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Old 02-10-2008, 04:48 AM   #1
skiles3333
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Default New brewer questions on modifying kits. etc...

Hi all- I've just started homebrewing with a Coopers microbrew kit that my wife gave me for Christmas. So far I've made and drank the draught that came with the kit, strictly using supplied ingredients- and I've just bottled an Irish stout that was also a Coopers kit.
Now of course i'm becoming obsessed by the hobby and want to begin to make some slight modifications to the hopped extract kits. I just dont know where to start. I was thinking of making the wheat beer kit from Coopers and I'm not sure how or what to add.The kits I've used have both been no boil kits, so I've never done any boiling yet.
Also equipment wise I only have the Coopers fermenter which is also set up for bottling, no secondary- what other essential equipment should I have? Any suggestions from anyone???Thanks!
Ben


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Old 02-10-2008, 06:33 AM   #2
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Although a lot of people don't rack to a secondary, I find it gives me something to do to make me feel like I'm still busy with the brew. So a 5 gal carboy ($15-$20 brand new) is a good purchase. Also, I would switch to at least a non-hopped LME or DME and add your own hops. Plus most of those kits come with specialty grains to add some complexity to your beer. If you don't have an hydrometer, get one. Another good investment is a racking cane and syphon with a bottle filler. It helps to keep aeration down while transferring to the bottles. I hope this helps some.


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Old 02-10-2008, 07:28 AM   #3
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i'm guessing the coopers fermenter is a bucket with a spigot? your obsession is healthy, but make sure it's focused on making higher quality beer. Reno made an excellent suggestion for a first upgrade; a secondary carboy. the point of racking beer to secondary is to leave the dead yeast and trub and guck behind, but if you want to do that you cant use the spigot because that's on the bottom where all that crap is at. go for an auto-siphon to make things easy. also check northernbrewer.com for some of there kits. they'll have extract, specialty grains, and hops. the directions are easy and now you get to do some boiling. it'll feel a little more like making beer like the pros. good luck, and keep us posted.
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Old 02-10-2008, 07:33 AM   #4
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I recommend getting a kit like these http://www.midwestsupplies.com/produ...spx?SubCat=110 I got the honey bee ale and loved it. The recipe is very easy to follow, and you could get used to boiling without fear. Also these kits would be very easy to modify. I got a carboy for a secondary and use it to at least keep some of the sludge out of by bottles.

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Old 02-11-2008, 03:58 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the suggestions-
I just ordered some more equipment and another kit from Northern Brewer. I'm finally going to do some boiling and try out a secondary fermenter. Thanks again....
Ben


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