How to make Coopers Stout from the homebrew kit

Discussion in 'alt.beer.home-brewing' started by Marcus Räder, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. Hi!

    I've made homebrews from kits once before. I read in "beer for
    dummies" that you should not add sugar to the mixes, no matter what
    is said on the box. The cooper's instructions mention kilos and kilos
    of sugar - what is the best method for making this beer yourself?
    According to the instructions or with less sugar?

    Thanks for any responces,
    Marcus
  2. Phil Miller

    Phil Miller Guest

    On Fri, 8 Sep 2006 12:31:06 +0300, "Marcus Räder" <spam666@rader.nu> wrote:

    >Hi!
    >
    >I've made homebrews from kits once before. I read in "beer for
    >dummies" that you should not add sugar to the mixes, no matter what
    >is said on the box. The cooper's instructions mention kilos and kilos
    >of sugar - what is the best method for making this beer yourself?
    >According to the instructions or with less sugar?
    >
    >Thanks for any responces,
    >Marcus


    Best way? Purely subjective. Kilos and kilos? I think you exaggerate. Sugar is
    ok, but not ideal. There are other things you can try. Substitute sugar with
    malt (try powdered and liquid), glucose, golden syrup, honey, another can of
    Coopers Stout (ie 2x cans of Stout). In short... experiment. That is the great
    thing about home brew. YOU can invent it!

    Shill #312
    --
    To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.
    Homer J. Simpson
  3. hevimees

    hevimees New Member

    I've heard that using one can of Cooper's Stout extract and no sugar made to 10 liters makes good stout. I haven't tried this myself yet, but I'm going to as soon as I get some more empty bottles.

    I have however made a stout using two Cooper's Stout cans and one can of unhopped extract (to make it stronger). The result turned out very good, yet heavily hopped.

    So if you don't mind lots of hops, you can make your stout with just the extract. If you want you can increase the amount of water to make up to 12 liters, and my guess is it will still be good.

    And of course you can use two cans to make 20-24 litres and so on...
  4. hevimees

    hevimees New Member


    I've heard that using one can of Cooper's Stout extract and no sugar made to 10 liters makes good stout. I haven't tried this myself yet, but I'm going to as soon as I get some more empty bottles.

    I have however made a stout using two Cooper's Stout cans and one can of unhopped extract (to make it stronger). The result turned out very good, yet heavily hopped.

    So if you don't mind lots of hops, you can make your stout with just the extract. If you want you can increase the amount of water to make up to 12 liters, and my guess is it will still be good.

    And of course you can use two cans to make 20-24 litres and so on...
  5. On Fri, 08 Sep 2006 19:55:33 +1000, Phil Miller wrote:

    > On Fri, 8 Sep 2006 12:31:06 +0300, "Marcus Räder" <spam666@rader.nu>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>Hi!
    >>
    >>I've made homebrews from kits once before. I read in "beer for dummies"
    >>that you should not add sugar to the mixes, no matter what is said on the
    >>box. The cooper's instructions mention kilos and kilos of sugar - what is
    >>the best method for making this beer yourself? According to the
    >>instructions or with less sugar?
    >>
    >>Thanks for any responces,
    >>Marcus

    >
    > Best way? Purely subjective. Kilos and kilos? I think you exaggerate.
    > Sugar is ok, but not ideal. There are other things you can try. Substitute
    > sugar with malt (try powdered and liquid), glucose, golden syrup, honey,
    > another can of Coopers Stout (ie 2x cans of Stout). In short...
    > experiment. That is the great thing about home brew. YOU can invent it!


    Adding cane sugar is a relatively cheap way of increasing the alcohol
    content of your brew, but many (if not *most*) brewers feel that the
    flavor and quality of the finished product suffers.

    If all you care about is cheap alcohol, and don't care what it tastes
    like, then sugar will work.

    If you want a quality, good-flavored brew then follow the advice above.
    Experiment with malts, honey, etc.

    I don't even use sugar for priming- I use either malt or honey.


