Author Topic: [REVIEW] Craft Range Blonde Lager  (Read 10911 times)

Chris

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[REVIEW] Craft Range Blonde Lager
« on: June 04, 2014, 10:37:34 AM »
Many thanks to www.homebrewwest.ie for donating the kit and special thanks to Lord Eoin who went out of his way to get the kit to me.

THE BOX:
Well packaged, compact and appealing. I like the way the other kits are described on the sides of the box.

Contains;
1. Instructions (clear and easy to follow)
2. large pouch blonde extract
3. small pouch LME
4. Foil bag hop pellets
5. Muslin bag
6. Yeast

Placed both pouches I'm warm water for 15 minutes to soften extract. While this was happening I sterilised my fermenter and spoon.

Boil kettle

Carefully open the pouches and pour extract in to fermenter. I then used the boiling water to get the rest of the gloopey goodness from the pouches. Using the paddle ensure that the extract and LME are well dissolved.

Top the fermenter up to 23 litres with cold tap water. Instructions say to wait until temp is below 24 deg before pitching the yeast. Worked out well for me with the temp being 23.5 deg after adding the water.

Pitched the yeast and put on lid and stuck in air lock.

Whole procedure took less than 30 minutes. Wert smelled delicious and the whole kit had the feel of quality. If the result is as good as the kit I will definitely be trying the rest of this range.

Dry hops have been provided and will be added in 8 days.

OG was 1.056

My only criticisms are I couldn't find a best before date and it would appear the kit is a Blonde Ale and calling it a Blonde Lager could be a little misleading.
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

LordEoin

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Re: [REVIEW] Craft Range Blonde Lager
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2014, 11:13:09 AM »
Best before dates are being sorted, it was an oversight with this first batch. They're good until the end of 2015 or so :)

I was wondering about the ale/lager thing alright. I think it would probably be more appropriate to rename it Blonde Ale, and introduce a separate product called 'The Craft Range True Lager' that comes with a good lager yeast and special instructions.

fishjam45 (Colin)

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Re: [REVIEW] Craft Range Blonde Lager
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2014, 11:15:21 AM »
Looks good, looking forward to see how it turns out.

Chris

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[REVIEW] Craft Range Blonde Lager
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2014, 11:16:37 AM »

I was wondering about the ale/lager thing alright. I think it would probably be more appropriate to rename it Blonde Ale, and introduce a separate product called 'The Craft Range True Lager' that comes with a good lager yeast and special instructions.
I agree, if they went down that route it would be a good idea to make it clear on the packaging that the ability to temperature control would be a necessity or you could end up with some very unhappy customers.
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

LordEoin

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Re: [REVIEW] Craft Range Blonde Lager
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2014, 11:50:19 AM »
easily done with a few warnings on the packaging and product details, but anyway, back to this blonde..
Glad you're enjoying it so far, i hope it turns out well :)

Chris

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Re: [REVIEW] Craft Range Blonde Lager
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2014, 05:18:46 PM »
24hours in, temp stable at 20deg. Going like the clappers. Glad I put it in 33litre fermenter or there would be some mess. :-)
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

LordEoin

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Re: [REVIEW] Craft Range Blonde Lager
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2014, 12:34:06 AM »
what was printed on your Yeast packet?

Chris

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Re: [REVIEW] Craft Range Blonde Lager
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2014, 10:42:08 AM »

what was printed on your Yeast packet?
BEER YEAST (Lager Style)
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

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Re: [REVIEW] Craft Range Blonde Lager
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2014, 12:39:11 PM »
Update: went down to the basement to check this yesterday. I was surprised to see the air lock still bubbling after 7 days then I noticed the temperature on the fermenter was 16 deg. I never turned on the heat mat. This means that it has been fermenting away at 16 deg for the last week. My dilemma now is do I leave it finish off at 16 deg or to I increase the temp. I'm inclined to leave it finish off at the lower temp as there is still activity. I'll take a reading in a while and post the gravity. Suggestions
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

TheSumOfAllBeers

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Re: [REVIEW] Craft Range Blonde Lager
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2014, 12:55:16 PM »
Leave it at 16 until it has fully attenuated. Then let the temp rise by a degree or two for a day to get a diacetyl rest, then back down again

Chris

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Re: [REVIEW] Craft Range Blonde Lager
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2014, 10:35:03 PM »
Gravity is 1.020
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

HomeBrewWest

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Re: [REVIEW] Craft Range Blonde Lager
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2014, 10:50:28 PM »
Chris, these are new yeast strains. The old wisdom re ale yeasts doesn't really apply.

Hmmm, 1.020 is way too high.

Can you just move it upstairs and let it get to 20 oC?

Its important because of the dry hopping schedule . . . the hops should only stay in the beer for 3 days so that's why the instructions suggest about 20 oC and a daily timeline. Get it to 20 oC, leave for 3 more days, add the hops and bottle 3 days later.

We see lots of posts about the old ale yeast strains (around since the 80's) and conventional wisdom does indeed apply to these strains. But there are other issues that are not addressed.

One is carbonation levels. If you deviate from the instructions the CO2 levels at bottling time will not be the intended ones, and you may wind up with a flat beer.

Having said all that,  I am not a master brewer so I will defer to the better qualified on this forum who know way more about the science than I do. They are still yeasts at the end of the day. Its really the dry hopping schedule that concerns me.

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.” Abraham Lincoln. www.homebrewwest.ie

Chris

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Re: [REVIEW] Craft Range Blonde Lager
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2014, 11:43:11 PM »
I won't be dry hopping until the gravity drops quite a bit. If I turn on the heat mat I can jump it straight up to 20deg. What I was wondering about was that it seems to be tipping away at 16deg should I leave it there until it ferments out for the sake of consistency?
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

HomeBrewWest

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Re: [REVIEW] Craft Range Blonde Lager
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2014, 12:02:23 AM »
All yeasts hate a sudden temp change. I was thinking more about letting it come up to ambient temp very slowly.

In fact, constant temp is more important than the actual temp (within reason). So I would not stick a heater under it at this stage.

I think all the experts are celebrating the Dutch win tonight!
“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.” Abraham Lincoln. www.homebrewwest.ie

LordEoin

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Re: [REVIEW] Craft Range Blonde Lager
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2014, 12:08:15 AM »
i'd probably just leave it finish out as it is, or maybe meet half way and raise the temp to a constant 18 until it's fermented out.
It'll be grand :)