• Welcome to National Homebrew Club Ireland. Please login or sign up.
July 20, 2024, 08:43:46 PM


Want to Join up ? Simply follow the instructions here
Not a forum user? Now you can join the discussion on Discord

Review: Homebrew Company' pilsner, all-grain mash-kit

Started by brenmurph, May 06, 2014, 11:15:48 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


May 06, 2014, 11:15:48 PM Last Edit: May 07, 2014, 04:34:03 PM by brenmurph
Yesterday we had a mega brewday at South Kildare Brewery and included Homebrew Company's Raffle Pilsner kit
We included Homebrew Company's Pilsner All-grain Kit that they kindly donated by Shane to the national home brew club raffle. Slight delay on this due to a long story beyond my control..it involved shortcomings at every link in the chain from HBC, Lordeoin, Tube and myself...but...its here now, arrived at South Kildare brewers a couple weeks ago and I was then waiting for the lager chamber to be free after the last two lagers just got moved on :)  https://www.thehomebrewcompany.ie/hbc-premium-pilsner-mashkit-23lt-p-1699.html

Ive included a few pics of the photos showing the kit and many of the processes as we went through the day.
It is now sitting in our lager fermenting chamber at 13c as ye can see from the photos.

Ok the pros of the kits are that everything you need re ingredients are there in the kit, you dont need a big stock of hops sitting around going stale, nor do you need a range of different grains going stale. For beginners or occasional brewers these are ideal.

All you need is there plus the recipe is already made for you. they dont say whats in the recipe  so you have to trust them that its a genuine true-to-style recipe.

The brewday went well and an hour was saved because we didnt have to make up the recipe or crush the grains. We were dissapointed with the loose whirlfloc and no instructions on how to use it. Whirlfloc is a powder that is used in the final minutes of the boil and helps ensure a sparkling clear beer. The powdered version versus the tablets usually needs to be rehydrated prior to pitching into the boiling wort. The powder can be seen in the pics and was in the pack with the instructions and the yeast packet. The powder made its way into the folds of the paper and half it was lost while open the pack and the instructions. HBC should keep it simple and ad a whirlfloc tablet instead and give instructions on how to use it.
On opening the kit, the grain smelled fresh and the hops gave off a nice aroma suggesting they were fresh. The pilsner lager style is quite a hoppy beer and although it has a decent hoppy bitterness after the boil I expect it will mellow after a 6 week conditioning.
The hops were added in three stages: 60 minutes, 10 minutes and 1 minute, instructions on this were clear and simple.
Grain strike ( addition to the hot water in the mashtun) instructions were also clear and simple.
I rehydrated the yeast in a sterile bottle with some yeast nutrient and glucose and it took off fast, demijon pic shows 24 hrs in....flying as all our beers do!! So the brewferm yeast is healthy it seems, we will of course follow up with a taster in a few weeks

The sparge ( rinsing the grain to get as much malt sugar as possible) went well and no stuck sparge. I noticed there were a lot of whole grains which suggests a little more attention to the grind when manufacturing these kits is needed, the pic of the sealed kit of grains clearly shows the level of grains that missed the roller treatment, however we ended up with 23 litres of 4.6% potential, lets see how it ends up at drinking time :)

Overall impresion of the kits: With a few tweaks mainly make sure the grain is crushed to perfection for efficiency and use a whirlfloc tablet instead of powder or at least pack the powder seperately with instructions would suffice.
Pros are that the recipe is made for you, everything you need is in the pack and there's no waste e.g out of date hops or malts in your store.

I will repost back when its racking time with an update and I will endeavour to sent a few bottles to HBC and to some local brewdays for feedback when the beer is ready, however this will be lagering at 4c for at least a month....keeping in mind that South Kildare Brewers are 2014 best brewer and had great success with 4 medals for our lagers and two gold, there is no one better placed to review and taste test this kit :)  report back in a week :)
Thanks again to Shane and all at Homebrew Company  www.thehomebrewcompany.ie


Some review! you should start some youtube channel Brew with Bren or something.
Btw nice nails Bren :)
Bad day brewing is better than good day working.


Quote from: alealex on May 07, 2014, 02:11:16 PM
Some review! you should start some youtube channel Brew with Bren or something.
Btw nice nails Bren :)

ill pass that on to kellie


Nice job Bren.

I'd say the whirlfloc was a tablet before it left HBC. It must have got a bashing during transit? Or else someone along the line tried to sabotage your brew  :P Any kit I got from HBC had a tablet and the description on their website mentions a tablet too.

What's your typical lagering schedule?

I like the youtube idea. You could be Ireland's Craigtube yet   ;)



you'll be in direct competition with gregtube.

good job on the review:)


Quote from: Garry on May 07, 2014, 02:26:26 PM

What's your typical lagering schedule?

This will sit at 13-14c for about 10-12 days when the jar starts to clear ill rack off leaving some yeast for conditioning. There is 19 litres in the fermenting bucket as well.
The 23 litres will be racked off to sealed secondary conditioning and given a diacetyl rest if necessary then moved back to cellar temps for 2 weeks after that its 2-6 weeks at 4c tasting regularly till perfect


Quote from: alealex on May 07, 2014, 02:11:16 PM
Some review! you should start some youtube channel Brew with Bren or something.
Btw nice nails Bren :)

Thanks Alex.......I couldn't be letting the picture down with yukie nails now could I........ ;)