Jovial Monk Brew
Part 1>> Contents
: Foreword : Quick
Intro : 1 : 2
: 3 : 4 :
Part 2>> Introduction
: 1 : 2 : 3
Chapter 4 (Download)
Brewing with a Series 2 Pack
The Series 2 brew improver Packs contain dried extract,
some may contain a small amount of sugar, all have hop packs kept
separately in our fridge and some Packs have a pack of crushed specialty
grains. The preponderance of malt, the fresh hops and the specialty
grains combine with your brewing to produce the tastiest beers you
can brew using beer concentrates (kits).
Wort is made by steeping the specialty grains. This
steeping is not mashing, it takes only minutes and exact temperature
is not important. A few Packs do involve a minimash but this is
clearly stated on the Pack label.
The dry extract is added to the wort obtained by steeping
the grains. This combined wort is then boiled and adding hops at
various specific times during the boil to add bitterness, flavor
The boil times, amounts of water to be used and so
on are mentioned on the label of your Series 2 Pack. The guidelines
in this chapter are a general how–to, so to brew a Series
2 Pack you need both the label of the Pack and these instructions.
We stock and recommend Coopers and Morgans kits for use with Series
We recommend new brewers brew a Series 1 pack before
tackling a series 2 Pack.
Fresh hops and grains help you brew the tastiest
beers - beers sure to impress.
The specialty grains
We weigh, crush then pack these separately. This means you can steep
these grains in warm water, rather than boiling them with the wort.
Place the grains into a small pan and mix with three times its weight
of water: e.g. 200g of specialty grains needs to be mixed with 600ml
of water. Mix the grains well so that there are no dry pockets.
Grains that are light in color like crystal, caramunich
and carapils can be warmed to 65°C then covered and left to
steep for 20 minutes (just mix with warm water out your hot water
tap and put on the lowest possible heat.) Stir all the time you
are heating the water-grain mix.
Grains that are dark, like chocolate and black malt
and roast barley should be mixed with the appropriate amount of
cold water and left standing overnight. In really warm weather you
can put your container of cold steeping grain in the fridge This
cold steep extracts the flavors but not the astringency dark grains
can add to your beer. To maximise extraction of flavours from these
dark grains sparge as described below.
At the right stage in your brewday, described later,
strain the liquid from the grains through a fine kitchen sieve.
If desired, you can then sparge the grains with a cup of water about
10 minutes off the boil, but this will not really be necessary.
You risk adding astringencies and tannins if you sparge too much
or with water too hot or too cold. The grains are then discarded.
They make great compost and chooks love them.
Note that some brewbooks recommend a steeping technique
where grains are held in water until the water starts boiling. Any
procedure like that will without fail extract astringency from the
grains. The procedure described above is safe.
It is better not to boil the grains, really
dark grains should be cold steeped overnight.
Do mix well to ensure there are no dry pockets,
and stir contantly while heating the water-grain mixture to avoid
scorching the grains.
Sparge grains with a cup of water at 80°C
to extract more sugars, flavours and colour.
The bulk of the Pack is dried extract with perhaps some sucrose
or dextrose. Get your biggest pan, preferably 8L or larger. If you
have a 10L pan then add 2L to the water quantities set out below.
This will increase your hop utilisation thus increasing bitterness
and hop flavors and aromas, all desirable. A total of 5L vigorously
boiling wort is the bare minimum. If you have a smaller pan, double
or treble the hop boiling times given, or try a split boil using
2 pans, etc.
So, if there are no grains in the Pack, place 5L
cold water in your 8L pan, then add the extract/sugar mix, adding
a third or quarter of the Pack at a time, stir well to dissolve,
then add the next third or quarter. If your Pack does have grains,
allow for half the water you added to the grains to be added to
the 8L pan later: normally with grains you would add 4.5L water
to this big pan—refer to the Pack label for the exact amount.
Add the extract to cold water: if you add it
to hot water it will ball up and be extremely difficult to handle.
