Top Ten ways to improve your beer kit brews

Saturday, November 23, 2019
beer brewing tips for malt kits

Brewing with beer kits can sometimes be likened to making a ready bake cake.

You can buy ready made cake mix from your local supermarket, add some milk and eggs and chuck the mixture in the oven and you're away. The hardest part is probably making sure the oven is set to the correct temperature.

A brew kit is a similar process, you open the tin, add the contents, add some hot water, pitch in the yeast and boom, you are brewing!

And yes it's that simple, but if you want to make your beer taste even better, here's our top ten ways to help improve the flavor of your beer. 

  1. Use a beer enhancer. What this means is you are adding more malt extract and some dextrose into the mix. Instead of adding sugar (which famously makes homebrew sweet) the dextrose doesn't leave an off taste and the yeast will happily convert it to alcohol.
  2. Add extra hops. While malt kits will come with hops added, the addition of some complementary hops will enhance the flavour of your beer. For example, if you are keen on making lagers, then some Green Bullet or Cascade hops will taste great. 
  3. Patience is truly a virtue when brewing. Although primary fermentation is generally complete after a week or so - a brew left much longer in the carboy or drum will be a much better tasting beer. 
  4. When bottling, avoid stirring up the beer as much as possible. While oxygen is quite desirable during primary fermentation, it is not when conditioning beer. If not kegging, you can add a bottling wand to the fermenter to help with a smooth transfer to the bottle. 
  5. Once bottled, store the beers in a warm place for two days. This will encourage secondary fermentation to occur. THEN move your beer to a cooler play (maybe the shed) and leave them in the dark for at least three weeks. This long time will give the yeast a chance to work it's magic properly. Your beer will taste quite drinkable from three weeks on but a beer left for  6 weeks is even better!
  6. Batch priming your beer is a great way to ensure that each beer tastes consistent. Batch priming is simply adding sugar to the fermenting drum and then bottling, rather than adding sugar individually to each bottle. A side benefit is that you strongly reduce your chances of over sugaring your beer which can lead to over fizzy beer or worse bottles that explode due to too much pressure from built up CO2. 
  7. If you want to increase the alcohol content of your beer,  you can do this by adding extra sugars during primary fermentation. There's an art to this - too much extra will hinder your yeast - and that's when back yard experts start using yeast nutrients.
  8. If you are looking to make a clear beer then using finings is recommended. 
  9. Doing a cold crash just before bottling also greatly improves the clarity of beer.  
  10. If you're moving onto the full 'brewing day experience', get the bigger kettle or pot!


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