If you have followed this site much at all you will see that I talk about there being 3 different levels of difficulty when it comes to brewing… 3 different stages so to speak.
A Beginner Stage… where you brew directly from what I call the Ol’Can of Goo, which is pre-hopped malt extract. Like a Mr. Beer or Coopers Homebrew kit. With these you basically just add the contents of the can to water, stir, add the yeast and your good.
This is where you should start your brewing journey in my opinion. You can learn more about it here: How to Brew Beer From A Kit
An Intermediate Stage… This is where a Brewers Best Beer Kit would come into play. At the intermediate stage you are going to be more involved in the brewing process. This stage is referred to as Partial Mash Brewing. You are going to learn how to steep grains, you are going to be dealing with specialty grains and hops, etc. This is one step away from becoming an All Grain Brewer.
The Advanced Stage… is of course All Grain Brewing. You no longer use any malt extract and make your beer directly from the raw ingredients. You can learn more about how to do all grain brewing here: Making Beer at Home Without a Kit
In today’s article we are focused on the intermediate stage and in particular the Brewers Best Beer Kits…
- What I think about them
- What comes with the kits
- And How to brew one to get the best results
Big Robb’s Thoughts on Their Kits…
I’m partial to them because I have brewed a lot of their beer and well frankly I like the taste of them… they are easy to brew and they really make some tasty brews.
When I was ready to move on from using just the malt extract kits (can of goo)… and start experimenting with partial mash brewing and steeping grains… their kits were the ones I found that had the best ingredients, all the materials I required to make a batch of beer, the best recipes, the best instructions and made the best beer.
There is no question that the beer you make from these kits is a definite step up from the malt extract kits. And if left to age for a couple of weeks the beer is actually quite delicious.
I would go so far in fact to say that you can make a beer from these kits that tastes as good or even better in some cases as an all grain brewed beer…
…if you gave this beer you made to someone and did not tell them it was a partial mash beer, I would wager they would not even notice… the beer from these kits is that good.
They also have a huge selection of beer styles… a ton of different kits to choose from and enough styles to suit pretty much any kind of beer drinker.
What Is Included In Their Beer Kit
To put it bluntly… they come with everything!
Everything you need to make a batch of beer that is…
Now having said that I am assuming you have brewed beer before and do have the basic equipment to include a fermenter and bottles, etc…
All that is required is just the basic beer brewing equipment! If you do nto have the basic equipment yet then I recommend that you read my review of the Coopers DIY Beer Kit… it’s the best kit to pick up to get all the gear you require: Coopers Homebrew Kit Review
So when I say their kit comes with everything… I mean it comes with:
=> All the ingredients:
- Specialty grains
- Malt extract
- Spices & Flavorings
=> Priming sugar (for bottling)
=> Grain Bag
=> Bottle Caps
=> And Easy to follow brewing instructions.
So instead of having to run around trying to source out the ingredients you require these kits come with it all. And the quality of the ingredients I have found is top notch… this is obviously reflected in the final outcome, i.e the good taste of their beer.
As for the instructions, they are straight forward and easy to follow.
They break everything down step by step. So regardless if this is the first time you have made a beer or you are a veteran you will have no problem following along and making this beer…
Let’s Take a Look at How the Brew Day Would Go
Ok… so making a beer from one of the brewers best kits is really quite simple and a ton of fun…
Step 1 is to clean and sanitize all of your equipment…
Anything that is going to touch the ingredients needs to be cleaned and sanitized. I cannot stress this point enough. If your beer goes bad there is a really big chance that the reason is you allowed dirt or bacteria to get into the beer.
You can read this post on How to Sanitize Beer Making Equipment. And also see the sanitizer I recommend you use. It works incredibly well. Do not take this step lightly.
Step 2 is Steeping the Grains… so this is where it gets fun for people who have only ever brewed a beer from malt extract beer kits. This is where you are starting to feel like a big time brewer.
Steeping grains is very much like how your Grand Ma makes tea… she heats up the water and puts the tea bag in to soak, which releases into the water whatever the heck is in the tea bag.
Same idea with steeping grains…
…follow the instructions in the kit, but the basic idea is you heat up 2.5 gallons of water in a pot… pour the grains into the grain bag that comes with the kit
…once the temperature has reached the correct range called for in the recipe (typically 150 – 165 degrees F)… place the bag filled with the grains into the pot and let them soak for about 20 minutes (as per instructions)
…once the time is up remove the grain bag and let it drain into the pot… I have found getting a strainer that sits on top of your pot ideal for draining the liquid out of the bag… get as much out as you can.
