If you are doing a search for which beer kits to buy to brew up a batch of homebrew I am sure in your search you have come across a Coopers Brew Kit.
So in today’s post I am going to give you my thoughts on these kits and explain who should they are perfect for and why.
To be very upfront from the start, let begin by saying I am a huge fan of these kits and always recommend them to the following two types of people:
- If your goal is to get into all grain brewing, these beer kits are a great place to start your brewing adventure. Brewing on this system will teach you the basics of making beer and it will give you a great foundation and understanding of home brewing that you can then build on.
- I also recommend them to people who do not want to get into the more complex methods like all grain brewing; but would rather jut have a fun and easy way to make some good tasting beer at a reasonable price with minimal effort.
I have brewed a ton of beer using this system and have also used all of the equipment when I moved onto all grain brewing.
Who Makes These Kits?
These very popular kits are made by the Coopers Company; which is an Australian home brewing company that manufactures simple and easy to use beer kits that allow novice and experienced home brewers alike to be able to make very good tasting beer with minimal effort and time.
Their goal over the years has been in ensuring that brewing up one of their kits is a simple process that results in good tasting beer you can be proud and excited to share with your friends and family.
They have succeeded in this goal by ensuring their kits are made of high quality. Each kit includes one of the best fermenters I have ever used. It comes with a krausen collar and lid. The fermenter also has a spigot (tap) at the bottom which allows for easy bottling.
Each kit also comes with enough reusable beer bottles and caps to bottle up a full batch of beer. As well it also comes with a bottling wand which makes bottling day go a heck of a lot smoother.
And when you order their kit you will also get a mash paddle (spoon), a hydrometer to help determine the ABV (alcohol percentage), and all of the ingredients to make your first batch of beer, to include a refill beer kit, yeast, and the coopers carbonation drops for bottling and getting perfect carbonation, mouth feel, body and head in your beer every time.
Have you heard enough? Are you ready to get one of these kits for yourself and get brewing some beer baby? If so you can order one here!
Simplicity of this Kit
The simplicity of this kit is in the fact that you do NOT have to boil anything.
Where most kits you will need to boil various ingredients together in a pot on the stove; with this kit they have done this for you.
So instead all brew day consists of is adding hot tap water and the kits ingredients into the fermenter and then sprinkling the yeast on top and Bam you are done!
This simple process surprisingly results in some very tasty beers.
If you give the brew enough time to age (condition), you will actually produce beers that are as good or better than most of the commercial beers you can buy on the market.
In fact the variety of beers you can make with this kit is impressive. Pretty much any style you want to brew they have. From lagers to draughts, pale ales to stouts, IPA’s to porters, you name it they have it.
The following is a review I did of this kit a few years back
How to Brew a Batch of Coopers
Alright let’s take a quick look at how to brew up a batch of Cooper’s homebrew.
You will be surprised how simple this process is.
Step 1 – Cleaning
Ok so cleaning is a crucial component to making good beer.
Although beer can make you feel ten feet tall and bullet proof it is actually a big wimp on its own, especially when it is being made.
If any bacteria at all gets into your brew it can ruin the whole batch.
So the key is to thoroughly clean and sanitize your equipment and brew space.
When you first get your equipment it will already be clean, so just giving it a simple wipe with a soft cloth will suffice as far as cleaning goes. However after you have brewed up a batch make sure you clean your equipment thoroughly each and every time you are finished using it.
I recommend you use PBW or non-scented Oxiclean to soak and clean your gear with.
Additional reading on Cleaning your gear can be found here:
How to Clearn Home Brew Equipment
And you can order PBW and Oxiclean here:
Products to Clean Brewing Equipment
Step 2 – Sanitize
So as important or more so then cleaning your equipment and brew space is sanitizing it.
I cannot stress enough that you become very diligent at sanitizing everything that will come into contact with your homebrew.
In fact I can assure you that if a beer does not taste good or turn out right there is a great chance it is because you did not sanitize your equipment as well as you should.
You want to get very familiar with a product called StarSan. It is a homebrewers best friend!
StarSan is a food grade no rinse sanitizer.
Which means exactly that… you can use it on materials that will be used to produce food or in this case our favorite drink! And you do not have to rinse it off the equipment after you apply it and in fact you should NOT rinse it off.
The best thing to do is get yourself a spray bottle and fill it with water and StarSan (following the mixing instructions on StarSan bottle).
Keep the spray bottle with you during brew day and spray everything that will come in contact with your beer.
Additional reading on how to property Sanitize can be found here:
How to Sanitize Home Brew Equipment
And you can order StarSan here:
Products to Clean & Sanitize Brewing Equipment
Step 3 – Brewing
Alright alright let’s brew some beer!
So again the beauty of a Coopers kit is in the simplicity of it.
First take the lid off the can of extract. I lovingly refer to this as “the can of goo”. Under the lid is the yeast. Remove the yeast and put it aside.
Quick Tip: If you want to make your beer taste even better, do not use the yeast that come with the kit, instead pick up a pack of fermentis safale us-05. It is a much better yeast and it will blow your mind how the yeast you use will determine the quality of your beer.
You can get fermentis safale us-05 here
OK back to brewing… once you have removed the yeast, put the can of goo into a sink filled with hot water. This will liquefy the contents of the can and make it easier to pour into the fermenter.
Now add 3 – 4 liters (about 1 gallon) of hot tap water to the fermenter.
Then add the ingredients of the can of goo (extract) to the fermenter.
Stir it up until the extract is dissolved.
Now add cold tap water. Bring the level of the fermenter up to the 18 liter mark on the side of it.
Now using the thermometer check the temperature of the liquid in the fermenter.
This liquid by the way is now called wort. We want to get the liquid to around 20 degrees Celsius or 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature does not have to be exact so do not sweat it to bad.