The pan is on medium heat. Your extract will be dissolved
except for a few bits floating about. Stir occasionally, wait for
it to reach nearly to simmering stage. You will see scum begin to
form, then darken in color. Skim it right after the darkening, so
that the surface of the wort is 90% clear. If you find that the
wort boils over before you can do this, try bringing it up to simmering
more slowly, or add 3 or 4 hop pellets from hop Pack A. This helps
reduce foaming. Bat the rising foam down, blow on it or spray a
tiny amount of cold water on it to prevent it boiling over.
Once the surface of the simmering wort is clear,
strain the wort from the grains into the big pan of simmering wort.
Discard the grains. Simmer a minute or two longer, skim a bit more
if needed, then turn the heat up so your combined wort is boiling
vigorously! The hops need to boil vigorously as you can manage,
one reason for preferring the largest pan. (Treat yourself to a
quality 20L pan, great for making stocks and boiling wort!)
Why do a boil? Firstly to sterilise the wort, since wort is a sweet
sugar/protein solution ideal for any wild yeast or bacteria to breed
in we do a boil to kill these pesky critters. If you have done a
mash, even a small one, boiling the wort destroys the enzymes activated
by the mash, else your beer would be thin, out of balance and less
nutritious. Finally, a strong boil will extract bitterness, flavor
and aroma from your hops.
The very word “brewing” refers to boiling.
If you wish to add some spices to your beer add them to the boil
when it has fifteen minutes left to go. Please refer to the label
of your Pack for the total length of the boil and timing for the
When we talk of a boil we are referring to the vigorous,
roiling boil, not the simmering we do while scimming the scum.
Packs may contain hop packs with one, two or three pouches of hops.
The “A” hops add bitterness to counter the sweetness
of the malt and may also add hop flavor, the “B” addition
is there for flavor and aroma while any “C” addition,
added after you turn the heat off under your wort, adds aroma only.
Stouts usually only have one bittering addition and most lagers
have two. By spreading the addition of hops over time your Pack
will give a great hop presence, flavor and aroma, without making
the beer too bitter to drink.
Mostly the hops are present in the form of pellets
but some Packs have hops in plug form—crush these up a bit
before adding. You will find plugs give superior flavor and aroma.
As you add the hops, especially the “A”
hops they may cause some foaming up. Be alert to bat that down with
a tablespoon or similar. Once the scum has been skimmed and the
hop foaming batted down the boil should proceed without further
trouble, especially in a nice big pan with plenty of head space.
The front label of the Pack will indicate the length
each hop addition should be boiled. For example, boil “A”
hops for 15 minutes, “B” hops for 5 and “C”
hops for no minutes. This means, when the wort is boiling vigorously,
add the “A” hops and set the oven timer to 15 minutes.
When it points to 5 minutes add the “B” hops and when
the bell rings turn the heat off and add the “C” hops.
Thus, the length the “A” hops are boiled is the total
length of the boil (the simmering that you do previous to turning
the heat up so the wort boils vigorously is not counted)
A few of the Packs also call for a 1.5K can of light liquid malt
extract. These augmented Packs result in 7–8% abv beers. For
issues of hop utilisation previously discussed we recommend the
following procedure for using these cans.
At about 10 minutes before the end of the boil, bail
out 2L of your boiling wort into a smaller pan. This pan is not
to be heated at all. Mix in the liquid malt, that you previously
stood in hot water to soften the contents. Mix in well to dissolve
all the extract, stir for a minute or two, then slowly add the wort
+ liquid extract to your pan of boiling wort, trying not to stop
This way none of the liquid extract will scorch,
and the gravity of your wort is only increased right at the end
of your boil.
It will be advisable to follow the same procedure
with any separate pack of sugar contained in your Pack, save that
Lactose must boil for half an hour.
