Most homebrewers will first start making beer with a DIY beer kit. They are a great introduction to this hobby and the easiest way to make your first few batches of beer. Over the years the quality of the materials and the taste of the beer from these kits has definitely improved. In this post you are going to find a detailed Coopers homebrew kit review.
Although the Coopers beer kit was not the first kit I ever purchased, I can tell you that it was the first one I ever purchased that made good beer for being a malt extract kit.
Product: Coopers DIY Beer Kit
Best Deal: Amazon
Batch Size: 6 Gallons (23 – 24 liters)
My Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Before we get into the detailed review of this kit, let’s quickly take a look at what you get with this kit:
- Brewing Fermenter – Large mouth fermenter, modeled after the conical fermenters, capable of brewing 6 gallons of beer.
- Bottling Valve – This valve is located at the base of the fermenter. It allows for bottling without a siphon which is very convenient.
- Bottling Wand – Typical bottling wand that works well.
- Krausen Kollar – This handy tool sits at the top of the fermenter, it is removed after initial fermentation and allows for a cleaner, clearer beer with less chance of infection.
- Hydrometer and measuring flask – Used to calculate your original gravity and final gravity to determine alcohol content.
- Mash Paddle – A large plastic mixing spoon.
- Beer Bottles.- You get 30 reusable plastic beer bottles with caps. (740ml PET bottles)
- Coopers Lager refill beer kit – a can of pre-hopped liquid extract/concentrate that makes 6 gallons of beer.
- Brew Enhancer 1 – Used to improve your beer’s body, head retention and mouthfeel.
- Carbonation Drops – For carbonating your beer. You add one drop to each bottle. Much easier than batch/bulk priming and produces better carbonation.
For the most part everything you need to make your first batch of beer is included with a coopers home brew kit.
The Fermenter is Excellent
The fermenter that comes with this DIY kit is one of the best I have ever used. It has a wide or large mouth, which when it comes down to cleaning is great. It allows you to really get into the fermenter and scrub (with a soft cloth) in order to get any leftover grime out, which of course reduces infection.
Some of the fermenters on the market have such a small mouth that it is very difficult to clean them, which increases the chance of infection in your next batch of beer. There is nothing worse than having to dump a batch of beer down the sink due to it having an infection.
Another bonus of the large mouth is that adding ingredients to the fermenter is also easier; no spillage down the sides.
This fermenter also has a spigot on the front of it. It’s a great addition to any fermenter and I am actually surprised that that all fermenters do not have one, it is that valuable of a tool.
Having a spigot means you no longer have to use a siphon in order to bottle your beer, which I always find is awkward to use and terrible to have to clean. With this fermenter you simply hook the bottling wand up to the spigot, put the wand in your beer bottle and turn the spigot on. Easy and simple.
The fermenter also comes with what they call a Krausen Kollar; which is a great invention and additional component that you will not find in many other beer kits.
The collar has a lip at one end of it that when placed into the fermenter sits on the top and holds it in place, the cover to the fermenter then sits on top of the krausen collar.
After the initial stage of fermentation where the krausen has risen and then fallen back down, the krausen ring that is left around the top of the fermenter can be removed by removing this collar. This makes for a cleaner, clearer beer and the chance of infection is reduced.
Beer Kit Accessories
The accessories are decent to good. Nothing too fancy but they do the job and are items you would typically need to purchase in addition to the kit so it’s convenient that they come with this one.
The hydrometer and measuring flask are ok. They are why this kit gets a 9.5 rating out of 10 and not a 10. Down the road after you get a few brews under your belt I would probably recommend that you pick up a different hydrometer. The one with this kit is plastic and I do not like it as much as the glass hydrometers you can buy. Not a big deal, it does the trick and hydrometers are not expensive. I think I have at least 10 of them kicking around my brew area.
The Mash Paddle (plastic spoon) does the job just fine. It is nothing fancy, but it is long enough to reach the bottom of the fermenter and it is plastic; which is good as it will not scratch the sides of the fermenter. You never want to use a metal spoon in a plastic fermenter as it can scratch the sides of the fermenter increasing the chance of infection occurring.
The Beer Bottles that come with the Coopers Beer Kit are your standard plastic beer bottles you see with most kits. They hold 740ML of beer which makes for a good pour.
A quick note on the bottle caps. Some people say you need to replace the caps after each use, that is not hard or expensive to do; however I have not found this to be a requirement. I have found that as long as I screw the caps down tight they will make a seal and I can use them for many batches.
Coopers Beer Refills
A review of any DIY beer kit would not be complete without a review of the actual beer that the kits makes. This kit comes with what are referred to as refills. They are basically cans of pre-hopped liquid malt extract; coopers makes some of the best beer refills on the market. They have been doing this for a long time and as you will be able to tell by the taste they know what they are doing.
