So following on from the homebrew memories post, i left it talking about my dad's Xmas present, a Brupak's Brubox. This is an all in one beer kit, a plastic cube with a tap that you ferment in and dispense from, unless you decide to bottle it. My dad bought me an extra fermenting bucket and siphon tubing, being concerned about it sitting in all the sediment and dead yeast whilst pouring your pint.
This one was the London Bitter kit.
one who enjoyed it and thought the end product not to bad but the instructions a bit confusing, and this one which is a retailer (who no longer sells refill kits though) who gave a great step-by-step guide to brewing with the kit. On the Beoir forums some people had also posted questions regarding its use.
I agree with the first poster, the instructions were a little unclear in the draught or bottling section with regard to adding sugar. I started with the sterilizing, then onto the grains and hops bags which are left stewing basically for 25 minutes in total.
Malt extract added, water, yeast and then should be placed in a warm place for 7 to 10 ten days, tube in place in the water.
This is where it got me in trouble with my wife. The problem is i have no where really to brew beer, no where safe enough from childrens fingers, or out of the way enough to not annoy my wife. I found however that our bedroom keep a pretty constant 20 degrees that was required so i moved the Brubox and water jug into my wardrobe.
All was fine until i was awoken at 4am by my wife elbowing me asking what that noise was. "what noise?" i reply until 30secs later i hear loud bubbling coming from the wardrobe area.
Like a proud father i lovingly claim "oh good its started fermenting" to which i am briskly ordered to move a big liquid bag of beer down the stairs in complete darkness.
Placed under the stairs its temperature was an average 16 degrees, and i did try to insulate it, and sometimes moved it back up stairs during the day to bring it back up again to nearer 20 degrees.
Between days 7 - 10 after the bubbling had slowed down i then added the sugar, removed the tubing and left it to settle, removing some gas via the tap when the bag looks like its about to explode!
Eventually i poured myself a glass, two days after moving it into its dispensing position in its box.
Not a bad colour, but a bit murky, little carbonation also. Taste wise, well its wasn't dreadful. It did have bit of a twang to it, reasonably malty but being a bit flat didn't help. I may have drunk a pint or two but i think it would be difficult to have the whole lot. I do see how it was described as a softer version of London Pride though, shame it didn't come out right.
I am assuming that the fluctuations in temperature during the fermenting stage didn't help, i do not think it was the kit that failed but more my process. And i was reasonably encouraged to defiantly try again. Homebrew experts please comment if you think that was probably the fault.
Whilst it was brewing i looked at the BruPaks literature for other kits i saw the pilsners require a lower temperature, ideal for the spot under the stairs, and its better bottled. So with a holiday in March with some friends in mind i ordered and started over again!
Update soon on the North German Pilsner.