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KingBrianI

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But, I've been watching CraigTube lately and I'm getting the overwhelming urge to make one of those no boil Cooper's kits. And I mean like bare-bones no DME added, packet of yeast on top, all-the-way CraigTube style. Maybe the British Bitter or Real Ale kit, with brown sugar in place of the dextrose. Ferment at 70-72, IN THE BOTTLING BUCKET, and just bottle it as soon as it's attenuated.

For those of you who don't know who CraigTube is, watch this:


Looks like fun , eh? :)

By the way, does anyone know where I can order some of that high malt glucose?
 
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Dave258

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I also wanted to make one. Not to mock him, but to see how it comes out. His videos were some of the first I stumbled upon when I was researching homebrewing a year ago, and while I have never brewed a coppers kit like he was promoting, I do feel that he made me look more into the hobby that I now love!
If you follow his channel at all as I must admit I do, and I enjoy it you will see that he is in fact now trying new things as a brewer. He is now doing partial mashes, and has made comments on others channels about making a mash tun or making a chiller.
When it comes down to it, making beer is fun and rewarding, let's keep it that way, no matter how we reach the end product.
By he way, your caramel amber recipe is bubbling along nicely downstairs. I can't wait totry it. Next time I will do it with the homemade candi syrup.
 
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KingBrianI

KingBrianI

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Oh yeah, I'm not mocking him at all. I know people have made fun of his low-tech approach, but if it works for him, more power to him. His videos are very entertaining and the no boil technique he uses in most of his beers looks like a very simple and fun way to make beer. It may actually make really good beer, and I can't say otherwise until I've actually tried it.
 

Dave258

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Sorry if I made it sound like you were mocking him. That is not what I meant. I feel like he gets beat up by people on YouTube for no reason at all. He himself says in his videos that there are different methods and ways to make a better beer if you want to put in the time and money.
I give him 3-6 more months before he is a full fledged all grain brewer. And if he doesn't move to all grain, that is fine with me too.
 

BigB

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LOL... I went on a 7 month boycott of LME, but lately I had a friend's hefeweizen that was just 2 cans of LME and some hops... It was actually pretty damn good... I seriously considered trying a "can kit" after that.
 
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KingBrianI

KingBrianI

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This actually reminded me of a question about the pre-hopped LME. Do the different kits have hop aroma and flavor? Or just bitterness? I'm guessing there's gotta be some kind of hop flavor and aroma since they have IPA kits and stuff. Right?
 

mrk305

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My kids gave me a pre-hopped can for Christmas last year and I have been doing all grain for a couple years now. I made it and it was pretty darn good. I have never tried the no boil kind though. Are they expensive? My LHBS have ordered them before for other customers and I have seen them in the store but never asked how much.
 
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KingBrianI

KingBrianI

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My kids gave me a pre-hopped can for Christmas last year and I have been doing all grain for a couple years now. I made it and it was pretty darn good. I have never tried the no boil kind though. Are they expensive? My LHBS have ordered them before for other customers and I have seen them in the store but never asked how much.
I think any of the hopped-extract kits can be no-boil. Just dump the extract in a bucket, add any sugar or dme or honey or maple syrup or whatever, and top up with water. That's what is so interesting about it. You can make a batch in like 10 minutes.
 

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there must be something craig is doing different that he doesnt get the bad apple beer that the majority gets when you brew the kits. maybe its his water, or canada gets different cans, or....

but i tried 2 kits last winter even after doing a number of allgrains, they came out undrinkable. even after months of aging they are still hard to get down
 
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KingBrianI

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there must be something craig is doing different that he doesnt get the bad apple beer that the majority gets when you brew the kits. maybe its his water, or canada gets different cans, or....

but i tried 2 kits last winter even after doing a number of allgrains, they came out undrinkable. even after months of aging they are still hard to get down
That doesn't sound promising!

Well, I put my money where my mouth is today and made the Cooper's Dark Ale like he made in the video I linked to. I sanitized the bottling bucket, dumped in the can and 2 lbs of brown sugar, rinsed the can out with hot water, added hot water to the bucket, stirred everything in, and topped up with cool water to a little over 5 gallons. OG was 1.048. Tasted alright. Pitched the yeast and stirred it in like Craig does. The yeast had a weird fruity kind of aroma and it looked much different than the lalemand and danstar yeasts I've used. I'm going to let it do it's thing for a week then bottle straight from the bucket it's in. I bought the coopers carb drops to carb. I'll update as necessary! :D
 

Shooter

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Good luck with the Coopers kits. I've done their Mexican Cerveza, twice actually, the Sparkling Ale and the Dark Ale. I usually add one pound each of DME and dextrose and a quarter pound of maltodextrin to the can. I've never gone with just sugar as the extra fermentables.

