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Old 02-15-2013, 11:21 PM   #1
Gaso
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Default Extract beer is bad - How to make it great

I just wanted to share with you my experiences.

I brewed about 10 batches of extract can beer, but all I can say is that the beers if followed by tutorials are below average actually taste sour, very little head retention, low carbonation ...., I always bottle my beer and prime with dextrose.

But you can make great beer with cans or extract. I think the problem with all cans and LME, DME beers is that all sugars in wort are fermentable and after fermentation finishes the beer is to dry if you don't add some unfermentable sugar additions. The head retention is very poor, the foam isn't creamy, no foam lacing etc...

I suggest you to pour the beer with little or almost no foam, don't pour it very high at the end, when you pour it, add the 1/4 of TS of ordinary table sugar directly into the glass, 1/4 of TS(tea spoon - the smaller one) for 0.5l glass is perfect. You will add some sweetness to the beer, which I think is good for can beers, and the beer will have great carbonation and outstanding head retention which will last for ever, with that I mean for at lest 15 minutes or more, the head lacing will be outstanding.

Adjust the amount of sugar to your taste and experiment a bit, for my taste 1/2 TS of table sugar for 0.5l glass works the best for the sweetness of the beer, but be careful, because the beer will foam a lot, so do have a big glass with lots of space above the head. You'll see the difference in size of the bubbles, which will be tinny not as big as ordinary CO2 carbonation bubbles.
I think you should always add sugar into stout, you'll get better head which is comparable to Guinness nitrogen head.

Try that, and tell me what do you think of beer taste, foam, head retention, lacing etc....

I think I finally made outstanding beer out of can and I think I know why the all grain have better taste than extract, it's because of unfermentable sugars, which you are able to control with mashing temperature. All can beers are to sour or dry if you like for my taste, period. Add sugar after pouring and you'll have outstanding beer.

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Old 02-16-2013, 01:32 AM   #2
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Interesting thought, but I think most people here have the opposite opinion about extract beer. MOST extracts have a higher percentage of unfermentable sugar than all-grain wort. I can see where adding a small amount of sugar to a finished beer would add body, mouthfeel and sweetness, but I do not think that this is the "best" method.

Before you write off extract as an "inferior" brewing method, I suspect you try a different source of extract. I have never been a fan of canned extract. I know some brewers have made very good beer using canned extracts, but I personally feel that buying extract from the bulk containers at my LHBS gives me a better result. I am lucky to have access to a store with good turnover. This almost guarantees fresh ingredients. Usually, the liquid yeast is less than a week old.

Try a different brand of extract, steep a few specialty grains like crystal 60 or chocolate malt for flavor, color and body. It is possible to make amazing, delicious, full-flavored, full-bodied beer with extract. If you have to add sugar to your finished brew, then I would try tweaking ingredients or processes until you get the results you are looking for.

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Old 02-16-2013, 02:26 AM   #3
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No doubt you have been able to identify what your beer needs to satisfy your taste, but I think DrummerBoySeth offered sound advice. I would try to get the same style kit from a different supplier and brew it just as it comes.

If you don't like the taste of it either, then get a second kit and split it up so you can brew half of it at a time. Experiment with 2.5 gallons instead of 5. If you don't like how it turns out you won't have so much of it to drink. And you still have the other half kit to experiment with.

Just my .02. Good luck to you whatever you decide is best for you.

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Old 02-16-2013, 11:21 AM   #4
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I agree with you guys, that I should try different extractw, but my main problem is to get extract in my country, for me isn't problem to get grains, but I have only one supplier for cans and extracts in my country, I should also mention that everyone should also try different yeast, but again in my country I am only able to get fermentis, or import some ingredients with 40% import taxes and 30$ for the shipping.

I think you are talking about the fermentable sugars with gravity reading in mind, but I didn't think about the difference about SG and FG, for my taste all Coopers, Muntons beers are to dry, I always add DME instead of dextrose, but for my taste the beer is too dry. But you can correct this if you just add few drops of sugar directly into the poured beer, try it and you'll see how beer reacts when you'll add small amount of sugar, it will have great had and lancing, try this with commercial beer if you want, and you'll see what head it will have.