The following is a little tip for you and one that will be hard for you to follow through on, as it is also hard for me to do.
The beer that any diy beer kit makes is always better if after you brew and bottle the beer you give it time to age and condition. This is done by putting the bottles away in a dark space in your home at room temperature and letting them sit.
Let them sit as long as you can stand waiting. The longer the better.
After two weeks you will have drinkable beer that will taste decent. However after 1 month the taste will improve significantly and after 2 months even more so. The longer you can let the beer sit the better it is going to taste.
These kits typically come with a Lager Beer Kit Refill; as well as what they call a beer enhancer that you add to the kit to help improve it’s flavor. Combined they do make some of the best malt extract beer on the market.
Styles of Beer You Can Make
The initial kit comes with the Lager, however there is a wide range of cooper beer refills you can buy. One thing I will point out is that any lager styles are not true lagers as you do not go through the lagering process when brewing them, but they are still pretty tasty and a decent attempt at replicating a true lager.
The following are the beer styles you can brew with this kit:
- Wheat Beer
- India Pale Ale (IPA)
- Australian Pale Ale
- Mexican Cerveza
- Canadian Blonde Ale
- European Lager
- English Special Bitter (ESB)
- Real Ale
- Dark Ale
The carbonation drops that come with this beer kit were my first introduction to carbonation drops and do they ever make bottling day much easier. I never enjoyed having to batch or bulk prime on bottling day as it was just one more tedious step in the process.
With these carbonation drops you simply drop one into each bottle, fill the bottles up with beer and put the bottles aside for a couple of weeks and voila you have perfectly carbonated beer. They really do a great job.
Muntons does sell their own version of carbonation drops, but I do prefer the Coopers Carbonation drops. To this day I keep a bag of their drops handy and if after kegging a batch and I have some beer left over I will fill up a couple of bottles and carb them with these drops.
Here is a full tutorial on how to bottle your beer.
Coopers Beer Kit Pros and Cons
- Very simple to get started making beer
- The quality of the equipment is top notch.
- You can continue to use the equipment when you advance to partial mash or all grain brewing.
- Makes good malt extract beer
- The instructions are very details and easy to follow
The only con is that the beer that you make is still only malt extract beer which is not as good of quality as craft beer, but certainly as good as most commercial beers.
So What’s The Verdict?
Well it should be pretty obvious from this coopers home brew kit review that I am a huge fan. You can check out my videos on YouTube and you will see me using this exact system to brew many beers.
I believe that if you are looking for a good starter beer kit you can’t go wrong with this one.
Note: Want to get one for yourself? You can Click Here to order one today!
If you have any questions about the kit itself or how to make beer with it feel free to drop them in the comment section below and I will be sure to help you!
Now go get your brew awwnn…
Cheers Big Robb is Out!
20 thoughts on “Coopers Homebrew Kit Review – The Simple Way to Homebrew”
Nice review, it does not look like its your first, you have done a great job, keep it up! I think its better to buy Coopers DIY Kit from Amazon, as its less expensive than what Adventures in HomeBrewing charging!
Thanks for the message. Both are priced pretty much the same, I gave two options as adventures in home brewing is a great business that I have ordered many good stuff from also. Cheers!
I was looking for a simple method, and looked around your site…
I guess I’m a little worried it’s not so easy as it sounds.
I’m curious what the taste of the beer will be like — maybe I’d like to add spices right away, but probably shouldn’t until I have a first experience with the kit as it is…
But I suppose there’s no way to know until you’ve brewed it and tried it?! And you say that the taste will change over the first weeks and months… Well, I’ll think it over and get back to you when I’m ready! Cheers Phil
Sounds good Paul… and yup one step at a time is my recommendation… its not hard to make beer but taking your time and learning the process is what I always recommend. Cheers
This is a great review of Coopers DIY Kit. I have never used or bought Coopers DIY Kit from Amazon. Thank you for recommending this product and describing the features of accessories. This is a cool product. Perhaps I might purchase Coopers DIY Kit someday. Thanks again for the article. Keep it up.
Your Review of Coopers Homebrew Kits offers some great information. You made the kit attractive in the way you explained it to everyone, including a non-drinker like me. I like to learn new things though and you well explained the Brewing Fermenter, the Bottling Valve, Bottling Wand, Krausen Kollar., Hydrometer and measuring flask, Mash Paddle, Beer Bottles, etc. You made the beer-making process sound doable for anyone who can buy the kit.
Even though I don’t drink, I have plenty of friends that do. Wouldn’t it be cool to make some beer for my next party.? You’ve done such a good job of showing how easy and inexpensive it can be I’m encouraged to order the Cooper’s, Homebrew Kit.