Add liquid malt extracts and packs of sugar
End of boil
Once you have turned off the heat and added any “C”
hops you need to both cool the wort and separate out the wort from
the trub (hop detritus and hot break.) The first step is to stir
your wort really really well, creating a whirlpool. Put the lid
on the pan of wort, then cover with some teatowels and towels and
let it stand undisturbed for 30–45 minutes.
The wort won’t cool much in this time, but
the trub will form and stabilise into a shallow cone on the bottom
of the pan. You can now bail out, carefully, about half of the wort
before the hops etc get stirred up again. Place this clear bailed
wort into a smaller cleaned and sanitised pan, put the lid on this
then stand it in a sink part filled with cold water, icecubes, etc
to cool the cleared wort.
While this is cooling, add the contents of your can
of beer concentrate to your cleaned and sanitised fementer. Place
a fine, cleaned & sanitised kitchen sieve over your fermenter
and start pouring the rest of the wort from your big pan into it.
Move the pan smoothly and pour in one sustained pour and the hops
and trub should not show themselves until just about all the wort
is in the fermenter.
Trying to sieve the hops and trub from the wort
is a tedious business except with this whirlpool method.
When that is all done, mix the wort with the kit,
stirring to dissolve all the malt extract. Strain the cooled clear
wort into the fermenter, top up with cold water to 20L, fit the
lid and leave all to settle down for 5 minutes. Note the thermometer
reading, and top up to 22 or 23L with cold or hot water to arrive
at a final wort temperature of about 23–25°C. It will
be useful to have some prechilled spring water and near boiling
water handy to adjust the final temperature of your wort.
Finally pitch the yeast and fit lid and airlock,
Brewing a Series 2 Pack can take a couple of hours, so you should
try to make the beer as good as possible to repay this effort.
- Ferment at the right temperature, and keep this temperature
as constant as you can. Lagers need to ferment at 8-10°C so
a brew fridge is really needed for these, any old banger of a
fridge will do. Ales should be fermented in the 17–21°C
- Use a liquid yeast. Yeast is responsible for 40% of beer flavor
and 60% of beer aroma, so the better the yeast the better the
beer. There are dozens of liquid yeasts, so you can choose one
that will be just right for your beer.
- Give your beer time. We recommend you leave beers in the primary
fermenter for at least one week after the ferment has finished.
In this week the yeast starts dropping out, making the beer clearer.
The yeast cake and the dropping yeast clean your beer of faults
such as diacetyl (a butter scotch flavor.) Lagers are usually
taken out of the fridge at the end of the ferment and allowed
to stand at ale temperatures for a few days.
- Cold condition. At the end of the week, rack your beer into
a “cube” and place the cube in a fridge set to 3°C.
A cube is a food grade plastic cubical water container that can
hold nearly 23L with very little airspace, ideal for storing beer
in. Cold condition for two weeks minimum, more for bigger beers.
For lagers, store the beer at 0°C for a month, then at 3°C
for another month or more, again depending on the size of the
beer—and your willpower!
- Beer concentrates are an expensive way to brew. You can replace
a $14 kit with $6.05 worth of bulk liquid extract and $2–3.00
worth of extra hops. Better still, replace the beer concentrate
with a minimash of 2.5Kg of pale malt ($5.00) and the extra hops.
Better beer, for much less!
To complete the coverage of brewing with beer concentrates
please examine the topics of “Yeast and Fermentation Management”
and “Seasonal Brewing” appended.
We need a good strong ferment that:
1. attenuates fully, that is, that uses up all the
simple sugars (maltose, glucose, maltotriose etc) so that the beer
does not taste sweet.
2. allows no chance for the bacteria to flourish
and ruin the beer
3. brings out the right character of the beer, for
example, a lager should be really clean, and ale fruity and complex
Before even thinking about pitching the yeast there
are several things we need to do: chosing the yeast, wort aeration,
rehydration of dried yeast, pitching and fermentation temperatures.
