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A Return to Kits


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#21 Coldspace

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 01:57 PM

I've got mates who I've setup with keg systems and only do kits. Some of the Morgans kits especially the lager receipes turn out really good.

On their brew days I go over as they are still learning , let em mix it all up to the Morgans or coopers receipe , I usually take a big yeast starter of 34/70 or s189 for the lagers for them, or us05 or coopers recultured for the ales , mix, O2 , pitch and run at either 13 degrees or 19 depending, they brew away, fine cc and keg up,
Turn out excellent,

It's funny when they phone me up and say they have mates over who can not beleave the beers are "homebrew" and say comments like these are better than some of the craft breweries are putting out.

I have to agree, some of the craft breweries I've tried lately are about average in quality.

That's why we learn this hobby... To make better beer :)

Good luck, it will turn out great.

#22 Quokka42

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 09:53 PM

The challenge of AG is great, as is the sense of achievement, but after you have been doing it a while you should have built up the skills, knowledge and technique that you don't really need to unless you plan going commercial. It's like cooking - you do everything from scratch until you reach chef level and can use "cheats" to produce the mass food in the restaurant. You still need to know the basics if you want to win stars or do a TV show, though - but no-one is going to pick it on a taste test if you are good.

 

My Mainstay recipe is based on a coopers kit, DME, crystal malt and usually pellet hops (unless I can get fresh) - and more people rave about it than my partial and full mash, and a lot of my friends are POMEs, some legit members of CAMRA!



#23 Aussie Mick

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 11:56 PM

I'm sure many members would be very interested to hear more about your mainstay recipe Quokka.

I tend to agree with your theory. I set up and ran a restaurant all from a passion for a certain style of food, and had 18 months of great success, then the novelty wore off..........big time. I sold the business and now I cook for family and friends once again, and enjoy it.

I am an ex Camra member of. 😊

Edited by Aussie Mick, 23 January 2017 - 11:58 PM.


#24 Beefy

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 05:41 AM

Jumping back into the homebrew fray after a long absence, it seems to me that a LOT has changed for the better over the past few years:

1) Kits have improved. The new top-end Coopers kits have a lot more fresh hop character. The Amber Ale and English Bitter are both particularly good.

2) The products available to us have improved. Better sanitation with products like StarSan, new dry and liquid yeast strains, and improved availability of specialty grain and new-world hops can give kit and extract brews a lot more of that all-grain 'freshness'.

3) Kits'n'bits recipes have improved. The English Bitter based Porter is *so* incredibly good.

 

Back in the day, I always considered jumping up to all-grain because I thought I was missing something with kits - not any more. If someone can't turn a kit into a really great beer, I don't think that they are a particularly good brewer.



#25 cliffo

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Posted 27 January 2017 - 03:20 PM

An update.

 

Kegged a week ago, put on tap last night and I'm halfway through the first glass now.

 

First thoughts are that my AG beers are noticeably superior but all in all for the minimal effort involved this isn't a bad beer.

 

I don't think I'll do any K&K on a regular basis but this tastes way better than the K&K beers I remember doing all those years ago.

 

I put it down to temp control, good yeast and better sanitation methods.



#26 jackgym

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 11:30 AM

Jumping back into the homebrew fray after a long absence, it seems to me that a LOT has changed for the better over the past few years:

1) Kits have improved. The new top-end Coopers kits have a lot more fresh hop character. The Amber Ale and English Bitter are both particularly good.

2) The products available to us have improved. Better sanitation with products like StarSan, new dry and liquid yeast strains, and improved availability of specialty grain and new-world hops can give kit and extract brews a lot more of that all-grain 'freshness'.

3) Kits'n'bits recipes have improved. The English Bitter based Porter is *so* incredibly good.

 

Back in the day, I always considered jumping up to all-grain because I thought I was missing something with kits - not any more. If someone can't turn a kit into a really great beer, I don't think that they are a particularly good brewer.

I wholeheartedly agree, Beefy.

I've brewed nothing but kits and just adding extra hops (either boiled or dry, or both) for different recipes and all have been excellent beers.

In fact, when I'm forced to drink at the Club the beer is thin and tastes like crap. 



#27 professional_drunk

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 08:15 AM

I've been doing AG for years and life has recently got in the way and I needed a way to fill the keg. I brewed up a coopers pilsner + a tin of coopers light extract and was quite pleasantly surprised by how well it turned out. Doesn't have the twang I remember when I tried kits many years ago. Definitely not as good as my all grain brews. The malt flavour seems off like could be not fresh. Not sure how to describe it. But if you balance the hit to quality vs how little effort I put into it, I think it was worth it. Will definitely look to do more kits when life gets busy.



#28 laxation

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 09:42 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.

Only just found this thread now... but a while back I bought 3x those Thomas Coopers IPA tins from Dans when they were on sale ($15 for the kit and a box of malt - should have bought more!)

 

One brew I screwed up and got an infection. Second brew was the best beer I've ever brewed by a long way. This was just with the tin, tin yeast, 1kg malt and 500g dex and then bottled.

Have just finished fermenting the 3rd tin and it went into the keg yesterday. Really looking forward to trying one off tap!

 

Anyway my point is... I think this might just be a really nice tin of beer.

 

I'm keen to try the hop slam for sure


Edited by laxation, 12 April 2017 - 09:42 AM.


#29 laxation

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 11:28 AM

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

 

Keen to try this. When did you add the hops?



#30 Aussie Mick

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 07:23 PM

Hi Laxation

I just checked my notes and unfortunately, I didn't write down when I added the hops.

I can only presume that I dry hopped them on about day 4 of fermentation...... but maybe I boiled some up with the LDM......sorry, not much help I know.

I have actually just now racked off another of these. This time I used

1x Brew IPA
1 kg LDM
2x sachet of Coopers yeast (its all I had at the time)

I then dry hopped about 15 gms of each hops (same three) on day 4, and I have transferred the hops into the secondary (racking) fermenter.

It is tasting pretty good

#31 jackgym

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 03:47 PM

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

What's the kit taste?