Trouble with Midwest Kits

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cmdrico7812

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I ordered two kits from Midwest (Scottish Lite Ale and Autumn Amber Ale) and both turned out very weak. They are both lacking something in their taste. They almost taste watered down. The Scottish Ale I did the traditional boil 3 gallons and wort and then top off the fermenter to get 5 gallons and with the Amber I got some new equipment and was able to boil all 5 gallons of wort. I thought that might help but it didn't seem to.

These kits were by 3rd and 4th batches ever so I'm fairly green at this still, but my first two batches were great (Oktoberfest Brewer's Best kit and Orfy's Hobgoblin Clone). How long can a kit sit without going bad or stale? The kits did sit for a few weeks before being brewed, but what is the maximum time frame a kit should sit before being brewed (I did refrigerate the yeast until brewing)?

The other difference between my first two batches and these two kits is that with the Midwest kits came with White Labs liquid yeast and the first two I used Nottingham dry yeast.

I guess I'm just wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience with Midwest kits or if it's just me. Thanks.

Eric
 

eggraid101

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I've used a couple of their kits, an IPA and a cherry wheat, and both of them sat for a couple of weeks, and I would not characterize either one of them as watered down or weak. The IPA is too bitter for those who may not be into that type of brew (friends & family), but they all loved the cherry wheat, and I thought it was pretty good myself. Sorry to hear about your disappointment.
 

furlow008

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I've only made 2 batches, but both were from midwest. My 1st one was the big river brown ale, and I thought it was very flavorful, and my second one was their Redhook ESB clone. It tasted really good also. I rdered the Scottish Ale 80/- from them but haven't made it yet. I just got a catalog from Northern Brewers. How do their kits compare? I liked what I saw in the catalog.
 

brewt00l

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I just got a catalog from Northern Brewers. How do their kits compare? I liked what I saw in the catalog.
I don't think you can go wrong with ordering kits from any of the major online HBS (AHS, Midwest, MB or NB) given the volume they move you are getting decently fresh ingredients and recipes that work.
 
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cmdrico7812

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Could it be that the kits sat too long before I brewed them? How long can a kit sit in storage before it is brewed?
 
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