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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Briess Extracts - Complex Enough on their Own?
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:13 PM   #1
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Default Briess Extracts - Complex Enough on their Own?

Looking at the ingredients for each of the Briess extracts, I see that they consist of base malts, plus some specialty malts. For the Golden Light DME, for example, there is some Carapils mixed in. For the Pilsen DME, there are also some Carapils mixed in.

My question is whether there is enough variety in any of these DMEs, either alone, or combined, to make a fairly complex beer, without taking the extra steps of steeping additional grains, or doing a partial- or full-mash.

I guess where I'm going with this is that I'd like to use say, 7lbs. Golden Light DME, 1lb. of Amber DME, and create a fairly high OG IPA, with a decent amount of bittering, flavoring, aroma, and dry-hops. A basic recipe for a hoppy, medium- to high-ABV, easy beer, while keeping things simple for me, a beginning brewer.

Thanks in advance for your input (positive or negative!)

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Old 05-25-2012, 11:15 PM   #2
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In my experience, no. Those malt extract don't have much depth of flavor at all. I'd use steeping grains for color and flavor, and the extract in place of base malt. I wouldn't expect much from the DME, except for fermentables.

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Old 05-26-2012, 12:01 AM   #3
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That's what I figured.

As the Moderator, I'll trust your experience.

Thanks!

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Old 05-26-2012, 12:04 AM   #4
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There are some beer styles where I'd say it might be ok- like in a hefeweizen which is a wheat/malt beer that gets all of its flavor from the yeast.

But even in a light lager, I'd want some character malt in my beer to give it flavor and/or color.

Steeping grains are simple to use, and only take about 20 minutes, so I'd be inclined to use them anytime I wanted any malt backbone at all, or any flavor or even color.

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Old 05-26-2012, 04:47 AM   #5
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Yooper's correct. You should always incorporate some grain into your recipes. They'll add character to your beers.

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Old 05-26-2012, 05:35 AM   #6
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I disagree with always adding steeping grains, but it also depends on what you want. Unlike a lot of extract brewers you were keen to note that most extract contains carapils already which pretty much negates adding it for most recipes in my experience.

But back to personal preference. Some of my favorite and best extract beers have been straight up golden lme and hops, but I happen to like simple malt backgrounds for certain beers. So, if you like to jam ipas with metric sh*t tons or crystal malt, which many here like to do , then straight extract won't work for you.

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Old 05-29-2012, 09:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duckmanco View Post
I disagree with always adding steeping grains, but it also depends on what you want. Unlike a lot of extract brewers you were keen to note that most extract contains carapils already which pretty much negates adding it for most recipes in my experience.

But back to personal preference. Some of my favorite and best extract beers have been straight up golden lme and hops, but I happen to like simple malt backgrounds for certain beers. So, if you like to jam ipas with metric sh*t tons or crystal malt, which many here like to do , then straight extract won't work for you.
Just last night, I peeled off a little of the Ballast Point Sculpin Extract recipe I got on this site to check gravity and gave it a taste (it's been in secondary 1 week and already dry hopped). It was spot on and tasted awesome! The recipe doesn't call for any steeping grains and simply uses 6lbs of light DME and 1lb of corn sugar plus a large bill of hops. If you haven't heard of Sculpin, it is one of the top rated IPA's in the country and is terrific, but doesn't require any grains. Here is the recipe: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/ball...in-ipa-228765/
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