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Old 07-26-2009, 11:44 AM   #1
May 2009
Posts: 240

I nearly gave up on homebrew beer a few years ago after having several terrible batches because I followed the instructions on the kits because I didn't know any better. Even on the more expensive extract kits, they all tend to have stupid instructions such as "bottle after 5-7 days, or as soon as specific gravity remains constant for 2 consecutive days" and "add 1kg of sugar" and "place bottles in a warm place for 2 days, then leave in a cool place for 2 weeks before drinking". The manufacturers really should include better instructions with their kits, it's no wonder homebrew has such a bad rep.

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Old 07-26-2009, 12:38 PM   #2
HairyDogBrewing's Avatar
Feb 2008
Mechanicsburg, PA
Posts: 571
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

I agree.
But they are trying to keep it as simple as possible for the first time (and usually impatient) brewer.
I can't write everything I know on one sheet of paper.
And when I discuss the finer points of brewing with non-brewers their eyes glaze over in about 45 seconds.

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Old 07-26-2009, 01:06 PM   #3
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Revvy's Avatar
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,939
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Northern brewer's instruction are some of the best...they show longer fermentattion/aging/carbonation times for each beer...up to several months.

But the answer is pretty simple, generally speaking kit manufacturers, especially kit an kilo manufacturers, are concerned with selling more and more kits NOT with the brewer making the best beer possible. They know that if they say in the instructions to wait, they may loose some people to hobbies that have more instant gratification.

They also know that the time that a homebrewer will remain buying kits is relatively short...they know that after a few kits, the brewer will either give up, start brewing extract batches from recipes in books and places like this, formulate their own recipes, or go all they want to sell as many kits as possible to the new brewer before he moves on to bigger and better things.

SO they know that even their beer will taste better if you leave it longer...but they know that in the time you wait you will be reading and learning and be less likely to buy another kit...They can sell three or four kits to you if you follow their directions in the same time frame that listening to us and waiting a month and bottle conditioning for another 3-4 weeks.

But Even Palmer says you should wait with kits...

Originally Posted by How To Brew
Leaving an ale beer in the primary fermentor for a total of 2-3 weeks (instead of just the one week most canned kits recommend), will provide time for the conditioning reactions and improve the beer. This extra time will also let more sediment settle out before bottling, resulting in a clearer beer and easier pouring. And, three weeks in the primary fermentor is usually not enough time for off-flavors to occur.
The two hosts of Australian Craftbrewer Radio (the FIRST beer podcast, with hosts with a combined 60 years of brewing no-how and 10 years on radio or podcast) have a couple of interesting pieces to improve kit beers...

There's this multi-part article (with sublinks in side the article.)

Improving Your Kit

And this...


April 22nd, 2007

The guys get “Down and Dirty” for the Kit and Kilo brewer with the simplist yet method of making a kit beer that tastes great. They also taste the underpitched beer experiment, and follow up on a brewers problem with under-atttenuation. Our beer superhero tries to save the love of his life - and Wonder-Mole, while we look into a beer belly experiment. More on how to say beer words, drink driving, beer laws and a quiz question will fill out the program, with a typical Aussie beer tale sung at the end.

Clicky to listen.
This is an ever evolving hobby...Places like this is where you find the most state of the art information/wisdom about brewing, because of the sheer number of us trying new things, hearing new things, and even breaking new ground and contributing to the body of info on the hobby...Look at some of that inventions that came out of here, and then ended up later in BYO articles by our members...
Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

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