Author Topic: [Review] Craft Range IPA  (Read 13959 times)

fishjam45 (Colin)

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[Review] Craft Range IPA
« on: May 30, 2014, 11:32:30 PM »
Evening all, I'm delighted to do my first review which is The Craft Range IPA.
Many thanks to http://www.homebrewwest.ie/ for putting these kits up for raffle and LordEoin for organising it.

The box is nice and tidy and well presented, its nice to get everything in the one box.  I personally like the branding used here, nice touch too adding the 4 Craft Range Beers and 4 Craft Range Ciders to the ends of the box to encourage future buys from this range.  The cider ingredients listed have gotten me interested in a  future purchase - job well done by the advertising section!

Whats in the Box?

3kg IPA Malt Extract Pouch
650g Brewing Sugar
100g Priming Sugar
10g Beer Yeast (IPA)
Muslin Bag
75g Pouch Hop Pellets (IPA)
A4 Page of Instructions (Both Sides)

DAY 1 GETTING STARTED

1 - Thoroughly clean and sterilise all equipment with cleaner and sanitizer.
2 - Stand the pouches in warm water for 15 minutes to soften the extract.
3 - Carefully cut the pouches open and pour the malt extract into your bucket.  Rinse out any remains by rolling and squeezing the pouch remains into the bucket.
4 - Boil 3 Litres of water, add to bucket and stir ensuring the malt and water are well mixed.
5 - Top up to 23 litres using tap water and agains tir well.
6 - Check that the temperature is below 24 oC then add the contents of The Beer Yeast sachet and stir.
7 - Fit an airlock and grommet to the fermentor lid then secure the lid to the fermentor, ensuring that the seal is air-tight.  One third fill the airlock 'U' with water to protect the beer during fermentation.

So all in all there is nothing strange or unusual in the instructions - straightforward.  There was a gorgeous smell coming from my kitchen as I was putting it together, it was even remarked on from the sitting room by herself. We both agreed its the best and freshest smelling kit I've done so far, already looking forward to tasting it.  There's not much more I can say about it yet as its literally only in the bucket.

In review of my experience of getting it all into fermentor there are a few points I'd like to make, I hope I'm not being too picky here:
* In point 2 of the instructions it says "Stand the Pouches in warm water" - there is only one pouch for the IPA.  Maybe the instructions could be amended for the IPA?
* On the box under the ingredients list it says "Malt Extract, Dextrose Monohydrate, Hops, Hop Extract, Dried Brewing Yeast."  There was a 75gr of Hop Pellets only included.  Maybe saying Hops and Hop Extract was a little confusing?
* It'd be nice to know what hop(s) are in the pellets? Maybe its kept secret on purpose  :)
* In the instructions there is no advise to take an Original Gravity reading.
* There is no mention of what to do with the 650g bag of brewing sugar in the instructions.  Maybe some people might find that confusing and not use it at all?  I added it in with the 3kg Extract.
* There is a "Best Before" printed as part of the branding in 2 places on the box but no actual best before date stamped on them.

LordEoin

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Re: [Review] Craft Range IPA
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2014, 01:12:42 AM »
Thanks Fishjam! I found that very informative and interesting.
After brewing the Stout version it is good to see the differences in other kits.

It indicates that there is good thought put into the ingredients, but the instructions might all be the same for the different styles.
It will be interesting to see how Chris's Blonde Lager  goes on brewday because i notice on the stout kit instructions mentions temperatures for other kit, but no lager temps.

It's odd that this kit comes with priming sugar, when the stout does not. Maybe it was just an oversight. This is the range's virgin run, so there are bound to be a few hiccups.

A striking similarity between the stout and this IPA (pretty much opposite in beer terms) is that we both noticed that the smell of the wort was much fresher than other kits.

Roll on drinking day!

fishjam45 (Colin)

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Re: [Review] Craft Range IPA
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2014, 12:49:41 PM »
There's the beginnings of a Krausen forming this morning and the airlock has popped a few times too.

fishjam45 (Colin)

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Re: [Review] Craft Range IPA
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2014, 08:18:55 PM »
A good Krausen has formed and the airlock is happily popping away now.

fishjam45 (Colin)

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Re: [Review] Craft Range IPA
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2014, 10:38:24 PM »
So as per instructions I dry hopped today with the supplied hop pellets.
I boiled the supplied muslin bag for 5 minutes, added the pellets, tied a knot in the muslin bag then popped the bag into my FV.
Easy peasy.

I would really like to know what hops are in those pellets, especially after smelling the bag that they came in - Savage!!!


