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[Review] Brupaks Craftsman London Bitter Extract Kit

Started by Garry, October 21, 2013, 10:35:44 AM

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The club were generously given this extract kit, compliments of HomeBrewWest, to review.

It's a Brupaks Craftsman London Bitter Plus 3 Kg Malt Extract 4.0% ABV Extract Beer Kit.

You get an ingredients pack containing 250g of steeping grains, around 70g of hops and a pack of yeast. The kit also includes 2 x 1.5kg cans of LME.

I put the grains in a bag and added them to my keggle with 25L of cold water. I bought the temperature up to 67°C and held it there for 30 minutes.

I put the tins of extract in some hot water to soften the goo for 20 minutes or so.

I strained the steeping grains and turned on the heat again to bring the water to a boil. The water had darkened nicely at this stage and there was a lovely aroma from the grains.

I drained the cans of extract into the keggle as it was coming to the boil. Then gave it a good stir to dissolve everything.

The instructions were a bit vague as to the hop additions and boil times:

QuoteAdd the hops (retaining a small handful) and maintain a rolling boil for a minimum of 40 minutes, adding the reserved hops for the last 5 minutes.

I decided to go with a 60 minute boil, adding 40g of hops at 60 min. and 30g at 5 min.

I recirculated the wort through the counter flow chiller for the last 10 min to sanitise the chiller.

I drained the wort into a sanitized FV. Gave the wort a vigorous stir and pitched the yeast onto the foam head at 22°C. I ended up with 21L in the FV at an OG of 1.042.

At €14.95, I think this kit is extremely good value. You could even buy one of these kits and split the ingredients to add to two Cooper's 1.7kg type kits?

My only fault with the kit at this stage would be the vagueness of the instructions. But us home brewers learn to ignore kit instructions early on :P


I eventually got round to bottling this tonight. It finished at 1.012 so it should yield 4% ABV as stated.

It tastes great at this stage. Nice and bitter. The cold weather has cleared it nicely too. I'm looking forward to trying it in a few weeks when it's carbonated. I batch primed it to 2.0 vols, probably more than the style requires but I prefer it a bit fizzy. It's the teenager in me  :P


These have turned out quiet nice. I bought a Fullers London Pride to compare. They are very similar. The Fullers is lighter in colour and much clearer. But the clarity of my brew ain't bad either. Being an extract, it's expected that the colour will be darker but it's in the same half acre.

Strangely, the head and head retention is much better in my beer than the Fullers.

There is more carbonation in the Fullers which does give it a nicer mouth-feel. Next time I'll carb to 2.2 vols. Despite the extra fizz, the Fullers feels thinner than my beer.

There's very little aroma off my brew. The Fullers has a tiny bit of hop aroma.

The taste is very similar. There's a kind of turkish delight that I get from English hops and a good bitterness. Overall, I think I prefer the Fullers, but only because of the extra carbonation. That's easily fixed.

I asked my wife and her sister to give their verdict too, for what it's worth. My wife thought both were disgusting, but preferred the Fullers. IE, it was less disgusting! Her sister too preferred the Fullers, because it was fizzier! The beer bloggers are safe  :P


M'lady gives some very inciteful reviews too, like 'smells like old man fart' and 'Eww, that tastes like a pub'...  :-\



That's not his wife. They're his sunday clothes...  ;D

mr hoppy

Bottled LP would be fizzier than the cask version, and wouldn't have the same depth of flavor - so, not necessarily a bad reflection on the kit.


It's typical. I'm on the last few bottles of this and I'm really getting a taste for it :'(

I'm going to enter a couple in the competition. We'll see what the pros think.


The judges at the completion didn't really like this one  :( It only scored 21  in cat 08B English best/premium bitter :-[

Both judges complained about a slight medicinal phenolic. This may have been my fault or the yeast's? One judge blamed the yeast and suggested using a different yeast to get more esther character.


I doubt it was the yeast. My bronze ESB was the same kit but the allgrain version.
I'd say something just went wrong along the way.


I doubt it was the yeast too. Fecking judges, what do they know   :P I've none of this beer left to try now so that's a good sign    :)