Wilko Cerveza Help?

Discussion in 'General Beer Discussion' started by Mathew Simkin, Nov 19, 2018.

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  1. Nov 19, 2018 #1

    Mathew Simkin

    Mathew Simkin

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    Hi guys,

    Relatively new brewer here and followed a few threads with interest.

    Brewed a Wilko Cerveza kit four weeks ago, left it to ferment away for two weeks, then bottled into 23 litre bottles (batch primed with 150g table sugar). Fermented steadily at 18 degrees and left to condition for 6 days. Also used a clearing agent (Harris filters beer brite).

    The thing is, it tastes really odd. It smells a bit cidery, has absolutely no head (which might be down to the beer brite) and doesn’t taste of much. The only way I can put it is that it tastes like water with a weird warm alcoholic kick.

    Is this a classic case of the beer needs to mature for a while? Or should I have short brewed it?

    I’m going to leave it alone for another two weeks and try another, but do you think it’s flogging a dead horse?
     
  2. Nov 19, 2018 #2

    Rockuronium72

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    Apple flavours in beer can come from fermenting too high, you say 18C, was that the room temp or the beer? Some of these yeasts that come with kits are sub standard. I brewed one of these years ago & TBH they’re pretty flavourless.
     
  3. Nov 19, 2018 #3

    Mathew Simkin

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    Yeah that is my room temp, I live in an apartment and it’s almost always 18 degrees, never seems to get any lower. I don’t think it’s an apple taste as such, it just doesn’t seem to taste of much but is quite sweet, was your kit like that too?
     
  4. Nov 19, 2018 #4

    Slid

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    Kits like these make quite drinkable beer, but another month or so might be needed. A lot of posters say that using a lot of sugar gives them a cidery taste. It will probably fade a bit, if left alone.

    My best suggestion on making kits is to go two cans. The 3kg kits are a lot better and only cost twice as much.

    I made a lot of good beer with two Stout cans and 1 kg of sugar @ 27L. The cans were usually 1 Coopers and 1 Wilko.
     
  5. Nov 19, 2018 #5

    Mathew Simkin

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    That being said, would one of these kits with a can of LME be better?
     
  6. Nov 19, 2018 #6

    terrym

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    This is what others thought of this kit.
    https://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/threads/wilkos-own-brand-cerveza.23186/
    Its unlikely to be the fermenting temperature or the kit yeast that has caused your disappointment, more likely if you brewed this kit using the 1.5kg can plus a kilo of brewing sugar to 23 litres which will no doubt make it thin and watery. I usually avoid 1.5kg kits or if I do use them brew very short (ie a lot less than 23 litres).
    I suggest you put this down to experience and spend a little more and buy a better beer kit. If you are into lagers, and want to stay with one can kits, I have done the Coopers European lager a couple of times, with a few additions, and it came good for me.
    Review here
    https://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/threads/coopers-european-lager-review.17845/page-13#post-751025
     
  7. Nov 19, 2018 #7

    terrym

    terrym

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    Better light or extra light DME. But really you should be looking for a better base kit.
     
  8. Nov 19, 2018 #8

    Mathew Simkin

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    Cheers guys, looks as though I’ll leave this a few weeks and see what happens, the other thread seems to suggest that the long it is left the better it will be, albeit thin.

    I think I’ll try a coopers kit next, i was tempted with the Australian Lager.

    Might try some dme next time too.
     
  9. Nov 19, 2018 #9

    terrym

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    Coopers Australian lager comes with an ale yeast whereas their Euro lager comes with a lager yeast and you can ferment at lower temperatures, maybe down to 16*C or even lower with the single pack supplied, and this means you should get a cleaner taste.
     
  10. Nov 19, 2018 #10

    Mathew Simkin

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    Talking about yeasts, as I struggle to get the apartment anywhere below 18 degrees, I found some yeast called Californian, which I think is quite common, that ferments higher and makes Californian common, would this change the taste or could this make a standard lager?
     
  11. Nov 19, 2018 #11

    terrym

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    If you are in the UK try Crossmyloof brewery for alternative yeasts. They sell a Kolsch yeast as well as the Cali common.
    See here
    https://www.crossmyloofbrew.co.uk/yeast-specs
    Personally I don't have much problem with kit yeasts and will only rarely swap them out.
    In my view if you want to improve a kit its extra malt for one cans, hop additions, small grain mashes or steeps, over changing the kit yeast.
     
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  12. Nov 20, 2018 #12

    BeerCat

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    beer brite does not affect head retention. I use it regularly. Try Mangrove jacks cali lager yeast. I found it cleared fast and produces a clean lager at high temps.
     
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  13. Nov 20, 2018 #13

    Weebo

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    Matthew- Hi! Sorry, I know I’m late to the game!

    I have brewed a few of these kits with some good results. However, the general consensus is you may need to double up or use malt extract in addition to kg sugar- however this wouldn’t give you a light refreshing beer really (this beer is only 4%) ... or you have to wait... there’s a big difference IMO to wilko saying the beer is ready to drink in 21 days, and leaving it another month.

