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Question About Adding Malt To Kit Beer

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chopchop75

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Hi,

I've been homebrewing for about 6 months with a mate, just messing around with kit beers & various aditives (people love our vegemite lager for some reason), and i figured it was time to start trying out with malts/grains in with the kits and I have a few questions.

I have come across a recipe for a choclate ale, based on a coopers dark ale kit, and the recipe calls for chocolate malt and a tin of coops amber malt. with dry malts, like the coopers tins, do they just get added straight into your fermenter with the rest of the mix, or do they need to be steeped in hot water like cracked malt grains do ? if i decide to forgoe the 1.7kg of dry malt, and go with a second cracked malt, do i do 2 separate steepings, one for each malt type (was thinking chocolate malt and caramalt, to get a chocolately/caramelly flavour to the ale)

the basic recipe i had in my head is:
coopers dark ale kit
300-500g of choc malt
300-500g of caramalt
500g of belgian candi sugar
500g of lactose
safale yeast t-58
25g fuggles hops
50ml creme de cacao essence (added after initial froth as died down in fermneter)

for a 22 litre mix in the fermenter, with the end product hopefuly being a sweet chocolate/caramel flavoured dark ale

am i sort of on the right track, or am i doomed to fail (hate to see beer wasted) ?
 

kelbygreen

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first off you steep the grains as you say later in the post. You will steep both at the same time in the same pot or container or what ever. Not sure choc malt adds chocolate flavour (dont like dark beers so havnt used it) they roast the malts so it would be a more roasted flavour then chocolate. 500g of each though may be to much (as I say never used choc malt) but 500g of just caramalt is plenty unless you have a dark or big hopped beer.

I think you should sub some of the grain for dry malt as just steeping and crystal malt you wont get heaps of fermentables out of it. maybe 200g each max??? not using choc malt I cant say on that side but would guess 200g would be alot
 

chopchop75

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first off you steep the grains as you say later in the post. You will steep both at the same time in the same pot or container or what ever. Not sure choc malt adds chocolate flavour (dont like dark beers so havnt used it) they roast the malts so it would be a more roasted flavour then chocolate. 500g of each though may be to much (as I say never used choc malt) but 500g of just caramalt is plenty unless you have a dark or big hopped beer.

I think you should sub some of the grain for dry malt as just steeping and crystal malt you wont get heaps of fermentables out of it. maybe 200g each max??? not using choc malt I cant say on that side but would guess 200g would be alot
thanks for the reply. i had another guy mention to me to limit myself to about 200-300g of cracked malt, and use about 1.5kg of dry malt, so I might go down that path and see where it takes me. the choc malt does impart a slight choc/coffee taste but in this recipe, most of the choc taste comes from adding the essence after the foam has died down in the fermenter
 

mwd

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Your original recipe looks to be a bit heavy on steeping grains. I reckon 200gs of choc and 200g of caramalt would be the max for a 23l brew. Chocmalt gives mostly a coffee type astringent flavour and not so much chocolate. You will get the most from your extra addition of essence.
 

bum

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Subbing for Pale Choc (and less of it, as advised above) may also get some bitter-chocolate aroma in a high-ish FG beer if my experience relates to other people's breweries.
 

elollerenshaw

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I would say 500g of lactose is a bit too much. You may end up with a beer that's too sweet.
Suggest 250g is nearer the mark.
 

manticle

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500g of lactose is fine. Lactose is unfermentable by brewing yeast but it isn't actually that sweet. What I would cut back on is the crystal (caramalt) and the choc malt.

I would also knock out the belgian candi and consider adding toasted cacao nibs and/or good quality cocoa. Replace the candi with dextrose or gentle additions of sucrose through the latter part of ferment (eg 600g total added every few days in 200g amounts once you get towards the end of main ferment).

The flavours you have may work beautifully together but there are way too many to know which will do what. Start simple and build. I'd even start with a pale base (not cooper dark ale) and build up colour and flavour with the dark grains.

Also not sure about the t-58. I've not used it but what I read suggests pepper and spice and belgian phenolics. As I've not used it, my recommendation to consider something else is purely to push simplicity so you know what each ingredient adds to the character. A spicy, phenolic type yeast with everything else might just be too hard to work out.

Something UK would work better to my mind and if sticking with dry, that leaves you with safale S-04. I'd consider a liquid over that yeast but if you want dry and go for 04, pitch lots, oxygenate well and keep temps as stable as you can. With lactose and loads of spec malt in there, it will probably finish high but 04 has a reputation for stalling too. If trying liquid - wyeast 1099 is fantastic in dark UK style beers.
 

wyane

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i agree with reducing the grains to 200-250g, add some dry malt, drop lactose 250g and save the candi sugar and t58 for a different style of brew. but hey - experiment and let us know what you discover! :)
 

chopchop75

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Ok, taking everyones suggestions to heart, so i'm adjusting the recipe accordingly

coopers dark ale kit
1kg of dry amber malt
200g of choc malt
200g of caramalt
500g of belgian candi sugar
500g of lactose
Safale yeast s04
25g fuggles hops
50ml creme de cacao essence (added after initial froth as died down in fermenter)


got everything ordered....just need to organise my brew area, and give this beer a go. i will document everything, and let you know how it goes....thanks for the help
 
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