Reviews

India Pale Ale samjellyman February 17th 2015

John BULL IPA Review

This was the first 'single can kit' I tried. I wanted something a bit cheaper for a change. In all honesty I wasn't expecting much from this kit but it totally blew me away, so much flavour, character and just a very enjoyable pint. I'm not a fast drinker so I have the barrel for around 6 months and it just kept getting better and better! It's cheap and quick but boy it's good. If you're in any doubt, just try it, I think you'll be surprised. Im glad that it was recommended to me by someone at www.brewbitz.com . It's that nice I've just started off another batch!

5 stars without a doubt!

Brown Ale RagingRanter February 9th 2015

First time brewer - turned out great

I purchased this kit from a local brewing store here in Ottawa. It's a little pricier than the other kits, but requires zero preparation - just pour it into a pail, pitch the yeast, and let it ferment. This was the first time I home-brewed anything. The Festa Brew Brown Ale turned out fantastic. Better than I dared to hope. While I've never brewed before, I am quite well versed in various microbrews and craft brews - I know my way around beer, and know a good beer from a bad one. This stuff turned out on level with many craft brown ales that I've had, and in fact, better than many of them. Another friend of mine who also knows his craft brews tried it and said, "This is craft brew quality right here." 

I can't take credit for it myself. Obviously, the quality of ingredients and preparation of the wort before it even gets to the store shelf is what makes the difference. I was really careful with sanitation every step of the way. Other than that, it was all up to the wort and the yeast to produce the results. And it exceeded my expecations. I've seen it compared favourably with Newcastle elsewhere, and I must concur, it is perhaps more like Newcastle than anything else I've tried, and honestly I don't think it's inferior in any way. 

I left it in the primary for only 3 days. For the first day and a half, I had a space heater in the room, and kept the temperature at about 78-80 F to make sure the yeast got a good start. By the end of day 3, the head had collapsed already. I then transferred into a glass carboy, being careful to leave the trub at the bottom. I left it in the carboy, with the room ranging from 68-72, for another 11 days. Then transferred to bottling bucket - once again leaving the trub at the bottom - added 142 grams of priming sugar mixed with a cup of boiling water, and bottled into 750 ml swing tops. 3 weeks later, it had carbed beautifully. I've already drunk 5 bottles in 3 days (not by myself). Will be transferring to the basement to store at cellar temp tonight. I can't wait to start my next batch. I think I'll try the Festa Brew Cream Ale next. For anyone thinking of starting out, start out with this stuff. It is top notch.

 I should remark on how clear and clean this beer turned out. There is a tiny bit of sediment at the bottom of the bottles, but it does not come out with the beer when poured. And I got this result without "cold crashing". I had no place to cold crash, and was concerned I'd be stuck with cloudy, murky "yeasty" beer with floaters. Nothing of the sort. The beer is amazingly clear, and there are no funky "off" or after-tastes at all. This gushing review probably sounds like a fake endorsement from someone at the company. I assure you it is not. I am just a first-time home brewer in Ottawa, and could not be happier with the results. 

Coopers Bitter oxpecker February 9th 2015

Coopers Bitter

Its getting better with time, but definitly not my favorite bitter, or kit in general.  Definitly not bad enough that I wont drink it though.  Brewed to kit instructions.

Morgans Dockside Stout Curramore February 9th 2015

Heavy stout, just black and beautiful!

Kit can plus 1.5 kg Black Rock Dark Liquid Malt extract, plus a 1.5 kg Terry O'Brien Stout dry mix of Dark DME, brown sugar and dextrose with 3 fifferent dry hops and the kit yeast. Took forever to ferment and kegged 6 weeks after pitching. Really solid brew with a nice hop/malt balance which really rips your tits off after a couple of pints.

Double India Pale Ale pdrewcock February 3rd 2015

A hop bomb!

I have put together three of these kits so far. The first was as per instructions. VERY hoppy. IBU's off the taste chart. However, it was also very tasty with a good hop/malt ratio. Altogether a pretty heavy brew that you wouldn't want more than one of at a sitting.

The second two I adjusted to 23 liters and reduced the hops somewhat. I used the leftover hops to dry hop in the secondary. A much more drinkable brew with a decent ABV and hop profile.

The kit comes with grains, so it is a bit of work, but well worth the premium price.

Cheers!

Coopers India Pale Ale (IPA) pdrewcock February 3rd 2015

As-is, kinda wussy.

This kit makes a decent IPA if you are prepared to mess with it. I really recommend using a program like Beersmith if you are going to adjust hops like I did.

On its own, the IBUs are unimpressive, and not too malty. It makes a decent American style Pale Ale if you add hops at boil and flameout, and then dry hop. Cascade and Citra work well here. But one wonders, if you have to mess with it so much, why not just do your own from scratch?

