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A Return to Kits


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#1 cliffo

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 05:46 PM

I've been brewing All Grain for nearly 10 years and never gave a thought to K&K brewing since.

 

Recently, I've been wondering if I could brew a simple K&K and make it turn out better than I remember back in the day.

 

Back then, I used kit yeast, no temperature control and probably haphazard cleanliness.

 

Today I use good yeast, temperature controlled ferments, oxygenation of the wort and much better sanitation practices.

 

So, I present the brew:

Attached File  IMG_20170103_183014.jpg   125.46KB   80 downloads

 

I'm going to make this up to 20-21 litres, pitch yeast harvested from coopers stubbies and oxygenate the wort in a temperature controlled ferment.

 

I was never happy with any of my K&K brews so I'm keen to see if this turns out different to what I remember.

 

I expect this will be a one of experiment.

 

Has anyone else gone back to brew a K&K years later and found it was better than you recalled?


Edited by cliffo, 03 January 2017 - 06:57 PM.


#2 Happyrock

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 06:29 PM

Hey Cliffo. I'm keen to see how this goes for you. My last return to kits didn't turn out very well but I think it was my fault for trying to make my recipes too complicated rather than just keeping it simple and letting the kit do its thing. Impatience probably had a big part in it also.


Edited by Happyrock, 03 January 2017 - 06:30 PM.


#3 daveHQ

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 06:54 PM

Back then, I used kit yeast, no temperature control and probably haphazard cleanliness.

Today I use good yeast, temperature controlled ferments, oxygenation of the wort and much better sanitation practices.

I'm going to make this up to 20-21 litres, pitch yeast harvested from coopers stubbies and oxygenate the wort in a temperature controlled ferment.


You'll be surprised how much better it'll be using good practices!

It'll still have the kit taste, but it'll be drinkable

#4 Aussie Mick

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 11:10 PM

I'm very new back to brewing having brewed all grain in the 80's in U.K.

I have brewed a few kits and bottled up and have had pretty good results in comparison to kits of yesteryear.

However, I recently got kitted out with a kegging system and the last 4 brews were all kegged and force carbed. I am seriously impressed, and I would say it is as good as pub tap beer and probably better.

I have brewed a simple K&k Coopers Mexican, Coopers Hop Slam USA recipe, Dr Smurtos Golden Ale (extract version) and a Black Rock Golden Ale with adjuncts.

i too am brewing temperature controlled brews, racked and fined before kegging, re-using yeasts and With the results I am now getting, I don't think I need to consider grain brewing..........so far...........but I'm sure things will change down the line.

#5 Rocker1986

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 11:21 PM

I made up a Coopers English bitter kit with 500g (I think) dry malt a couple of years ago as a quick brew to ferment while I was away for a week. It was done in the brew fridge etc, but it wasn't as nice as one I did back in my early kit days. Just seemed to lack flavour for some reason. Maybe I was too used to hoppy pale ales :lol:



#6 Mardoo

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 05:46 AM

I've been brewing all-grain for four years now. I haven't re-visited kits, but have put together some decent extract brews using Cooper's, Briess or Weyermann extracts and my own hopping. I've tried some steeping which, kept within reason, has produced some decent to good beers. I think your idea Cliffo to keep it simple does work well. Not going mini-mash though. May as well just mash.

Edited by Mardoo, 04 January 2017 - 05:46 AM.


#7 bevan

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 07:23 AM

when I was brewing kits the biggest thing that improved them was controlling the fermentation temp. And keeping the temp down at 18 deg for ales ignoring the instructions on the kit.

#8 grott

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 08:09 AM

I made up a Coopers English bitter kit with 500g (I think) dry malt ......... Just seemed to lack flavour for some reason. Maybe I was too used to hoppy pale ales :lol:

 

I use 500gm (half a tin) of the liquid light malt extract which I feel tends to give more flavour/body. Changing from "hoppy" pale ales will take a bit to adjust.



#9 Rocker1986

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 09:16 AM

Yeah, I never did one again after that though. It was only done due to lack of time to brew an AG batch. I have done a few AG English bitters recently which have turned out very nice, though.



