WHAT’S IN THE PACKET? Yeast + yeast nutrient.
The yeast packets have a code inkjetted onto them that explains the yeast inside.
This is broken into 2 parts [julian date code] + [yeast] Julian: 26812 = 268th day of 2012.
The yeast was made on the 25th of september 2012
The yeasts are:
No code = Cooper’s Own Ale Yeast
IPA = Cooper’s Own Ale Yeast
P = Lager
PS = Lager + Cooper’s Own Ale Yeast
INT = Lager + Cooper’s Own Ale Yeast
W = Commercial Ale Yeast
IS = Commercial Ale Yeast
So our example packet (26812INT) contains a mix of commercial Lager yeast and Coopers’ Ale yeast, and as we previously saw it was made on the 25th of september 2012.
WHICH KITS HAVE THEM?
This is how Coopers list them:
Ac= Coopers ale yeast (their own strain, not the same as the yeast in their commercial ales, developed in-house and propagated under contract).
A = ale yeast and L = lager yeast (these strains are commercially available dry yeast and their details are held in confidence).
Australian Pale Ale Ac+L (26812 INT)
Mexican Cerveza Ac+L (26812 INT)
European Lager L (26812 P)
Canadian Blonde Ac (26812)
English Bitter Ac (26812)
Thomas Coopers Selection:
Wheat A (26812 W)
IPA Ac (26812 IPA)
Irish Stout A (26812 IS)
Pilsener L (26812 P)
Australian Bitter Ac+L (26812 PS)
Heritage Lager Ac+L (26812 PS)
Sparkling Ale Ac+L (26812 PS)
Traditional Draught Ac+L (26812 PS)
AT WHAT TEMPERATURE SHOULD I FERMENT THEM?
This is just a guide base on experience. Sometimes you might want different esters (flavours) that happen when you brew hotter or colder.
I’m not going to go into that, but here’s a handy tool if you want more on esters LINK.
Type Recommended Temp range
L Aim to ferment at about 12-14°C
Ac+L Aim to ferment at about 16-18°C
Ac Aim to ferment at about 18-20°C
A Aim to ferment at about 20-22°C (Only provided in Irish Stout and Wheat Beer)
SHOULD I ALWAYS USE THE KIT YEAST?
You can always use the provided kit yeast, and you should always end up with good beer.
However, for some styles you might consider getting a speciality yeast.
For example, the wheatbeer kit comes with an ale yeast and will make an ok wheat ale, but to make a great Hefeweizen you can replace the packet yeast with something like Safbrew WB-06.
Or if you want to make an American style ale, you might replace the kit yeast with Safale US-05 and add some American hops.
MY BEER ISN’T BUBBLING YET!
Don’t open the FV. Don’t stir it.
Just give it a swirl to mix the yeast back in, make sure it is warm enough, then leave it for another 48 hours.
If you still don’t get see any action, the yeast might have been killed on its way from down under and pitching another packet should fix it.
HOW LONG DOES THE YEAST LAST IN THE SACHET?
If you keep it in a cool dry place, the best before date will be about 2 years after the date of manufacture seen in the Julian calendar code printed on it.
HOW ABOUT OTHER MANUFACTURERS’ SUPPLIED KIT YEAST?
This section is new, but I’ll be adding to it as I go:
- Finlandia Kits: “a general purpose yeast for both beers and lager when fermented between 18 – 22°C. If we were to use true lager yeast then fermentation would need to be carried out between 12 – 15°C which is beyond most home brewers capabilities”- Graham, Finlandia
- Munton’s Kits: (no reply from Muntons)
- Brewers Choice Ultimate Czech Pilsner – comes with Brewferm Lager Yeast, 12-15°C, for 20L
- HBC Allgrain Pilsner Mashkit – comes with lager yeast. ferment 10-12°C (source, HBC)
- Craft Range WheatBeer – Hefeweizen yeast. clean at 18°C, banana+clove at 22°C, increased banana+clove at 25°C
- Craft Range Stout – top fermenting ale yeast – 20°C
- Craft Range BLonde Lager – Ale yeast- 20°C