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Latest Reviews

Mangrove Jacks: ROASTED STOUT WITH DRY HOPS <3 Beer January 16th 2020

Just bottled. To be updated

First impressions are outstanding. MJ have gone to some length to create a quasi-craft brew experience with high quality malt, yeast and dry hops. One gripe: The pouch may yield better product to the consumer, but its design ineeds work. It is very difficult to access the instructions without opening the extract part of the pouch. Not that there is any special wizardry therein, so no matter for experienced brewers.

A gift from my darling wife so made with 1kg lhbs brew enhancer she provided (seems to be coopers no 2 clone) plus an extra 320g ldme, as it was dark enough, but not stout enough already for my taste. The galena hops included smell divine! Tasting out of the fv gives intense dark malt character, strong roasted grain backbone and sufficient tannin to indicate this should be well aged. Hop presence is too strong at this stage, but this will be necessary to survive lengthy ageing. The strong ale yeast worked very effectively, and true to style, left relatively little trace in the final product. I dont expect it to taste the way it should for a few months (unlike the optimistic 3 weeks on the label) but will attempt to update as it goes. Will probably try it with some lactose next time though, as there will certainly be a next time.

Black Rock: Black Rock Bock Bernie January 16th 2020


I brewed this with 1.5 kg of amber LME and was nonplussed by the taste such that I bought a Bock from the supermarket which tasted exactly the same. So, the kit does what it says on the can. I came to appreciate it.

Goliath: GENERIC - Homebrand Draught <3 Beer January 15th 2020

Home brand draught. Drinkable. If there is nothing else.

For 9 bucks a can, what do you get? On opening the kit, it had considerably less aroma or colour than any kit I have ever witnessed before. This carried through to the final product, with minimal body and flavour and a head that evaporates in under 30 seconds. Flavour is passable though, a very faint floral background but only light, malt hiding well but there somewhere and some front of the tounge bitterness. Mostly just alcohol though. This batch was made to 5.5% abv for reference. I have brewed for over 20 years with precision, but this batch had a very unusual cidery, cross cardboardy taste that I have never replicated before. The yeast is almost certainly not up to scratch and beer probably needs racking off as soon as the primary ferment is done. I brewed with dextrose only and no dry hop; any more seemed pointless for a budget batch. Given it is 25% cheaper than a Coopers kit, you are probably getting what you pay for. My recommendation is to buy a better kit though.

Coopers: Coopers India Pale Ale (IPA) <3 Beer January 15th 2020

One of the best value kits around

The 4 star rating is because the kit, on its own, is really just the foundation for a superb brew. Unlike some more recent innovations, e.g. MJ's craft series, the rest is up to you. Add the right blend of malts and hops and you have a 5 star product. As a base kit though, it is a real threat to many a craft beer in it's own right. A little sweet, and not as bitter or floral as many IPAs, very much what you would expect from an IPA though. Good complexity and progression of flavours on the palate. The kit yeast is excellent too, no pressing need for upgrade. Pours quite dark and a little cloudy. Overall, it is well balanced IMHO. I prefer with some dextrose, rather than all malt as prescribed, to crisp it up. Also dry hopping with a little cascade and citra hop for a couple of days before bottling really gives it a boost. One you need to try, for sure.

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