Thanks for the great information.
God bless you.
I found your review is so informative and excellent. I love coppers beer so much. I wanted to make it at home but I could not know how. From your review, I came to know about coppers homebrew kit. It is really nice. I will buy it from Amazon because of the cheapest price. And I will share your post to others. I would like to taste the bottling valve. What is your opinion on it?
Brewing our own beer is something my husband and I have been discussing for quite some time. We have yet to attempt to, mostly because of how difficult it seems, and having no idea where to begin. I had no idea that there were DIY kits before reading your post. I will definitely be looking into purchasing a Cooper’s kit as a gift for my hubby.
This article is awesome. As a beer drinker myself of some considerable experience, your article brought back memories of years ago when I brewed my own beer. I also made wine, but that’s another story. Brewing beer is quicker. It smells better than wine fermentation as well!
You got me hankering for those by-gone days, so I had a quick look at the Amazon UK site and they stock Coopers beer kits as well as a few complete Coopers starter kits. Though ours have brown plastic bottles. I’m not convinced about that. I’m more the old traditionalist. I can see me going out and sourcing some good old glass brown bottles. Recycle and reuse is the byword these days.
It’s a similar price for beer here in the UK. I’d expect to pay about £24 for 12 pints of beer at a store, and it’s about £4 a pint in the pubs, sometimes more! Homebrew has to be a winner! Also, in the UK, like Canada, it is legal to make home-brew beer. In many countries, it is not permitted.
I didn’t notice on Amazon UK but do Coopers have a stout brew kit? I beers of choice is IPA and Guinness. I saw a Coopers IPA but I didn’t notice a stout. And, is it any good?
Hi Paul, hello from across the pond! 🙂 Yes Coopers does have a stout and yes it tastes decent. I am a Guinness fan myself.
I also use glass bottles along with the ones that come in the kit. The good thing about the bottles that come with the kit, even though they are plastic you do not discard them, you rinse and repeat!
Great topic, I am a beer fan, just love it for the taste but due to health problems had to reduce my consumption What is the alcohol content of this beer? Is it true that the longer you keep the beer the stronger it gets? I think that if you have space in your home it must be very rewarding to brew your own beer.
Alcohol would not increase much with time, once active fermentation is done the yeast has eaten all of the sugars and there is nothing more to produce into alcohol. If you are bottle conditioning then the alcohol would increase slightly during carbonation as the yeast would eat the sugar you added to condition, but the increase would not be very noticeable! Cheers!
Wow what a excellent home brew kit! Coopers Homebrew Kit looks excellent. With the cost of quality beer at an all time high this will definitely save lots of money over time. The fermenter is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle so it’s good to know that it’s the best you’ve found. A spigot is key and I agree all fermenters should have one. Have you made any other beers other than the lager with this and if so which ones? Thanks for a great review!
Yup its a good kit and fermenter. I have made numerous beers with this, kit beers, partial mash and all grain. Too many to remember them all! 🙂 Cheers
You had to add the bit towards the end, you know, about leaving it for as long as possible. I’ll try but I’m not holding out much hope. There are two people I know who brew their own beer, they are quite happy to have it sat there for a couple or more months. I get that fermentation is the game changer as far as ultimately achieving a great taste but what makes the difference in the length of time. The processes for making other types of alcoholic drinks seem to vary so much, if you think about whiskey being held in hug oak casks for years on end. Is there a way of speeding up the process without sacrificing the taste ? I’ve made ‘pear’ wine before, mainly because we had a glut of pears off the tree one year. I enjoyed the preparation but I struggled with the patience.
With beer it depends on the type of beer. Hoppy beers do better fresher, where the rest tend to do better with age. No way to speed up the aging process that I have ever some across. Patience it is! 🙂 Cheers
Hey Robb, i bought the cooper kit about a month ago. Right now, i have a batch of lager fermenting in the bottles. I was wondering if its possible to use the cooper fermenter with the krausen collar, with a different type of recipe. Like, can i do a BIAB with this fermenter and still using the carbonation drops for the bottles. Thanks.
Hey Alan, you sure can man, that is exactly what I do when bottling. That fermenter is one of the best and you can use it on any recipe or type of brewing. Cheers man!!
Lets say i would like to make a 1 or 2 gallons batch, the krausen collar would be pretty much pointless right? since the foam is not reaching the collar level. Or it doesnt matter? One other thing, if a recipe ask to switch from the primary fermenter to the second before bottling, im guessing i just leave it in the cooper fermenter? Thank
Hey Alain, yes the collar would make no difference with a 1 or 2 gallon batch. And yes I do not bother with secondary fermentation, too much risk of allowing oxygen in. Cold crashing the beer will clear it up just fine. Cheers man.