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Coopers Dark Ale Kit


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I have a can of the Coopers Dark Ale (kit) i recently purchased.


I also have a bunch of Black Malt and Choc Malt grains, and a good supply of various hops.


I would like to use the kit as a base for some kind of a porter, anyone have any experience or advice on what i should add etc.


I don't have any Malt extract available, so the fermentables have to come from the kit primarily and i can add some standard table sugar if i need to boost things.


So i'm basically looking for some idea of how much Malted Grains i need to use and what kind of Hops you would use to get a nice strong porter, i am familiar with steeping grains and boiling with hops etc :)


I plan to add some Vanilla pods to secondary to turn this into a vanilla porter, so if the base beer is a little on the bitter side that wont be a problem as i think the vanilla will help balance things out a bit (plus i like a good bitter beer!)


Thanks in advance guys, look forward to your advice

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I would really recommend that you try to get your hands on some malt extract or at least some BE2.


But if that is all you have then you could try:


1.7kg Coopers Dark Ale

750g Table Sugar [crying]

50-100g Black Malt

50-100g Choc Malt (more if it is Pale Choc Malt)

Say 21 litres


I wouldn't worry about the hops as the hops in a Porter are mainly for bittering. But you could steep some EKG or Fuggles to give it something and hopefully mask the impact of the sugar.


If you want more of the acrid/bittery taste then you increase the specialty grains but it depends on your taste.


I'm not sure if it is technically a porter but it will be a beer of some sort. [biggrin]

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I forgot i ordered a 500g bag of DME and a 500g bag of Dextrose when i ordered the kit (it was a while back!) so i can actually use those in this brew.


So, i have in stock

1 can of the Coopers Dark Ale

500g of light DME

500g of Dextrose


I also have about 700g of Black Malt and about 700g of Choc Malt... I've got loads of hops in the freezer (vacuum sealed foil packs) should i add some for the 60min boil? or later in the boil?


I want to use up as much of the Malts as possible, they are in packs that are opened (they have been resealed to the best of my ability and stored inside an air-tight ziplock bag in the bottom of my fridge) but i want to use them up as soon as i can as i hate throwing brewing ingredients away!


So if i used the DME, the Can Kit and doubled up on the Malts (200g each) how would that turn out? This is only my 4th brew and i have found my previous brews (from kits to a random 'extract' brew i tried once) end up a bit watery feeling and lacking 'body' or 'mouthfeel' as some people call it.


Thanks for the advice, still learning this craft and hope to do something magical with the Coopers kit

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Try replacing the table sugar from the earlier post with 500g Light DME and 500g dextrose.


The dark ale is fairly bitter so you probably don't need a 60 minute boil. A 10-20 minute boil of some hops will add some flavour and may be the way to go.


You could try 200g of each of the malts but I don't know how it would turn out. 200g of Black malt may be too much but I haven't used black malt before so perhaps someone else could help out here.


Have you used those grains before?

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Yes, i made a Caramel IPA with the Black and Choc, they are both really strong and impart a lot of flavour and colour to the brew.

I used quite a lot of Hops in that (i dont remember exactly, i dont have my brew book with me right now) but the resulting beer wasnt as hoppy/bitter as i expected.


I wont use sugar as i have the DME and Dextrose (i forgot i had them - lol)


So adding some Hops for 10-20min boil which is more for flavour and aroma, instead of 60min boil for bitterness.


Thanks for the feedback, i appreciate your help

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Ok, following the advice of a friend of mine, i made the beer this weekend...


I used...

500g Briess DME

250g Dextrose


Coopers Dark Ale kit (introduced to the boil around 25-30mins)


200g Amber Malt

200g Choc Malt

200g Black Malt


25-30g Northdown (60min)

25g Fuggle (15min)


If i read the Hydrometer properly i came out around 1055-1060, i used Nottingham yeast and got airlock activity within an hour and full Krausen in the fermenter (i have a 6 gallon glass carboy) after 12hrs... its now bubbling away like a good one!


I will rack to secondary next weekend, where i will introduce a full pot of freshly brewed coffee and a chopped up vanilla pod (soaked in vodka for 3 days)...

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Obviously your friend likes a bitter beer. A 60 minute hop boil only contributes to bitterness. The Dark Ale Kit is already bittered.


Also there is no reason to boil the kit can.


I would be interested to hear your outcome with this brew. imo I reckon it will be pretty bitter (around 65 IBU's) so will need a long time in the bottle to mellow.

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We both like good strong bitter beers ;)


Yeah i know the kit didn't need to be boiled, i just added it then as i wanted it fully diluted before i stuck it all in the fermenter.


I think with the coffee and vanilla in it, it will lift the bitterness slightly, so i think its going to be ok (for my tastes)


Got a lovely dark golden brown krausen on it now, the yeast is working hard :)

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Hope you don't mind me chiming in here, but yesterday I brewed up the Coopers Dark Ale kit, the only one other than the Ginger Beer that I have not tried. Man, this thing took off!! Lots of kr\xe4usen. Might be ready for New Years Eve. If not, it'll wait.

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  • 2 weeks later...
The brew i made above kicked off with airlock activity within the hour, and within 12hrs i had massive amounts of krausen!!!


This kit is lively!


I guess I should have mentioned that I added 1kg of BE1 to the kit. I racked it off to a secondary this morning, to clear my FV for the next brew. Lots of chocolate in the nose. Another week or so, then to the bottles. Then the real wait begins.....[roll]

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  • 2 months later...


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