Thursday, February 10, 2011

Christmas in February - Coopers Lager Part 1

I remember that old Bell’s Christmas TV ad where the dad had given himself a bottle of whiskey: “To Dad, From Dad”. It has been said that you are to give the type of gift to somebody that you yourself would like to receive.

The idea to start brewing our own beer started about 3 weeks ago. I’m not really sure what triggered the idea, but once I started reading up on the subject I got more excited. And so Henley’s was born.

Mike got on board the minute I told him about the idea. Imagine always having beer in the house. Your own custom-made beer – the way you like it! It sounded like a Utopian dream. Very un-Utopian it would require a degree of preparation.

We decided on a Coopers Micro Brew Kit. It includes all/most of the equipment a home micro brewer would need in his endeavours as well as ingredients to make your first lager beer.

1.     1x can of Coopers Lager
2.     1x 7g packet of yeast (this is included in the kit with the can)
3.     1kg brewing sugar (dextrose)
4.     22Litres of water

(If you’ve bought the micro brew kit then you’ll find more detailed instructions)
1.     Clean and sanitise ALL your equipment you will be using.
2.     Heat up the can in hot/boiling water – you can place the can in your kitchen sink.
3.     Once the equipment has dried thrown in the can’s now softened contents into the fermenter.
4.     Add 2Litres of boiling water – you can use some of the 2Litres to rinse the can to get the last few drops out.
5.     Add the 1kg of brewing sugar
6.     Stir until everything is mixed – NO lumps!
7.     Now top up with 20Litres of cold water. Tap water should be fine as long as you would normally drink it yourself. Otherwise you can used bottled water (a bit expensive) or boiled then cooled tap water (a bit time consuming).
8.     Now throw in the yeast.
9.     Close the lid of the fermenter.
10.   Insert airlock and add enough water to it so that both bulbs are half-filled.
11.   Now wait 4-6days - there should be no more activity in the airlock around the last day or so. I say 4-days as it depends on your ambient temperature. The hotter it is in the place the fermenter is standing the quicker it will ferment. The colder the longer.

In part 2 of this series of 3 will discuss our specific gravity readings as well as our experiences throughout the week of fermentation. We will also discuss our bottling experience.


Marisa said...

I have no doubts that the beer will taste fantastic! :-)

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