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[Review] Brupaks Irish Extra Stout Mash Kit (all grain)

Started by delzep, December 27, 2013, 02:11:30 PM

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I won this Brupaks Irish Extra Stout Mask Kit recently in a NHC raffle which was kindly sponsored by http://www.homebrewwest.ie so thank you HomebrewWest ;D

As shown above, the kit comes with approximately 4.5kg of mixed, crushed grain, a vacuum packed amount of hops (70g), a packet of yeast (6g), and an instructions leaflet.

At first look, this is a really good idea as it takes the sometimes daunting task of generating a recipe using a software package such as Beersmith which can (and does) take a lot of time researching different hops, grains and yeasts. The aim of the kit is to allow the user to get on with the brewing with a minimum of fuss.

So first things first - I took a quick look at the instructions provided and to be honest I think they were quite poor. The instructions weren't for this kit in particular - they're generic and suit every beer in the Brupaks mash kit range. This is a bad thing in my opinion as these kits are intended generally for the beginner to all grain brewing, and I think that including instuctions that include beer styles ranging from pilsners to witbiers and everything in between that Brupaks do a kit for can be confusing and misleading for the all grain novice. Luckily however, this is a stout kit, and even if a novice were to be misleaded somewhere by the instructions, stout can be very forgiving.

As the instructions didn't indicate how much water to use for mashing/sparging, and boiling, I used an online calculator to determine these figures (I always use one to be fair, but it would have been better to include these figures in the instructions) and away I went with my mash. The smell was incredible...so roasty and warming on a cold, stormy winters morning.  ;D

Once the mash was done....disaster...my copper manifold somehow came away from the tap meaning my tap got completely clogged with grain and I had to scoop out all the grain using a 1 litre jug and drain the wort through a sieve into my boiler which seemed to take forever. I then filled the mash tun again with the wet grain (ensuring the manifold was correctly fitted ::)) and filled with my sparge water. Everything went ok from there.

I like a more bitter stout with less hoppy flavours so I added all 70g of the hops once I had a rolling boil and boiled for 60 mins. Once cooled I checked my initial gravity (which was 1.042...exactly as predicted by the front cover of the kit), sprinkled the yeast on top and attached the lid. Plenty of activity from the airlock about 24 hours later so hopefully my mashing incident wasn't anything too serious. Hope to bottle this in early January ready for drinking a couple of weeks later.

Final thoughts so:

Pros - Neatly packaged kit, no waste of ingredients, handy for a quick brew for more experienced brewers, good price, fast delivery by HBW, smells fantastic so hopefully a well designed recipe by Brupaks, predicted gravity was spot on, whole kit doesn't take up a lot of space

Cons - Instructions were poor for beginners, mystery ingredients meant if you like this beer the only way you can replicate it is to buy the kit again

I'll add to this review once its in me belly :)


I found the same with the london bitter and 80 shilling.
The grain mix is great. it smells great, the end beer looks great, and it tastes really nice.
The instructions are a bit dodgy, but show me any kit that has good instructions..
With the stout kit it's handy that you can just add all of the hops for your full boil, but with other styles that need some flavor/aroma hops it can be a bit confusing.
The next time I use one of these kits I'll probably add all the hops for the bittering boil and add my own choice for flavor and aroma.
I hope the beer turns out well :)


Good review Delzep
I actually just picked this up do use as my first All Grain so a couple of good watch outs for me in that. Can I ask what volumes of water you used? Just bought BeerSmith but still figuring that out too!


I used this batch sparge calculator - http://www.jimsbeerkit.co.uk/batchcalc.php

Your equipment will be different to mine, but I used the following inputs

23 Litres
10% Boil loss
1 Litre loss to hops
4.5 kg of grain
1 Litre mash tun dead space
2.5 kg/litre

So I heated up 18.9 litres of water to about 71C and used 11.3 litres of this water in my mash (think I mashed at 64C), and used the remaining 7.6 litres to top up after a 60 minute mash. I then used 13.4 litres of water heated up to 80C for sparging which gave me a total of 26.7 litres of wort in my boiler


Bottled this today. FG was 1.012 so was more or less at 4%ABV. Smelled really good. Sample taste was good...not quite as roasty as the smell indicated though. Not all that bitter either (I like a bitter stout). Hopefully it'll improve in the next few weeks


The scottish 80 shilling is at 4 weeks now and it' starting to settle down and get quite tasty.
Hopefully your stout will be about the same :)

We really need an All Grain Section though...


Have you had 80 shilling before? Gonna be difficult to review an 80 shilling homebrew otherwise I'd imagine?


Well after a week and a bit in the bottle its time for a schnakey sample.

Well bad news folks....this is a really good stout. Bad news in that if I want to brew it again, I have to buy the kit! Look forward to it in a few weeks time when it will only improve. Really nice rich chocolately flavour but again its not very bitter as would suit my tastes, but thats just nitpicking really.

Quite a bit of aniseed as it warms up too


Good to hear. I've mine kegged awaiting first taste next weekend for Superbowl Sunday......


This mashkit stout scored a very respectable 35/50 in the National Competition. I'll post up a scan of the scoresheets when I get them