does anyone have experience with festa brew

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artbrewer

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just used a festa brew kit...just wort in a bag and add yeast to start.
wondered if anyone can say if this is good or bad?


thanks
 

Revvy

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Well it's not as good as a kit that you add hops and grains to...or probably not even as good as a kit and kilo kit like Coopers....But you just made beer...It's a start on your new adventure.

Stick around here and you'll learn how to make great beer.

Welcome!

:mug:
 

BrosBrew

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To me it sounds like a cake mix where you just add water and stir. Sure, it makes dang good cake but it will be even better when you gain enough experience and knowledge to do it from scratch.
 

HOOTER

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To me it sounds like a cake mix where you just add water and stir.
I agree. If your looking for an easy way to get beer, go to the grocery store. If your looking to create a good brew, avoid those kits and do it right.

BTW, Welcome artbrewer! :mug:
 

EdWort

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Actually it sounds pretty neat. For $29 Canadian, you get their Red Ale

23 L

Irish style Red Ale. Attractive red-amber colour. Moderate malt body and pleasant mild sweetness. Moderate hop bitterness, mild hop flavour and low hop aroma. A step towards darker beers, without the roasted components.

OG: 1.0492 – 1.0500, FG: 1.0132 – 1.0144, Yeast: Safale S-04, IBUs: 13
Cheese and Crackers, sanitize a carboy, dump the sterile wort in it, dump your yeast and put the airlock on.

HOLY COW, It's easier than Apfelwein.

"Hey Hon, I'm brewing this Saturday. Can you give me 20 minutes?"

Go for it. Let us know how it turns out. I would like to know if their wort has any adjuncts in it.
 
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artbrewer

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i bought it from a brew on premises in canada...let it ferment for 1 week, racked it to glass carboy with airlock for 2 weeks, and just bottled it 1 week ago.decided to chill one last night and tried it this afternoon.....cidery and flat....maybe needs alot more time?
 

Revvy

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xjiefx

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As the others say, it is like the Kool Aid of beer! If you don't have much time on your hands, it can be good. Never tried it though.

What kind did you brew? Or is it: What kind did you dump? :cross:
 
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artbrewer

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i dumped the blonde lager....by the way the toughest part of using this kit is handling the 6 gallons of wort...we are talking about hoisting 48 lbs of liquid into the basement for fermenting
 

HOOTER

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i dumped the blonde lager....by the way the toughest part of using this kit is handling the 6 gallons of wort...we are talking about hoisting 48 lbs of liquid into the basement for fermenting
Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm always paranoid that I'm going to drop it and ruin all that wort, not to mention my glass carboy.
 

EdWort

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You need to let it primary for at least two weeks. There is work for the yeast to do to clean up after themselves before you rack to secondary.

If you ferment 2 weeks primary, at least a week in secondary, bottle, condition for 3 weeks, you will be surprised at the quality of your beers. Sanitation, Fermenting Temps, and Patience are the three sides to the triangle of good home brew!
 

HOOTER

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Sanitation, Fermenting Temps, and Patience are the three sides to the triangle of good home brew!
Amen! The first two I took seriously from day 1. The patience part I had to figure out for myself, and man is it important.
 
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artbrewer

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ok so all the instructions are wrong...nearly all of the kits say to remove from primary in 4 to 7 days....
 

HOOTER

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ok so all the instructions are wrong...nearly all of the kits say to remove from primary in 4 to 7 days....
One week in primary is fine, although a little more time wouldn't hurt. The main thing is to let fermentation finish before racking to secondary. When I bought my brewing kit it came with a pale ale kit that said 4 to 7 days in primary, a week in secondary, and a week in bottles. When I opened my first brew it tasted like crap and I thought I screwed up. The 1-2-3 rule is a good one for beginners. One week primary, two weeks secondary, three weeks bottles.
 
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artbrewer

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so does edwort concur...or does he stick to the 2 weeks primary recipe?
 

