Using Amylase Enzyme to reduce starch in beer

using amylase to increase attenuation of beer
I'm a hungry enzyme...

Mashing enzymes such as Amylase powder convert the starch in beer malt into soluble sugars


With this knowledge, the home brewer can manipulate enzyme activity to can control the fermentability of their wort.

Amylase enzymes are proteins. Their specific role is to 'catalyze biochemical reactions', which means that they enable a reaction to occur quickly and crucially at the temperature of living organisms (talking yeast here).

While we are talking about brewing, it should be understood that enzymes are vital for human life as they significantly speed up the rate of virtually all of the chemical reactions that take place within the body's cells. Along with lipase, they are crucial for having a healthy digestive system and for metabolism. There is amylase in human saliva - digestion starts in the mouth after all!

So, brewers use amylase to ensure an efficient break down of the malt into maltose and sugars - meaning there is more food for the yeast to eat, meaning you get more alcohol - this is called attenuation.

The one - two punch of alpha and beta amylase in starch digestion

In a brewer’s mash, we are concerned with the activity of two main enzymes, alpha and beta amylase, and their effect on starch.

A starch molecule, as a basic description, is a group of glucose molecules linked together. Enzymes will break those links allowing yeast to better ferment.

Alpha-amylase contributes to the digestion of starch by breaking internal bonds between the glucose molecules. As the starch molecules are opened up, they break into a range of intermediate sizes.

In comes beta-amylase which further digests these newly sized molecules mostly into maltose—a sugar of two glucose units—but also to glucose itself and to the three-glucose molecule maltotriose. You can add glucoamylase instead of beta as it does the same job on starch.

This will occur effectively when the wort is properly pH balanced and the ideal temperature has been realised.

These two compounds are also great to break down corn type adjuncts when making spirits (just watch that methanol production eh?)

When to add amylase enzyme to the wort


The temperature of your mash is key to how effective amylase.

In terms of timings, some brewers will add amylase immediately after adding strike water or about 30 minutes or so into an extended all-grain mash taking longer than 60 minutes.

If you increase the temperature immediately after adding amylase you're working against yourself.

Amylase works best at 150-155°F. Much higher than that and the enzyme is destroyed by the heat. 

A common practice is to hold it at its activation temperature for an hour to allow full conversion of starch, then cool it rapidly to your fermentation temperature once the gelatinization of the malt/starch is complete.

This wiki advises:

The ideal situation you want is to attain is one in which your mash rests at a temperature between 66° and 70° C (150°-158° F) to allow the amylase enzymes to do their work. The colder the rest, the more fermentable sugars will be available for fermenting, and therefore the higher alcohol content in the final beer. The hotter the temperature, the more unfermentable sugars will reach fermentation, and thus the fuller the mouth-feel. This is, of course a comparison of otherwise duplicate mashes. Remember, the enzymes will work outside their optimum temperatures, so given an adequate amount of time, all starches can be converted to fermentables.
We suggest you read the whole wiki as it gives a very sound scientific description of mash temperatures and the various methods use you can use enzymes with. This page is a great read too.

Why ph of the mash is important for enzyme action


The pH level of your beer (both mash and wort) affects the way your beer turns out in several ways. Enzyme function is affected by an out of whack pH level, the efficiency of your hops can be manipulated and it affects how well your yeast ferments your brew.

Brewers test for pH using meters - a sample is taken from the work and an electrode is used to take the reading - pH is then adjusted accordingly using chemicals like calcium chloride or lactic acid.

This video gives a really great introduction into using alpha and beta-amylase and its relationship to beer mash:



Extra for experts: Does adding enzyme to the mash influence the taste of the beer?

⇒ Steinlager Classic Clone Recipe

sexist steinlager advertising from the 1980s

Steinlager clone recipe for homebrew beer


There's plenty of evidence around to suggest that Steinlager is one of the greatest beers that has ever been produced.

Despite the trend to craft beer drinking, Steinlager beer is holding it's own in the market.

Kind of...

Steinlager homebrew recipeThis is due of course to a strong marketing campaign* by Lion Nathan - it's the official beer of the all conquering All Blacks, the fact it's a New Zealand household name and the fact that it's actually a good beer to drink.

It really is, beer snobs need not contribute their opinion!

If you've found this page, chances are we do not need to sell you on Steinlager being a good drinking beer - and if you want to clone it, here's a Steinlager clone recipe that might just help you get an approximation of what many consider to be one of New Zealand's finest beers.

