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Old 11-15-2008, 08:34 PM   #1
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Default Help me understand

At the not-so-local (100+ miles) homebrew store where I got my kit and the ingredients for my first two batches, they sold me a can of Cooper's Stout and recommended that I add 2 lbs of "briess dried malt extract" when I boil the liquid hopped malt extract from the kit.

Do I add the dried malt extract INSTEAD of the 1 kg of sugar that the kit instructions recommend, or IN ADDITION TO 1 kg of sugar? Why are they recommending this dried malt extract? How will it make my beer better than the standard kit beer?

Also, the yeast that comes in the kit is "Cooper's brewing yeast - 7g." Several threads here seem to recommend using different (or more) yeast than the kit calls for. What should I do?

Thanks

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Old 11-15-2008, 08:40 PM   #2
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Use the malt INSTEAD of the sugar. Sugar will cause a cidery taste but the malt will make it taste like beer. The instructions in canned kit are notoriously bad.

Brewers tend to be a bit picky about yeast (rightly so) but it is beer yeast. Use it if it is all you have. It will work, it just not the best.

The other thing I'll add is don't pay attention to the time line they might give you in the instructions if it says to bottle your beer after only a week. That is just a terrible idea! Let it sit in the primary at least a couple weeks.

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Old 11-15-2008, 08:41 PM   #3
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Go with the malt instead of the sugar. Sugar, depending on who you ask, can give off some terrible off flavors.

Yeast, if it's the only thing you have then go for it. Otherwise go to the LHBS and pick up a better yeast. If you do end up using the kit yeast you may on to make a starter first.

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Old 11-15-2008, 10:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheep_Dog View Post
Go with the malt instead of the sugar. Sugar, depending on who you ask, can give off some terrible off flavors.

Yeast, if it's the only thing you have then go for it. Otherwise go to the LHBS and pick up a better yeast. If you do end up using the kit yeast you may on to make a starter first.
How do I choose a better yeast?
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Old 11-16-2008, 12:27 AM   #5
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Use the kit yeast and dried malt extract (DME) this time.
No sugar.
When you go the LHBS for the next batch, get a package of dried yeast.
Danstar's Nottingham and Safale SA-05 are good, reliable yeasts.

There is no "best" yeast.
There are hundreds of established strains, with different flavors and properties.
Don't worry about it until you're comfortable with the rest of the process.

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Old 11-16-2008, 02:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jldc View Post
At the not-so-local (100+ miles) homebrew store where I got my kit and the ingredients for my first two batches, they sold me a can of Cooper's Stout and recommended that I add 2 lbs of "briess dried malt extract" when I boil the liquid hopped malt extract from the kit.

Do I add the dried malt extract INSTEAD of the 1 kg of sugar that the kit instructions recommend, or IN ADDITION TO 1 kg of sugar? Why are they recommending this dried malt extract? How will it make my beer better than the standard kit beer?

Also, the yeast that comes in the kit is "Cooper's brewing yeast - 7g." Several threads here seem to recommend using different (or more) yeast than the kit calls for. What should I do?

Thanks

The Coopers Stout beer kit with 1 kg of dextrose is very good. Use the Coopers yeast. It is a very good and reliable yeast. The yeast in the Coopers Stout beer kit is the same strain that Coopers uses in the brewery for the Coopers Stout. Do not boil the kit. Follow the manufacturer's instructions. Most of the people that say otherwise have never followed the instructions on the kit. At least use 300 grams of dextrose if you are going to use DME.
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Old 11-16-2008, 03:22 AM   #7
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Follow the directions on the can. Don't boil the extract in the can.

Use the DME or the sugar, or possibly both. Whichever you choose, if you use the Cooper's yeast that comes with the can at least use some of the sugar or dextrose.

No need to go shopping for extra yeast, the Cooper's yeast will do just fine.

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Old 11-16-2008, 02:34 PM   #8
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A Cooper's kit is designed to produce a specific style. The yeast is selected to ferment that style well. The sugar recommended is dextrose (brewer's sugar) not table sugar, so the "cidery" comments are out of place.

Replacing the dextrose with DME will increase the body, maltiness, and LOWER the final ABV. Most homebrewers would say the first two are pluses and the last is a bad thing. But, it will not be the beer as designed by Cooper's.

Personally, I believe in brewing kits by the design the first time. Cooper's kits and instructions are fine for what they are intended to be. If you do the kit straight the first time, and make ONE change the second (be it yeast or DME); then you will be a step on the road of learning what a change in a recipe does to the final product.

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Old 11-16-2008, 02:38 PM   #9
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Why should I not boil the liquid extract?

If I go with all or mostly DME, do I boil it (how long) and then add the Cooper's Stout liq extract right at the end of the boil?

Am I correct in assuming that then different options (All DME, All dextrose, mixture) will produce drinkable beers that are just somewhat different from each other?

L

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Old 11-16-2008, 02:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
Personally, I believe in brewing kits by the design the first time. Cooper's kits and instructions are fine for what they are intended to be. If you do the kit straight the first time, and make ONE change the second (be it yeast or DME); then you will be a step on the road of learning what a change in a recipe does to the final product.
That makes sense to me.

L
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