Now it is time to go over my BrewDemon beer kit review for their Twisted Monk Witbier. This was the second batch that I made during my double brew day on March 2, 2019. I have finally changed it up from the Rogue beers I previously made (Dead Guy and Shakespeare Stout).
This means I have switched from the half water recipes to the low cost starters. How did it go relative to the other batches?
5* out of 5 Mugs!!!
So I did brew two batches as I wanted to quickly build my stock. From what I read of the recipe this seemed like a pretty easy batch. This one would have been perfect for my secondary fermenter, but I wanted to make sure I had the process down so I used it for the stout.
Brew day was surprisingly more than I anticipated, but the rest of the recipe was perfect. Here is a quick view of how I came to my ranking.
Ingredients: I was pretty impressed. This was a well put together recipe with malt (already containing hops) and yeast…that is it. For a new brewer, this is perfect if you want something simple to get your stock started.
Brew Day: Well, you do have to boil some water. I could have made this go better had I planned a little more. You can learn more about brew day below.
Fermentation: The recipe gives you a nice and broad range (64 F to 82 F) for fermentation. This makes it a perfect recipe for someone just starting out.
Drinking: More below…let’s just say it wasn’t what I expected.
Ingredients – What’s In The Box
It doesn’t get much easier than this…ingredients get a 5 out of 5. Your recipe will contain the malt extract and yeast…purchase some water and you are set to brew.
Bottling supplies needed:
- Priming sugar: Helps carbonate the beer. Not included in kit
- Bottle caps: Necessary and needed as they are not included.
Additional needs to make the recipe:
- Water: You will need distilled or purified water. The recipe calls for 3 gallons added to the fermenter, but I buy 6 gallons so I can also boil with the bottled water. I don’t trust my water and wanted to ensure the recipe turned out.
The simple ingredients were a nice change from the previous beers that were brewed. The fact that there is simply just cans of malt that you need to dissolve in boiling water gives this a ranking of 5 out of 5.
Brew Day – Plan Ahead
Pretty simple process… boil water, dissolve malt, add to fermenter, add water and yeast, and you are done. While you do need to sanitize your fermenter, the pot you boil water in just needs to be clean so you save some time there.
So why do I say plan ahead? Well, that is because I didn’t and you can learn from my mistake. You only boil 2 gallons of water that you will add to your fermenter with 4 more gallons of fresh water. Sound simple right?
Well, with my Dead Guy and Shakespeare Stout recipes there is a step to put the brew pot into an ice water bath. This will cool it down before you add it to your fermenter. I must not have realized how important this step was. The additional 4 gallons were about 60 F which worked for the other recipes, but did not cool down the 2 gallons I boiled.
So I waited for it to cool. Which is something you should avoid doing to prevent any contaminants from getting into the fermenter. I usually try to keep the wait below 30 minutes, but this one took about 2 hours! Once it is in the fermenter all you can do is wait… I did set it outside where it was 30 F so that did speed it up a little… This was the first sign of what was to come.
I cannot fault the recipe for this misstep. It did say to use cold water in the fermenter, I just miscalculated. The brew day is simple and quick so this one gets a 5 out of 5.
Fermentation Details – Nothing To See Here
A standard step in every batch you will make is fermentation. This is one of the steps that makes this the perfect recipe for someone who doesn’t have a separate brew area. The fermentation temperature is 64 to 82 F which means room temperature is usually good.
So, I will give fermentation a 5 out of 5 as this is perfect for new brewers. I placed the fermenter in the basement with the Shakespeare Stout and it took a bit to start going. So I left it for an extra week until fermentation stopped. It was then I realized that my basement was 60 F… this was the second sign of what was to come.
Bottling Day – Your First Sip
As I will do with every recipe review, I want to touch on the most important aspects of bottling day.
- Taste Your Brew:
- Does it have any funny after-taste? Yup – Keep reading to learn why
- Are you tasting what you would expect? Nope – More below
- Then on to the next part
- Bottle Your Beer:
- Did you invite a friend? Nope – plan extra time (and really not smart because I made two batches…almost 100 beers!)
Wait… it tasted funny and not what I expected? I still went through and bottled it thinking the reason for the funny taste was the stout I had just bottled… This is the third sign of what was to come. Really, I should have just dumped the fermenter and cut my losses… but I am stubborn so I kept going.
First Drink – Coincidentally, The Last Drink
Two weeks were up so I put a bottle in the fridge. The next day, I cracked the bottle open and poured it into a glass. I took the first sip and… poured the rest out.
I will not put a picture of it or waste much more time on how it turned out. It wound up tasting like a sour beer which is a sign that I didn’t sanitize well enough (or left it cooling for too long). Pretty disappointing, but it happens from time to time when you brew.
Although I thought it tasted horrible, that didn’t stop me from trying to get others to drink it. Most people finished one out of kindness, but the rest have gone down the drain. You win some and you lose some…
So I will refrain from grading this one on flavor. It is an incomplete so the final rating will get an asterisk.
5* Mugs For BrewDemon Twisted Monk
There is the asterisk… if you decide to make this one, you will have to do so because you like witbier and not because I said it turned out well.
That being said, for a new brewer this is the perfect recipe. BrewDemon does off many more types of beer and they can be found here. Overall, here are the rankings (out of 5):
- 5 for ingredients
- 5 for brewing
- 5 for fermentation
- INCOMPLETE for taste
By all means, give this one (or any BrewDemon recipe) a try and let us know how it turns out in the comments below or the various social medias at the top of the page.
If you have any questions about this recipe, have made this recipe and want to share, or want me to try another recipe, comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org