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Old 10-17-2008, 04:41 PM   #1
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Default Noobie needs info on equipment

i started making wine kits last year and now am very excited to get into making beer. I live in a small condo so to start out i am going to try a no boil kit, like Coopers Real ALE. My question is Do I need a Fermenting Bucket and A bottling bucket or can i just ferment in the bottling bucket and move beer to carboy for secondary fermention, and back to bottling bucket to bottle. I have a fermentation bucket i use for wine but have read that i should not use for both beer and wine because of the smell. I'm just looking to try and save some money on the equipment. Any info would be great.

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Old 10-17-2008, 04:57 PM   #2
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i started making wine kits last year and now am very excited to get into making beer. I live in a small condo so to start out i am going to try a no boil kit, like Coopers Real ALE. My question is Do I need a Fermenting Bucket and A bottling bucket or can i just ferment in the bottling bucket and move beer to carboy for secondary fermention, and back to bottling bucket to bottle. I have a fermentation bucket i use for wine but have read that i should not use for both beer and wine because of the smell. I'm just looking to try and save some money on the equipment. Any info would be great.
The Coopers kits make a decent beer if you:

1) Throw away the instructions;
2) Use 2# of x-light LME or 1.5# of x-light DME instead of the sugar they call for;
3) Discard the yeast in the kit and use a good dry yeast like US-05;
4) Primary for 10-14 days.

I presume you already have a good sanitizer to use since you have been doing wine. The &@#% kits say to use bleach. That is asking for nasty nasty beer since it is very hard to rinse all of the chlorine out. You do not want any residual chlorine or it will make for bad beer. I use Starsan.

You are correct you don't want to use the same bucket for wine and beer, or your beer will taste like wine and your wine will taste like hops.

I do not have a bottling bucket. I don't have anything with a spigot, because they are hard to sanitize and are a common source of infections. When I am ready to bottle I rack into one of my primary buckets and syphon from there into bottles with a bottle filler.

A tip for starting the syphon: fill your racking cane and tube with sanitizer by submerging them. Dip the bottle filler in the sanitizer so it is filled and attach to the racking tube. Press the bottle filler down into a large drinking glass and let the flow run until all of the sanitizer comes out and you start getting beer. Then start filling your bottles.
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Old 10-17-2008, 05:00 PM   #3
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First, I would boil your kit regardless of whether it is a no boil or not. That is if it is possible for you to do in your condo. I have a small apartment and manage to do boils on the stove. Other than that, I would use whatever you plan on putting the beer in for secondary as opposed to fermenting in your bottling bucket. Just leave it in the same container for two to three weeks and then rack to your bottling bucket, bottle...

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Old 10-17-2008, 05:00 PM   #4
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You are correct you don't want to use the same bucket for wine and beer, or your beer will taste like wine and your wine will taste like hops.
I use the same buckets, without issue. I do keep them super clean, and use oxyclean to remove any stains or smells.

I make more beer than wine, now, but it used to be the other way around. My equipment is interchangeable as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 10-19-2008, 09:22 PM   #5
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Do follow the manufacturer's instructions. Coopers is an actual brewery and they have been making beer since 1862. Do NOT boil the kit. It is pre-boiled and pre-hopped. If you boil it, all the hop bittering character will be removed and your beer will be darker than it is designed to be. Use the Coopers dry yeast. It is an excellent yeast. You can substitute another fermentable for the brewing sugar that is called for, but I would recommend using at least 300 grams dextrose. I get calls all the time from people who boil the kits and then claim all of the Coopers kits taste the same. It's because the consumers are not following the instructions. People who give advice to discard the instructions have never followed the instructions because other people told them not to. Then the say all the beer kits have a malt extract tang. Maybe this is because they boiled the snot out of it and aren't making the beer that the brewery designed. Coopers has strict quality control standards and brews their own home brews and taste tests their beers side by side with the actual beers they sell worldwide.

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