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robbiep

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Hi guys,

I am new to brewing (and this forum) and am busy trying to educate myself as much as possible on the subject before i jump in.

I am still deciding whether or not i should go and buy the Coopers Home Brew kit. Do you think this would be a good starting point for someone like me?

The thing is, although i love beer, im not a huge beer drinker (if that makes sense?) By that I mean i love the taste and various types of beer, but i probably only drink about 6-8 beers a week.

So, the problem i see with the Coopers H0me Brew Kit is that it comes with a 30 litre fermenter, which will make about 20lits of beer, which will make over 2 slabs, which will only be drunk by me in 2-3 months.

My point is that i prefer the idea of making much smaller batches, so i experiment more. The last thing i want is have 100s of litres of beer going to waste or just sitting around. Then once i have perfected a few brews / recipies, then i can make bigger batches.

With this in mind, what do you think would be the best approach / kit to get? Also, please bear in mind i have absolutely no brewing experience, but im happy to learn and experience (in smaller batches) as i go along (thats what its all about).

Another reason for leaning towards the Coopers Home Brew Kit is because of the step by step lessons that teach you along the way (i.e. prep, fermentation, bottling, sterilisation etc)

Look forward to hearing your views.

Regards,
Robbie
 

bruce86

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Nicks $30 biab thread on stove top brewing if you can get a stock pot of about 15lts you can make 10ltrs easily. you could then just by the stuff you will need to ferment and bottle. Lots of ppl use the bunnings water drums for fermenters or even the jerrys . Mind you though i was not much diff my drinkning habits have changed quite dramatically since i started brewing :chug:
 

Spiesy

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Hey Robbie,

Welcome aboard!

For what it's worth, I went straight into AG (All Grain) brewing, using the BIAG (Brew In A Bag) method. I too like good beer, and have a passion for it... I didn't want to make substandard beer, and I also didn't want to spend money on a kit, and bottling system if this would soon become obsolete and I'd have to upgrade - that's a waste of my money and time... so straight into all grain and kegging for me!

If you are interested in getting into AG, there are small-batch methods that you can explore, such as Stovetop Brewing.

Happy brewing!
 

robbiep

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Thanks mate, i was actually reading Nicks $30 AG recipe, which is why i like the idea of making smaller AG batches (even though i have no exp in brewing).

With Nicks $30 stove top brewing, what size fermenter would i need?

Also, if i were to buy all the equipment separately, what would i need? pretty much everything in the Coopers home brew kit plus everything for the stove top?

BTW, what does BIAB mean?
 

squirt in the turns

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BIAB is "Brew In A Bag". It's an AG method that is an alternative to the traditional 3 vessel system that many AG homebrewers use. Google it and you'll find heaps of info. NickJD's thread is best place to start if you're interested in it.

I would get a 30 L fermenter even for small batches. There's no harm in fermenting a smaller volume in a large vessel. Saves you having to buy another when you want to step up in size. That said, chances are you'll end up wanting to ferment 2 or more batches concurrently, so multiple smaller fermenters may work for you, if you're mostly going to be brewing small batches.
 

QldKev

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Nicks $30 biab thread on stove top brewing if you can get a stock pot of about 15lts you can make 10ltrs easily. you could then just by the stuff you will need to ferment and bottle. Lots of ppl use the bunnings water drums for fermenters or even the jerrys . Mind you though i was not much diff my drinkning habits have changed quite dramatically since i started brewing :chug:
+1

Nick's stovetop here. You could even make a smaller batch size making life easier.

and get a "Bunnings fermenter" although we tend to use the 25L round and 30L square ones I think they have smaller versions to suit whatever batch size you decide on.

Read up on cleaning and sanatising. Get these wrong and you will have dramas. Also search for "starsan" as the sanatiser.

Welcome to the forum

QldKev
 

Spiesy

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Thanks mate, i was actually reading Nicks $30 AG recipe, which is why i like the idea of making smaller AG batches (even though i have no exp in brewing).

With Nicks $30 stove top brewing, what size fermenter would i need?

Also, if i were to buy all the equipment separately, what would i need? pretty much everything in the Coopers home brew kit plus everything for the stove top?

BTW, what does BIAB mean?
BIAB = Brew In A Bag. As the name suggests, you are literally brewing in a bag... if you see Nick JD's thread that I linked in my previous post, you will notice that his grain goes into a bag. This is really just a cheap and easy way to make sure that you're able to get all the sugars and such out of the grain, and leave behind all the solid matter, such as grain husks - which nobody wants in their finished beer.

If you're ever in doubt on this forum, use the "search" function in the top right hand corner of the page, and use the Google search (there are two search options).

