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Old 01-30-2011, 11:55 PM   #1
edb23
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Jul 2010
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The brewing supply company coopers on makebeer.net advertises these hopped extract kits that don't require a boil or anything. I'm a college student and as my schedule gets crazier i have less time for brewing, and this looks like a pretty simple, easy and quick way to make some beer at home but it also seems to good to be true. has anyone tried these kits? what were the results?

 
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:22 AM   #2
NavySur4
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Oct 2010
Fairfax, Virginia
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My first kit was the Cooper's English Bitter. It was good, you just need to modify their directions. Leave it in primary for 4 weeks instead of the 7 days they suggest. After 4 weeks, bottle and condition for 4 weeks instead of the 10 days they suggest. It gets even better if you let them sit a little longer. I'm not sure about the other kits, I've heard mixed reviews - i.e. the Irish Stout is good but the cerveza and lager are not. I would make the English Bitter again.

 
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:29 AM   #3
edb23
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do you think it would benefit the beer much if i replaced the corn sugar and stuff the provide with some of their unhopped malt extract or just leave the kits as they are?

 
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:48 AM   #4
McGarnigle
 
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It's often recommended to use Dry Malt Extract instead of sugar, though that will cost you more. You could use Liquid Malt Extract (unhopped) just as well. Or you could use half and half of DME and sugar (You can buy DME by the pound, but not LME). The more extract you use instead of sugar, the stronger tasting and better bodied the beer.

 
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:37 PM   #5
rocketcrab
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Mar 2008
Lancaster Co., PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edb23 View Post
do you think it would benefit the beer much if i replaced the corn sugar and stuff the provide with some of their unhopped malt extract or just leave the kits as they are?
FWIW, I've played around with a lot of Coopers kits over the past two years, for much the same reason as you - lack of time to devote to a proper brew. That said, I've made some darn fine beers with them [and some less than stellar ones, too]. Funny thing is, the "brew Enhancers" that Coopers sell [a combination of DME, Dex, and Maltodex] most times make a better beer than just substituting all malt. either dry or liquid. I've pretty much settled on just steeping some cyrstal and adding some extra flavor and aroma hops.
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:44 PM   #6
NavySur4
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When I brewed the English Bitter I used DME, which was recommended with the kit. I've heard of others using corn sugar but I haven't tried that myself.

 
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:23 PM   #7
edb23
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I've pretty much settled on just steeping some cyrstal and adding some extra flavor and aroma hops. [/QUOTE]

I'm trying to get around to doing one recipe of my own done, and then I'm gonna try this with some of the coopers kits and see how it works out. Thanks

 
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Old 02-02-2011, 02:29 PM   #8
NoCornOrRice
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Aug 2010
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I started with the Coopers kits, following the process of: place can in warm water, open can, dump in bucket, add corn sugar, add 1 gallon hot water, stir til everything is disolved, then fill to 5.5 gallon mark with cold water, and add yeast, as per LHBS reccomendation.

While I initially enjoyed the product and its cheapness, easiness, it is not what I could truly call "good beer."

If you want to stick with the Coopers kits, use unhopped malt extract in place of the corn sugar, and boil the liquid for at least 5 minutes to get a better product.

While there is an investment in terms of time and money, I can now generate 5 gallons of all-grain beer of any style more cheaply than buying a Coopers kit, not to mention its really good.

 
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Old 02-02-2011, 04:27 PM   #9
rocketcrab
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[QUOTE=While there is an investment in terms of time and money, I can now generate 5 gallons of all-grain beer of any style more cheaply than buying a Coopers kit, not to mention its really good.[/QUOTE]

I enjoyed the all-grain beers that I brewed years ago, but at this point in time I can't devote the 6 to 8 hours it required. While I agree that the finished product of a can-based beer doesn't measure up to an all-grain batch, I do believe that beer kits like Coopers, Muntons, etc have their place. And the debate goes on......
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:43 PM   #10
brewew
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Nov 2010
Vestfold, Norway
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The Cooper's kits are great - I've really enjoy the ones I've tried, which is the Australian Pale Ale and "Lager"... currently lagering some true lager styles (Copper's Pilsener and European Lager) outside in the snow... =)

It's a great way to make good beer, and also a great way for me to get started on the way to all grain production..

 
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