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Coopers DIY Lager Kit

If anyone is familiar with my last brew review, I taste test a Brigalow’s Apple Cider

But today I’m taking you through my steps for brewing a Coopers Lager that comes with the Coopers DIY beer kit.
There’s not a lot to discuss as this is simple and very easy.

I’m as green as they come, I have 4 brews bottled in the last 3 months and I have a lot to learn. Please take this as a beginners guide to brewing done by a beginner.

Brew Day
This is my first beer brew in the
Coopers fermenter.

When brewing for the first time (straight out of the diy kit box), Coopers instructs you only need to rinse the fermenter in warm water before starting the brew process.

1x Coopers Lager 1.7kg
1x Yeast packet (included)
1x Coopers Brew Enhancer 2
1x 23L on tap water

Some might say to sit your LME(Liquid Malt Extract) can in a sink or bowl of hot water for a good 20min or more to soften the LME. It does make it easier to pour but, I find rinsing out with boiling water after opening is just as good.

So I poured 3L of warm water from a boiled and sat kettle (30min or more) into the fermenter then add the Coopers Lager can. I than filled the can with hot water and let sit to soften up the left over LME. I then slowly steered in the BE1 (Brew Enhancer 1) making sure to get as much mixed in as I could (don’t stress if there are clumps, the yeast will get to it eventually).
Making sure to use a tea towel or oven mitt, empty the can of softened LME into the fermenter and steer in.

At this stage it calls for you to fill to the 20L mark with tap water then adjust the last 3L with hot or cold water to get the temp between 21-27, as to be ready for adding the yeast. I suggest slowly filling up with water and watching the temp as once you have reached the 20L mark. If your wort is still in the high temp or outside the range, it doesn’t leave you enough room to get the brew down within temp.
I now keep sterilized OJ bottles filled with water chilled in the fridge to better prepare for a hot wort.
The wort, when filled to the 23L mark, was just outside the temp at 27 degree. The kit calls for the yeast to be pitched at 26 degrees but also said its important to get the yeast in as soon as possible even if slightly outside recommended range.

Time to check the SG (Starting gravity) As most Coopers kits instruct you to do. 1.036, right on the mark.
Over the first 6-12 hours I expected the wort to be in full swing but it was just plodding along. Most people when first brewing think the yeast will be raging and lots of activity will be happening in the fermenter, this isn’t always the case. In the last 3 out of the 4 brews I’ve made. Some times low activity in the fermenter can be cause for concern but, trust me it’s nothing to worry about and most times it will be just fine.

My brew didn’t get much higher on the krausen collar. On about day 4 it had settled down, so I removed the collar (as per Coopers instructions).
At this time I took another SG value and it was sitting at 1.010.

Took another SG on day 7, 1.005. At this stage we are looking like bottling. I didn’t get a chance to test within a 24 hour period and took a reading on day 9, still at 1.005.....bottling time!

With a OG (original gravity) of 1.036 and a FG (final gravity) of 1.005 we should have an ABV (Alcohol By Volume) of about 3.4%. It’s on the low side but the Lagers I’ve read can be a little lower on the ABV from a basic brew. As I had been sampling fairly frequently, I had dropped the total brew content down to 22L. I recommend limiting your samples.

Day 1 (OG), 2nd last day of minimum fermentation time and 24 hours later. (If constant bottle, if not)
3rd On maximum fermentation and 24 hours later than bottle.

I used 29 of the 30 (750ml) PET bottles supplied (due to lose of wort for over sampling) with 2 Coopers carbon drops per bottle. Some people will shy away from the plastic bottles but in all honesty, they are great. They expanded to prevent unwanted bottle bombs and if an explosion unfortunately happens, the bottles split instead of shatter like glass. Leaving you with a mess to clean up minus the danger of glass shards. This also comes down to personal preference and for the more experienced brewer, there is kegging.

I must stress the waiting game here......and then some. Coopers instructs a 2 week aging period but do suggest leaving it longer.
I tried this brew at the 2nd week of aging and had instant doubts about my ability to produce a great tasting beer. It tasted like burnt malt or molasses. It was bitter and very little fizz.
I decided to give it another week and boy did a week change things. Very drinkable and with more weeks/months the brew has come to life (for a lager)

Taste Test
For a lager it a good DIY beer.
With a refreshing malt taste, very small bitterness index and a small dry after taste. This beer isn’t for a hardcore brew head. It’s aired on the side of weak flavored and lacks a strong beer taste. BUT, it’s still a great beer for someone new to brewing.

Final Verdict
It’s a cheap lager. Good base to start your first extract brew or create something off of. Adding hops could save the lack of any real taste and you could really craft a nice starter brew.
I may come back to the lager at some stage because my old man likes it. Could even say it’s close (in my opinion) to a any brand name “Dry” (Carlton, Tooheys, Hahn etc).

I’m heading over to the IPA now to start crafting some hops beers.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.

David Bullen

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Hey I just bottled my first coopers lager yesterday and had a little taste from the fermenter first. Have to say I liked what I tasted. As soon as my fermenter was clean and dry I put down a coopers draught with the brew enhancer 2. I'm looking forward to it. 🍺🍻🍺🍻

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