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Old 11-03-2008, 12:49 AM   #1
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Default Boiling and Cooper's Kits

Hey all,

The Cooper's kits don't say anything about boiling for any length of time. It's pretty much a "dump the stuff in the water with the sugar and away you go" thing. Is there any value in boiling for a while? I have been boiling but perhaps it's been a waste of time...

WW

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Old 11-03-2008, 12:58 AM   #2
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Well, I've done a couple of those recently - and from what I understand (and from reading the Palmer book) you don't HAVE to boil the canned stuff at all. It's already pasteurized and cleaned up in the factory, and then sealed closed. In fact, I also read that by overcooking it (read as - boiling for an hour) it has an impact on the malt color, flavor, etc.

What I've been doing is getting my water going, adding the specialty grains and steeping, pulling the grains and then getting the water to boil. If you have a few cans add one then, and add all of the rest in the last 10-15 min just to blend and bring it to temp. Or just add it all at the end.

Others more experienced will def. have opinions and you should take theirs over mine - but i'm drinking a beer right now that I did like that and it tastes pretty swell.

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Old 11-03-2008, 01:50 AM   #3
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If you boil it you can add aroma and flavor hops.

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Old 11-05-2008, 02:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conroe View Post
If you boil it you can add aroma and flavor hops.
So otherwise, there's no point then? You just bring the water to a boil to mix in the sugar or DME or whatever, dump in the can and, unless you're adding spices or orange zest or whatnot, you're good to go?

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Old 11-05-2008, 06:16 PM   #5
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Here is my experience with Coopers. My first batch was Coopers European lager and after reading all the suggestions on the forum I decided to follow their instructions which are more geared toward standard non canned kits. I have made 2 other batches using those instructions but will not use them to do 1 remaining Coopers kit that I have. Mutilated1 had a good point when he mentioned that Coopers is an actual brewery thats been in business for a long time and have been providing home brewing kits for many years. Follow their instructions, they know what they are doing. Not to mention that their canned kits are NO BOIL kits and they are already prehopped.

I am waiting for snow before I attempt to do my Coopers American lager. My first batch came out a little messed up but thats due to me using HBT instructions over Coopers NO BOIL instructions and not being able to control the fermenting temperature in the beginning which produced fruity off flavors in some of the bottles.

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Old 11-05-2008, 07:30 PM   #6
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There's not much point other than to sanitize the water, which shouldn't be a big deal if it's fresh tap.

If you're not adding specialty grains or any additional malt/hops a boil isn't needed. Warming up the water helps mix the ingredients, but I wouldn't boil anything.

I've made two of those cans now and they turn out fine if you use the coopers brewsugar or the pack AHS sells (DME, dextrose and maltodextrine).

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Old 11-06-2008, 12:56 AM   #7
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OK sounds good. I think you do need to bring it to a boil -- the can says to do this -- but I guess that's about it. Good! Faster process means faster turnaround (read= I can drink more).

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Old 11-06-2008, 01:53 AM   #8
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If you boil the canned kit, it will get darker which might not be want you want if you're making a lighter colored beer. Other than that and wasting some fuel, I don't think there is any harm boiling it can do. Its just not necessary.

If you make a Cooper's kit, by all means follow the instructions. If you just have to do things your own way, you might try a different yeast, maybe try 2 cans at once and not add the extra kilo of fermentables.

Some people recommend adding 2#s of DME or LME instead of the sugar, I would recommend not doing that unless you are planning on adding some hops as well. It will work out ok for a darker kit, but if you try and make like the Canadian Ale, or maybe one of the Lagers - don't go nuts with the DME, if you want a maltier beer - use two cans and skip the kilo.

If you really want to make a good Cooper's beer from a no-boil kit, try the Lager, European Lager, and Heritage Lager and follow the instructions that come with the kit. For the regular Lager, it comes with an Ale yeast so if you can ferment in the 50s you might try an inexpensive Lager yeast like S-23.

Lately what I like to do is make a big All Grain beer, and then usually I can get another couple of gallons of wort from the grain after I'm done mashing. I use that leftover wort for the water on the canned kit, and skip adding the kilo.

You don't have to follow the instructions precisely, but I seriously believe that you are much better off when you do. The first few canned kits I made I followed the advice from online like on this site, and the results were so-so. Its not any wonder that the people who give you that advice about the canned kits look down on them and think they don't make good beer. But if you follow the instructions you'll make something really good.

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Old 11-06-2008, 06:12 AM   #9
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I followed their instructions as close as I could on my Virgin Brew and I am very pleased with the results. Although, I do have to admit...I boiled for 30 minutes.

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Old 11-06-2008, 10:52 AM   #10
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the instructions that came from my lhbs said to boil water for two minutes, remove from heat, and dump in my cans. i had a can of prehopped lme, and a can of unhopped lme (wheat beer kit), and thus far, everything looks to be going along swimmingly. maybe a tad darker than a wheat, but i'm alright with that.

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