And just so there's no confusion, we are talking about Steinlager Classic, the original Steinlager beer.

Not this "Pure' version of it they market these days and let's be clear - there's no way we are even going to consider a Steinlager Tokyo.

That is simply marketing a new beer for the sake of marketing a new beer.

It has no soul.

Steinlager Classic, now that is a beer that has tradition, aspiration, balls and of course great taste.

A beer that you can actually have a good crack at making a homebrew clone!

Hops used in Steinlager

The actual recipe for Steinlager is a closely held trade secret, so it's a bit of a guess what goes into it but well-educated taste buds have been able to offer some handy insight.

Steinlager is noted for its key ingredient of the so-called 'green bullet' hops. 

This hops is unique in that it was developed in New Zealand and it delivers a traditional bittering quality and hop flavor, ideal for lager making.

It's popularity has meant it's now a flagship hop within the New Zealand brewing industry.

So your Steinlager clone will at the least need bullet hops!


How to make a good clone of Steinlager beer


So there are two ways to make a Steinlager clone. One way is rough as guts, and the other is your more refined home brewing process...

Making a good Steinlager clone using a beer kit:


You will need the following ingredients:
Prepare according to the usual method of making beer with kits and dammit, Jim - make sure you sanitise your gear!

Cold storage of your lager will be very handy - leave it in the shed?

Extra for experts: If you are trying to make a Steinlager Pure clone (hey, it's your life), note that Pure uses Pacific Jade hops, Nelson Sauvin hops and possibly some green bullet too.


Steinlager clone recipe for more seasoned brewers


If you're into boiling your wort and getting the timings of the hop additions just perfect, here's some a Steinlager clone recipe that seems pretty handy.

It comes from a bloke called Timmy:


  • 4.00 kg Pilsner, Malt Craft Export (Joe White) (3.2 EBC) Grain
  • 0.25 kg Carahell (Weyermann) (25.6 EBC) Grain
  • 0.15 kg Carafoam (Weyermann) (3.9 EBC) Grain
  • 0.15 kg Wheat Malt, Malt Craft (Joe White) (3.5 EBC) Grain
  • 60 min 20.00 gm Green Bullet [13.50 %] (60 min) Hops
  • 10 min 15.00 gm Green Bullet [13.50 %] (10 min) Hops
  • 10 min 25.00 gm Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (10 min) Hops
  • 10 min 0.50 items Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
  • 1 min 25.00 gm Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (1 min) Hops
  • 1 packet Budvar Lager (Wyeast Labs #2000) Yeast-Lager

You'll have an estimated 1.056 original gravity and final gravity of 1.014 and approx 30 IBU.


There are other Steinlager clone recipes around but they are more or less the same as this one.

One or two seem to suggest that the beer contains Hallertau Hops but others have countered that was an older version of the beer.

Indeed, given the green bullet hops wasn't first produced until 1972 and that Steinlager has been around since the late 1950's, the beer drunk since at least 1972 has a different hops than what the originally beer started with - which is probably no biggie as it was in 1977 when Steinlager was crowned the world's best beer.

It also won the Les Amis du Vin Award (a beer competition of renown) again in '78 and '80 so it's the green bullet hops that helped win the world over.

This article has a sweet history of the beer as it became popular around the world.

* How about that poster eh? Classic sexist advertising from the 1980s.

Check out this Panhead supercharger clone recipe.

What are yeast traps and is my beer infected?

yeast trap beer

A yeast trap sounds like some kind of disposal system to catch wasted yeast however, more simply a 'yeast trap' is when some yeast floats to the top of your wort during fermentation. Some brewers call them 'yeast rafts'.

Dead yeast floats to the bottom.

In this case, we speculate the yeast has simply clumped together after it has been pitched on top of the wort.

It's nothing to worry about.

This has happened to us before. 

We've chosen to leave it and day by day the clumps of yeast slowly disappear from the top - the yeast cells have probably got to work fermenting as they damn well should.

So, the advice here is that if your wort looks like this a day or two after pitching the yeast, there is nothing wrong with your batch of beer. All it needs a little bit of time to come right.

Beer infections, on the other hand, will look a bit different.

First up, ask yourself a question. 

Despite what you may be observing floating on your beer, how does it smell? 


If so, then yes, your beer is probably infected and you'll need to dump it. 

But first, you have to taste it. 

Is it rank? 

Does it taste like some kind of demon that was juiced in a blender then left in the sun?

