1 Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 11:40 PM

Hi Guys,

Sorry if this is a noob question. So my wife bought me the Coopers craft brew kit, which comes with a 15L Fermenter and I just started my very first brew tonight. :)

My question is looking at the size of the fermenter it seems a lot smaller than normal one's and when looking at the Coopers website non-craft beer mixes seem sized for the much larger fermenter. Then when I look at other brands they have a bubbler, which this system doesn't have.

Can I do non-craft beer in this fermenter?
Is a bubbler needed (watching videos a bubble every two minutes is when you tell it's done)?
Man I could keep going with questions so more research for me the next few days…

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

2 Posted: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 12:49 PM

30beersandcounting:

Hi Guys,

Sorry if this is a noob question. So my wife bought me the Coopers craft brew kit, which comes with a 15L Fermenter and I just started my very first brew tonight. :)

My question is looking at the size of the fermenter it seems a lot smaller than normal one's and when looking at the Coopers website non-craft beer mixes seem sized for the much larger fermenter. Then when I look at other brands they have a bubbler, which this system doesn't have.

Can I do non-craft beer in this fermenter?
Is a bubbler needed (watching videos a bubble every two minutes is when you tell it's done)?
Man I could keep going with questions so more research for me the next few days…

Thanks in advance for any feedback.


Yes the Craft fermenter is smaller than your standard size fermenter. Unfortunately other than the Coopers craft series cans there isn't really any other pre-hopped kits for this size fermenter. The other cans your talking about are designed for 23 liters although some guys have had some luck brewing these in the craft fv. Another option you could look at when your ready is doing full extract brews meaning you buy a can of unhopped extract and do your own hop additions for bittering, flavour and aroma. You can even steep a small amount of grain to change the extract's profile further. But as I said when your ready. The bubbler you mention is called an airlock and to be honest is not required your still going to get the required oxygen exchange with your coopers fv. The only sure way to know when a brew is finished is to get consistent hydrometer readings over serval days. Hope this answers some of your questions, cheers.

3 Posted: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 1:29 PM

This question pops up relatively frequently, and there's a number of us using the craft FV either independently, or along with a full size.

In short, you've got a few options beyond the craft size cans (which are limited and expensive):

1. Buy a normal 23l size can and split it into two. So use half the can with half (or slightly less) of the recommended fermentables (ie. BE1, BE2, LDM) and brew to 11 litres. You'll probably need to buy the krausen collar to make the work without too much risk of spillage. I store the remaining extract in a sterilized plastic container in the fridge, but have heard you can just glad wrap the can and leave in the fridge for a couple of weeks with no problem.

2. Some of the ‘lighter’ cans (cerveza, pale ale, lager) can just be dumped in their entirety into the craft size FV, with none of the additional fermentables (or you can choose some extra fermentables, some extra hops, etc). There's a thread on here about just that - I'm about to try that for the first time in my next batch out of curiosity.

3. Move to extract only brewing. So buy tins of extract and hop yourself.

4. Move to all grain (which is fairly easy with a craft FV as you can buy a 19l stockpot and do it on the stove. But appreciate that might be a long-term plan….

If by bubbler you mean airlock, nope. Not necessary at all. As already said, the hydrometer will tell you when it's done, as visual signs are not terribly reliable.

4 Posted: Thursday, September 28, 2017 1:20 PM

I found this thread very useful, thank you Happy Chappies for that thorough response.

I too recently got the craft brew kit for fathers day and was disappointed when finding out there were specific kits I had to buy, and the fact they are quite expensive. So I headed down to my local brew shop and picked up a Mangrove Jack - Bavarian Wheat beer and split it and split the dextrose and yeast.

My question is, should I have split the yeast? only 2.5g of yeast seems a little light on to me, so would appreciate anyone's opinion on this.

Cheers,
Paul.

5 Posted: Thursday, September 28, 2017 1:24 PM

If I'm using a full size can in the craft FV, I'll usually just dry-pitch the entire yeast packet. I kind of reckon that the losses by not rehydrating are made up with by the extra yeast.

