Brew Dudes

Homebrewing Blog and Resource

Muntons Hazy Zesty Fruity Extract Kit Brewing

We try out a no boil kit from Muntons. They have a few different kits available for homebrewers as a part of their Flagship Range. Mike brewed their Hazy Zesty Fruity IPA kit and we pour a few pints to talk about it.

We love quick and easy brewing. Watch this video to learn more about this no boil hazy IPA:

Quick & Easy Brewing – No Boil Kit

The key reason one would brew a no boil kit is the extremely short time it takes. I asked Mike how long a brew day it was for him and he replied, “30 minutes”. Needing only a half hour to set up a beer for fermentation feels like a minor miracle to me.

Quick? Yes, but what does the beer taste like?

This kit comes with two cans of liquid malt extract (LME). These two cans are mixed with water to make the wort. The real heroes of this beer are the Citra and Mosaic hop pellets which are added right after the wort is made.

Mike selected his own yeast strain for this kit to put his own spin on the beer. After he pitched it, the beer fermented at room temperatures until the final gravity was reached.

Hazy Zesty Fruity Tasting Notes

You can tell that this beer is hoppy right from the start. The aroma is strong and fruity. The head is thick and leaves a good lacing. The flavor has the IPA notes that we know well. The combination of Citra and Mosaic is like peanut butter and jelly – not really – but they do combine well in IPAs.

The big detractor in this beer is the lack of malt foundation. The lack of boiling brings no melanoidins to the final product. Because of this less-than-lively malt presence, we can’t say this beer is excellent but it is good. The hop expression saves it.

We have brewed Muntons kits before and have had good results with them. If you’re looking for a quick brew day and a good beer, these kits are for you.


Eclipse Hops SMaSH Review and Tasting

When we saw the 2022 harvest was in for Australian hops, we jumped at the chance to grab a variety we didn’t know that well. We like brewing hops as fresh as we can get them. The Eclipse hops we got from Yakima Valley Hops helped us make a great SMaSH beer. Check out this video as we learn more about them.

Eclipse Hops SMaSH Beer Notes

You may have seen these Brew Dudes brew SMaSH beers before. If not, keep in mind that these SMaSH beers a brewed in small batches. We are only brewing to evaluate hops aromas and flavors. With a 1 US gallon batch, we can keep the costs down and past the knowledge on to you.

With that batch size, we use 2 pounds of malt (Rahr 2-row pale), 2 gallons of water (tap), 1 ounce of hops (in this case, Eclipse), and 3 grams of yeast (US-05. We mash for an hour, boil for an hour, and ferment for 10 days.

Hop additions change a bit from brew to brew. For this SMaSH beer, we added 7 grams of hops at 15 minutes to go in the boil, 14 grams at flame out, and 3 grams at day 3 of fermentation.

If we were to give you one word to describe this SMaSH beer, it would be citrus. It was present on the nose, just the essence of some citrus peel. The flavor was more defined and stronger.

We thought this beer had a tangerine or lime quality in the flavor. It definitely was not grapefruit as we are well aware with Cascade hops grown in the Pacific Northwest of the USA. Mike described the citrus flavor further by saying it wasn’t “sweet” like an orange but more like the acidic, smaller citrus fruits.

All in all, this hop made for a tasty beer experience. This variety could certainly stand on its own and could blend well with other hops. Try them with Amarillo or complement hops that have a melon quality like Calypso hops.

Get your hands on Eclipse hops ASAP! BREW ON!

Belma Hops SMaSH Review and Tasting

We were excited to brew with this variety ever since we purchased a pouch this summer from Hops Direct. The team there tells a good story about the origin of Belma Hops and the descriptors are very enticing. It worth noting that they gifted us a second pouch. Not because we are semi-famous homebrewing bloggers, but because they give out free hops to anyone. If you haven’t subscribed to their email list, you may be missing out. Using just one ounce of hops for this SMaSH beer leaves me 15 to brew again. Let’s see what we thought about this variety in our video and what the plan could be for a future brew.

Our Belma Hops Notes

The expression on Mike’s face hopefully communicates his overwhelming delight in showcasing the marketing material that we received from Hops Direct. In all sincerity, it’s a well-done presentation of the hops and one that is unique to these homebrewers. I am sure this piece of collateral wasn’t cheap so thumbs up from us.