You gotta dump it. 

Bad luck skipper. 

But.

But. 

But. 

There are lots of things that can grow on the top of the wort that look less friendly than a simple yeast raft. 

Like this abomination:

infected beer wort

White film or flakes on top of the beer wort is fairly common and they form after the Krausen goes back to where it came from. 

They are often referred to as pellicles. 

They are usually harmless and when your beer is ready, you can simply bottle your beer. 

So no drama Llama, carry on. 

You can avoid the pellicle going into your beer by racking into another drum or simply keeping an eye on the level of the remaining beer in the fermenter as you bottle. You can always siphon the beer under the pellicle into a secondary drum before you bottle or keg from that new one.

This may feel like a goods news post - there are ways however that you beer can become infected and thus undrinkable. Which serves as a constant reminder to sanitize your brewing equipment

Can I get methanol poisoning from home brew beer?

methanol poisoning from beer

Can I accidentally make methanol when home brewing beer?

Update: You may have arrived at this page because of the story coming out of South Africa where a couple died after drinking homebrew. There are limited facts on this sad case - Fact checker site Snopes will sort it one day for sure but until they do, we can be pretty confident there's no chance methanol from home brew beer killed them.

-

From time to time I see potential brewers ask if they will accidentally make methanol when foraying into beer production.

This is because methanol is quite a dangerous alcohol.

It is toxic to the human body and can have some very nasty effects - ranging from blindness to the worst of which is death.

Everyone has heard the stories of some Russian sailors on a fishing boat going blind from drinking homemade spirits right? Drinking this kind of 'rocket fuel' is just a hazard of the job eh?

First up, the answer to the question is that the ordinary beer home brewing process makes the alcohol called ethanol - not methanol. So you can't get methanol poisoning, no matter how much extra sugar you add.

That's in general though - some methanol can be produced but at such minor levels that have no effect on the beer or effect on the body when consumed.

Fruit beers that contain pectin could have slightly higher levels of the spirit but the effect is still negligible.

So from that perspective, there's no risk of making a beer batch of methanol and going blind. It's more likely that you will just get blind drunk or meet Darth Vader!!

There are however some genuine risks if one is distilling alcohol - backyard operations can indeed produce batches where the methanol content can be lethal (or more sinisterly methanol is added deliberately and sold on the bootleg market). It's for this reason, most countries in the world have made the distillation of spirits illegal - plenty of stills can be bought on Amazon though!

It is allowed in New Zealand but only for personal consumption.

The science of distillation is quite complicated and there appears to be an of myth around methanol production. The key point to understand that if you are homebrew brewing beer, there's no risk of making a killer brew.

Distillation on the other hand... stay away from that unless you've been properly trained.

What is the treatment for methanol poisoning?


Methanol toxicity is the result of consuming methanol.

The horrific symptoms may include a decreased level of consciousness, poor coordination, vomiting, abdominal pain, and a specific smell on the breath. The famous effect of decreased vision or blindness may start as early as twelve hours after exposure.

The blindness is caused by the methanol being broken down by the body into formic acid when then has a debilitating and damaging effect on the eye's optic nerve.

Is there a cure for methanol poisoning?


There is a cure!

The sooner the antidote, fomepizole, is taken, the increased likelihood of a good outcome for the victim.

Other treatment options include dialysis and consumption of sodium bicarbonate, folate, and thiamine.

This is of course, not medical advice. If you have a consumption incident, seek medical services assistance immediately.

I saw a query from a gentleman who decided to drink a glass wine after having left the bottle open for 2 months. The wine was disgusting, he burned his throat and he described that he felt like he had a headache. He wondered if the wine had turned into methanol so as to explain his condition.

It's more than likely that the wine's ethanol had not converted to methanol, instead, it was probably oxygenated and had become a vile vinegar!

↣ How long can beer be left in the primary fermenter?


What is the risk of leaving a beer in the primary fermenter too long?


As a general rule of thumb, one can leave the beer in the primary fermenter as long as one needs.

There is no set maximum time limit, though there are a couple of slight risks to keep in mind.

Many brewers simply follow the beer recipe or instructions on the malt kit and leave their wort to ferment for around a week to ten days. This usually allows enough time for fermentation to have completed.

And technically that's OK, and it's time to bottle.

But the mystery and muscle of brewing beer are that there is a whole range of chemical processes happening in that wort you're fermenting.

Sure the yeast may have produced enough alcohol to make a good drop of beer but there are still a few things that happen.

