Festival - Father Hook's Best Bitter

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Festival - Father Hook's Best Bitter

Postby calumscott » Fri May 30, 2014 19:27

Having recently polished one of these off as the first beer through my "not quite a bar" I can confirm that it is a very good kit indeed.

For your pounds sterling you get armed with:

3kg of hopped malt extract in two squidgy pouches
A little bag of hop pellets which I believe to be a mixture of Brambling Cross and Columbus
A little bag of dextrose for priming
A very handy little hop sock for racking time
A sachet of perfectly decent yeast

It's a kit, what more is there to say? Mix it, pitch, seal it up for a few days, chuck in the dry hops, leave it to finish, bottle or keg...

What more there is to say is that it's jolly nice beer for a kit (well it really would have to be at the price!) and, but for me being spoiled by drinking AG beer for a year or so, wouldn't be "homebrewey" at all. I happily polished off two or three pints of it of an evening and enjoyed them all. It was getting really quite good quickly too, way quicker than most kits I've done in the past. I think the dry hops actually help with this, the fresh ping from them masks any remaining "not quite there" flavours that might linger.

I've done the Festival Porter in the past and was impressed by that too. These kits really do seem to be excellent and I would ferment another if I was pushed for time and beer.
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Re: Festival - Father Hook's Best Bitter

Postby linf » Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:06

I finally got round to doing this kit now that I got the chance which is a poor excuse as this kit is so easy to do as stated above.
I used some asda bottled water and made to the full 23lts,OG was 1044 and pitched the yeast at 20deg.
If I'm going to nit-pick , and I am , then whilst the pouches are better than tins in some respect ,they take very , very hot water to soften the extract inside them and are a tiny bit messy to rinse out . I think a better type of pouch/bag is the ones in the Bulldog Brews with a screw cap on one big pouch. Only a minor point tho'
Still ,can't wait to chuck in the hops later on.
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Re: Festival - Father Hook's Best Bitter

Postby Zod » Tue Jan 06, 2015 13:56

put one of these on today. Forgot to take the SG so I'll steal the 1044 reading above as a good estimate.

I agree with the comment on the pouches. Not as easy to handle and rinse as a tin.

Anyone care to say how long this takes in the bottle to be at its best?

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Re: Festival - Father Hook's Best Bitter

Postby linf » Sun Jan 11, 2015 19:41

Zod wrote:put one of these on today. Forgot to take the SG so I'll steal the 1044 reading above as a good estimate.

I agree with the comment on the pouches. Not as easy to handle and rinse as a tin.

Anyone care to say how long this takes in the bottle to be at its best?


I can only comment on my own tastes regards the time question .
I let mine condition or carbonate in the house for the usual 2 weeks and then into the shed .I tried one after a few days in the really cold shed and the hops were really prominent .
I think the bag of hops was 100g so that's quite a lot for dry hopping imo.
For me the aroma and taste was really good although the beer was quite hazy due to the dry hopping.
After a total of six weeks in the bottle I thought it had peaked in terms of aroma but by then I was made up with the usual xmas bout of manflu so not much sense of smell left in me.
I have to say I enjoyed mine and the next kit like this I do I will probably tuck into after 4 weeks .
On a final note , mine never totally cleared which I put down to the dry hopping but tbh it didn't put me off enjoying it. :cheers:
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Re: Festival - Father Hook's Best Bitter

Postby Zod » Sun Jan 11, 2015 22:23

just checked my FV after 5 days.as the ferment has died down. Was surprised to find a failry high 1.022 still. It's been kept at a constant 21.5c as well. Will give it a few more days to see if there is a significant drop, but this might need another pitch.

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Re: Festival - Father Hook's Best Bitter

Postby linf » Mon Jan 12, 2015 18:29

I wouldn't be too worried at only 5 days in . I now don't bother looking under the lid until the 10 day mark anyway . As long as it doesn't stick at the dreaded 1020 point .
Hold off with the hops until you're sure it's nearly there .
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Re: Festival - Father Hook's Best Bitter

Postby sandimas » Fri Jan 16, 2015 17:43

Can you describe what this ale tastes like, and maybe name a commercial ale it's a bit similar to? I'm tempted to give it a go, but I did the Golden Stag kit and, whilst nice, it didn't come out anything like I was expecting from the description: was hoping for a lightly-hopped English ale whereas it was full-on US-style Citra hops. Many of the newer kits on the market seem to be tipping a nod to the US, which is OK for the odd pint, but I just like a good ol' British beer.
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Re: Festival - Father Hook's Best Bitter

Postby linf » Fri Jan 16, 2015 22:17

sandimas wrote:Can you describe what this ale tastes like, and maybe name a commercial ale it's a bit similar to? I'm tempted to give it a go, but I did the Golden Stag kit and, whilst nice, it didn't come out anything like I was expecting from the description: was hoping for a lightly-hopped English ale whereas it was full-on US-style Citra hops. Many of the newer kits on the market seem to be tipping a nod to the US, which is OK for the odd pint, but I just like a good ol' British beer.

I think the hops used are Brambling Cross and Apollo .I can't say if it's a copy of a commercial beer cos I simply don't know but hops varieties are a matter of personal taste I've found.
It might be best to find out which british hops you prefer and add them to a normal one can kit to experiment first ?
I found the hops to be quite powerful at first but they do die down after a few months.I would consider only putting half the dry hops in the next kit and save the rest in the freezer.
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Re: Festival - Father Hook's Best Bitter

Postby Zod » Tue Jan 27, 2015 22:37

Managed to get it down to 1.011 after 3 weeks. Hop sludge on the surface so stuck it in the shed for 24hrs and it all dropped to the bottom. Got 39 500ml bottles from it. Looking forward to the first one in six weeks time.

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Re: Festival - Father Hook's Best Bitter

Postby Zod » Sat Feb 28, 2015 20:48

I just cracked one after a total of 5 weeks in the bottle. Has a clove and possibly slightly peppery taste to it. Remind me a lot of a young bottle of Wherry that I had. Hoping this improve with time because currently it's quite unpleasant.

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Re: Festival - Father Hook's Best Bitter

Postby linf » Tue Mar 10, 2015 18:02

Zod wrote:I just cracked one after a total of 5 weeks in the bottle. Has a clove and possibly slightly peppery taste to it. Remind me a lot of a young bottle of Wherry that I had. Hoping this improve with time because currently it's quite unpleasant.

It's a shame this kit hasn't turned out to your liking . I thought the hop aroma died down quite a bit after 2 months but I quite liked the taste with or without the strong hop aroma .
It's amazing how different taste buds pick up on different flavours , I never got any clove flavours myself .
I might have said earlier that this kit is probably best drank youngish for the hop aroma etc.
I have to take that back now . I found in the shed the last remaining bottle that I had somehow mixed up with a load of bottled stout .The hops may have not been as pungent but imo this was a good thing as it allowed the matured flavours of the beer to come through . I couldn't put my finger on the flavour I was getting with a really pleasant bitterness in the aftertaste . I can only describe it as a really nice bitter-orange taste , like marmalade .
I know it sounds minging in a beer but I wish I had saved more bottles for 4 months instead . And it was clear as a bell with none of what I thought was dry hop haze . :drink:
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