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[REVIEW] HBC full Extract Blonde Ale

Started by Chris, February 22, 2014, 11:33:32 PM

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Chris

February 22, 2014, 11:33:32 PM Last Edit: February 23, 2014, 11:09:10 AM by LordEoin
REVIEW: HBC Full Extract Blonde Ale Kit.

The Kit arrived in a clear heat sealed plastic bag no fancy packaging;

This contained

2 Cans of Liquid Malt Extract

A muslin bag

Another heat sealed bag which when opened contained,

The steeping grains,

The hops in another sealed bag,

A whirlfloc tablet

Yeast ( US-05)

Instructions


http://imageshack.com/a/img811/9649/ov29.jpg

http://imageshack.com/a/img541/5572/nq2j.jpg

There was a difficulty in that the bag containing the steeping grains had to be cut open in order to access the other items. I think it would be better if the grains were sealed in their own bag.

The instructions were clear and unambiguous.

When I did my first Extract brew I had very little equipment and having been given this opportunity I decided to revisit those days to show how simple it is to move to extract brewing. As a result of this I deviated a little from the instructions as the stock pot holds 15 litres a partial boil is necessary.. I dug out my trusty old 15 litre stock pot.


Step 1. Place the Grains in the muslin bag provided and steep at 67deg for 30mins.

I used a pot from the kitchen brought the 2 litres of water to 70 deg and added the grains. I covered the pot and wrapped it in a towel for insulations.

http://imageshack.com/a/img24/7956/stmq.jpg

While this was steeping I brought 10 litres of water to the boil in the stock pot.

At the end of the steep I added the steep water to the 10 litres of water in my stock pot. I then placed the grain in  a colander  and placed it over the stock pot and rinsed the grain with a further 2 litres of water at 80deg from the kettle.

I added the 2 cans of Malt extract and brought the now delicious smelling wort to the boil.

http://imageshack.com/a/img34/7131/9jay.jpg

http://imageshack.com/a/img839/9240/0ybx.jpg


I then added the hops using the same Muslin bag that the grain had been in after emptying and rinsing it.

http://imageshack.com/a/img196/2421/fvbe.jpg

45 minutes later I added the Whirfloc tablet,

http://imageshack.com/a/img822/5422/egyv.jpg


I then tried to add my chiller but it didn't fit in the 15 litre stock pot.  So I had to go completely back to my beginnings and filled the sink with ice and water. On completion of the 1 hour boil. I placed the stock pot in the sink of ice water to reduce the temperature. I continually added ice until the temperature had reduced to 30 deg.

I added the now cooler wort to the earlier sanitized fermenter and topped it up with cold water to 21 litres. This brought the temperature down to a pleasant 20 degrees.

http://imageshack.com/a/img41/2893/9e39.jpg

Hydrometer reading 1.042


Yeast added and fermenter placed in basement where the ambient temperature is a constant 18 deg.

http://imageshack.com/a/img38/6628/2dlg.jpg

http://imageshack.com/a/img163/7691/q35j.jpg

This I have to say is a fantastic kit for an introduction to extract brewing and the HBC is to be congratulated on the entire series. The only criticism I could level was the packaging of the grains. The instructions are clear. As there is only the one hop addition it is very uncomplicated. Everything needed is provided in the kit. As I have shown above all the equipment that is needed is a stock pot and a fermenter.
Primary: Back to Black Again (Michael Jackson stout)
Secondary:
Conditioning:  Breac Donn Imperial Amber Ale
Drinking: Cascade Reaction Amber Ale, Fear Gorm Irish stout, lonesome pilgrim pale ale
Planned: imperial stout, finlandia kit hack

Chris

Bulk primed and bottled.


After two weeks conditioning.



