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Old 11-11-2011, 07:36 PM   #1
Silarous
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Default Question about a Cooper's kit I purchased second hand.

I have been interested in brewing my own beer for awhile and found a nice deal on Craigslist to try it out. I purchased a complete Cooper's brewing kit for $40. The kit was never used and included everything. Anyways, I went ahead and prepared my first batch last night using the ingredients in the kit. I followed the instructions to the T, sanitized everything, water at the right temperature, etc. After I got everything finished, I noticed the ingredients had a expiration date of 1 year ago. Is this going to effect the outcome of the beer? My main concern is the yeast being to old and not doing its job. Anyone used dry yeast the was more then a year old? Thanks.

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Old 11-11-2011, 07:43 PM   #2
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Chances are you're going to make beer. I'm willing to bet that some of the yeast would survive that long, you may have a slow start though. The only fool priif way to tell if fermentation has begin us to take gravity readings. Do you know what your starting gravity was? I would take a gravity reading after 48 hours and see if there is any difference.

Good luck and happy brewing.

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Old 11-11-2011, 07:48 PM   #3
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Yeah, you'll most certainly still get beer. The only thing is that it might not taste as good as if it were fresh. Truthfully though, while the Cooper's kit are a good start (what I started with and am still using three of their fermenters) they are nowhere near being great beer especially if you follow their instructions (for example let it sit in the fermenter 3 weeks before bottling, not 7-10 days!) as well as use the sugar they tell you to.

Welcome to the world of brewing! I love their fermenters so much I bought three kits. I only did the first Cooper's lager kit, which isn't really a lager technically, and after that moved to extract brewing making my own recipes and a kit or two from NorthernBrewer.com. I just started All Grain brewing two weekends ago, doing my second batch tomorrow. You're certainly in for it... this craft can be extremely addicting! Best of luck.


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Old 11-11-2011, 07:58 PM   #4
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The ale in my avatar used a cooper's OS lager can about a year old,since the yeast comes under the false lid,it was too. I put it in a 1.5C starter with 1/4C plain DME added to it while boiling,then cooled & pitched the old yeast on it.
It took 3.5 hours to get to pitching time. Always take the hydrometer reading after you mix the wort & top off water very vigorously. Then lightly stir the starter & pitch it all in & seal. Mine came out the color you see in said avatar,& got the full three thumbs up from Gary Martin on Home Brewer TV,episode #38. The channel went belly up,since going to pay site. But some of the videos may still be on youtube.
So the color & flavor will be a bit darker. But if you brewed it/fermented it right,it'll still be darn good. Although I'd added 3lbs of Munton's plain light DME &a couple ounces of hops to that can in the BK with my own process for brewing with said cans.
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:59 PM   #5
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I'm no expert and I've only done a couple kits myself, but my local shop turned me onto liquid yeast for every brew. If you don't get bubbles from your bucket you can pitch in more yeast. Did you take an OG reading before pitching the yeast? That should get you in the ball park if it will work. If not you can just ride it out watch it ferment, take a sample now and then and see if its good. I taste mine a few times before bottle time. Good luck and keep going.

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Old 11-11-2011, 08:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kandofab View Post
If you don't get bubbles from your bucket you can pitch in more yeast.
Airlock activity is not a sign that fermentation is or isn't happening, hence why so many new brewers post here with no airlock activity. With my first Coopers kit I didn't see the airlock bubble once, not once! But it fermented all the way. Since then it now shows airlock activity all the time, for each and every batch. I think the reason is because the airlock and O-ring were dry when I used it the first time. Now everything comes out of my sanitizing bucket filled with star-san and goes right to use so everything is still wet. I think having the contact points (airlock and O-ring) wet help create a better, more airtight, seal that I didn't get the first time. Or maybe it just needed to be broken in.

So, if you don't see the airlock bubbling it doesn't mean you need to add more yeast necessarily. Simply take a flash light and look through the top of the lid, since the Cooper's lids are relatively transparent. If you see krausen (a thick foamy buildup) on the top of the beer it's going.


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Old 11-11-2011, 08:19 PM   #7
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My 1st brew went the same way,same kit,not one bubble. But we did use simple wetting solutions for various vacuum lines,hoses,etc at the plant where we assembled Ford & Jaguar engines. When they get to hot test,the engine heat dries the solution & creates a better seal. So I think you're right there.
I found,upon closer inspection,that my cooper's micro brew FV had some molding flash where the mold line ran through the middle of the lid sealing surface. Also in the area where said line went down through the flat area in the threads. An exacto knife,& a little patience,made all the difference. It seals way better now,airlock works if/when it should,& no sticky drips on the side of the fermenter.
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
I found,upon closer inspection,that my cooper's micro brew FV had some molding flash where the mold line ran through the middle of the lid sealing surface. Also in the area where said line went down through the flat area in the threads
Yeah, all mine have that flash too and I'd originally figured it was the reason. But, I never sanded or cut the flashing and all three of my fermenters show heavy airlock activity now, so who knows?


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Old 11-11-2011, 08:37 PM   #9
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Just keep an eye on the area where the lid screws on. That molding flash made it leak at those points with three little drips running down from that area. Not anymore since lightly trimming them.
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Just keep an eye on the area where the lid screws on. That molding flash made it leak at those points with three little drips running down from that area. Not anymore since lightly trimming them.
I'm an idiot, I totally thought you were talking about the flash on the airlocks themselves. But nah, it's all been great ever since the first batch so I've not needed to do anything.


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