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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Extract brewing recipe - can this be right?
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:33 PM   #1
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Default Extract brewing recipe - can this be right?

Hey all:

About to start my very first brew, a Muntons Connoisseurs Export Pilsner. Now, I've read widely on this forum and a couple books, so I'm confident I have a good enough grasp of the details of basic brewing. And the instructions are quite easy to understand and follow. But it says I need to add 2.2 pounds of sugar during primary fermentation. Well, the can has hopped malt extract containing malted barley, hops and water. I thought that was all that was needed for the yeast to work and ferment beer.

Help me out here? Thanks. Below I've listed the pertinent directions contained inside the canister.

2. Stand the can in hot water for 5 minutes to soften the contents. Then start boiling 3.5 liters of water.
3. Open the can and pour the contents into your cleaned and sterilized fermenter.
4. Add the boiling water to the fermenter.
5. Add 2.2 lbs of sugar (preferably brewing sugar).
6. Thoroughly mix the fermenter's contents to dissolve the sugar and malt extract.
7. Add 17.5 litres of cold water to bring the volume up to 5 UK gallons. Stir and leave to stand until the temperature reaches 65-70 F.
8. Sprinkle in the yeast supplied and stir.

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Old 10-17-2012, 05:39 PM   #2
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I have never made one of these canned brews, but I know a lot of the cans themselves don't have enough fermentables themselves. For 5 gallons you normally see around 6lbs of fermentables, give or take and I think most cans are like 3.5lbs. So the sugar is normally added. I would suggest either using two cans instead of the sugar, or 2 or 3 lbs of DME instead of the sugar. If you don't have those the sugar is fine. I would also suggest boiling everything, not just mixing into the primary.

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Old 10-17-2012, 05:59 PM   #3
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If you don't add anything further, sugar or more dry malt extract, it will be a very weak beer.

If you can get some dry malt extract that would be better, but, since this is your first beer, just add sugar and understand it might not be the greatest beer ever, but you'll probably love, because you made it. Table sugar will work if that's what you have.

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Old 10-17-2012, 06:13 PM   #4
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I have brewed that exact recipe before. If you add the sugar, it will boost the ABV a bit but add virtually nothing to the flavor. If you use DME, it adds to the ABV and it also adds more flavor to the beer. Either way, the can is likely 3.3 or 3.5 lbs (depending on which can you have) of extract so without adding anything, it will be a bit lighter than intended. Several brewing buddies actually add 4 lbs. of DME to that recipe and get some astounding results . . . lots of flavor and lots of ABV, they also add more hops . . . of course, those guys are all about getting hammered with high IBU beer.

Suggest going with 2.2 lbs of DME if you can, unless you want a slightly lighter flavor that the sugar will provide.

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Old 10-17-2012, 06:19 PM   #5
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Thanks for the explanations, folks. If I go with added DME, I have to order it and wait for it to be shipped (rural area 2 hours from any bigger city with brewing supplies). So, is any DME like any other, or does it need to be tailored to this particular beer?

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Old 10-17-2012, 06:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hella_Sinful View Post
I Suggest going with 2.2 lbs of DME if you can, unless you want a slightly lighter flavor that the sugar will provide.
Based on the numbers, 3lb of DME would be better, not 2.2. 2.2lb of sugar will add about 100 sugar points, to get that you need about 3lb of DME, 2.2lb will only add 80 points

Back to the OP's original question yes 1 can of LME with about 1KG (2.2 lb) of sugar (white or brown) will give you a typical beer and beer level - about 4-4.5% It will be better than the store beer (usually) but not the better store stuff. Using all malt is better.
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:23 PM   #7
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So I'm looking at ordering DME (3 lb bags). off one of the forum sponsor's web sites. Should I get the gold or the amber for this pilsner? I also have a nut brown ale Muntons kit, so will need to get 3 more lbs of DME for that. I reckon the dark DME is appropriate for this one?

I'm going to go the DME route instead of suger. I know I'll be happier in the end.

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Old 10-17-2012, 06:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElyIrishBrew View Post
Thanks for the explanations, folks. If I go with added DME, I have to order it and wait for it to be shipped (rural area 2 hours from any bigger city with brewing supplies). So, is any DME like any other, or does it need to be tailored to this particular beer?
Use a light, extra light or pilsner style DME to avoid adding unwanted characters from crystal and dark malts, normally found in amber and dark extracts.
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:29 PM   #9
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Use a light, extra light or pilsner style DME to avoid adding unwanted characters from crystal and dark malts, normally found in amber and dark extracts.
Thanks! I'll go with the gold DME for the pilsner and the dark DME for the nut brown ale.
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElyIrishBrew View Post
Thanks! I'll go with the gold DME for the pilsner and the dark DME for the nut brown ale.
Generally, it's not necessary to go with anything more than light DME with any of the kits as the dark malts are already included in the canned portion of the extract. However, if you want to experiment with darker additions, there's no reason you can't do that.
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