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Billbofet

Tried my first Northern Brewer kit......WOW

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Hello all,

With the recent pricing on Mr. Beer kits becoming unappealing to me, I decided to try a Northern Brewer kit, split it in half, hope for the best.

My first experiment was the Northern Brewer British Bitter. I got the kit for $20 and some change, followed directions up to the last minute. As I took a gravity read, it seemed way too low, I freaked, threw in a cup of brown sugar after wort and all was already in the LBK. It fermented like a mofo almost immediately and the temp seemed to spike to the mid-70's during fermentation. I was a bit nervous about getting that banana flavor, so I just cracked one after only 8 days in the bottle.

Hands down the best brew I have made to date of my 15 or so batches. Very, very close to Red Hook - one of my favorites. I immediately threw a couple in the fridge for later tonight for my wife and I to enjoy together.

Splitting the batch in two, I decided on the second to add 1/2 the hops at flame out and dry hop after 7 days with the remaining. I felt I had more control over the second batch vs. the first round, so hopefully it turns out even better.

Anyway, long story short, I will be making this one and having it in the rotation as much as possible going forward. I bought the NB Creme Ale kit a week ago and have a 1/2 batch of that fermenting right now. I even tried the olive oil toothpick tip.

Up to this point, I have not brewed the same thing twice in order to find that special beer. THIS IS IT!!!!

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Congrats! I have heard good things about those Northern Brewer kits and it's nice to hear someone's first hand experience with it! Also the fact that you brewed it in a LBK is a major bonus!

:cheers:

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I've done quite a few of the northern brewer kits, pretty good. I have one waiting to brew, just gotta git-r-done.

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"FrozenInTime" post=269536 said:

I've done quite a few of the northern brewer kits, pretty good. I have one waiting to brew, just gotta git-r-done.

I just miss you in the Taproom! I was actually looking at the NorthernBrewer at the recipes!

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I've ordered from NB but no kits. I'll give them a try in the future.
I've heard tons of good thinks about their cream ale but I'm doing my own this week.
I'll watch for a few that I like and make an order next month.
Other than my LHBS putting together custom recipes, the only kits I've used have been Midwest and I'm happy.
So, I have to give NB and AHS each a shot soon. It's good to hear a borg member talk about these.

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Bitters are supposed to have low gravity. They are session beers. Usually 4% ABV or less.

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ive done 3 NB kits so far
nut brown ale = really good,will def do again soon
bavarian hefe = botled 3.5 weeks ago,good and getting alot better with time
caribou slobber = just bottled saturday,taste test was really good
i like the NB kits,only doing extract kits (cause im a noob) but i really like the ones ive done so far ive also done a sierra nevada clone from austin home brew,that was awsome. :cheers:

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I picked the British Bitter and Creme Ale because they both had very high reviews and they looked easy to split in to 2 batches after I read the online directions.

I think on deck will be the Stout or possibly the Dry Dock Minnow, but any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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"Billbofet" post=269561 said:

I picked the British Bitter and Creme Ale because they both had very high reviews and they looked easy to split in to 2 batches after I read the online directions.

I think on deck will be the Stout or possibly the Dry Dock Minnow, but any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

ive been eyeballing the minnow myself,if you di it let me know how it comes out

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I've had the pleasure of drinking 2 of the NB extract kits. Did the Extra Pale Ale and the American Amber. I was blown away! Very good beers! I have the Carbou Slobber about to keg and am looking forward to that with 2 of the American Wheats on deck. I'll probably add raspberries to one and make the other straight up. Then it's on to some more all grain recipes. But I do love NB's kits I've done. They are some of the best beers I've ever drank. Store bought included!

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ive been eyeballing the minnow myself,if you di it let me know how it comes out

Will do. Now that I think about it, not really stout season up here in Wisconsin in this 95 degree heat we've had the past few days.

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I just brewed up the NB British Bitter on Father's Day! I didn't change the recipe at all, though, and did the hops schedule according to directions. I'm glad to see you think it's a good beer.

Gymrat is right, too, that bitters are meant to be low-gravity session beers. That's one of the reasons why I chose it; I want something nice and refreshing for summer, but not too alcoholic, so I can enjoy a few of them on a hot day. I'm expecting my ABV to be only 3.1%. But that's not bad....

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Anyone do the Northern Brewer AK47 Pale Mild All-grain yet?
if so, what was the billing?

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I have done quite a few extract kits with hop boil and steeping grain. I liked the results so much that I didn't see a need to try all grain, until I did anyway.

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I had the same feeling when I tried my first NB kit. I think for me it had a lot to do with the hop boil and grain steep though. It was the first batch I did those on.

I actually got another LBK to split the batch.
It makes the whole boiling process a bit harder since you have to boil so much more liquid, but once you get a wort chiller and auto siphon it's not that bad.

