Coopers or MJ Helles lager kit?

Discussion in 'Beer Kit Brewing Discussion.' started by HarryFlatters, Jan 23, 2019.

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  1. Jan 23, 2019 #1

    HarryFlatters

    HarryFlatters

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    Hi,

    I've been asked to do a couple of kegs of lager for a 40th birthday party in April, and as it'll get swilled I'm going to do kits instead of AG.

    Has anyone tried both the kits in the title? If so, which one did you prefer?

    Ta

    H
     
  2. Jan 23, 2019 #2

    Davewhit

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    None of the above I know but I've just done a wilkos cerveza as my dirst ever kit and brew and up to now been quite easy and tasted OK last night when was bottled. As long as it carbonates well I can see it being a decent drop.
     
  3. Jan 23, 2019 #3

    HarryFlatters

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    I've been reading the Wilko Cerveza thread with interest, I might pick one up and brew it along with a Coopers and MJ Helles kit to see what turns out the best.
     
  4. Jan 23, 2019 #4

    Davewhit

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    Yes do that then if the coopers is any good I'll switch to that next time ha.
     
  5. Jan 23, 2019 #5

    HarryFlatters

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    Happy to be the guinea pig haha :beer1:
     
  6. Feb 4, 2019 #6

    HarryFlatters

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    So, for the purposes of science (ahem...), I made up a Wilko Cerveza, a Coopers European Lager and a Mangrove Jack Munich Helles on Saturday. All brewed with a kilo of light spraymalt and brewed short to 20 litres.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BtZAytdAHXD/?hl=en

    They were all very easy to get made up. The Wilko kit is bubbling like mad, the Coopers is gently ticking over, while the MG has blown the starsan out of the bubbler TWICE, along with a load of krausen...

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BtbyrrDHXhT/?hl=en

    I'm going to wait until my mate's birthday shenanigans kick off on the 15th April before touching these, so once fermentation is complete they'll get kegged and left in the fridge until it's time to imbibe :beer1:
     
  7. Feb 4, 2019 #7

    terrym

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    My guess is it will probably get down to 'you gets what you pay for'. The (cheapest?) Wilko kit will give you the thinnest beer cos theres only 1.5kg of LME, the Euro lager midpriced and mid quality without some tweaking and the MJ kit the best cos it comes with more malt and dry hops which makes all the difference to the cheaper kits. It will be interesting to know if I'm right after a few weeks conditioning.
    And assuming you are not solely relying on CO2 injection and intend to prime, don't forget to check that they are holding pressure as they carb up. The last thing you want is flat beer due to a leak on the day of your event.
     
  8. Feb 4, 2019 #8

    HarryFlatters

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    Hiya Terry,

    Yep, my initial thoughts are the same as yours, insomuch that the best to worst taste will echo the most expensive to the cheapest kit.

    To save on CO2 costs my plan is to prime with sugar (130g for 19 litres gives 2.6ish vols of gas). I'll put a bit of gas in to purge the air from the headspace of the keg, but other than that my plan is to leave it carbing/conditioning/lagering with minimal buggering about on my part :D
     
  9. Feb 5, 2019 #9

    HarryFlatters

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    MJ kit smelling badly of fart, which is strange as the Cali Lager yeast supplied isn't supposed to be a sulphur producing yeast.
     
  10. Feb 5, 2019 #10

    terrym

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    In my view you should not put more than about 95g of sugar into a standard PB, or you will pressure stress the body. Most PBs are usually limited to 15psig and the 95g works comfortably within this. Ultimately there comes a point where you can keep putting in more sugar, and assuming it works, the pressure relief valve will just vent any excess CO2. That's to stop the PB exploding not to protect the long term integrity of the body. PBs are fine for lowish carb beers like ales and ideal for stouts but not for lagers and AIPAs which should be served with a high carb level and are better in bottle. And if you see how a PB balloons out under pressure even with 'only' 95g of sugar you will appreciate what I'm talking about.
     
  11. Feb 5, 2019 #11

    HarryFlatters

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    Hi Terry,

    I'm using corny kegs rather than PBs so should be fine. However, you've got me thinking about it in that I will carb for a bit at room temperature, then lager as cold as my fridge will go for however long I have. For the purposes of batch priming, do I use room temperature or lagering temperature in that calculation?
     
  12. Feb 5, 2019 #12

    Drunkula

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    The temperature you ended fermentation at.
     
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  13. Feb 5, 2019 #13

    terrym

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    Make sure the 'bit' is long enough. If in doubt leave it 2 weeks.
     
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  14. Feb 13, 2019 #14

    HarryFlatters

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    Dry hops went into the MJ kit last night, smelled really nice. The wort smelled really nice too.

    Kegging all three on Sunday :cool:
     
  15. Feb 19, 2019 #15

    HarryFlatters

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    Kegged tonight after a huge pita trying to get a socket that'll fit the posts, only to discover that the pressure release valve on one keg is leaking and I couldn't get it seated right at all. Ordered a replacement that'll hopefully arrive tomorrow.

    Might have ruined the Wilco kit as I think I racked into about a litre of starsan so it might end up down the drain.

    All in all, a massive ballache.

    Even my cat was annoying me.
     
  16. Mar 20, 2019 #16

    DavieC

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    How did these turn out?
     
  17. Mar 20, 2019 #17

    HarryFlatters

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    They're still in the keg conditioning at the moment, both are tasting pretty decent. I'll have another sample at the weekend and let you know.

    The Cooper's is very much like Beck's thus far, nice and refreshing. The MJ is a bit hoppier and more interesting. I still think they need another few weeks to properly come good though.
     
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