    --
    Falcon's Rest
    Zymurgical Alchemy
    First Inter-Galactic Guild House Of
    The Brotherhood Of St. Cathode Of Anode
  6. "Zaphod Beeblebrock" <Zapped@TheUniverseTheRestaurant.com> skrev i
    meddelandet
    news:pan.2006.09.08.12.07.19.901411@TheUniverseTheRestaurant.com...
    > On Fri, 08 Sep 2006 19:55:33 +1000, Phil Miller wrote:
    >> On Fri, 8 Sep 2006 12:31:06 +0300, "Marcus Räder"
    >> <spam666@rader.nu>
    >> wrote:
    >>>the best method for making this beer yourself? According to the
    >>>instructions or with less sugar?

    >> Best way? Purely subjective. Kilos and kilos? I think you
    >> exaggerate.
    >> Sugar is ok, but not ideal. There are other things you can try.
    >> Substitute
    >> sugar with malt (try powdered and liquid), glucose, golden syrup,
    >> honey,
    >> another can of Coopers Stout (ie 2x cans of Stout). In short...
    >> experiment. That is the great thing about home brew. YOU can
    >> invent it!

    > Adding cane sugar is a relatively cheap way of increasing the
    > alcohol
    > content of your brew, but many (if not *most*) brewers feel that
    > the
    > flavor and quality of the finished product suffers.


    So why do the instructions on the box of coopers mention 1kg sugar +
    a bit in every bottle?

    > If all you care about is cheap alcohol, and don't care what it
    > tastes
    > like, then sugar will work.


    Nope, if it's an excellent beer, it's even better if it's
    alcohol-free =)

    Seriously, alcohol is the worst thing with beer and whisky. But since
    the best beers contain alcohol, most more than 6% and even 18%, I'm
    doomed to not be drinking beer all the time.

    > If you want a quality, good-flavored brew then follow the advice
    > above.
    > Experiment with malts, honey, etc.


    Yepp, that's exactly the problem. Where do you suggest I start with
    the coopers stout homebrew kit? Have you tried it and can recommend
    something for this batch? Since one batch gives me 90 bottles (enough
    for ½-1 years unless I drink only my own stuff) I won't have many
    chanses of experimenting.

    > I don't even use sugar for priming- I use either malt or honey.


    Hmm...Honey and stout does sound like a good combination.

    Thanks so far for the response!

    M
  7. On Fri, 08 Sep 2006 15:29:47 +0300, Marcus Räder wrote:

    >
    > So why do the instructions on the box of coopers mention 1kg sugar + a bit
    > in every bottle?


    It's a cheaper way of boosting the alcohol content, some of the kits I've
    seen even include the sugar. I have a number of kilo bags of it that I've
    never used...probably ought to start putting it in my coffee {g}.

    I don't even use kits anymore, I make my own recipes and buy the
    ingredients seperately. With all the "kits" I've seen, they are also more
    expensive because you have to add in the labor cost of the people who are
    putting them together. A further reduction in expense is that I frequently
    use my yeast more than once, and I grow my own hops.

    The "sugar in every bottle" is to prime for carbonation. Some say it
    affects the taste, others say they cant tell- you have to try it for
    yourself and see if you care or not.

    One bit of advice though- whether you use cane sugar, malt, honey or
    whatever (and note that the amount will be different for the different
    types), calculate the total amount that you will be using to prime and
    instead of dividing it up to put in each bottle, heat a couple of cups of
    water (or whatever amount is needed to completely disolve your choice of
    primer), mix your primer into it and let it cool to room temp. Then stir
    that into your bottling bucket. Make sure it is well mixed but do not stir
    so violently that you introduce oxygen into it.

    This will make the carbonation rate uniform for the whole batch and lessen
    the chance of "gushers" or, worse, "bottle bombs". A small measurement
    error spread over several gallons will have much less effect than the same
    error in a single bottle...plus, it's a hell of a lot easier than
    measuring it out and adding it to one bottle at a time.

    >> If all you care about is cheap alcohol, and don't care what
    >>it tastes
    >> like, then sugar will work.

    >
    > Nope, if it's an excellent beer, it's even better if it's alcohol-free
    > =)


    Alcohol free?!? Surely you jest!