In regards to what gear you'd need...
Standard 30l fermenter (available from homebrew shops etc.) - you might as well get the Cooper's kit if you plan on bottling
Thermometer (make sure it's accurate)
Brew bag, you can buy them from a homebrew shop, or make them yourself out of Swiss Voille (I bought mine as I don't trust my sewing skills, they're cheap enough anyway)
Scales - you want to be able to measure at least to a gram (good cheapies that have a 0.01 resolution can be found on eBay, less than $20 delivered from China)
Hydrometer (this measure the amount of sugar in solution - from a homebrew shop
Measuring jug
Big plastic or stainless spoon
Something to take the time with... mobile phone will do
Ingredients

I may have forgotten some things, take a look through Nick JD's stovetop thread, and make sure you have everything he uses...
 

verysupple

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BIAB = brew in a bag. Basically all your grains go into a mesh bag so after the mash you can pull them out and use the same vessel for the rest of your brew (i.e. the boil).

EDIT: beaten to the punch
 

robbiep

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Thanks!

So to make smaller batches (9l), i should be looking at a 25l fermeter? Thats also 5 litres smaller than the Coopers 30l fermenter. Why not get the Coopers HB Kit?

With the Bunnings fermenters, do they come with everything (taps, hole at the top etc).

Also, where would be the best place to buy all the accessories need to make Nicks AG recipe? i.e. Hydrometer, thermoneter,
 

robbiep

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So i shouldnt have any problems using the Coopers 30l fermenter to make 9l batches?
 

Spiesy

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Thanks!

So to make smaller batches (9l), i should be looking at a 25l fermeter? Thats also 5 litres smaller than the Coopers 30l fermenter. Why not get the Coopers HB Kit?

With the Bunnings fermenters, do they come with everything (taps, hole at the top etc).

Also, where would be the best place to buy all the accessories need to make Nicks AG recipe? i.e. Hydrometer, thermoneter,
Just go the 30, mate...

I don't know where you are - but CraftBrewer will deliver... they're the banner up the top of the page. Great range of products.

Depending on where you are, there is most likely local homebrew shops around you.
 

robbiep

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Great, so if the 30l fermenter will be ok for 9l batches, then i might aswell get the Coopers kits, which has everything i need (except stuff needed for stove top brewing)
 

hsb

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A kit is a good way to get some of the basics above, hydrometer and fermenter especially.
You can always just make the kit and not bother bottling it all as a quick primer on the basics.

Or you can use a smaller, say 15L HDPE jerry can, as a fermenter if you are deadset on only making 10l batches.

Some kind of controlled temperature setup for your fermenter is ideal as well, even if it's just a cupboard and some cold bottles of water/towels etc. to try and keep things in range for the yeast - something like 18C for ales, will make a big difference to the end product.
Happy brewing.
 

stux

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I'd recommend the coopers kit. It's a really great fermenter.

There's no point 'perfecting' kit&kilo recipes, just learn to make them well and then jump to BIAB if you want to make recipes

If you go the homebrew store fermenter path, I'd suggest the 25L pail fermenters. They're so much easier to clean, and you can clean everything else in them, and they stack if you get more.

And PBW is a great cleaner

and starsan is a great sanitizer

And you should consider temperature control ;)

Welcome to brewing
 

prestonpaul

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The other option if you are in Melbourne is to drop in to Grain and Grape and pick up a fresh wort kit. They are a nice easy way to start, they will sell you everything else you need to get started without all the crap you don't need and will give good advice for free. The other bonus is the 15 liter cubes the kits come in make good fermenters for smaller batches for when you start stovetop all grain.
Good luck whichever way you choose to go.
Paul.
 

robbiep

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I think one of my questions hasnt really been answered :p Can I use the Coopers 30l fermenter to do smaller batches, like 9-10litres?

With regards to temperature control, my house has a cellar, which seems to remain at a pretty constant temperature (although i havent measured it). Even on those hot Adelaide days, the cellar remains nice and cool.
 

hsb

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Yes. 9l in 30l fermenter is no problem. Only consideration is to factor in your losses with such a small batch size, ie what you can't get out of the fermenter. Cellar sounds promising. Try chucking a bucket of water down there and see what temp is like.
 

robbiep

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GREAT! Thanks for all the advice guys. So i think im going to go buy my Coopers Kit (with the 30l fermenter).

I will use the Coopers kit beer, which is provided, as as 'test' and to get familiar with the process of preparing, fermenting, cleaning, sterilizing etc.

After that, i think i will move straight to Nicks AG method. AG sounds more appealing to me, i dont know why, just does. So i plan to do this in smaller batches, 9l at a time and i will use my 30l fermenter to do this.
 

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