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Drinkable, But Not Brilliant.

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morry

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Hi guys,
Ive been brewing for about 6 months now and have done about 9 or so kit brews. While most of these have been decent enough, I have yet to make one that is as good as a commercial brew.
Since I have been on here, I have read posts where guys say that they cant tell the difference between their beer and a commercially produced one. Is it possible to brew really good beer with a kit, or should I consider going the extra couple of steps?
Im going down to the local brew shop this sat to watch a AG demo. Might make me want to give it a try.
Cheers,
Sean
 

Justin

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Hi Sean,

The mash demo at G&G will be a good eye opener and I think they usually have a beer there for tasting don't they? But in answer to your question you can make good beers with kits. However I've never really had much luck producing a good beer from kits, even with kits that I've done since starting all grain. They just never really came out with that nice clean flavour. But having said that too I started using grains and liquid yeasts at about the same time that I started all graining so never really had much experience using liquid yeast with kits. I had rapid improvements in a very short period of time so it's difficult for me to pin point the specifics that had the greatest effects.

But my suggestion is that you should try is to start using liquid yeasts (G&G have six month old culture packs for $7.50 so give some a try, FWIW I only ever buy their 6+ month old cultures). In my opinion the use of a good liquid yeast gives your beer a great boost.

Also, you didn't say what your using with your kits. Are you using liquid or dried malt extract? If not, you should be. Dextrose and sucrose just dont cut it so make sure you use malts.

Other than that maybe you should look at partial mashing as well. Search this site for plenty of info and you should be able to improve your beers ten fold. I thought my kit beers were pretty good until I tasted a mates all grain brews, never looked back since.

Cheers and good luck.
Justin
 

Gout

Bentleigh Brau Haus
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i agree, and i went through exactly what you are sean. My beers were ok... but just never thought much of them. With Grain you get another flavour thats hard to describe ... more fresh, alive, interesting... more dimentions etc

Try the beers at Grain and grape, hopfully they have a beer you like on tap, (not sure what they mashed last time) but you will get the taste for a grain beer and i'm sure you will want to try grain brewin :)

That said moving to AG can be hardish if your low on cash, mech skills, finding parts and pots, room, fridges, time etc :)

So maybe try a part mash, have the grain cracked at the store, G&G will do this, use fresh hops, mash in a 6pak esky or in a large pot on the stove, boil this with some nice hops and use DME to up the gravity at the end, try a liquid yeast, OR a safale / lager yeast if you dont want to have to many new things on the go at once. Also brew cooler than the kits say.

then if you can try lagering the beer for say 3 weeks(if bottling, once gassed?)

Try a Pale Ale, I'm sure you will like it and this wont add to much effort or equipment to your brewing.....

G&G have some good articles on this so ask them for it

Ben
 

sosman

beerling
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Since I have been on here, I have read posts where guys say that they cant tell the difference between their beer and a commercially produced one.
That may or may not be something you want to strive for. What I like about homebrew is being able to brew something that is different (and better) from the commercial examples.
 

johnno

It's YUMMY
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Hi morry,
why dont you try doing some small steeps/mashes. Read the section in How to Brew by John Palmer.
It will make a big difference to your beer.
Even when I was just doing kits with some extra malt I always thought the beer was much better than megaswill.
cheers
 

morry

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Thanks for all the advice guys. At the moment, Im adding stuff to the kits to try and make them a bit better. For the brew I put on saturday I used DME, hops and some grain aswell as the kit. Hopefully it turns out ok.
Ill consider trying liquid yeasts and then look at partial mashes.
Cheers
 

jgriffin

No Longer Brewin!
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Morry,
Partial mashes made a huge difference to my beers, as did liquid yeasts. WIth the two, you can make beers as good as commercial beers imho - Snow for example makes some really good partials that win awards.

My best beer to date is a partial mash Porter recipe that Jayse made up from his AG recipes. All you need is
a) A 15L pot (from K-Mart for $18)
B) a rubber stopper and airlock to make up yeast starters, and a large bottle

Buy your liquid yeast (yes i know it's like $16 normally, but if you cultivate you can get dozens of brews out of it), and do a partial. Best if you have a gas stove though, or a gas burner - my electric over just doesn't cut the mustard.

I do jayses recipe here
http://www.aussiehomebrewer.com/forum/inde...wtopic=817&st=0
with the Crystal malt and choc malt version.

Put it down with an English ale yeast (although i actually prefer Irish Ale).
It peaks in about 3 -4 weeks, so it's quick to drink, and all my friends rave about it.

I also buy bulk liquid malt that my HB shop sells in 1KG containers, much cheaper than the coopers 1.5KG cans.
 

sosman

beerling
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Ill consider trying liquid yeasts and then look at partial mashes.
Gotta agree with the others, the difference that adding some of your very own recipe to the extract is amazing. Sounds to me like you are already on the slippery slope.

If you are interested, I put some pics up and commentary about my first attempts at partial mashing brewiki: partial mash
 

morry

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The more I read about all your comments, the more I want to try new methods of brewing. I must have a word to my mate sometime.
 

frenzix

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I've been brewing for about 2 months and put down 5 batches so far, the first batch im still drinking and think its freekin fantastic. I don't want to ever buy a commerical beer ever again, they taste chemically to me. (except for coopers).

Cheers, Tim
 

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