just for a few minutes and then allow it to cool. This sterilises the sugar. If I’m doing a German style brew I usually use dried malt extract instead and the measurment is 1 and 1/4 cups of malt boiled in an equal quantity of water (malt conatains more unfermentable materials as compared with dextrose or sucrose). The priming solution is cooled for a while and then I open the lid of my fermenter and with a sanatised plastic spoon I create a swirling motion by stirring the top couple of inches of the beer. I then slowly drizzle in the priming solution from the pot I boiled it in while gently stirring the beer with the other hand. I then put the lid back on the fermenter and tighten it. I leave it for at least 30 minutes so the yeast cells can wake up and start chomping the sugars I just added. You will get a bubble or two out of the airlock. Usually for this 30 minutes I am cleaning up my bottles etc. Thats it; just a matter of cracking the fermenter’s lid a bit and bottling after that.

    The pro of this method is that you reduce the chance of infection which can happen if you siphon to a secondary fermenter. I never wanted to do things this way but I got sick of bottle priming and I only have the one fermenter so I just developed this method: the results are excellent – you get a very even carbonation rate between each bottle and, as I said above, I don’t notice any more sediment in the bottles as compared with bottle priming. It’s partly because the stirring motion only takes place right at the top of the beer and the sediment this stirs up is minimal. But don’t get a really long spoon and reach right the bottom when you stir or you can dredge up too much yeast sediment.

    I still have a thin layer of yeast in my bottles after conditioning, but I generally decant to a glass and leave the sediment behind anyway (unless I’m pouring a wheat beer) and it doesn’t bother me at all.

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