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Total 20 year Newbie - Coopers



20 years ago I used to brew Coopers in a bucket using the absolute basics.

Due to a move to a country where HomeBrewing was illegal for many years I dropped it and gave up. Since then HB has since recently been legalized, I have since discovered one of my passions again.

So starting with the basics, I put a coopers real ale down on Friday night.

I started with a recipe that my wife used to love so that I would have a "quick win" with the missus and am seeing a very strange result.

1xCoopers Real Ale
500g Coopers Light Malt Extract
250g Brown Sugar

I created a starter for my yeast and pitched an 11g Nottingham Ale Yeast (First time Im using it)

Come Sunday night there was NO activity at all and a very unusual cloud forming on the top center of the brew (looked very much like a micron thin film of Oil/Milk/cloud) and dont ever remember seeing anything similar in my early days.

So in the tried and tested HB tradition of never giving up till it smells foul, I pitched the coopers yeast in. Within 6 hours fermentation started and was going so overboard I had trouble keeping the water in the air lock having to check every 3 hours to top it up and everything looked normal.

Q1: as the Coopers extract doesnt appear in Beersmith (where was BS 20 years ago), and in my haste i didnt do a SG, can someone help me with a "theoretical SG" for the above?

Q2: what is your opinion of the "slick" on the top.

Q3: What effect would I expect from perhaps a "dormant" nottingham yeast + the coopers yeast thrown in together.

Q4: Either my tastes have changed somewhat from 20 years ago (the honey style brews of the 80's and 90's are long gone and replaced with the duvels and chimays of the world) or I have just brewed something bees will like - so - suggestions to add some more body and less sweetness, would be appreciated. Would it be worth dropping a bag of hops in the secondary as a dry hop in order to rescue it?

Thanks to anyone that replies... its been a long while away and even back then with no internet, the attitude and dissemination of recipes was, as someone here most aptly put it, "if pigs can eat it, it can go in the brew"



Grandmaster Brewer
Dec 11, 2008
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Wheaton, IL
I would refer to coopers for SG as long as your kit to water ratio is close.

That slick sounds like just some resins left over from the boil. Hop oils, coagulated proteins. No big deal.

Dual yeast usually has the stronger one win out.other than cooling faster and pitching sooner, I'd say congrats on active fermentation.
The body is determimed by the style. The yeast will dry the flavor out. Actually the sugar addition leads to dryer flavor than additional extract.

Give this one a chance and try a pale ale kit next.

Question-where are you?  A lot of shops here make their own slightly more challenging and authentic tasting kits now in the us.

Good luck!


Grandmaster Brewer
Nov 23, 2007
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I see you used Nottingham.  Oddly enough last night I glanced at the following thread over at Home Brew Talk relating to slow starts for Nottingham.


I have recently used Nottingham and blew off within two days with no starter.  Go figure.