Surly Cynic Pro Series Partial Mash Kit

SKU: U0520

The Pro Series beer kits have been developed in conjunction with professional brewers, using their own award-winning beer recipes.

Surly Brewing Company is the fastest growing brewery in the US. Their beer is so popular that they recently had to stop distributing to anywhere but the Twin Cities to keep up with demand there. Cynic is Surly's non-traditional take on a classic Saison.

This is a partial mash beer kit - see our Partial Mash Walkthrough for details.

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Don't let your friends know you're brewing this one, they'll probably invite themselves over just so they can drink the whole batch! Cynic Ale melds Old World ingredients in a new school style. French malted barley, English oats and Belgian yeast create honey & black pepper flavors. Lively Slovenian hops provide the floral, apricot and peach notes. Toss your doubts away, toss one back and enjoy!

A note on yeast: Surly uses White Labs WLP550; with Surly's blessing, we suggest Wyeast 3522 as the default option so customers (especially mail order customers) can more easily evaluate viability before brewing.

Additional Information

Beer Kit Yield 5 Gallons
Recipe and Instructions Click Here!
Regional Style Belgian
Beer Style Trappist/Belgian Ale
Color Light
Original Gravity 1053
Total Time to Make 6 weeks

Customer Reviews

Very interesting beer Review by bruce
Can't compare to original, as I haven't had the privilege. I have brewed numerous time. And have modified the recipe on a few(some by accident). Using WLP-550. Ferment 63-65 in lager chamber.

straight NB recipe - somewhere between a Hefe and Belgian. Good session beer. This is leaving all trub behind. Its a little weak, but tasty

Second - NB recipe. Dumped all trub in fermenter to increase hop character(remember to transfer within 2 weeks to avoid grassy beer(yep did that. Not good)_)

third - Forgot to add last hops at flame out. So, decided to dry hop in secondary. Also, decided to dump in all trub to boost hop character. Secondary on 2 weeks(important with all that trub, if you want to avoid that grassy beer). Probably my favorite.
(Posted on 5/17/14)
Buy this kit right now. Review by Dusty
I brewed this kit about 6 months ago. I split the kit. 2 gallons with the Wyeast 5526. It was perfect. Everything I love in a saison.

For the other three gallons, I pitched Wyeast 5526 Brettanomyces Lambicus and added bottle dregs from three commercial sours. My plan was to keep bottles of this over a long period of time and I still will keep a few but it's hard. This is by far the best beer I have ever brewed and one of my favorite beers I've ever drank as well. I'm ordering the kit again in the hope that it will turn out just as good. Buy it now. (Posted on 1/20/14)
Great hopped beer with memorable aroma Review by Michael
I would buy this one again! (Posted on 8/23/13)
Nice Review by Adam
I've been brewing a number of the Northern Brewer partial mash kits and they are all well done. This one is no exception.

For me, partial mash provides the ease of extract while allowing some experimentation and learning towards all grain. Towards that end, the format of the kits along with the brew-day sheets are really useful.

I popped my first test bottle after two weeks of carbonation and found it could use more time but is definitely very drinkable. Lots of the fruity esters associated with a Saison. It didn't turn out quite as dry as I might have wanted so that will be something for met to play with next time. (Posted on 8/12/13)
very nice Review by Matt
Only been in the bottle a few weeks, but this is good stuff. I used 3711 French Saison yeast because that's what I had. Color is perfect. If the other reviews are any indication, it will only get better with age. Once again, if you don't like Saisons/Farmhouse Ales, this probably isn't the beer you're looking for. If you do like this style, then this is a fine example. A fellow brewclub member has several cans of Cynic and is bringing one to the next meeting so we can compare/contrast.... (Posted on 3/6/13)
Give it time!!! Review by Scott
I tried this beer after the recomended 6 weeks. I hated it. So, I left it in the cellar for another 2 months. It is now one of my absolute favorites!!!
Smooth with a pepper and sour apple taste.
I can't wait to make this one again. (Posted on 11/21/12)
Brew it up! Review by Ulick
Great flavor, I am realy happy with this.......Brew it up,
Left it in secondary for a month. SG 1.049 FG 1.019
3.9%ABV. (Posted on 10/13/12)
Can't wait for another batch! Review by Benjamin
From the moment I tapped the keg this beer was phenomenal. After several weeks in the keg (and right before I polished it off) this beer became perfectly clear and the flavors really evolved and began working together to create one of my favorite brews of all time. Supreme kit. (Posted on 9/27/12)
Excellent! Review by Jeremy
My first partial mash... not the smoothest experience trying to hold the temperature, but didn't seem to affect quality in the end.

