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.
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.
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.
Batch 4 – Kit Brew – Coopers Stout
I had read great things about Coopers Stout and had great expectations for this one. I must say I was slightly disappointed. It has a good taste although a little bit too mild for my liking. One review of it that I read now makes sense – they said that people who normally don’t like stout like this – I think it’s because it’s a mild, light, easy drinking stout. The other disappointing thing was the head, or lack of it. Even though it tastes good, it just doesn’t feel right without a good head on it. If I were to do it again, I’d try making it a bit more concentrated and put something in it to help with head.
see also: blowout
Batch 5 – Extract Brew with Speciality Grains – Nelson Pale Ale
I called it Nelson Amber Ale originally because I used Amber malt. However the Amber malt turned out to be more like Light malt and the beer is quite pale in colour, so I’ve renamed it Nelson Pale Ale. The Nelson is from the Nelson Sauvin hops (and that fact that I live in Nelson). The Nelson Sauvin hops are quite distinctive and unusual. I would describe the beer as having ‘flowery’ type of flavour/aroma. It got great reviews from a few people while one or two others didn’t care for it. Personally I liked it but would prefer my other 2 extract batches.
see also: recipe/brew night writeup
Batch 6 – Extract Brew with Speciality Grains – Aidan’s Slutty Red
I got the basis of my recipe from a recipe called ‘Slutty Red’ which is an attempt to clone Mac’s Sassy Red. The flavour of Motueaka Hops in this beer does correspond with the flavour of Sassy Red. But this is more hoppy and bitter, I really like it, it’s probably next favorite after the Cascade APA.
see also: recipe writeup
Batch 7 – Kit Brew – Coopers European Lager
The Coopers European Lager actually comes with a lager yeast so this is a real lager as opposed to the usual kit pseudo-lagers. It’s quite good too. Not very distinctive but immensely drinkable, like what you’d expect from a lager.