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Esb 3kg Vs Tcb Wetpack Vs X-tract 3kg

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tonydav

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I'm looking at trying one of the following brews for my next batch:

ESB 3kg
TCB Wet Pack
X-Tract 3kg

They're all priced much the same and I was tending to go towards the Wet Pack, but just wondering from those that have tried them which they'd recommend.

tony
 

kungy

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I'll be going with the wetpack if you can figure our how fresh it is. The grains and hops are not kept in the ideal conditions ie a unrefridgerated box, so they may have staled. If you can figure out how fresh it is i'll go with that.

Will

PS from their marketing ESB 3kg and Xtract sound fairly similar. However i've had good success with ESB particular there Nut Brown, but admittedly i've never tried a Xtract
 

tonydav

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I also noticed on the ESB site that they're selling 4 packs for $98 with a free liquid yeast.

How much are they supposed to be made up to as per the ESB instructions? Not clear on the website.

I'll also call into my local TCB as the guy said he had a wetpack almost ready to put on tap. Nothing beats tasting what you're thinking of getting :).

tony
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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Whatever kit you get it will be relatively expensive. Why not investigate brewing using bulk extract from Coopers ($89/28K so you are paying like $3.05/Kg of extract. Steep some specialty grain, boil some hops, hey presto probably better beer for a lot less.

Jovial Monk
 

quincy

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Tony
I'm not a great deal of help as I have only tried the ESB 3kg kit.
I've tried the Bavarian Wheat and the Czech Pils with goods results. Would like to try the Nut Brown next.
Nice and easy - disolve contents in a couple of litres of boiling water, mix well and make up to 23 litres. Pitch and wait.

Cheers
 

Dunkel_Boy

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I believe the ESB kits make 23L, but you can make between 19 and 23L. I hear they are excellent kits, and a free liquid yeast would go well.
But, I've also heard glowing reviews of the wet packs, and since they use fresh specialty grains, they seem hard to knock on paper.
Extract, I don't know what you're asking since they are both like this... unless you mean a Black Rock can + kg of dextrose/ME.
 

kungy

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Try adding less water to it, try shooting between 20-22. In my opinion 23L is to much. The only bad experience with ESB was with the Aus Draft, to thin and insipid, just like the most Australian Beer on tap!

Will
 

Dunkel_Boy

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kungy said:
Try adding less water to it, try shooting between 20-22. In my opinion 23L is to much. The only bad experience with ESB was with the Aus Draft, to thin and insipid, just like the most Australian Beer on tap!

Will
[post="52784"][/post]​
I was thinking a bock should be 19L, same with a stout, or even 18L. But the stout you could probably dilute to 21L (or so) and end up with something similar to Tooheys Old.
 

Bobby

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made an xtract once. it was pretty ordinary. made plenty of esb 3kg kits and they are always on the money. nut brown is pretty good. use a liquid yeast.
TCB dont stock liquids anymore so find a LHBS that does and get it from them.
Give gerard a call.
 

Chucky

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I've used all three kits, with varying results.

I've been happy with the ESB 3kg kits I've made (Stout, Bavarian, Wheat, Nut Brown); all were drinkable, but I give the Bavarian lowest points, and the Nut Brown highest (good honest beer).

I've used two X-tracts, the Pale (not overly happy with) and the Black (closest thing I've found to Tooheys Old, but with the stronger flavour you want). This Black has become a favourite!

The Wet Packs are more work, but interesting. The English Bitter was very, very drinkable. I've also made the APA; it wasn't bad, but not a patch on ESB's Fresh Wort APA.

Please note that the X-tract and Wet Packs were made with liquid yeasts, the ESB's with Saf. This should account for something in the comparison.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Chucky
 

tonydav

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Dunkel_Boy said:
Extract, I don't know what you're asking since they are both like this... unless you mean a Black Rock can + kg of dextrose/ME.
[post="52783"][/post]​
X-Tract. It's a new 3kg kit that I've seen at TCB. Obviously aimed at the same market as the ESB 3kg kits but I've noticed it only makes up 20L.

