top of page
  • Do you have written instructions or videos on how to use your DIY Beer Brew Kit?
    We have a range of instructional how to videos which can be viewed here: How To Videos. Basic written instructions can be found on the reverse side of the brew can label. For detailed written instructions, you can view & print here: Brewing Extract Instructions.
  • Do I need to sanitise all the brewing equipment?
    The first time you use your kit from new, you can just rinse it in hot water. Just remember, whenever you’re cleaning your equipment, only use a soft cloth that won’t scratch it. For future brews, we recommend that you sanitise all your brewing equipment before each brew. Note: sanitising is most effective on equipment that has already been cleaned (free from any obvious soiling).
  • What chemicals do you recommend for sanitising?
    We recommend products which carry Oxygen Bleaching capacity (active ingredient - Sodium Percarbonate), such as Hypo-Allergenic or Sensitive Napisan type products. In the absence of these products, normal unscented household bleach (active ingredient - Sodium Hypochlorite) may be used. To sanitise using Oxy Bleach Sanitiser: Dissolve 4 tablespoons of Sanitiser in the Fermenting Vessel (FV) with one litre of hot/warm water. Place all equipment in the FV, fill to the brim with cold water and let soak overnight (or at least 2 hours). Drain the FV through the tap and rinse all equipment thoroughly to remove any remaining suds. To sanitise using Unscented Household Bleach: Add ¼ cup of unscented household bleach to the FV. Place all equipment in the FV, fill with cool water and let soak overnight (or at least 30mins). Rinse out with hot water to remove all traces of chlorine smell.
  • How to do a 'Wet Run'
    When pitching your Yeast, getting your brew temperature right (approximately 21°C) is important, the first time you brew we recommend you do a 'Wet Run' without ingredients. · Using cold water, fill the FV to the 15 litre mark and make a note of the temperature. Your Thermometer Strip may show colour in 2 or 3 panels, the middle of this range is the temperature of your brew. · Continue filling to 23 litre mark, using either hot or cold water so that you achieve an 18°C - 21°C water temperature. If your tap water is over 21°C, chill 3 or 4 PET Bottles of water in the fridge for a few hours to use in your brew.
  • What can I do to control the temperature of my brew?
    Most brewers find it easier to keep warm (with insulation) rather than cooling their brew because the brew generates heat as it ferments. Non-electrical temperature control Wrap the fermenting tub in a 0ºC-5ºC rated sleeping bag , blankets or an old jacket. Place the fermenter in a large esky, insulated box, non-working fridge or freezer. Sit the fermenting tub in a laundry tub with frozen PET bottles. Place the fermenter in a cellar or on a cool bare concrete floor. Partially roll a towel and place in the lid of the fermenter, fill the well of the lid with cold water and drape the towel over the side of the fermenter allowing the water to wick down the towel. Electrical temperature control Heat pad or heat belt. Tea chest, box, cupboard, old fridge etc. with a 25W-40W incandescent lamp controlled by a thermostat, dimmer switch or timer switch. Place in an air-conditioned room. Place in a working fridge or freezer with modified thermostat. Place near an inside storage hot water system. Wet towel method with an electric fan blowing over it.
  • What is a Hydrometer and when do I use it?
    The hydrometer is a calibrated instrument used to determine the Specific Gravity (SG) of the brew. SG is the density of a liquid relative to the density of water. With the hydrometer floating, the SG is read at the point where the graduated scale cuts the surface of the liquid in the sample flask (meniscus). We recommend the use of a hydrometer for checking that fermentation is complete before bottling. Two separate samples over 24hrs with the same reading indicates that fermentation is complete (Final Gravity - FG). To get an accurate reading you may need to 'de-gas' your sample. To do this, pass the sample from one glass to another and back again four to five times, then return the sample to the flask. Ensure that enough beer is in the flask to allow the hydrometer to float freely and the surface is relatively free of foam. To dislodge bubbles clinging to the Coopers DIY Beer plastic hydrometer, tap the floating hydrometer downward so that it bumps on the base of the measuring tube. Note, do not attempt this if you have a glass hydrometer. Please note that FG may vary from brew to brew. So it’s important to ensure that the FG is stable over two days prior to bottling. For more information, click to watch our how-to-video on Hydrometer Use.
  • Should I use plastic or glass bottles?