Tastes good. Very light and a little sweet. All in a a good result. If I was doing this kit again I would add some additional bittering and aroma hops to my own taste. A great simple introduction to extract brewing for anyone wanting to make the move from kits. 
Primary: Back to Black Again (Michael Jackson stout)
Secondary:
Conditioning:  Breac Donn Imperial Amber Ale
Drinking: Cascade Reaction Amber Ale, Fear Gorm Irish stout, lonesome pilgrim pale ale
Planned: imperial stout, finlandia kit hack

fishjam45 (Colin)

great review, I'm hoping to move from kits to extract soon and you've made the changeover look easier than I expected, nice one.
Garden County Brewers

https://gcbrewers.wordpress.com/

LordEoin

It certainly looks the part :)
Did you enter it in the competition?

Chris

It wouldn't have been conditioned sufficiently in time for the competition. Opened another bottle yesterday and the body has improved greatly. I think a bit of dry hopping with the likes of cascade would make this into a fantastic summer beer
Primary: Back to Black Again (Michael Jackson stout)
Secondary:
Conditioning:  Breac Donn Imperial Amber Ale
Drinking: Cascade Reaction Amber Ale, Fear Gorm Irish stout, lonesome pilgrim pale ale
Planned: imperial stout, finlandia kit hack

fishjam45 (Colin)

Is that a standard issue  "meat probe" thermometer you used?
Garden County Brewers

https://gcbrewers.wordpress.com/

Chris


Quote from: fishjam45 on March 25, 2014, 08:32:49 PM
Is that a standard issue  "meat probe" thermometer you used?
yes I have a digital one aswell but I've tested them against each other and it's accurately calibrated.
Primary: Back to Black Again (Michael Jackson stout)
Secondary:
Conditioning:  Breac Donn Imperial Amber Ale
Drinking: Cascade Reaction Amber Ale, Fear Gorm Irish stout, lonesome pilgrim pale ale
Planned: imperial stout, finlandia kit hack

fishjam45 (Colin)

Garden County Brewers

https://gcbrewers.wordpress.com/

Chris

The first one looks perfect. The probe will be handy as you can leave it in and monitor the temp it will also be handy for when you move onto all grain!!!
Primary: Back to Black Again (Michael Jackson stout)
Secondary:
Conditioning:  Breac Donn Imperial Amber Ale
Drinking: Cascade Reaction Amber Ale, Fear Gorm Irish stout, lonesome pilgrim pale ale
Planned: imperial stout, finlandia kit hack

fishjam45 (Colin)

Garden County Brewers

https://gcbrewers.wordpress.com/

Chris

Anything I can do just ask. You'll be amazed with the difference when you try the extract
Primary: Back to Black Again (Michael Jackson stout)
Secondary:
Conditioning:  Breac Donn Imperial Amber Ale
Drinking: Cascade Reaction Amber Ale, Fear Gorm Irish stout, lonesome pilgrim pale ale
Planned: imperial stout, finlandia kit hack

fishjam45 (Colin)

Aiming to get my first extract done over the weekend using a partial boil like you did.  I'm in the process of gathering equipment to step upto all grain so this extract will keep me occupied in the meantime.  Will stick up a few pics too.
Garden County Brewers

https://gcbrewers.wordpress.com/

Chris

Primary: Back to Black Again (Michael Jackson stout)
Secondary:
Conditioning:  Breac Donn Imperial Amber Ale
Drinking: Cascade Reaction Amber Ale, Fear Gorm Irish stout, lonesome pilgrim pale ale
Planned: imperial stout, finlandia kit hack

benji

How does this compare with Dungarvins Helvick Gold
Tapped: Brown Porter, Dortmunder, Rye IPA
Bottled: Barrel RIS, Barrel Red Flanders, Oatmeal Stout
Fermenting: Barrel triple, NEIPA
Planned: Pilsner, Hazy Pale Ale, something Belgian

Chris

Very similar but different hop profile
Primary: Back to Black Again (Michael Jackson stout)
Secondary:
Conditioning:  Breac Donn Imperial Amber Ale
Drinking: Cascade Reaction Amber Ale, Fear Gorm Irish stout, lonesome pilgrim pale ale
Planned: imperial stout, finlandia kit hack