Which beer next?

Discussion in 'General Beer Brewing Discussion' started by Duncan Dobbin, Mar 13, 2019.

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  1. Mar 13, 2019 #1

    Duncan Dobbin

    Duncan Dobbin

    Duncan Dobbin

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    Hi all. Complete virgin to this forum so go easy on me!

    I have just completed my first brew using the Northern Brewer homebrew kit, which contained their Block Party Amber Ale part extract kit. The brew went fine and it's currently approaching two weeks in the bottles, so I'm starting to look at my next batch.
    I am a fan of the citrus style ales such as Brewdog Dead Pony Club, and Beavertown Gamma Ray, and I prefer them to be sub 5%.
    For my next brew I have been looking at the pure extract kits (just for ease and time) and was wondering if any of you had any experience of the taste of these, particularly with regards to the citrus preferences as mentioned above? The kits I have looked at are the Mangrove Jacks Pink Grapefruit IPA, American Pale Ale, and Berliner Sour, plus the Beerworks Sierra American Pale Ale.
    Any thoughts on the above gratefully received, along with any further suggestions for sub 5% citrus stlye ale kits.
    Thanks, and looking forward to posting more as I continue this journey!

    P.S. I have also been looking at the BIAB all grain kits, but think I will wait a little before making this step.
     
  2. Mar 13, 2019 #2

    An Ankoù

    An Ankoù

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    Welcome Duncan. Can't help you with the kits, but I know Mangrove Jacks make good stuff. Many on this forum recommend Cooper's kits.
     
  3. Mar 13, 2019 #3

    dad_of_jon

    dad_of_jon

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    Hi Duncan, I've used the MJ pink grapefruit and it was tasty but not grapefruity enough for me. next time I do it i'm adding 2-3 litres of potassium sorbate free grapefruit juice to it.
     
  4. Mar 13, 2019 #4

    steve denholm

    steve denholm

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    Hi Duncan this is a really great beer : https://www.themaltmiller.co.uk/product/american-pale-ale-2/ I added a big dry hop of citra to mine and made a grapefruit infusion by letting pinkgrape fruit zest sit in cheap vodka for a couple of weeks and chucked in when i dry hopped it, Called it Hoptimus Prime, one of my best brews yet :)
     
  5. Mar 13, 2019 #5

    terrym

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  6. Mar 13, 2019 #6

    Gingerbrews

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    I can recommend trying some of the Craftybrew Extract range from Brewuk to experiment with
     
  7. Mar 13, 2019 #7

    darrellm

    darrellm

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    There are two types of extract brewing: pre-made kits like Youngs that just have a dry hopping stage to add aroma, with the liquid extract canned and pre-bittered. Or full-extract where you have raw extract (dry or liquid) and have to do a boil in a small stockpot to add bitterness and aroma. The BrewUK Extract range is an example of the latter and will generally produce better beer as it's closer to all-grain brewing
    https://www.brewuk.co.uk/beerkits/craftybrews/brewextract.html

    With the pre-made kits, I found Youngs American Amber Ale to be good. But by far the best was Tiny Rebel Cwtch - I really couldn't tell this was a kit
    https://www.brewuk.co.uk/tiny-rebel-cwtch-3-0kg.html
     
  8. Mar 13, 2019 #8

    terrym

    terrym

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    Another way of doing this (especially since OP has already made up an extract based kit) would be to make up an extract brew against a recipe of own choosing, rather than buying a box of ingredients. For example the Greg Hughes book 'Home Brew Beer' has two simple single hop recipes that might be suitable, one based on Cascade the other Amarillo. There will be others elsewhere.
     
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  9. Mar 13, 2019 #9

    Duncan Dobbin

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    Thanks for the replies all. I was looking at the BrewUK range, but the pure extract kits. However, the Craftybrews look interesting, and a little closer to the Amber Ale kit which came with the Northern Brewer set, so I may well give them a go.
    Out of interest, if I wanted to add a citrus flavour (I'm assuming citra!) what hops are the best to use and when should I add them to the boil?
     
