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°designing° a recipe using an extract kit

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I'm new to the homebrew scene and have only one batch under my belt.  It was a basic stout kit.  But for my second batch, I'd like to something a bit better than a standard kit.  However, when I ordered my homebrew kit, I got a can of Cooper's Lager extract kit that I don't want to waste, but I don't really want to just do a "lager" (even though it uses ale yeast).

My basic question is: can I just substitute the Cooper's extract as I would a light extract?  I'm assuming this wouldn't be wise, but was wondering how could I use the lager kit as a basis for something.  I'm really not familiar with recipe design as to what would work and what wouldn't.  I'm not even sure what styles I should consider, if it is possible.

I'm not familiar with Coopers specifically, but there is little difference between a regular pils(lager) and pale base malt.

Do you know what brand/strain of yeast is included?

Safest bet is probably a pale ale, IPA, or amber, if you're willing to supplement the kit with a small amount of specialty grains and/or hops. Take a look in brewWiki.

Be careful and check to see if the Cooper's extract is hopped or unhopped. If it is hopped, the hops have already been 'boiled' into the extract, so you will already have a bittering base.

Hope that's helpful to get you started. Ping questions away, a ton of knowledge out there on this forum.

Pils malt works great in light american ales, APAs, and IPAs.

I'd just use it for starters. Cooper's ingredients don't have a great reputation, and I believe all of their kits are pre-hopped.

Yes, it is already hopped extract.  But I am willing to add extra grains or hops to it.  I was thinking of using a specialty grain, and if possible some other hop, maybe a finishing hop.  I should probably keep it simple though since I am still learning.


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