Going back to kits?

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micklupulo

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This year I have dropped my abvs and I am really enjoying drinking beers that are mostly under 4%. I having been doing AG batches between 8 and 16 litres. I bottled a 14 litre batch today, a 3.8% pale with Chinook and Centennial hops. I also added cherry puree which I made myself to 8 litres of saison which will be about 4.5% iirc.

I make these on my cooker and it's not challenging. I could easily make these up to 5 gallons by adding plain extract or a kit can. Kit cans have the advantage of giving you the bitterness you need. Use a simple low colour kit, like a lager, or Canadian Blonde etc. Or Muntons hopped extract. Or use unhopped and do a bittering addition in your grain boil. To hit 4% ish:

23 litres
OG 1.042. FG 1.010.
ABV 4.0%

1.5kg LME
1.8kg Pale malt
300g Dextrose

I don't understand your problem with adding hops to kits. Always worked well for me, dry hops or hop tea.
Thanks for this which is very helpful. My failure with dry hopping and hop tea puzzles me too. All I know is that for the most part beers I have dry hopped or added hop tea to have tasted too sharp to begin with and have oxidised sooner. As I am having to cut down and as I prefer to do 23l batches the product needs to still to taste good after several months.
 

clib

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Thanks for this which is very helpful. My failure with dry hopping and hop tea puzzles me too. All I know is that for the most part beers I have dry hopped or added hop tea to have tasted too sharp to begin with and have oxidised sooner. As I am having to cut down and as I prefer to do 23l batches the product needs to still to taste good after several months.
Hop tea can introduce sharpness that fades over about 4 to 6 weeks, in my experience. but not oxygen. Dry hopping has not caused those issues for me to any noticeable extent. Bottle conditioning seems to deal with oxygen. I think your answer is probably the partial mash brews, half grain and half extract. They will make better beer than kits, at less cost, and you have much more control over the outcome.
 
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Hey @Dutto , what's with the sad faces? :?: :laugh8:

Nowt wrong wi' kits. :beer1:athumb..

“Sad” because all AG brewers say the same!

i.e. “They will make better beer than kits, at less cost, and you have much more control over the outcome.

As if AG brewers never make a mistake, have to pour everything down the drain etc etc etc!

Some of them have never even tried a kit or enhance one! I still maintain that a Wilco Cerveza kit, enhanced with s litre of Tesco Pink Grapefruit Juice, is the nearest I have ever tasted to Batemans Gold; something I never achieved when I brewed AG.

:hat:
 

the baron

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I'm not a AG snob some brilliant kits out there now and some brilliant kit brewers, the only thing I can say is that AG is probably cheaper for a equivalent kit brew but doesn't make kits a lesser brew.
I would do more kits its just on price being a Tyke-short arms deep pockets-.
I also have the time to do Ag at the moment but did 3 kits in a row last year to catch up on stock and all good and will do again if short of time athumb.. athumb..
 

clib

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“Sad” because all AG brewers say the same!

i.e. “They will make better beer than kits, at less cost, and you have much more control over the outcome.

As if AG brewers never make a mistake, have to pour everything down the drain etc etc etc!

Some of them have never even tried a kit or enhance one! I still maintain that a Wilco Cerveza kit, enhanced with s litre of Tesco Pink Grapefruit Juice, is the nearest I have ever tasted to Batemans Gold; something I never achieved when I brewed AG.

:hat:
Well ive brewed many beers using kits, using extract, using grain and all combinations with hops and different yeasts and i think it's indisputable that you can make beers at much lower cost with grain, or grain and extract, than you can with kits. And the best AG beers are better than kit beers in my experience. Doesnt mean every grain brew will be a winner. Or that kit beers cant be excellent, they certainly can. I wrote guides on here a few years back giving tips on how to enhance kits. I still use a kit as a base once in a while, as I suggested above. Im not anti kit at all, quite the opposite.
 

