A Brewers Best Beer Kit would be considered intermediate stage brewing. At the intermediate stage you are more involved in the brewing process by making beer using a method referred to as Partial Mash Brewing.
At this stage you will learn about specialty grains, what they bring to the beer you are making as well as learning how to steep them in warm water to get the sugars out of the grains. You will also be adding hops directly to your boil at different points as well as drying hopping. Using a home brew kit like a Brewers Best Kit is a great way to get into this form of making beer.
The first two stages of the brewing process is the beginner stage where you use pre-hopped malt extract kits like Mr Beer and Coopers homebrew kits and the advanced stage is of course All Grain Brewing where you no longer use any malt extract and make your beer directly from raw ingredients (grains and hops).
In this post we are focused on the intermediate stage and in particular the Brewers Best Beer Kits.
- My review of these kits
- What comes with these kits
- How to brew one to get the best results
Do I Recommend Their Kits
So to be very upfront from the get go I am a big fan of these kits.
I’m partial to them because I have brewed a lot of their beer they are easy to brew and they make some really tasty brews.
When I was ready to move on from using just the malt extract kits and start experimenting with partial mash brewing and steeping grains these 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 tasting beer.
You will find that the beer you make using their kits is a definite step up from the malt extract kits. And if you let them age for a couple of weeks the beer is exceptionally tasty.
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 to someone and did not tell them it was a partial mash beer, I would wager they would not be able to tell; the beer from these kits is that good.
They also have a huge selection of beer styles with a ton of different recipes to choose from; enough styles to suit pretty much any kind of beer drinker.
As long as you have brewed some beer before and have the basic homebrewing equipment such as fermenters and bottles they come with everything else you need to make a batch of beer.
All that is required is just the basic beer brewing equipment! If you don’t 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
The Following Are Included In Their Kits:
1. All the ingredients to include:
- Specialty grains
- Malt extract
- Spices & Flavorings
- Priming sugar (for bottling)
2. Grain Bag
3. Bottle Caps
4. Easy to follow brewing instructions.
So instead of having to run around trying to source out the ingredients you require, these kits come with all of them. I have also found that the quality of the ingredients is top notch which is clearly reflected in the final outcome.
As for the instructions, they are straightforward and easy to follow. They break each step down in detail. So regardless if this is the first time you have made a beer or you are a veteran you will have no problem making the beer.
Typical Brew Day
Making a beer using a brewers best kit is really quite simple and fun. There are 12 steps in the process which we will look at now.
Step 1 – 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 dirt or bacteria got 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 – steeping the grains. This is where it gets fun for people who have only ever brewed a beer from malt extract beer kits; you are going to start feeling like a big time brewer.
Steeping grains is very much like how your GrandMa makes tea. She heats up the water and puts the tea bag in to soak, which releases the goodness form the tea bag into the water.
Same idea applies with steeping grains.
Follow the exact instructions found in your kit, however the basic idea is you heat up 2.5 gallons of water in a pot and then pour the grains directly 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)
When the 20 minutes 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 is ideal for draining the liquid out of the bag, get as much of the liquid out as you can.
The instructions 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 – the boil. Turn your burner on high and bring the wort (unfermented beer) to a boil.
You actually want the boil to be a slow rolling boil, nothing violent, just nice and steady.
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 – add your hops. In the Brewer’s Best instructions they 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. 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 so just follow along.
I have found that by adding the hops directly into the boil it makes for a cloudier beer. I prefer a clear beer.
To make your beer clear you can do one of two things:
1) As soon as you remove the grain bag from the wort and while you are waiting for the wort to 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.
2) 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. 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 – 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 fahrenheit. 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 the water to your fermenter. 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. At this point gently sprinkle the yeast over top of the wort. Give it a good stir. And then put the lid on your fermenter.
Step 8 – fermentation. Now put the fermenter away for 2 – 3 weeks and let it ferment and condition.
You can take a Gravity reading before you pitch the yeast and another reading 4-6 days into fermentation to see if it has reached its Final Gravity, however since this is Make Beer Easy I recommend just letting it sit for 2-3 weeks.
If you let it sit for 2 – 3 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 cleaner more clear beer.
Step 9 – cold crashing 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 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 new 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 then 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 the sugar mixture with the beer.
Fill up your sanitized bottles with the beer using a bottling wand. You want to fill the bottles to about once inch of the top. Put covers on bottles.
Step 11 – carbonate and condition your beer. 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 enjoy!
The Real Step #1
The first step in the process is that you cleary need to pick up a kit for yourself in order to get brewing. Please consider doing so from our sponsors, at no extra charge to you they send us a referral fee if you order your kit from them. We appreciate the support as it helps us keep this site up and running and also perhaps allows Big Robb a pint or two at the local pub!
You can order your own brewers best kit here!
So there you have it my friend, as you can see I am a huge fan of doing my partial mash brewing using brewers best beer kits, 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.
Now go get your brew awwn…
Cheers Big Robb is Out!