#10 swiftyb

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 09:41 AM

Great read guys - am on my journey brewing at the moment only doing kits (convenience, experience and time) and the theme I'm picking up is temperature control your primary ferment. 

 

Looks like I'm up for a controller and a fermentation fridge!



#11 LAGERFRENZY

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 10:10 AM

The kits are bittered as much as they need to be but understandably have no late flame out or dry hopping traits. I freshened my APA brew cans by steeping about 200 grams of crystal and boiling the liquor with a couple of hundred grams of LDM with a few extra litres of water. Add hop additions and cool. Dry hop as per a normal brew.

#12 cliffo

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 10:48 AM

A check this morning and it already has a nice krausen formed at 17°.

I think I've given this the best chance for it to do it's thing so looking forward to the taste test in a few weeks.

I rate cleanliness and temperature control as the most important steps to making better beer along with good healthy yeast.

#13 Nurple

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 11:22 AM

I tend to brew a coopers real ale kit every so often when I'm running low and don't have the time to brew a AG.

 

I use the kit yeast, temp control fridge and only difference is I dry hop for 24 hours before cold crash (24-48hrs) with around 50-70g of a fav hop and they turn out very drinkable.

 

Sometimes the last 4-5 beers from the keg tend to be not so nice if I've taken a while to drink it.



#14 DrSmurto

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 07:19 AM

I've brewed kit beers a few times since starting AG. Twice I've put a kit beer into the local BrewAdelaide case swap and both times it wasn't picked as a kit beer.

Before i switched to AG i was spending a lot of effort on my kit beers. I always started with Coopers lager as it was low (ish) in IBU and very light in colour. I steeped some spec grain, did a small boil with hops and used US05. Produced some very good beers, one of which won a local comp beating AG beers.

Now i go a bit further and use liquid yeast and oxygen but the rest is the same.

We have a kit beer challenge on BrewAdelaide for any Adelaide brewers wanting to join in. Will be combined with the next case swap in the coming months.

PM me for details if interested, not going to link another brewing forum here.

#15 Aussie Mick

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 07:18 PM

Slightly off topic Cliffo, but could you tell me how much you pay for those oxy cylinders?

#16 yum beer

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 09:13 PM

Doing much the same ATM, I put down a Coopers Cerveza just before Xmas, using all my new knowledge, temp control, yeast health etc.....

Don't hold out a lot of hope but I can't keep bagging kits if I can't say for sure how good you can get one.

About a week off bottling, so another month before seeing any real results.



#17 cliffo

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 06:39 AM

Slightly off topic Cliffo, but could you tell me how much you pay for those oxy cylinders?


Get them from Brewman, $55 for the bottle on its own.

#18 Barge

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 09:09 AM

I brew kits when I don't get time for an AG brew. They are much better than I used to do. Some are even as good as any beer I've tasted. Hard to believe but there you go.

Never was a fan of the coopers aussie though. Always tastes like a kit. Equally, i just kegged a batch that used Briess Munich LME. Definite twang there.

Haven't even tried a lager with extract as I think that will have very noticeable flaws.

I think AG brewing gives more control over flavour/fermentability etc but I believe it is possible to make excellent extract beers. The chances of one not turning out quite right are obviously much higher, but with good practice and a little common sense it is possible to do.

#19 bradsbrew

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 09:24 AM

I have considered the challenge of making a kit beer up to see the improvement from better fermenting and storage practises, but with 5 cubes sitting in the brewshed it will be a while before i do.

#20 Aussie Mick

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 09:38 AM

Thanks Cliffo, I'm a plumber and buy them from Reece at $44 plus GST. Now I know I am not being ripped off.

Anyone thinking of trying a kitv as an experiment, I can highly recommend the Hop Slam USA recipe on the Coopers site. Hands down the best brew I have produced to date.

http://store.coopers...ex/view/id/124/

I made a few changes. I used .5 kg LDM and .5 kg dried wheat malt, then 30g each of Cascade, Amarillo and Centannial. It was tasting very bitter at casking stage, 2 days later it had blossomed into one of the best beers I have tasted in this hemisphere

The Black Rock Golden Ale will be getting kegged up today or tomorrow and it tastes very promising too.