Right now I have brewer Coopers Engish bitter with 0.5kg DME + 0.5kg dextrose in 23l batch, it fermented in microcontrolled fermentation chamber, I even made 2l starter with Coopers yeast with 1.036 wort. That beer is to dry for my taste, or some say it has that tounge mounth feel. It had big presssure "pop" when I openned the botte, I mad 2" head while pouring, but it had very little carbonation bubbles. I throwed into the glass in poured beer 1/2 tea spoon of table sugar and miracle, the carbonation bubbles started formin, I had a great foam and lancing, and the beer started to taste right it was the exelent beer.

I suggest you to open one bottle of your beer and drink it, after that open another, after pouring put i little sugar into the glass and you'll see what beer should be, I mean head, lancing, carbonation .... Yust try that before you post comment, btw, I will probably stick with extract brewing for at least a your, I didn't want to start extract vs all grain, but just want to help, extract brewers to ger great head and lancing, carbonation.

You can try that with just a little sugar addition, with any beer be it AG, extract, commercial, immediately if the beer is flat it will back alive with little sugar addition. Try it. !

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Old 02-16-2013, 11:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaso View Post
...but again in my country I am only able to get fermentis, or import some ingredients with 40% import taxes and 30$ for the shipping.
Fermentis/Safale is great.....so I wouldn't be too bummed about having to use it.

Many threads here on how to achieve better head retention and body (e.g. wheat dme, carapils, dextrose, etc.).

I only brew extract (because of the size of my place) and I have turned out some pretty good DME/LME beers. You may also want to consider Mini-mash method which can greatly improve the flavor of some extract beers too.
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriggerFingers View Post
Fermentis/Safale is great.....so I wouldn't be too bummed about having to use it.

Many threads here on how to achieve better head retention and body (e.g. wheat dme, carapils, dextrose, etc.).

I only brew extract (because of the size of my place) and I have turned out some pretty good DME/LME beers. You may also want to consider Mini-mash method which can greatly improve the flavor of some extract beers too.
I have read all threads, just try my tip with any beer.
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:50 PM   #7
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Well,first of all,if you get a beer with a hard pop when you open it,it wasn't refridgerated long enough. They need at least a week,not an hour or two. And adding sugar to the recipe is what's drying it out. I've done a lot of different beers with Cooper's as a base,so I know. Use DME in the boil for hop additions,add the Cooper's can at flame out with any remaining DME. I get good lacing Mouth feel without dumping sugar in the glass.
That act alone says you need more gravity in your recipes that doesn't involve fermentable sugars alone. It's the long chain sugars in extract that give color & flavor,as well as mouthfeel. Leave those beers in the fridge for at least a week. 2 weeks gives thicker head & longer lasting ,fine bubbled carbonation.
The sugar aids carbonation which drives head by adding nucleation points to the beer in the glass. The graint sugar bits create places for the co2 to cling to,basically.
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:59 PM   #8
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In addition to unionrdr's Reply :

As the sugar gradually dissolves , it pushes dissolved CO2 out from the Beer and this helps the head retention .

Pour some carbonated drink for example Coca Cola into a glass and add a little salt or sugar to it . You will see that lots of CO2 will be emitted ( Fiiizzzzzzzzz...) .

Besides , I had a similar problem with my Extract batches . I moved to partial mash and used crystal and roasted malt along with DME and I've had much better results since then .

Hector

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Old 02-20-2013, 12:42 AM   #9
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Extract beers arent bad. A lot of canned kits on the other hand...

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Old 02-20-2013, 11:55 PM   #10
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As I said in my fist post, I am talking about cans and I am talking if you follow the instructions of manufacturer.

Coopers English bitter + 0.5kg DME + 0.5 Dextrose as suggested by coopers is reviewed as great beer, but it isn't and I know what good beer is, this is not. I lager all my beers for about 4 weeks at 0.5°C after 3 weeks in secondary(bottle) to clean it and to settle yeast completely.

As Adrenaline-Junkie said, extract beer is not equal to cans, I may have posted the wrong title of thread. My last 3 batches are DME late addition and added hop tea(60min boil, 3 additions of hops), it's still lagering, so I haven't tried none of the batches, but the hop profile is far batter than all my can batches.

My intention of this post was, as hector has written, how to fix flat beer, if carbonation and head retention is not perfect.

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