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Old 05-22-2012, 01:19 AM   #11
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well, smell and taste are indeed closely related (smells influence taste, tastes in the mouth can migrate up to the nasal passages and create smells, someone with a blocked nose can't taste very much, etc). you can use two different hops for aroma and taste and get some very interesting outcomes - taste isn't exactly what you expect based on the smell. you'll not that in beer reviews, the reviewers always describe aroma and taste separately. sometimes they are the same, sometimes they're different.
That's really interesting. I'm going to have to start paying more attention to beer reviews. A friend of mine asked me for 'tasting notes' regarding my first batch. I said 'dark ale'.

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oh, wait, adding the sugar is part of the recipe? i thought you were adding sugar above and beyond what is usually called for (i.e., none). i've never used kits, so i've never used cans that call for additional sugar. the only extracts that i've used contained sufficient sugar so no additional was needed... one adds sugar to boost the alcohol level beyond "normal" levels.

if i now understand correctly, it sounds like your cans only contain flavoring and the sugar is needed to create the alcohol. so if your cans call for sugar, then you should add the normal amount - or maybe even more if you want to boost alcohol above normal levels. apologies if i've misled you there. that would explain why champagne yeast would work in your case - you're only fermenting simple sugars.

as a next step, i'd suggest moving away from these "sugar needed" kits and getting regular extract that doesn't call for sugar because it contains sufficient maltose. as you may have noticed, most extract-based recipes don't call for additional sugar.
I'm not sure why, but most kits in australia are 1.7kg of malt extract (not just flavour) and reccomend adding up to a kilo of sugar depending on the recipe. This is probably just to make it cheaper than buying two kits.

I just checked a recipe calulator and one 1.7kg can ($13-17 for a basic) gives an OG of 1.026 and ABV of 2.7%. No-one would ever drink that right? So instead of making you buy an extra can, they tell you to add dextrose. This is one of the (many) things that makes many people in the Homebrew world highly critical of 'off the tin' recipes.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:05 AM   #12
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That's really interesting. I'm going to have to start paying more attention to beer reviews. A friend of mine asked me for 'tasting notes' regarding my first batch. I said 'dark ale'.
a typical beer review covers: appearance/color (including head), aroma/smell, taste & mouthfeel (sometimes together, sometimes separate), and "overall" (AKA drinkability). my favorite beer review site is beeradvocate, check out some reviews: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/22/34, http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/147/1160.

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I'm not sure why, but most kits in australia are 1.7kg of malt extract (not just flavour) and reccomend adding up to a kilo of sugar depending on the recipe. This is probably just to make it cheaper than buying two kits.

I just checked a recipe calulator and one 1.7kg can ($13-17 for a basic) gives an OG of 1.026 and ABV of 2.7%. No-one would ever drink that right? So instead of making you buy an extra can, they tell you to add dextrose. This is one of the (many) things that makes many people in the Homebrew world highly critical of 'off the tin' recipes.
recipes typically peak at 20% sugar, and that's the high end for specific styles that call for it like belgian tripels. if i remember correctly, the Complete Joy of Brewing recommends a maximum of 30% sugar otherwise your beer may take on a cider-y taste. to my taste buds, some sugar can help dry out a beer and make it fit a style. but 40% sugar, as 1 kilo out of 2.7 approaches, falls into the realm of cheap alcohol. we're getting into paint-thinner territory. one could ferment a brew made out of 100% sugar and you'd get an alcoholic beverage, but it would be gross.

those tin-recipe kits have two great advantages: one, they're easy; and two, they're relatively cheap. using sugar in this fashion definitely helps keep thing cheap. if you want to brew a better beer, in the short term you'll need to spend a little more money.

whenever you're ready to take the next step, i'd recommend that you get "off the tin". if possible/practical, i'd suggest that you get into extract brewing that doesn't call for sugar. through the magic of the googles, i see that you have at least one local homebrew supply shop (LHBS) in your city. based on their website their selection is a tad limited but they do sell "non-recipe" extract (like this). using 2 kilos of that and a half kilo of sugar will yield a much nicer beer, IMO. and then you can start adding some steeping grains. then move on to partial mashes. and before you know it you're brewing all grain. "non-tin" extract brewing may be more expensive than tin recipes, but the quality will be noticeably better. by the time you make it to all-grain brewing, you'll be at a similar price-point as where you started from - but with beer that is much, much better.

however, i've used any can-plus-sugar recipe tins - maybe someone with more experience in this department could chime in with their experience?
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:32 PM   #13
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Time for an Update.

I went with both tins (7.5lb) and one kg (2.2lb) of raw sugar in 23L (6Gal).

Added about 1/4 Oz of Amarillo and 1/2 Oz Cascade for 5mins. (both tins are hopped so I thought I'd start small)

Going to add another 1/4 of Amarillo (all I have left) and a little over 1Oz of Cascade after fermentation settles down. I'll check the taste before I add as I'm not sure it will be necessary to add the whole Oz of cascade.

1 pack S04
1 pack Coopers ale yeast
rehydrated together

1 pack brigalow ale yeast boiled for nutirents.

I thought my OG was 1085+ but I've checked the calcs and it's not even possible, must have read it wrong... Anyway, It was down to 1035 after 2 days. Calcs expect 1015ish.

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Old 05-29-2012, 10:44 PM   #14
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I'm also thinking of moving towards unhopped extracts and building recipies from there. I'll probably get LDME online rather than LHBS, they're geared up for tin brewers and spirit making, I go in there quite a bit. Hops are great from craftbrewer online, Yeast is probably the only thing I'll end up getting from LHBS as I don't really trust whoever's shipping it if you order online.

Probably only do a few more extracts and then move on to something like maxiBIAB

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