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Old 07-05-2010, 06:57 AM   #1
zyx345
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Jul 2010
Northern NJ
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First post on this forum. Thanks for having me!

I'm considering getting into home brewing as a general hobby. Persuing the extract route. Can anyone offer any opinions on this kit for a first time home brewer who has limited space in an apartment:

http://www.amazon.com/Coopers-Brewer.../dp/B0002F0O7W

My specific questions are:

-Is this kit a good long term value?

-Is the Carboy made of a sturdy material that I can reuse? Something about plastic being easily scratched concerns me about bacteria build up.....

-Is this a better kit for a first time home brewer than Brooklyn Brew Shop's 1 Gallon all grain home brew kit: http://brooklynbrewshop.com/store/1-gallon-beer-kits

This guy did a really good review of this kit:


 
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:55 AM   #2
Encinoman
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May 2010
Mililani, Hawaii
Posts: 49

In my opinion I like the Kits from http://www.midwestsupplies.com/homeb...ment-kits.html . It includes at least two buckets (6.5 Gallons) which is better because you don't wanna bottle straight from your fermenting bucket. The only thing it doesn't include when comparing the two is the ingredient kit and the bottles. SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) and myself are both bartenders so we easily can get bottles from work, so we clean and reuse them. Check it out and see what you think. It has been a great starter kit for me so far.
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Old 07-05-2010, 08:09 AM   #3
kwaidonjin
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Mar 2010
Monroe, mi.
Posts: 138

I started with the coopers kit, I still use it.You can bottle from the fermenter because it is above the trub and draws from above it. Craig from craig tube is awesome. The only problem with the coopers jug is that the screw on lid can be finicky. I waited till they had a coupon and got it for 81$ shipped back in January.Order from this site:
http://www.makebeer.net/category.asp?idCategory=1
Free shipping.

 
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:46 AM   #4
snowveil
 
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Feb 2010
Lebanon, PA
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I'll second the midwest supplies kits.

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/homeb...0vj5p9olemefeu

I haven't tasted any Coopers Kit beer, but there's an awful lot of sugar in it which doesn't sound like it'd be very good. The Coopers Kit is also a no-boil malt extract kit...meaning you don't have the variability of using different hops and schedules.

If you wanted to use the coopers kit as you upgrade, you really could use most of the equipment and just upgrade to a bigger pot and boil your ingredients and add hops like most extract recipes.

The Midwest kits are pretty cheap and all you'll need is an ingredient kit, some bottles (keep all pop-tops you drink, ask friends if they'll keep some for you), and a kettle capable of boiling ~3 gallons or so. There really isn't much more you need to make a large step up in the quality of your beer, and the price won't be much different if you go with midwest. They've also got a wide array of ingredient kits starting around ~$25. 60 bucks for the kit, 25 for an ingredient kit...then all you need are bottles and a brewpot. You might wind up spending just a hair more but IMO it'll be worth it in the long run.

 
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:12 PM   #5
Vic_Sinclair
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Nov 2008
SLC, Utah
Posts: 174
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I also started with this kit. The screw-on lid is its Achilles Heel. I never got it to properly seal. I would skip this kit and just buy one that includes a Better Bottle & bottling bucket or even two buckets.

 
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:33 PM   #6
tvtoms
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Jul 2010
usa
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I am new as well and just bottled my first brew from the Coopers kit. I found it very easy to use, I had no trouble whatsoever with it. The fermenter is made from thick plastic. Should last for many batches.

The hydrometer seems like a nice one with easy references marked. Such as typical beer and wine start and finish areas.

The plastic bottles were easy to use. I've only just bottled on July first, after 8 days in the fermenter.

CraigTubes videos are better than the included video in terms of step by step and extra info (such as testing your airlock for a good seal!), although the included is just fine (also available on youtube).

The ONLY "issue" I guess I had was that my airlock seemed to be a poor one. It had too much flash from the molding process. I trimmed it carefully from the shaft with the edge of a blade. If I hadnt, it may have scored the rubber grommet when I tried to push it in. I dont imagine it's a common issue, but something to consider.

Everything about it performed exactly as expected. When I cleaned it after first use, I even pulled out the o-ring from the fermenter lid to clean it because I'd seen people mention having trouble getting a seal, so I want to be proactive in caring for it. No troubles at all this time around for me.

For me, the extra 10 bucks was not an issue. I always use amazon super saver shipping because in my experience, it's still super fast. I ordered it on a friday and received it, and 2 extra coopers beer kits, on the following wednesday.

Again, I'm also brand new, so consider the source. But I havent had any issues with my first brew in it, and I plan to use the heck out of it.

 
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Old 07-05-2010, 06:05 PM   #7
kegtapper
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Dec 2009
Pahrump, Nevada
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I purchased this kit from Amazon and have no regrets. I used a couple of coopers ale kits. Two NB kits and soon will be brewing a AHB kit. I never had a problem.

 
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Old 07-05-2010, 06:43 PM   #8
zyx345
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Jul 2010
Northern NJ
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Thanks to all for all of the replies. Any additional are welcome as well!

 
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:30 PM   #9
superjunior
 
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Mar 2010
ohio
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I started with the coopers kit as well. craig on youtube is really informative and does a great job at covering this kit. it comes with a nice hydrometer and I've never had a problem with the fermenter. the australian lager kit it came with has got to be the worst beer I have ever tasted though. tastes like a very light nasty cider, even after 9 weeks. I save it for guests who like light beer and they seem to like it but I won't touch it. that was the first and last extract only kits I'll ever do, full boils from that day on.

 
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:39 PM   #10
Pivzavod
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Sep 2008
Brooklyn, NY
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I started with Coopers kit, purchased another Coopers fermentor from CL and love them! They are the best plastic fermentors out there. Better Bottle is nice but it will cost you $50 if you add racking addon and its much harder to clean. Coopers is easy to lift, easy to clean, comes with a spigot and is very sturdy plastic that can withstand boiling water (I reached out to Coopers about this).

I suggest you start with Coopers and you can use their fermentor for a few years (I'm going almost 2 years) without any problems if you are careful and dont scratch it. They will also give you PET bottles which you can safely use for a 5+ batches. Once you ready to upgrade you can always add a glass carboy or two to your equipment lineup.

I cant really speak too much about their kits tho. My first kit was their American Lager and as a newb I fermented it too high so it had some off flavors. I also made European Lager from them and did not do it at proper lager temps and had some buttery after taste.
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