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sluggerdog

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OK, the only way I am going to find out is to ask so here it is...


What does it mean when your an extract brewer?
Is there somewhere on the the net that you can point me to so I can read up on it and maybe soon move on from kits and bits to extract.

Would love to try my hands at an extract pilsner.

Cheers
SD :)
 

sosman

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sluggerdog said:
What does it mean when your an extract brewer?
It means you need to extract your digit and explore more of the base ingredients of beer. Think of a kit as a packet cake mix - just add water, stir and cook.

Extract is similar to a kit, generally purely malt extract (you just have to take the manufacturers word for it). To get some hops in your beer, you need to boild the extract with water and add measured amounts of hops at various times in the boil.
 

nonicman

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SD,
Before moving to all grain I tried extract brewing. It was expensive ($40 + per brew), so I tried partial mash with extract, still expensive, I would suggest skipping the extract brewing and try a partial mash with the kits. However this was a finanical decision, and if you can get cheap extract it is worth a go. It seems to be more popular in the US, so most US homebrew sites have a lot of info on extract brewing.


John Palmer How to brew, your first extract brew chapter
 

joecast

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basically using unhopped extracts (plain dry or liquid malt extract either light, amber or dark in color) then using specialty grains (crystal malt, chocolate malt, roast barley, etc.) for color and flavor. and adding hops for bitterness, flavor and aroma.
the positives are that it gives you more room to experiment with different amounts and types of hops than using pre-hopped kits, and also the types of grains used. by following the instructions that come with a kit, you basically get a beer with a predetermined color, abv. and ibu's.
and if you get adventurous enough, using special liquid yeasts, you open up a whole new world of beer styles you can brew.
joe
 

Trev

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SD, here's my short form response!

When we start out we tend to use Kits and follow the rules precisely, or at least as precisely as printed on the can. We make beer and heck it's good (even if it's not) ;)

Pretty soon we start trying things, things we find out by joining groups such as this or by taking good advice from an experienced brewer/fermentation assistant. We add not just sugar, but maybe some dry malt extract, dextrose, even partial mashes with a small amount of grain etc. Then we start to add hops, maybe just some hop tea to a K+K but importantly we start to learn and to try new things. If you're like me not all the things you try turn out well though:huh:

Next step is to use extract, rather than kits. Take the malt extract, be it light, dark, extra pale etc, boil it up with hops of your choice and discover just how well you can make something. This is an extract brewer. Try new things and develop some experience and importantly some appreciation of what's good and whats not, not just you're own but also commercial offerings.

The next step I'm afraid is one of damnation and eternal ruin. You then decide to go 'All-Grain'. All of a sudden you're no longer a just a fermentation assistant but a BREWER (now that's going to start another flame session).

The reality is that youve made beer. It doesn't matter how, it doesn't matter what name or appelation you care to give yourself. The important point is that you've created something yourself, you have learnt, tried and done something you're proud of - oops I think I may have just started preaching again :D

Enjoy, RDWHAHB

Trev
 

morry

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Ive been brewing kits for about 6 months now and my next brew will be a grumpys extract brew. Doesnt look too complicated, but should yield better results than my old kits.
 

sluggerdog

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Thanks for all the replies

Trev - Going by what you said an extract could be something like the following:

- 2 Cans of Morgans Unhopped Extra Pale (or whatever)
- Hops to your liking

Very basic but play around with that until you find something you like?

So just a setup from using a can to making the can yourself
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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Hmmm
I see an extract brewer more as someone who buys bulk extract like 28K bucket of Coopers LLME for 89bucks, wow, that is three bucks 20cents/Kg of extract, compare that to 10bucks for a 1.5Kg tin, even more for a hopped kit.

That needs to be colored/flavored with specialty grain steeped or a small mash then boiled with hops to add bitterness, flavor and aroma. More gear but cheaper per litre and more control over the final beer.

As your part mashes get bigger and bigger and the beer gets cheaper yet better All Grain is noit far away. You buy some books and learn brew math and start making up your own recipes. . .

Jovial Monk
 

berto

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Thought id revive this thread and see if i can squeeze a little more info from you guys. Im looking at going to an extract brew next up. Ive currently got my second brew fermenting away nicely. should turn out ok, but was boring as hell to make. Im going backwards in my brewing.
My first brew was a morgans kit, 1kg of liquid malt, and hopped with 3 different hops at 3 different times for flavour bitterness and aroma.

Second brew was a kit, dextrose, maltodextrin, and dry hopped, thats what is currently bubbling away. No fun involved there at all. Today went back to the LHBS and was talked into getting a new extract kit. Add water and voila. How fun does that sound. haha

So now im looking at going to an extract. But when i saw the price of them thought it wasnt such a great idea. Till he told me that it was cheaper to go the 28kg of the stuff.

So here i am, wondering what extract i can buy which will serve me well as a base for different styles of beer. I dont wanna be trying to get through this stuff for the next 12 months. Also, where can i find the greatest list of these and suppliers? LHBS guy told me to go to www.beertools.com and have a play there with recipes etc. But there was a hell of a lot of extracts there and he only had 3 or 4 in his shop. I assume he can order all these in?

One final question. Beertools lets you add stuff willynilly. Is there any particular rules i should follow when formulating a beer? As to hops, yeasts and bases etc etc.

Also for you more experienced extracters. What does it cost/brew these days?

Cheers, Rob
 

nonicman

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Berto, if you go the 28kg of extract, the lightest malt extract would be the go, as it would be the base that will give you pale ales through to the darkest stouts. That is assuming you use some speciality grains for colour/flavour.

