First time brewer and Festabrew?

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andrewrg
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Postby andrewrg » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:58 am

Get a bottle wand if it doesn't come with the kit. That thing is a godsend for bottling.
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markaberrant
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Postby markaberrant » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:17 am

Tapsucker wrote:The only thing you will find a nuisance (hate in fact) is bottling, but then again every homebrewer hates that - welcome to the fraternity of grumpy bottle washers!


I bottled for 4 and a half years, and it the time, it never bothered me one bit. I did use mostly EZ-Cap bottles which likely made a difference. But now that I keg, I certainly wouldn't want to go back to it.
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Postby Matty D » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:59 am

Just an update, I did purhcase all the equipment and a Festabrew Brown Ale kit along with a Brew Hause IPA kit as well.

I spent several hours cleaning bottles on the weekend (I will be rinsing everything after opening after that "fun" chore!). I sanatized everything, did a yeast starter and re-read sections of Palmers book every few minutes.

I put the Brew Hause IPA kit in the primary fermenter last night, fingers are crossed that some bubbles will be there tonight. I was persuaded by Randy to use a secondary fermenter and in the spirit of n00b brewers everywhere I am going to complicate my first brew by dry hopping this IPA. I am officially impatient and ignoring all collective knowledge that says stick to the basics :lol: Thanks for all the help, much appreciated.
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Postby icemachine » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:03 am

Dry hopping is never a bad idea, even if you are a noob. Congraqts on the first brew!
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KwaiLo
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Postby KwaiLo » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:55 am

The last IPA kit I used from them I added 2 oz of Amarillo in secondary. It was a good(ish) beer.
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Postby Matty D » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:39 am

After some additional reading on another home brewing site I am leaving my beer in the primary fermentor for the whole time. It has been just over two weeks and I dropped in 1oz of NZ Cascade hop pellets. I will let this sit for another week and will bottle condition for 2 weeks.

My Festabrew brown ale will be next in the primary. After that I'm debating on doing an extract boil or another festa brew.
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Postby KwaiLo » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:10 pm

Matty D wrote:After some additional reading on another home brewing site I am leaving my beer in the primary fermentor for the whole time. It has been just over two weeks and I dropped in 1oz of NZ Cascade hop pellets. I will let this sit for another week and will bottle condition for 2 weeks.

My Festabrew brown ale will be next in the primary. After that I'm debating on doing an extract boil or another festa brew.


I haven't extract brewed myself, but in the ones I have tasted that others have done, I think the Festa kits are better beer. Have you thought of brew in a bag as the next step? Easier than full mashes, but better than extract, IMO.
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Postby phirleh » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:41 am

KwaiLo wrote:
Matty D wrote:After some additional reading on another home brewing site I am leaving my beer in the primary fermentor for the whole time. It has been just over two weeks and I dropped in 1oz of NZ Cascade hop pellets. I will let this sit for another week and will bottle condition for 2 weeks.

My Festabrew brown ale will be next in the primary. After that I'm debating on doing an extract boil or another festa brew.


I haven't extract brewed myself, but in the ones I have tasted that others have done, I think the Festa kits are better beer. Have you thought of brew in a bag as the next step? Easier than full mashes, but better than extract, IMO.

I know 2 guys who work at Magnotta making the Festa Brews and they are all grain brews that have been pasteurized, a better bet than extract. Although you could go halfway and do a mini-mash, use extract for your base grain and use specialty grain and hops to modify your recipe.
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Postby JeffPorter » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:27 pm

Derek wrote:
markaberrant wrote:
JeffPorter wrote:Do you boil the festa kits or just pitch the yeast as is?


They are no boil kits. Just pitch the yeast.


Yes, and a great way to start.

That said, when I was a new dad & low on time, I did boil a couple with extra hops! (Step 2?)

The Coopers kits are fairly good as well, but since they're concentrated, I think they do have a bit of an 'extract' taste.


