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LKC

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I started brewing late last year and have been using K&K kits with some extra hops.

On the weekend I made my first brew using specialty grains something I now want to continue.

After some searching I have found the following kits. does anybody have experience with them or would recommend one over the others. Obviously once I find one I like I can tweak the hops and what not to make it the way I like but I think these kits are a good starting place as I have no idea which grains can be used for steeping when I am shopping online.




Daves stovetop brew




Blue Mountins Brew




Wetpaks
 

waggastew

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I have no experience with the products you linked to BUT there is plenty of info on this site to work some decent Kits & Bits recipes out yourself. You will probably find that the prepackaged kits tend to be a bit more expensive in the long run compared to buying your own bits (e.g. from Craftbrewer, see link at top of page, no affiliation). In saying that if you want to have it all worked out for you then they seem an OK deal.

What styles of beer are you into? Below is a recipe I made a while back that is a cracking American Pale/IPA style beer. Stands up well next to an AG/Commercial PA and is not too involved.

1 Coopers Pale Ale Tin
1 Coopers Light Malt Tin
0.5kg Wheat DME
300g crystal, steeped
500g dextrose
1tsp Calcium sulphate (gypsum)
12g each of simcoe, amarillo, cascade and chinook at 20min
10g each of simcoe, amarillo, cascade and chinook, dry hopped Day 0
10g each of simcoe, amarillo, cascade and chinook, dry hopped Day 7
US-05 at 17degC for 15 days, then crash chilled and bottled.

SG 1054, FG 1012, ABV 6.1%
 

LKC

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I am really into ales. very hoppy pale ales IPAs APAs and any type of stout. My Muntons Smugglers Ale has been my favorite homebrew so far but I have not really expored making extra hoppy beers. I really want to make a wheat Nelson Sauvin Ale soon for when spring comes around.

I already have my bag for BIAB and would like to move to AG soon, just want to get used to adding grains and steeping but As I do not know much about brewing yet and how to do AG I thought these kits would be a great intro. Once I feel confident enough to give AG a try I will do a BIAB AG.

As I stated before I would create my own recipes but when looking at grain online I am unsure as to which ones are suitable for steeping. So that is why I am looking at the kits. As I have most of your recipe already I will be sure to make it, I have been thinking about what to do with the pale ale kit I have.
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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Truth be told - steeping grains won't give you any major experience or insight into BIAB. Given the kit is the base, you're not going to get the concepts that BIAB (or AG brewing as a whole) needs at any rate.

TBH - you're better just to jump in, and get used to the process, learning the concepts along the way, rather than doing a kit, having no idea of the concepts either way, and still going onto do BIAB and re-learn everything.

I would have done that, had BIAB been as "big" when I was kit brewing.
 

yum beer

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Go onto the Craftbrewer site(link above) and go to the grain page, it has listed with each grain if they need to be mashed or steeped.

The packs you linked with extract, grains and hops are a good way to get the feel for the processes and the sort of results you can get.
If you've got the bag and setup for BIAB go AG as soon as you can. Extract based kits tend to be a little sweet and you are doing almost as much work as full AG anyway.

Get on the database and get some tried and rated recipes, then you can play with your own when you get the hang of it.
There is always help on here with recipes if you want advice before putting down your own creation.
 

yum beer

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And get yourself a copy of Brewmate...free download, just search Google.....it will allow you to tweak recipes for BIAB that you get from the database that are full mash.
 

LKC

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thanks for the advice.

looks like I will make the kits (K&K) and throw in some extras to use them and then next pay cheque buy a full size urn / pot and move to AG

it sounds just like steep but with more grains if I am reading This Guide correctly. Unless I am missing something from the mashing and sparging step.
 

mwd

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Quite a good guide to BIAB very useful.

The difference between mashing and steeping is that you have to be much more accurate with your water temperature for mashing as you need to convert starch to sugar during the mash. For steeping the starch is already converted to sugar and it is just a matter of extracting it and so is not as temperature sensitive.
 

Armstrong

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After some searching I have found the following kits. does anybody have experience with them or would recommend one over the others.
As far as I'm concerned, these are all good beer packs ... but we make the "Wetpak"

They are a good stepping stone as they introduce you to some grain, doing a boil and hop additions. You are bittering using fresh hop pellets as opposed to hop extract and create some really nice beers.

The Wetpak American Pale is our most popular variety and sounds as if it is right up your alley

Cheers
Shawn
The Country Brewer
 

Bribie G

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I was interested to see the guide you linked to. Are you in New Zealand or Australia?
The young guy pictured in the guide, Tyler used to be very active on this forum as "Reviled" and came to a case swap in Brisbane about 3 years ago.
Top brewer and BIAB pioneer over there.
The other guy Paul is the businessman who sells the gear in NZ and I met him and had a good chat with him at Beervana when I was there.

Just a couple of points, I'd go 40 litres for a pot or electric urn, which saves the messy job of sparging. At those quantities you have really incorporated the "sparge" water at the beginning of the brew so this makes it easier.