    > Seriously, alcohol is the worst thing with beer and whisky. But since
    > the best beers contain alcohol, most more than 6% and even 18%, I'm
    > doomed to not be drinking beer all the time.


    I like my alcohol, but you can reduce the amount of it in the batch by
    reducing the amount of fermentables you put in (sugar, malt, whatever).
    Naturally, this will affect how it tastes- less malt will produce a
    thinner, more watery beer. You can experiment with less fermentable
    additions such as steeped grains, oatmeal, etc. to improve the flavor
    while not increasing the alcohol so much.

    The amount of fermentable sugars in your brew (cane, corn, malt, honey,
    etc.) directly correspond with how much alcohol will be produced. Cane and
    corn sugars, as well as honey, are more fermentable than malt.

    Another factor in how much alcohol will be in the finished product is the
    "apparent attenuation" of the yeast you use. Some yeasts will ferment more
    sugars than others.

    Different types of yeast will also produce different flavors in the
    finished product.

    >> If you want a quality, good-flavored brew then follow the advice above.
    >> Experiment with malts, honey, etc.

    >
    > Yepp, that's exactly the problem. Where do you suggest I start with the
    > coopers stout homebrew kit? Have you tried it and can recommend
    > something for this batch? Since one batch gives me 90 bottles (enough
    > for ½-1 years unless I drink only my own stuff) I won't have many
    > chanses of experimenting.


    90 bottles? How big/small are they?

    I get approximately 54 12 oz. bottles from a 5 gallon batch.

    If I drink only 2 a day, and my wife drinks 2 a day, that barely lasts
    more than 2 weeks...and I don't see a problem with drinking more of my own
    and buying less from the store, we *LIKE* my brews {G}.


    > Hmm...Honey and stout does sound like a good combination.


    Oh, it is, it is.

    --
    Falcon's Rest
    Zymurgical Alchemy
    First Inter-Galactic Guild House Of
    The Brotherhood Of St. Cathode Of Anode
  8. Wayne

    Wayne Guest

    Marcus Räder wrote:
    > Hi!
    >
    > I've made homebrews from kits once before. I read in "beer for
    > dummies" that you should not add sugar to the mixes, no matter what
    > is said on the box. The cooper's instructions mention kilos and kilos
    > of sugar - what is the best method for making this beer yourself?
    > According to the instructions or with less sugar?
    >
    > Thanks for any responces,
    > Marcus
    >
    >

    You have had a number of good responses, but all have missed the key
    point here. The statement in "beer for dummies" about not adding sugar
    is based on a popular misconception held by many homebrewers. This is
    the idea that adding sugar will cause a "cidery" taste in your beer.
    This false notion was popularized by Charlie Papazian in his book "The
    Complete Joy of Homebrewing", considered by many to be the "bible" of
    homebrewing. This notion has long been debunked as old, stale liquid
    malt extract is the real cause of this off taste.

    The dummies book tells you to avoid sugar to avoid that taste. You need
    to look at why the kit tells you to add sugar. Various liquid malt
    extracts will vary in how fermentable they are. Some, like United
    Canadian, are very fermentable and will produce a dry beer with no need
    to add sugar. At the other end of the spectrum are those like
    Laaglanders that have high amounts of unfermentable sugars. These will
    leave the beer tasting sweet no matter what yeast you use.

    Kits that use LME that is high in unfermentable sugar will often tell
    you to add completely fermentable table sugar or corn sugar in order to
    balance out the unfermentables in the extract.

    You can use this information to your advantage to tweak kits. If a kit
    produces a beer that is to dry for you, replace any sugar in it with
    malt extract. Conversely, if the finished beer is too sweet, make it
    with some table sugar next time in place of only some of the extract.
    It is all a balancing act.

    Honey has been mentioned as a replacement for sugar. It too is also
    almost completely fermentable, but will often add flavors that will take
    quite some time to mellow out. By carefully choosing the honey, this
    addition can make some very nice beers.

    I hope this gives you some background on which to base your decision on
    whether or not to use sugar in your beers. As a side note, almost all
    Belgian beers use sugar to give them their characteristic dryness. Most
    homebrewers that make barleywines will often use sugar to help lower the
    final gravity.

