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Old 02-26-2011, 08:15 PM   #1
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Default Quality of Directions Included in Kits

I'm only on kit number two but I found that the details and clarity between the two sets of directions was night and day.

My first kit was a California Lager from 7 Bridges and the directions were 18 steps after each of which I still had questions. Furthermore, for a lager, it seems to rush through the process: 1 week in primary, 1-2 in secondary, and they even say secondary is optional and make no mention of actual lagering (because of which I'm still wondering if California Lager is either (a) not a true lager or (b) a type of lager which doesn't require really low lagering temps or any lagering whatsoever).

The kit I just bought today is a Brewer's Best IPA and the directions are so much more helpful for a beginner. It includes a glossary of abbreviations; footnoted brew tips (IBUs if using more or less than recommended amount of water for the boil; how to use the grains/grain bag; boil temps); even places to record brew date, the times of each addition of hops, secondary rack date, OG, FG, and a place to calculate ABV. Last, but not least, they don't seem to rush you through the process from brewing to fermenting to bottling just so you buy another kit: 1 week for fermentation, 2 weeks in secondary ('though I'll prob'ly just leave it in primary for 3-4 weeks); bottle and then 2-3 weeks for carbonation.

For those of you who have used other types of kits (Mr. Beer, &c.), what's your opinion of their directions?

Cheers!


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Old 02-26-2011, 08:20 PM   #2
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Brewer's Best kits have really good instructions, as do Northern Brewer and Austin Home Brew. I seem to remember that Midwest kits have good instructions also, but it's been a long time since I've done one of their kits that I can't say with certainty.

The "lager" you did is an interesting one. Steam beer is usually made with California lager yeast- that is a lager yeast, but made to work at ale temperatures to produce a beer like Anchor Steam. It's just about the only commercial beer that has its own style! It's a bit confusing, because it's a "hybrid" so it's not really a lager but uses that strain of yeast.


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Old 02-26-2011, 08:30 PM   #3
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Ha! That's too funny. I've been treating it like a genuine lager this whole time. Woops! Have I botched the batch if I fermented at 50-55 dF and it's been lagering at 40dF for six weeks now?
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwic View Post
Ha! That's too funny. I've been treating it like a genuine lager this whole time. Woops! Have I botched the batch if I fermented at 50-55 dF and it's been lagering at 40dF for six weeks now?
Oh, no- it'll be great! I usually ferment my steam beers at 55-60, and still lager them. You may miss out on some of the fruitiness that you get at 62 degrees, but I think you'll love the beer.
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:36 PM   #5
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Phew! That's a relief. Thanks for the help!

I originally brewed on December 21st...would hate to have wasted all this time on it for naught.


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