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  1. Hi BillK I was unaware half full would be sufficient, that's great to know. I "inherited" (hand-me-downs) most of the equipment I am starting out with, so I didn't have any directions or instructions for ANY thing. As I said, I'm a lab person, so naturally to me, almost full would seem appropriate, my thinking being, why make it that size if it doesn't need to be that size. Sampling/tasting during readings is a very good suggestion, it makes absolute sense !! GayleV - Maine
  2. Hello, I'm new to the forum, and new to brewing, but I just happened to see this older thread concerning the usefullness of a refractometer. Well, I just finished my first brew day, using a hydrometer, and it certainly worked, but I was horrified by the volume of sample it required. For a profession, I'm a medical labratorian, and I have been using refractometers for 30 years, they are not new, not fancy & not difficult to use & it takes literally, 2 drops of sample. A quick squirt with water & gentle wipe is all that's needed for cleaning, a refractometer should last years & years. We have ones in our lab, which are used many, many times every day, 365 days a year, and have been using the same 2 or 3 for 11 years, no problem with breakage, calibration is very stable. After "playing' with the hydrometer, I can definitely say a refractometer can have many advantages, I know one will be in my future brewing tool bag.
  3. Oh thank you, SOOOO much for getting back to me, I was in quite a panic. First brewers nerves. You folks on the forum have been marvelous, can't thank you enough
  4. Please help, I think I have just made a major booboo. If so, i'd like to know before I procede, if not I'd like to know so I'll calm down ! I had purchased the Coopers Pale Ale Extract, the person at the shop failed to sell me the "Enhancer 2" to go with it. When I consulted the forum, it was suggested, rather than using the Enhancer 2(as I hadn't bought it, at that time) I should consider using 250 g Dextrose & 750 g Light Dry Malt Extract. Well, back at the shop, I apparently made another poor choice, because I purchased Dextrose (no problem), but I (incorectly, I believe) got Coopers Malt Extract - Light (yellow can - 1.5kg) Unfortunately, I didn't listen to my gut when it asked, are you sure about doing this ? What I did was, in the primary fermenter (after major sanitizion) I placed 2-3 Liters boiling water, dissolved 250 g Dextrose thouroughly, added approximately half of the 1.5 kg can of Malt extract light & finally the entire can of Coopers Pale Ale Extract (green can) and started bringing up the volume with clean water to the 5 gallon mark. Just as I finished doing so, I realized this just doesn't sound right. I haven't pitched the yeast, the wort is still a bit warm, by my thermometer. Should I continue & pitch the yeast & just move forward, if I've really messed up, is there any suggestions for salvage ? Or, if I've trashed it entirely, should I dump it now, before I actually become attached to it ? Please help a first time brewer, who is in dispear
  5. I am brand new to brewing beer, however I have made meade. That said, lastnight I spent a bit of time doing reading and thinking & planning & decided an extract kit style product should be my first adventure. So, I went to my local brewer supply store, after much looking & looking, I selected Coopers Pale Ale (Green Can) spoke to the salesperson, explained my lack of experience and needed guidence in my purchases. I said I guess I had better take it home, read the instructions & return to purchase whatever additional materials I would need. He said "Oh, the yeast is under the cap, it's pretty easy, the directions are included, and you shouldn't need anything else until approaching bottling time" Well all the fool me, I believed what this fellow said, he surely didn't know how Coopers Kits work, because I'm home know, all excited about getting started & I find the turkey of a salesperson failed to inform me about or sell me the Enhancer 2 (sugars) recommended, so I'm at an angry stand still. He really did not make a very good first sale, or impression. I WANTED to buy everything I needed. Anyway, the fact that I can't brew tonight, has landed me on the Net, and I have learned there is a Coopers Site. I had never heard of Coopers products until I selected my Pale Ale. To my knowledge, it is not very well known in the US, I could be wrong, as I said, I have only made meade previously. I have never seen bottled Coopers for sale when I peruse the shelves of the better stores around here. I read on another post, by a brewer who had just finished drinking his/her last bottle of Coopers Pale Ale Kit, & he/she observed that the Enhancer 2, recommened, which he used, gave a final cidery flavor, and he thought starting with Coopers Lite Malt Extract would prove a better choice. Can I have anyone's idea or feedback on that ? As the "salesperson from @@## has delayed my getting started, I thought I would inquire. [pouty]
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