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Malt Shovel About To Hit The Homebrew Market

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PMyers

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I attended a product launch last night at the Malt Shovel brewery - home of the James Squire range we all know and love. This launch was to introduce us to their new product range - Homebrew Concentrates!

These concentrates reflect the same quality ingredients that are used in the production of their commercial beers and, although tastings were fairly limited and a little green (about two weeks old), the potential was there for some fantastic beers. Unfortunately, due to the high quality of the ingredients and the liberal use of specialty malts, especially in their darker beers, the price will be fairly high. We expect these concentrates - that only make 11.5 litres - to hit the shelves at around $18.90 (price is yet to be confirmed). They are due for release around May - June.

The range for these kits include Pale Ale, Two Row Lager, Oatmeal Stout, Summer Wheat, and Roasted Amber.

Cheers,
Pete

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J

Jovial_Monk

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good news

the oatmeal stout kit sounds like an excellent way to get kit brewers to do at least partial mashes





Jovial Monk
 

Doc

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Rob mentioned that they would be bringing out beer kits during the OzRats Piss-up weekend tour of the MS Brewery.
Apparently they have been concocted in NZ by Maltexo, but will be using the James Squire name as they are part of the Lion Nathan group.
Which ones did you try Pete?
The Oatmeal Stout kit stands out for me.

Cheers,
Doc
 

PMyers

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From what I was told, the concentrates are from recipes that were derived from the brewers at malt shovel. You are right in saying that the big name behind this is Lion Nathan, who happen to own Maltexo and several other homebrew related enterprises, and they are indeed based in New Zealand.
I did try the oatmeal stout, but it was after I had been plied with loads of the James Squire Amber, Porter, Pilsner and Wheat (I just can't say no to a free JS), and as such my senses were a little muddled. What I do recall of it was the intense roasty/hoppy aroma, a little dry with nice roasty bitterness and very slight hop notes in the back palate. Unfortunately as I said before, this was quite green and it showed.

Cheers,
Pete

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RegBadgery

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What's the makeup of these kits - extract / extract + specialty / grain, hops / fresh wort?

cheers
reg
 

kook

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11.5 litres? Sounds like its perfect size for brewing in an empty ESB fresh wort container :)
 

RegBadgery

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+ are they supplied with yeast? - their own yeast or other?

cheers
reg
 

PMyers

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RegBadgery said:
What's the makeup of these kits - extract / extract + specialty / grain, hops / fresh wort?
If I recall correctly, these are all grain recipe's brewed and condensed down at their NZ premises.

RegBadgery said:
+ are they supplied with yeast? - their own yeast or other?
They are supplied with their own yeasts, and some (i.e. Summer Wheat) have specially selected yeasts packaged with them. I don't know for sure about the Wheat beer, but I have an incling it will be K-97.

Cheers,
Pete

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RegBadgery

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How far are they condensed Pete? - ie are they more like an ESB fresh wort kit - or like a container of extract?

cheers
reg
 

PMyers

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kook said:
11.5 litres? Sounds like its perfect size for brewing in an empty ESB fresh wort container :)
Funny you should say that. They are also releasing their own starter kits to go with the concentrates. These fermenters will be of a 12 litre capacity, which gives rise to concern with me when I think of a mere 500mLs of head space. :angry: ) and on of their new single serve steriliser packages.

Not too sure how well these will take off, but only time will tell.

Cheers,
Pete

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PMyers

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RegBadgery said:
How far are they condensed Pete? - ie are they more like an ESB fresh wort kit - or like a container of extract?

cheers
reg
They are 1.7kg extract style containers.

Cheers,
Pete

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J

Jovial_Monk

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11.5L is a piddling amount of beer, double it and you have 23L

you sure they are not meant to be topped up to 23L???

If only 11.5l of beer, forget it!

Luke was telling me of a muntons barley Wine 1.8K kit
you were supposed to top up to 9L

He thought he had FINALLY sold it, but the customer brought it back after he read the thing about the 9L :)


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RegBadgery

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Is this summary correct?

These are 1.7kg extract kits created in New Zealand, shipped to Australia and marketed under the James Squire brand.

They are not a combination of generic malt extract + hop extract - they start out as a professionally brewed all-grain wort - ( ie malted barley/wheat + hops + specialty grains) - based on a recipe formulated by a professional brewer which is condensed down to syrup.

