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Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale 2014

Coopers Vintage Sydney, Manly at the Steyne

Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale has been a favourite seasonal amongst beer enthusiasts for more than 15 years. It is a beer that changes each year but remains true to its style as a strong ale. Paul ‘PB2’ Burge provides us with a recipe for this year’s vintage.

Coopers drinkers were introduced to the Strong Ale style (19.A of the BJCP Style Guidelines) with the first release of Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale (ESVA) back in 1998. ESVA has developed a reputation as a high alcohol, high bitterness, flavoursome beer, which may be consumed young or develop with bottle age.

Our DIY interpretation of ESVA ‘14 carries an exciting hop trio of Bravo, Ella and Galaxy – all highly aromatic hop varieties. When young, it displays a blend of esters and overt hop aromatics with some alcohol heat and a firm bitter finish. Ageing over months and years will see the esters, hops and alcohol meld together, the bitterness soften and toffee/sherry like characters develop.

Recipe

Expected Brew Figures

OG: approx 1060

FG: 1008-1012

IBUs: 60

ABV: 7.5%

Volume: 21 litres

Ingredients:

1.7kg Australian Pale Ale beer kit

1.7kg Real Ale beer kit

300g Crystal Malt grains (optional)
500g Dextrose

25g Bravo hop pellets
25g Ella hop pellets
25g Galaxy hop pellets

11g Lallemand Nottingham Yeast

Method:

  1. Day before line a pot (at least 4 litres) with mesh cleaning cloth (pulled straight from pack), add cracked grain and 2 litres of cold water. Fit lid and sit in fridge for 24hrs
  2. On brew day remove from fridge, gather up corners of the mesh cloth and lift, allowing liquid to drain from grains back into pot
  3. Place strained liquid onto stovetop and bring to boil
  4. Remove from heat, add 25g of Galaxy hops and let steep for 15 minutes
  5. Cool liquid by placing pot in a cold water bath for 15 minutes then strain into fermenter
  6. Add contents of the two beer kits plus dextrose and stir to dissolve
  7. Fill with cool water to the 18 litre mark, stir vigorously and check the brew temperature. Top up to the 21 litre mark with warm or cold water (refrigerated if necessary) to get to 18°C
  8. Stir in wet yeast or sprinkle on dry yeast and fit lid. Aim to ferment at 18°C
  9. After three days add remaining hops by wrapping them in a mesh cleaning cloth (pulled straight from the pack) and place directly on top of brew then re-fit lid
  10. Bottle brew only after SG readings are stable over two days – should finish 1008-1012
  11. Prime at the normal rate of 8g/l (2 carbonation drops per 740/750 ml bottle) or slightly lower, in accordance with style. If storing beer for 18 months or more use sturdy reusable glass bottles, designed for storing beer
  12. Allow to condition at or above 18C for at least two weeks before tasting, but longer will allow the flavour to mature
  13. Check out other DIY Coopers recipes at coopers.com.au

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