Yes folks, we’re here! We’ve come to the final post in my (hopefully) interesting and enlightening series about how to brew your own beer with the Coopers Home Brew Kits!
Real quick, if you’re just finding this final post, be sure to check out the other posts in my ‘how to brew your own beer from a kit‘ series. The first post was really just an inventory of the home brew kit, the second post was about carefully cleaning your home brew kit, the third entry was where the fun began with mixing, and the fourth post was about the brewing process itself.
In this fifth and final post, I’d like to do two things.
- I’d like to let you know how my home brewed beer actually turned out. (I’m typing this so it could not have been too bad!)
- I’ll give you my overall impressions of the Coopers Home Brew Kit that I used for my first home brewing experience.
So, lets start with the beer. If you’ve been following my ‘brew your own beer’ series, you’ll remember that the Coopers Kit comes complete with the ‘Traditional Lager’ kit. I’ll remind you that I’m not a big fan of lagers, and I would much rather have had a different beer recipe to start with. But, the lager kit is what came in the package and so I went with it!
I cracked open one of the fancy plastic bottles and poured it onto a real lager glass! I was happily surprised to see that my home brewed lager created a decent foamy head! I was worried that it would come out flat – so far so good!
The beer was slightly cloudy, but not to the point of a wheat beer if you know what I mean. The Coopers home brew was mostly clear, and I would say in lager terms, slightly darker than one might expect from a typical macro lager. (It was not that golden ‘pee’ color we associate with macro lagers – slightly darker) Not sure if that’s normal or not, but it looked OK to me!
Smelling my first home brewed beer, it smelled like a regular lager. Again, I’m not a huge lager fan and the fact that it didn’t smell like urine or sweat was good enough for me! Smells like lager? Good! Lets move on!
Now, the moment of truth! How does my first batch of homebrewed beer taste?
My first batch of lager was not bad at all!!! Needless to say, I was pretty happy (really happy) that I didn’t crate a poisonous stew, and even though I really don’t typically like the lager style, (have I mentioned that?) its actually quite drinkable.
I’ve gotten some good advice in the comments of my other ‘how to brew beer’ posts about the lager. Coopers says the beer is ready to drink in 2 weeks. Most folks were telling me to let the beer ‘condition’ for a little longer, and by longer I mean additional weeks or months. I took the advice and doubled the time I let the beer sit in the bottles from the recommended 2 weeks to a whole month.
The point is, its a lager and should be stored (lagered) for a bit. I’ll touch upon this a little later in the post.
So, in a nutshell, my first home brewing experiment with a regular old ‘all in one’ home brew kit was a total success. I have plenty of beer (gallons) so I think I’m going to try them little by little over the coming weeks and months to see if additional conditioning does indeed make the beer taste better.
If I had to rate this beer, I’d probably give it a generous 2.5 stars. Again, its just a plain-jane lager which to me, isn’t all that thrilling, but the fact that I made it myself (and correctly apparently) I’m giving myself a whole star for effort! If you’re a fan of macro lagers like Coors or Bud, you’d probably give this beer a much better rating than I did.
Scott’s First Home Brew Rating:
Here’s my opinions about the Coopers Microbrewery Kit. I liked it. I liked the fact that the Coopers kit literally has everything you need to brew your own beer (except the water). You get all of the equipment, (and its decent equipment) you get a beer kit (albeit a plain-jane lager kit) with all the other ingredients, and pretty good instructions both written and video.
I’d say Coopers did a very good job putting this kit together for the beginner homebrewer, like me. As a side note, one of the things that swayed me when picking out one of the popular home brew kits to try was that Coopers is an actual brewery in Australia. They actually make beer, and a lot of it. (OTOH, I’m not sure I’ve heard of the Mr. Beer brewery or the Beer Machine brewery.)
What would I improve? Well, I think that Coopers would be smart to offer different beer packages included with the kit other than the ‘Traditional Lager Package’. As I mentioned before, to really get the beer to a point that its good, you have to really wait longer than what is suggested in the instructions. This frustrated me, and I’m sure it frustrates others.
I understand this kit might be geared toward the ‘beer noob’ who is maybe already a lager-drinker, but why not offer the Stout Package, or at least the Sparkling Ale package to the American market as an option? My suggestion, pick up the kit, but get yourself one of the other beer styles they offer unless you LOVE the regular lager style. Lager fans will dig this kit big time as-is.
What else. Being from Australia, its all metric, which isn’t a big deal really but it might be something you’re not ready for. Also, if you recall, I had an issue with getting my Wort to the right temperature which freaked me out.
Thankfully, it didn’t get infected (otherwise my beer would have been flat or sour- bleh!), but the next time I do this I’ll get all my water in FIRST at the right temperature, and THEN add the beer concentrate, sugar and yeast.
Not a biggie, but a note for myself (and you?) for next time.
Will I use the Coopers kit again? Definitely. I’m planning on ‘suggesting’ some of the refill kits for my Christmas list (I’ve been good, really!) Perhaps the aforementioned Stout or the Wheat package. Just starting out with some home brewing, I really can’t say anything bad about the Coopers kit.
In the end, I’ve had a really good time, and I’m simply thrilled that it ended up working! Perhaps I’ll move up to more complicated home brewing methods and equipment in the future as time and funds permit, but for now the Coopers microbrew kit fits the bill perfectly for me.
In addition, I understand beer and the beer making process a little better now that I’ve brewed something, which was also one of the reasons I did this. Even if my first batch was an ‘Epic Fail’, I would have learned quite a bit about brewing beer. I’ve also learned a LOT from all of the comments that people have left in the other posts by more experienced homebrewers offering tips and encouragement. I’d like to say THANKS for sharing and helping me out! 🙂
If you want to give home brewing a try yourself, you can order one of the Coopers home brewing kits by going to their secure website and ordering one.
Considering its almost Christmas, for around $100, I think it would make a pretty cool gift, maybe even a housewarming gift or something for that guy (or gal) who is just impossible to shop for!
Its something that can be used over and over (as I will) and its not a huge investment to get your feet wet in this fun hobby. On the other hand, if you find home brewing isn’t for you (I don’t see how) again, its not a huge expenditure. Give it a try! You’ll have fun!