Easter Chocolate Stout bobthebrewer March 6th 2016

Bulldog Chocolate Stout

Kit done according to the instructions.  Six weeks in the bottle before tasting.

A difficult one this.  I am sure the kit does what it is meant to do ... the problem is, I don't like the beer. 

On the nose : 100% cocoa, dark chocolate

Nice tight tan head, thick and creamy, perfect carbonation.

On the tongue : there are the roasty bitter flavours that are typical of a stout coupled with a fortified wine, port type flavour..  On the tongue, it tastes more like a fortified wine or port than a beer.  Did someone design the recipe thinking of putting a tot of port into a pint of stout ?  If so, then the kit works perfectly.  But I just don't like it. 

I have given the kit a two star rating because I don't like the beer.  There is no way I would repeat this kit.  But there are perhaps people out there who would find it excellent ?  I hate bananas ... a lot of people think they are gorgeous.  I think this is a question of personal taste, so please don't take my word for the truth ... I would recommend finding a few more reviews before making a final decision.

Coopers Ginger Ale Drunk Dutch March 3rd 2016

Just found my new brew !

10 out 10 !!!  Just brewed my first ginger beer - and it ain't going to be my last !

Coopers Australian Pale Ale chlehb February 3rd 2016

Nice Pale Ale to tune to your liking

This was my very first brew. I used only 250g of DME and 500g of dextrose. I added some NB bittering hops during the boil, I wish I had added some aroma hops as well. 8 days in primary, followed by 2 weeks in the bottle. I may do this kit again some day as it's a really nice base. I would definitely suggest to: a) use at least 1kg of DME or LME, b) do a short boil with some Cascade or Amarillo. You don't really need additional bittering, c) use no more than 19L of water, d) light dry hop with maybe 15g of your aroma hop.

Muntons Nut Brown Ale bobthebrewer December 7th 2015

Kit & Kilo

Kit & kilo, no mods, out the tin, add the sugar and you are away. 

Three weeks later, out of the bottle.  It's a fine pint.  There is the very slight acidic zing that comes from adding all of that sugar relative the malt extract but other than that, it's fine. There are no major roasty flavours, it's wet, fizzy, tastes of beer.   I would rather drink this than a lot of commercial beers out there on the supermarket shelves.  It is not a universe stopper, a perfectly fine session beer but considering the price and the ease of use, what more could you want?  For me, the kit gets a five star because it does "what it says on the tin" so to speak ... it's cheap, easy to use and the results are reasonable, if not mind-blowing.  And it still works out far cheaper than those beers you'll find in the stores ...

Coopers Stout beerfoot December 2nd 2015

stout and nothing but stout

been brewing it for the last 8 years +

never had a bad brew,

tryed adding licorish ,coffee etc,but none seem to last in flaver over time

recently have been using BREWMASTERS stout inhancer 50 ml per 23l  and 500 gm of lactose ,the lactose smothes it out incredably great initaly but still disappers after time [ 3-4 weeks]

i only use quater of the yeast and only 500 grams of sugar [ 2 stroke i no ]but you can drink a heap more and dont start speaking dutch and talking brail lol



Coopers Stout Mörv November 16th 2015

second brew

Did it with 500g dark spray malt and 500g dextrose. Fermented around 20-21 degrees for 7 days. Tasted it after a week in bottle. Really strange flavour, smelled good though, it was dry and kinda water-ish. It is my second brew, really disappointed.

Wheat jon630271 October 20th 2015

Solid wheat.

THe description from Festa Brew called it a north american style wheat which is fine, but I was hoping for more of a hefeweizen.

In any case I brewed it a little off from the instructions (4 weeks primary, to bottle) and turned out pretty good.  No off flavours, a bit of that trademark wheat beer banana going on.  No real hop aroma.  I was hoping there wouldn't be a strong presence of north american hops as that's not my preference for wheat beers..  and there isn't.  It's a bit more like a kristalweizen, by my non-professional opinion.  Would brew again!

Muntons IPA Bitter JAZZCON August 1st 2015

Very well balanced and easy to brew.

Writing this review while drinking the results. Added 1 kg of dextrose only to the kit. Used the yeast that came with the kit. No secondary fermentation when this beer was made. I just fermented in a bucket and after the bubbles stopped a week in bottled the next day into glass bottles with flip tops and Samuel Adams bottles that I recapped. After 3 weeks of bottle conditioning started to dink them. Turned out really nice. The beer has a head when poured yet the head will dissipate rather quickly which is to be expected (I only added 1 kg of dextrose.) There is nice lacing on the glassware from the small head that does stick around. The flavor is very very well balanced. Most people who like beer will enjoy this kit even if they may not enjoy home brew usually. Next time I brew this kit I will add dried malt extract to increase the body of the beer and to also increase the malt flavor. I recommend this kit and Muntons brand kits.  

