Mangrove Jacks American IPA review

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Kit started 29th December 2020. Added 1kg of amber spraymalt and made up to 23L with Tesco Ashbeck mineral water.
Fermented in brew fridge at 20.5°C.
Kit hops added on 10th January 2021.
Bottled on 13th January, with one sugar stick (mix of white and brown) per bottle and put into brew fridge at 20.5°C.
Moved out to cold shed on 28th January.
First pint tonight - 26th February.

When I bought the kit, spraymalt seemed to be in short supply everywhere, so I took what I could get which was amber malt, when I would normally have used a light spraymalt.

I don't think I realised how much of an effect this would have on the beer. It looks fantastic - beautiful brown colour with a nice head and perfectly clear but it's not the golden colour I would associate with an American IPA. It doesn't taste like an American IPA either. It's much more malty, which is obviously down to the spraymalt. The problem is, the malt appears to have completely masked the hops. There is no noticeable hop aroma or flavour.

If you just take this as a beer to enjoy, it's great. Very clean taste with a nice malt flavour and perfect bitter finish. It tastes like a traditional British bitter and if someone offered it to me as such, I'd think it was excellent. The problem is, it's supposed to be light and hoppy. You live and learn with home brewing and this has taught me an awful lot about spraymalt! On the plus side, I have a very nice bitter, which I'll enjoy drinking.
 

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GeorgieV

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danmac

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I've just bought this one as my first ever brew and will be brewing it later today but I'm just using sugar as I have no spraymalt
 
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Is it not supposed to stay with the hops for a while before bottling?
Sorry - that was my mistake. The hops were in for 3 days. I’ve corrected the review above.

I honestly admire your patience. I don't think I could wait that long.
I’ve found I get better beer this way. It’s finding a balance between letting the beer mature and not losing too much of the hop character. As long as I keep my supplies up (I usually have two in the shed and another in the brew fridge), then waiting a month or more before trying is not a problem.
 
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I've just bought this one as my first ever brew and will be brewing it later today but I'm just using sugar as I have no spraymalt
Let us know how it turns out! You’re obviously going to get a completely different result to me and yours will be true to the kit. I’ll be interested to know what you think of it.
 

danmac

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Let us know how it turns out! You’re obviously going to get a completely different result to me and yours will be true to the kit. I’ll be interested to know what you think of it.
How long did your initial fermentation take
 
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I did the MJ American IPA recently brewing it with their own 1.2 kg pure LME sachet and was also
a bit disappointed, as you say very malt forward in flavour.
I saw on another thread Drunkula tried it with DME for comparison and it turned out better balanced.
Certainly the one I made was pleasant enough but fell far short of the Youngs premium equivalent
in terms of the hoppy hit expected.
 
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I did the MJ American IPA recently brewing it with their own 1.2 kg pure LME sachet and was also
a bit disappointed, as you say very malt forward in flavour.
I saw on another thread Drunkula tried it with DME for comparison and it turned out better balanced.
Certainly the one I made was pleasant enough but fell far short of the Youngs premium equivalent
in terms of the hoppy hit expected.
That's interesting. Maybe the amber spraymalt wasn't as big a factor as I thought.
 
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Just had another couple of pints of the MJ American IPA. Unless my tastebuds are deceiving me, in just one week, the beer has changed slightly. It’s now less malty, which is allowing the hops to come through a bit. I’d now describe it as ‘floral’ (in a good way). It’s actually a really decent pint, albeit, not typical of an American IPA.

Beer matures - and it’s a good lesson to learn. I’ll be interested to see where it is in 2/3 weeks, but if it improves again as it’s done in the last week, I’ll be delighted.
 

Jordang

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I did the MJ American IPA recently brewing it with their own 1.2 kg pure LME sachet and was also
a bit disappointed, as you say very malt forward in flavour.
I saw on another thread Drunkula tried it with DME for comparison and it turned out better balanced.
Certainly the one I made was pleasant enough but fell far short of the Youngs premium equivalent
in terms of the hoppy hit expected.
that’s exactly my opinion on it.
 

Jordang

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Just had another couple of pints of the MJ American IPA. Unless my tastebuds are deceiving me, in just one week, the beer has changed slightly. It’s now less malty, which is allowing the hops to come through a bit. I’d now describe it as ‘floral’ (in a good way). It’s actually a really decent pint, albeit, not typical of an American IPA.

Beer matures - and it’s a good lesson to learn. I’ll be interested to see where it is in 2/3 weeks, but if it improves again as it’s done in the last week, I’ll be delighted.
The last few bottles were the best from my brew but it wasn’t imo as good as Razorback or Youngs IPA. Juicy is the best MJ kit for me
 

Ezza

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I've made the Youngs IPA and MJ juicy both turned out lovely but Youngs was more malty to me,MJ came out more more hoppy and sessionable.
 
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Down to the last four bottles of my American IPA, one of which I’m enjoying as I type this. It’s matured into a really nice pint. Very smooth and clean, slight hop flavour and a nice bitterness. I just don’t think this is a good example of an American IPA. I’d expect much more of a hop hit and less malt, though as I said in my review, the amber spraymalt is probably a factor in that. Forget what it’s supposed to be and just treat it as a pint and it’s actually really good. That said, I won’t do this one again.
 

Kinsalebrewery

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I've used this kit a few times now and am very happy with my results.

I use the enhancer it recommends to use as well as another pack of yeast. Yeast nutriant and a cam tab. I use goodnold Thames Valley Water.

I'm addition to my Brew at the start I will add the skin of an orange and a few drops of mango essance.

It's a prefect Brew once left to mature.
 

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