Dyke Busters

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Well ive brewed many beers using kits, using extract, using grain and all combinations with hops and different yeasts and i think it's indisputable that you can make beers at much lower cost with grain, or grain and extract, than you can with kits. And the best AG beers are better than kit beers in my experience. Doesnt mean every grain brew will be a winner. Or that kit beers cant be excellent, they certainly can. I wrote guides on here a few years back giving tips on how to enhance kits. I still use a kit as a base once in a while, as I suggested above. Im not anti kit at all, quite the opposite.
So how do I find these guides that you mention
 
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So how do I find these guides that you mention
Coopers do a whole series about their kits. Look in on the following:


On the Forum, I suggest that you try searching for “Kit Enhancers”.

Enjoy.
:hat:

PS
I got 10 pages!
 

Graz

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Has anyone tried any kits from Brewferm? I've seen them for sale on Get Er Brewed and they look interesting and some of them would work out at the ideal size for me i.e 9 or 10 litres.
I've made both the Dubbel (formerly Abbey) and Winter (formerly Christmas) kits for a Christmas brew. Both excellent but benefit from long conditioning times, the Dubbel I seem to remember making in April/May ready for the following December, the bottles of Winter I held back for the December a whole year after the December I brewed it for (so about 1.5 years in the bottle) were even better.

I'm sure the lighter styles they do don't need anywhere near as long conditioning though!
 

obscure

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“Sad” because all AG brewers say the same!
i.e. “They will make better beer than kits, at less cost, and you have much more control over the outcome.
As if AG brewers never make a mistake, have to pour everything down the drain etc etc etc!
Some of them have never even tried a kit or enhance one! I still maintain that a Wilco Cerveza kit, enhanced with s litre of Tesco Pink Grapefruit Juice, is the nearest I have ever tasted to Batemans Gold; something I never achieved when I brewed AG.
I think for me my big issue with kits is they do take a lot longer to condition, typically I find you need to go the full 2-2-2 week process as an absolute minimum while with all grain I have had deacent beer in 3 weeks, this is especially true for session bitters. On the whole I would say with kits as long as you don’t screw up on the sanitisation or brew beer in the middle of a heat wave you will end up with perfectly drinkable beer, while with all grain their are a whole load of other factors to potentially screw up on.

I primarily brew all grain because frankly I find it fun, I enjoy the whole process (well maybe not bottling but that is what kegs are for) but I still use kits on occasion mostly when I just don’t have the time for an all grain brew day.
 
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Dyke Busters

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Coopers do a whole series about their kits. Look in on the following:


On the Forum, I suggest that you try searching for “Kit Enhancers”.

Enjoy.
:hat:

PS
I got 10 pages!
Screenshot_20220705-181933_Chrome.jpg
 
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Having no temp control apart from a fridge which is used for kegs, i will do a few kits over winter when it's to cold to brew outside i mostly do the wilko one's and tart them up and as above you need to give them time, forget the make beer in 21 days that's hogwash you need a minimum of 6 weeks and you will get a decent beer, also you have to really try to screw a kit up
 

Bart Fleming

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I brew all grain and kits when I can't be bothered.
All grain opens up a world where you can create anything.
All grain is also more forgiving. You can tuck into a fermenting beer before it's finished and it can still taste lovely. A kit beer will taste... kitty.
That being said, I can still knock off a cheap kit eg. Coopers with an Enhancer and produce something as good and clean as commercial. The twang is not because it's a kit - it's the conditions..eg. temperature control etc.
I like to tart up a cheap kit by preparing it in a 20 litre cube and hopping the unfermented wort for a week first. A pinch of sodium metabisulfate will ensure wild yeast doesn't spoil the wort before the yeast is pitched a week later. This technique is neither a hop tea or dry hop, but is a great way to add complexity to a kit beer and has produced some highly quaffable easy to make beers.
 

Dyke Busters

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Please Lord, let some of the people read my Posts BEFORE they start mumping!

I actually Posted:

On the Forum, I suggest that
you try searching for
“Kit Enhancers”.
I’ve highlighted the bit that means something!
aheadbuttaheadbutt
Just because I'm not technically minded does not need for you to get personal
 
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