Topped up my fermenter, so OG was low. More like a session saison which I preferred anyhow. OG 1.048, FG 1.010 for ABV of 4.9%.

Used the Ardennes yeast for 79% attenuation. Nice job NB! (Posted on 8/7/12)
MMMMMMM GOOOOOOD Review by Bunkhouse Brewery
This started out a little edgy, wasn't sure bout the taste test while transferring to secondary. But upon kegging and carbonating.....WOW! Drew my first glass today.....will be getting more of this....really good! (Posted on 5/3/12)
Unsure Review by Mattyd
Not a big fan, unsure where the flavor is. It's somewhere between a Belgian, hefe and pale, just nothing concrete to hang your hat on. Visited Surly brewery and was equally unimpressed. Sorry. (Posted on 4/7/12)
Great Body and flavor Review by ben
Awesome brew, second time brewing. I made a double batch one for aging and one for summer beer. One of my favorites and will make again. I use fresh hops from our garden really adds a bit more KaPow. (Posted on 4/7/12)
Excellent, will buy again Review by Charles
This is a great kit, I used Belgian Ardennes with it and it turned out phenomenal. I brewed it as a partial mash and it was one of the first brews I kegged. This did not last long at all. (Posted on 2/29/12)
Awesome! Review by Sparky
Did the All-grain 5-gallon batch,wow!, this keg won't last long! This beer will be on tap here always,starting now! Awesome job Northern Brewer! Love the Ardennes yeast, time for another! (Posted on 2/18/12)
Great Kit Review by Brew Guy
This was my first partial mash after doing 8 extract kits. Very easy kit to follow and the results are fantastic! You won't be disappointed brewing this one. (Posted on 2/18/12)
Awesome - just like the original! Review by AsburyAler
Had the original last year at the Mall of America. Went the next day and bought the kit at the St. Paul Store. Brewed a couple weeks later. Finally finished the last of the batch last weekend with six of my closest friends. All of them raved about it. From the first beer to the last (ok, I have some left in a party pig...), it has been phenomenal. Was my first partial-grain as well. I will brew this again--it has given me a love of Belgians! (Posted on 2/8/12)
DELISH! Review by Alger Ales
This partial mash kit is very tasty and pretty easy to brew. It was my first partial mash and it came just right: slight kick of a hop, floral / fruity tones. I haven't had someone say they don't like it...winner! (Posted on 1/14/12)
Good Review by Ben Colvin
Perfect for any season , but especially on a hot day, just the right amount of bitterness. A constant brew in our house (Posted on 11/20/11)
Great Beer Review by Michael
This was my first PM and by far the best brew I have made yet. It has went very fast. Will have to brew another before long. (Posted on 10/22/11)
Excellent Review by sam
We greatly enjoyed this kit although Surly is not available in our area so I can't say if it's like the commercial version. Nice hop balance with a slight peach smell and taste. Wyeast Ardennes is one of my favorites although to me it's much more subdued then other Belgian yeasts. (Posted on 10/13/11)
Surely, Surly one of the best Review by newbybrewer
I just drank my first few of cynics. I also shared them at a fundraiser. My friends were looking to insult my product, but couldn't. It is a well-balanced flavorful ale with just enough hops and maltiness. It has wonderful peach and other fruit undertones. By far a "KEEPER" Northern Brewer knows how to put together kits. The instructions make it close to impossible to screw up and are very clear, concise and obviously accurate/. (Posted on 9/20/11)
awesome! Review by madmax
i love saisons. this was my first partial mash after brewing extract for 2+ years. i've had some ups and downs with my results in that time. all i know is that this beer turned out great! from the hazy orange look. to the decent rocky head. to the aroma and taste. i did opt to use the white labs yeast option as that is apparently what surly actually uses. i did make a yeast starter that i repropogated at least once. definitely makes me more interested in partial mash kits! (Posted on 8/12/11)
If you like a saison you will love this! Review by HUB
This is a tasty brew that you cant put down. Its a unique Belgian with a slight hoppy bite. This is definaly a brew you can session, refreshing and easy to drink, and a decent alc content ( @ 5.6 ) makes it a beer worth having a few of. We brewed a 10 gallon batch of this (bottled 5gal and kegged 5 gal) the keg was gone in 2 1/2 weeks and hopfully the bottles make it through conditioning. I will brew this again! (Posted on 6/7/11)
sweet and tasty! Review by sL
loved the results I got... I even had a little bit of bubble gum going on. definitely a beer that benefits from the right serving vessel, however a wine glass surely fits. so many great aromas! (Posted on 5/26/11)
Perfect for this weather! Review by Skyler
First time every having anything by Surly (live in FL) and first time brewing a saison. Absolutely love, fermented like crazy within only a few hours! Drinking one now, peppery, lightly citrusy and really smooth. Quit a strong clove/banana flavor. Love it! (Posted on 4/26/11)
Changed it up. Loved the results. Review by Todd S
I was in Minneapolis a couple weeks prior to brewing this down in Milwaukee. I stocked up on Surly before returning to the cream city. Midwest pride comes from beer as good as theirs.

