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[Review] Craft Range Stout

Started by LordEoin, May 26, 2014, 09:38:31 PM

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Many thanks to HomeBrewWest for supplying this kit to be reviewed  :-*

The Craft Range is new on the market and claims to be the highest quality range of beer and cider kits, I brewed the Stout kit tonight.
They sell for €26.95 and when bought from homebrewwest HERE with starsan or Chempro Oxi it comes with a free bottling tree - great deal!

First opinion is that it's a very nicely presented kit, packaged in a homely looking cardboard box.
Everything inside is also very well packaged, with the main Stout extract and light LME in tough plastic pouches, hops in a hydrogen flushed and sealed foil bag, and a generous pack of yeast.
The only problem I can see with the packaging is that there are no best before dates.

The box itself contains:
  • 2.2kg Stout extract (pouch)
  • 1.2kg Light Liquid Malt Extract (pouch)
  • 25g 'Stout Hop Pellets' (nitrogen flushed foil bag)
  • 11g Beer yeast (top fermenting ale)
  • A Muslin Bag
  • Instructions (two sided A4)

    Brewing the kit was very quick, 30 minutes including sanitizing and cleanup.
    I got the pouches of extract into a pot of hot water to soften before starting sanitizing everything else.
    By the time everything was clean and assembled (15minutes) the pouches were ready to go straight into the fermenter, followed by 3 liters of boiling water, then topped up to 23liters.

    At this point the wort was 24°C and OG 1.042 and the instructions say to pitch the yeast, stir and set at 20°C for 8-10 days before dry-hopping with the supplied 25g hops.
    Missing from the instructions is that you should aerate the wort well by stirring vigorously for a few minutes before pitching the yeast. This is important.

    One thing I noticed about this kit is that the wort smells and tastes fresher than other kits with a noticeable smell of malt and grain. This grainyness(?) carries through to the taste also, not just tasting like hopped malt like most other kits.

    I'll report back next week after dryhopping :)


Looking good  8)

I've never done a kit with pouches before. How easy is it to get all the extract out?

Where are these kits made?


Quote from: Garry on May 26, 2014, 09:58:27 PMI've never done a kit with pouches before. How easy is it to get all the extract out?

Easy enough if you let them sit in hot water for a good 15 mins before hand. Then you can rinse them out with water from the kettle to get any bits left behind.


Yeah, really easy to get all the goop out.
I laid them on their side in the pot to make sure they're completely covered in hit water, then like goat said fill them with the boiling water on its way from the kettle.

The kits are made in Barna, Galway. http://www.thecraftrange.com/contact-us-2-w.asp


24 hours in and it's chugging away like a trooper with about an inch of good thick krausen and a lovely smell.
I'm looking forward to this one :)


Kit sounds interesting, will put it on the list, 2 ahead of it thou....


How is this going? Did you dry hop?

This kit is next on my list.


Racked to secondary and Dryhopped about 3 days ago.
I washed the yeast and got 5 vials (250ml)
hopefully I'll be bottling it today, and it looks like there's another couple of vials worth of yeast dropped out.
That's the most yeast I've seen drop from a beer in a long while and it's all lovely clean creamy stuff :)


OG 1.042 - FG 1.010
Tastes and smells good with bittering around the guinness level but the dryhop gives it s a little something more.
I was concerned that the muslin bag wouldn't keep the hop pellet particles contained, so i twisted the bag half way up and doubled it back on itself to make a finer mesh.
I got all the trub from secondary with a bit of extra water and let it settle in a pint glass. There's no hop matter to be seen :)


@LordEoin, do you have a thread somewhere on how to harvest and preserve the yeast?  I've seen it on youtube, but your stuff that I've read to date make more sense.

Hopefully my Craft Range IPA will be going to secondary this time next week so...


Try the BrewWiki at: http://www.nationalhomebrewclub.com/wordpress/?page_id=186
There are guides on there about yeast washing and slanting :)


The yeast pages are both posting broken links  :(


grr... I'll check it out tonight or tomorrow.
Something must have gone awry with migration.


Is this carbed up, how does it taste?
Primary: Back to Black Again (Michael Jackson stout)
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


I think it tastes great, but a little more bitter than i'd normally make.
I have a couple of bottles going into the monochrome competition this weekend, so I was holding off for some more 'expert' feedback ;)