Thomas Coopers Heritage Lager #2 – Review

While Mikey has been quite good with his updates lately, especially with his ongoing Journey to Home Brew story, I have been quite slack.  We hadn’t done a proper brew in a couple weeks (I did bottle the Friedlieb Porter last weekend though), and I’ve just been generally busy/worn out.

Anyway, I got through all of that and had a weekend of home brew!  Not only was a hopped cider AND a stout made, but we also managed to bottle some brown ale, and the remainder of the lager, plus we tried four brews that are finally ready for drinking.  Mikey will be writing up the stout brew and reviewing two of the beers, I’ll write up the cider and reviewing the other two.

So, rather than one huge update with all of this, I’ll be trickling the updates out, starting with the review of the Thomas Coopers Heritage Lager here.

Mikey and I both got the same starter kit that came with the same can of Thomas Coopers Heritage Lager.  We made my can first and followed the directions to simply add a kilogram of dextrose to the wort.  While the beer turned out fairly OK, it wasn’t the most amazing thing either of us ever had.  So since Mikey had the same kit, we decided to try it with some malt rather than dextrose.

All in all, the addition of the malt made for a much better, more well rounded beer.20130707_151143

The beer was a fairly standard lager: there was nothing that stood out or was of any amazing interest.  The body was quite good though, there was a nice finish, and quite a lot of fragrance.

On the nose, there was a ton of fruit and a bit of sweetness.  This fruit continued on the first impression of the taste.  It was almost a passion fruit taste, but without the typical sourness associated with passion fruit.  With this was also the distinct taste of melon.

The beer had very little bitterness to it.  In my opinion, the addition of some bitterness would have been beneficial.  While the fruit was a lot of fun and made the beer light and easy to drink, that’s all there was to it.  With the addition of some bitterness, the dominant fruit flavours would hopefully have been countered, adding a little complexity to the beer.

On that note, the beer tapered off quite quickly after that.

Overall, the beer was simple, but very easily drinkable.  A lager can be difficult to rave about or go to deeply into.  They generally lack complexity and this beer was no exception.  I’ll happily continue to drink it though!

-Chas

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9 thoughts on “Thomas Coopers Heritage Lager #2 – Review

  1. mikey says:

    I’ve cracked open another bottle of this. Yeah, there’s a lot that I agree with.
    The aromas are a fair bit of fruit, not getting much sweetness.
    Initial flavour is not much then a lot of fruit. Sort of like a grapefruit or melon. Light flavour.
    The body holds okay, and then drops off.
    The back end of the beer has a dry weak bitter/sourness. It’s not dirty like the last Heritage Lager, but not 100% crisp either.

    Not sure what food to match this to. It’s not a real lager, or maybe it’s just a very fruity lager.
    Might go well with a light curry. Maybe fish and chips. No, not deep fried, more of a grilled or baked fish.
    Maybe a quiche. Maybe I just have no idea.

  2. […] Chas mentioned yesterday it was a busy weekend. Last if the lager was bottled. Then 5 litres of the Newcastle Brown Ale went […]

  3. […] busted out the Newcastle Brown and had a couple. Chas put up the review yesterday. Had a couple of the lagers, but one bottle was flat (no sugars in the bottle?). And opened a stout, but it’s not ready […]

  4. tomheff says:

    Hey guys. Great review. What was your fermentation temperature for the Heritage Lager? The yeast for that kit is a hybrid yeast with lager properties. It can ferment at lower temperatures. The best was to make this kit in my opinion is to start off around 65F to 70F the first day and slowly bring the temperature down below 60F if possible. Of course it will take longer, but the beer won’t as fruity. And some German noble hop additions at the end will really bump it up.

    • Chas says:

      Hey Tom. We’ll have to wait for Mikey to get back on temperature as this one was done at his place, but I imagine he kept it somewhere in the low 20s C. Addmitedly this was a fairly early brew for us so we were less concerned with things like temperature consistency! Just tried to keep it in the range specified by the directions. We’re a bit better on this now but still haven’t invested in anything to sophisticated for temperature regulation. Thankfully at least my house is fairly consistent for temperature, even though I can’t control the exact temperature just yet.

    • mikey says:

      Thanks for the tips for next time.
      Temperature control wasn’t good back then. I’d say around 20C (68F) for the most part. Dipping below at night and slightly above during the day. Very keen to do a proper lager, with full lager yeast and keeping it at 16-17C for a full month or two. Really like the idea of a hop addition.

      Not using a brew fridge but do now have some more control on the heat. Will be rigging up a temperature control to it in the next couple weeks. Will hopefully have it ready for the next 23L batch.

  5. […] lager. The yeast was from a kit can and then it was fermented with out any temperature control. It turned out a bit rough and didn’t get much better with […]

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