British Bitter you say? I'll have to try that one out.
I tried the chinook IPA kit and it was phenomenal. I'd say the same quality as craft brew ipas, a bit like smuttynose IPA. It was a nice golden orange color, mine was pretty cloudy but I didn't have a wort chiller and I didn't wait til the hot break to add hops. Plus I didn't have an auto siphon either so a lot of gunk got in there. It still tasted fantastic, my friends loved it.
Here's a video of it:
[video width=425 height=344 type=youtube]1EhgAPtj_5k


Right now I've got the Farmhouse Biere de Garde fermenting. It smelled great yesterday when I brewed it, I'll post the results and some pics when shes done.

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That's awesome. I've got a NB Bavarian Hefe waiting to be brewed. Looking forward to it.

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I did a lot of kits up until my last 4 beers. I have been equally satisfied with NB and Midwest Supplies kits. I was doing kits when I first started all grain. I wanted to focus on the process with known successful grain bills until I felt comfortable enough with it to start formulating my own.

As for the cloudy beer. A lot of mine come out that way. I never concern myself with it as it is purely cosmetic. And I am usually in the man cave with the lights dimmed watching movies or music videos when I drink it anyway.

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When they split the kit do they tell you have soon they have to be brewed? I'd like to get a NB kit or someone else's and have it split but would like to have a little time between brews. Just wondering.

Thanks,
T4G

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I have not yet tried these, just finished perusing their website and some of the recipes look really good....and you can't beat their prices. I couldn't find any IBU ratings on any of their recipes. Am I missing it somewhere?

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You can see the entire recipes before you buy them. Just run that threw whatever brewing software you use to get the IBU ratings.

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I know the reviews are always subjective but about 95% of the AG batch reviews are 5 stars. That says something (as long as all reviews are allowed).
I've already got a few kits in mind for later in the year but for now, my next 5 batches are pretty much made up and will take a while to get to if I only brew every 2 or 3 weeks.

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My LHBS has great kits available at about the same price as NB, so I like to buy and support local (NB is right next door though).

As far as AG, my LHBS can make them, but 99% of the "kits" are LME and steep grains

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I also noticed that some, but not all of their recipes call for a transfer to a secondary. I don't secondary my stuff now, I wonder if you could ferment for 3 weeks without the secondary????

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Awesome, their kits are unreal... who else has actual brewery kits that are the ACTUAL BEER?! amazing... trying a Dry Dock Pro Series next

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"BlackDuck" post=269687 said:

I also noticed that some, but not all of their recipes call for a transfer to a secondary. I don't secondary my stuff now, I wonder if you could ferment for 3 weeks without the secondary????


More than 75% of the recipes I've found online mention secondary. Almost all of Midwest's do as well but some even add a line that if you don't, just ferment for 3 weeks.
I think a great majority of the homebrewers no longer use a secondary for most of their brews. I haven't in years except to free up a fermenter.

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"Beer-lord" post=269691 said:

"BlackDuck" post=269687 said:

I also noticed that some, but not all of their recipes call for a transfer to a secondary. I don't secondary my stuff now, I wonder if you could ferment for 3 weeks without the secondary????


More than 75% of the recipes I've found online mention secondary. Almost all of Midwest's do as well but some even add a line that if you don't, just ferment for 3 weeks.
I think a great majority of the homebrewers no longer use a secondary for most of their brews. I haven't in years except to free up a fermenter.

I've never used a secondary for any of the kits I've bought in recent times. I just let them go in the primary until "done" and then bottle it. Works fine, makes great beer. This comming from someone who in "olden days" used to always secondary his beers.

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My chinook ipa kit recommended a secondary for dry hopping but they all say at the beginning if you don't have a secondary just add another week in your primary.
It tasted amazing.

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This may have been discussed before but yeasts are much better quality than what was around when Papazian and other wrote about homebrewing. Back then, I always used a secondary about 5-7 days after fermentation. The older yeast strains could leave off flavors and for other reasons. One I remember was the fear that using glass carboys, there was a chance of the bottles blowing up. However, that would likely come early in fermentation anyway.
Finally, it was thought that haze and cloudy beers would benefit from using a secondary and that's still a reason why some folks still use it. But, my brews are pretty clear with 3 weeks in the primary.

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Has anyone ordered an all grain kit from Northern Brewer? If so, did the full grain bill come in one bag or were each of the grains in a different bag?

Also, if you haven't checked out brewingtv.com I suggest doing it. They have a bunch of videos produced by Northern Brewer that cover all sorts of beer brewing related subjects.

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Thanks guys for the comments on the secondary. I didn't want to go through the trouble if I get one of these. The only thing I need to do this is a wort chiller, then I'm in on one of the kits!!

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"BlackDuck" post=269760 said:

Thanks guys for the comments on the secondary. I didn't want to go through the trouble if I get one of these. The only thing I need to do this is a wort chiller, then I'm in on one of the kits!!

Go for it, u won't regret it. I don't do secondaries, well, I did a few secondaries some time back and I cann't tell the difference in doing one/not doing one. Just let it run for 3 weeks, check gravity and press on. Wort chillers... I have one, but have never needed to use it. Maybe someday when I feel like adding an extra step and more time.

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I've been watching brewtv for about 2 years and enjoy their shows as well as the fun they have doing it. Wish I got paid for that.

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Blackduck ignore the secondary thing and I always only kept mine in the ale pail 2 weeks and they always turned out great.

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