First Stout - have I made a fundamental error

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Bludger

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I started my first Stout yesterday. Picked up the following from my local home brew store after a chat with them.
1 x Mountmellick Irish Style Dublin Stout, 1.8 Kg.
1 x Briess CBW Pure Malt Extract, Traditional Dark, non hopped, non-diastatic

I am now having doubts about whether I should have added Sugar or not.

As I research the "non-diastatic" I have learnt that the malt extract is for flavour, the non-diastatic means that there are no enzymes to break starch down into sugar.

So the questions are:
Is there sufficent sugar in the Malt to go ahead, or did I need to also supplement with 1 Kg of Sugar? I can easily add more if needed.


Sniffing around the fermenter this morning there is definately CO2 being generated (that sharp sting in the nostrils), although the airlock is not moving, but I may not have a perfect seal. Also there is a foam on top of the brew - is that what people call the krasen? All of that could be from the sugars in the wort I assume.

Any comments will be appreciated.

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QldKev

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Diastatic enzymes are what you need if you have malted grain to convert the sugars. You have malt extract, it's already converted to it's sugar version. With 1.5kg of malt extract you will have enough sugar for the stout. You could add 200g white sugar if you want a alcohol bump and to thin it out a bit; but personally would not add it.

If you have foam/krauzen then all is good, screw what the airlock is doing. As you said the lid lid must not be a 100% perfect seal, of even the grommet on the airlock. You will find a lot of users on here use a Bunnings fermenter and use gladwrap of it, hence no airlock at all.

Cheers

QldKev
 

carniebrew

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Bludger, 'non-diastatic' is normal home brewer's malt extract...from what I can tell it's rare to find diastatic malt extract (certainly in home brew arenas anyway). It's fermentable extract just like that in your hopped kit can.

Back to your beer....you have a stout kit can and a can of Dark LME...together in 23 litres they'd make a very dark 55 IBU beer at around 4.7% abv (after priming). In other words you wouldn't need much else to make a stout. I'm not exactly sure from your original post though...did you add more sugar to this brew? If so, how much, and how many litres did you mix it all up to in the fermenter?
 

Bludger

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No I didn't add extra Sugar, that was the point of my query. I think that QldKevhas put my mind at ease. Thanks feller.

Carnie, yes volume made up to 23 litres in the fermenter. I was aiming for 5% ABV, by the time I get to drink this Canberra will have some long cold nights and what better than a dark stout with a big kick to help keep the cold out.

I don't stress about the airlock, I normally brew Cider and I "know" when my system is working. Generally I have a nice brewery smell in the bathroom, even if the airlock is still. When the yeast really kicks in the leak is not big enough and the airlock takes off. Once the airlock stops I then start taking SG readings.

i got inspired to make a Stout, apart from liking it, having visited the mobile Bundaberg Rum display over the weekend. They had tastings of their Malt and I thought, gosh I would like a litre or two of that for a home brew. Well I couldn't get the Bundaberg Malt of course but you see what I ended up with.
 

QldKev

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If you like the Bundaberg Rum, you will find it's molasses. Have a search in coles/woolworths else try a local health food shop. You can get black strap molasses, which is a concentrated version from later boilings, and is pretty good for beer production and is what I have used. I think it would work very well with a stout. I would start with 200ml for a 23L batch and scale later batches if needed.

edit: Also remember to have a teaspoon for yourself, but try and stop at one :icon_drool2:

QldKev
 

carniebrew

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Ok, thanks for clarifying. 200gm of dextrose would have kicked it up to a touch over 5% abv...or as QldKev said, a similar amount of molasses would get it around there too, with the benefit of extra flavour.
 
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Good luck with your stout Bludger, I've got a toucan of Thomas Coopers Irish Stout in the fermenter atm. Having done it once before, I'm already looking forward to the cooler months when it will be hitting my lips. :icon_drool2:
 

Bribie G

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Sounds like it's going to be a cracker. Overseas you can get "Diastatic Malt Extract" which is used by a lot of bakers because when they put it in their cake dough it converts some of the flour and gives a nice sweetness as well as making the bakers yeast go mental. The well known UK home brew company EDME stands for "Essex Diastatic Malt Extract" company. Diastatic Malt Extract in other words still has some of the enzymes remaining from the malt used to make the extract and can convert extra unmalted grains or starches. How they manage to preserve those enzymes during manufacture, I'm buggered if I know.

Apart from that nugget of useless information, just completely forget the term "diastatic" (until you go all grain of course :D ). Just think of tins of any malt liquid extract as being basically the same as a kit but without the hops.
 

manticle

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carniebrew said:
Bludger, 'non-diastatic' basically means the work of converting the stuff inside the grain to fermentable sugar has already been done for you. Non-diastatic malt extract is 'normal' home brewer's malt extract...from what I can tell it's rare to find diastatic malt extract (certainly in home brew arenas anyway)...and if you did, you'd need to 'mash' it like AG brewers do with their base grain.
Diastatic means it contains enzymes capable of converting starch to sugar. Non diastatic means it doesn't.

Nothing to do with having its own starches converted as malt extract will be maltose, not barley starch. Briess produce both types as suggested by Bribie. You don't mash the diastatic stuff but the enzymes in it might be capable of converting a grain with no diastatic power of its own (like biscuit malt for example).Pretty much what qldkev said in his 1st post.
 

Bludger

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Thanks all. I can sleep easy tonight.
Also thanks for the suggestions that I can incorporate into future brews.
A learning curve for me as I stepped out of my comfort zone on this one.
QldKev, I will use a serving spoon for the mollasses, none of that teaspoon sized stuff.

Guys, I think we can call this post closed.
 

Bludger

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FInal update.
Just sampled my stout. I could not wait any longer.
It is dark, it has plenty of mouth feel, nice odour,maybe a little light on aftertaste - but I can forgive that. To be honest it tastes bloody great. Roll on winter.
 

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