The longer you leave your beer, the more chance the yeast has to get rid of smells and other leftovers from the fermentation process.

A great example of this is the presence of acetaldehyde in the wort. This chemical forms at the beginning of the fermentation process. It tastes like sour green apple and is not really conducive to a good brew. Giving your beer batch time to work through this will mean a better tasting beer.

I've heard wort left for a long time is harder to carbonate when bottled, is this true?


It possibly could be, depends on your circumstances.

If the beer has been left in the fermenter over winter, for example, the yeast could have become quite dormant so the bottled beer will need to be warmed for the yeast to come 'back to life'.

A trick some brewers have found is that when it comes time to bottling a long-settled wort, give it a small stir up 2 days before you bottle. It causes the yeast to mix back into the beer (it will have settled at the bottom of the fermenter. If you move the fermenter into a warmer place, then your bottled beer with have a shorter carbonation time.

What's the best way to get rid of  'apple taste' from beer?


Let the yeast take the time to convert it into ethanol (alcohol).

So leaving your beer for longer than the recommended instructions on the tin of the beer kit is pretty much a smart move. Frankly, given the benefit to the beer and thus the kit manufacturer's reputation, I do not know why they don't frame the time as a minimum.

That said, when I followed Te Aro's brewing instructions for their Obligatory ale, I made damn good beer.

Exceptions aside, the longer you condition your beer, the greater reduction in acetaldehyde that will occur and the beer your beer will take.

Stout beers have even more to work through so they can happily take longer in the primary.

Another benefit of leaving the beer in the primary for longer is that there is a greater chance that your beer will clear more sediment, thus giving you clear beer

Many a brewer likes to see their lager look like a lager - that classic light yellow / orange combo. Sure, some wheat beers can be a bit hazy.

At the end of the day this comes down to personal preference as the beer taste is not generally affected.

It's also important to consider the role temperature can play in brewing. If you want a short fermentation period but it's cold, then you may have to simply allow more time because the yeast slows down the alcohol production process when chilled. 

What about leaving beer in for extra long times like 3 months?

Many brewers have reported leaving batches for months and suffered no issues.

I'd reason though that the beer was stored in a cool place - a beer wort left in a hot environment is sure to fail as the yeast would probably get cooked.

The lid was probably screwed on very tightly as well and the beer must be kept out of the light. Put a sheet over it!

There is an issue that can happen called autolysis

This is when the yeast cells die, giving off some potentially 'off flavors'. These could be hydrolytic enzymes, lipids, and metal cations that can contribute to off flavor.

If you've made a healthy batch with a quality yeast, pitched at a good temperature and brewed in a stable environment, then the risks of autolysis are quite low. 

If you are quite concerned about this, you could counter by racking your beer to a secondary, thus removing the yeast cake from the equation.

It's important to note, the same process begins again when the beer is bottle conditioned - more sugar is added to the beer for the yeast to eat - this is because CO2 is the by-product of fermentation and is trapped in the beer.

Most beers strongly benefit from being bottle conditioned for three weeks before consumption and even then they usually start to become pretty drinkable at the 5 week mark.

If you have placed a lot of hops in your beer, remember that their effect reduces over time so once a well hopped beer has reached optimal drinking time, you may as well drink them!

Extra for experts: How to increase the alcohol level in homebrew - amylase can help with attenuation.

Why are there no bubbles in the airlock?

no bubbles, no fermentation?

If you're a new brewer, you might be pretty keen to see some bubbles in the airlock after you've made your first beer. That's what all the best brewing guides tell you to look for right?

We can also imagine your concern when you check your beer the day after you've brewed and hear and see no bubbles. 

And you'll have asked yourself:

 Why are there no bubbles in the airlock? 


That's a fair question to ask and there are often some simple answers which should arrest any concerns.

It could be that there was a leak that allows the CO2 to escape from the fermenter. 

To teach you to suck rotten eggs, those bubbles in the air lock are carbon dioxide gas, the bi-product of fermentation and so could easily escape if the fermenter is not properly sealed.

You may have not tightened the drum enough or possibly not screwed in the tap properly. It's a good idea to check this is the case before you worry too much about a lack of bubbles.

If you didn't see any signs of fermentation it could be that it's too cold to brew.


Is your batch of beer in a warm enough place?

If you're brewing during summer months, it's probably not too cold and your beer will ferment just fine and the bubbles will share in your beer making joy. 