Cheers!

Coopers English Bitter miek February 1st 2015

Great kit adding more malt

Made many times now settled on adding 500g crystal malt + 1KG dry malt, along with included Coopers beer dry yeast to 23L, bottle age at least 4 weeks, we find 3+ months really improves the flavor.  Similiar in style to our local brewpubs bitter but much cheaper to make.  Have made it with Wyeast Irish Ale 1084 yeast which makes much smaller carbonation bubbles, and Wyeast ESB 1968(finiky yeast but good), and Wyeast 1028(yeast profile got overwhelmed by kit flavors).  Introduced to this kit by some all-grain brewer posts who make up this kit when they have limited time and they dry hop(Willamette/Fuggles) + add 1.5KG dry malt, 21L.  We also prefer it maltier so add the extra malts, as the base kit is very bitter and too thin for my taste adding only 500g dry malt.  Still this is an English Bitter kit and much more bitter than lager type beers so make sure you like a bitter beer to drink.   

Coopers Original Lager WINTERBEER January 30th 2015

GOOD BEER

Made my first batch of brew using the Coopers DIY kit that I received for Christmas.  Included was a can of Coopers Original Lager, 1 pack of Brew Enhancer 1 and Carbonation drops. I let it ferment for 12 days at appx 20 degrees and then bottled. After 2 weeks in the bottle my buddy and I tried one and it tasted like ass. 2 weeks later I grabbed one of the bottles (750ml PET) and noticed that it was as hard as a rock. I decided to chill one and give it a go. To my delight it was a tasty, beautifully carbonated beer. I don't think it's like a lager because the yeast that's supplied with the can is an ale yeast. The aftertaste and finish is similar to that of an ale where lagers have more of a clean finish. Still a great beer! Can't wait for my batch of Coopers Real Ale!

Czech Pilsner elreplica January 26th 2015

Festa Czech Pils Part Deux

Hmmmm.... I'm into ending January now in the middle of the lagering season. Perfect time fir cooking beers on the back deck while it's lobster season as well. A great complement...however not a lot cooking as there's not much snow to pack around my brew pot - I don't have an immersion chiller and it's too cold for the kiddie pool still. So I decided to overhaul my kegs first and save the cooking for March. In the meanwhile, I've stockpiled about 14 of the Festa Czech Pils kits (yes, they're that good) and am currently lagering one on the basement floor at around 11C. My lagering fridge stinks of fish at the moment so I'll use the floor until I deodorize it. A smackpack of Wyeast Pils awaits but because the Fermentis Saflager S23 has been producing great results, I'm holding off. Maybe the next one with my new starter container...BTW, I switched to the regular bucket instead of one of my Fast Ferments as they're bolted to the wall in my upstairs pantry and the temperature's at wine and ale levels. The fermentation fridge is also too short for the FastFerments. Both kegging and bottling the Czech Pils produce excellent results; my friends really like the beer and my partner in crime likes this flavour out of anything I've produced. With extract and partial grain, I will aspire to this level.I will have plenty of opportunity to experiment with this large larder of lager this winter and spring. Continue to be tuned and stay tuned.

Black Rock Colonial Lager Perks123 January 23rd 2015

Good'un!

This was my last brew of 2014. Kit + NZ Lager adjunct + kit yeast. Temps around 25oC (southern hemisphere summer), finings before bottling.

 

It's crisp and refreshing, fabulous mouth feel, nice gas, clear as a bell. An absolute winner, especially when compared with its stablemate, BR Pilsener Blonde, which was a massive disappointment.

Black Rock Pilsner Blonde Perks123 January 23rd 2015

A bit of a donkey

Same method as all my kit brews, and yet it's disappointing. Redeeming quality? Fruity taste, apricots maybe. But what lets it down is it is overly yeasty, and consequently, cloudy. Meh.

Czech Pilsner elreplica December 31st 2014

Festa Czech Pils

Wow! While in between on the cooking, I picked up a couple seasonal Czech Pils from Magnotta's Festa Brew lineup. This stuff is awesome and as good as most microbrews or Euro Pils on the market. Straight up by the book and it's a great session beer. I'm going to try some true lagering in my FastFerments as well as some liquid smackpak over the winter. Right now, it's so good it's got my cooking on hold as I stockpiled at least ten of these to bottle and keg. Three weeks in the Grolsch bottles made this beer come alive. Next on deck is a corny keg, followed by a carboy that doesn't know which way to swing - Grolsch swing tops or corny. Stand by!

Mangrove Jack's Munich Lager Benjennison December 6th 2014

Munich Lager

New to homebrewing and i thought id have a try of this one. Used the tin, german lager enhancer, kit yeast +200gm dex.

Been my least favourite so far, tastes way overhopped and I beleive the yeast has imparted a very slight metallic taste to it.

