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brewNdrink

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My first post. Hello!

I've brewed about 12 batches over a few years. Because of where I live, time constraints, and lack of room, I've been using mainly Coopers beer kits (I know, I know...:eek: ).

My area has very little for the home brewer. I'm lucky if I can find a pack of Nottingham yeast, some dry malt, maltodextrin and saaz hops. Basically that's what I have to work with.

I mainly try to go for something refreshing and easy to drink for the summer, like the Coopers Mexican Carveza:
http://coopers.com.au/homebrew/hbrew.php?pid=1&id=1254

I also get the Canadian Blonde:
http://coopers.com.au/homebrew/hbrew.php?pid=1&id=116

And for the winter it's strictly stout:
http://coopers.com.au/homebrew/hbrew.php?pid=1&id=113

Basically I'm wondering if others have had any experience with these modest kits, how to spice them up, and any other tips to get the very most out of these "ok" kits.

I use secondaries, glass 500ml bottles and just got a tap-a-draft mini-keg system (should be arriving soon). Can wait to try some stout with the nitro in that this next winter.

Thanks for any advice. :)

Tony.
 

Kai

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Welcome to the forums!

I say, if you can make a Coopers kit, you can make an extract+steeping grains kit. And it sounds like you're okay ordering in - might I suggest you check out some of the excellent kits you can order from AHS?

If you're looking at spicing up these kits as you already have them, I'd suggest playing with flavour/aroma hop additions, or messing about with liquid yeast strains. They can both add a host of awesome new flavours that you don't get with hopped malt extract.
 
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brewNdrink

brewNdrink

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Kai said:
Welcome to the forums!

I say, if you can make a Coopers kit, you can make an extract+steeping grains kit. And it sounds like you're okay ordering in - might I suggest you check out some of the excellent kits you can order from AHS?

If you're looking at spicing up these kits as you already have them, I'd suggest playing with flavour/aroma hop additions, or messing about with liquid yeast strains. They can both add a host of awesome new flavours that you don't get with hopped malt extract.
Thanks for the reply!

I was going to ask you if they shipped to Canada, but then saw you're from Halifax. I will get the nerve to try this when my little place isn't so busy with kids. :)

Would liquid yeast strains make a big difference with these Coopers kits?

I'll have to experiment with different hops and different yeast strains and see what I can come up with in my next batches for the summer.

Do alot of you use maltodextrin? Does it really help with holding the head ? And how much do you use per 5 gallon batch? It would be nice to have a real thick creamy stout this next winter (with the nitro!)

So my next batch will be using the Coopers Canadian Blonde. I'll be using about 500g of pale malt with about 1 cup of dextrose (nice lite beer). And Nottingham instead of that fruity Coopers yeast. Dry hopping in the secondary with a bit of saaz. And finally in the tap-a-draft for priming.

Sorry for asking the simple questions, but where I am there isn't alot of experienced home brewers around. Mostly wine country.

Cheers.
Tony.
 

rocketcrab

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Tony,

Regarding Coopers kits, don't be embarressed - you can make some great beers with them. I've been brewing almost 10 years, in all forms, and due to time constraints [not enough time to brew all-grain, or even extract/with grains!] right now I've become a real fan of Cooper's.

Generally I try to stick with DME or syrup to fill out the kits, along with about 8oz of maltodextrine and some hops. I usually boil 1 1/2 to 2 gallons of water, add some flavor hops and the maltodextrine, then add my finishing or aroma hops anywhere from 5 minutes to zero at the end of the boil. I remove the pot from the heat, stir in the kit and the extracts, and cool.

I have used both the kit yeasts as well as liquid strains, depending on the brew.

As for the kit yeasts, I went on an Aussie homebrew forum and found this:

COOPERS KIT YEASTS

•
The International Series Australian Pale Ale and the Premium Selection Sparkling Ale, Australian Bitter, Traditional Draught and Heritage Lager come with a blend of lager and ale yeasts.

The Original Series (Lager, Real Ale, Draught, Bitter, Stout and Dark Ale) are all ale yeasts.
•
International Series Canadian Blonde is ale.

• International Series Bavarian Lager and Brewmaster Selection Pilsener are Saflager (P is stamped next to use by date).