Then I re-use a half a cup or so of the slurry in the next batch, just because I'm too lazy/cheap to buy more yeast :)

6 Posted: Thursday, September 28, 2017 2:08 PM

Ahh, a good option too. The guy at the brew shop said you can grow the yeast also, but it sounded a little beyond my skill level given this is my 2nd brew.

Thanks again.

7 Posted: Thursday, September 28, 2017 2:28 PM

If you guys get to the point where you really to up-scale, the "Bunnings Fermenter" is a good, cheap option.

8 Posted: Thursday, September 28, 2017 3:50 PM

Hey 30 beers,
I am in a similar postion to you being gifted the craft FV and being very green.
I bottled a Coopers APA on Saturday after 14 days in the fermenter without any other additions.
When sampling it I was surprised that it actually tasted pretty good and should improve with conditioning. My plan was to use this as a base for some other brews and experimenting however after reading some of the recipes on the site its become pretty clear that I need to upgrade to the bigger FV.

9 Posted: Thursday, September 28, 2017 11:51 PM

I might as well hop in here too, so to speak. I also recently acquired the small Coopers Craft Kit (from Aldi), and am just starting up.

I did the ‘Mr Beer’ brand Pale Ale tin that came with the kit and it was ok i guess. For my second brew i've gone straight for the jugular and am 5 days into fermenting the Kilt Lifter from the recipes page of this very website. I just halved everything, even down to cutting up the nottingham yeast packet with a credit card on my chopping board - i knew that misspent youth would come in handy one day - and roughly pouring half of the amber malt extract tin, the other half is in glad wrap in the fridge for part two in a week or so

All looks good with the brew so far, krausen was mental on day 2, going to need to give the lid a good scrub, but is calm now. OG was 1080 - actually was 1086, because my hydrometer was not calibrated, which might be useful for some of you other newbs, if you're using the red and white plastic Coopers hydrometer you should check it's measuring correctly, info I got from here was that it should read 1000 in 20C tap water. Mine was reading 0994! My day 5 gravity is 1020, measured with my new glass hydrometer.

So many great threads full of excellent information on this forum, it'a goldmine for sure.

10 Posted: Friday, September 29, 2017 5:55 AM

30beersandcounting:

Is a bubbler needed (watching videos a bubble every two minutes is when you tell it's done)?

Not having a go at you here (just whoever made the videos) but I really wish people would stop spreading this bullshit. The airlock won't tell you a damn thing about when the brew is done, and half the time there's a leaky seal somewhere in the set up and the stupid things don't bubble at all. All this kind of misinformation does is confuse newbies such as yourself, Definitely trust the hydrometer, it will tell you with certainty what is going on in there.

Cheers

Kelsey

11 Posted: Friday, September 29, 2017 9:14 AM

1+ to the suggestions so far. The other thing to do is, if you move up to 23L batches, keep the craft fermenter for experimental brews, when you don't want to risk a whole batch to some crazy and creative idea you have.

I don't own one but wish I did. I think they would be great for fermenting ciders, country wines, ginger beers, and hard lemonade in.

Cheers,

Christina.

12 Posted: Friday, September 29, 2017 9:19 AM

ChristinaS1:

… keep the craft fermenter for experimental brews …


I'm even thinking of getting one for that purpose!

13 Posted: Friday, September 29, 2017 10:48 PM

Otto Von Blotto:

30beersandcounting:

Is a bubbler needed (watching videos a bubble every two minutes is when you tell it's done)?

Not having a go at you here (just whoever made the videos) but I really wish people would stop spreading this bullshit. The airlock won't tell you a damn thing about when the brew is done, and half the time there's a leaky seal somewhere in the set up and the stupid things don't bubble at all. All this kind of misinformation does is confuse newbies such as yourself, Definitely trust the hydrometer, it will tell you with certainty what is going on in there.

Cheers

Kelsey

e

Here Here so true

Last edited by therealthing691 (Friday, September 29, 2017 10:48 PM)