How to make a premium beer kit, from start to finish.

Discussion in 'Beer Brewing "How-To" Guides' started by tubby_shaw, Aug 12, 2009.

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  1. Aug 12, 2009 #1

    tubby_shaw

    tubby_shaw

    tubby_shaw

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    Two can or all malt beer kits are the pinnacle of beer kit brewing, these kits are available in a wide range of beer styles and are the best that can be experienced in home brewing before taking up extract or grain brewing.

    This kit is Bardon bitter from Matchless Homebrew
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    The kit contents, two cans of hopped malt extract, comprehensive instructions and a sachet of yeast.
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    Recommended equipment is two 30l fermentation buckets with lids and taps, your choice of sanitising solution, a kettle, thermometer, hydrometer and trial jar and campden tablets or campden powder.
    The first stage of the process is to clean and sanitise the fermentation buckets.
    My recommendation before doing anything further is to dechlorinate your brewing water. Using 1/2 a crushed campden tablet or the equivalent of campden powder stirred into 25L of tap water will immediately remove all chlorine and chloramines.
    Adding the campden powder to the tap water
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    Take the water required to be heated from the treated water and boil it in your kettle.
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    Standing the two cans in hot water for 5 minutes prior to opening will soften the contents and make them easier to work with. Make sure to use a clean can opener.
    The two opened cans.
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    Empty the can contents into the fermenting vessel.
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    Use some of the boiled treated water to rinse out all of the can contents.
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    Empty the dissolved contents of the cans into the fermenting vessel.
    Warning the can will be very hot, use oven gloves or similar to protect your hands!
    Stir to dissolve the bulk of the malt extract in the hot water added from the can.
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    Using the tap on the bucket containing your treated water, drop your treated water into the dissolved kit contents. This will ensure thorough mixing and also aerate your wort to give the yeast the best possible start.
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    Check that the temperature of your wort is between 20 and 28 Celsius
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    If the temperature is correct add the yeast.
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    Take a gravity reading. In this case 1.040. If you plan to return the sample to the fermenter make sure that the hydrometer and trial jar were sanitised.
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    22.5 Litres of Bardon bitter waiting for the yeasties to do their thing.
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    18 hours later at 20C and the yeast crop is beginning to form nicely
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    28 hours in and the yeast head looks like this.
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    7 days later and fermentation is finished
    This is how it looks after a week, after another 3 days, it'll clear down considerably and be ready for kegging.
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    OK so it's been 8 days, gravity is 1.012, but now it's time to keg.
    I will be using a plastic home brew keg for this how to.
    The keg was cleaned with Oxyclean, then sanitised with a solution of cheap, thin, unscented bleach. Then rinsed well with cold tap water and finally swilled out with a kettle of boiling water. (Be careful)
    50g of sugar (I used demerera, but use what you prefer) was weighed out.
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    The sugar was added to the keg.
    Using a length of hose from the tap on the fermenter, the beer was run into the keg which mixed in the sugar.
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    Once all the beer was in the keg a burst of gas from an S30 cylinder was added.
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    After 5 minutes to allow the CO2 to settle, the lid was cracked to vent the air in the keg and leave a protective blanket of CO2.
    This keg has a mechanical pressure relief valve, a further squirt of gas and the indicator can be seen to be OK (Green showing)
    [​IMG]

    40 Pints of Bardon bitter conditioning.
    [​IMG]

    I'll give it a couple of weeks before checking for clarity.
     
    Newtobrew2015 likes this.
  2. Aug 12, 2009 #2

    corby_brewer

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    very good how to mate :thumb:
    i brought the heart of england barley wine kit form matchless and promised ian i would do a review. but unfortunatly i couldnt find the camera when i brewed. so ill just take him a couple of bottles of the finished brew next time i go up.
     
  3. Aug 17, 2009 #3

    Wez

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    Great how to from the guy who got me into the hobby ;)
     
  4. Aug 26, 2009 #4

    paulbrrtt

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    I got that right up to the bit when you put the gas in then 5 mins later (cracked the lid open) I thought once you put gas in then thats what gives the pressure, I know you give it another burst just lost me a bit on that, and great pics by the way as im hoping to get one of those gas cans/valve
     
  5. Aug 27, 2009 #5

    tubby_shaw

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    CO2 is heavier than air, so after 5 minutes the CO2 would be on top of the beer as a protective layer and cracking the lid would expel the air leaving just sterile CO2 in the keg.
    Adding another burst of CO2 will bring back up the pressure for pennies.
    I hope that this clears up any confusion.
     
  6. Aug 27, 2009 #6

    paulbrrtt

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    Of course, so obvious now lol thx for clearing that up cheers
     
  7. Sep 2, 2009 #7

    tubby_shaw

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    So here it is the finished article :D
    [​IMG]

    The picture shows the beer to be darker than it actually is, it is a lovely mahogany colour, with a tight white head.
    There is very little aroma from the beer.
    The first taste is of malt sweetness, quickly followed by a lasting hop bitterness.
    It is a very well balanced session bitter with no one trait that overwhelms the others.

    As I have a personal preference for high hop aroma in my beer I would probably dry hop this beer next time.
     
  8. Sep 2, 2009 #8

    paulbrrtt

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    That does look good, and a very informative post great work and thank you for taken the time to share with us newbies :clap:
     
  9. Sep 3, 2009 #9

    Polymath

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    Aye very good post. Learnt a few new things from this. Mostly the explanation about the C02 level within the keg forming a protective layer, and that leaving it to settle for a few minutes and letting the "older" air out is a good idea in general. Cheers for the guide :-)
     
  10. Sep 9, 2009 #10

    Beer Hog

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    Very good How to, as i'm new to all this, it was a great source of info :thumb:

    What is Dry hop? :?:
     
  11. Sep 9, 2009 #11

    Jack Hackett

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    'Dry hopping' is the addition of dry hops to your fermenting or aging/conditioning beer to increase its hop character and/or aroma.
     
  12. Sep 9, 2009 #12

    Beer Hog

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    Thanks Jack.
     
  13. Sep 17, 2009 #13

    Leglesstwot

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    Did my Wherry kit last night and seems to be bubbling away quite merrily at present. The problem I have is I treated my tap water as recommended but used a whole campden tablet in 25 litres of cold water instead of the recommended half. Will this have any undesired effects on the brew?

    Next time I won't be in such a rush and read the instructions properly!
     
  14. Sep 17, 2009 #14

    A T

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    Na you'll be fine, i always used to over campden the water with no ill effects ;)
     
  15. Sep 17, 2009 #15

    Leglesstwot

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    Cheers mate, I can't take it out now anyway!! :cheers:
     
  16. Nov 9, 2009 #16

    herbiehammer

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    Just a quick question on the initial stages of your brewing here, do you not need to add some form of sugar such as dried malt extract before the yeast is put in ? :wha:
     
  17. Nov 9, 2009 #17

    corby_brewer

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    You will find on the premium kits, which usualy contain 2 cans, there isnt any need to add sugar of any type. Untill you come to bottle it that is.
     
  18. Nov 9, 2009 #18

    herbiehammer

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    Thanks for that info, would that be why I've been experiencing that 'homebrew twang' as I 've been using dried extract malt on the kits before transfering into the barrel ? :?
     
  19. Nov 9, 2009 #19

    corby_brewer

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    Did you treat you water with a cambden tablet?
     
  20. Nov 9, 2009 #20

    herbiehammer

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    Until reading this posting I had never heard of them, so I guess I have my answer ! :hmm: Is it worth using the dried malt extract in secondary fermentation or would normal brewing sugar be just as effective ?
     

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