• Brewmaster Selection Wheat Beer is a wheat beer yeast (W next to use by date).

• Brewmaster Selection India Pale Ale is an ale yeast, but I'm not sure what type.

• The Irish Stout comes with an ale yeast.

• The International Series Mexican Cerveza is an ale/lager blend


I hope all of this helps! :mug:
 
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brewNdrink

brewNdrink

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rocketcrab said:
Tony,

Regarding Coopers kits, don't be embarressed - you can make some great beers with them. I've been brewing almost 10 years, in all forms, and due to time constraints [not enough time to brew all-grain, or even extract/with grains!] right now I've become a real fan of Cooper's.

Generally I try to stick with DME or syrup to fill out the kits, along with about 8oz of maltodextrine and some hops. I usually boil 1 1/2 to 2 gallons of water, add some flavor hops and the maltodextrine, then add my finishing or aroma hops anywhere from 5 minutes to zero at the end of the boil. I remove the pot from the heat, stir in the kit and the extracts, and cool.

I have used both the kit yeasts as well as liquid strains, depending on the brew.

As for the kit yeasts, I went on an Aussie homebrew forum and found this:

COOPERS KIT YEASTS

•
The International Series Australian Pale Ale and the Premium Selection Sparkling Ale, Australian Bitter, Traditional Draught and Heritage Lager come with a blend of lager and ale yeasts.

The Original Series (Lager, Real Ale, Draught, Bitter, Stout and Dark Ale) are all ale yeasts.
•
International Series Canadian Blonde is ale.

• International Series Bavarian Lager and Brewmaster Selection Pilsener are Saflager (P is stamped next to use by date).

• Brewmaster Selection Wheat Beer is a wheat beer yeast (W next to use by date).

• Brewmaster Selection India Pale Ale is an ale yeast, but I'm not sure what type.

• The Irish Stout comes with an ale yeast.

• The International Series Mexican Cerveza is an ale/lager blend


I hope all of this helps! :mug:
Thanks for the info! Well I don't feel so bad now :)

The Coopers kits don't seem bad, but they do need some work to make them better, and that's the info I'm basically looking for.

And I thought all those Coopers yeast packs were the same basic ale yeast...

Thanks for the tips and info.

Cheers.
Tony.
 

DUCCCC

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+1 on using DME instead of sugar to round up the Cooper's kit, or any of the LME kits.
 

grasshopper1917

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Hi drink an brew - I also brew mostly Cooper Kits. Right now I have some Canadian Blonde in the fridge made a nice beer. I made that with The kit and some LME. It had a little hoppie taste then I anticipated but I like it alot :)

I have alos made coopers Draft, Real Ale, IPA, Bitter and Wheat Beer. So far I think my fave may be Wheat beer - but the IPa is geat too - also the draft is tasty - the bitter has a nice bite hhehehe - heck I like them all. Basically there is some good advice here try adding some hops and maybe specialty grains. Next one I try I think will be the dark ale or stout - I havent tried either yet so it may be a nice experiment to see how it turns out.

Cheers :)
 

rocketcrab

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This is another Cooper's-based beer that I made last October:

Cooper's Cream Stout

1 can Cooper's Irish Stout
1LB Dark DME
1LB Lactose
4oz 40L Crystal malt steeped
4oz corn sugar [dextrose]
4oz Maltodextrine powder
kit yeast


Steeped grains in 1/2 gallon of water. Brought just to boil over 30 minutes, removed grain. Added water to 2 US gallon level and brought to a boil; removed from heat, stirred in Stout, DME, dextrose, malto-dextrine powder and lactose. Poured into 6.5gallon glass carboy with cold water to make up 6 gallons, pitched yeast when cool.

It turned out very nice and is on tap in my beer refrig now. If I make it again, I'd double the amount of DME and Maltodextrine.
 
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brewNdrink

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rocketcrab said:
This is another Cooper's-based beer that I made last October:

Cooper's Cream Stout

1 can Cooper's Irish Stout
1LB Dark DME
1LB Lactose
4oz 40L Crystal malt steeped
4oz corn sugar [dextrose]
4oz Maltodextrine powder
kit yeast


Steeped grains in 1/2 gallon of water. Brought just to boil over 30 minutes, removed grain. Added water to 2 US gallon level and brought to a boil; removed from heat, stirred in Stout, DME, dextrose, malto-dextrine powder and lactose. Poured into 6.5gallon glass carboy with cold water to make up 6 gallons, pitched yeast when cool.

