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What grains and hops to add to a Real Ale kit?


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The real ale was my first brew (I'm only 3 into it) I used Brew Enhancer 2 and its a fine drop, of course i'm sure it could have been better. Frank from coopers said the unreal ale recipe is a good one and it called for BE1. I would have loved to have hopped it but knew nothing about that when I brewed it. Post your recipe you come up with as I really enjoy my drop


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Add some crystal malt (say 250g) and go with some English hops like EKH or Fuggles. Styrian Goldings would be good too.


If you can get it, grab some Simpsons Heritage Crystal malt. Otherwise a medium crystal malt would be good.

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Hey Matt.


Hairy's suggestion looks nice for an English style. You also have a heap of other options too. It depends what style you want. I almost always use a real ale kit, plus a can of light liquid malt extract as a start.


For a porter:

0.25kg medium crystal, 0.2kg chocolate grain, 20g fuggles boiled for 5 mins.


For an American pale ale:

0.25kg medium crystal, and around 30g of some combination of cascade, amarillo, citra, galaxy hops boiled for around 15 mins.


For an IPA:

Reduce volume to about 18L or so, or add some dry malt extract to bump up the alcohol, and try a 20min and maybe 5 min addition of the hops above totalling around 50g or so of hops.


These are pretty vague suggestions, but hopefully you find them useful.




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Got so excited I forgot to ask...


So now that I have some options for grains and hops, do I boil them together? Boil the grains first then add hops? Here is a general recipe I planned to use, maybe you could tell me if this is the right way to go:


step 1. Mix cracked grains with 1 liter of water and bring to a boil


step 2. Boil for 20 mins then add hops and turn off heat. Let stand for 10 minutes.


step 3. Pour mixture through a strainer into fermenter. Pour extra water through grains.


Then follow the rest of the usual recipe for the standard kit...

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Don't Boil the grains!!


Crack the grains, heat a couple of litres of water, bring it to near boil, turn off the heat, mix in the grains, whack a lid on and let it sit 'steep' for 30 mins. Strain out the grains , then boil and do your hop additions

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Hi Matt,


Here's an IPA to think about. It has gone through a few changes and this is the latest result. It is excellent if I do say so myself.


Big Island IPA


1.7Kg OS Real Ale

1.1Kg LDM

566g Amber LME

150g 40L crystal malt

30g Oak Chips (sprinkled @ ferment)

20g Cascade (30mins)

20g Nelson Sauvin (10mins)

10g Cascade, N. Sauvin, Amarillo (dry hopped)

21L water


120g Dex (bulk prime)



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Hey Matt


You can also steep crystal and chocolate mats overnight in room temperature water. You use 5x mass of water to grains. Strain out the grains and run around 200ml of about 80 deg water over them to extract a little more of the sugars.


Boil the resulting liquid, and add you hop additions.


The spreadsheet that you can download at this link should help you see how your malts and hop additions will influence your beer.

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Hey Chad,

How do you go about sanitising the oak? I recently watched a video where a guy soaked them in Vodka.

I was thinking of putting them in a small pan of water then in the oven to pasturise for an hour or so.

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Hi Graham,


It's interesting that you should ask that. It just so happens that I was having the same chat with some other blokes over here. There are a number of theories on what is best. I sprinkle dry from a sealed packet at the time of ferment right before the yeast without sanitising them[alien] . I have been using this method for years with red wine kits (as per kit instructions) and naturally used the same method with my beer. I've had no problems with infection in a couple dozen batches.[joyful]. Some would scoff at this and say it is a foolhardy practice but I say the truth is in the pudding(or what they say). Some would argue that steaming or boiling brings out more flavour from the oak which I can see and I think I will try some time.


So as you can see it is a hot topic with me against the Yanks (and probably the rest of the world)[alien] [devil] [bandit] [biggrin] .


Good Luck!


A.K.A. Greenthumbed

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Hey Greenthumbed.


Is that LeonardC2 aka Union Dr on HomeBrewTalk? Thats a lot of posts that he has.


Good luck against the Yanks!





You got it! LeonardC2 is a Legend over there![biggrin]


Over 10000 posts @ approx. 1000+ words/post= a whole lot of B..........S[innocent]


It's the good fight![cool]

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