They're more like the ESB fresh wort kits than the ESB 3kg extract kits. (ie - they originate from an all grain wort which is then condensed to extract - rather than 3kg of extract + bittering extract + finishing hops.)

Supplied with dried yeast selected to be appropriate to the style.

Is the grain Australian, New Zealand, English, German?

cheers
reg
 

RegBadgery

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Also - are the kits to be marketed through homebrew stores, supermarkets or both?

cheers
reg
 

PMyers

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Jovial_Monk said:
11.5L is a piddling amount of beer, double it and you have 23L
That was probably the biggest point of contention on the night. No one could understand why they would release an 11.5 litre kit in a market dominated by 23 litre equivalents. If anything, I believe I will sell them alongside the Munton's Gold and Premium Gold series, as people will need to double-dump them to get the full 23 litre batch.

As far as the Muntons Barley Wine was concerned, I did that one about 14 months ago, double-dumped to 18 litres, and it has turned out quite well. Not the best BW I have tasted, but nice all the same.

Cheers,
Pete

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Doc

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I guess this will prove the power of their marketing machine.
Selling 11.5 litre beer kits and 12 litre fermenters with optional accessories.
I dear say they won't get a lot of sales from existing home brewers at that price, but may attract new home brewers with limited space (ie small apartment dwellers) but have the cash to spend.

Cheers,
Doc
 

PMyers

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RegBadgery said:
Is this summary correct?

These are 1.7kg extract kits created in New Zealand, shipped to Australia and marketed under the James Squire brand.

They are not a combination of generic malt extract + hop extract - they start out as a professionally brewed all-grain wort - ( ie malted barley/wheat + hops + specialty grains) - based on a recipe formulated by a professional brewer which is condensed down to syrup.

They're more like the ESB fresh wort kits than the ESB 3kg extract kits. (ie - they originate from an all grain wort which is then condensed to extract - rather than 3kg of extract + bittering extract + finishing hops.)

Supplied with dried yeast selected to be appropriate to the style.

Is the grain Australian, New Zealand, English, German?

cheers
reg
Everything you stated there is correct. It is also important to note, I believe, that they add some of the hop aromatics to the concentrate to replace what was destroyed during the vacuum condensation stage. I think this is added as a hop oil form, extracted for its aromatics only, but this is only a guestimation.

As far as the grain is concerned, I have no idea. Forgot to ask on the night :unsure: Silly Bugger!

RegBadgery said:
Also - are the kits to be marketed through homebrew stores, supermarkets or both?
These are to be marketed only through homebrew stores. However, they also discussed another product that will be marketed through both HBS and supermarket .... Tooheys Draught.

Thats right, they are releasing a Tooheys Draught homebrew concentrate. Unfortunately for some, it will be released in QLD first (Strange, since its commercial equivalent is a definite NSW beer icon). They have no plans to release a XXXX concentrate however.

Cheers,
Pete

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PMyers

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Doc said:
I guess this will prove the power of their marketing machine.
Selling 11.5 litre beer kits and 12 litre fermenters with optional accessories.
I dear say they won't get a lot of sales from existing home brewers at that price, but may attract new home brewers with limited space (ie small apartment dwellers) but have the cash to spend.
That was mentioned by their marketing manager, but they were very vocal about producing the product for what they called the 'Hobbyist' and 'Craft' Brewer market. They admitted that with the price tag, and half-sized batch, they would have extreme difficulty convincing the beginner, except in the case you presented in your post.

Cheers,
Pete

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RegBadgery

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That's interesting about the Toohey's concentrate - I wonder what it will taste like. It's probably not fair to compare but I never found that the Coopers ale concentrate tasted like Coopers sparkling ale (at least not with the recommended extract + 1kg sugar - not that they ever claimed that it would taste like their sparkling ale).

cheers
reg
 

PMyers

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RegBadgery said:
... not that they ever claimed that it would taste like their sparkling ale.
Thats the thing though. The can is clearly marked as Tooheys Draught, with a replica of the bottle label. I think if it fails the taste comparison, there are going to be quite a few dissapointed beginners, who use this as their first brew, turned off brewing. I think with all their product research, it will come out tasting pretty damned close.

Cheers,
Pete

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