    Wayne
    Bugeater Brewing Company
  9. On Fri, 08 Sep 2006 15:35:55 -0500, Wayne wrote:

    > You have had a number of good responses, but all have missed the key point
    > here. The statement in "beer for dummies" about not adding sugar is based
    > on a popular misconception held by many homebrewers. This is the idea
    > that adding sugar will cause a "cidery" taste in your beer. This false
    > notion was popularized by Charlie Papazian in his book "The Complete Joy
    > of Homebrewing", considered by many to be the "bible" of homebrewing.
    > This notion has long been debunked as old, stale liquid malt extract is
    > the real cause of this off taste.
    >
    > The dummies book tells you to avoid sugar to avoid that taste. You need
    > to look at why the kit tells you to add sugar. Various liquid malt
    > extracts will vary in how fermentable they are. Some, like United
    > Canadian, are very fermentable and will produce a dry beer with no need to
    > add sugar. At the other end of the spectrum are those like Laaglanders
    > that have high amounts of unfermentable sugars. These will leave the beer
    > tasting sweet no matter what yeast you use.


    Dammit, now look what you've done! I'm going to have to add sugar to a
    batch to see if I can tell the difference.

    > Kits that use LME that is high in unfermentable sugar will often tell
    > you to add completely fermentable table sugar or corn sugar in order to
    > balance out the unfermentables in the extract.
    >
    > You can use this information to your advantage to tweak kits. If a kit
    > produces a beer that is to dry for you, replace any sugar in it with
    > malt extract. Conversely, if the finished beer is too sweet, make it
    > with some table sugar next time in place of only some of the extract. It
    > is all a balancing act.


    I just count on the hops to balance it. I guess I'll have to do some
    experimenting. Oh, the pain, the pain, I'll have to make more beer.

    > Honey has been mentioned as a replacement for sugar. It too is also
    > almost completely fermentable, but will often add flavors that will take
    > quite some time to mellow out. By carefully choosing the honey, this
    > addition can make some very nice beers.
    >
    > I hope this gives you some background on which to base your decision on
    > whether or not to use sugar in your beers. As a side note, almost all
    > Belgian beers use sugar to give them their characteristic dryness. Most
    > homebrewers that make barleywines will often use sugar to help lower the
    > final gravity.


    --
    Falcon's Rest
    Zymurgical Alchemy
    First Inter-Galactic Guild House Of
    The Brotherhood Of St. Cathode Of Anode
  10. Denny Conn

    Denny Conn Guest

    Zaphod Beeblebrock wrote:

    > Dammit, now look what you've done! I'm going to have to add sugar to a
    > batch to see if I can tell the difference.


    My own experience is that using sugar (of any type) in amounts up to
    20-25% of total fermentables is perfectly fine. In fact, there's no way
    to make most Belgian styles or many British styles without using sugar.
    It will lighten the body of the beer, making what the Belgians refer to
    as a "digestible" beer. Without the sugar, high gravity Belgian beers
    would be too sweet and thick to be enjoyable to drink.

    --------->Denny
    --
    Life begins at 60...1.060, that is.
  11. On Sat, 09 Sep 2006 09:04:46 -0700, Denny Conn wrote:

    >It
    > will lighten the body of the beer, making what the Belgians refer to as a
    > "digestible" beer.


    Ah, that was what I was thinking.

    > Without the sugar, high gravity Belgian beers would be
    > too sweet and thick to be enjoyable to drink.


    But I happen to like mine so thick that you almost have to chew them. When
    making any given recipe I tend to increase the amounts of malt, sometimes
    substantially.

    --
    Falcon's Rest
    Zymurgical Alchemy
    First Inter-Galactic Guild House Of
    The Brotherhood Of St. Cathode Of Anode
  12. Denny Conn

    Denny Conn Guest

    Zaphod Beeblebrock wrote:

    > But I happen to like mine so thick that you almost have to chew them. When
    > making any given recipe I tend to increase the amounts of malt, sometimes
    > substantially.