Choosing the yeast
Our cans of beer concentrates come with a little
packet of yeast. Often this yeast is not very good, is rarely present
in sufficient quantity and is not kept refridgerated. I suggest
you put the little packet aside and use a proper brewing yeast.
If you do want to use the kit yeasts I suggest you buy a few kits
when you know they are new and fresh, take them home, knock the
tops off and put the yeast in the fridge until use. Using two packets
in one beer is good.
Yeast is responsible for 60% of beer aroma and 40%
of its flavor, so choosing a good yeast is important. We stock eight
dried yeasts plus a range of liquid yeasts.
Another way to obtain yeast is to culture it up from
a bottle conditioned beer. Culturing up Coopers yeast from the Pale
or Sparkling Ale is a firm favorite. Feed it untill there is a nice
thick cake of yeast in your starter bottle. See Pt 3 of this Manual.
When we add yeast to our wort the yeast first spends
time acclimatising to our wort: its gravity, temperature, composition
etc. Next, while there is oxygen in the wort the yeast is busy budding
off more yeast cells, so a well aerated wort ends up with a huge
yeast population that easily accomplishes tasks 1 and 2.
As the yeast buds, it drops the wort pH to about
4, which is too acid for most bacteria to flourish. It uses up the
oxygen, allowing none or little for aerobic bacteria and finally
the huge population of yeast now present chomps up the simple sugars
rapidly, leaving little for any bacteria. It is a tough bacteria
that can spoil a properly made beer! Thankfully, no really harmful
to us bacteria thrives in beer.
How to do this aeration? For any ale up to OG 1050
just pouring in the cold topping-up water from a height is sufficient.
Do this where the floor can be mopped up easily, then pour in the
water from a height. One customer makes up the wort from beer concentrate
and Pack, then puts the fermenter under the shower and turns the
cold water on just enough so a solid stream of water falls from
the shower head into the fermenter.
If you have so much foam that adding the last of
the topping-up water is a bit difficult then you have adequate aeration.
What about worts over 1050? Ahah! Different kettle
of fish altogether, we need a two stage aeration, one before pitching
and one after. The pre-pitch aeration needs to be more thorough.
Start by aerating normally as described above. Then
put the bucket or first fermenter up high, say on a milk crate placed
on a high bench. Put a sanitised bottling tube (minus valve, of
course) in the tap which is hanging over the bench. Place a second
fermenter or bucket below, then open the tap on the high fermenter
slightly and let the wort run slowly into the the fermenter or bucket
If you have a spare bottling tube, drill 4 small
holes spaced at 90 degrees around the tube about 5 cm below the
top (the end that goes into the tap of the first fermenter, then
4 more 1 cm below and a third set a cm below the second set. By
adjusting the tap on the first fermenter carefully enough, you can
actually hear the wort sucking in air!
So, that is the first aeration. Now the next day,
preferably 14-18 hours after pitching, aerate again by running the
wort from one fermenter into another just below it. If you are using
a liquid yeast and there is no sign of life after 24 hours, aerating
like this will get that yeast going.
The first, prepitching aeration provides the oxygen
needed for the cells to multiply. In a big beer, you have provided
even more oxygen and you have a big population of yeast, all but
the last generation of which have crater marks on their cell walls
where they budded off a new cell. The yeast cell cannot control
what passes into or out of the cell through these crater marks,
not a healthy situation for the yeast cell!
The second, smaller, aeration, 14-18 hours after
pitching, allows the yeast to generate the sterols and fatty acids
to repair their cell walls. So now you have a huge yeast population
and it is healthy. Complete ferment and the yeast stomps any bacteria
Not perfect for lagers though! Each generation of
yeast cells that are budded adds flavor to the beer. That is fine
for fruity, complex ales but a no no for lagers that are meant to
be cleanly malty-hoppy! The only way we can ensure a proper population
of healthy lager yeast cells is to pitch a huge number of cells.
35g of dried lager yeast or a two litre starter of liquid yeast.
