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This is not exactly a home brew question but this site seems to be the best fit in the stack exchange network for it. You can home brew the beer in question with a kit produced by the brewery though it obviously isn't exactly the same. If there's an answer to be had I am sure someone here has it.

Cooper's Sparkling Ale is the beer I buy most often. While I like Grolsch swingtops better (and my Dad loves that he can use the bottles for his brew) it's much more expensive and harder to find. Coopers is a family-owned brewery in South Australia, it's one of the few independent breweries left whose products can be found nationally.

Two questions about this bottle-conditioned ale:

I prefer the 750ml size to the 375ml size. I always feel the beer from the large bottle has a much fuller taste and more intense bitterness to it. I've tried chilling both equally and pouring into the same sized glass. There could be variation due to batch but then some of the time I would expect to prefer the small bottle. Can this be explained by the larger volume of the bottle particularly as this is bottle-conditioned ale?

As much as I like this stuff it can sometimes give me the shade of a hangover from just one bottle. It's a heavy-ish beer at 5.8% ABV but an equivalent alcohol volume consumed as some other drink doesn't do it. I'm not talking about the home brew version here so it isn't my fault. Can I attribute this to the yeast in the bottle or to something else?

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Its more likely that the bottle formats are just handled differently in the store you are getting them from. If one stays in the lighted cooler vs in cases or whatever that will effect flavor. If I remember right, or at least all the coopers I have seen, come in green bottles. very susceptible to light issues. Certainly effecting bitterness and therefore maltiness or body. –  brewchez Apr 7 '12 at 0:24
    
You may have a different Coopers brand locally, ours are all brown glass. –  Adam Eberbach Apr 7 '12 at 8:12

2 Answers 2

It sounds like it is more likely a variation of batch to batch (either @ Coopers' brewhouse or in your brewhouse). The wording of your question(s) is/are a little confusing, but are you speaking purely to your homebrewed clones of Coopers? I have never had noticeable taste variation from large vs. small bottles. Many of my brews I will use a mix of 12-oz bottles, 22-oz bottles, and others that I have collected. Could it be that you are getting some yeast into your pour?

Brewers yeast is chock full of B Vitamins, which is one of the things alcohol depletes your body of, so it is unlikely that consumption of the yeast is causing your H-O's. So the commercial version gives you a hangover, but the homebrewed version doesn't? If there is a high-ish sugar content, that could do it (but unlikely as I recall coopers as being a very dry beer). Acetaldehyde (green apple-ish taste), which makes some people's faces red when they drink can also cause H-O's IIRC.

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to clarify, the question says that it's just about a comparison in the two sizes of the bought Coopers beer, not the homebrew. –  mdma Apr 5 '12 at 14:39

I don't believe bottle size affects flavor and I've never had it happen to me. To test the theory, take 2 bottles from the same batch, one large and one small. Have someone else pour 2 samples of one of them and one of the other. Try to pick out the one that's different. This is called a blind triangle test and is a very good way to test a flavor theory. If you can consistently pick out the different one, there is a difference.

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to add some kind of statistical validity, I would repeat this with several pairs of bottles, and randomize the pairings. Randomizing which bottles the samples come from will then mean that you reduce the chances of making a choice based on recognising previous samples. –  mdma Apr 5 '12 at 20:04
    
Well, can't say I mind performing some further tests. For science! –  Adam Eberbach Apr 7 '12 at 8:13

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