What we do next depends on where the temperature is at.
If it is under 20 degrees Celsius or 70 degrees Fahrenheit we add warm water to bring the liquid up to the 23 – 24 liter mark.
If the temperature is over 20 degrees Celsius or 70 degrees Fahrenheit we add cold water to bring the liquid level up to the 23 – 24 liter mark.
Then you simply sprinkle the yeast in on top of the liquid, put the krausen collar on and then put the lid on the fermenter.
Brew day is done!
Ready to grab your own kit and start making some beer? You can get one for yourself here:
Step 4 – Ferment that Beer
Take the fermenter and place it in a room in your home that you can maintain the temperature between 60 – 72 degrees Fahrenheit (15 – 22 Celsius).
Again do not worry about this too much. The big thing is do not let the beer sit in a room that has a temperature over 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26 Celsius) as this will cause the beer to have off flavors.
Also, I recommend keeping the fermenter out of direct sunlight.
Fermentation is done when the gravity of the beer stops moving. You measure the gravity by using a hydrometer.
A hydrometer comes with the coopers beer kit.
You can learn how to use a Hydrometer here:
The alternative method instead of using a hydrometer is to simply let your beer sit in the fermenter for a couple of weeks.
Typically after 7 days most of the fermentation has finished. You will notice that there is no more bubbles being produced in the fermenter around this time.
After 14 days fermentation has definitely ended. However leaving your beer sit in the fermenter is good for it as it allows it to condition and age a bit. Most beers taste better after they have had some time to condition.
I typically let my beer sit in the fermenter for at least 2 weeks and in some cases up to 4 weeks. Do not go over 4 weeks.
Step 5 – Bottling Your Homebrew
Next step is bottling day.
Make sure your beer bottles are cleaned and sanitized. Again this is a crucial step.
Your kit comes with Coopers Carbonation Drops, which I absolutely love. Definitely use them for your first batch of beer you make.
I would also recommend using them every time you brew. They make bottling your beer a much simpler process. And they provide an excellent carbonation level.
However, if you prefer you can also use dextrose (corn sugar) or granulated sugar to carbonate your batch.
You can read about the differences between the Carbonation Drops and Priming Sugar here:
Carbonation Drops vs Priming Sugar
And if you want more details on bottling your brew the following is a detailed post on bottling:
Also if you need to order more carbonation drops or priming sugar please consider doing so here:
Products & Equipment to Bottle Beer
So for bottling all you do is take a carbonation drop and put it in each bottle.
Then hook the bottling wand up to the spigot on the fermenter and fill each bottle with beer.
The bottle is full when the level of the liquid in the bottle is just a bit above the start of the neck of the bottle. You want just about an inch of space left in the bottle.
Screw the covers on the bottles.
Now place the bottles away in the same room at the same temperature you used for fermenting.
Step 6 – Drink Your Beer
OK so here is the hard part… waiting for that beer to carbonate and be ready to drink.
To this day after 16 years of making homebrew I still have a hard time waiting to tear into a bottle of my beer and try it.
Here is the deal…
After 7 days you are going to have carbonation.
After 14 days the beer will be fully carbonated.
After 4 weeks the beer is going to taste much better than at the 7 & 14 day mark.
And with a Coopers Beer Kit, after 3 – 4 months the beer is going to be very very good.
So really the choice is yours.
What I recommend is try one at each stage.
Try one after 7 days… then try one after 14 days… then maybe save a couple of bottles and try one at 4 weeks… and then again save a bottle or two and try it at the 3 and then again 4 month mark.
See what you think of the taste at each point, so that next time you brew you will know what you prefer and can let the beer sit for that amount of time.
So is this the Beer Kit for You?
I believe this is the right beer kit for two sorts of people:
Person #1 – Beginner Brewer who wants to become an expert
If you are a person who is just getting started in the home brewing hobby and do not have any experience and do not have any equipment then yes without a doubt this is always the kit I recommend that people start with.
It is priced very reasonably.
It makes good beer
It is simple to brew with
It teaches you the foundations of making beer
The equipment is top-notch. (the fermenter is still to this day one of my favorites)
Even if your goal is to become an all grain (expert) home brewer I still recommend you pick up this kit for a few reasons:
All of the equipment that comes with it is quality equipment. And it is everything you need to make beer with their extracts. And if your goal is to move to all grain you will be able to use this equipment to do all grain batches also.
All grain brewing is not hard but there are steps involved that can be overwhelming if you try to master them all at once.
Start with brewing a few batches with this kit, learn how to clean, sanitize, fermenter and bottle. Then move up to the more in depth all grain stuff (if that is your goal). And this kit allows you to do that easily
Person #2 – You just want to make beer as easy as possible.
If your goal is to simply brew up a quick batch of good tasting beer from time to time in order to have some on hand at your home for you or to share with your friends; then this is definitely the kit for you.
Coopers is one of the top if not the top manufacturer of great tasting extract beer kits.
Some kits simply do not make as good of tasting beer as they do. Coopers has been making these kits for years and the quality of the end product speaks for itself.
And we have already gone over how easy it is to whip up a batch.
Last Thoughts by Big Robb
Alright so as should be clear from this post, if you are looking to find one of the quickest, least expensive and simple ways of making some very tasty beer from home then you can’t go wrong with a Coopers Brew Kit in my opinion.
If you have any questions about the kit or brewing with it reach out to me my friend, I am always happy to help out fellow home brewers. Drop a comment in the comment section below and I will reply.
And if this post helped you out and you have decided to purchase your own Coopers kit, you can order your own kit here: Recommended Beer Kits
Here are a few additional posts you might find helpful:
Discover the 2 Best Home Brew Kits