Kit Brewers.

Discussion in 'Beer Kit Brewing Discussion.' started by Chippy_Tea, Apr 16, 2019.

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  1. Apr 16, 2019 #1

    Chippy_Tea

    Chippy_Tea

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    I answered the post below earlier (In this thread) and thought it would be interesting to get the view of kit brewers as its an opinion regularly given on kits by AG brewers it is also the reason the Kit Brewing forum was added a couple of years ago at the request of kit brewers .

    If that is the case why do so many members make and enjoy them when for years AG brewers have been saying the same?

    Edit to add - This thread is for kit brewers to give their views not for AG brewers to tell kit brewers why they think kits are inferior that opinion has been posted many times over.


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    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
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  2. Apr 16, 2019 #2

    MickDundee

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    I don’t think kit beers are “rank”, it’s just not as high quality as an AG beer. I only ever did “premium” 2 can kits though, so the “can and kilo” kits might be different, and it probably helps that I have lovely soft tap water. I certainly enjoyed the Wherry a lot - I even found a “lost” bottle which was a year old long after I started AG and it was good, definitely not “rank”.

    I wouldn’t go back now I’m AG though, mainly because kits are more expensive, allow less control over the process (mash temp to allow higher/lower FG, upping/lowering hops to personal taste etc), and the beer isn’t as good.
     
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  3. Apr 16, 2019 #3

    kelper

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    My Wherry and Nog have been enjoyed by many with no negative comments. I do smell a little yeastiness but it dissipates quickly. I am so happy with my homebrew that I don't wish to visit pubs any longer. Just as well as there are no decent pubs within 100 miles. I can sit at home, in front of the wood burner and drink with my wife and chosen friends. No lager louts, fruit machines or children - bliss. I'll try all grain next year but am happy trying all the kits for now.
     
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  4. Apr 16, 2019 #4

    Linalmeemow

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    Kits don't taste rank, in my experience I was fairly happy with them until I tried AG and realised how much better the beer I was making was. I could never go back now though.
     
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  5. Apr 16, 2019 #5

    Pavros

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    Kits 'may' taste rank if you buy the cheapest one available, make it up with table sugar, let it ferment for 10 days then bottle and drink (ie follow the instructions).

    If you buy a reasonable quality kit and let it ferment out fully, then bottle and condition properly, they can produce a nice beer.

    It also depends on certain factors outside of our control such as freshness of extract and yeast, temperatures stored at, etc etc.
     
  6. Apr 16, 2019 #6

    Mavroz

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    OK, Let me try again as my post was deleted for some reason with no explanation.....
    I am NOT an AG brewer, i have progressed to being an extract brewer.
    Over the last 18 months I have brewed kits,many kits and it is my opinion on the kits I have brewed (They weren't cheap kits), the results were far far far inferior to the Extract Brewing methods i use now.
    I am not telling Kit brewers their methods are inferior, i am stating the kits i brewed were not very good, this is my view and my view on kits is that @Ghillie isn't too wide of the mark with his comment.
    I hope this is a little clearer.
     
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  7. Apr 16, 2019 #7

    Cwrw666

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    I made 1 can kits for very many years before switching to AG 4 years ago. Some of them were indeed rank, but some were totally acceptable, and often better than the products of some of the big breweries.
    Have to say I did some 2 can kits in the last year or so before switching and wasn't that impressed - flavour was often better but I really got sick of stuck fermentations...
    So I prefer AG but I have plenty of time which not everyone has.
     
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  8. Apr 16, 2019 #8

    chesters-mild

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    Well...we all started on kits, back in the early days 60s - 70s there were some questionable kits around - a small bag of grains / hops to boil, minimal malt, make them up with a shedload of sugar. Yep we all did it. Most kits are far, far much better today, some even with hop tea bags for dry hopping.
    The only advice to any kit brewer should be to treat all you water with a campden tablet and use a good yeast rather than the yeast supplied with the kit.
     
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  9. Apr 17, 2019 #9

    Ghillie

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    Agreed @Mavroz. If you ever brew an AG beer; you will taste for yourself just how many world's apart they are from both kits and extract. Extract still contains preservatives and it's absolutely distinguishable.
     
  10. Apr 17, 2019 #10

    Mavroz

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    Sure mate, will move up to and try AG one day I am sure but for now Extract is meeting my needs and expectations far beyond what I ever imagined I could make.

    Not sure the extract, whether liquid or dry I use has anything other than stated on the ingredients. The ingredients list certainly doesn't state they have preservatives or any other additives in.
    I would have thought it would be a legal requirement to do so.
     
