Here at Mangrove Jack's, we tend to think that malt extract is pretty darn great. Brewing from an extract kit means the technical, time-consuming parts of brewing beer have already been taken care of – giving you time and freedom to experiment without breaking the bank.
Of course, ideally, we would all love to have the time and space to be producing all-grain beer like the bearded craft brewer down the street with a garage-sized micro-brewery. The reality though, is life is usually busy and expensive. A perfectly produced malt extract to get your precious Saturday back? Yes, please.
What is an Extract Kit?
An Extract Kit (or Beer Kit) is a packaged set of ingredients needed to create specific styles of beer. Each kit contains instructions, malt extract, a yeast suitable for that style of beer, and in some kits, dry hops, wood chips and botanicals. Kits do not include equipment ie. fermenter, kegerator etc.
- The Malt: The malt extract in a Mangrove Jack's kit is a thick, smooth consistency (a bit like treacle) thanks to the important evaporation step. By boiling the wort, evaporation takes place to remove 80% of the water, which allows us to transport the wort to you in a practically-sized package rather than a 23 Litre drum! Throughout this process, the temperatures are kept nice and low to prevent any unwanted darkening or flavour change of the wort. When the evaporation is complete, the malt extract is a stable concentrate which you can then rehydrate when you’re ready to brew.
- The Yeast: The Mangrove Jack's Craft Series Yeasts are propagated and dried using state of the art manufacturing facilities to ensure optimum sterility, superior shelf stability and ease of use.
Why use an extract kit?
If you read our last article, The Beer Brewing Process (Simplified) you will know that homebrewing from scratch can take between 4-8 hours of your day before even pitching your yeast – yikes. While this can be great fun to do, it can also be a messy and sometimes challenging process. The different variables of time and temperature have a huge influence on your final beer, as will the grain types and hop varieties.
Depending on your equipment, as you play around with different settings, it is likely to take quite a few "brews" before you start to get consistent results. One time the temperature is slightly too high, and the mash is toast; the next time it’s too low and the wort isn’t quite right. The process is tricky - satisfying once you get it right, but be prepared for some trial and error during your first few brews as you learn to manage the variables!
If you’re a bit like us and prefer to have a refreshing, delicious beer that you know is going to taste good, malt extracts are the way to go. Using an extract kit, you can concentrate on the sanitation, yeast, fermentation and dry hopping - if you're looking for that extra crafty hit (arguably some of the most important ingredients and steps when it comes to brewing!). Each malt extract brew will take around 1 – 2 hours of hands-on time before leaving your wort to ferment - which means you can even sneak in a cheeky brew after work!
What makes our extract kits unique?
As opposed to the traditional method of packaging malt extracts (cans), at Mangrove Jack's we prefer the pouch method - cold filled using the latest nitrogen technology. This means we can eliminate the extra heating step used when packaging in cans. For you, this means we guarantee contamination-free products while also limiting exposure to oxygen giving you the freshest and most delicate flavours and aromas we possibly can. Read more about our pouch technology and process here.
Malt extracts might not be considered the ‘real deal’ for hardcore home brewers but we think they’re the perfect solution for many. Whether you’re just getting into brewing and want to try before you buy, or you really want to brew but aren’t prepared to give up your whole weekend, malt extracts are the answer. Let us do the hard yards, we just want you to enjoy your beer!
Click here to see our range of Malt Extract Kits.