Review: Coopers homebrew kit
The Coopers home brew kit
Coopers is a home brew kit company in Australia, but you can find their kits pretty much anywhere. MakeBeer.Net has all the Coopers kits available online too.
This isn’t a extract brew kit in the traditional sense. This kit includes a hopped malt extract, extra sugar fermentables, carbonation drops and dry yeast. The carbonation drops are cough drop sized candies which you add to each bottle to bottle condition the beer. This makes sure every bottle gets the correct amount of sugar for carbonation. I’ve never used these, so I’m very interested to see how well they work.
All you need is water, a fermenter, and beer bottles, bottle caps, and a bottle capper. There are a few other things you can use, but the fermenter and bottles are all you really need. The kit does not need to be boiled. It is more like a wine kit where you just rehydrate the extract and add yeast.
The Coopers home brew kits range from $18 to $29, and if you need everything (you’re starting from scratch) they do have a $99 kit which includes the beer kit, bottles, fermenter, instructional DVD and more. It looks like their Microbrewery kit contains everything you need. I have most of the equipment already, so I am just reviewing the Complete European Lager package.
How easy is the Coopers home brew kit?
The kit is pretty easy to put together. If you want to watch the whole process watch the video at the end of the article. You simply mix the ingredients, add it to your fermenter, toss in the yeast and wait 6 days for the fermentation to complete. As I mentioned there is no boiling since the wort is pre-hopped and the starches are already converted. I boiled some of the water to make it easier to mix the ingredients, but the instructions say you can use hot tap water. Their process allows you to focus on the fermentation side of home brewing, without getting bogged down in the boil and cooling. Once everything is mixed up, you add the yeast and move the fermenter to a cool location in your home.
I think the kit took about 30 minutes to make, but the filming of the process definitely slowed me down (not the kit’s fault). All in all I thought the kit was very easy to make. If you have a friend who wants to try out home brewing, but doesn’t want to get involved with all the equipment, this might be a good place for them to start. Extract brewing is easy, but these kits are even easier since it removes the boiling and hop additions from the home brewing steps.
In a few days I’ll continue with the kit and try out the carbonation drops. After that we’ll taste the kit and see how good it is. Stay tuned!
Inside Fermentarium – Episode 5 from DJ Spiess on Vimeo.
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Credits and Links
I live in Denver, Colorado. This blog is everything about beer, wine, cider, mead and other spirits.
I am a avid homebrewer and winemaker. I’ve been making my own beer and wine for many years. I started making beer when I was in college (mostly because the drinking age in the United States is 21). My first few beers were horrible. The beers are much better now, and I often supply my neighborhood with free beer! It is a great hobby!