Can anyone recommend a decent lager kit?

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PaulQQQ

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Hello, for the first time in many decades I'm trying my hand at home brewing again - the last time was in the mid 70s when I was a teenager.

I'd like to try a lager kit and was wondering if anyone can recommend a decent one:

  1. I'd like to start with 2 gallon brews so ideally I'd like a kit for this size if available
  2. If not then I'd consider next a dry kit for 5 gallons which I can split in two
  3. Finally, if none of the above are available, might it be possible to split a 4 - 5 gallon wet kit and store half of it - e.g. use half the ingredients for a first brew and put half the hopped malt extract in a screw top jar in the fridge for a second brew. Would anyone know how long it might last?
Many thanks if anyone can help.

Paul
 

terrym

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Lager kits are probably the poor relation of the beer kit world, even though beer kits are much improved since when you last brewed in the 1970s. It seems other kit beer styles just come out better. Maybe its down to the process since 'proper' lager brewing requires controlled low temperature brewing (using an adequate amount of lager yeast) then weeks of lagering at low temperatures, although some brewers use converted fridges to provide the low temperatures needed. And then maybe liquid malt extract just isnt right for producing lagers. So as far as I can see they aren't really well represented in the range of choice folks have.
Anyway to get round the temperature problem most kits provide an ale yeast, to allow fermentation at 'room temperature', but arguably that diminishes the quality of the end product.
Next most beer kits come as either a 'one can' with hopped LME from 1.5kg to about 2kg where more fermentables are required to make up to the intended 23 litres, or premium kits where everything comes in the box, and no extras are needed. But most LME kits are intended for 20-23 litres.
So you to get round that you could
- split a kit and store the unused LME, provided everything was sanitised, and you used it say within a couple of weeks.
- find a lager kit where the LME comes in two cans like Wherry and use one at a time
- or use a single can to make a reduced volume, but this concentrates the bitterness in proportion to the reduced volume. perhaps a 1.5kg kit like Youngs Harvest or Geordie or a Wilko lager kit would be best for this
Finally I have only brewed two kit lagers, Coopers Euro lager and their Pilsner which turned out OK. But I brewed at low temperature in winter using lager yeast and added extra hops.
These might be useful

 

PaulQQQ

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Hello TerryM, I thought I'd replied but can't see anything, so just trying again - thanks very much for the advice above.

I'll see what I can do by splitting kits. I've just 'come in ' to 50 or so pint beer bottles which makes the idea of doing a big brew or storing LME for a week or two and doing separate brews as options - though I'm not looking forward to washing and sterilising 40 bottles at once! I seem to remember it was a real pain when I wer't a lad!
 

PaulQQQ

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Lager kits are probably the poor relation of the beer kit world, even though beer kits are much improved since when you last brewed in the 1970s. It seems other kit beer styles just come out better. Maybe its down to the process since 'proper' lager brewing requires controlled low temperature brewing (using an adequate amount of lager yeast) then weeks of lagering at low temperatures, although some brewers use converted fridges to provide the low temperatures needed. And then maybe liquid malt extract just isnt right for producing lagers. So as far as I can see they aren't really well represented in the range of choice folks have.
Anyway to get round the temperature problem most kits provide an ale yeast, to allow fermentation at 'room temperature', but arguably that diminishes the quality of the end product.
Next most beer kits come as either a 'one can' with hopped LME from 1.5kg to about 2kg where more fermentables are required to make up to the intended 23 litres, or premium kits where everything comes in the box, and no extras are needed. But most LME kits are intended for 20-23 litres.
So you to get round that you could
- split a kit and store the unused LME, provided everything was sanitised, and you used it say within a couple of weeks.
- find a lager kit where the LME comes in two cans like Wherry and use one at a time
- or use a single can to make a reduced volume, but this concentrates the bitterness in proportion to the reduced volume. perhaps a 1.5kg kit like Youngs Harvest or Geordie or a Wilko lager kit would be best for this
Finally I have only brewed two kit lagers, Coopers Euro lager and their Pilsner which turned out OK. But I brewed at low temperature in winter using lager yeast and added extra hops.
These might be useful

Thanks very much Terry M
 

Surfingobo

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I’ve had Wilko Mexican Cerveza in the FV for just over a week now, sample jar already tastes delicious. I brewed it to 20L with 500g light and 500g sugar. I would give it a go at 2 gallons with just the can, at worst you lose £12
 

chris-s

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Terry's advice is very good.

I am currently drinking a Festival Vienna Red Lager. It's not a real lager but uses ale yeast.

It is a very nice refreshing drink although nothing like a tin of Carling or whatever. Way better.

The reason I mention it is because I'm sure it came in two pouches like other Festival kits, so you could easily split it into two batches.

You might need to get an extra packet of yeast, particularly if there were to be a long time between the two batches. I haven't tried splitting a batch so someone else may advise on that.