It turned out very nice and is on tap in my beer refrig now. If I make it again, I'd double the amount of DME and Maltodextrine.
Sounds excellent!

Since you're familiar with the Coopers Stout kit, how can I get this kit to kick it close to a Guinness type of stout? Just following the basic directions obviously doesn't cut it :) It's very thin and bitter. What do you recommend? I know very little about stouts except how to drink them.

My dream is to brew a Guinness type batch this fall, bottle it with my tap-a-draft, and then add the nitro cartidges to get that beautiful creamy head (maybe with a little mod restriction on the tap).
 
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brewNdrink

brewNdrink

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grasshopper1917 said:
Hi drink an brew - I also brew mostly Cooper Kits. Right now I have some Canadian Blonde in the fridge made a nice beer. I made that with The kit and some LME. It had a little hoppie taste then I anticipated but I like it alot :)

I have alos made coopers Draft, Real Ale, IPA, Bitter and Wheat Beer. So far I think my fave may be Wheat beer - but the IPa is geat too - also the draft is tasty - the bitter has a nice bite hhehehe - heck I like them all. Basically there is some good advice here try adding some hops and maybe specialty grains. Next one I try I think will be the dark ale or stout - I havent tried either yet so it may be a nice experiment to see how it turns out.

Cheers :)
Thanks for the reply.

After I brew my Blonde and Mexican I'd like to try the Wheat beer for the middle of summer.

PS Love your website :)

Cheers.
Tony
 

Kai

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brewNdrink said:
Thanks for the reply!

I was going to ask you if they shipped to Canada, but then saw you're from Halifax. I will get the nerve to try this when my little place isn't so busy with kids. :)

Would liquid yeast strains make a big difference with these Coopers kits?

I'll have to experiment with different hops and different yeast strains and see what I can come up with in my next batches for the summer.

Do alot of you use maltodextrin? Does it really help with holding the head ? And how much do you use per 5 gallon batch? It would be nice to have a real thick creamy stout this next winter (with the nitro!)

So my next batch will be using the Coopers Canadian Blonde. I'll be using about 500g of pale malt with about 1 cup of dextrose (nice lite beer). And Nottingham instead of that fruity Coopers yeast. Dry hopping in the secondary with a bit of saaz. And finally in the tap-a-draft for priming.

Sorry for asking the simple questions, but where I am there isn't alot of experienced home brewers around. Mostly wine country.

Cheers.
Tony.
Actually, I don't think AHS ships directly to Canada. Northern Brewer does. I can't vouch for their kits, but I'm sure they're really good.
 

pjczech

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Does anyone know what I can use instead of their "enhancing" product? I have a lager kit I got as a gift but not 1 kg of the enhancer and am wondering what I can use. I havent found the enhancer anywhere... I assume its just DME?
 

rocketcrab

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brewNdrink said:
Sounds excellent!

Since you're familiar with the Coopers Stout kit, how can I get this kit to kick it close to a Guinness type of stout? Just following the basic directions obviously doesn't cut it :) It's very thin and bitter. What do you recommend? I know very little about stouts except how to drink them.

My dream is to brew a Guinness type batch this fall, bottle it with my tap-a-draft, and then add the nitro cartidges to get that beautiful creamy head (maybe with a little mod restriction on the tap).
Try this, it's from the Cascadia website [importer of Cooper's products]:


Irish Stout
by Geoffrey Minett


Original Gravity (°Plato) Final Gravity (°Plato) IBUs % Alc./Wt. (Alc./V.) Color SRM (EBC)
() () 0 (0) ()

Description


Quantity [Metric] Ingredient Comment
1 can Coopers Stout Kit
0.5 lb(s) [0.2 kg(s)] pearl barley
0.25 lb(s) [0.1 kg(s)] brown sugar
0.25 lb(s) [0.1 kg(s)] flaked barley
1 lb(s) [0.5 kg(s)] Coopers Dark Malt Extract
1.75 lb(s) [0.8 kg(s)] corn sugar
1 pkg Coopers Ale yeast
1 sticks Licorice Stick