If you've left your beer in a cold place in the shed, then it may be too cold for fermentation to begin. If this is the case then you might want to consider moving your fermenter inside to a warmer place.

If you insist on keeping the fermenter in your man shed, you could consider wrapping it in blankets or old painting sheets like I do. 

This is a handy trick and will help to keep the chill off your homebrew. 

You've checked and you have no leaks, so is no bubbles in the airlock really a sign of a lack of fermentation?


The first thing to bear in mind is that it can take at least 15 hours of your Earth time before the CO2 bubbles start gurgling through the airlock.

So don't go drowning your sorrows just yet if the bubbles haven't started. 

If you think that your beer hasn't started brewing there's some very easy problem solving you can try. 

Look for the scum


You can look for a dark scum that rings around the 'water level' mark. It's easy to see with a glass fermenter but you should still be able to see it with a plastic drum. 

If the scum is sticking to the side, at the top of the water line, you can be pretty confident that fermentation is underway and your beer will be just fine! 

You can also check for signs of foam. A nice foam at the top of the water line also indicates that fermentation is taking place. If you have to open the drum to do this, make it quick and try not to sneeze in it. 

So I'm pretty sure fermentation has not occurred. What happened?


Give it 20 - 48 hours before you start to worry about a lack of bubbles or signs of fermentation. 

Then you may wish to consider other things that could have occurred. 

When you pitched the yeast, did you add it to a wort that was at the right temperature? If your wort was too hot and not cooled properly, your yeast may have died due to the heat. 

If you think you killed your yeast, you can always re-pitch with another set. 

Was your yeast fresh? If you were using an old packet, the yeast may have lost its spark and not have enough viable units to begin fermenting. If so, add a fresher yeast.

Did you rinse out the sanitizer? 


As an expert beer brewer, we KNOW you carefully sanitized the fermenter and all the equipment you used. But did you rinse it off it was the kind that needed it? If you cleaned with bleach, you need to rinse otherwise the residue could have killed your yeast.

How much water should I add to the airlock?


Give it a fair amount of water, at least half full. Brews that cause a bit of gas pressure can draw water back into the fermenter - if this happens simply refill the airlock. Fun point, some brewers get so freaked out about bacteria and contamination they use vodka instead of water.

Do I even need to use an airlock?


Airlocks are designed to allow the release of CO2 from the fermenter in a manner that prevents oxygen and bugs or bacteria entering the beer. So from that perspective, it is wise to use an airlock. 

You can of course decline to use them, after, all beer was made well before plastic was invented! 

You just need to keep your gas exit point clean - when I once broke an airlock (snap!) I simply used a paper towel stuffed into the hole - gas could still escape but no spiders could get in ;) 

>> What are the best beer kits to use for brewing?

best home brew beer kits to try

There is a great range of beer kits to use for home brewing


The best thing about beer kit selection is that it all depends on what kind of beer you want to make. 

So the choice is up to you.

No one wants to screw up their beer, they just want a great tasting beer that they can share with their mates.

Or drink it all themselves while watching the Footy. 

But you gotta make that choice.

So.


Are you after a hearty ale or a light lager? 


Maybe ever something more fancy like a 'saison' which seems to be all the rage at the moment?

There are many kinds of beer kits from all kinds of sellers. They are all intended to be used to make great tasting beer so let’s review a selection of the best beer kits and see if we can find the best one for you.

Things to consider first when buying a beer kit


What kind of beer do you want to brew?


Beer kits are made to cover just about every beer style that there is. 

If you are a beginner brewer we would recommend that you go for a more darker beer like an ale or stout (we love nut brown ales with some fuggle hops ourselves). 

This is because it's more likely you will get a better tasting beer, especially as most first time brewers will not be patient enough to wait for their lagers to properly age!! 

Speaking of lager...

Is the kit reasonably fresh?

If it’s been sitting under the kitchen sink for three years the ingredients may not be in an optimum state and the condition of the yeast will certainly be questionable.

You want your beer kit to be in the best state so as they say, fresh is best. When making your purchase feel free to inquire with the seller or check the batch data.

If it’s old, show the kit the door.

If you are buying from a popular beer specialty store or online site, chances are you will be buying a product of an appropriate age and there should be no reason for you to wonder.

One handy trick brewers often do is discard the yeast pack that comes with the beer kit and instead they add their own fresh yeast they have sourced elsewhere, the Safale yeast is a popular choice with homebrewers.