Hope that helps.
 

Wherrypuzzled

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A friend got me to introduce him to Home Brewing

He is a lager drinker - and I am a Bitter fan (Admirals Reserve and Wherry) so when he asked for a first kit to try I suggested

Muntons Connoisseurs 1.8kg - Continental Lager

This was because years ago I used Muntona Bitter all the time and rated it and of course the 2 kits I mentioned above are from the same stable. So he bought it and when we got to drink it I was staggered as to how good it really was and it was tasty and not like the "lager" I was expecting

He was loving my Wherry and so when we got a socially distanced meeting together on another neighbours drive it was bizarre because I was on the Lager and my neighbour(s) were both downing Wherry

So thats a long story to recommend the above Kit but hope you like it !
 

TheOsprey

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Though I'm not looking forward to washing and sterilising 40 bottles at once! I seem to remember it was a real pain when I wer't a lad!
If you've got something to soak the bottles in overnight (with cleaner in), then rinse in the morning, that takes the pain out of washing. Unless they're filthy of course.

For sanitising, a no rinse sanitiser and a bottle rinser (£15 online) make the job a doddle. Took me about 15 mins to do 48 bottles.
 

Bernie

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Hello, for the first time in many decades I'm trying my hand at home brewing again - the last time was in the mid 70s when I was a teenager.

I'd like to try a lager kit and was wondering if anyone can recommend a decent one:
That was in the days that fermentation was done at 30 °C + in the airing cupboard. People have realised that ales ferment at around 20 °C and lagers at lower temperatures for best results. If it's warm weather I'd leave the lager till winter. I do Coopers European Lager + 1 kg dry LME with decent results.
 

PaulQQQ

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Thanks very much for everyone who's replied here - quite a range of options for me to 'wet' my teeth on 🍻:beer1:
 

MMBF

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Hi Paul, I got hooked on Mad Millie Larger from Brew 2 Bottle. It comes in two pouches (so easily split into two brews). The brewing sugar is included in the pouches so you don’t have to buy and add any. It comes with Mangrove Jacks M54 Californian larger yeast that ferments quickly at ambient temperatures.
Mine come out crisp and clear, especially if you can cold crash. I have never made less than 40 pint brews as it never hangs around for very long to worry about.
 

PaulQQQ

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Thanks again to everyone's suggestions - lot's for me to try here.

In response to Kelper's question above, my normal tipple in the pub is what's available - which is usually Stella or Kronenbourg - though having said that it's feeling like quite some time since I went to a pub. I used to be a big bitter drinker but living in London in the 80s and 90s the quality of bitter was often too poor to be drinkable and expensive enough for this to be very annoying so I got the taste for what was then 'high alcohol' lager and I've never really gone back to bitter drinking much , in the pub anyway, though I don't mind the odd pint at home and will try brewing some soon.
 

kelper

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Beer kits will probably be more rewarding. There are so many good ales available now in pubs.
 

AMyd666

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Hi Paul, I got hooked on Mad Millie Larger from Brew 2 Bottle. It comes in two pouches (so easily split into two brews). The brewing sugar is included in the pouches so you don’t have to buy and add any. It comes with Mangrove Jacks M54 Californian larger yeast that ferments quickly at ambient temperatures.
Mine come out crisp and clear, especially if you can cold crash. I have never made less than 40 pint brews as it never hangs around for very long to worry about.
Hey there. I've never understood why they say the brewing sugar is included. It's two pouches of liquid malt extract; it is the sugar! There's no additional sugar provided. 🤔
 

MMBF

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Hey there. I've never understood why they say the brewing sugar is included. It's two pouches of liquid malt extract; it is the sugar! There's no additional sugar provided. 🤔
Because they are described in the advert as "sugar inclusive kits"????
 

Barley Rubble

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I've just brewed a Coopers 86 day Pilsner Lager, which is a one can kit and comes with a lager yeast. I added 1 kg. Coopers Brew Enhancer no. 3, plus 200 gms. demerara sugar. Brewed to 24 litres. OG was 1040 and FG 1010 so came out at 4.0% (3.94% to be exact). I bottled it on Friday so it is carbing at the moment.
I know it probably doesn't help you with your lager selection right now, but I will keep you posted how it turns out in a few weeks.

PS. I have never brewed a true lager before apart from a Wilko Cerveza which isn't really a true lager because it uses an ale yeast, but it is close and worth a punt most definitely.
 

Cheyne_brewer

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Coopers European lager is as good a Stella Artois clone as you could wish for, if a little light in the ABV department. And, at least with my last batch there is little hint that it's a homebrew kit beer.
 

Tanglefoot

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Coopers European lager is as good a Stella Artois clone as you could wish for, if a little light in the ABV department.
You can always fix that with a little extra fermentables to the OG of your requirement athumb..
 
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