I always go ahead and use the Coopers yeast. I don't have a lot of experience with other canned products, other than Mr. Beer, but it seems like Coopers is one of the better products. The Dark Ale and Mexican Cerveza were both decent. I wasn't a huge fan of the Sparkling Ale, but it wasn't undrinkable or anything.
 

Dave258

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That doesn't sound promising!

Well, I put my money where my mouth is today and made the Cooper's Dark Ale like he made in the video I linked to. I sanitized the bottling bucket, dumped in the can and 2 lbs of brown sugar, rinsed the can out with hot water, added hot water to the bucket, stirred everything in, and topped up with cool water to a little over 5 gallons. OG was 1.048. Tasted alright. Pitched the yeast and stirred it in like Craig does. The yeast had a weird fruity kind of aroma and it looked much different than the lalemand and danstar yeasts I've used. I'm going to let it do it's thing for a week then bottle straight from the bucket it's in. I bought the coopers carb drops to carb. I'll update as necessary! :D

Wow, so you even used the coopers yeast. I know Austin homebrew sells them, I guess next time I place an order I will buy a can and try it.
Good luck!
 
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KingBrianI

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Wow, so you even used the coopers yeast. I know Austin homebrew sells them, I guess next time I place an order I will buy a can and try it.
Good luck!
Yeah, I tried to make it as close to how Craig does it as possible. I want to see if his methods produce good beer. For <$20 and maybe 15 minutes of time, it's definitely worth a try. I wanted the IPA to see if there was really any hop flavor and aroma in those cans, but the LHBS didnt have it. My choices were the lager, the real ale, the dark ale and draught. So it came down to the real ale and dark ale, and since I knew Craig really liked the dark ale he made I went with that. Good luck with your attempt!
 

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That doesn't sound promising!

Well, I put my money where my mouth is today and made the Cooper's Dark Ale like he made in the video I linked to. I sanitized the bottling bucket, dumped in the can and 2 lbs of brown sugar, rinsed the can out with hot water, added hot water to the bucket, stirred everything in, and topped up with cool water to a little over 5 gallons. OG was 1.048. Tasted alright. Pitched the yeast and stirred it in like Craig does. The yeast had a weird fruity kind of aroma and it looked much different than the lalemand and danstar yeasts I've used. I'm going to let it do it's thing for a week then bottle straight from the bucket it's in. I bought the coopers carb drops to carb. I'll update as necessary! :D
You have definitely earned my respect. Rather than rip on a guy for what he does, you go out and try it for yourself! Bravo! Please let us know how it turns out... I was at my LHBS today and thought about buying a couple cans, but couldn't bring myself past my LME bias!
 

bkov

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That doesn't sound promising!

Well, I put my money where my mouth is today and made the Cooper's Dark Ale like he made in the video I linked to. I sanitized the bottling bucket, dumped in the can and 2 lbs of brown sugar, rinsed the can out with hot water, added hot water to the bucket, stirred everything in, and topped up with cool water to a little over 5 gallons. OG was 1.048. Tasted alright. Pitched the yeast and stirred it in like Craig does. The yeast had a weird fruity kind of aroma and it looked much different than the lalemand and danstar yeasts I've used. I'm going to let it do it's thing for a week then bottle straight from the bucket it's in. I bought the coopers carb drops to carb. I'll update as necessary! :D
keep us posted. the kits i did were light yellow beers so maybe the dark roasted malts will cover them up
 
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KingBrianI

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I just checked the fermenter and it's already bubbling. Not bad for a little 7 g packet of yeast that's been sitting on top of the can at room temp for who-knows-how-long! I admit, I was a little worried about the yeast, but now it looks like it's off to a good start.
 
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KingBrianI

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Fruity Pebbles. That's what the yeast smelt like. And that's what the air coming out of the airlock smells like now. Is that normal for the Cooper's yeast? It's definitely interesting.
 
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KingBrianI

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The fruity pebbles smell is gone and it now smells like a typical english ale fermentation. I'll be travelling this week but should be able to bottle the beer when I get back on Saturday. Then I should have taste test results a week or two after that. :D
 

Homercidal

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I used one of those no-boil kits back in '90 or so when I first got started. Wasn't too bad tasting, but I was young and stupid back then too, so who knows if it was any good or not. I actually recall that it was a Mount Mellick American Light Lager. Basically LME in a can with the yeast inside the cap.

And you know what? Making another one of those doesn't sound too bad! Combine what I have learned in years of study with the ease of a no-boil kit and there is a good possibility of actually making some decent beer!
 