We wrote about these hops way back in 2013 and the consensus from other homebrewers is the strawberry-forward aroma and flavor note from this variety. With that in mind, we poured a few glasses of the SMaSH beer and dug in.

My SMaSH beer format is small batch – a volume of 1 US gallon using 2 pounds of 2-row Pale Malt and 1 ounce of hops fermented with US-05. This beer fermented for 10 days at room temperature and then was kegged.

The biggest flavor note we got from this hop was a strong Noble hop presence overall. It seemed to have all the good spicy/earthy elements from a Hallertau or East Kent Goldings and turned them up to high level. This amplification made for a delicious beer. Sometimes the SMaSH reveals to us hops that can’t stand on their own but this one certainly can. It makes we want to brew with them again.

I wish there were more strawberry notes to report but we didn’t find any. There was a bit of a grapefruit pith sensation in the aftertaste. After the session, Mike said that brewing with a yeast strain that emphasizes thiols may bring out that strawberry aroma and flavor that Belma delivers.

I will make sure that my next brew session with these hops includes a different yeast strain. BREW ON!

Homebrew Jar of Destiny: The Fourth Pick

We enter the last phase of the Homebrew Jar of Destiny series with the fourth picks of the year. The year feels like it went by quickly. That’s the power of the Jar, manipulating space and time. Maybe it’s all relative, I am not 100% convinced. No matter – behold the glory of this homebrewing challenge!

The End of the Year Long Road

What did the Jar have for us this time? Well, let me type it out.

12 C – English IPA

Who brews an English IPA anymore? I can tell you that this Brew Dude will brew one before the end of the year. With some English pale malts, maybe a fun specialty grain, and English hops for bittering and finishing, I think I am going to enjoy this beer challenge.

33 A – Wood-Aged Beer

We threw his initial pick back in, but Mike’s official fourth pick is a wood aged beer. This category is fairly open. There are a wide array of base beers that Mike could choose from. What will he incorporate into this JoD challenge? We’ll have to wait and see.

Hope you are digging this homebrew challenge. Should we continue into 2023? Let us know.

Brew ON!

Check out the British Strong Ale post
Check out the Black IPA post
Check out the International Amber Lager post
Check out the Belgian Tripel post
Check out the Double IPA post
Check out the K├Âlsch post
Check out the English IPA post
Check out the Wood-Aged Beer post

pH Measurement in Beer Brewing

The topic is pH measurement in beer brewing, like water chemistry, is one that these Brew Dudes are seeking to learn more about so we can discuss it from a place of experience. We have received many questions about the subject over the past few years and we feel obligated to present our thoughts so far. As fate would have it, Hanna Instruments reach our to us and we have partnered to use their Beer pH Tester as a part of our quest for knowledge. Let’s watch this video to learn more about our take on why pH is important and when you should measure it in your homebrewing routine.

When Should You Take a pH Reading?

Mike starts off by talking about taking a pH reading during his mash. It was driven by his issues with attenuation. He was using pH strips and felt like he was getting what he needed from that method. Mike was taking pH readings because the enzymes that break down starches into sugars in the mash process need to be in a certain pH range to do their thing. If the mash pH is too high or too low, the starches won’t convert at the same level.

He feels like the only place to really take pH is during the mash process. The value of taking readings after the mash, either post boil or post fermentation is low on his priority list. Mike thought is, if you have a proper pH range during the mash, then the pH of your beer the rest of the way will be just fine.

He talked about the issue with taking a mash reading. The time it takes to chill a sample to room temperature makes it tough to make an adjustment in your mash. As we discussed in our note taking post, if you take a reading and your pH is off, then it’s put down as a note to correct it for next time. We feel that starch conversion doesn’t take a hour especially with today’s well modified malts. Once they get wet at a certain temperature, the race is on. pH measurement is just a point of data for you to collect and understand how to adjust to improve your beer.

The Need For a pH Meter

Even though Mike used strips in the past, he thinks the only want to get a better understanding of pH in your homebrewing practice is to get a meter. Like understanding cell counts in yeast, you can’t rely on an online calculator – you need a microscope. Having a pH meter allows you to gather accurate data of your brew as it happens. By using the meter properly and collecting the information of your brew session will give you the ability to make changes to improve your beer.

If you are in the market for a pH meter, you can use the one we use. Here is the information we got from Hanna Instruments:

Discount Code: Brewdudes10

We hope we have been helpful to you. Let us know if you have other questions.


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