Also an immersion chiller is not a must-have, very many brewers "no chill" in a 20L cube, letting the wort cool overnight or over-month if you have to :p
Paul had that chiller in his display at Beervana and quite impressive, but not really critical.

My kits n bits and partial career seemed to go on forever at the time, but looking back it was only from July to November 2008 and I slipped into BIAB with no problems at all, and the help of this forum of course.
I'd just go for it.
 

RobboMC

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there's alway's this method mini mash

This method says to pour the wort through a strainer from the mash esky into the boil pot.
I've got an undrinkable bottle if anyone wants to see what this does, oxidised the heck out of
the brew and reduced bottle life to just 2-3 months when others have lasted years.

Better to invest in an esky bottle or drink carrier with a tap.( About $35 at Bunnings for a 9 litre Esky )
Then when mash is finished simply open the tap and drain into boil pot. You can even pour through
some sparge water if you like.
 

yum beer

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This method says to pour the wort through a strainer from the mash esky into the boil pot.
I've got an undrinkable bottle if anyone wants to see what this does, oxidised the heck out of
the brew and reduced bottle life to just 2-3 months when others have lasted years.

boiling the wort will remove any oxygen, your oxidised brew would have come from somewhere else in ypur process.
straining mash into kettle will not cause your brew to oxidise.
 

manticle

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It's not about the dissolved oxygen as far as I understand but the chemical reactions that oxygen at the wrong time will create. These reactions will continue once they have begun.

I'll need to check a text later to confirm what those reactions are and beer staling and oxidation can happen at many points along the chain from mashing to packaging and storage. Many people think HSA is not a big contributor to staling compared to other factors but the chemical reactions created occur in spite of the boil.
 

LKC

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i am in Melbourne not NZ just found the guide using google.

shawn. the wetpak APA does look intersting. dont be suprised if you receive an order from me.

I am not sure i understand the reasoning behind chilling using a cube. at the moment when I chill I just add my boil to the fermenter top up to the 23l mark (which would be just the wort if doing a full volume AG) and then let it cool overnight in the fermenter and pitch the next day. Does cubing just act as an easy way to chill in the fridge or does it become the fermenter?
 

manticle

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When you make extract* or kit you make a small portion of concentrated wort then top it up to full volume with cold water.

When you make an AG beer, you boil a slightly higher than full volume of wort which stays hot for a long time. You can chill quickly using a chiller (look up chilling) or run off into a food grade HDPE cube/jerry can, seal and leave till it's cool enough to pitch yeast (look up no-chill). Wort can either be transferred to a fermenter or used directly as the fermenter (which is what I do).

* You can make full volume extract if you wish - just unnecessary unless practicing for AG.
 

LKC

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now i understand the cube is primarily for chilling. hence why as a kit brewer I have never had to use one.

does this mean when moving to AG I will need to choose between cubing and using a chiller?
 

manticle

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Yes.

Plenty of info out there. I suggest you try both for yourself and see which suits your lifestyle and brewing needs (including palate).

I NC almost exclusively but have tried chilling and have just bought a plate chiller so I can do more. I will continue to NC some beers when I have set up the chiller - benefits in both methods from my experience.

Ignore the bullshit that goes with most discussions on the subject, try both and make up your own mind and please don't start a new thread on it.
 

hoppy2B

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It's not about the dissolved oxygen as far as I understand but the chemical reactions that oxygen at the wrong time will create. These reactions will continue once they have begun.

I'll need to check a text later to confirm what those reactions are and beer staling and oxidation can happen at many points along the chain from mashing to packaging and storage. Many people think HSA is not a big contributor to staling compared to other factors but the chemical reactions created occur in spite of the boil.
If that were true it would be impossible to make a good beer using BIAB because lifting the bag and having it drain into the pot would cause significant aeration. A high mash-out temp might result in some oxidation however.
Aeration of boiling wort would likely cause oxidation due to the fact that heat acts as a catalyst for chemical reactions.
Simply aerating wort at the time of mash-out wouldn't necessarily spoil your beer as lower mash-out temps may not be high enough to do so. Under conditions of lower temperature it would take some time for oxidation to commence, and boiling the wort immediately post mash-out is probably sufficient to to prevent spoilage.
Or at least that's the theory. I just made that up. :lol:
 

manticle

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Sorry, what?

Aeration does happen in home breweries that aren't set up to reduce it in the same way commercials are. The chemical reactions do also occur, regardless of the boil.

Whether or not that will show you tastable results before you've finished the beer depends on a huge number of other factors.

I never said anything about it necessarily spoiling the beer - simply that boiling removing dissolved oxygen has nothing to do with oxidation reactions occurring when the wort is hot. Certainly got very little to do with BIAB ( a lot of 3 V recirc practices will introduce some oxygen to the hot side at least as much as draining the bag).

Yes I think you did just make that up. I'm not sure why.
 

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