    Weel, if that's what you want, more power to ya! I don't use sugar in
    high gravity brewes like BW, which are supposed to be thick and sweet.
    But that's the last thing I want in a tripel...they REALLY need the
    sugar.

    ----------->Denny
    --
    Life begins at 60...1.060, that is.
  13. Michael Boyd

    Michael Boyd Guest

    "Zaphod Beeblebrock" <Zapped@TheUniverseTheRestaurant.com> wrote in message
    news:pan.2006.09.08.18.12.17.291201@TheUniverseTheRestaurant.com...
    > On Fri, 08 Sep 2006 15:29:47 +0300, Marcus Räder wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> So why do the instructions on the box of coopers mention 1kg sugar + a
    >> bit
    >> in every bottle?

    >
    > It's a cheaper way of boosting the alcohol content, some of the kits I've
    > seen even include the sugar. I have a number of kilo bags of it that I've
    > never used...probably ought to start putting it in my coffee {g}.
    >
    > I don't even use kits anymore, I make my own recipes and buy the
    > ingredients seperately. With all the "kits" I've seen, they are also more
    > expensive because you have to add in the labor cost of the people who are
    > putting them together. A further reduction in expense is that I frequently
    > use my yeast more than once, and I grow my own hops.
    >
    > The "sugar in every bottle" is to prime for carbonation. Some say it
    > affects the taste, others say they cant tell- you have to try it for
    > yourself and see if you care or not.
    >
    > One bit of advice though- whether you use cane sugar, malt, honey or
    > whatever (and note that the amount will be different for the different
    > types), calculate the total amount that you will be using to prime and
    > instead of dividing it up to put in each bottle, heat a couple of cups of
    > water (or whatever amount is needed to completely disolve your choice of
    > primer), mix your primer into it and let it cool to room temp. Then stir
    > that into your bottling bucket. Make sure it is well mixed but do not stir
    > so violently that you introduce oxygen into it.
    >
    > This will make the carbonation rate uniform for the whole batch and lessen
    > the chance of "gushers" or, worse, "bottle bombs". A small measurement
    > error spread over several gallons will have much less effect than the same
    > error in a single bottle...plus, it's a hell of a lot easier than
    > measuring it out and adding it to one bottle at a time.
    >
    >>> If all you care about is cheap alcohol, and don't care what
    >>>it tastes
    >>> like, then sugar will work.

    >>
    >> Nope, if it's an excellent beer, it's even better if it's alcohol-free
    >> =)

    >
    > Alcohol free?!? Surely you jest!
    >
    >> Seriously, alcohol is the worst thing with beer and whisky. But since
    >> the best beers contain alcohol, most more than 6% and even 18%, I'm
    >> doomed to not be drinking beer all the time.

    >
    > I like my alcohol, but you can reduce the amount of it in the batch by
    > reducing the amount of fermentables you put in (sugar, malt, whatever).
    > Naturally, this will affect how it tastes- less malt will produce a
    > thinner, more watery beer. You can experiment with less fermentable
    > additions such as steeped grains, oatmeal, etc. to improve the flavor
    > while not increasing the alcohol so much.
    >
    > The amount of fermentable sugars in your brew (cane, corn, malt, honey,
    > etc.) directly correspond with how much alcohol will be produced. Cane and
    > corn sugars, as well as honey, are more fermentable than malt.
    >
    > Another factor in how much alcohol will be in the finished product is the
    > "apparent attenuation" of the yeast you use. Some yeasts will ferment more
    > sugars than others.
    >
    > Different types of yeast will also produce different flavors in the
    > finished product.
    >
    >>> If you want a quality, good-flavored brew then follow the advice above.
    >>> Experiment with malts, honey, etc.

    >>
    >> Yepp, that's exactly the problem. Where do you suggest I start with the
    >> coopers stout homebrew kit? Have you tried it and can recommend
    >> something for this batch? Since one batch gives me 90 bottles (enough
    >> for ½-1 years unless I drink only my own stuff) I won't have many
    >> chanses of experimenting.