35g? Wow that is too expensive for me! OK, our LoFerm
lager yeast at $9.95 provides 36g of yeast, way cheaper than buying
3 packets of Saflager!
If that is still too expensive for you consider repitching
the yeast cake. Explained in detail in Part 3, repitching slurry
lets you brew 5 beers from one lot of yeast! Cheap! The LoFerm is
the preferred candidate for repitching, being a very pure strain.
Just go from pale, smaller lagers to darker and stronger ones.
If you are using dry yeast you will see great improvements
in performance by rehydrating the yeast. Rehydration allows the
cell to take on water and return to the active state without hindrance
from osmotic pressures present in wort.
Hard, unfiltered tap water should be used, not distilled,
RO filtered etc. I boil the water first, half to one litre, to heat
it up and get rid of the chlorine. I then pour this into a 1L Pyrex
measuring jug then pour out all but the water I need, add a thermometer
then cover with cling wrap and let it cool down to the rehydration
temperature. We need 10 times as much water by weight as the yeast
we are rehydrating, 120 ml for a 12g packet. By filling the jug
with boiling water I sanitise it a bit.
Rehydration temperatures vary: Safale yeasts rehydrate
at 30C, Saflagers at 25C, Nottingham and Windsor at 40C (yes, 40C!)
and the LoFerm yeast at 35C. If you are using a kit yeast (not recommended)
I would rehydrate it at 25-30C.
I sprinkle the yeast evenly over the surface of the
water. The Pyrex jug has a nice wide area so the layer of yeast
is nice and thin. Cover up and let the yeast rehydrate for 15-20
minutes. Any foaming is purely due to air in between the yeast granules,
not a sign of vitality. After twenty minutes I stir and pitch the
NEVER leave the yeast in the rehydration water for over thirty minutes:
the yeast is then using up the reserves the yeast maker stored in
the cells to get your ferment off to a good strong start.
You can also attemperate the rehydrating yeast: after stirring,
add the same amount of wort as rehydration water present, to move
the temperature of the yeast/water towards that of the wort waiting
to be pitched. You can repeat this if needed, keep the changes in
I like to pitch when the wort is at 23-25C, regardless
of whether I am making an ale or lager (there is one exception to
this, mentioned below.) I then let the wort cool to the ferment
temperature. To get a lager wort to cool in 12 hours to lager temperatures
(8-14°C) you need a fridge unless you live in the Adelaide Hills
or way in the country or in Melbourne. You could pitch lagers a
bit cooler if you like, say 16-18C. No ale like characteristics
(fruity esters) will be generated in the first 12 hours of a lager
I pitch my beers a bit warm as the yeast adjusts
and buds off cells faster at warmer temperatures. I do not believe
in pitching lager worts at lager temperatures, things move slow
at 10°C! The yeast needs to start working quickly so as to be
able to stomp the bacteria always present in our homebrew worts!
After pitching cool the wort to the ferment temperature.
For ales the perfect temperature is 18-20°C
For real lager character you ferment preferably at
8-10°C then store the lager cool for at least a month:- lager
means to store. A fridge is a must for this step: one month at 0C
and the lagering is pretty much complete.
With wheat beers the "Rule of 30" holds sway: pitch at
12C and ferment no warmer than 18C (12+18=30.) This way, your wheat
beers have a subtle clove like aroma, not banana, fruit salad or,
Now, various yeasts, especially liquid yeasts, may have optimum
temperature different to the general guidelines stated here, so
always check the specification for a particular yeast. The exact
temperature is not quite as important as keeping the temperature
as constant as possible, fairly easy to achieve in cool weather
Lallemand make our Nottingham and Windsor yeasts.
Dr Cone is the ultimate beer guru.
General yeast page
The site for those Safale and saflager yeasts. Note the much lower
rehydration temperatures for the Saf than the Danstar yeasts
Part 1>> Contents
: Foreword : Quick
Intro : 1 : 2
: 3 : 4 :
Part 2>> Introduction
: 1 : 2 : 3
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