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[Review] The Homebrew Company - All Grain Mash Kit - Irish Stout

Started by irish_goat, February 26, 2014, 11:45:06 AM

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irish_goat

Thanks to the generosity of The Homebrew Company I received Irish Stout All Grain Kit (BJCP - category 13A) for a review.



The kit lists the ingredients as the following items:

Grain: Maris Otter, Roast Barley, Flaked Barley
Hops: East Kent Golding
Yeast: US-04

Bit annoying perhaps is the fact that the ingredients are all in one big bag as it meant having to hoke through the grain to find the hops and yeast before I emptied the bag into the mash tun. Certainly not a massive issue though. The instructions also did not state how many hop additions there should be so I wasn't 100% sure if I was missing any as there was only bittering hops included.



The brewing instructions detailed a simple infusion mash and then a batch sparge, which is as straightforward as you can get for a beginner all grain brewer. After a 1 hour boil I got an OG of 1.045. This was a relatively effortless brew as the batch sparge meant I spent very little time standing over the HLT and mashtun and the fact that there was only one hop addition meant I wasn't constantly checking my watch to go and make more additions.



The beer was fermented for 13 days and then bottled.

After 3 weeks of warm and then cold conditioning I cracked one open (will edit to include a photo later).

Decent mocha coloured head on this beer which lasts for a good part. Aroma is of roasted malts (a small touch of late hops might be good here). Taste is full bodied and malty. It's not a million miles from a bottle of stout you'd expect to find in a pub so I'm very happy with it. I brought this beer along to a kit brewing demonstration and it received very good remarks from punters, a few asked could they buy a bottle so it must have been good! I think it's pretty full proof so I'd definitely recommend it to someone looking to start the AG route.

I have also entered this beer into the NHC competition so I will post up the score it receives plus any other feedback.

Overall score: 8 out of 10.

LordEoin


irish_goat

Quote from: LordEoin on February 26, 2014, 04:05:40 PM
Nice one Irish_goat!
where did it drop those 2 points?

I think a little more speciality malts in there to increase complexity and maybe a pinch of fresh late hops to give a nice aroma would make it a real winner. Interested to see what the judges have to say about it on Saturday though.

LordEoin

Yeah, even all grain kits need a bit of tweaking to suit individual taste.
if random folks are trying to buy some off you (even when it's this young) it's a good sign :)

Samael

I have done Irish Red Ale, Bitter and American Pale Ale from these kits. The last one is the best in my opinion and i gave You Thomas to try after the competition. I did only one thing more - dry hopping (35g Amarillo).
..::Tomasz::..

Ciderhead


Samael

..::Tomasz::..

irish_goat

UPDATE:

So I entered this in the 13A: Dry Stout category of the competition and scored 31.

General comments from the judges were that it was a great beer but placed in the wrong category. Needs more roast character in both the aroma and the flavour and more bitterness. Was told this would score very high if it had been placed as a "dark mild".

LordEoin

Well done!
And now we know how to hack it to win next year  ;D

irish_goat

Well I think HBC should really alter the recipe a little and make it so it doesn't needed hacked. A handful of chocolate and black malt would bring it right into stout territory I think.