    >
    > 90 bottles? How big/small are they?
    >
    > I get approximately 54 12 oz. bottles from a 5 gallon batch.
    >
    > If I drink only 2 a day, and my wife drinks 2 a day, that barely lasts
    > more than 2 weeks...and I don't see a problem with drinking more of my own
    > and buying less from the store, we *LIKE* my brews {G}.
    >
    >
    >> Hmm...Honey and stout does sound like a good combination.

    >
    > Oh, it is, it is.
    >
    > --
    > Falcon's Rest
    > Zymurgical Alchemy
    > First Inter-Galactic Guild House Of
    > The Brotherhood Of St. Cathode Of Anode
    >

    My $0.02. Old tired yeast need something easy to digest. Corn sugar is the
    easiest thing for them, why make 'em work any harder. And the tiny amount of
    priming sugar won't effect the taste whatever sugar you use.

    Michael
  14. hevimees

    hevimees New Member

    Some more thoughts about this matter. Cooper's recommends using a minimum of 250 grams of sugar with their beer kits, to help with the fermentation. When made into a 23 liter batch this should give approximately between 3,2% - 3,5% alcohol by volume.

    I decided I'm going to make a stout with one can of Cooper's stout extract and the recommended minimum of 250 grams of sugar. In addition I'm going to reduce the amount of water so that the beer should end up with the strenght I want. I'll probably make a 15 liter batch which should have approximately 4,9% - 5,4% alcohol by volume.
  15. "hevimees" <hevimees.2e2nqv@usenet.brewtank.com> skrev i meddelandet
    news:hevimees.2e2nqv@usenet.brewtank.com...
    > Some more thoughts about this matter. Cooper's recommends using a
    > minimum of 250 grams of sugar with their beer kits, to help with
    > the
    > fermentation. When made into a 23 liter batch this should give
    > approximately between 3,2% - 3,5% alcohol by volume.
    >
    > I decided I'm going to make a stout with one can of Cooper's stout
    > extract and the recommended minimum of 250 grams of sugar. In
    > addition
    > I'm going to reduce the amount of water so that the beer should end
    > up
    > with the strenght I want. I'll probably make a 15 liter batch which
    > should have approximately 4,9% - 5,4% alcohol by volume.


    Thank you, that helped a lot! Hevimees is from Estonia or Finland? I
    think I'll try sth of the same.

    M
  16. hevimees

    hevimees New Member

    I'm from Finland, Oulu to be exact.

    I actually bought the extract today and will probably make it tomorrow. I'll try to remember to post the results as soon as the beer is ready.
  17. "Marcus Räder" <spam666@rader.nu> skrev i meddelandet
    news:45013855$0$19431$7b1e8fa0@news.nbl.fi...
    > Hi!


    It's bubbling... *excitement in the air*

    M
  18. hevimees

    hevimees New Member

    My stout has now been in bottle for about a month, and the result is not very good :(

    Overhopped, but not much taste otherwise. I'll leave it for another month and see if it has smoothed out at all.
  19. dlihcsnatas

    dlihcsnatas New Member

    I have found that malt adds body and sugar adds alcohol. In my stouts I use enough malts to give me the thick body that I love but then will always add sugar to give it just a bit more kick. After all it is the buzz factor that makes a good stout all the more interesting.
    Please note that more sugar less malt can create a thin almost nothing brew but can give you one big buzz, but then who wants to just go for the buzz without the wonderful flavor and enjoyment of a quality brew. If you are going for that you just as well make a still.
    Denny said 20-25% is OK and for the most part I have to agree with that. I say the most part because it depends on how much malt you plan to put in. If you going for one of those watered down 4-5% ABV brews then you may find 25% sugar doesn't leave you much body in the brew and you just as well to have picked up some cheap low cal light beers from the store and saved yourself the time and troubles.
  20. hevimees

    hevimees New Member

    After four moths in the bottle the taste is just great :) Very smooth and tasty. Patience paid off this time, though according to all good home brewing traditions, most of my stout has been drunk by the time it starts to taste really good...

    I'll definitely make this stuff again. In case someone's interested, I used one can of Cooper's Stout extract and 250 grams of white sugar, made into a 15 liter batch. I'll probably make the next one a bit stronger with less water.

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