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KingBrianI

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I used one of those no-boil kits back in '90 or so when I first got started. Wasn't too bad tasting, but I was young and stupid back then too, so who knows if it was any good or not. I actually recall that it was a Mount Mellick American Light Lager. Basically LME in a can with the yeast inside the cap.

And you know what? Making another one of those doesn't sound too bad! Combine what I have learned in years of study with the ease of a no-boil kit and there is a good possibility of actually making some decent beer!
It was actually a lot of fun to make. Hardly anything to clean up which beats the heck out of my all grain batches! But the real test will be in how it tastes. I'm sure it won't compare to my AG beer, but it's a fun experiment and if it turns out OK I might try a few of the other kits available since they're so quick and easy. I'd really like to try one of the hoppier styles to see if any hoppiness comes through.
 

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there must be something craig is doing different that he doesnt get the bad apple beer that the majority gets when you brew the kits. maybe its his water, or canada gets different cans, or....

but i tried 2 kits last winter even after doing a number of allgrains, they came out undrinkable. even after months of aging they are still hard to get down
He just has lower standards of what constitutes "good". That's not a dig on him but I'll take the Pepsi challenge any time between a Coopers kit and a decent DME kit.
 

Shooter

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He just has lower standards of what constitutes "good". That's not a dig on him but I'll take the Pepsi challenge any time between a Coopers kit and a decent DME kit.
I do think this is true. I actually enjoy watching Craig's videos and agree completely with his brew what you like take on beer. If done right, I think the Coopers cans make a decent beer, but I also don't think they are as good as some of my better steeped/extract beers. It has been interesting to watch some of his recent videos where he tries some steeping and separate hop additions.
 

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I've seen other videos this guy has, I agree with Bobby that his standards of "good" are different than others. Some of his comments do make me laugh though...like when he stated that he wasn't going to put the boiling water into the bucket, then he puts the boiling water into the LME can and then dumps it into the bucket lol...
 

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My only real problems with the cans are A) they often have a funny twang to them, but more importantly, B) they are so damn EXPENSIVE. I'm sorry but the only draw for me to do the can kits how quick and covenient they can be. In fact, my very first homebrew I didn't even boil. I sanitized my equipment and mixed a couple cans and some water and added some dry yeast... voila.. beer. Drinkable? Yes, but I got out of the beer what I put into it. Everytime I think about making one for the convenience, I just keep getting dragged back to the whole convenience isn't important if I have to drink 5 gallons of mediocre beer.
 
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KingBrianI

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Yeah, 17-20 bucks a can is expensive. But then I thought of the fact that you don't have to buy hops or yeast, and if you use cheap sugar to make up the rest of the fermentables, you can have a batch of 5-6 gallons for not much over 20 bucks. I used brown sugar so we'll see how that works. 2 lbs was like $1.89 or something but it may make crap beer. If you use 2 lbs of dme it would obviously taste better, but the cost would go up too.
 
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KingBrianI

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Just bottled. Doing it straight from the primary simplifies things a bit. Added a coopers carb drop to each bottle for carbonation. Beer was still pretty cloudy but the sediment layer was below the spigot and was dense and well-formed. Took the gravity, 1.006, so pretty much what I expected with so much simple sugar. Now for the surprising bit. The taste was actually pretty good. A little yeasty, sure, but it had a nice fruitiness from the yeast, no acetylaldehyde though like it seems some people get. It was thin bodied but did have a good maltiness with definite brown sugar flavor. A little subtle chocolate in the background. In about a week I'll pop one in the fridge and give it a try! :D
 

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I know a few people that do the no boil kits for club functions and such, there not to bad if you stick with a wheat. The IPA kits lack flavor and aroma.
 

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It's been years since I brewed a can kit. Thanks for taking this on, I'm excited to hear the end results.
 

Pivovar_Koucky

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I know a few people that do the no boil kits for club functions and such, there not to bad if you stick with a wheat. The IPA kits lack flavor and aroma.
Yeah, that's sort of what I was thinking. I've never made a no boil kit (actually I've never made a kit beer at all, my dad taught me how to do it all when I was like 16 and then I picked it up again a few years ago), but I can't imagine that you could get any aroma or flavor (except bitter) from the hops without boiling. Maybe you could dry hop?
 
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KingBrianI

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Yeah, that's sort of what I was thinking. I've never made a no boil kit (actually I've never made a kit beer at all, my dad taught me how to do it all when I was like 16 and then I picked it up again a few years ago), but I can't imagine that you could get any aroma or flavor (except bitter) from the hops without boiling. Maybe you could dry hop?
You know, I think the IPA, the Bitter and other Cooper's kits like that must have at least some hop flavor and aroma. The Cooper's website definitely attributes hop flavors and aromas to those kits and I don't think they would be so bold as to outright lie. I'll have to try one of those kits next if this one is decent so I can test out the hoppiness.

