Simply, Brown Ale Kit Review

Discussion in 'Beer Brewing Equipment and Beer Kit Reviews.' started by Brewtus, Sep 4, 2013.

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  1. Sep 4, 2013 #1

    Brewtus

    Brewtus

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    So, I started this on 25th September, decided to add 1.5kg Dark LME, give it a bit of depth, plus 50g of Columbus in a hop tea (I does like 'em hoppy!)

    Dutifully stood the bag in boiled water to soften up, only to realise: Disaster!! I hadn't removed the yeast packet from the bottom. What to do? I assumed that the heat would have killed the yeast even prior to rehydration (though I would appreciate any advice on this as I still have the yeast) and didn't want to waste a whole brew in finding out. So, being a Sunday my LHBS is obviously closed, I have some wine yeast in my store but am led to believe that it can ferment to a higher alcohol level and produce off flavours. So I turn to where every lad turns when he's really in trouble, "Dad, do you have any beer yeast lying around?"

    Of course he did, well lager yeast actually, but I'm sure I have read that these kits often use lager yeast anyway. so I pitched dry yeast at 22C, OG at 1049, and lidded. 4 hours later the krausen is 3" high and the smell is good! However 3 days later the airlock activity has slowed right down and 9 days later the SG is only reading around 1022. I tried rousing the yeast around day 5, but this did not seem to help. Is this a consequence of the lager yeast that the process is just going to take that much longer? or have I got a stuck ferment?

    On a side note I sampled the trial jar at day 9 (purely for quality control of course) and although not unpleasant, it had no depth or body to it and just tasted a little lifeless.

    I will update further in due course.
     
  2. Sep 4, 2013 #2

    Hulpy

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    Simply bags...

    I did the same boiled up the bag in a sauce pan lalala only to realise the yeast pack on the bottom LHBS closed as it was a sunday (the day of home brewing amen) i still used it though and got an alright result i rehydrated in a sml cup of warm/hot water 3tsp of granulated sugar dropped on top of the yeast and gave it 15mins it seemed frothy and okay so pitched at that was actually quicker on the 1st fv than some other kits so must have woken it up. :wha:
     
  3. Sep 9, 2013 #3

    Lesinge

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    I have this beer in the garage conditioning at the moment. This, like all the simply range I have tried, is really good. Tastes lovely and nutty and has a good smooth body. Use 500g brewing sugar and 500g of medium spray malt. This is my cousin in laws favourite beer that I have made for him as he doesn't really like the more hoppy beers that I prefer.

    Fully recommend this beer as I do for the IPA, Stout and Mild that are in the Simply range.
     
  4. Sep 11, 2013 #4

    Brewtus

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    So tested again last night (day 16) SG only dropped a little (1018) but the real difference is in the taste, it's definitely getting better, though I think perhaps that I shouldn't have dry hopped for the full fermentation.

    Anyway, no opportunity to bottle now until the weekend, so further update in 3 weeks time.
     
  5. Sep 20, 2013 #5

    Hulpy

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    how did it end up prey tell? :pray:
     
  6. Sep 23, 2013 #6

    Brewtus

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    Only bottled 8 days ago, SG hadn't dropped any further than 1018 so I make that around 3.8% (perhaps 4 after priming). Batch primed with 100g soft brown muscovado.

    Trying desperately to give this 4 weeks before I crack a bottle, but we shall see!
     
  7. Sep 23, 2013 #7

    Hulpy

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    Fingers crossed 1018 sounds quite high for a final gravity reading though
     
  8. Sep 23, 2013 #8

    Brewtus

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    Yep, I know. I prodded and poked and tried to get it going again a couple of times, but to no avail.

    Proof, as they say, will be in the pudding!
     
  9. Sep 23, 2013 #9

    Lesinge

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    ..or in the exploding bottles!
     
  10. Oct 1, 2013 #10

    Riddo

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    Now i have to admit to doing one of these in 2012 and was pleased with the results. I can't help tinkering though so this time i made it using 250g crystal malt which i boiled for around 30 minutes before removing, then turned the flame off and added 25g simcoe hops at the end, and left it another 30 minutes. Has to be said, crystal malt and hops were both in muslin bags!

