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Old 07-16-2012, 05:04 PM   #1
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Default Fermentables & water

Hi, I'm about to do an extract recipe which calls for 6.6lbs of LME and 5 US gallons (19L) of water (among other things of course).
My last 3 batches have been pre-hopped extract kits which come in a 3.3 lb can to which I've been adding 1 lb of DME at the recommendation of the local brewer supply. The instructions call for 6 US gallons (23L) of water in total. While the beer has been under-carbonated it has a fairly strong taste.

It seems to me a pretty big difference in fermentables vs water between these recipes\methods and am wondering if anyone had any comments.

In the Joy of Homebrewing, the author says that adding or subtracting a lb of LME\DME from the recipes is no big deal..does the same logic apply to adding extra water? Assuming I wanted to use 23L instead of 19L, would it really affect the amount of hops required etc? I'm not too worried about being 'in spec' to the style, and am open to experimentation, so my post is more to solicit comments on others' experiences with adding water\subtracting fermentables.


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Old 07-16-2012, 06:36 PM   #2
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I agree that adding or subtracting a pound of LME/DME or a gallon of water is no big deal, in the sense that you'll still make beer. Your final product will be pretty significantly different.

My brews are probably closer in strength to your first method. If you want to compare the numbers, you can use a calculator (like HopVille) to estimate what your ABV and IBUs would be with different scenarios.

In the end, it comes down to what you want to make. If you want a lower alcohol, easier drinking beer, adding a little more water won't hurt anything. If you want a stronger, thicker brew, adding water is counterproductive to this goal. No matter what you do, you have the potential to make good beer.

Also, I think you'll find a leap in quality from the pre-hopped extract to doing your own hops. I know the only pre-hopped brews I've done weren't very good, and everything since then has been great.

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