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Newts

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Hi all,

As usual my last thread leads to another question and I'm open to answers so I thought I'd start a new topic.

If you had 200-250 bucks and you were going to spend it on extract brew ingredients what would you get to be able to brew a multitude of different beer types. All I have at the moment is 5kg LME, a few packs of 11g US05 yeast and bulk dextrose. Also have a small amount of hops but I wouldn't include them as they will be spent fairly quickly.

What type of grain, specialty grain, additional extracts, yeast, hops or any other additions would you start with - I'm thinking of getting base materials for say at least 5 brews?

I know everyone will probably have a different answer to this one and that's the idea, trying to get a feel as to what others would do. The first question that most people ask is what type of beer do you want to brew and being honest I'm no expert on all the different beer types - that's something I'm working on so all I'll say is I don't like extremely bitter or malty beer. Something balanced.

Cheers,

Newts
 

Nick JD

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Reading the BJCP Style Guidlines is a good place to start if you're not familiar with the world's beer styles and what constitutes them.

Apart from that, I'd recommend buying LDME in bulk, because per kg it'll make your beer really expensive to produce.

And "research" at Dan Murphys is probably called for here. Find something you love, and then replicate it.

I really like Weyermann's spec malts. Learn how they influence colour and maltiness (brewmate software is great for this, with "style nazi" turned on). Liquid yeasts are also very important if you want to nail particular styles that don't have a dried yeast.
 

scottc1178

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.... or alternatively, spend the money on a few basics for an all grain setup, you could probably pick up a decent urn for that and start doing biab?
 

dammag

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I generally use some LME and some DME as the liquid is easier to deal with. Having said that, I generally use Coopers or Morgans (same stuff) light liquid extract that is less than 6 months old. They say fresh is best with liquid extract.

Here is a basic extract Pale Ale recipe that worked for me, a good place to start.

1.5 Kg LME
1.25 Kg DME
0.15 Kg Carapils
0.15 Kg Victory
0.075 Kg Light Crystal
0.075 Kg Medium Crystal
0.050 Pale Chocolate

All spec grains steeped, strained then boiled in about 4 litres of water. The hops are then added to the boil.

10 g Northern Brewer @ 60
5 g Northern Brewer @ 40
5 g Northern Brewer @ 30
5 g Northern Brewer @ 20
20 g Nelson Sauvin @ 20
13 g Cascade @ 20
20 g Nelson Sauvin @10
13 g Cascade @ 10

Rehydrated US05.

Grains are cheap and I have a few different types to muck around with. I either buy them milled or use a pestle and morter to "mill" them.

For the last 5 minutes of the boil I turn the heat off, put the lid on so the heat can sanitise it, then put foil over the top so it doesn't suck in anything while cooling. To cool I just sit the pot in the bath with some cool water.

As Nick said, Brewmate is handy when trying to formulate a recipe to style.
 

DU99

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try making smurto's golden ale,download the spreadsheet in kits for the recipe..
 

Nick JD

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I did extract brewing for ages because I thought I needed an extensive and expensive set up to make all grain beer. Boy was I wrong.

The main issue I had with extract brewing was the LDME I was getting. It was prettymuch the inside of a malteezer - confectionary grade malt - probably also the stuff used in Milo.

Long story short, I have a feeling they mash the malt to produce this extract at like, 75C. It was a very unfermentable extract. It's important to use extracts that are designed for brewing, but the workaround I had was to use around 30% dextrose to thin the beer out and get a reasonable final gravity (was getting 1.020+ with all-LDME batches).

Sometimes though, if you're milling and steeping spec grains and doing 60 minute boils ... you're only really saving 30 minutes in your brew day by doing extract brewing.

Watch your ingredient list price though - it's sometimes shockingly close to buying a fresh wort kit unless you are buying bulk.
 

Phillo

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Hey Newts. Just get onto one of Nick's stove top AG threads and never look back. That's what I did 30 brews ago. B) Get some pots, 25kg sack o' grain and some bulk hops from Yob. That's what I'd do if I had that cash sitting around. Booyah.

A well overdue thank you Nick. :kooi:
 

Newts

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Thanks for all the quick replies. I understand everyones push for AG but how will I appreciate it more than extract when I've never tried one? And I mean I've literally never tried a homebrewed extract beer or AG beer. Only tried my own K&K beers (which are okay drinking but if I have a commercial beer then go back to this you realise they really aren't that great)

Don't get me wrong, I want to produce the best beer possible and my goal will ultimately be AG but I'm still learning some of the very basics. For me progression would mean doing 2 or 3 extract brews then having a go at AG. To my understanding all of the ingredients except the LME or DME could still be used with AG brewing so I wouldn't be buying gear that I won't use if I make the switch. Correct me if I'm wrong?

How tedious is AG brewing in terms of time? This is a factor that constrains my brewing significantly. I'll look into it more as it seems to be the more common opinion that AG is the ultimate beer but at this stage I don't think I'm ready for it.

Other than that there are a couple of recipes here I'd consider good options. Pale Ale or a Golden Ale will both get devoured at this house. I have the spreadsheet and that's where I've started doing my research.

Cheers,

Newts
 

Newts

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Hey Phillo,

When you say a 25kg sack o' grain and some bulk hops from Yob, is Yob a member on here? Or a shop or something?

If I'm going to buy I may as well go bulk to save some coin but I've found that being in the country postage usually kills my savings with anything over 5kg.

Cheers
 

manticle

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You're on the right track Newts.

Look at the briess extracts (they make pilsen and munich among others - specifically for brewing too) get some decent medium coloured crystal malt, a couple of roast malts (choc, black, roast barley etc) and a couple of different yeasts (UK, US, Euro - can be dry or liquid depending on your preference).

Get two varieties of each: new world hops (US or NZ), noble hops, UK hops.

So for example cascade and b-saaz, tettnanger and hallertauer, East Kent Goldings and Challenger.

Brew a basic apa with the us hops, a basic german style wheat, ale or lager if you can control the temp and a UK pale and a UK stout or porter.

From there, you will get a rough handle on the direction you want to take your brewing and you can buy larger amounts of hops you know you will use regularly (much cheaper in bulk).

As suggested by Nick, start shopping around for different beers and getting a feel for preferred styles and this will help tailor your ingredients list.
 

Phillo

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Newts said:
Hey Phillo,

When you say a 25kg sack o' grain and some bulk hops from Yob, is Yob a member on here? Or a shop or something?

If I'm going to buy I may as well go bulk to save some coin but I've found that being in the country postage usually kills my savings with anything over 5kg.

Cheers
Yob is now a retailer on this site (Hop Dealz Australia), and has well priced hops in larger amounts.
 

ianh

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When i did extract brewing I did not like handling bulk LDME so I use to buy 20kg bags (about $125) of light DME. I use to bag it up in 2 kg lots and found it much easier to handle.

Once you decide want you want to brew you will need some speciality grains and hops, suggest you have a look at the Craftbrewer (sponsor) website and they will crush the grains for you and the hops are in 90g packets.

Also if you are using dextrose, suggest you do two similar brews one with dextrose and one replacing the dextrose with DME, I never used dextrose in brews after.

I used to add 200g Carapils or some Wheat DME or both to every brew for body and head.
 

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