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Old 11-01-2006, 03:09 PM   #1
WAGNER BREWING
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Default Getting away from kits too early?

I really dont like the instructions on the kits. The BB Irish Stout was my first homebrew, so I can understand why they would just tell me to put the wort in the primary and then bottle and age after 1 week of fermenting, even though its not the best way. I have done a lot of reading and research and I just dont enjoy the simplicity. So yesterday I found an extract recipe out of Brewmasters Bible, an American Bock recipe. I went to my local homebrew shop and they hooked me up with all the ingredients and Im going to give it a shot tonight. Ill post the recipe and let you know how it went. Am I being a little to premature by getting away from kits so fast? And why is it so much more expensive to buy malt extract separately than in a kit. I paid $11.50 for one 3.3lb can of malt extract!!!

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Primary #1: I'll be Bock

Primary #2: Ash Red Lager

Secondary: Empty

Bottled: Rengaw Leaf Stout

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Old 11-01-2006, 03:15 PM   #2
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No, there's no reason not to use recipes if you're comfortable with the process. Just keep in mind that just because the directions in the kit tell you to bottle after one week in primary there's no reason you can't still use a secondary and the 1-2-3 timetable.

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Old 11-01-2006, 03:42 PM   #3
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Or a 3-4-? timetable, if you are busy and run out of time like me.

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Old 11-01-2006, 03:56 PM   #4
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Oh I fully understand the I can always go above and beyond what the kit instructions say, and thats why I am getting away from the kits and I am going to try to understand more fully by getting into brewing methods that make great beer, not mediocre beer.

Here is the recipe that I am going to brew:

1/2 # crystal malt
1/4 # black malt
1/4 # Munich malt
7 # amber malt extract
1 # dark dry malt extract
1 1/2 oz Hallertauer hops (60min boil)
1/2 oz Hallertauer hops (end of boil) aromatic
1 tsp Irish moss
German dry lager yeast

OG 1.062
FG 1.018

Potential Alcohol: 5.9 %

How does this sound?

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Give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish;Let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more. -- The Bible, Proverbs, Chapter 31 verse 6 and 7

Primary #1: I'll be Bock

Primary #2: Ash Red Lager

Secondary: Empty

Bottled: Rengaw Leaf Stout

Up Next: Unsure...

Thinking About: Banana Spice(?), Scottish Ale
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Old 11-01-2006, 04:39 PM   #5
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arent you following someone's directions either way? if its not whoever put the kit together, then its whoever wrote that recipe...? the only difference is your ingredients arent pre-packed together when you get them.

im all for (omg i cant believe im going ot use this phrase)...going "outside the box"

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Old 11-01-2006, 05:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WAGNER BREWING
I really dont like the instructions on the kits. The BB Irish Stout was my first homebrew, so I can understand why they would just tell me to put the wort in the primary and then bottle and age after 1 week of fermenting, even though its not the best way. I have done a lot of reading and research and I just dont enjoy the simplicity. So yesterday I found an extract recipe out of Brewmasters Bible, an American Bock recipe. I went to my local homebrew shop and they hooked me up with all the ingredients and Im going to give it a shot tonight. Ill post the recipe and let you know how it went. Am I being a little to premature by getting away from kits so fast? And why is it so much more expensive to buy malt extract separately than in a kit. I paid $11.50 for one 3.3lb can of malt extract!!!

Canned extract is expensive and from the looks of your recipe you are using more than most kits do.
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Old 11-01-2006, 05:18 PM   #7
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Your problem isn't kits, it's bad kits. Poor instructions, limited selection, sugar-boosts, outdated yeast & hops are all typical of beer-in-a-can kits. Someone posted the one page instructions for their BIAC that featured a gnome with a witch's pot!

Take a look at austinhomebrew for what a kit should be. They put them together the same way a good LHBS would, just more selections & options.

Paying more for a can of extract than it would cost in a kit is nothing more than basic economics. Parts are expensive, unless you know where to shop.

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Old 11-01-2006, 06:43 PM   #8
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Yeah, some kits do suck. However, I have a different approach on that subject. I think that kits are great for the simple reason that what all you need is there and you can concentrate on your tecnique rather than your ingredients. This is exceptionally true for those of us that are really virgins in this new and exciting hobby. I've done a little of both. I've read just about everything on brewing that I can get my hands on and have adopted my kits to expand on what I've learned. Like steeping grains and the amount of time they need to be exposed to certain temperatures. Also, have started using late extract additions with LME's. They don't need to boil for a whole hour and you also lose some bittering hop efficiencies. The kits really give you a good idea as to what the beer taste like with certain hops, their relationship to IBU's, and what kind of yeast are better suitable for said style. Also understand this, the instructions are written to leave a large margin of error. They don't want their customers complaining how bad the beer is based on instructions. If you read between the lines, there is plenty of room to "tweak" the instructions. I have recognized that there are basically three types of brewers on this forum: those that strive for excellence are usually AG brewers, those that are comfortable with extracts but will experiment with different recipes and styles and those that find what they like and only brew those types. Most of us are in the middle while only a few are in the latter.

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Old 11-01-2006, 06:50 PM   #9
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I'm about to brew my first batch from a recipe I found rather than with a mailorder kit. I'm expecting about the same results, but I really don't think I need a printed checklist as I go anymore. I went down to the LBS and bought 6lbs DME, 1lb crystal 60l, 4oz of hops, a packet of yeast, and a grain bag. Same thing as a good kit from AHS or Morebeer.. I just picked out the piece parts.

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Old 11-01-2006, 07:10 PM   #10
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Midwest Brewing Supplies sells Breiss LME for 8.50 for a 3.3 pound or 13.50 for 6lb which is a lot cheaper than buying coopers LME or something like that.

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