Im not going to try it again but i think it would be a lot more drinkable with a bohemian lager yeast and an unhopped enhancer (#15)? maybe.

Coopers India Pale Ale (IPA) galwayhopper December 4th 2014

Just hop-tastic!

This is really fantastic, even after only 10 days in the bottle. Lovey dark amber colour with plenty of hop kick. It has cleared really well in the bottles with a nice firm yeast sediment that doesn't mix up too much when you pour.  I used a 100g of Amarillo hops in the boil (just for a couple of minutes) and left the hops in during the fermentation. Lovely aroma hits you when you pour it out. Might try with a little more priming sugar next time - I used 1 Coopers drop per 500ml bottle and think 2 might be a little better. Don't know if it makes much difference but I made 20L instead of recommended 23L, to to give an extra bit of depth to the falvour. But overall couldn't be more impressed. If you like IPA you'll love this. 

Coopers Real Ale Drielander November 12th 2014

Very nice - reminds me of De Koninck

Just made this with 500g LDME and 500g glucose/dextrose.

Fermented using kit yeast at 20 degrees (temp controlled using fridge and STC-1000), only took a week or so. Brewed slightly short to 22 liters.

After 2 weeks in the bottle (5g/l bottling sugar) already very enjoyable indeed!

Fruity but with a malty mouthfeel, well carbonated, decent lacing, not very bitter, easy drinking. Reminded me of Belgian (Antwerp) beer "De Koninck".

Very curious to see how this turns out in a month or two - but I'm unsure if I can leave them for that long...

 

Edit 21 Nov:

We're a few weeks later now and I'm happy to say this has evolved into an even nicer, very stable beer. Once again, top quality from Coopers!

Muntons Midland Mild Ale Drielander November 12th 2014

OK but nothing special

Brewed short as per advice from vendor (18l) using regular table sugar.

Waited for 3 months before sampling (again as per advice from vendor): bit disappointing. Not very flavourful, to be honest (controlled fermentation temp was a bit low maybe, 18 degrees). No brew errors/off flavours though.

However, I have to admit that dark beers are not my regular/preferred tipple, so I may be biased.

As there are so many other good & great kits out there I like better, I won't be making this one again.

Recommendation: add brew kit enhancer (500g glucose/dextrose and 500g or more of DME, especially if brewing to full 40 pints)

Coopers India Pale Ale (IPA) Drielander November 12th 2014

dry hopped with Cascade: amazing

Made this with 1kg of LDME, no other fermentables, to 23 liters, fermented with supplied kit yeast at 20 degrees (temp controlled).

Bottled after 15 days.

Turned out at 4.3% ABV which is low for an IPA but within specs of this kit.

Dry hopped with 33g of Cascade pellets (added as is -> not recommended: use muslin bag next time) for last 8 days of fermentation.

 

Turned out terrific! Will certainly make this again :)

Cascade hops gave bitter lemon and grapefruit in the nose and initial taste, kit had sufficient bittering hops to compensate. Reminds me a little of the Fuller's IPA.

After some months in the bottle, the initial Cascade hop 'punch' has diminished a bit, it's still there though.

Black Rock Nut Brown Ale Drielander November 12th 2014

Not bad

Made this with 500g of LDME and late sugar addition, fermented at 18 degrees, brewed short to 18l.

 

Still the mouthfeel of the beer is not very rich.

 

There is, however, a slightly nutty aftertaste.

 

On the whole, as for so many darker ales, this one wasn't really to my liking so I won't brew it again.

Coopers Wheat Beer smoltz69 November 10th 2014

Easy, fast and very drinkable

I have made this twice as a Hefeweizen attempt. Once in a 12 litre with the kit only and once as a 23 litre with the kit and coopers wheat LME. I guess they came out pretty much the same, but the latter slightly better as I used a 3.party Bavarian Yeast strain from Mangrove Jack´s. Both got a lot of banana and "soapy" taste, which is not unusual in wheat beers. They will clear up a lot in a few weeks and become more of a crystal weiss beer. Not that that matters to much. I can´t put my finger on it, but believe they taste a bit extract like and looses some of the character of a great weiss beer; Expect a thin, clear and "soapy" wheat beer, that is somewhat lager like. It certainly helps to throw in a slice of lemon at serving and it becomes very drinkable. Just don´t expect a Paulander or anything really close to German weiss beers, but it still works somehow.   The good is that it will ferment fast (7 days) and mature in (14-20 days). Good turn-around alternative for summer days.

Coopers Mexican Cerveza Robman October 26th 2014

mexican

Great beer,

I have done at least a twenty of these kits I always add no. 2 enhancer & either 800grm Dex or 2 kg honey

or for A twist, On priming bottles use rice syrup, adds a sweet taste.

My guests have all enjoyed it even some non beer drinkers

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