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-   -   Cooper kit questions (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/cooper-kit-questions-218299/)

mgull 01-16-2011 05:43 PM

Cooper kit questions
first of all, hello my name is matt. i got on board with the cooper beer kit. so far i have followed the kit directions(got kit before finding this site). its been in the fermenter for 6 days at 21C and shows signs of fermentation. i got out my hydrometer today(a tool i have still not quite figured out)and it gave me a reading of about 30. my questions are, did i mess up by not boiling the wort? i added the extract to boiling water instead of boiling it for the 60 minutes I have read about.
also, i have had to move my fermenter a couple of times(very limited space in my apt)when i pick it up somtimes the fermenter sucks water back from airlock, is this a concern? thanks for any help for this newb. FYI i did read about the fermentation needing more than the directions call for. is there anything else that is a concern for this first batch? hopefully i can get all my research done during this first batch so the second will be better.

Conan4480 01-16-2011 06:09 PM

The Coopers can kits, I assume is what you are talking about, are no boil kits. I dont think you hurt it by boiling though. Did you take a hydrometer reading before you pitched the yeast, if so what was your starting gravity? as far as the water in the airlock goes, was it tap water or did it have sanitizer in it?

The fermentation could take longer than a week to complete. Keep an eye on the airlock when it is not bubbling any more take a hydrometer reading every day. When the gravity is the same for three days it is ready for bottling.

superjunior 01-16-2011 06:21 PM

Welcome to HBT! you didn't mess up by not boiling, the coopers can kits are pre-hopped and don't require a full boil. try not to move it around so much and make sure the water in the airlock is sanitized. even after your hydrometer reading is the same 3 days in a row, let it sit for another week to let the yeast clean up after themselves.

Rev2010 01-16-2011 07:24 PM

I'm a noob with the Cooper's kit as well so maybe I can help.

1. You don't need to boil the Cooper's cans. They are no boil extracts that are pre-hopped. You did right by just adding boiling water.

2. The water will always suck in when lifting it. So, you should keep the airlock out until you move it to where it's going to stay during fermenting. You should not keep moving it around. If for any reason you must move it during primary stage you should first remove the airlock!

3. When you take hydrometer readings from the spigot *always* remove the airlock because as soon as you open the tap the water will again suck in. 6-7 day old stale water isn't good, but will most certainly not damage your beer as the amount is so small. It happened to me and nothing seems odd with the beer. But better be safe so take it out before opening the tap!

4. When fermenting is done with the Cooper's Lager it will be in the green region of the hydrometer between 1008-1010. You should be ok to bottle, but I highly *highly* suggest leaving it in the fermenter a full two weeks rather than the 6-7 days they say in the instructions. I followed their instructions for educational purposes - to see how too young beer tastes and know when it's too early, and it sucks lol. So wait it out. And when you bottle make sure to wait at least two weeks before opening one! Unless of course you want them same learning experience I wanted, then try it all young to see what it's like for unmatured beer ;-) Don't expect it to be good though!

5. Use cheapo vodka instead of tap water just in case.


medic76 01-16-2011 09:20 PM

Welcome to the forum, I am in day # 7 of my ferment. and I did couple of the same things minus the boiling, like mover it around and stuff. Your brew will be fine. and I also have the same kit and getting ready to do the Irish stout next.

ckpoem 01-17-2011 12:17 AM

I did the same kit with the Australian pale ale (I beleive) and fermented 10 days - bottle conditioned for two weeks now. I have a problem with carbonation I think cause my location was too cold to bottle condition and carbonate. I moved the bottles to the top of the fridge and it seemed to work. So I put in the fridge and the next day it was not carbonated. I think it takes 3 weeks to carbonate fully according to some other posts.

Additionally, I have brewed the irish stout and it will have been 2 weeks this Thursday. I will bottle condition and carb with the drops and won't even think about opening one now for 3 weeks!

Best of luck all newbie brewers like me!

mgull 01-17-2011 03:33 PM

hey guys, thanks for the replies. unfortunately no, i did not take og. rev2010, are you saying its better to use vodka than water for the airlock? i just used boiled tap water. i would like to not have to move my fermenter, but finding an area that i don't need for 2 weeks or more in my apt is impossible. btw, do i need to sanitize the spigot before bottling. i figure that it has to be getting dirty from checking gravity. thanks for the help.

Rev2010 01-17-2011 03:41 PM

Vodka is better because of it's high alcohol percentage - bacteria won't grow in it as it does in water. Even though you used boiled water, when you let the water sit for days it does get staled because of bacteria. Again, a little bit of this water in your fermenter is most likely not going to do anything bad, like infect your beer, but it can. So why take the chance? Vodka will evaporate over time so you should also check it every few days and replace what's evaporated. But this way if you move the primary and the fluid sucks back in it will just be a little bit of vodka with no germs in it.

As for the spigot, no you don't need to sanitize it. After you've bottled all your beer then clean everything well - make sure not to use anything abrasive that might scratch the plastic! I use a soft white sponge. First I soak in Oxyclean for a few hours, then go over the insides and pieces with the soft sponge and give everything a really good warm-hot water rinse. After that you only need to sanitize on brewing day.


mgull 01-17-2011 07:41 PM

i'll switch to vodka, thanks for the help.

SunyJim 01-17-2011 11:06 PM

Coopers Microbrewery Kit
I for one LOVE the fermenter, it's really well designed and 8 gallon for the 6 gallon batches makes it way less likely to overflow, or foam out the airlock.
The beer from Coopers has been great too.

I bought a three piece airlock to use rather than the bubble design airlock, way less likely to suck in liquid if you lift or move the fermenter. The beer gets better as you use the brew enhancer,Light Dry Malt, and Light malt liquid by the way, but my first batch that came with the fermenter with sugar and a can turned out just fine.

The best coopers batch I've had so far was the Thomas Coopers IPA, 750 LDM, 300 Dex and 2oz (57grams) Cascade hop pellets, dry hopped into the fermenter for 5 days, then gelatin to clear before bottling. WOW it was fantastic!
Constant temperature being the next HUGE thing after sanitation that effects the beer. And all the time while I enjoyed my Coopers beer I was buying and making equipment to expand, more bottles, a brewbelt, a yeast starter flask and stir plate, a giant pot for boiling specialty grains and maybe doing a 5Gallon HBIB, and reading internet forums and books on homebrewing.

I'm moving on up to extract now, not because I didn't like the beer, but because I want to try new styles; Irish red, Black IPA, Schwarzbier, Smoke Porter... you just can't do those with a prehopped extract in a can.

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