Tag Archives: Mangrove Jack’s

Mangrove Jack’s IPA – Review

As you might remember, when Chas returned from his trip overseas we had a brew day at his place. Not sure what to brew he picked up a kit of the Mangrove Jack’s IPA, new yeast and a booster.

Mangrove Jacks IPA 1

Mangrove Jack’s IPA #1 ready for tasting

After two weeks in the bottle we tried a bottle. The beer was okay but still quite rough, even in the middle. The flavours were there but it wasn’t working all together. We decided to give it another week and try again. Over the weekend we did exactly that.

First up is the soft spice hop aroma. Very slight sweetness at the end. A fair amount of fruit aroma which is what you would hope and want from the style.

Taste up front is refreshing and light. Bit of stone fruit and grassy flavors are there. The bitterness picks up slowly and builds most of the way through. Around the middle the body drops away a bit. The beer gets dry and slightly tart. There’s a slight metallic flavour that comes in. This last part is the least enjoyable bit of the beer.

As the beer warms a little it becomes more balanced. The fruit flavors become more pronounced. The metallic flavour drops away to just be at the end. This makes the beer a lot eater to drink and enjoy.

Overall this is quite good for an off the shelf kit. Taste is good, body is alright and the finish is okay.

The booster really helped this beer. Extra dry malt was really needed here.The replacement yeast and extra Cascade hops also helped. Interestingly this beer only came in at 4% alcohol. That’s below what you would expect for the style, this should be 5.5% or higher. That said, it doesn’t really make much difference to the beer flavour or feel.

Food wise, this could work with a few things. Would work with anything with meat and sauce/marinated. That can including seafood all the way through to stake. The fruit side of the beer would play nicely. The meat should help sideline the slight dry tart metallic elements of the beer.

This is a good beer. It’s hard to work out what caused the elements I don’t like. Maybe it’s the base kit, maybe the fermentation or yeast. Really anything. That said, would be happy to return to this and brew again.

-Mikey

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Mangrove Jack’s Mildy Dark – review

While I was on my holiday, Mikey did a brew of Mangrove Jack’s Mildly Dark all on his own.  This was a simple extract kit with a few other things thrown in to make it a dark.  Judging from the recipe, Mikey threw a couple extra malts in here, and, if I remember correctly, Mikey mentioned he had trouble getting everything to ferment.

Because of this, the beer took a little longer than usual to condition in the bottle as well.  We tried it a couple weeks ago and it wasn’t quite ready.  We tried it again over the weekend and it was definitely ready.

mildly darkOn the colour, it was a good dark brown with a bit of red when held up to the light.  Dark, but not murky.  It was almost a brown ale in colour, but I’d consider it over the line to be a “dark” ale.

The smell was great and interesting, with quite a bit in there.  The main things in there were toffee, citrus, and apple.  The interaction of the apple and the citrus was great, and really complimented the toffee smells well.  When I really stuck my nose in there, I also was able to find a little bit of chocolate in there too.

The taste was great and easy.  The beer was quite obviously hopped, but mildly so, with the malt really taking the foreground.  Gladly, the apple came through in the taste as well, which interacted with the malt quite well.  Mixed in among this was a bit of a licorice taste  with a tiny bit of molasses as well.

Unfortunately there wasn’t a lot at the end to really round out the flavour, which I would have really liked to see; just something to round everything out.  I think if an additional taste hop had been added, a little bit of complexity could have been added in the finish.  The kit that Mikey made didn’t call for any additional hopping, but had he added something mild, it would have been welcome.

I think this beer would go well with a nice hard cheese.  It’s a fairly sweet beer, but not overly so.  A hard, but fairly mild cheese would be a great way to accompany this beer.

– Chas

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Back to brewing after a holiday

I’m finally getting around to writing up last week’s brew!  It’s been a busy one for me…

After taking inventory last week, I’ve been spending all my down time trying to get through my collection; I need bottles for the batch that I made last week!

