Kits vs mashing

Discuss making up beer kits - the simplest way to brew.
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Stanna
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Kits vs mashing

Post by Stanna » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:27 pm

I started brewing about 18 months ago, believe it or not i have never used a beer kit, I started with full mash beer making, now I am wondering if kits are any good, are they on par with mashing your own or not ??

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Jim
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Re: Kits vs mashing

Post by Jim » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:48 pm

The answer is no.

However, they are pretty good these days, and a lot less work if you need some beer and are pushed for time.
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Re: Kits vs mashing

Post by orlando » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:53 pm

Try the PYO kits on Geterbrewed for a slightly different take.
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Re: Kits vs mashing

Post by WalesAles » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:39 pm

Jim wrote:The answer is no.

However, they are pretty good these days, and a lot less work if you need some beer and are pushed for time.
Stanna,
The answer is YES. Depending on what you are after as the end result. :D It will still be Beer.
I`ve tried a few BIAB and I found that for all the effort the Beer was still Beer, my kits are still Beer, but I prefer the `Bish, Bash, Bosh` approach.
All done in an hour. I steep different grains, I steep Hops, I Dry Hop, I experiment a lot.
Try doing a Kit Brew, add Hops, steep grains, Dry Hop, see what you think.

WA

Go on, you know want to! :D


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Re: Kits vs mashing

Post by scotsloon » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:08 pm

I would agree with WA in principle, you can certainly improve a kit by pimping it with hops etc... I quite often do the same. However, I prefer making AG brews over kits if just from the social aspect of brewing, its a good opportunity to get a couple of pals around and make a beer that they have also contributed to, I rarely brew on my own, I'm planning an Orkney Dark Island this coming Tuesday - with friends!

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Jim
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Re: Kits vs mashing

Post by Jim » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:33 pm

Stanna wrote:...................... are they on par with mashing your own or not ??
Despite Mr Ale's protests, I beg to differ. :lol:

Yes, it is possible for a kit brew to be better than a mashed brew, but the best crafted mashed beer will (imho of course :wink: ) always beat the best crafted kit beer.

Mind I've had some kits that were pretty damned good - one that stands out came with a bladder of real wort made in a brewery (but condensed to fit in a smaller space obviously) and it was excellent. However the cost to buy it (I and several other members got a free sample) is massive compared to a grain brew and when you're as tight-fisted as me, that ends the matter. :mrgreen:
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Re: Kits vs mashing

Post by Clibit » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:55 pm

Wales and Jim might contradict each other but I sort of agree with both of them! Like Jim says, I think a really good all grain beer will always beat a kit beer. But as Wales says, if you steep some grain and add some hops you can make really good beer with kits.

I took two bottles of beer to a guy at work a while ago, one a kit that i added some crystal malt and hops to, and the other an all grain brew. I was happy with both beers. He preferred the kit brew, more to his taste, and I also liked it a lot. After a few weeks there was no kit flavour at all.

I actually mainly do partial mash brews now, cos I can do them on my cooker, I don't have to drag the big stuff out and set it up, and it's much quicker than a full AG brew. And cheaper and more involving than a kit brew. And the beer is as good. I can make very good beer now with all three methods, but I think you need to use some grain and hops whichever method you use. Kits lack freshness in terms of grain and hop flavour/aroma.

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Re: Kits vs mashing

Post by Stanna » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:34 pm

Wow, after reading the replys and googling how to make kits I didn't realise that you don't boil and don't add hops #-o , I am at the stage now where I am using beer smith 2 and brewing from the recipe's there so maybe a step backwards using kits, thanks for the info.
I do find that making the beer "all grain" is pretty easy and quick but kegging it is a pain in the ass.

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Re: Kits vs mashing

Post by AnthonyUK » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:21 pm

Stanna wrote:I do find that making the beer "all grain" is pretty easy and quick but kegging it is a pain in the ass.
Have you tried bottling? Using a keg is about as easy as it gets.

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Re: Kits vs mashing

Post by Stanna » Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:54 pm

Yes, I bottled once on said never again, I've got 2 fermenting fridges so when I keg its 4 cornies worth at once so with 7 minutes of force carbing each keg then cleaning fermenting tubs it takes over 3 hours, which I hate, but like you say so much easier than bottling.

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Re: Kits vs mashing

Post by Jocky » Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:21 pm

Depends what you want. It'll make beer, just not the sort of beer I'd want to drink.

In my brewing career I went from starting on kits to extract brewing to all grain.

When I went to all grain I finally found that missing maltiness I was always looking for in kit/extract beer, and there's just no reward for me in using kits or extract any more.
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Re: Kits vs mashing

Post by techtone » Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:35 pm

I have only ever done Woodfordes (2 can) Kits such as Wherry and find those perfectly acceptable. I only do all grain as the kits all tend to be quite similar and I like to try out different hops and styles and strengths. Plus AG is generally cheaper than kits. I stock up when the kits are on offer and it means I can quickly knock one up at short notice and not have to have too much grain lying around 12 months of the year. (For example, I generally try not to brew during the summer due to temperatures and storing grain but when there is a cold spell, like this summer :? I can easily put on an extra kit or two) Doing the occasional kit also means I never have to buy yeast for all grain, as i re-use it but evidently I'm not too choosy :D I never have the problems some people seem to have with kits e.g. stuck ferments, cloudy beer etc.

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Re: Kits vs mashing

Post by aamcle » Sat Aug 05, 2017 4:46 pm

Doing the occasional kit also means I never have to buy yeast for all grain, as i re-use it but evidently I'm not too choosy
I mainly brew AG but I've used kits as hopped LME to provide most of the fermentable to a parti gyle and it's worked well on each occasion.

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Re: Kits vs mashing

Post by snowbeast » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:14 am

I started on kits, then went to extract and now I was then doing small batches of 8l AG.
My dad is keen on a Muntons kit and he lives close by so I am gooing back to Kits for a while.
I like the ease of use for kits, but I like how AG I can make a million different styles of beer.
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