    I’ve had a ciderry edge before in my first kit when I was too tight to buy brewing sugar and used granulated for priming and fermentation. Since using brewing , or dark sugars I have not had the same issue.

    I’m also looking at your figures, I brewed a wilko stout last month... and from memory it only asked for half a tsp per pint of sugar to prime . Which gives about 85g in total... I know it’s a different beer- but it might be worth checking next time you’re in wilkos on the back of the kit (if it tells how much sugar to prime... I can’t remember if it’s just on the little piece of paper or the tin).

    If a fruit fly finds its way in, this can also give a cider/ vinegar taste, or your beer could have gone bad (acquired and grown some rogue bacteria) ... but if it had gone bad you’d have probably noticed during primary / bottling- mould etc.

    You don’t lose anything by leaving it another month, if you’ve got the space,
     
  14. Nov 20, 2018 #14

    Mathew Simkin

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    Thanks for the reply, much appreciated!

    I do use brewing sugar, but I only use table to prime. I worked out the sugar using a priming calculator, it should’ve left it quite fizzy but is 6 days long enough to prime?

    Another thing I forgot to mention, I’ve stored all of my bottles in a closed cardboard box so no light to get to it, with them being clear bottles however, the one I tried that tastes a bit funny, I left out next to the box (in the dark, but some artificial light can still get to it). Could this be the difference?

    I got out one of the other bottles yesterday from the box that was roughly filled the same amount and it feels a lot more pressurised.

    Could the amount of alcohol be the issue too? If the beer is suggested to be made at 4% but mine is purposely stronger? I also used 1.2kg of brewing sugar.

    Cheers
     
  15. Nov 20, 2018 #15

    terrym

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    In my experience carbing periods are down to three things, yeast loading, temperature and less so priming sugar quantity. So if you bottle nearly clear beer, keep it at 17*C and prime to get 3 vols of CO2 it will take longer than yeasty beer, at 21*C primed for an ale. My rule of thumb is a week minimum , better two. And if you are using PET bottles you will see how carbing develops. So six days may or may not be adequate. I use PET, prime by teaspoon measure, and sometimes there is a slight variation in the feel of the bottles due to carbing, which is probably down to slight variations in priming quantity.
    If you are keeping your beer in clear bottles predominately in the dark it is very unlikely to have been affected by the light, My understanding is that this only occurs when beer is exposed to long periods of direct sunlight, I believe the term used is 'skunking'
    I use this to estimate how beers will turn out.
    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/calculator
    Putting in 1.5kg LME and 1.0 or 1.2 kg dextrose to make 23 litres of beer shows about 0.5% difference due to the 200g sugar. So you have made your beer drier and contributed to the thin taste, but that is not really why your beer has turned out why it has.
    I suggest you now leave your beer to mature for a few more weeks as others have suggested and get a better quality kit going with more, but not all malt additions, if you want to have a light lager type beer. If you are going down the Coopers route they do a Cerveza as well as lagers, see here for reviews, but I have no personal experience of this kit
    https://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/threads/coopers-cerveza-review.17831/page-10#post-575298
     
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  16. Nov 24, 2018 #16

    Mathew Simkin

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    Just wanted to update.

    Decided to have a few drinks tonight and after a couple decided to try my the cerveza.

    Loads better than the first bottle. It has a head and tastes a lot better, just still quite young (which is what I think the cider taste was at first).

    Maturing is the way to go, thanks guys
     
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  17. Nov 26, 2018 #17

    Scottyburto

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    After 5 years away from homebrewing the first kit i did was wilkos cerveza (18/6) with 50/50 sugar/light spray malt. I was absolutely slating it on another thread as bang average and tasting of nothing. Mainly because id brewed a b&m aipa a week later and was in love with it! Long story short id left 12 @ the back of a cool utility room and now almost 5 months later they are a light easy drinking treat! They seem darker in colour but that might be just bad memory! Its never gonna win any awards!

    Problem is when u factor in pricing:
    Kit £12
    Spray malt £4.50
    Brewing sugar £2.50
    £19 for an ok lager?
    Im sure u can get much better for £20-23
     
  18. Nov 26, 2018 #18

    Mathew Simkin

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    Yeah I thought the same, if mine has improved after only a week then surely it must get better after a few weeks? I’m glad it’s not just mine that is dark in colour.

    I think the off flavour I could taste was just the standard home brew twang I keep hearing about.

    I’ve heard that the the coopers lager kit is quite good, as are the bulldog brews, but quite a bit more expensive.
     
  19. May 26, 2019 #19

    lee smeaton

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    I bought one of these wilko cerveza kits today to have a light cold summer drink, I bought some light DME as well just to see how that works compared to my previous brews where I just used normal granulated sugar.
    I also have some beer enhancer (mix of DME and dextrose) should I go all in on the DME or mix it up a bit with some of the enhancer to get a bit of dextrose in there as well ?
     
  20. May 26, 2019 #20

    Tom IPA

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    I'd mix it with the beer enhancer, 250g of the light DME and the full kilo of beer enhancer if I'm not mistaken they is 250g of DME in the enhancer and 750 dextrose so you will have 500g of DME which is plenty hope this helps
     

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