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Newby Kit Advice English Ale

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michaelcocks

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Hi All Brewmasters

Sorry newbie - so please don't flame the dumbo questions - I tried searching but I'm obviously not doing it right !

I declare myself to be a pom (sp? - should it be pome or pommie?) So I apologise but I just was not brought up on lager, and have been searching since I was exported 8 years ago for a decent English style Ale.

The best I have found in a pub (sorry still can't bring myself to use the word "hotel") is a handpumped Braithwood (sp?) ESB brew at the Royal Cricketers arms in Blacktown.

I have resigned myself to either:

A. Paying through the nose for imported and sometimes inferior quality beers
B. Brewing my own

Any suggestions on a classic English Real Ale that can be brewed from a kit is greatly appreciated - I don't mind what the price is really as long as it's fairly authentic and easy ( ie kit - not raw ingredients)

It should be:

Brown (not an incipid pee colur)
Fairly flat (not too carbonated)
Have that (I don't know how to describe this other than - "English Real Ale" flavour) - Is that flavour hoppy or bitter - I'm not sure ??
And of course served at just slightly colder than room temperature (not chilled so cold you can't taste anything)

Any guidance on getting near the flavour I want is appreciated - as well as any general brewing advise - although suspect I will get refered to "the forum archives" - and thats OK.

Cheers

Mike

:chug:

PS I do like a lager on a summer day... and they do go the best with BBQ's - but I still miss my "Real Ale"

I am in NSW (live in 2155 work in 2113) so any advice on a good HomeBrew shop -is appreciated.
 

Jim - Perth

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MC
For a good easy to make beer, with several which, I think, satisfy your specs, I like Grumpy's. They are in SA but have a very good, reliable mail order system - you can order on-line or ring them with an order.
Have a look at their brewshop at www.grumpys.com.au
Jim
 

n00ch

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You might want to have a look at the Muntons Premium Gold kits, bought at most HBS. They are about $42-$45 but they have some nice ales IMO.
 

MAH

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Mike

It sounds like you're after the quickest and easiest way to make a nice English style ale, so my suggestion is to use what is commonly referred to as a fresh wort kit. This is basically unfermented beer (wort) in a big plastic container, usually around 15-17 litres. Micros like Grumpys make the wort and put it in a platic drum, then all you have to do is transfer it to a santised fermenter, add yeast and wait. Can't get any easier that that.

However you can still bugger it up, so:
1. Pay attention good sanitation practices
2. Pay attention to fermentation temperature
3. Use a good quality yeast (they make a huge difference to the final flavour and you can get the real yeast from traditional breweries like Youngs, Fullers, Adnams etc)

There is plenty of information on this site about all 3 of these points.

The issue of carbonation and temperature (this one is obvious) is all in you hands. Do a search on bulk priming and learn how to tailor the carbonation level to your own preference.

The other alternative is to use a 3kg beer concentrate from ESB in Peakhurst. This is a big "paint tin" of highly concentrated wort. You simply disolve the thick goo in warm water to up to about 20 odd litres in your fermenter, add yeast and wait. Same 3 principles apply to this approach.

Either of these is the simplest way....... then there is all grain ;)

Cheers
MAH
 

michaelcocks

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Thanks for all the advice looks like home brewing has come on leaps and bounds since I tried the kits from "Boots" 20 year ago in the UK

Couple of dumbo questions:

If I go for a concentrate (is that what you call it?) - Anyway the Stuff in a can...

1. What sort of water should I add ?

Spring, Sydney tap, filtered Sydney tap, rain etc.

2. The sugar -

Just plain white Sugar? - same in the wort (hey I learnt a new word) as for priming the bottles ?

Had a look at ndbrewing and grumpys - thanks - very informative, grumpy's even has a recipe for Marston Pedigree (one of my favourite English Ales)

I like the wort idea - but 15-17l of liquid would cost an absolute fortune to deliver right ? Does Nd brewing do an english ale/bitter in a wort - I could only find one in a kit... Or do you start of with the same basic wort and add other ingredients to it?

Many Thnaks

Mike
 

michaelcocks

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Ooops sorry - forgot...

I duess I can also use any old (appropriate pun) twist tops I've saved from drinking shop bought stubbies ? Rather than buy a bottling device ?

Thanks

Mike
 

MAH

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Hi Mike

If making a fresh wort kit or a 3kg concentrate brew you will not need to add any more fermentables. So only when it comes time to bottle do you need to add some extra fermentables and in this was plain white sugar will be fine.

The twist tops will be fine, but you'll still need a bottle caper. Buy a bench capper, as it will make life a lot easier. After a few batches and if you like the beer, do a search on kegging, it's a lot easier to fill one 18 litre keg than 48 stubbies ;) .

Cheers
MAH
 

Jim - Perth

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Michael
Whatever you do, do NOT use plain white sugar as a general fermentable.
If you opt to brew with a can of extract & a kilo or whatever of some kind of adjunct, at least use dextrose or, better still, dry malt extract or even better still some kind of kit converter or a Grumpys (or similar) masterbrew.
Good luck
Jim
 

apd

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Sorry to contradict you MAH (you being a Beer God and me a meer Amateur Brewer) but you don't necessarily need a bottle capper if you're using twisties.

I use recycled and new twist caps on twist top bottles quite successfully.

But if you are going to use a capper, definitely get a bench top capper.
 

Steve

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Michael
Have a look at www.hbkitreviews.com. Might be a review in there for something you're after? Also gives you an idea of the vast amount of brews to be made.
Cheers
Steve
 

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