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Old 03-16-2010, 01:49 PM   #1
GWF
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Default How do I get the best out of kits?

Just a simple quick question.

I usually brew them up to 5 gallons and the end result usually tastes a bit watery, I've only ever reduced the amount of water I've added once before and the result was much better.

What I'd like to know though is how to get the best out of kits and what to do to improve them. I follow the pack directions and use sucrose as I've no idea where to purchase dextrose cheaply in the UK. (No local home brew shops close by either).

The gravity usually comes in at ~1.000 when they've finished so they feel quite watery too, which isn't good considering I like bitters.

What's the deal with maltodextrin?

Also: Are those premium kits much better?

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Old 03-16-2010, 01:51 PM   #2
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the sucrose is a big part of your problem. I would replace it with malt extract (DME or LME) which is maltose and will do wonders for your beer.

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Old 03-16-2010, 01:58 PM   #3
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stop buying kits and brew your own stuff. Its cheaper and the recipe won't have to rely on sugar for alcohol content.

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Old 03-16-2010, 02:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirsloop View Post
stop buying kits and brew your own stuff. Its cheaper and the recipe won't have to rely on sugar for alcohol content.
I don't have room for a mash tun.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:24 PM   #5
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you don't need a mash tun. just get bags of DME or LME and hops and do extract brews with steeping grains on the stove.

or use kits and replace sugar with malt extract. trust me, the added $ is well worth it..

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Old 03-16-2010, 02:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GWF View Post
I don't have room for a mash tun.
I think he meant formulate your own recipes with your own blend of malt extracts & hops
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:30 PM   #7
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Ya... just buy your own extract and put your own recipes together. If you compare a kit and the ingredients to make that kit... you'll see that you are getting ripped off.

Although...I bet you do have room for a mash tun. I was doing all grain in a 700sqft apartment with a wife living there. A mash tun is just a little cooler...I started with a 7 gallon cooler.

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~~~~~~~~~~~___//_ ____________________________~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~_/ [][]| | /```\/```\/```\/```\/```\ |~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~_/_______| |____NOW TRIPLE HOPPED______|~~~~~~~~~~
~~~___/[_]| 00 /| | \,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/ |~~~~~~~~~~
~~|___|___|___/_| |___________________________|~~~~~~~~~~
~~|=(*)[________]==(*)(*)=| \________/=(*)(*)=|~~~~~~~~~~
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Old 03-16-2010, 03:27 PM   #8
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I don't think you'll save money by buying extract ingredients separately. In fact, at most places I've seen, extrcat kits are cheaper than buying the individual ingredeints.

That may not be the case for the large scale kit developers (True brew, etc.) rather thasn AHS, NB, etc. And of course, there are other reasons you might want to step aside from kits. But i don't think cost is an issue here (I think sugar is).

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Old 03-16-2010, 03:32 PM   #9
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I guess it depends on what kinda kit you get, and from where. If you are getting the cheapest pale ale kit then you can expect REALLY pale ale. If you are buying a premium russian imperial stout kit, then you can probably expect a pretty heavy brew. Even still... I think the kits err on the low side of everything. You may get a 1.080 RIS kit... where as I wouldn't make a RIS unless it was 1.100 or higher. IMHO, its much more fun to make your own recipe and work that out. There are plenty of really great recipes out there, readily available. You don't need someone else boxing it up for you and deciding what goes in there.. Live on the edgeeee a little! HA

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~___//_ ____________________________~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~_/ [][]| | /```\/```\/```\/```\/```\ |~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~_/_______| |____NOW TRIPLE HOPPED______|~~~~~~~~~~
~~~___/[_]| 00 /| | \,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/ |~~~~~~~~~~
~~|___|___|___/_| |___________________________|~~~~~~~~~~
~~|=(*)[________]==(*)(*)=| \________/=(*)(*)=|~~~~~~~~~~
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Old 03-16-2010, 03:37 PM   #10
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Okay, let's say it's £10 for 1.5kg of malt extract, how much malt extracts needed for 23l?

Can one of you post a bog standard recipe so I'd know what was what please.

Edit:

I've just looked at some recipes and they call for 6kg of extract per 5 gallons, that'd cost me £40+ for the extract alone, it's end up coming in at about £60 for 5 gallons, I can buy beer for less than that. The most expensive kits are £20 and they're supposed to be quite good.

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