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Old 05-18-2012, 09:16 PM   #1
daithi23
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Default Increasing alcohol in Coopers kit.

Hi, I've brewed (vinted, whatever) some wine recently and just started Hugh Fearnley Whittingstal's recipe for Ginger beer (although with a bit more sugar!). I want to try my hand at some beginners beer and I've heard Coopers kits are pretty good for the novice, just wondering what the best way to increase alcohol content without adversely affecting taste etc? I'm not mad about ales and lagers (I normally drink Beamish stout) but do enjoy a wheat beer or a Pilsner or cold Cerveza with a slice of lemon when the weather's sunny.
So, any suggestions on a decent Coopers kit and how to increase the alcohol levels?
Thanks!

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Old 05-19-2012, 01:52 AM   #2
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If you're brand new to recipe formulation I would recommend you get a kit that is designed for what you want, rather than trying to modify an existing kit. Plenty of dry Irish stout kits out there if you like Beamish. Stouts are ales by the way, as are most wheat beers. Pilsners and most Mexican beers are types of lagers.

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Old 05-19-2012, 06:37 PM   #3
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I think Cooper's makes a 'enhancer' or 'booster' that you can add to their kits to boost the fermentables.
FWIW, beer kits are designed to brew a specific style of beer, and adding sugars for the sole purpose of making it higher in ABV usually results in a less than desirable beverage. Good beer is all about balance, if you add one thing, you may need to add another to augment the first addition. When you add more malt, or simple sugars, you usually want to add a coinciding amount of hops to balance the beer.

Chickypad's right, find a kit that makes a beer that you enjoy and brew it as it comes. Blindly throwing fermentables into a beer to make it pack more of a buzz kinda defeats the purpose of drinking beer.

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can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
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it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
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Have you seen the price of ketchup lately? And I'm not talking Heinz.
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Old 05-19-2012, 09:32 PM   #4
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I agree with what's said above. I don't advise modifying kits if you don't have experience with recipe formulation. But for the sake of giving information when it's asked for, to increase the ABV while minimally changing the flavor you would add either white sugar (sucrose or dextrose), or more malt extract. Sugar would make a drier beer, malt extract would make a richer, maltier beer. I really wouldn't advise changing ABV by more than about 1%.

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Old 05-19-2012, 10:30 PM   #5
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Personally, after brewing one Coop's kit.. the supplied "lager" (ale).. it needs more than added alcohol.. needs more body too. That kit comes our VERY thin.. even with the enhancer Check out "unionrdr" I think that's his handle.. he has been through it and has some suggestions on his home here on HBT. Personally, I don'[t think the Coop's kits provide near enough fermentables.. I'd add another tin of unhopped extract.

That said, I have been doing Brewers Best kits lately.. The local Whole Foods Market has them at good prices. I did the IPA and the taste is great.. but undercarbed.. probably my fault. Today, I kegged their Falconers Flight.. Taste is great.. Love it. I want to do the Cream Ale once I finish bottling my N. European Brown and my Irish Oatmeal Stout.. neither of which are Brewers Best

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Old 05-19-2012, 10:36 PM   #6
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Just my 2 cents... If you want to make a stout, go to an online brew store like www.northernbrewer.com (there are several others that I cannot think of right now...) and select a recipe kit for a stout. It will have everything you need, relatively simple instructions, and high-quality ingredients. You are almost guaranteed good beer if you follow the instructions and practice good sanitation. It is a very good way to introduce yourself to this hobby.

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Old 05-20-2012, 03:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DrummerBoySeth View Post
Just my 2 cents... If you want to make a stout, go to an online brew store like www.northernbrewer.com (there are several others that I cannot think of right now...) and select a recipe kit for a stout. It will have everything you need, relatively simple instructions, and high-quality ingredients. You are almost guaranteed good beer if you follow the instructions and practice good sanitation. It is a very good way to introduce yourself to this hobby.
^That's a good plan if you're going for kits. NB and Midwest kits have never let me down, they're easy to brew and make good beer.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yeoitsmatt View Post
can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
Quote:
Originally Posted by yeoitsmatt View Post
it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bottlebomber View Post
Have you seen the price of ketchup lately? And I'm not talking Heinz.
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