When we first read about the beer kits we were skeptical, especially since they advertised “premium all-grain beer kit” on the side of the box. It seems similar to advertising “all grape wine” on the side of a box of grape juice. The first anecdotal review we heard was from the local brew store: “we tried the IPA, but it tasted like a pale ale”. Not exactly a resounding endorsement.
It seems to us it might be very difficult to brew a beer with great hops when there are no hops in the beer kit. The IPA review from the brew store seemed to confirm this suspicion. The concentrated “wort” that you get has the hops already added. With this in mind, we selected the Oktoberfest Ale because it should be maltier and hops should be less pronounced.
What’s in the “The Brew House” Oktoberfest Ale?
When you open the box, you get your first surprise. The instructions indicate that you need a 10 gallon fermenter. If you are used to making wine kits or beer in a 6.5 gallon fermenter, this is an unwelcome surprise. Most brewers do not have a 10 gallon fermenter. Luckily we had a 20 gallon fermenter. We’re guessing that they are expecting a very vigorous fermentation, and want the extra space. The beer should be in the primary fermenter for only 3-4 days, so larger should be ok.
The kit contains concentrated wort, similar to wine kits. You just add water and yeast, and you are done. There is no boiling. This is a great idea for those of us that don’t like brewing outside in freezing temperatures.
The kit also comes with three packets to add to the wort – bottling sugar, yeast, and an acid blend. The problem is that only the yeast is labeled. Experience dictated that the larger packet is the sugar, but someone new to brewing might appreciate labeling.
After that, it’s just add water and pour the wort in. Very simple. In a few days you need to rack to a secondary for 20 days. After 23 days, the beer should be bottled or kegged. So in 23 days we will tell you how it tastes in the second part of this review.
How easy is the beer kit?
As for ease, the kit is VERY simple to mix together. If you have any experience making wine kits, the process will be very familiar. For newbies this kit would be a great introduction to “brewing”. It might also be a great choice for beer making in the winter. We will know for sure once we taste the beer.
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