They say do not squeeze the bag… I have found doing so makes no difference in the end result… so up to you if you would like to squeeze it or not.
Step 3 is Boil Time Baby… Yup fire up the burner to maximum power captain and get that wort (unfermented beer) a boiling!
You actually want the boil to be a slow rolling boil… nothing violent… just easy does it stuff!
Now you add the malt extract that came with the kit… it could be liquid malt extract or dry malt extract or both. Stir it into the boiling water and continue to stir it until the wort comes back to a slow rolling boil and the malt extract has dissolved.
Step 4 is Hop Addition Time… in the instructions Brewer’s Best call this step “follow schedule”… you will find the schedule on the right hand side of their instructions.
It’s called “Brew Day Schedule”… and it tells you when during the boil to add the hops that came with the instructions…
…if the first item on the schedule tells you to add hops and does not give you a time during the boil in which you should… that means to add it right away at the start of the boil.
After that the instructions for the Brew Day Schedule are quite clear… just follow along.
One little tip for you… I have found that by adding the hops directly into the boil it makes for a cloudier beer. I prefer a clear beer.
So you can do one of two things:
=> As soon as you remove the grain bag from the wort and while you are waiting for the wort to get to a boil, clean the grains out of the bag and rinse the bag to make sure the grains are gone. You can then add the hops to the bag and put the bag into the pot. I tie the bag to the side of the pot so that the bag does not scorch on the bottom of the pot.
=> Instead of cleaning the bag out, simply go to your local home brew store and pick up a muslin bag, they usually have a bunch kicking around. OR if you plan on brewing more Brewers Best Beer Kits, simply save the bags as you go and use them for the hops.
Step 5 is Cool The Wort… once the boil is over it is time to cool your wort down. You want to get the temperature down to under 70 degrees feraheight. This is because you are soon going to pitch the yeast (add the yeast to the wort)… and too high of a temperature will kill the yeast.
Once the wort is cooled, pour it into your fermenter.
Step 6 Add Water to Your Fermenter… Now you fill up your clean and sanitized fermenter with water to bring the level in the fermenter up to the 5 gallon mark. Temperature of the water should be around 64 – 72 degrees F. Stir the wort and water to ensure it is mixed well together.
Step 7 Pitch the Yeast… now you are cooking! It is time to gently sprinkle the yeast over top of the wort.
Give it a good stir. And then put the lid on your fermenter.
Step 8 Ferment that Brew… now you put that beer away for two weeks and let it ferment and condition.
Yes you could have taken a Gravity reading before you pitched the yeast. And yes you can take a gravity reading 4-6 days into fermentation to see if it has reached its Final Gravity.
However this is Make Beer Easy…
So if you let it sit for two weeks two things are going to happen:
=> the first is that the beer will have finished fermenting!
=> you will have given the beer some time to condition and settle. Which makes for a nicer, cleaner, clearer beer.
Step 9 Cold Crash the Beer… if you have room in a fridge, take the fermenter and place it in the fridge for 24-48 hours.
This is called cold crashing and it will make the yeast and sediment drop out of your beer. They will come out of suspension and fall to the bottom of the fermenter. This again will make for a clearer beer.
This is NOT a requirement by any means, but rather a luxury if you can do it. If you are not able to do not sweat it. Your beer will be just fine.
Step 10 Bottle Your Beer… Sanitize a bucket, transfer hose, all bottles and any other piece of equipment that is going to come into contact with your beer.
Dissolve the priming sugar that came with the beer kit in 2 cups of boiling water…
Pour this mixture into a sanitized bottling bucket… slowly and carefully transfer the beer through a siphon/hose from the fermenter into the bottling bucket… leaving the sludge on the bottom of the fermenter.
Stir the contents of the bucket slowly in order to mix sugar mixture with the beer.
Fill up your sanitized bottles with the beer using a bottling wand (LINK). You want to fill the bottles to about once inch of the top. Put covers on bottles.
Step 11 Carbonate and Condition… put the bottles of beer away in a room somewhere in your home.
Keep the temperature of the room around 60 – 70 degrees F. The beer will be somewhat carbonated within 7 days… and fully carbonated within 14 days… however let them sit as long as you can stand it.
The one month mark is a point in which the beer will be carbonated AND also nicely conditioned.
Step 12 Drink and share with friends and family! Enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Over to You
So there you have it my friend…
I am a huge fan of doing my partial mash brewing with a brewers best beer kit, and I feel strongly that if you follow what I have just shown you that you will also very much like the beer that these beer kits make.
If you have any questions drop them in the comments section below and I will most definitely do my best to help you.
Cheers and brew on my friend!
Big Robb is gone!