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Old 03-04-2008, 03:01 AM   #1
brewNdrink
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Default New here. Hello! Coopers kits...

My first post. Hello!

I've brewed about 12 batches over a few years. Because of where I live, time constraints, and lack of room, I've been using mainly Coopers beer kits (I know, I know... ).

My area has very little for the home brewer. I'm lucky if I can find a pack of Nottingham yeast, some dry malt, maltodextrin and saaz hops. Basically that's what I have to work with.

I mainly try to go for something refreshing and easy to drink for the summer, like the Coopers Mexican Carveza:
http://coopers.com.au/homebrew/hbrew.php?pid=1&id=1254

I also get the Canadian Blonde:
http://coopers.com.au/homebrew/hbrew.php?pid=1&id=116

And for the winter it's strictly stout:
http://coopers.com.au/homebrew/hbrew.php?pid=1&id=113

Basically I'm wondering if others have had any experience with these modest kits, how to spice them up, and any other tips to get the very most out of these "ok" kits.

I use secondaries, glass 500ml bottles and just got a tap-a-draft mini-keg system (should be arriving soon). Can wait to try some stout with the nitro in that this next winter.

Thanks for any advice. :-)

Tony.

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Old 03-04-2008, 03:30 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums!

I say, if you can make a Coopers kit, you can make an extract+steeping grains kit. And it sounds like you're okay ordering in - might I suggest you check out some of the excellent kits you can order from AHS?

If you're looking at spicing up these kits as you already have them, I'd suggest playing with flavour/aroma hop additions, or messing about with liquid yeast strains. They can both add a host of awesome new flavours that you don't get with hopped malt extract.

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Old 03-04-2008, 04:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai
Welcome to the forums!

I say, if you can make a Coopers kit, you can make an extract+steeping grains kit. And it sounds like you're okay ordering in - might I suggest you check out some of the excellent kits you can order from AHS?

If you're looking at spicing up these kits as you already have them, I'd suggest playing with flavour/aroma hop additions, or messing about with liquid yeast strains. They can both add a host of awesome new flavours that you don't get with hopped malt extract.
Thanks for the reply!

I was going to ask you if they shipped to Canada, but then saw you're from Halifax. I will get the nerve to try this when my little place isn't so busy with kids. :-)

Would liquid yeast strains make a big difference with these Coopers kits?

I'll have to experiment with different hops and different yeast strains and see what I can come up with in my next batches for the summer.

Do alot of you use maltodextrin? Does it really help with holding the head ? And how much do you use per 5 gallon batch? It would be nice to have a real thick creamy stout this next winter (with the nitro!)

So my next batch will be using the Coopers Canadian Blonde. I'll be using about 500g of pale malt with about 1 cup of dextrose (nice lite beer). And Nottingham instead of that fruity Coopers yeast. Dry hopping in the secondary with a bit of saaz. And finally in the tap-a-draft for priming.

Sorry for asking the simple questions, but where I am there isn't alot of experienced home brewers around. Mostly wine country.

Cheers.
Tony.
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:16 PM   #4
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Tony,

Regarding Coopers kits, don't be embarressed - you can make some great beers with them. I've been brewing almost 10 years, in all forms, and due to time constraints [not enough time to brew all-grain, or even extract/with grains!] right now I've become a real fan of Cooper's.

Generally I try to stick with DME or syrup to fill out the kits, along with about 8oz of maltodextrine and some hops. I usually boil 1 1/2 to 2 gallons of water, add some flavor hops and the maltodextrine, then add my finishing or aroma hops anywhere from 5 minutes to zero at the end of the boil. I remove the pot from the heat, stir in the kit and the extracts, and cool.

I have used both the kit yeasts as well as liquid strains, depending on the brew.

As for the kit yeasts, I went on an Aussie homebrew forum and found this:

COOPERS KIT YEASTS


The International Series Australian Pale Ale and the Premium Selection Sparkling Ale, Australian Bitter, Traditional Draught and Heritage Lager come with a blend of lager and ale yeasts.

The Original Series (Lager, Real Ale, Draught, Bitter, Stout and Dark Ale) are all ale yeasts.

International Series Canadian Blonde is ale.

• International Series Bavarian Lager and Brewmaster Selection Pilsener are Saflager (P is stamped next to use by date).

• Brewmaster Selection Wheat Beer is a wheat beer yeast (W next to use by date).

• Brewmaster Selection India Pale Ale is an ale yeast, but I'm not sure what type.

• The Irish Stout comes with an ale yeast.

• The International Series Mexican Cerveza is an ale/lager blend


I hope all of this helps!

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Old 03-04-2008, 06:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketcrab
Tony,

Regarding Coopers kits, don't be embarressed - you can make some great beers with them. I've been brewing almost 10 years, in all forms, and due to time constraints [not enough time to brew all-grain, or even extract/with grains!] right now I've become a real fan of Cooper's.

Generally I try to stick with DME or syrup to fill out the kits, along with about 8oz of maltodextrine and some hops. I usually boil 1 1/2 to 2 gallons of water, add some flavor hops and the maltodextrine, then add my finishing or aroma hops anywhere from 5 minutes to zero at the end of the boil. I remove the pot from the heat, stir in the kit and the extracts, and cool.

