Mangrove Jacks Czech Pilsener Review
A classic European style lager with a delicate malt character and distinctive flavour profile.
Our review of the Mangrove Jacks Czech Pilsener – a well-crafted beer that offers a traditional, crisp and refreshing taste.
The finished product has a light malt character and clean but unique flavour profile with distinctive earthy, herbal and spicy characters.
For the Mangrove Jacks Czech Pilsener review we made two brews – a basics brew and a recipe brew. For the basic brew we made the Czech Pilsener the simplest, most cost-effective way we could and for the recipe brew we used liquid malt extract, premium yeast and a dry-hop addition. Overall, we produced two great brews which make for easy drinking.
The Basics Brew
The goal for the basics brew was to brew this kit in the easiest, most cost-effective way possible. To do this we used the Czech Pilsener kit, the factory (style appropriate) yeast that came with the kit, a bag of dextrose and good old tap water. We had this brew fermenting with under 30-minutes of prep and for less than $30.
What We Used
1 x Mangrove Jacks Czech Pilsener Beer Kit
1 x 1kg Mangrove Jacks Dextrose
Basics Brew Finished Product
Overall, this basics brew produced a good result. Our ABV came out at 4.6%, which was exactly what the packet suggested.
Most of the time during fermentation our temperature was around 24 degrees and over a particularly hot couple of days the temperature did reach 26 degrees. We had thought that we might have some off flavours in the brew because of the spike in the fermentation temperature, but in the end the flavour and aroma was very clean.
The head was a very pure white although there is limited volume or retention in the head.
The colour was a nice bright gold and the body, as expected, was very light. This is to be expected when using dextrose and is sometimes a criticism of dextrose brews – that they can seem to have a ‘watery’ texture. On a personal note, I don’t mind the light body, especially in brews like lagers and pils.
The one detractor for us was a sweet finish or aftertaste which is also associated with the use of dextrose. My father-in-law tried the brew and told me it was too sweet yet one of my neighbors tried this brew and told me it tasted great. Whether or not you mind the sweet finish will very much depend on your personal preferences.
I would also say that the sweetness seemed to settle down if not fall away a little as the flavour profile began to really settle from about eight weeks in the bottle.
All factors in balance the brew was highly drinkable, and I was more than happy to enjoy this as general drinking stock.
Overall, a 6/10 from us on the Home Brew Republic Brew Scale.
The Recipe Brew
For the recipe brew we used premium ingredients in a basic recipe approach with the goal of making a better brew.
What We Used
1 x Mangrove Jacks Czech Pilsener International Series Beer Kit
1 x 1.2kg Mangrove Jacks Light Liquid Malt Extract
1 x SafLager S-23 Tru Lager Strain Yeast
1 x Mangrove Jacks Saaz Hops (15g Finishing Hops)
Recipe Brew Finished Product
The result for the recipe brew was drinkable and enjoyable but for me I think it was a little off the mark for the style of brew that we were making.
By itself the kit has a light malt character and flavour profile. Using the light liquid malt extract gave the brew a dominant sweet malt character.
Initially the malt character seemed to dominate the flavour profile and felt out of balance although if you particularly like malt character and profile in a brew this would probably be very likeable.
To give the brew some balance I would have used around 50 grams of Czech Saaz hops, instead of the 15g of finishing hops for dry hopping. However, I also feel that this would have turned the brew into a hoppy brew with medium body and ultimately pulled it too far away from the intended Pilsener style.
Retrospectively I would have used an ultralight liquid malt extract. Mangrove Jacks don’t offer this in their range, but I would have happily used a 1.7kg can of Black Rock Ultralight Liquid Malt Extract.
If you make this at home the SafLager S-23 has a lower suitable fermentation temperature range from 12-18 degrees Celsius. An alternative if you were looking for a premium yeast that was suited to slightly warmer temperatures would be the Mangrove Jacks M54 Californian Lager Yeast which is has an ideal fermentation temperature range of 18-20 degrees Celsius.
Although very happy to drink this and share with others we would only give the brew a 5.5/10 on the Home Brew Republic Brew Scale – although we think it could have done better with a different liquid malt extract.
Although we have shared what we hope is a balanced view on the Mangrove Jacks Czech Pilsener Review, the brews were highly drinkable and enjoyable. We also had positive feedback from some of our friends and neighbors. Beauty is often in the eye of the brew holder.
For each we did feel that we could have achieved a better result with a small tweak to each of the recipes. In the basic brew we would have tried enhancer of liquid brewing sugar over dextrose and for the recipe brew we would have used a light liquid malt extract.
But we have always said one of the reasons we love kit brewing is there is plenty of room for brewers to experiment with process and ingredient variations to create brews that they rate.