BrewSmith FAQ

BrewSmith has assembled a list of frequently asked questions they receive about BrewSmith home brewing kits to put your minds at rest.

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Why are BrewSmith beer making kits better than other home brewing kits like Coopers, Cascade or Muntons?

  • The process is more involved and fun!  You actually cook the beer on a stove top and add the hops yourself.
  • The fermenter is made of glass, not plastic, making it easier to clean (hygiene in beer making is very important).  Glass also stops the beer from oxidizing (and tasting like wet cardboard).
  • The ingredients are high quality – they’re on par with those used by commercial craft breweries. You’re making craft beer, not homebrew!
  • The kit is a manageable size – meaning you don’t need any special equipment. A normal kitchen and kitchen equipment are all you need for brewing. You don’t need a big space for brewing: the fermenter is about the size of a table lamp.
  • The instructions are easy to follow – we have printed instructions in the kit and also video instructions online for visual learners
  • The beer can be customised to suit your tastes – experiment!  Want to try orange or lime zest in your blonde ale instead of lemon? Go ahead! Want to do a treacle infused Russian Imperial stout? Give it a shot, and let us try some!
  • We’re on hand on email and social media to answer your questions or help you if you do ever have a problem.  We aim to answer your questions within 24 hours.
  • The beer it produces tastes great and the results are consistent – these brewing kits have been tried and tested many times and refined until they were just right.  You can be confident that you’ll like the beer.
  • Your first time making beer can be a success.

 

What comes in my BrewSmith beer making kit?

Your kit contains everything you need to make your first batch of beer.  All you need are some bottles and basic kitchen equipment.  Your kit contains malt extract, hops, specialty grains, and premium brewing yeast, comprehensive instructions, 5 litre glass fermenter, airlock, bung, syphon with hand pump, bottle brush and sanitiser.

 

What kind of bottles should I use for bottling my beer?

There are a number of options.  We recommend re-using screw top wine bottles or Grolsch style flip top bottles.  You can also re-use beer bottles and buy caps and cappers too. You can also buy the flip top style bottles from home brewing stores such as Liquorcraft too, but they’re not required for home brewing.

 

Can I reuse my kit?

Yes, absolutely! We choose to use a fermenter made of glass; it’s easy to clean and reuse without risk of contamination. Plastic can develop scratches and cavities which are almost impossible to clean.  With glass, all you need to do is sanitise your equipment, choose which flavour you’re going to do next and buy a brewing recipe refill.

 How long does brewing take?

About an hour of boiling time (cooking on your stove top) followed by a week or two in the fermenter (where your alcohol develops). Two weekss in bottles (where the carbonation develops) and your beer is ready to drink.

Is brewing hard to do?

No, people have been brewing beer at home for thousands of years.  If you can make soup, you can make beer!  There are 3 simple steps to follow and the yeast really does most of the work for you.

 Does the beer taste good?

Yes.  Natural, quality ingredients and craft brewing methods produces craft beer.  Don’t believe us?  Come along to a craft beer event and taste some with us!.

Will the bottles explode?

If you follow the instructions, explosions are a thing of the past. Exploding home brew bottles are a result of three things:

– Bad yeast — The yeast we include with every recipe is used in craft brewing. It ferments quickly and cleanly. We pack it ourselves in a food grade facility.
– Bad malt — Our kits include brewing malt that is unmatched in the homebrewing industry which ferments quickly and cleanly. Old style canned kits are a few grades lower.
– Too much sugar — The easy to follow brewing instructions have simple measurements for carbonation sugar. It’s easy!

What temperature do I need to brew at?

As long as your brew during fermentation is above 10 degrees Celsius and below 30 degrees Celsius, it will turn out just fine.  Even if the temperature does sneak up past 30 degrees on those hot summer days, it will still be drinkable but drier than usual since the heat causes faster fermentation.
Basically: if you’re comfortable, your yeast will be comfortable.

How many beers does the BrewSmith beer making kit produce?

13 stubbies or 4.5 litres

What’s the cost per beer?

After the initial investment of the kit, re-fills are $20-$25 or $1.50-$2.00 per stubbie

 Where can I buy the BrewSmith beer making kits and refills from?

You can buy online or check out one of our many stockists all over Australia.  We also teach classes in Melbourne whenever we can.

Where does the alcohol come from?

The yeast eats the natural sugars present in the malt extract and produces alcohol.  Yeast is our friend!

What are hops?

Hops are a flower from a type of herb.  They are a natural preservative and add bitterness to your beer to counteract the sweetness of the malted barley.  They also add delicious aromas to your beer: fruity, herbal, floral, spicy or pine.  There are many types of hops around which change the flavours and aromas of your beer.  Our favourites are sourced mostly from Australia and some others from around the world.

What’s the alcohol content of the BrewSmith beer making kits?

The approximate strength is listed in each recipe or kit in the shop.  Anywhere from 4.4% up to over 7!
Summer Citrus Blonde Ale is 5.1%, 6.4% for the Honey Bomb Wheat Beer, 7.1% for the Hoppy Heart IPA, 5.9% for the Red Rye Ale and 5.3% for the Chocolate Paradise Porter.

How can I tell the alcohol content?

We know the alcohol content of the beer our beer making kits produces (see question above) but if you wanted to calculate it for yourself, you’ll need a hydrometer and measure the specific gravity.  You would measure the amount of sugar in the beer prior to fermentation and the sugar remaining after fermentation.  A few calculations later and you have your alcohol by volume or abv %.  You can buy hydrometers on too.

Will the beer I make give me bad hangovers?

No, your hangovers (if any) should be vastly improved since this beer contains no preservatives and doesn’t use any filtration agents (often fish/egg/dairy products) like commercial beer.

 Do I need any special equipment?

Along with the BrewSmith kit, you only require standard kitchen equipment.  A large stock pot, funnel, a spoon and a sieve are all you need.

Can I change the recipe and experiment?

Sure!  We encourage you to experiment – we’d love to hear how it went!  Want to add orange or lime zest to your Summer Citrus Blonde beer instead of lemon?  Go ahead.  Or maybe you’d like to add ginger or spices to your Chocolate Paradise Porter.  The variations you could make are endless.  Experiment with nuts, spices, herbs, fruits and vegetables (e.g. pumpkin or beetroot).  You just add the flavours in during the last few minutes of the boil.

What if I want to make a larger quantity than 4.5 litres?

You could buy our Brewery Expansion pack and make double the quantity.  Making 2 beers is really not much more work than 1.  You’d also need 2 recipe refills.

Where do the ingredients come from?

We source our ingredients from the same place as the craft brewing industry.  We use both Australian and imported ingredients.

How long do the ingredients last for?

For the freshest beer, use your ingredients immediately.  However, they’ll be fine for a few months.