HOOTER

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so does edwort concur...or does he stick to the 2 weeks primary recipe?
I'm not disagreeing with EdWort at all. I've come to the realization that leaving a brew in primary for longer than a week is beneficial, and letting it sit in secondary longer than two weeks can be beneficial also. All I'm saying is that for beginners the 1-2-3 rule is simple and easy to remember and works great for basic brews. Once you get a few brews under your belt you'll begin to tweak your procedures and find what your comfortable with.
 

mr x

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I made the Blonde Lager and a Cream Ale many moons ago, and they turned out OK. BMCish, but my Budweiser swilling friends really liked the Lager. The kits aren't all that bad to get started with.
 
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Kit instructions are designed to make the impatient new brewer feel like he'll be able to drink his beer in less than a month. They are not designed to optimize the brewing process.

1-2-3 is a great start. An even better method:

After one week and/or the krausen has subsided, take a hydrometer reading. If the beer is very near its expected final gravity, rack for clearing. Otherwise, wait a minimum of three more days. Take readings every 3-7 days until final gravity is nearly reached (within about .005).

2-3 weeks after racking, check for clarity and sample. Cold crash if desired. Condition until clear and the flavor has smoothed.

When bulk conditioning appears to have run its course (quite subjective - evaluate through periodic sampling), bottle or keg. If naturally carbonating, give it another 3 weeks (minimum) at room temperature. Otherwise, age as desired/required.

All of the above steps can be highly modified depending on the style. For example, a hefeweizen doesn't benefit from a long, cold bulk conditioning period, but a lager may need months of cold aging before it's ready.
 

EdWort

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I've learned that 10 to 14 days in the primary allow the yeast to all of their job before you rack to secondary, which is mainly to get off the dead yeast. I've gone 4 weeks before without any problems and the beers have turned out great.

the 2 2 6 model mentioned for bottles sounds perfect to me. I try not to touch a beer for 8 weeks from brew date myself.
 

EvilTOJ

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I now use this method for brewing:

1. Wait two or three weeks in primary, depending on when I feel like racking.
2. Wait two more weeks because I didn't have any free carboys.
3. Say "F it" and bottle. Wait, no, I gotta wait one more week because I'm out of F#$^% bottles!
4. Bury the bottles under tons of junk in my dining room so I forget about them.
5. 'discover' the bottles after a few more weeks and enjoy!

In brewing, procrastination is your friend. Most of the time.
 

brewjunky

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I honestly don't know why guys are saying that this brew will not be as good as say a partial mash or all-grain.

This a pure wort. It is made from the same process as we use to make our all grain wort it is just packaged.

This kit is going to taste better then any type of beer made from extract.

I am testing out 2 brewhouse kits right now and they smelled great.

For people in Canada this is perfect for winter brewing.

If you use a high quality yeast these kits will beat most peoples all-grain.
 

boo boo

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A lot of people up here brew these brews with great success. I can't get them here, but a buddy of mine in Nova Scotia brought a 2 litre of West Coast IPA down to me and I can say it was the best IPA I have ever had.
A lot of guys here http://barleyment.wort.ca/staticpages/index.php?page=faq swear by them as a quick fix for good brews.
I have tried the Brewhouse and Barrons wort-in-a-bag kits and they were so-so.

And welcome Artbrewer.
 

HOOTER

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I honestly don't know why guys are saying that this brew will not be as good as say a partial mash or all-grain.
I'm sure it will be fine, but I doubt it will be as good as a properly done PM or AG recipe. Just like in cooking and baking, using fresh ingredients will always produce a superior product, and having complete control over the stuff that goes into your brew can only be beneficial.

This kit is going to taste better then any type of beer made from extract.
I'm not extremely familiar with these kits, so correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't they essentially just hopped extract? Why would this be better than an extract brew? This statement just makes no sense to me.

For people in Canada this is perfect for winter brewing.
People in Canada are accustomed to crappy beer, so these kits probably are perfect for them. ;)

If you use a high quality yeast these kits will beat most peoples all-grain.
I have no doubt that an experienced all grain brewer (not to mention an experienced extract brewer) can make a brew that will put these kits to shame. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure they make a drinkable brew, I just find it extremely hard to believe they can produce a better beer than a well crafted AG, PM, or extract w/ specialty grains brew.