Jovial_Monk said:
Whatever kit you get it will be relatively expensive. Why not investigate brewing using bulk extract from Coopers ($89/28K so you are paying like $3.05/Kg of extract. Steep some specialty grain, boil some hops, hey presto probably better beer for a lot less.
[post="52775"][/post]​
I hadn't really thought of this option and it certainly sounds worth investigating. I was really just thinking I'd like to have a couple of really good beers on tap vs my normal $14/keg megaswill (200% improvement on the commercial crud but know it could be better :)) I can fit 8 kegs in the current fridge and 12 in the new one so figured I should have some "premium" drops.

Where do you buy the bulk extract?

tony
 

pint of lager

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The directions on the ESB tin tell you to make it up to different volumes depending on the style.

All of the kits in question come highly recommended. I made up quite a few of the 3kg ESB kits a few years ago, and was very happy with the results. The wet pack and the Xtract were not around then.

If I was still making up kits, they would be my preferred method of brewing, rather than a kit and a kilo of dried extract, and I would try each one till I found a favoured few.

If you were then still keen to try something different, bulk malt and extract brewing would be the next step, then some mini mashing.
 

tonydav

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Chucky said:
The Wet Packs are more work, but interesting. The English Bitter was very, very drinkable. I've also made the APA; it wasn't bad, but not a patch on ESB's Fresh Wort APA.
[post="52800"][/post]​
After I wrote the above I then noticed the fresh wort kits on the ESB site. They seem pretty reasonable at about $30 each. Can you remember how much they make up?

tony
 

quincy

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20 litres is recommended except for the stout which is best left at 15 litres.
These kits are great. Basically an AG brew without the work.

Cheers
 

Bionic

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I have made an ESB 3kb Special Stout. WIth 20 L of water instead of 18.
I just used Safale Yeast. This so far is the best Black I have made so far.
 

Dunkel_Boy

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I tried the ESB American Paley. I think it's a bit bland, definitely benefits from liquid yeast, but fact is you're spending almost $50 when you do that. With good carbonation it's a good slammer though. While it was better quality than a can of Coopers Lager or something, I think it lacks the complexity and freedom of all-grain.
Of course, if you don't have an all-grain setup, it's the next best thing. :)
 

deebee

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I reckon with kit brewing the main variable in the ingredients is freshness. Otherwise, most kits are pretty similar. What will set them apart is how you brew it. The usual stuff applies: sanitation, temperature, love and affection.

In answer to the original question, I would try them all but go for the one with the most distant use by date.
 

tonydav

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I think from reading this that I'll probably try the ESB 3kg kits. Plus I can always use another liquid yeast for my "collection".

[ramble on]

Funny how people start in home brewing to save the most money they can and over time they start wanting more and more from their brew. When I first started I think my first brew cost about $10 including the kg of sugar :(. Now most of my "swills" are about $14 with the premium ones (that I rarely share) more like about $25....

OTOH I now have about 10 different imported beers in my fridge and not one bottle of the old tooheys I used to drink. S'pose tastes mature....

[ramble off]

tony
 

Armstrong

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TCB dont stock liquids anymore ...
Partly true ... TCB don't stock them, but prefer to order them in fresh.

There was a time when the fridge was full of liquid yeast only to have half of them go out of date ... now we get brewers to order them.

As small inconvenience to guarantee freshness ... as well as reducing the dead stock.
 

Stickler

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ESB kits are great, they're all I been doing for the last couple of months cos they're so damn easy. I don't think you need go over the 20L mark with one of these kits. That's all I've ever filled 'em up to and they come out great. I wouldn't water them down any more than that. Go for flavour over volume. I usually get 50 - 52 crown stubbies from ESB kits. Pretty good for $12:50 a case.
 

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