After drinking 8 or so Surly CynicAles, I decided to alter the recipe a bit and add the things that I wanted in the beer. I wanted it to have a little more hop presence on the nose an a bit more yeast presence. Their beer is really clean for a saison. They must ferment really low.

My process-
-Changed the yeast to French saison 3711
-Changed the hops around an added one ounce of Cascade and one of Styrian Goldings at flame out
-Added 4 ounces of corn sugar.
-Brewed March 5th
-Mashed in at 149 F for 75 minutes. Mashed out at 169 F for 20 minutes.
-Added no extract until 15 minutes left.
-Aerated with fish pump for 30 minutes and added 24 hour starter off stir plate.
-Fermented at 71 degrees.
-Primary for 3 weeks and lagered for 2 weeks.
-Bottled with 2.75 bars of pressure.

The result is a blissful clear golden beer/ white fluffy head that just sticks around. Same exact color as the original. The smell is of the Cascadey piney-citrus with the Goldings mix in the fruity stone fruit peach musty yeast. The mouth feel is light, riesling tart like with a biting carbonation/ hop bitterness. The ending is nice an dry. Started with an original gravity of 1.053 an ended with 1.005. There is still a nice slick feel, like wine.

I highly recommend you brew this beer anyway you please. You will not be disappointed. I plan on playing with this beer for some time to come. Possibly dry hopping with some cluster an amarillo, perhaps even adding some simcoe into the mix. This beer would be amazing on a sunny day. I plan on brewing the all grain version when the weather gets better.

Thanks NB Milwaukee for all your help!

(Posted on 4/20/11)
As advertised Review by DM
My second venture into partial mashing...first with a kit. This was very easy and a lot of fun. The Belgian Ardennes yeast really kicked in fast and hard without a starter (I went to a blowoff tube after 12 hours just in case, but didn't need it.) Nailed the OG. ABV will be significantly below Surly's but still 5% which is just about right for me. Looks just like the picture. Taste at bottling was good. Like a hefe but pulled way back on the citrus. Really refreshing. Currently bottle conditioning. Looking forward to drinking just as the weather warms up here. (Posted on 4/11/11)
Not actually a review... Review by 63Biscuit
When I picked up this (right before a Surly tour!), NB was out of the recommended Wyeast. So, being a HUGE fan of Saisons, I'm going to use the Wyeast Belgian Saison yeast. I'll post when the beer is done about how it turned out. (Posted on 3/1/11)

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