EDIT: By the way, I'm about to chill down and test out the oxidized last bottle. You know the one that only gets partially filled at the end of the bucket. I'll report back if I survive! :D
 

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Yeah, that's sort of what I was thinking. I've never made a no boil kit (actually I've never made a kit beer at all, my dad taught me how to do it all when I was like 16 and then I picked it up again a few years ago), but I can't imagine that you could get any aroma or flavor (except bitter) from the hops without boiling. Maybe you could dry hop?
Man now I am thinking, get a can at the LHBS, 1 lb of extract, 1 lb of sugar in the raw, and dry hop it after it finishes down to 1010 or so. then if it sucks serve it to my friends! haha I love the idea of "making" a batch in 20 mins. awesome idea. :)
 
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KingBrianI

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Alright, well, it's not too bad! It's actually decently good, and I expect it will only get better as it conditions. Carbonation is a little low at this point but it has only been in the bottle for 2 days! It is very clear though and pours a nice dark copper/light brown with an off-white head. Aroma is all sweet malt and brown sugar, as is the flavor. The brown sugar is almost a little overwhelming at this point and probably would have been better at only 1 lb instead of 2. But we'll see how it ages. Other than the overwhelming brown sugar flavor, nothing else is offensive at all about the beer. It's thin, but not overly so, and is actually quite drinkable. Bitterness is low but definitely present and does a good job at balancing the malt. If it ages a bit and the brown sugar comes down into balance with the rest of the beer, it will be a very decent beer.
 
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KingBrianI

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Man now I am thinking, get a can at the LHBS, 1 lb of extract, 1 lb of sugar in the raw, and dry hop it after it finishes down to 1010 or so. then if it sucks serve it to my friends! haha I love the idea of "making" a batch in 20 mins. awesome idea. :)
That would probably make a pretty good beer.
 
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KingBrianI

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I took another taste test today. It's not that awesome. Kind of thin and watery, but that's not the problem. I think that all the brown sugar really kind of took over. It combines with the subtle malt in both aroma and flavor to create a somewhat cloying effect. It's not sweet, but somehow gives that impression. The bitterness also has a kind of weird medicinal tinge to it that isn't altogether pleasant. The color is really nice though, and it's crystal clear with no sign of chill haze. And a nice head pops up that descends to a nice cap that lasts to the bottom. I think if DME was used in place of half to all of the brown sugar, it would actually have been very good. As it is now, it's ok, but nothing I would choose over any of my AG beers.
 

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I have heard someone else talk about the weird flavor from the hop bitterness. I forget what type of hop they said coppers uses, but they did mention the weird medicinal/chemical flavor from them.
I haven't picked one of the can kits up yet, but when I do, maybe I will use all DME and see how it comes out. I know what you mean though, about it not being chosen over an AG beer. For someone who brews AG, I am sure it is also more gratifying that you control the entire process. At least that is how I feel now. Crush my own grain, prepare my own water mash where I want... But I can see how people just starting out could easily get into the cans.
 

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I took another taste test today. It's not that awesome. Kind of thin and watery, but that's not the problem. I think that all the brown sugar really kind of took over.
I made the same mistake on an extract batch years ago. I don't remember what I did with it, but I know I didn't drink it. I haven't used brown sugar in a batch of beer since.
 

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If you look on YouTube for "SteelJan", she describes the hop taste as being similar to Quinine, which she had to take during her overseas military stints. She figures it's the Pride of Ringwood hops that are in Coopers kits.

I agreed with SteelJan--when I started out I brewed a Coopers IPA and didn't care for it because of the weird hop taste that I couldn't place. As soon as she mentioned Quinine in one of her videos, I had an "A-HAH" moment. Over time it did improve somewhat. However, today I sit here drinking my all-grain Nierra Sevada, and it's light years better.
 
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KingBrianI

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Just popped open another to see if it had improved. I hadn't tasted one since the last time I posted. It was a bit more carbonated this time around. Seems to have fermented a bit more in the bottle. Poured with a two finger soda-like head. Quickly dissipated to a thin khaki cap. Flavor is much diminished. I think between it being a bit drier, having a higher carbonation, and the flavors having had a chance to mellow has caused the beer to be much less flavorful, though that is a good thing. It's actually kind of like a dark macro lager now, only with some ale yeast and dark malt flavors. It's not that bad for an easy-drinking, thirst quenching type beer. It's crystal clear and a beautiful dark brown. The strange bitterness has also almost disappeared. I'll probably end up giving most of this batch away, but I won't feel bad about it now. I actually think the general drinking public would quite like its thin, watery blandness.
 
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