Morgans Golden Sheaf Wheat Beer BradGC July 18th 2015

Great hoegarden style beer

This kit is excellent!

I added 1 can wheat malt extract, 12 g saaz hops, wheat beer yeast, orange peel, 1 tbsp coriander seeds.

Very similar to hoegarden

Double Oatmeal Stout elreplica June 25th 2015

Great drop

Well, I finally bit the bullet and fermented a box of DOS wort. It's das bomb...Stygian dark with rich flavour and character - drinkable even four or five days in the bottle. I am aging it until at least the end of July when a buddy visits, but do sneak one here and there for chronological testing purposes. It blends well with a brown or pale ale to come up with a porter-like "swamp water" brew. And since Festa doesn't create a porter, you can blend a Brown Ale with the DOS to make one. I can see this being better than a Guinness and although I'm a recent casual convert to stout, I can see keeping a batch of this in my stockpile. I may go the next step and mini-keg a batch and carb it with a nitrogen/CO2 blend...

Black Rock Bock BernieW June 15th 2015

A Bock

The Bock taste i there and other reviewers may be disappointed with the lack of hops, but a low hop flavour i typical of Bock. Could be stronger It brewed short

Continental Pilsner elreplica June 3rd 2015


I recently cooked up a batch of the BB Continental Pils I bought as a "clear out" from my local HBS. It's too bad they're stopping carrying them, but they are pricey. Anyway, I got this one for $40 reg. $50 CDN (for 5 USG or approx. 19 litres) deciding to try it after brewing their marvellous Imperial Blonde Ale. The kit comes complete with caps, grain sack, priming sugar, LME and dry extract and steeping grains, making this a "partial" mash. I was going to swap out the yeast but decided to try it with its stock Brewferm Lager yeast to get a baseline. I "lagered" it in my SS fermenter for four weeks on the basement floor between 10-13C, as my lager fridge was full of beer :-() Then off to a brief crashing in secondary carboy to a final rack in two x 2.5 USG mini kegs. I have to say there was a dirty pile of trub and hops, so the next time I'll be using a hop sock. I ended up with approx. 17 litres with a few bombers (22 oz) and a couple Grolsch swing tops. It has an interesting flavour about it for sure. But I'm leaving it for a couple more weeks in the kegs and then I'll pound the gas to it and post an addendum to this review. I'm giving it three stars as a placeholder and will adjust accordingly.

Abbey Ducky April 30th 2015

Pretty good for a first time

Brewed this as my first beerkit. I used dark candy sugar. I also replaced the standard yeast with Fermentis Safbrew Abbay.

The result is a nice and bitter yet sweet brown beer in the best tradition of Belgian Abbey Ales with some fruity banana flavours.

I had a friend blind taste it together with several other commercial beers. It wasn't the best, but it certainly wasn't the worst.

Grand Cru Ducky April 30th 2015

Great with honey.

I brewed this one with Brewferm Blanche yeast instead of the standard Brewferm Top yeast that comes with the kit. I also opted for honey instead of sugar and the water used for this brew was boiled with some coriander.

After primary fermentation I split the brew into 2 batches. I dry-hopped 1 batch with Fuggles, the second batch was dry-hopped with Amarillo.

The Fuggles-batch turned out to be a very nice, sweet and spicy beer while the Amarillo resulted in a sweet, refreshing and fruity beer.


Certainly going to do another brew with this kit in the future.

West Coast India Pale Ale elreplica April 14th 2015

Festa West Coast

I finished up those mini kegs in short order and have a few 22 oz talks aging on the dark shelves in basement. When Festa brewing, I use a grappler on back of kitchen shears to pry the cap. I then just mickle on to the wort bag to dump it in primary bucket. When using the Fast Ferment (smaller hole) or carboy, I made up a gizmo with a Festa cap drilled out to accommodate a brass bulkhead, rubber washers and a length of braided hose - 18 inches I'm thinking with a 1/2 inch ID. I snap this on to the bag and can squeeze dump the flattened bag from my counter in whatever. Unfortunately the aforementioned gizmo doesn't work with the Brewhouse kits, but I'm finding them too pricey anyway - same price here as Festa - need to swap out yeast as it's always Coopers Ale yeast. I usually upgrade to a Safale US O4, 05 depending on the brew.  As rated before, I pitched a Brewhouse Munich Dark over a West Coast slurry of US 05 and it was one of my best brews ever. Still hoping to find a bottle or two in my collection somewhere!

