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Old 10-17-2012, 05:55 PM   #11
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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.
I'd go with either 1kg(2.2lb), or 3 lb of DME. The can alone wont get your OG high enough to give you a decent ABV once you start fermenting. A rule of thumb I always use is whenever I'm adding a kg of corn sugar, I always add between 5 and 8 oz of maltodextrin to give the beer more of a body. Corn sugar only ferments to ethanol and really thins out your beer. Good luck!
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:22 PM   #12
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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.
Thanks. So if I use a dark DME for the nut brown ale, will that make it darker/nuttier? What do you guys think?
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:25 PM   #13
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Thanks. So if I use a dark DME for the nut brown ale, will that make it darker/nuttier? What do you guys think?
Darker, but not necessarily nuttier. The nutty flavor comes from a specific sort of malt that is used. Usually you need steeping grains to get that for extract brews. You need steeping grains for AG also, it is just handled differently.
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:31 PM   #14
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Darker, but not necessarily nuttier. The nutty flavor comes from a specific sort of malt that is used. Usually you need steeping grains to get that for extract brews. You need steeping grains for AG also, it is just handled differently.
Cool. I read up on steeping grains and looked at a lot of recipe kits using them, but figured I'd go extract with my first few to keep it simpler. If this gets to be a big part of my life as time goes on, I'll be doing a good bit more experimentation.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:11 PM   #15
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Cool. I read up on steeping grains and looked at a lot of recipe kits using them, but figured I'd go extract with my first few to keep it simpler. If this gets to be a big part of my life as time goes on, I'll be doing a good bit more experimentation.
Your signature quote says it all.....it WILL become a big part of your life :-) Welcome to the addiction!!
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:39 PM   #16
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Another thought occurred to me. If the can only has about half the fermentables that the 6-gallon recipe calls for, could I just brew a smaller batch with what's there? It makes 5 UK gallons (6 US gallons), so maybe a batch of 4 US gallons would work? Thoughts?

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Old 10-17-2012, 09:23 PM   #17
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Another thought occurred to me. If the can only has about half the fermentables that the 6-gallon recipe calls for, could I just brew a smaller batch with what's there? It makes 5 UK gallons (6 US gallons), so maybe a batch of 4 US gallons would work? Thoughts?
You can do that, but the hop and malt profiles won't be balanced. The recipe was created with adding additional fermentables and a five to six gallon batch size in mind.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:49 PM   #18
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You can do that, but the hop and malt profiles won't be balanced. The recipe was created with adding additional fermentables and a five to six gallon batch size in mind.
Thank you!
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:42 PM   #19
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Turns out there's an organic foods co-op store only 50 miles from me that has a full home wine and beer brewing selection. I'll be heading there today or tomorrow. If they don't have DME, I'll just pick up a full recipe kit for something else, put the current kits on the shelf and order the DME for those online.

Kinda want to get this brewing thing started.

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Old 10-18-2012, 12:59 PM   #20
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If you're going to get a whole 'nuther kit when you go, you might as well try to get one that has hops as a separate addition (not already included in the extract) and steeping grains. Neither adds any significant complication to the process other than that you have to watch the clock and temperature a bit more, and will get you better beer at the end. My first brew was a kit with steeping grains and timed hop additions, and I was certainly not overwhelmed, even though I applied a (not recommended) "brew first, ask questions later" approach. Beer still turned out fine, and I had better questions to ask afterwards since I'd already fumbled through it once.

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