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Cooper's Micro Brew kit

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This is the kit I started out with in January 2011. I still use it to this day & I must say I like it for certain features that you don't see often, if at all. Here's a pic of it with 5 gallons (19L mark) of saison settling out in it.

As you can readily see it has plenty of head space at 5 gallons (19L,or 5.016 USG) for those crazy krausens we all get now & then. The spigot is screwed into a recess that keeps the seal from squeezing out from under the spigot seal boss.
Unlike most bucket fermenters with the usual Italian style spigots in use more commonly. They can be over-tightened to where the seal squeezes out from behind the seal boss & leak during fermentation. This design prevents that from the start. It has never leaked once in the couple years I've been using it.
You can also see that the lid screws on, not merely pressed down onto the lid seal. You can see that the lid is gusseted, which makes the clear lid piece stronger against the threaded ring. In this view you can also see the top of the lid is clear, although it does get condensation on the inside. You can still get a half-decent view of the goings-on inside...

I can honestly say that it can handle the most voracious 5 gallon ferments; many times without a blow off if you get the pitch temp down to 65F or so. I keep it covered with a tee shirt to help keep UV light out that can skunk a brew. It can be readily seen that it's translucent plastic. Just covering it with a tee shirt is plenty to prevent this unwanted off flavor. When I strain the chilled wort into it as can be seen I get 1L or less trub, yeast and cold break compressed at the bottom. The 10 1/4" dual layer fine mesh strainer commonly available from Midwest & NB fit it quite comfortably. I found it amusing that its shape looks a lot like the robots in Fallout 3, or Lost In Space for that matter. Makes me wonder if that was intentional?
At any rate, if you can still find these new or on Craig's List, they're well worth it. Also, here's a shot of the glass hydrometer Cooper's gave with the Micro Brew kit. This one's an extra I bought with the kit for $10 back then, commonly available for $6 nowadays. The blue hard foam ring on the bottom comes from Northern Brewer for $1.60! It keeps the tube the hydrometer comes in steady when standing up. A lot cheaper than buying one of those hydrometer test tubes that waste a lot more beer. This one holds 4-6 ounces for the test. Not a lot considering how much the others burn through with a minimum of 3 tests total for the batch start to finish.

The kit also came with 30 240mL (25.16 oz.) brown PET plastic bottles with black screw on caps. The caps have to be screwed on very tightly to get a good seal. I've had no trouble with them after I learned that little fact. They have a nylon lining that makes them less o2 permeable for 8 months maximum, from what their head brew tech told me.
You can also see that I marked the liter markings with a black sharpie. Makes it easier on the eyes to see how much is currently in there, even how much krausen & settlings. It also came with A beer kit. It seems some sites give a few different choices, but Cooper's North American site only gave the OS Lager kit with mine. As is typical of kit instructions, the advice given on here is better than the short timed ones given in the general instructions in the extract can's false lid.
At any rate, a good, solid performer you can count on for years of use if properly cared for. I paid some $85 plus shipping for the kit back in Dec '10-Jan '11. If you can still get one, grab it! It's totally worth it!
 
When I decided to start brewing in the fall of 2011 Cooper's had already replaced the Micro Brew kit with the DIY kit so that's the one I bought. It's been (pretty much) in constant use since then and it's still going strong.
Of course I've bought other gear since then to complement the DIY kit (do mostly all grain brewing now) but the fermenter, spoon and PET bottles (alongside other bottles I've aquired since) are still used on every batch of beer I do.
I paid $115CDN online for the kit back in 2011. So even considerding the cost of equipment that first batch of beer cost slightly less per bottle than the cheapest domestic available to me. I've noticed recently that a local grocery store carries them and sells them for $80 so it's an even better deal when you take into account the price of beer has gone up in the last two and a half years.
 
Yeah,it was sometime during the year 2011 that they brought out the new DIY kit. but the Micro Brew kit was still available till they sold out here in the US. So many had them,I imagine there should be some on craigslist. Besides other places like EBay & such. It's a sturdy fermenter that still gives me good service. And as can be seen,it has plenty of head space for 5 or 6 gallon batches. I eventually traded the 2 sets of PET bottles for a 6 gallon better bottle & some spare parts for the fermenter. So I'm set for the foreseeable future in regard to the Micro Brew FV.
 
That was my introduction into brewing as well the fermenter is still my favorite to use for the reasons stated. If you find one it is well worth getting.
 
I've done 23 batches with the newer version in the DIY kit, the last 9 being all grain. I absolutely LOVE that fermentor! I tried to purchase a second one last year to increase production, but unfortunately they only sell them by themselves in Australia...you can only get them in a complete kit in the US. I ended up getting a bucket fermentor from AHS but I rarely use it...hate how you can't see inside it unlike the clear Coopers one.
 
The Micro Brew FV also turns out to be a great FV for dampfbier & hefeweizens with all the krausen they make. 5 gallons equaling about 19L, it leaves plenty of head space in the 27L fermenter. Co2 has no trouble filling that 30% head space, however. Even the 6 gallon (23L) brews it was designed for have the room they need to finish. I don't need a blow-off too often with it. But do cover it with a dark tee shirt, since it's semi-transparent.
 
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