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One of my friends bought me two cans of Coopers Australian Pale Ale. I haven't used kits before and I am having trouble figuring out what's inside. So far what I can deduce it's a combination of hop extracts and some type of sugar extract?

What I want to know is the exact sugar content and get some opinions on the following:

  • They use some basic hop extracts, based on some research it's not desirable to boil the content. So what I wanted to do is a 10 minute boil of some nice hops for flavour, letting it coold down a bit before dumping in the contents of the kit (I was thinking a combination of Amarillo and Citra). Would this work?
  • I have no idea what the level of sugar is and how much the OG will be for a single gallon of beer. If anyone has some idea on this then I can also consider buying more fermentables to increase the OG.
  • Can I trust the yeast packet provided with this kit (it's been in my cupboard for 8 months already). Or should I just get some Safale S05 instead?
  • Isn't there a manual inside the kits? – chthon Dec 12 '17 at 7:17
  • Did you already brew all-grain? – chthon Dec 12 '17 at 12:20
  • Yes and yes, havent opened the can yet :) – Lucas Kauffman Dec 12 '17 at 15:29
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I have posted some tips here already.

But to answer specifically the question:

  1. You can do a 10 min boil. Dry hop is another option.
  2. Yes, you may add dry malt extract or dextrose to increase alcohol content.
  3. If the yeast is old, you should make a starter. If you have problems with the starter, you should get fresh yeast. I made the mistake of using the cooper's yeast that was over a year old without a starter, it was just not strong enough to start fermenting properly.
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  • No, don't boil it! You'll just needlessly drive off some hop aroma. But yes, adding some DME is a good idea. – Jeff Roe Dec 13 '17 at 1:07
  • But if the purpose of the boil is to add new hops, it will not be a problem. – Philippe Dec 13 '17 at 17:44
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Make sure the cans are fresh. Old malt extract has an oxidized off flavor that tastes like sherry. From experience I can say a 3 year old can of Coopers extract is long enough. :/

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