    Since 2000, Coopers DIY Beer has provided PET bottles as an alternative to glass, because most commercial beer is packaged in single use glass bottles, which are too thin to stand up to the rigours of continual washing and capping. The main advantage to using PET instead of glass is that if the brewer unwittingly bottles infected beer or beer that hasn’t finished fermenting, they won’t have exploding glass bottles to contend with. PET stands for polyethylene terephthalate, which is the same plastic used to make soft drink (soda pop) bottles. PET bottles are BPA free and recyclable when they eventually need replacing. Our PET bottles have re-usable caps with a tamper evident collar that breaks off after the first use; this does not affect the airtight seal. When the caps eventually wear out, replacement caps can be purchased separately. Note: PET is temperature-sensitive and should not be cleaned using hot water. PET bottles should be triple rinsed with cold water immediately after use and allowed to drain dry. Do not put the cap back on a bottle until it is completely dry. Before refilling, they can be sanitised using a mild bleach solution and rinsed several times - until no chlorine odour is detectable. There are several “no rinse” sanitising products based on phosphoric acid available through specialist stores that are very effective and “water friendly”.
  • How does this fermenting vessel design ferment beer properly if there is no airlock?
    Numerous commercial breweries, around the world, make excellent beer using open style fermenting vessels. So an airlock is not required for fermentation to take place. However, the DIY Beer Kit comes with a lid to prevent ingress of foreign organisms while allowing CO2 gas to escape.
  • Why has my Coopers Brew Enhancer 2 or Coopers Brew Enhancer 3 gone hard?
    Coopers Brew Enhancer 2 and 3 may, from time-to-time, present as a hard block. This is caused by the Light Dry Malt component (being extremely hygroscopic) drawing water from the Dextrose within the blend and then setting firm. There is no need to be concerned about this as it is not detrimental to the finished beer. Simply allow the lump or lumps of Brew Enhancer to float about, like icebergs, in the brew – they will dissolve within a few hours.
  • Adding the yeast
    Even if the brew temperature is outside of the 21°C-27°C range, add the yeast anyway as it is important to allow the yeast to start working as soon as possible. Once the yeast is added, try to get the brew temperature to move toward the desired temperature range. Make a point of doing a 'Wet Run' prior to your next brew to better understand the ratio of hot/cold water for achieving the desired temperature.
  • Can the yeast in a Coopers Ale be reactivated for fermenting my brew?
    Coopers, encourage DIY brewers to use the yeast from naturally conditioned Coopers ales. The same ale strain is used across the range - Mild Ale, Session Ale, Pale Ale, XPA, Dark Ale, Sparkling Ale, Best Extra Stout and Vintage Ale. There are numerous documented techniques, with varying levels of complexity, for re-activating the yeast in naturally conditioned beer. The method described below may leave some readers, experienced in growing yeast cultures, aghast. “What! No stir plate, no alcohol swabs, no nutrient, no way! However, for Coopers yeast, it works... Method Buy a six pack of Coopers Original Pale Ale or Coopers Mild Ale and place upright in the fridge for about a week for the yeast to settle. Mix about 600ml of boiling water and 4 tablespoons of Light Dry Malt (60g) in a pyrex jug, cover with cling-wrap and leave to cool in the fridge for about 30mins. If you don’t have Light Dry Malt you can use 4 tablespoons of Sugar (60g), but Light Dry Malt gives the best result. Open 4 bottles and decant the beer into a jug, leaving behind the yeast sediment - about a couple of centimetres. Pour the sugared water equally into each bottle, cover with cling-wrap and secure with a rubber band. Shake the bottles then place them in a dark spot at a temperature in the mid 20’s. Give the bottles a shake in the morning and at night to keep the yeast in suspension. After around 2 to 3 days the yeast should become active and begin forming a head. Pitch the active yeast into a brew immediately or store in the fridge for about a week. Just remember to pull it out of the fridge to warm for couple of hours prior to pitching. Some additional points to keep in mind; start with more yeast by using all 6 bottles, buy beer with the freshest yeast (latest “Best After” date), lower alcohol content is better (mild ale or pale ale), it’s okay to hold the culture at slightly higher temps to promote a quicker reactivation, one sanitised vessel (approx 1 litre) may be used rather than separate bottles, make sure the culture smells okay before pitching, buy another 6 pack for each culture, don’t forget to drink the decanted beer, use malt extract rather than sugar when re-activating yeast from your own bottles or other commercial brands. For more information, click to watch our how-to-video on Harvesting Commercial Yeast
  • How can I keep my brew at the right temperature?
    Try to keep the brew at the lower end of the 21°C-27°C range. Some ways you can do this include storing the fermenter inside at ambient temperature, placing it in an insulated cabinet, wrapping it in a blanket, purchasing a heat belt or placing the fermenter in a tub/sink of cool water.
  • How do I know when fermentation is underway?