  11. Apr 17, 2019 #11

    -Bezza-

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    I'm not sure that I've ever considered a kit beer to taste bad but it's also the case that my AG beers have tasted better. But I think we're talking small gains for a lot more effort. I mean I can get a extract kit into the FV and kitchen cleaned down within 40 mins of starting. For AG, you're looking at several hours, more cleaning duties, additional equipment costs which can be significant and a lot more scope for things to go wrong. I dunno though, perhaps my palate isn't as refined as some people around here!

    Either way, I hope any extract kit brewers reading the comments on the 'inferiority' of the kits don't feel alienated here. Kits absolutely have a place in modern homebrewing and I continue to use kits to supplement my AG brewing efforts.
     
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  12. Apr 17, 2019 #12

    darrellm

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    Sorry but I have to disagree.

    I stuck with Extract for a good few years before moving to AG, yes it was a step up in terms of the range of beers you can brew using different malts and different mash temperatures, but as for the quality of the beer it was only a small step compared to the step-up from kits to extract. Extract gets a bad name because of LME - the liquid extract can be very variable in quality, many of us think it has a shelf life and goes off producing the homebrew "twang", whereas I've never had that with DME. I've got a variety of beers in my stash at the moment and one was brewed with all DME, I can't tell the difference between it and the AG brews in there.

    Of course, this could be my taste buds, but if you brew Extract with DME rather than LME you will produce some very nice brews. And if you keep your eyes open for offers, you can get DME for as little as £4.50/kg so it's not too expensive compared to LME.
     
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  13. Apr 17, 2019 #13

    strange-steve

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    Agreed, I don't think AG is necessarily better than extract. In fact I'm pretty sure the best of show winner at last year's Irish NHC competition was an extract beer.
     
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  14. Apr 17, 2019 #14

    Mavroz

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    My last 4 or maybe 5 brews have all been with Dry Extract. I agree, it seems to be far superior to Liquid in taste etc etc. It takes me around 3 hours from prep to clean to make up a 23 litre brew. Well worth the effort. The only gain with AG may be price as extract is expensive but the Ag equipment layout is also expensive.

    Sorry, the topic seems to have been derailed again.
     
  15. Apr 17, 2019 #15

    MickDundee

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    To make a move from extract to AG, the only extra equipment you really need is a grain bag for mashing
     
  16. Apr 17, 2019 #16

    Mavroz

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    With extract, i mash in a grain bag?
    With extract brewing, i have no need to sparge etc etc with multiple vessels.
    I use a 17 litre stock pot on the Wok Burner on the cooker, mash for 30 minutes, boil for 60 minutes, adding various ingredients.
    Cool and add boil to Fv with yeast.
    The only extra equipment i need for extract (partial mash) opposed to an off the shelf "Kit" is the stock pot, a good thermometer and a host of quality ingredients.
     
  17. Apr 17, 2019 #17

    Covrich

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    That is why a lot of people go for BIAB, you do not sparge or have other vessels but generally use one bigger pot, that is the caveat.

    OT - I dont think kit beers are "rank" it is where lot of us start out and there are some decent ones out there, I will be honest the one can kits I am not too keen on, my dad made many before he passed and whilst they were drinkable and fine to drink, but even with DME I just felt they fell a bit short of the mark, my best analogy is they tasted like a ready meal rather than something cooked from fresh. the more premium kits which come with hops and decent yeast are a step up, the Youngs kits are pretty good I think, and whilst I don't see it here often the St Peters Ruby red was pretty nice. If you are starting out and you knock one of these together as instructed you will not be disappointed.
     
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  18. Apr 17, 2019 #18

    An Ankoù

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    I've never brewed a stunning beer from a kit, but it has always been at least very drinkable. Then one day a mate, who I didn't know had started brewing brought me a couple of bottles he had made and I couldn't tell it was from a kit! He'd bought it at the Range, he said.
    Did a lot of brewing from malt extract in the early days before the Chancellor slapped VAT on it. I was perfectly happy with those beers, as I recall.
     
  19. Apr 18, 2019 #19

    Graz

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    For me it's all down to time. I can have a kit beer made and in the brew fridge in an hour or so. I don't doubt that I'll move towards AG one day and it will be a revelation but I can't afford the time it takes at the moment with a young family, lots of DIY to do, a full time job, and numerous other pulls on my time.

    With a kit I can have a perfectly drinkable brew for ~60p a pint and some of them (e.g. Youngs AIPA) are pretty exceptional.
     
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  20. Apr 18, 2019 #20

    Norfolk79

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    Like most people I started this journey by brewing kits (initially coopers 1 tin ones, then moved onto the Festival 2 bag ones, with dry hops) before moving onto All Grain.

    Granted the coopers ones were alright, perfectly drinkable but the Festival ones were much much better. Before I got temperature control I have had a few "funky" tasting AG brews when the fermentation temp got a bit too high.

    At the end of the day they all produce perfectly drinkable beer, the end result is more to do with parts of the process falling down than what goes into them.
     
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