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Old 10-13-2009, 12:51 AM   #1
MarcJWaters
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Default How is Brewer's Best?

I was looking at these guys because I want something quick and easy to brew to break in my new gear. I have been unimpressed with the Mr. Beer line of product as I do not think that the flavors are robust enough and I think that the finished product is always watered down too much and over carbonated.

I would like to have faith in Brewer's Best because they actually encourage you to take an interest in the process rather then just the finished product.

Thoughts?

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Old 10-13-2009, 12:55 AM   #2
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I have used them before and they make good beer...nuff said

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Old 10-13-2009, 12:59 AM   #3
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I've used a number of their kits in the past, and they were pretty good. The issue would be to make sure they're fresh. Since it's canned extract and crushed grain, you don't want a kit that's been on a store shelf for 6 months. Overall, though, I'd say they are a vast improvement over Mr. Beer.

I've ordered kits from Northern Brewer and Austinhomebrew.com that I thought were much better, though. They actually crush the grain and package up the ingredients when you order, so that it's the best quality you can buy. The extract is much fresher, since they sell tons of it. Both have websites that are easy to navigate. Austinhomebrew is a vendor active on this site, and he responds to any questions or concerns right away.

The nice thing about the Brewer's Best kits, and the other kits from the vendors I mentioned is that they come with excellent detailed instructions. Once you're really comfortable with the brewing process, you may not need that- but until you are, it's wonderful to have step-by-step detailed instructions!

I also like the austinhomebrew.com website because of the sheer variety of kits. They have clone kits of just about every commercial beer you can think of, as well as "style" kits like Brewer's Best has. I'd only caution you to stay away from lagers (since the temperature control is crucial, and so is more finicky yeast) and from beers that have things like "oaking" and other stuff. Otherwise, you can make just about any style you can think of!

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Old 10-13-2009, 01:40 AM   #4
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I brewed a BB kit a couple weeks ago. English Brown Ale. It's in the bottles right now so we'll see how it turned out... I liked that it had all the ingredients and measurements pre-bagged for me!

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Old 10-13-2009, 03:39 AM   #5
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I have had tremondous good luck with kits from www.midwestsupplies.com, that being said. The last brewers best kit I bought, american amber ale, contained a pack of the bad nottingham yeast. Other than that, it was nice...it included bottle caps which is a good bonus.

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Old 10-14-2009, 03:55 AM   #6
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Their kits are good. The instructions are very easy to follow. I bought a BB kit from my LHBS, so I'm not sure how fresh the ingredients were, but the beer tasted good.

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Old 10-14-2009, 01:10 PM   #7
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I've used Brewers Best to make Oktoberfest, Irish Stout and an IPA which all turned out great. I've also got a batch of German Pils bottle conditioning, which smelled and tasted great when I bottled it (even for flat, warm beer). Now I'm looking to expand, but they're great kits to get comfortable with the starting process.

Cheers!

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Old 10-15-2009, 12:15 AM   #8
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So far, I have used Brewer's Best kits exclusively (it's just what's available at the LBHS') and would say that I am very pleased with them so far. I've done the following kits:

Classic English Pale Ale (so far all my friend's and family's favorite)
Robust Porter
Red Ale
Russian Imperial Stout
American Nut Brown Ale
Weizenbier (which I added a can of cherry pie filling and used Wyeast 3068)
Dunkelweizen
Holiday Ale (still in secondary)

Their instructions are good (but generic). They also seem to all be overly-optimistic as far as what the O.G. should be - after the first kit, I've added no less than an extra pound of DME or corn sugar to each of them to get close to what the instructions say I should be at.

I've had the higher-gravity beers, such as the RIS and the Holiday Ale seem to fizzle out at about 1.020 or so, leaving some sweet (not sweet!) beer.

Finally, since most of them use the same Danstar Nottingham, they end up having similar flavor profiles.

But as a way to transition from Mr. Beer, I think they're just fine. The extra bottle caps they provide are also a nice touch (always get 60 caps in a kit - after a few kits you've got enough caps for a whole other batch).

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Old 10-15-2009, 05:12 PM   #9
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I too have used them for a majority of my batches, again, because that is what my LHBS has. They turn out fine and have been well liked by those who have tasted them. Like others have said alot of their kits seem to fizzle out at or around 1.020. Though I think this might be more due to them being all malt extract than anything else.

I currently have their Oktoberfest ale, American Light, Impreial Pale, and Irish Stout in bottles. All are good beers. I'm contimplating getting their Belgian Tripel kit or using a recipe from this site.

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Old 10-15-2009, 05:36 PM   #10
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You should be able to get the correct OG if you are patient. I think Nottingham is a slow yeast. I started at 1.054 and when it "appeared" fermentation was over (no airlock activity, kraused dropped), it was at 1.020. I gave it 3 more weeks in the fermenter and it was at 1.014 (exactly 75% attenuation) after a total of 5 weeks.

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