    Instead of sugar, i used a full 1.5kg tin of light malt extract. Poured the crystal malt and hop soup onto this (including the hops, couldn't see what harm it would do), topped up to 23 litres, took the gravity and pitched the kit yeast. 2 weeks later, bottled.

    This is intended for Halloween, but had to have a taste with a mate at the weekend to see how it's coming on. 4 weeks conditioning and wow, what a great beer! A good deal of body with an abv of 4.6%. It works out a bit pricier than the usual method, but crystal malt goes a long way, and you can get LME tins relatively cheaply when buying in bulk. Taste wise it's everything you'd want from a good ale on a cold day, really satisfying. I've had a few successes this year through experimenting, and this is definately one of them!
     
  11. Oct 1, 2013 #11

    Lesinge

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    Hi there, where do you get your LME tins in bulk?

    Thanks


    Lesinge
     
  12. Oct 2, 2013 #12

    Riddo

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    Brewsmarter.co.uk do malt extract tins really cheaply.delivery is free after 65 has been spent. They're dirt cheap anyway (4 for 1.5kg tin) but offer 16x 1.5kg tins for 58. When i make any 1 tin kits, adding a 4 quid tin of this just gives a much better result, plus it's cheap enough to experiment with extract brews! Happy shopping!
     
  13. Oct 2, 2013 #13

    Hulpy

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    Hmm interesting. I like to experiment with kits and this seems like a god way to boost flavour and body cheers :cheers:
     
  14. Oct 3, 2013 #14

    Riddo

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    its the best way i've found for me so far, and a no more expensive way than using bke or even 500g spraymalt! best of luck!
     
  15. Oct 4, 2013 #15

    Brewtus

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    Well the first bottle was sampled last night after 2 weeks in the warm and 1 in the cold.

    Crystal clear pour, small amount of very dense sediment in bottom, nice amount of head which lasted most of the way the bottom of the glass. Taste was good, good body nice amount of malt, if anything it didn't need the full 14 days of dry hopping, especially with something like Columbus, the hoppiness is quite overpowering. Either way a cracking brew with a little tinkering.

    Top tip on the LME Riddo, will be looking into that certainly!
     
  16. Dec 6, 2018 #16

    Llamaman

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    Mine only got to 1.021 after two weeks at 20-21C. Maybe the yeast is prone sticking?
     
  17. Dec 24, 2018 #17

    Llamaman

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    My second brew with this (well, the other half of the kit) got down to 1.012 in just over 2 weeks.
    I pitched this with the yeast cake from the first batch, so a huge over pitch but it didn't seem to do it any harm judging by the FG.
    I guess the yeast in the sachet wasn't in best condition so struggled with my first brew, but I had a decent population for round 2.

    I now recall I bought the kit from Amazon not a HBS, so maybe I got it from a supplier with a slow turnover. Probably should have made a starter to get the yeast happy, but we live and learn :)
     
  18. Dec 24, 2018 #18

    terrym

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    So what's it turned out like?
     
  19. Dec 24, 2018 #19

    Llamaman

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    Not tried it yet. It’s conditioning in the shed... Given how cold it is, it should be carbing up reeeeeeallllly slowly.
    The second kit is carbing up indoors as I’m confident it won’t explode! Might be ready before the first.
     
  20. Dec 24, 2018 #20

    terrym

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    carbing
    After packaging and priming, carbing usually take place at room temperature, and according to how much sugar there is, yeast load and temperature, will be complete in 7 - 14 days. Then you can put it in a cold place if you have one, no problem if you don't, for anywhere from a few days to a several weeks to condition. If you try to carb at anything less than about 15*C with an ale yeast it might struggle . And there's nothing wrong in opening one after its apparently cleared after carbing to see what it's turned out like, irrespective of how long conditioning it's had. I'm sure most of us do that, I certainly do. athumb.. Sometimes you find its ready to drink. sometimes not, but at least you can form an opinion, and satisfy your curiosity.
     

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