Coopers 884 Real Ale Malt Extract Review - A Quality Brew Right Out of the Can!

My review of Coopers 884 Real Ale Malt Extract. My thoughts on brewing with it, notes on taste, body and retention. Plus my overall verdict.

REVIEWS

Mat Stuckey

9/17/20234 min read

Brewing with Coopers 884 malt extract
Brewing with Coopers 884 malt extract

Coopers 884 Real Ale Malt Extract Review - A Quality Brew Right Out of the Can!

As a homebrewer, I'm always on the lookout for malt extract kits that can deliver a tasty brew with minimal fuss. The Coopers Real Ale Kit fits the bill perfectly for crafting a drinkable golden ale in short order.

While kit beers won't ever match the complexity of all-grain brewing, this Real Ale extract provides a solid base for experimentation and adding your own unique twist.

Read on for my full thoughts after brewing up this classic kit!

Brew Day with Coopers 884

Brew day was smooth sailing. As is typical for most malt extract kits, the process is very straightforward:

  • Steep any specialty grains if included (this kit is extract-only)

  • Add malt extract and boil for 15-20 minutes

  • Chill, pitch yeast, ferment as usual

I've brewed this kit several times now and have the process down to a science. Having everything pre-measured and ready to go in one pouch is great for simplicity.

Key Kit Details

  • Yields 5 gallons of beer

  • Includes ~4.4 lbs of a neutral golden malt extract

  • Proprietary Coopers yeast designed for ales

  • No specialty grains or hops included

  • IBUs: 20 - 25

  • OG: 1.040 - 1.050

  • FG: 1.008 - 1.012

  • ABV: 4.5% - 5.2%

Some Recommended Additions to Your Brew

The beauty of extract kits is playing around with additions to make the recipe your own. For this beer, I'd recommend considering:

  • Light DME 1/2 - 1 lb to boost gravity

  • Crystal or Caramel malt for body and sweetness

  • Flavorful hops like US Goldings, UK Fuggle, or Australian Galaxy

Brew Day Experience with Coopers 884 Malt Extract

My setup to brew this kit includes:

  • 7 gallon stainless kettle

  • Propane burner

  • Wort chiller

  • 6.5 gallon plastic fermenter

  • Various hoses, strainers, spoons etc.

Once I had my sanitised equipment ready to go, I:

  1. Heated 3 gallons of water to 155°F

  2. Removed from heat and stirred in the real ale malt extract until fully dissolved

  3. Brought to a boil for 15 minutes

  4. Chilled wort rapidly to 65°F with my wort chiller

  5. Transferred chilled wort to fermenter and added cool water to reach 5 gallons

  6. Aerated thoroughly with a whisk

  7. Sprinkled in the dry yeast once temperature reached 65°F

Having my own brewery dialled in makes the process smooth, but this kit could certainly be brewed with more basic equipment on a stovetop.

You can buy Coopers 884 Malt Extract here via Amazon, we make a small commission if you do, but that hasn't swayed our review in anyway, plus it helps us continue to review these products in the future for you.

Fermentation Characteristics

I held the fermenter at a steady 65°F ambient temperature and used the recommended dry ale yeast.

  • Day 1 - Active fermentation with krausen foam

  • Day 3 - Still churning away, blowoff tube engaged

  • Day 7 - Fermentation winding down, cleared up beer to secondary

  • Day 14 - Bottled with 2 oz corn sugar to carbonate

The Coopers yeast worked as expected with no noticeable flaws. I could potentially see trying an English or American ale yeast to change up the flavour profile.

Tasting Notes

The finished beer had a great appearance, pouring a clear golden colour with a fluffy white head that stuck around. The aroma was on the subtle side with some light bready, cracker notes. Taking a drink revealed a medium body and subdued hop bitterness. Malt flavours were somewhat simple with a bit of honey sweetness. The finish was dry and crisp.

While the beer wasn't overly complex, the drinkability was excellent. This light and refreshing ale went down smoothly. Any homebrewer would be proud to serve this to friends and family!

Feedback from My Homebrew Club

I shared this beer with my local homebrew club at a recent meeting. The consensus aligned with my own tasting notes:

  • Nice golden colour

  • Decent head retention

  • Clean fermentation character

  • Easy-drinking with restrained bitterness

  • More malt complexity and flavour hops would improve the beer

My club liked it overall, with some members wanting a touch more hop aroma and a fuller body. Their constructive feedback has provided some ideas to tweak the recipe next time.

Changes for My Next Batch

While the Coopers kit produces a quaffable golden ale on its own, there is also plenty of room to experiment and dial in more flavour. For my next batch, I'm considering:

  • A 1 lb addition of light DME to boost the OG and malt backbone

  • Steeping 1/2 lb of Carapils malt for added body and head retention

  • More hop varieties and timings for enhanced aroma - Galaxy and Amarillo are intriguing options

  • Trying a dry American ale yeast like Safale US-05 for a cleaner fermentation profile

  • Allowing full 3 weeks in primary for maximum attenuation

Is this Kit Worth Brewing?

For new and experienced brewers alike, I would certainly recommend giving this kit a shot. The simplicity and quality of ingredients make it an ideal starting point for your first extract homebrew. For more advanced brewers, it provides a canvas to build upon with specialty grains and hops while requiring minimal effort on brew day.

The resulting beer hits all the marks for the style - light, crisp, and refreshing. While it may not blow more sophisticated palates away, any homebrew is an accomplishment to be proud of. For a basic golden ale you can make in under an hour, Coopers Real Ale extract fits the bill. Grab a can and get brewing today!

My Final Verdict on Coopers 884 Malt Extract

4 out of 5 stars - High quality ingredients combined with simplicity and flexibility make this a must-try kit for new and old brewers alike. While the finished beer lacks complexity, it provides a delicious base that can be easily tweaked to your preferences. I will keep this staple stocked in my brewing supply closet moving forward!

You can buy Coopers 884 Extract here.

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