Instruction
Plan of Attack (Night before)


Roast pearl barley in electric oven on tray at 200deg C until brown then crack or purchase roasted cracked barley.
Boil roasted barley and simmer 1 hour until "open" (4 litres of water). Add flaked barley simmer further 1/2 hour.
Strain through cheese cloth overnight.
Boil 22 litres water. Allow to cool overnight if necessary to reduce chlorine level.
Next morning

Boil licorice sticks in 2-3 cups of water until dissolved to make 1 cup of licorice water.
Boil Brew Booster, black sugar, liquid dark malt and boiled barley water until sugar dissolved. add licorice and can of Coopers Stout (2 litres of water)
Add to fermenter with yeast and cold water. brew for normal period.

Also, here is a link to a recipe book based on Cooper's kits and products. There is a Guiness clone in there:

http://www.cascadiabrew.com/pdf/recipes.pdf
 
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brewNdrink

brewNdrink

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rocketcrab said:
Try this, it's from the Cascadia website [importer of Cooper's products]:


Irish Stout
by Geoffrey Minett


Original Gravity (°Plato) Final Gravity (°Plato) IBUs % Alc./Wt. (Alc./V.) Color SRM (EBC)
() () 0 (0) ()

Description


Quantity [Metric] Ingredient Comment
1 can Coopers Stout Kit
0.5 lb(s) [0.2 kg(s)] pearl barley
0.25 lb(s) [0.1 kg(s)] brown sugar
0.25 lb(s) [0.1 kg(s)] flaked barley
1 lb(s) [0.5 kg(s)] Coopers Dark Malt Extract
1.75 lb(s) [0.8 kg(s)] corn sugar
1 pkg Coopers Ale yeast
1 sticks Licorice Stick

Instruction
Plan of Attack (Night before)


Roast pearl barley in electric oven on tray at 200deg C until brown then crack or purchase roasted cracked barley.
Boil roasted barley and simmer 1 hour until "open" (4 litres of water). Add flaked barley simmer further 1/2 hour.
Strain through cheese cloth overnight.
Boil 22 litres water. Allow to cool overnight if necessary to reduce chlorine level.
Next morning

Boil licorice sticks in 2-3 cups of water until dissolved to make 1 cup of licorice water.
Boil Brew Booster, black sugar, liquid dark malt and boiled barley water until sugar dissolved. add licorice and can of Coopers Stout (2 litres of water)
Add to fermenter with yeast and cold water. brew for normal period.

Also, here is a link to a recipe book based on Cooper's kits and products. There is a Guiness clone in there:

http://www.cascadiabrew.com/pdf/recipes.pdf
Wow... that's one great link! There's like 5 different stout recipies in there. Thanks very much.

Licorice?? Hmmm... interesting. Is that the closest you've found to the Guinness recipe with the Coopers stout kit?

I'm busy brewing the summer beers now, but I can't wait for the fall (??) to start brewing those creamy stouts.

Thanks again for the recipies.

Cheers,
Tony.
 

rocketcrab

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pjczech said:
Does anyone know what I can use instead of their "enhancing" product? I have a lager kit I got as a gift but not 1 kg of the enhancer and am wondering what I can use. I havent found the enhancer anywhere... I assume its just DME?
From what I have been able to pick up elsewhere, the BE1 is primarily maltodextrine and corn sugar. The BE2 is maltodextrine, corn sugar, and light DME.
 

rocketcrab

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brewNdrink said:
Licorice?? Hmmm... interesting. Is that the closest you've found to the Guinness recipe with the Coopers stout kit?


Cheers,
Tony.
Yea, pretty much. You can do a search on "Aussie Homebrewing" and you'll come up with a ton of places to check out.
 

grasshopper1917

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I think one of the keys to making stout that is similar to Guinness is using lactose. I have never used it but the guys and gals here say that is what gives it a sweetnes and the white creamy head.

I could be wrong but I believe it is non fermenting so you can add it during secondary - but some of the folks around here would know a bit better then I. Or you could just doa search for lactose.

Cheers
 
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