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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Complete Beginners Question (Coopers IPA Kit)
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:31 PM   #1
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Default Complete Beginners Question (Coopers IPA Kit)

Hoping someone on this forum can help out a complete beginner with what is possibly a very stupid question. I went to a local homebrewing supply shop to pick up ingredients for my first attempt at a home brew, and am now more confused then ever. I have a decent understanding of the process...but this kit has left me with some questions.

The kit (Coopers IPA) came with 3.3 pounds of liquid extract, and a packet of yeast (that looks to be expired), and some instructions that might as well have been written in Spanish (no cooking times, sugar is recommended?). This leads me to a few questions:

1. Shouldn't there be more? I assumed the beer would need hops, or some other kind of fermentables, not just some syrup out of a can.

2. The man at the store said that I needed two "kit cans" to make a 5 gallon batch, even though the kit says one can will make the batch. Who is right?

3. How long do I cook the wort for?

At this point, I'm a little weary of the whole thing. I'm a pretty prolific chef, and pouring extract from a can to get to beer seems a little like an easy way out. Any advice on this would be much appreciated.

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Old 05-23-2011, 05:44 PM   #2
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1) Depending the kits, some have everything included in the can (pre-hopped extract); Coopers is usually one of these kits. If they only gave you the can and yeast then that is probably all you need. I would recommend buying new yeast though; an extra $2 for nottingham yeast is worth it in my opinion.
2) Depends which one you are making but most of the time the instructions will tell you how much each can will make. For instance, how many total gallons or liters do the instructions tell you to add to the fermentor? If it is this kit, it should make 5 gallons/23 liters: http://www.coopers.com.au/the-brewer...d-strength/ipa
3) You probably don't need to boil the wort at all; but if you want to be safe and sterilize everything I would boil for at least 10 to 15 minutes.

Which exact kit did you buy? The Coopers website lists one or two. And yes, one-can kits is a really easy way to go, but it is great to do the easy ones first so you get an idea of how fermentation works and then try the harder stuff as you progress.

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Old 05-23-2011, 05:45 PM   #3
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There usually are not any more fermentables as everything is in the syrup which is a dehydrated mash. There are partial mash recipes where you use syrup and some grain however this is not what an extract kit is. Whenever I have done extracts you bring it up to a boil for 60min and add your hops when the boil starts (which yes there should be some), other flavorings if any, and clarifing agents if you wish. Then you cool and put into a carboy. Also If you have dried yeast you should be okay as long as you are not way past the date.

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Old 05-23-2011, 06:03 PM   #4
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I've done cooper's kits.

1. all the cooper kits I've seen were pre-hopped malt extract. With these you only boil about 15 minutes to make a sanitary wort.
2. one 3.3lb can is not enough for 5 gallons...hence why they wnat you to add sugar (or a second can which IS the smarter course of action) sugar will add alcohol, but thins out the body because it ferments 100% unlike the malt syrup.

Nothing wrong with a coopers kit but it is a lot like making soup from a condensed can...yah you can add to it, but the base is still out of a factory and not your hard work. But it is a starting place and it IS beer. Its good for understanding how fermentation works, and how to keep things sanitary. plus its cheap in terms of equipment (an all grain setup, even pieced together, still tends to run hundreds of dollars between cooler mash tuns, big boil pots, turkey fryers, and wort chillers.

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Old 05-23-2011, 06:07 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone for the quick response. Fensterbos, the kit I am using is this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Coopers-Brewer.../dp/B000KWTEVO

On the Coopers website (which you linked), it says that I need 500g of Light Dry Malt and 300g Dextrose. I do have some corn sugar (which I'm guessing is the dextrose), so should I just assume that the light dry malt is in the can with the liquid malt extract, or was that something that may have been missing from the kit? Do I need to add the extra sugar?

I know these questions sound REALLY basic, but I appreciate anyone helping me through this first brew.

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Old 05-23-2011, 06:19 PM   #6
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It is better that you are asking these questions now instead of just winging it.

I haven't used a Cooper's kit in a while, but I think I know what is going on. The instructions mention the 1.7 kg can and the 500g of light malt extract; the 500g of light malt extract is probably something extra that you needed to purchase, which would increase the total ABV of the beer. The 300g of dextrose would be used to prime the beer for carbonation when bottling. The corn sugar you have would take place of the dextrose; this is something that is not added until after your primary fermentation (see: bottling).

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Old 05-23-2011, 06:24 PM   #7
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Even with the 1.7kg/3.75 pounds of liquid extract and 2 pounds of light malt extract you are looking at making a 4.32% abv IPA, which is really light for the style. The reason why that guy at the home brew store recommended you get two cans is because the IPA would be really light for a five gallon batch. I used the following calculator to get those numbers: http://www.brewersfriend.com/extract-ogfg/
I would recommend only make a 2.5 gallon batch with the one can you have.

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Fermenting:
15 Gallons of New England Hard Cider - Four yeasts: Ale yeast, two cider yeasts, and a champagne yeast.

Kegged:
Helliday Ale and Chocolate Nitro Stout


Reason: New numbers; ABV% still low.
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Old 05-23-2011, 06:24 PM   #8
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Okay, so it sounds like I may have to go back and talk to the guy at the store and see what I if I forgot to grab light malt extract. Hopefully this will be the last thing I need to grab before I can take a stab at this. Thanks everyone for all the help! I really appreciate it.

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Old 05-23-2011, 06:41 PM   #9
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No problem; that is why we are here.

As boring as the Cooper kit sounds, I definitely think it is the way to go for the very first batch of brew. While you have this kit going pick up The Joy of Home Brewing or How To Brew and read up on the beginner practices; that way when this batch of beer is ready you can drink it while you make another batch.

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Old 05-23-2011, 08:02 PM   #10
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Ok,1st of all,this is not a 5G kit. It is 23L,or 6.072 gallons. 5 gallons is 19L. Look at the date on the can,that'll tell you how long the can is good till. The date on the yeast sachet (an ale yeast if it's the gold one) is a Julian date. Basically the # of the day of the year & the year,example the 328th day of 10 (2010). That's when the yeast was packaged.
As I said,all cooper's cans are designed to be brewed as 23L (6.072) gallons. And the Extra fermentables are sold separately. They sell:brewing sugar (80% dextrose (corn sugar) & 20% maltodextrin),BE1 60% dex & 40% maltodextrin,BE2 500g dextrose,250g maltodextrin,& 250g light dry malt.
Choose one of these to add to the can for more ABV,mouthfeel,head retention,etc. The cooper's IPA can already has 2 different hops in it for bittering & flavor/aroma. So try that first. I've read on various forums that many think it's pretty good. Def not a 5G kit.
Now,you don't boil cooper's pre-hopped cans. That drives off hop profile! Boil the water,take off the heat,mix thoroughly,cover & steep for 15 mins or so. That'll be more than enough to sterilize it. I've used cooper's cans in all my brews. I've just gotten to the point where I'm adding other things to change them.
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