  10. Mar 14, 2019 #10

    terrym

    terrym

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    There are several hops that have a citrissy edge some more than others. Have a look through this and pick out the ones that do, Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Comet, Citra etc etc.
    https://www.crossmyloofbrew.co.uk/hop-guide
    I use Cascade in a few beers and also Motueka. Can't speak for the others in isolation. We all have our favourites I'm sure, so what I like you may not.
    As far as adding hops to the boil, the earlier you add them the more bitterness they impart, and the later they go in the more flavour goes into the beer. Some hops are added at heat off and they give up some flavour and some aroma too. And quantities added vary from hop to hop mostly based on the bittering potential (roughly %AA) of each hop and the required bitterness in the finished product (IBUs)
    So typically in the Greg Hughes Cascade single hop beer 41g added at 70mins start , 20g at 15mins, 20g at 5mins and 63g at heat off, which gives a 23 litre beer of 40IBU, 30 of which is from the 70min addition.
    In short each hop or combination of hops have a different profile, and each beer a different profile, so there is no one size to fit all.
    My suggestion to you is to make up a single hop extract brew, as I said above. Find a hop you like or think you might like, by trying one of the commercially available single hop beers or just by taking a guess based on some research, and then to make up a single hop extract brew. The point being that if you buy kits with combinations of hops provided, you don't really get to find out what each hop contributes to the finished product.
     
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  11. Mar 14, 2019 #11

    Duncan Dobbin

    Duncan Dobbin

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    This is fantastic advice. Thank you so much for posting this. I think that I will follow your instructions, and also use the link you provided to choose the hop I will try. I may just try a small batch newb to start, maybe 5l?
    Wow! This has progressed quickly!
     
  12. Mar 14, 2019 #12

    darrellm

    darrellm

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    If you're going to make 5L you may as well make 10L: double the beer for the same amount of time and only a small increase in cost.

    If you're using dry malt extract (DME/spraymalt) try to size your recipe so you use complete 500g or 1kg bags as it's 'orrible stuff once moisture gets near it and it won't keep. For 10L a 1kg bag will give you OG 1035, 1.5kg will give you OG1053. 12L with 1.5kg DME will give you a nice standard 1044 OG.

    You can get away with a reduced-volume boil 6-8L using your chosen hops, then top it up to volume with cold water in the FV.
     
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  13. Mar 15, 2019 #13

    Duncan Dobbin

    Duncan Dobbin

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    I have decided to jump right in, based on a thread I found with a simple base recipe for a small batch AG brew...https://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/threads/have-a-go-at-simple-ag.51779/

    I am going to try a 10 litre brew, but with the following hop additions and small changes to the above recipe:

    1.9kg Maris Otter (Aiming for a slightly lower ABV)
    Hop additions - 5g Citra & 5g Simcoe at 60 mins
    - 10g Citra & 10g Simcoe at 5 mins

    Any thoughts on what I might expect from this? As mentioned before I am aiming for a 4% ish, sessionable citrussy pale ale. Would some dry hopping be too much?

    Thanks!
     
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  14. Mar 15, 2019 #14

    darrellm

    darrellm

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    Recipe looks good, OG will depend on your brewing method - I'd be tempted to use a bit more grain just in case your efficiency id down for your 1st AG brew, say 2.1kg.

    And I'd dry hop with 10g Citra & Simcoe too.
     
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  15. Mar 17, 2019 at 11:38 PM #15

    Duncan Dobbin

    Duncan Dobbin

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    Thanks for this feedback. I'll be giving this one a go in a couple of weeks, and will look to dry hop 5 days into fermentation.
     
  16. Mar 18, 2019 at 7:11 AM #16

    Clint

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    Dry hop two weeks in.
     

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