Anyway, as mentioned by Mikey, the Beagle Double IPA turned out to be a big beer.  It was great, but big.  Like most beer drinkers, I’m a big IPA fan, so although I like something like the Beagle, having a lighter and easier IPA on hand (especially for the upcoming summer) seemed appealing.  Since I hadn’t been brewing for awhile, I also wanted to get back into it with a really simple kit.

So Mikey and I went down to Brewcraft in Richmond to see what was available.  We picked up a bag of Mangrove Jack’s IPA wort and a kit converter.  Of course you put Mikey and me in a home brew store and we also both end up walking out with a bunch of other stuff that we “need just in case.”  This is why I have so much sanitiser.  But hey, we all know the Rules of Home Brew.

Anyway, it was a pretty simple brew containing:

  • Mangrove Jacks India Pale Ale
  • Blend of light and dark DME
  • Cascade hops
  • American West Coast Ale Yeast – BRY 97

Pretty simple stuff here.  Note that the Mangrove Jacks wort came with yeast included, but I generally prefer to buy yeast separately because you never know the quality of the included yeast.  The wort was also on sale because it was near its use by date, so once again, you just don’t know…

All we had to do was boil two litres of water, add the malt, and let that dissolve.  After that, we threw in the hops and let that steep for about 15 minutes.

This was then strained into a 30 litre fermenter with the Mangrove Jacks wort added as the fermenter was topped up to 23 litres.

Done and dusted!

The Cascade hops is a pretty middle of the road all rounder.  Plenty of spice in the smell with a bit of grass (at least for me).  I can sometimes find a little bit of chilly in there as well.  Of course there are also the typical florals found in a lot of hops as well.

I considered dry hopping, but then couldn’t really decide what to dry hop with.  Plus I want this to remain pretty light…

In the end, the wort smelled and tasted great.  It should turn out to be exactly what I want through the summer.

We’ll bottle next weekend and then see how it turns out a couple weeks after that!

-Chas

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Brewing alone, and making a mess

Chas is still overseas, and will be for a couple more weeks. So this week’s brew, and next one in two weeks time, will be sans Chas. Next brew I hope to be joined by Ian, but this week it was just by my lonesome.

Like any normal brew day first thing is to bottle the last batch. So, most if the 10 litres of Baltic Porter #1 made it’s way into bottles. I say most because, (1) there was a gravity reading sample to be taken, and (2) there was an accident. The little thing that regulates the flow of beer (aka the bottling valve) fell off into one if the bottles as I was filling it. I freaked out a bit, thinking to get as much as possible into bottles before remembering there was a tap! Once things were under control again I reattached the bottling valve and had no more problems. Needless to say I’ve got some bottles that I’m not sure how they’ll condition, and they all marked with a question mark.

Final gravity came in at 1.021. That means after bottle fermentation it will sit at 7.2%. I’m very happy with that.

Mildly Dark #1

The Mildly Dark #1 sitting in the fermenter.

As this was a solo affair, had a sizeable break before brewing.
Back a few weeks ago when I picked up the ingredients for the Baltic Porter #1 there were a couple other things I picked up as they were on special. The main thing was the Mangrove Jack’s Mild kit. It’s a liquid malt extract and known for having some decent quality.
I also picked up some “factory second” dry malt. It was recommended to boil up the stuff for use. I just threw it into boiled water, and had a little problem getting it to dissolve.
Finally, had a can of dark liquid malt extract that I bought by mistake earlier on.

All up this was a kit with a lot of malt additions, both dry and liquid. Given the mistakes of the Australian Pale Ale #1 and Australian Amber Ale #1, I’m feeling a lot better about this brew. Given the extra dark malt I’ve dubbed this beer Mildly Dark #1.

Ingredients:

  • Mangrove Jack’s Mild kit
  • 500g “factory second” DME
  • 1.5kg Black Rock LME

Gravity ended at 1.056. Happy with that. If it ferments down to around 1.020 then the final ABV will come in around 5%, and that’s something to look forward to.

-Mikey

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