Many brewers believe that the yeast in beer kits are not as good as specialty yeasts. We say each to their own, and if you can afford it, go for it.

Lager beer kits


Lagers can be a challenge to make as they need lower temperatures during fermentation to achieve the desired result.

Since lagers  are generally light in body it is very easy to tell a lager that has been fermented at too warm a temperature as they may taste too fruity or spicy due to too much ester production.

So what are some good beer kits to use to make a lager?


Getting the malt ready
The very first lager I ever made was a Black Rock Lager with beer enhancer and Dr. Rudi Hops. I have no idea who Doctor Rudi is but he sure helped make a good beer! 

I’ve used plenty of Black Rock Kits and they are just the best for basic home brewing and produce very drinkable beers. 

You could think of these kits as being your 'standard' kit - nothing to fancy but you can be confident they will help you produce good beer.

You’ll also find that Cooper’s DIY Lager is well worth a crack – we do recommend you add some hops of course! We did a great brew of a Cooper's larger with the combination of both Moteuka and Saaz hops

Cooper’s kits have been reviewed by drinkers as being “a great beer to start with for new brewers and veterans alike. The flavor is very smooth, has a creamy head and ends with a slight bitterness.”

Another popular choice in the American home brewers market is the Munton’s Premium Lager Kit, which has a 5 star review on Amazon


What are the popular ale kits? Is IPA the way to go?


Some of the tastiest beverages around are ales. There’s something about them that just makes you feel good when drinking them (other than the obvious alcohol effect!).

They are hearty to drink, and pair well with many food dishes.

A well-crafted ale can explore all kinds of taste sensations and they are certainly a great session beer where you can just get on them.

Also, the best ale kits are pretty forgiving to brewing mistakes and they are also able to be brewed at warmer temperatures than those pesky and pernickety lagers ;).

So what are the best ale kits?


We are going to focus on the IPA, the good old Indian Pale Ale.

A style of apparently that was apparently invented by the British during their efforts to colonize India, the IPA is a hoppy style beer from the pale ale family.

There are three kinds of IPA’s American-style, English-style, and Double or Imperial. All have good things going for them, especially Mr Beer’s Diablo IPA.

It is a very popular beer kit. It has been described as being “a very nice dark ale with subtle hints of winter spices, and takes kindly to many different yeasts.”

Get your thrills from your pils (kits)


Let’s have a think about Pilsner beer kits.

Hand tip - use a hydrometer to check the gravity
The pilsner style is arguably the most successful beer style in the world with some counts suggesting that 9 out of 20 beers comes from the pils family or a style derived from it.

Take that with a grain of malt, but there’s no doubt as to the popularity of a good pils (if you ever get the chance, try the Three Boys Pils, it’s one of our personal favourites).

The pilsner has a long history coming out of Germany. The modern pilsner has a very light, clear colour from pale to golden yellow. It will usually have distinct hop aroma and flavour.

Pilsner beers have become nearly synonymous with the four so called 'noble hops'. These are varieties of hop called Terrnanger, Spalt, Hallertauer and Saaz.

So what are the best pilsner beer kits? 


Here's a handy selection of the popular sellers on Amazon:


Stout beers are... strong!


You may always want to try a stout.

Stouts are not for the shy beer drinker, they are a full on ‘meal’ in a glass. A dark beer, they are often 7 or 8 percent ABV and have been around as a beer style since the late 1600s.

The stout, like most beer families, comes in a variety of styles. Milk stouts, Irish, Porters and oatmeal are popular versions.

The most well-known Irish stout is the Guinness Draft, the mostly drunk beer around the world on Saint Patrick's day!

There’s even a method of brewing stout that uses oysters but we recommend the home brewer stay away from adding some of Bluff’s finest export to their brews!

Stouts will often use East Kent Goldings hops but the classic Fuggle hop is used, as are several others.

So what are the best stouts to homebrew from a kit?


Here's a handy selection of popular options from Amazon.



So there you go, there are plenty of quality beer kits to choose from. What to choose depends on what kind of beer you want and how much you want to spend!

We would recommend you go with popular beer kits when you are starting out.

This way you can have some confidence that many brewers have been there before and voted with their wallets as to the quality and taste of the kits.

Always bear in mind that having a good kit is not a guarantee of success – attention to good brewing technique and adhering to the mantra of sanitizing your equipment are also fundamental to the chances of brewing a tasty beverage! A good choice of hops will go a long way too - our Riwaka hops experiment was a great success.
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