Berto, I had the same thoughts earlier in the year, and decided it was too risky buying that much malt extract. The LHBS owner said it would only last a few months.
 

berto

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In that case, the next question arrives. How much specialty grains would be needed to do this, and the cost of these. Im not trying to go cheap, just i dont wanna end up with something costing me $60 to put down.
Also this gets me to the stage of partial mashing. Does it get much harder to do this and do i need any special equipment other than what i would need for extract. Im guessing for extract all i need is a big pot. Or do i need a chiller of some type as well?
 

nonicman

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Slippery slop.... :)

Most speciality grains don't need to mashed, just seeped in boiled water for 30 minutes or so (other members have posted good advice on this.)

Just had another thought, I've seen a few brew packs from some of the HBS owners who post to this forum, that include malt extract, speciality grain and hops. It maybe a good way to try extract/partial brewing. I wouldn't post any links so as not to offend anyone and I can't remember which shop has what.
 

berto

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well thats something good to hear. Boiling grains up for a while sounds much better to me than jumping straight into the whole partial mashing stuff. Still all a little wishy washy in my head that stuff.
 

nonicman

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Berto, don't boil the grains up, rather seep in boiled water that cooled a little, not sure what the optimium seeping temp is, but when I used grains like this I would boil the kettle, let it sit for 5 minutes in the kettle and pour onto the grains which where in a bowl .

The first time I did this I used 1kg of Choc malt, I liked it but the LHBS owner was horrified, suggesting 250grams would have been better.

In AG I add the speciality grains at mashout (75C), but I still learning what is the correct mashout temp.

For a thermometer, Starbucks sell a coffee therometer for around $12.
 

Weizguy

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I've been buying 25 kg bags/boxes of DME and wheat DME for about $100-120 ea.
DME keeps well, in my experience.
Figure up to 3kg per brew + grain + hops; say about $20 per brew. Probably cheaper with LME (by the bucket), and a helluva lot better than a kit, brew extender and teabag.
The cost of liquid yeast is negligible if you save the yeast and reculture from uncontaminated brews, or can score a culture from another brewer.

With just this combo, you make make some (I shudder to use this term) professional-tasting brews. You will be impressed. Not sure how the copyright goes, but I could prob replicate some recipes from the old Ausbeer magazines.
I have tried a few recipes and some are good. Any style preference?

The problem using other people's recipes is that, sometimes, they had no idea what they were doing and are are giving you the benefit of their stupidity. It takes a while to recognise what a good recipe is, and U r probably ready to create your own recipe at that stage. You can get recipes on this forum, or strike out on your own.
Remember: the extract only needs to be boiled for the last 10 minutes.

The world is your oyster!!
 

nonicman

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Can't believe I didn't think of dried extract earlier in the year. Weizguy has a great point. Lucky I didn't, might not be doing AG ;)
 

jaytee

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Hi Berto

One final question. Beertools lets you add stuff willynilly. Is there any particular rules i should follow when formulating a beer? As to hops, yeasts and bases etc etc.
Best place to start is with a recipe from someone that you know and have some trust in their taste in beer.

Then talk to other extracters about their recipes and what the ingredients add to the recipe in the way of taste/aroma and judge if it's going to fit with what you are expecting

I started with a couple of John Palmers extract recipes and a couple from Grain & Grape and then ventured a formulation or two on my own. Some were good, others fell short of expectations

The more you find out up front, the less trial and error you'll go through
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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Weizguy has it right, dry extract keeps longer than the liquid, though even the liquid lasts longer than a few months with some care.

Some HBS guys know little about brewing: there is a recipe for Eden Castle Porter that contains 800g choc malt and is damn nice, what is another 200g among friends?

To steep grains I suggest you mix with three times as much water by weight as grains (so 500g grains are mixed with 1.5L water) in a small pan and heat while stirring to 65C then lid on, heat off and cover the pan well with towels etc, let steep while you dissolve the dry extract and bring that wort to a simmer. Dark grains like choc and black malt and roast barley I would cold steep: mix with the same amount of water as for crystal etc grains but don't heat and let the mix stand overnight, in the fridge if you are worried about bacteria growing in the mix, though there is little sugar in these dark grains.

Sieve the liquid from the grains into the pan of simmering wort made from the dry extract, sparge with a small amount of 80C water if you like, let drip dry then discard the grains. Simmer another minute or two and skim any foam that has formed on the top of the wort, then bring the wort to a vigorous boil and add your bittering hops, etc

If you have a particular beer you have in mind please post that and I am sure you will be bombarded with extract recipes for it

Jovial Monk
 

sluggerdog

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I would love to see an extract recipe that someone has already tried for a german pilsner or good european lager..

If available... CHEERS
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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1.5Kg can of Morgan's Extra Pale LME, 1500g DME added gradually to 5l cold water on moderate heat. Dissolve dried extract, bring to a simmer, skim the foam that forms to prevent boilover, when surface of wort is mostly clear turn heat up so the wort boils vigorously, add 100g 2%AA Hallertau pellets and 30g 6.1% Tettnang pellets. Boil for 45 mins, add 15g more Tett pellets and boil for another 15 mins. Keep an eye on the wort as it boils and keep the level to about 5L

When the heat is turned off add 250g sucrose and the LME and whirlpool the wort. Cover and let stand 45 minutes, you can then cool the wort in a sink of cold water then smoothly pour through a sieve into the fermenter: the hops should only show up right at the end, this is a painless way to sieve pellet hops.

You can also steep say 250g carapils and 50g caramunich, add this wort to the 5L of wort made from the dried extract.

The sugar is there else the DME will give a high final gravity

Jovial Monk
 
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