Derek - I know this is an old post, but how long would you boil a festabrew wort for and what kind of hop schedule would you have? This does sound like a good step 2...
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Postby Matty D » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:53 pm

Count me in as interested in how to modify the Festa brew kits! I found a link for modifying the Brew House kits which likely would apply to the Festa Brew as well:

http://www.yeastwranglers.ca/LinkClick. ... 91&mid=569[/url]
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Postby Matty D » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:09 am

Reviving this a bit just incase anyone finds this in a search.

I brewed the Brew house IPA kit first. I used the coppers yeast in a starter for yeast. The kit called for 8 litres of water to top it up. In hindsight, and after research, most recomend adding 2-4 litres instead. I dry hopped with an ounce of cascade hop pellets for a week (after 3 weeks primary). 2 weeks in bottle. Great hop aroma, blah everything else. I think the 8L of water ruined it. After about 6+ weeks in the bottle it has improved a bit to more of an "ok" pale ale, but lost much of the hop aroma. Not a great start but at least no sanitation issues.

I have brewed the Festa brew Brown ale. I used a liquid yeast instead of the dry package it came with (an american ale strain). I left it in primary for 3 weeks and bottled for 2 weeks using about 3/4 cup corn syrup in 2 cups boiled water. Turned out great, carbonation is moderate, nice flavour with some roatsy chocolat flavours. A very drinkable brown ale.

Next is an IPA, steeped + extract kit with dry hops. In fermenter now!
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markaberrant
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Postby markaberrant » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:54 pm

Sounds like you are hooked, congrats!
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Postby JeffPorter » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:29 pm

Matty, I did the same thing and, yeah, only put 2 L of extra water in - tasted much more like an IPA, but my bottles have been sitting for several weeks and haven't tried them for a while...
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Derek
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Postby Derek » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:47 pm

JeffPorter wrote:
Derek - I know this is an old post, but how long would you boil a festabrew wort for and what kind of hop schedule would you have? This does sound like a good step 2...


I didn't see this until now.

Additional boil time really depends how much bitterness you want to add (and to a lesser degree, flavour). I probably wouldn't go over 30 minutes though, as it has already been boiled for some time. Even just 20 minutes is good for a 'flavour' addition.

Here's a simple, reliable calculator:
http://realbeer.com/hops/bcalc_js.html
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probstk
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Postby probstk » Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:36 pm

Matty D wrote:Reviving this a bit just incase anyone finds this in a search.

I brewed the Brew house IPA kit first. I used the coppers yeast in a starter for yeast. The kit called for 8 litres of water to top it up. In hindsight, and after research, most recomend adding 2-4 litres instead. I dry hopped with an ounce of cascade hop pellets for a week (after 3 weeks primary). 2 weeks in bottle. Great hop aroma, blah everything else. I think the 8L of water ruined it. After about 6+ weeks in the bottle it has improved a bit to more of an "ok" pale ale, but lost much of the hop aroma. Not a great start but at least no sanitation issues.

I have brewed the Festa brew Brown ale. I used a liquid yeast instead of the dry package it came with (an american ale strain). I left it in primary for 3 weeks and bottled for 2 weeks using about 3/4 cup corn syrup in 2 cups boiled water. Turned out great, carbonation is moderate, nice flavour with some roatsy chocolat flavours. A very drinkable brown ale.

Next is an IPA, steeped + extract kit with dry hops. In fermenter now!


I tried several Brew House kits before switching to Festabrew kits and none of them impressed me. The Coopers yeast is what they provide in all kits and it kinda sucks, especially for lager styles. The Festa come with different yeasts, depending on the brew.

I'll stick with Festa for "pitch and go" beer. The seasonals are pretty nice too: West Coast IPA, Czech Pils, etc. I have a WC IPA in secondary right now dry-hopped with 1 oz. each of Amarillo, Centennial, Cascade and Galaxy. Should be...fragrant, at the very least. :D

Best of luck with your partial mash IPA.

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