Beer Kits - Hambleton Bard
Beer Kits - Hambleton Bard

Beer Kits - Bulldog Brews Premium

Beer kits from Bulldog Brews, a Hambleton Bard brand, contains unprecedented amounts of malt extract, brewery strain yeast and hop pellets for true brewery quality home brewing of beer.

beer kits bulldog brew

Bulldog Brews beer kits take home brewing of beer to a new quality level.

We have chosen to go way beyond the traditional "Premium" kits based on 3kgs of malt extract and often using the same fast but boring yeast strain across the range.

All Bulldog Brews beer kits contain unprecedented amounts of malt extract, different varieties of hop pellets for the extra finishing touch and varietal brewers yeast strains for a true brewery quality home made beer.

So what makes these kits so special? Let's have a look inside!

Bulldog Brews beer making kits are the first on the market using bag-in-box technology packaging, we chose this over cans because:

  • It allows us to use different weights in different homebrew beer kits, so more malt in the dark ales

  • It is a more robust packaging, well suited for online sales and mail order of beer kits.

  • It gives us a lower carbon footprint than if we had used metal cans.

  • This type of packaging is cheaper than cans, so we can put more raw material in each beerkit for the same cost.

Bulldog Brews Beer Kits - the range

Beer kit hammer of thor

Hammer of Thor Special Gravity Lager

beer making kit ipa

Raja's Reward India Pale Ale

beerkit mexican

Cortez Gold Mexican Cerveza

yorkshire bitter kit

Pennine Peak Yorkshire Bitter

Export ale beer making

Triple Tykes Special Export Ale

northern brown beer kit

Cobnar Wood Northern Brown Ale

Chocolate stout kit

Easter Brew Chocolate Stout

 Yule Brew beer kit

Yule Brew Cinnamon & Ginger

The Americraft kits

beer kit new beer kit new
Evil Dog American Double IPA
Four Finger Jack American Pale Ale
 Bad Cat Imperial Red kit  strawberry pale ale kit
 Bad Cat Imperial Red
  Strawberry Pale Ale

Beer kit comparison chart here

The challenge of the 4kg beer kit

There have been many problems in going well above the old established "Premium" level of 3 kgs of malt extract. One problem is to get the brew to ferment down, reliably to the proper final gravity around 1006 (lagers) up to around 1010 (full bodied ales). A knee-jerk solution to this is to use what we think of as a "wham-bam" yeast strain. Many beer kits today use one of these because it will work consistently well even on the higher start gravities of 3kg "Premium" kits, but when we took the next step up to the 4kg kit, they were not completely reliable and of course, they still produce boring beer.

Varietal brewers yeast strains for home brewing

So we decided to use varietal brewers strains instead. These are sold under many popular brand names and they are normally very expensive (which is why you don't often see them in a beer kit). We also have a few which are not available on the market yet, other than in the Bulldog Brews kits. We use twice the normal amount of yeast in each sachet to provide ample safety margin and to guarantee a perfect result every time.
Varietal strains are temperamental, but produce fantastic beer. There may be slight variations in the final gravity, as opposed to the "wham-bam" strains which always go right down to the bottom, at least for up to 3 kgs of extract. The instructions for the Bulldog Brews kits are therefore different and the normal "truths" no longer apply. It is for this reason very important to follow the instructions even if it isn't what you would normally do on your standard 1.8 - 3 kg beer kit.

Amongst the varietal strains we can mention the “Warm Lager Strain” which produces very good lager beer at room temperature. We use this and other highly specialised strains in the Bulldog Brews range. We are planning to release the various beer strains as individual products as well within the near future.

Taking the malt extract up to 4 kgs per 23L kit and even more, also proved to create some difficult clearing problems and some malt extracts simply could not be used. With careful selection of extracts and the use of heavily flockulating yeast strains, we finally managed to get clearing under control though.

Varietal finishing hops for homebrew kits

As you know, we have had the Better Brew finishing hop pellets for some time, a very popular product. We experimented with fresh hops, hop oils and hop pellets to achieve the extra fresh hop taste and aroma to our beers and in the end we chose the pellets mainly because of the simplicity in using them. We use of course teabag technology here so you don't need to mess around with loose hop pellets or straining bags. With teabag technology, using hop pellets is just as simple as making a cup of tea. Let the “teabag” soak in a mug of boiling water for 10 minutes, then add to the brew. Simple as that.

In our instructions we recommend adding this infusion on day 4, that is in the middle of the fermentation. But we also give the user the option to increase or decrease the level of hop aroma by adding the infusion at the start (less aroma), or at the end, just before bottling/kegging (more aroma). For the American Craft beer kits, the infusion needs adding near bottling instead, typically 1-2 days before. This is to secure maximum hop aroma.

The hop pellets will not normally add any bitterness, we have already hopped the extract to the preferred level for each type. Their sole purpose here is to add a fresh hop aroma which you would not get from hopped malt extract alone.

Is the 4kg malt beer kit really better than a 3kg kit?

There is some common "knowledge" that going above 3 kgs of malt extract per 23L actually reduces the quality of the beer. We can only say that it appears to be a misconception. It does however depend heavily on the actual malt extract used.

With the wrong type of extract you certainly get no better quality above 3 kgs. However, the proof is in the pudding, or rather in the brew. Try our Triple Tykes Special Export Ale and you will be convinced!

On the use of sugar addition

For Lagers, there is the problem with colour. Malt, when extracted, goes darker than the original wort so although a microbrewery could use raw materials corresponding to 4 kgs of malt extract, you can't do that if you use extract because the colour of your Lager will become too dark even when using freshly produced extract, let alone what it would look like after 6 months of shelf life or more.

So for the two lightest beers, the Hammer of Thor Special Gravity Lager and the Cortez Gold Mexican Cerveza, we have stayed around the 3kg level of malt extract and added invert sugar to achieve the higher start gravity and at the same time produce a light and refreshing lager style beer.

We consider invert sugar to be better than Dextrose and much better than normal sugar for this purpose. It is more expensive and difficult to handle but we decided to use only the absolute best for all the new Bulldog Brews beer kits.


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