    Signs of fermentation are: · Foaming · Cloudiness in the brew · Obvious convection within the brew. · A sample drawn from the tap is fizzy · The density has dropped to less than the OG.
  • What should I do if fermentation hasn't started?
    If you've gone through the checklist given in "How do I know when fermentation is underway?" and you are certain that the yeast has failed to kick off by the start of day two, you may need to pitch a second yeast.
  • How do I determine the amount of alcohol in my brew?
    The approximate alcohol content can be calculated by firstly measuring with a hydrometer the density (known as Specific Gravity, SG) of the brew before it has started fermenting and once it has finished fermenting then plugging these two figures into a formula. It is important to stress that we, as DIY Brewers, can’t measure the alcohol content directly and this method is only an approximation of the percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV). OG is the Original Gravity (SG of the brew as it has been mixed). FG is the Final Gravity (SG of the brew once fermentation has finished). (OG – FG) / 7.46 = Approx % Alcohol By Volume For example, a brew with OG = 1036, FG = 1012: (1036 – 1012) / 7.46 = 3.2% ABV. Note: allow for an extra 0.3% to 0.5% ABV due to the addition of Carbonation Drops (or sugar) in the bottle.
  • Is my brew infected?
    Comment – From time to time a Brewer may experience an infected brew. Fact – All non-commercial beer carries some level of infection. Fortunately, infection is only apparent once the off flavours and aromas reach a certain threshold (perceivable level). Some of us are more sensitive to this than others. An infected brew may produce the following symptoms – Appearance; a scum ring inside the bottle and haziness (not due to yeast) Aroma; vinegar, medicinal or solvent smell. Taste; sour, sharp or harsh flavour. Remedy - clean and sanitise all equipment that will come in contact with the brew to minimise the symptoms of infection. To clean – Soak equipment in water until caked on residue is softened. Remove residue with a soft cloth and rinse thoroughly. Pay attention to ‘hard to get at’ areas. Remove, dismantle and clean the tap, paying particular attention to the threads if it screws into the FV. NOTE: Do not use any cleaning aid that may scratch the plastic. To sanitise using Unscented Household Bleach – Add ¼ cup of unscented household bleach to the fermenting tub. Place all equipment in the fermenting tub, fill with cool water and let soak for at least 30mins. Rinse out with hot water to remove all traces of chlorine smell. Bottles – Clean bottles may be filled with sanitising solution drained from the fermenting tub, left to soak for a further 30mins then rinsed to remove any trace of chlorine smell and drained. DO NOT expose Coopers PET bottles and soft drink bottles to hot water.
  • What is the shelf life of a brew once it is bottled?
    A well-made DIY Beer, being naturally conditioned in the bottle, can be stored for longer than most commercial beer. Generally speaking, a beer style with higher bitterness, alcohol content and colour lasts longer in the bottle and even benefits with bottle age! A beer such as Mexican Cerveza should be consumed within 6 months while an Imperial Stout may be successfully stored for several years. We suggest tasting a bottle of each brew periodically to gauge how it’s progressing to determine optimum drinking age for your own preferences. Other factors to consider for longevity are the quality of the beer in the first instance, integrity of the pressure vessel and storage temperature (stable and cool).
  • Can I make non-alcoholic beer with Coopers brewing extracts? Is there an extract suitable for diabetics?
    No, you can't make non-alcoholic beer with Coopers brewing extracts. However a low alcohol beer, approximately 2.5% ABV, can be made using a 1.7kg extract mixed to 23 litres with no additional sugars. Carbonation Drops (or priming sugar) are still used for secondary fermentation in the bottles. We recommend consulting with your GP on this topic.
  • How do I make a low carbohydrate beer?
    Carbohydrates in beer are in the form of alcohol and residual sugars. To reduce the amount of carbohydrates in the brew the amount of fermentable materials in the recipe should be reduced. An enzyme (available at Brewing Specialist stores) can be added to the brew to help the yeast metabolise the sugars more thoroughly.
  • How do I make beer suitable for gluten intolerant people?
    All Coopers DIY Beer brewing extracts contain malt extract - derived from malted barley - and, as such, are not suitable for gluten intolerant people.
  • Do you have a brewing forum?
    You are sure to find helpful tips and advice from avid DIY brewers & our friendly DIY Beer team when you visit our Community Forum:
  • Who should I contact if I cannot find the answer to my brewing questions in the FAQs or Community Forum?
    Should you require further assistance please do not hesitate to contact our friendly DIY Beer Team. Email: Brewing Helpline: 1300 654 455 (from within Australia Only) or +61 (08) 8440 1800 (for overseas callers).


bottom of page