The bottom line is that brewing is fun and if your looking for a quick and easy brew there's plenty of good beer at the grocery store.
 

boo boo

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I'm sure it will be fine, but I doubt it will be as good as a properly done PM or AG recipe.

(And I agree)


I'm not extremely familiar with these kits, so correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't they essentially just hopped extract?

(These are full 23 litre wort brews. All you need to do is bring to fermenting temps and pitch the yeast.)

People in Canada are accustomed to crappy beer, so these kits probably are perfect for them. ;)



(Scuz-a-moi? Most of the crappy beer drank here is imported from south of the 49th, and as for Canadians being accustomed to it.... look to yourselves first ;) as I guess we are both in the same boat. More people per capita drink BMC than craft brew anyway on both sides of the border.)


I have no doubt that an experienced all grain brewer (not to mention an experienced extract brewer) can make a brew that will put these kits to shame.
[/quote]


(True)
 

jspence1

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I've had some of the festa beer. It's good, I'd say its definitely better than the canned coopers, but thats just me, and as a canadian apparently I'm accustomed to crappy beer ;)
 

Nurmey

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I'm not extremely familiar with these kits, so correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't they essentially just hopped extract?
Actually these all grain brews. An all grain brewmaster crushes, mashes, boils, etc right up to the point of adding yeast. Then they bagged it up for you.

I figure these bags probably tastes a heck of a lot better than most kits that an inexperienced brewer can make. I enjoy the whole process of beer making so I don't have too much interest but I have researched them and they sound kind of nice. I suppose if I had to have a lot of beer made and no time to do it, I might give it a try.
 

FlyGuy

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Jumping in late on this thread, but I have brewed quite a few of these kits before I started AG brewing. I haven't tried them all, but the ones I did try were outstanding, especially if you throw away the instructions and use proper brewing techniques (those instructions are written to be easy, not make the best beer possible).

IMO, the FestaBrew kits and the Brewhouse no-boil wort kits are by far the best kits on the market. My brother-in-law brews almost exclusively with them, and wins all kinds of medals. He has made it to the second round NHC twice, and last year he got a silver medal at MCAB in the most competitive category (American Ale).

So, anyone who says these kits won't be as good as extract, PM, or all grain brews is purely speculating. My BIL's success (as well as my own and many friends) proves otherwise. Just make sure you get a fresh kit, use high quality yeast, and proper brewing techniques. I bet they turn out better than the average PM or AG beer.
 

HOOTER

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So, anyone who says these kits won't be as good as extract, PM, or all grain brews is purely speculating.
That's true. I have no experience with them so I am speculating. I love to experiment so maybe someday I'll try one but regardless of the outcome I'll never stray from my current brewing methods because I just love the process of brewing so much. These kits may produce some killer brew, but in my opinion the best beer is brewed the old fashioned way.

Edit: I just noticed on festabrew's website their slogan is "brewing made easy". Maybe their slogan should be "We take the brewing out of homebrewing". ;)
 

hfxer

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I have done about 15 or 16 of the Festa kits.

Mostly the Blonde, but I try to sample the seasonal or limited issue ones as well.

Still have a little of the HopAttack left.

I've had pretty good luck with them all.
I'm not really sure what the instuctions read.
I always pour into a primary pail, stir the yeast, and leave it alone for a 5-7 days.
Then transfer into a carboy with airlock for 10 - 14 days and do a batch prime before bottling.
Stick the bottles away for 4 weeks and then start to drink 'er up.

I'm just now making a switch from bottling to using the stainless pop kegs and force carbonating, but I will still leave it in the keg for the 4 weeks before serving.
 

ESB

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I'm sure it will be fine, but I doubt it will be as good as a properly done PM or AG recipe. Just like in cooking and baking, using fresh ingredients will always produce a superior product, and having complete control over the stuff that goes into your brew can only be beneficial.



I'm not extremely familiar with these kits, so correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't they essentially just hopped extract? Why would this be better than an extract brew? This statement just makes no sense to me.