I have used both the kit yeasts as well as liquid strains, depending on the brew.

As for the kit yeasts, I went on an Aussie homebrew forum and found this:

COOPERS KIT YEASTS


The International Series Australian Pale Ale and the Premium Selection Sparkling Ale, Australian Bitter, Traditional Draught and Heritage Lager come with a blend of lager and ale yeasts.

The Original Series (Lager, Real Ale, Draught, Bitter, Stout and Dark Ale) are all ale yeasts.

International Series Canadian Blonde is ale.

• International Series Bavarian Lager and Brewmaster Selection Pilsener are Saflager (P is stamped next to use by date).

• Brewmaster Selection Wheat Beer is a wheat beer yeast (W next to use by date).

• Brewmaster Selection India Pale Ale is an ale yeast, but I'm not sure what type.

• The Irish Stout comes with an ale yeast.

• The International Series Mexican Cerveza is an ale/lager blend


I hope all of this helps!
Thanks for the info! Well I don't feel so bad now :-)

The Coopers kits don't seem bad, but they do need some work to make them better, and that's the info I'm basically looking for.

And I thought all those Coopers yeast packs were the same basic ale yeast...

Thanks for the tips and info.

Cheers.
Tony.
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Old 03-04-2008, 06:57 PM   #6
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+1 on using DME instead of sugar to round up the Cooper's kit, or any of the LME kits.

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Old 03-04-2008, 07:23 PM   #7
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Hi drink an brew - I also brew mostly Cooper Kits. Right now I have some Canadian Blonde in the fridge made a nice beer. I made that with The kit and some LME. It had a little hoppie taste then I anticipated but I like it alot

I have alos made coopers Draft, Real Ale, IPA, Bitter and Wheat Beer. So far I think my fave may be Wheat beer - but the IPa is geat too - also the draft is tasty - the bitter has a nice bite hhehehe - heck I like them all. Basically there is some good advice here try adding some hops and maybe specialty grains. Next one I try I think will be the dark ale or stout - I havent tried either yet so it may be a nice experiment to see how it turns out.

Cheers

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Old 03-04-2008, 11:13 PM   #8
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This is another Cooper's-based beer that I made last October:

Cooper's Cream Stout

1 can Cooper's Irish Stout
1LB Dark DME
1LB Lactose
4oz 40L Crystal malt steeped
4oz corn sugar [dextrose]
4oz Maltodextrine powder
kit yeast


Steeped grains in 1/2 gallon of water. Brought just to boil over 30 minutes, removed grain. Added water to 2 US gallon level and brought to a boil; removed from heat, stirred in Stout, DME, dextrose, malto-dextrine powder and lactose. Poured into 6.5gallon glass carboy with cold water to make up 6 gallons, pitched yeast when cool.

It turned out very nice and is on tap in my beer refrig now. If I make it again, I'd double the amount of DME and Maltodextrine.

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Old 03-05-2008, 03:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketcrab
This is another Cooper's-based beer that I made last October:

Cooper's Cream Stout

1 can Cooper's Irish Stout
1LB Dark DME
1LB Lactose
4oz 40L Crystal malt steeped
4oz corn sugar [dextrose]
4oz Maltodextrine powder
kit yeast


Steeped grains in 1/2 gallon of water. Brought just to boil over 30 minutes, removed grain. Added water to 2 US gallon level and brought to a boil; removed from heat, stirred in Stout, DME, dextrose, malto-dextrine powder and lactose. Poured into 6.5gallon glass carboy with cold water to make up 6 gallons, pitched yeast when cool.

It turned out very nice and is on tap in my beer refrig now. If I make it again, I'd double the amount of DME and Maltodextrine.
Sounds excellent!

Since you're familiar with the Coopers Stout kit, how can I get this kit to kick it close to a Guinness type of stout? Just following the basic directions obviously doesn't cut it :-) It's very thin and bitter. What do you recommend? I know very little about stouts except how to drink them.

My dream is to brew a Guinness type batch this fall, bottle it with my tap-a-draft, and then add the nitro cartidges to get that beautiful creamy head (maybe with a little mod restriction on the tap).
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Old 03-05-2008, 03:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grasshopper1917
Hi drink an brew - I also brew mostly Cooper Kits. Right now I have some Canadian Blonde in the fridge made a nice beer. I made that with The kit and some LME. It had a little hoppie taste then I anticipated but I like it alot

I have alos made coopers Draft, Real Ale, IPA, Bitter and Wheat Beer. So far I think my fave may be Wheat beer - but the IPa is geat too - also the draft is tasty - the bitter has a nice bite hhehehe - heck I like them all. Basically there is some good advice here try adding some hops and maybe specialty grains. Next one I try I think will be the dark ale or stout - I havent tried either yet so it may be a nice experiment to see how it turns out.

Cheers
Thanks for the reply.

After I brew my Blonde and Mexican I'd like to try the Wheat beer for the middle of summer.

PS Love your website :-)

Cheers.
Tony
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