Oct
18
2011

A review of my first 7 brews

I’ve documented the process of making my beers here but haven’t yet reported on how they all turned out so it’s high time for a bit of a review.

Batch 1 – Kit Brew – Mangrove Jacks Munich Lager

A special one because it was my first, but actually I think it was one of the best, if not the best, of the 4 kit brews that I’ve done. As with most kit lagers this is a ‘pseudo-lager’ as it’s brewed with an ale yeast, so, although not true to style, it is still a good beer and got very good reviews from friends who tasted it. Being a kit brew it is lightly hopped but none-the-less very tasty.

see also: process writeup, tasting writeup

Batch 2 – Kit Brew – Blackrock East India Pale Ale

This kit would disappoint anyone looking for an IPA because it is most definitely not an IPA in style. It is more like a lightly hopped kit pseudo-lager than an IPA. I brewed it with beer enhancer and made it up to 18 litres instead of the usual 23 litres to make it more concentrated. I would describe it as more malty than hoppy and none of the bitterness you would expect from an IPA. That said, it still was a good tasty beer, just a bit daft that they call it an IPA.

see also: brew night writeup, mishap writeup

Batch 3 – Extract Brew with Speciality Grains – All Cascade APA

My first attempt at extract brewing was a real winner. It tasted like a good beer that you would get from a micro-brewery. I think this might just be my favorite one to-date.

see also: recipe writeup, brew night writeup

Continue Reading »

Oct
17
2011

Batch No. 8 – Cascade & Amarillo American Pale Ale

Despite being over 6 months since I brewed an extract batch, brew night went more smoothly and efficiently than any of the previous extract brews that I’ve done (I must be getting the hang of this home brewing thing!).

This time I used the blender to grind up my steeping grain (Crystal 60) – not totally ideal as it gives an uneven grind (pulverises some of the grains and leaves others almost untouched), but I reckon good enough for steeping grains and a lot faster than pounding with a pestle.

The other interesting thing this time is that I uesd yeast that I harvested 6 months ago. It’s stretching it a bit in terms of how long yeast stored in the fridge is good for. I prepared a starter Friday night with the intention of brewing Saturday night but come Saturday there was no signs of any action out of the yeast. Continue Reading »

Oct
16
2011

No The Homebrew Didn’t Kill Me!

It’s been a while since I posted here and a logical thinker may surmise that I might have succumbed to the effects of drinking my home brew. I’m happy to report that is not the case. I’ve had a bit of a break from the homebrewing over the winter. But now I’m just about to get stuck in to a new batch, batch #8. In case you’re wondering, batch #7 was a Cooper’s European Lager which turned out nicely.

Tonight I’m going to brew my favorite style, American Pale Ale. But I still haven’t quite decided what hops I’m going to go with. I have some Simcoe, Cascade and Amarillo in the freezer, so might go with either an all Simcoe or a Cascade + Amarillo combo. I have to get stuck in to the Kit And Extract Beer Designer spreadsheet now and figure out my hops additions.

I have some harvested yeast that I’ve revived and are rearing to go to work. They were sitting in the fridge for the last 6 months, so they were a bit slow to get going in my starter that I made 2 nights ago and I was about to give up on them yestrerday but found them in action today so they should be good to go.

Well I better get down to it and do some multitasking home brewing while watching the Rugby World Cup semi-final between the All Blacks and the Wallabies.