Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cooperian Dark Ale - The Results

As a preamble, kindly read the earlier post.

The results:

a) Pours a fairly haze-free, chocolaty/ruby brown. Garnet highlights. Head is a soft beige, holds well and leaves a decent lace (thankyou maltodextrin).
s) Peach and soft yeast fleshiness. Touch gluey.
t) Strong stonefruit, but tempered with an acetone-like heat. Keep the naked flames away.....
Has a strange seedy/vegetable note. Maybe celery (?)
m) Light to medium. Touch hollow in the middle.
d) Seems to have the awkwardness of Casacadians/Indian Blacks etc..... but not the quality..... Needs an addition of steeped dark malts to give more chocolate & mocha notes, and the hop additions may be better post-primary.
I'll save it for when Darren comes around :-)

Serving: On-tap

Well, I think this experiment was part success, part failure. A tin of Coopers Pale, a tin of Coopers Dark, and a kilo of Brewbooster.  My recent success with a Pale clone (using the Pale tin and the Brewbooster) could be put down to the use of full boil techniques (including wort chilling), and a stable, cool fermentation.

I didn't give this beer the same attention. It was a quick empty of the contents onto the yeast cake of the Pale, and topped up with tap water. The hop additions were thrown in at the end, but most of the aroma seems to have blown off during fermentation.

It's probably worth another go, but with the additional attention of the full boil. It is drinkable (just), and cheap to make. Not sure if Amarillo is the way to go with Coopers tins. Maybe some spare Pride of Ringwood might have aligned better....

Incidentally, an interesting variation has presented itself. My friend Glenn has given me an old port barrel, so I've filled it with this beer. My ambition is to have, in 12-18 months, a Rodenbach clone. 

You can stop laughing now...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Beer Porn

That got your interest, didn't it ? "Beer porn" is a rather questionable idiom that is used whenever one wants to show off their recent beer acquisitions. I've been guilty of it before, and here again.

Last Friday saw me drop into the Beer Cartel, growler in hand, and a mind for Father's Day. Geoff got the refilling underway, and I had a bit of a browse.

Certainly some interesting bottles here. I collected Meantime London Pale Ale, Sierra Nevada Porter, Mikkeller 1000IBU, Viven Imperial IPA, and Mountain Goat's Seedy Goat Coffee IPA.

The growler contains a German-style Pilsener, from the Australian Brewery at Rouse Hill.
Anyway, these have all been consumed..... another splendid Father's Day spent in the garden with the extended family. My brothers Chris and Nick don't mind a quality beer, and Chris' father-in-law Bob spends way too much time at Platinum and Northmead cellars. This is good news for us, as he brought along some very interesting beers, including Greene King IPA, Hepworth Sussex Ale, Kozlak bock, 3 Monts, and the Little Creatures Dreadnought stout, which we never got to, sadly.

The Meantime was a little subdued.... maybe would be better on tap in a London pub. The Viven seemed strangely schizoid..... I'm not entirely sure that Imperial IPAs are meant to come from Belgian yeasts. The Mikkeller almost took the roof of my mouth off. Intense hop flavours and bitterness that just kept on going. It left the Viven on the starting line.......

And the Seedy Goat ? Coffee IPA ? Well, it was interesting. We couldn't detect any bona fide coffee flavour, but the overall impression was one of green vegetable. Capsicum, to be precise.
The beer in the growler was brewed by Neal Cameron, who was also the brewer behind Red Angus pilsener. To me the beers are similar, with a well-balanced malt profile, and a good dose of hops giving the spine needed for the style. The growler is a concept that is beginning to take off in NSW, with Murrays doing it at Bob's Farm (and hopefully Manly soon).
The surprise of the day was the Kozlak, from Poland. I tend to view Eastern European beers as being fairly straightforward, with an almost pedantic ahderence to style, but lacking the substance. The Kozlak offered a caramel, fruity malt flavour that was almost doppel. A great drop for an early spring afternoon.

I also had my own Coopers pale ale on tap, as the in-betweenie session beer. For a kit brew it's remarkably good. I put this down to the full boil I gave it, rather than my usual approach of tipping tins into hot water and filling up from the tap. I think the full wort boil is a "best practice", even when using the tins.
Thanks Nick, Chris & Bob. A good lineup, and a good afternoon. And thanks to Geoff at Beer Cartel.

Aussie Beer Blog

Aussie Beer Blog