West Coast India Pale Ale jon630271 March 31st 2015

Compliments, and I'm not even an IPA fan

Brewed last summer with only entry level expectations, but quite surprised.  I didn't think I'd like it to such a degree (hot weather required).  Did a side by side with a local "west coast ale" and preferred the festabrew.  It's held up well over time, and by demand of others I will be brewing again.  Big hop flavour and aroma, solid bitterness for my tastes (I can see it a bit mild for some).  I'll take it everytime over any "light lager."
My only criticism is it could be sweeter by a grav point or 2, for about spot on balance.  With certain foods or the mouth's mood, I get a hint of bitter in the vegetable spectrum.
Easier than even extract kits.  Pour into fermenter.  Yeast.  Done.  Costs a little more but worth it!  If you ferment in carboys whip the hose around as you siphon (or get a big funnel) to aerate wort.  Mine finished fine that way.  Mid 60's ferment, 4 weeks primary, no secondary, bottled.  Tip: Get a plan for that FestaBrew cap.  Tape it upright in a cut hole in the box to not spill and use a butter knife or blunt wedge to pry the cap.

4/5:  Great!  (there's no 4.5)

Black Rock Lager jon630271 March 24th 2015

English Session Ale - Brewery Pouch acotiga March 16th 2015

English Pale Ale

This was the standard kit with which my fermenter kit came. It was my first brew but I read a lot beforehand. I used the English Pale Ale pouch, the enhancer pack it came with and the standard yeast. I used a yeast starter and pitched at 23deg C. Brewed it short at 21L. Due to a misunderstanding of Palmer's How to Brew book, I boiled the extract and water and enhancer for about 45min.

Fermented for 1 week in primary FV at between 20-22deg C, then racked for 2 more weeks in secondary carboy. Primed with 98g of white sugar and bottled. Used standard finings 3 days before bottling.

Tested two bottles 6 days after bottling. Carbonation is OK-ish, another week is needed, at least. Not very clear. Clear enough but could be way better.

Clean tasting but very very very bitter. And it's more of the background bitterness with very little forward, aromatic hops. 

I'm sure that if I would have brewed it at 25L, the bitterness would have been better, but then it would have been thin from an AVB point of view. As it is, it finished at 3.9 in carboy plus 0.5 in bottle for a total of 4.4%. 

If I would ever do it again, which I doubt since I'm not an ale drinker, I would probably brew at 25l and add another 0.5 of brew sugar of light DME. I would also add some aroma hops since it definitely lacks those.


As it is, it's a very bitter un-aromatic average beer.

West Coast India Pale Ale elreplica March 11th 2015

West Coast

While the left coast may not be the best coast, the namesake makes a pretty good drop. My first attempt was really good, bottled it off in 500 mL PETs and gave it some time. Good alcohol levels  c. 6-6.5% ABV and rich and hoppy. My second bombed as I bottled the batch in 1000 mL PETs. The caps turned out to be defective as the beer never carbonated and oxidized. My third attempt was much better. I racked the batch after several days in the primary to a 23L carboy for a couple months, cold crashed and kegged in two 2.5 gallon mini kegs - approx. 19 litres. The remaining five were capped in US "fifths" (26 oz) tall glass browns. I sampled the golden amber liquid and it tasted very good indeed - so good it could almost be drank flat. Stay tuned for the final results.

UPDATE: 24 hours in a mini keg 2.5 gallon with a carbonation lid and the draught was perfect. Smooth and clear with a hoppy nose and decent lacing. A number of these knocked me out as I sat around the pellet stove trying to stave off an oncoming flu. Good medicine perhaps, but perhaps not a good sessions beer.

Czech Pilsner elreplica March 10th 2015

Festa Czech Pils Part Trois

Well, well, well...lagering season is in full swingtop - in the basement floor mode at least - as well as my lagering fridge. I just pulled another Czech Pils from six of the 341 mL Steam Whistle crown capped bottles I set aside to lager until July. Yep, July lol. I can't resist it after I tried one the other day. It's amazing ... So clean, clear and crisp - even with the "low end" stock Fermentis S23 that came with it. It's been in the bottle since Dec. 4th. I'm going to try and leave the last three until July. Meanwhile, in the carboy I've got another identical batch ready to keg. Two other fermenters have Czech Pils - one with a slower starting Fermentis 34/70 yeast and the second with the 34/70 and an added 500g of light DME. Just experiments, but I don't know if I can improve on the bottled CP. I do still have a smackpack of Wyeast liquid Bohemian Lager yeast to try, as well as an experiment with a vial of White Labs liquid lager yeast. Mini kegging in two new US 2.5 gallon cornies will also be implemented. Hopefully, in a couple weeks cooking will resume on the back deck. That lack of snow in January was replaced with a ton of February snow. Too much to even get at the deck.And I need to find out what concoction gave me the bottle of nectar I pulled out from my stash the other day. Seems as though my late summer wetting of my basement caused a frantic shuffling of bottles and this one got mixed up. Will I ever reach Beer Nirvana?

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