When it comes to homebrewing, I typically like to keep it local. Listermann , who is my preferred shop in the area, not only is pretty close to my house, but the staff is extremely helpful and they carry a relatively wide range of products. Not to mention, you can pick up some Listermann/Triple Digit beer while you’re there. For eastsiders, Paradise Brewing is an excellent option; for westsiders, the newly opened Brew Monkeys looks to be promising.
I will admit, though, I can be lazy at times. Sometimes I just want all the makings for my next batch or two of homebrew delivered to my door. Lazy homebrewers like myself are amazingly well-served online. My favorite is Northern Brewer, though I often make larger purchase from MoreBeer due to the fact that shipping is free on orders over $59 (they also have very cheap dry malt extract). I had never purchased anything from Midwest Supplies before, but have heard great things from a number of people. When they contacted me to review one of their kits, I jumped at the opportunity.
It’s been a while since I’ve used a kit, since I typically like to come up with my own recipes, but sometimes it’s nice to let someone else make the decisions. Looking through their kit selection, I was like a kid in a candy store. They have over one-hundred options, encompassing pretty much every type of beer imaginable. I chose their Ferocious IPA, a clone of Surly Furious, for several reasons.
- I wanted to pick something that didn’t need to sit in a secondary for months. I have enough trouble with my patience dealing with the stuff I already have aging.
- It’s been over a year since I’ve brewed an IPA. I love hoppy beers, but when I can go grab a six-packs of Two Hearted from down the street, it’s tough to justify brewing an IPA that won’t be remotely as delicious. Oh – and hops are expensive. Yes, I’m cheap.
- Surly Furious is an amazing beer. For those of you who haven’t been lucky enough to try it, it’s a quite unconventional IPA in that its color is much darker than most and that its yeast it not quite as neutral as most. Yes it’s hoppy as hell, but it’s balanced by a nice caramel malt. Very good stuff.
So, what exactly is in this box? Let’s get to unpacking and see…
- Yeast: Wyeast 1335 (British Ale II), “A classic British ale profile with good flocculation and malty flavor characteristics. It will finish crisp, clean and fairly dry”. Sounds about right to me.
- Six pounds gold liquid malt extract, 3.3 pounds amber liquid malt extract. Midwest estimates a 1.064-1.068 starting gravity and 1.012-1.018 FG, so we’ll be looking at around 6.5% ABV. The golden and amber syrups are going to contribute to this being darker than normal, which is expected.
- 4 ounces Crystal 50-60L for steeping. Again, this is going to contribute to a hopefully amber color. They also throw in a disposable grain bag.
- For hops we have one ounce of Warrior hops (for bittering), two ounces of Amarillo (one for aroma, one for dry hopping), two ounces of Citra (one for aroma, one for dry hopping), and one ounce Ahtanum (dryhop). I’m not really familiar with Ahtanum, but I am quite excited for the Amarillo and Citra. I’m a huge fan of both those types of hops.
- Instructions. Duh.
I’ll be brewing this up this weekend, after which I’ll publish a recap of how the day went. Once it’s all bottled and carbonated up, the finished product will be given the yay or nay, so keep an eye out and I’ll see you soon!