LordEoin

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Re: [Review] Craft Range IPA
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2014, 12:32:27 AM »
Have a game of 'guess the aroma hops' at a brewer's meet. I'm sure you'll get to the bottom of it.
Reading the initial review again, I notice that your yeast is specifically marked IPA.
That's 3 craft range beer kits reviewed so far and 3 different yeasts. Nice change from other ranges supplying the same yeast for most of their styles :)

fishjam45 (Colin)

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Re: [Review] Craft Range IPA
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2014, 05:58:51 PM »
After ten days, and when it's reading less than 1.005 I can proceed onto the bottling stage.
I took a reading tonight and it's 1.006, so I'll try again on Thursday or Friday.

It smells really good - fresh (again), with a sweet, warm and citrus nose is the best way of describing it. She's quite cloudy too.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2014, 06:09:58 PM by fishjam45 »

ronnieb

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Re: [Review] Craft Range IPA
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2014, 08:19:00 PM »
I have this 5 days in the fermenter.  It has kept an impressive bubbly krausen thus far. 
It smells great..
« Last Edit: June 12, 2014, 10:20:53 PM by ronnieb »

fishjam45 (Colin)

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Re: [Review] Craft Range IPA
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2014, 09:56:47 PM »
It was the same with mine, especially the smell - gorgeous!!!

fishjam45 (Colin)

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Re: [Review] Craft Range IPA
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2014, 11:19:51 PM »
She dropped down to 1.005 on Thursday so I bottled it on Friday.
The kit gives you the instructions and sugar to 1)batch prime in a second bucket or 2) add sugar to each bottle prior to bottling.
I liked this because any other kit I've bought didn't supply sugar to prime with, it needed to bought separately or with a bundled option.

Now I've got to play the waiting game until it's carbed and ready to sample.

fishjam45 (Colin)

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Re: [Review] Craft Range IPA
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2014, 09:28:00 PM »
Sampled a bottle tonight and I'm very happy with the result. It's been bottled since 13th June (3 weeks tomorrow) and the first thing I noticed when I opened the bottle was the smell. There was a lovely aroma to it that I took a long moment to enjoy before pouring.
I used a few coopers ox bar pet bottles when bottling this batch as they are great indicators of when it's carbed or not. Just give the bottle a squeeze and you'll know!
I was interested to see how the yeast had settled at the bottom of the bottle since I read a recent post by HomeBrewWest saying that it forms a nice compact cake at the bottom.  See for yourselves from the picture below, what they said was true. I poured the whole bottle into my glass and was impressed with what was left behind in the bottle - definitely a first compared to other kits I've done.
Already this IPA is very drinkable.  The level of bitterness is bang on and it mellows out to a smooth aftertaste. 

ronanp

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Re: [Review] Craft Range IPA
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2014, 11:33:31 PM »
Hoping to make this kit as my second homebrew very soon. The kit comes with 650grams of brewing sugar. Someone suggested switching to LME instead. The craft range LME on homebrewwest website is 1.5 kg.

How much do I use? and if I dont use it all is there any way to keep it fresh for the next brew?

The kit instructions are still a bit vague on fermentation temp, the kit says 20 to 24 degrees and some people seam to be doing it below that. should i be aiming at the 20 end or the 24 end of the scale.

Thanks
ronan

LordEoin

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Re: [Review] Craft Range IPA
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2014, 01:03:40 AM »
The brewing sugar in this one is probably to make the body a bit 'lighter/thinner' to balance with the supplied LME and the hop additions.
There seems to be a good bit of thought put into the craft range, and i'd just trust them and go with the supplied ingredients :)

For fermentation temps, i'd generally go on the lower end of the recommended temperature, in this case 20C.
The lower end of an ale yeast usually ferments out cleaner.

ronanp

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Re: [Review] Craft Range IPA
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2014, 08:10:59 AM »
Thanks again lordeoin, will try and get this on today so.

fishjam45 (Colin)

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Re: [Review] Craft Range IPA
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2014, 09:40:13 PM »
The brewing sugar in this one is probably to make the body a bit 'lighter/thinner' to balance with the supplied LME and the hop additions.
There seems to be a good bit of thought put into the craft range, and i'd just trust them and go with the supplied ingredients :)

For fermentation temps, i'd generally go on the lower end of the recommended temperature, in this case 20C.
The lower end of an ale yeast usually ferments out cleaner.

+1 on the supplied ingredients.

@ ronanp - Even though it will only be your 2nd brew you will be waiting a while until you brew a better kit.  I'm delighted with this one and even though I've started all grain brewing I will be looking at another kit from this range sometime soon.