Nope. Pure all natural all grain wort


People in Canada are accustomed to crappy beer, so these kits probably are perfect for them. ;)

Typical ignorant American ;)



I have no doubt that an experienced all grain brewer (not to mention an experienced extract brewer) can make a brew that will put these kits to shame. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure they make a drinkable brew, I just find it extremely hard to believe they can produce a better beer than a well crafted AG, PM, or extract w/ specialty grains brew.

The bottom line is that brewing is fun and if your looking for a quick and easy brew there's plenty of good beer at the grocery store.
The Magnotta West Coast IPA is one of the best IPA's I've had (including American IPA's). I've talked to all grain home brewers who have said the best batch they've ever "brewed" was the Magnotta Festa Brew IPA.
 

buzzlager

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For the people who have done these brews, do you typically use the included dry yeast or use a White Labs/Wyeast instead?
 

Vuarra

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I tried the festa brew bock... I liked the taste, the ease (I used a funnel... sue me), but the worst part was that I was so used to the crappy Canadian beer I had to throw it out because it didn't taste watery. Must have been me, because I let it sit in primary for at least 4 weeks, then bottled for three... I guess I should have read and followed the instructions to the letter.

I did use the included yeast.
 

Revvy

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For the people who have done these brews, do you typically use the included dry yeast or use a White Labs/Wyeast instead?
If you're brewing a standard ale it's a waste of time and money to use liquid yeast. Dry yeast is fine for 99% of the brewing we do.

I have found that a lot of new brewers especially, THINK they HAVE to use liquid yeast, but in reality most ales can be made with Notty, Windsor, Us-05, Us-04 and many lagers with basic Saflager.....7-8 bucks a pop for liquid as opposed to $1.50-2.50 for dry, with more cell count, is imho just a waste of money for the majority of a brewer's recipe bank...most commercial ales us a limited range of strains, and those liquid strains are really the same strains that the afore mentioned dry strains cover, for example Us-05 is the famed "Chico strain", so if you are paying 7-8 bucks for Wyeast 1056 American/Chico Ale Yeast, and you STILL have to make a starter to have enough viable cells, then you are ripping yourself off, in terms of time and money....

I use dry yeast for 99% of my beers, for basic ales I use safale 05, for more british styles I us safale 04 and for basic lagers I use saflager..

The only time I use liquid yeast is if I am making a beer where the yeast drives the style, where certain flavor characteristics are derived from the yeast, such as phenols. Like Belgian beers, where you get spicy/peppery flavors from the yeast and higher temp fermentation. Or let's say a wheat beer (needing a lowly flocculant yest) or a Kholsch, where the style of the beer uses a specific yeast strain that is un available in dry form.

But if you are looking for a "clean" yeast profile, meaning about 90% of american ales, the 05, or nottingham is the way to go. Need "Bready" or yeasty for English ales, then 04 or windsor. Want a clean, low profile lager yeast- saflager usually does the trick.

If the kit is fresh, then the yeast that comes with it will be fine.

The idea of the yeast that comes with most kits are "bad" is really a holdover from the bad old days of homebrew prohibition (prior to 1978 in america) when yeast came over in hot ship cargo holds, was of indeterminant pedigree and may have sat on the shelves under those cans of blue ribbon malt extract in the grocery store for god knows how long. That is simply not the case in the 21st century- all yeasts, liquid or dry ave excellent and can be used, EVEN the stuff that comes with kits.
 

Shaneoco1981

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Well it's not as good as a kit that you add hops and grains to...or probably not even as good as a kit and kilo kit like Coopers....But you just made beer...It's a start on your new adventure.

Stick around here and you'll learn how to make great beer.

Welcome!

:mug:
+1 Welcome fellow home brewer!
 

buzzlager

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Awesome thanks for the great replies! And so quick at that! I've done two of these Festas with the dry yeast.

1st: Pale Ale using Nottingham tasted awesome. Maybe the best beer I've ever had.
2nd: Red ale using Safale 04... Not as good. Drinkable though.

Also, I did a AHS Blue Moon and AHS Redstripe clone. The Blue moon tastes band-aidy, unfortunately. And the red stripe is ready to be bottled.

This forum has been with me every step of the way. It's so useful! Thanks for the suggestions on yeasts, Revvy. What is your preferred fermentation temp on Safale-05?
 
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