Wine Kits

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mark wood

by Bill Reddy

Brew House Red Ale

If you're not familiar with Brew House beer kits here's the concept. Brew House is made by RJ Spagnols in their own German style brew house. It's made entirely from grains and fresh hops. No sugar or syrups are added. In essence you're getting a professionally designed micro style beer kit. Detailed information is available on the Brew House web site.

Brew House beer kits come packaged in a 15 litre bag nestled in a sturdy box. This is quite heavy so you have to be careful pouring the wort into your fermentor. It might be a good idea to have an extra pair of hands available.

These kits are ridiculously easy to make. After you sanitize your equipment, open the bag and pour the contents into your fermentor then top up to 23 litres with water. Brew House kits have been acidified to help preserve them. A packet of bicarbonate soda is included to neutralize the acid. It's important that you add this now or you may have problems with the fermentation.

My Red Ale looked and smelled awesome when I poured it into the fermentor. The smell of hops and malt filled the air. It took me all of five minutes to mix in the water, add the yeast and put it to bed. I used the enclosed Coopers yeast because I wanted to make it without any modifications for this review but when I make it again I will use a liquid yeast tailored to this style of beer.

The fermentation was quick and vigorous. Make sure you use at least a 32 litre fermentor to allow extra room for the foaming. I transferred the beer to a carboy at day 7. The fermentation was complete by then so I left it for another seven days in the carboy to clear. Then I bottled on day 14 using the enclosed priming sugar pack to naturally carbonate the beer.

After 14 days in the bottle I put a beer in the fridge to chill before sampling. The beer was smooth and flavourful. Very reminiscent of popular commercial style red ales. It was light red in colour with a crisp malty flavour. The hops were evident but subtle. I prefer well hopped beers but after doing some outdoor work this beer sure went down nicely. All in all this is a great thirst quencher and it will be my "go to" warm weather beer. I'll give it 3 out of 5 stars.