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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > How to make your extract beer taste better
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:48 AM   #1
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Default How to make your extract beer taste better

I liked "10 steps to better extract brewing." I found that article very useful, but is there anything else anyone could add or revise that they'd like to put in this thread? BYO is great but it contains some flawed info. For example, that beginners should use bleach without vinegar or any additives as a sanitizer.

Keeping your ferm temp on the low end of the range and full boil are probably the two biggest factors for making a tasty beer for me.

Anyone have any tips on making a less watery beer? I'm going to try a bit of maltodextrin. I feel like a lot of extract brews I've made are lacking maltiness. Any tips?

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Old 04-09-2010, 05:35 AM   #2
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A full boil worked well for me when I attempted to add more body to the beer. I also so the largest improvement when I moved away from just using liquid extract. For example, when the recipe called for 6 pounds of extract, I would do 3 pounds of liquid and 3 pounds of dry.

I found that adding the dry added a significant amount of "mouthfullness" and head retention to my beer.

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Old 04-09-2010, 05:41 AM   #3
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This may not be in the spirit of the question and I haven't read the article. But since most extract brewers use steeping grains....the best thing I ever did before going to AG was to do some partial mashes. It amounted to adding the steeping grains and maybe a couple pounds of pale malt to a bag and putting it in the oven for an hour instead of letting it sit on the stove for 30 minutes. It adds a fair amount of depth in my opinion.

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Old 04-09-2010, 05:54 AM   #4
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Temp range is definitely a huge factor. Beyond that and proper technique I would say partial mash can help a great deal. It will improve flavor and body IMHO. Partial mash will also prepare you for all grain if you ever decide to brew AG.

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Old 04-09-2010, 03:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Clonefarmer View Post
Temp range is definitely a huge factor. Beyond that and proper technique I would say partial mash can help a great deal. It will improve flavor and body IMHO. Partial mash will also prepare you for all grain if you ever decide to brew AG.
I've done a few AG batches, but I just don't have the patience to sit around for an extra hour and a half for every batch. Also, if I'm going to brew a keg that will typically be consumed in one night at a party, I don't want to put a lot of effort into it.

I may have to stop being so lazy though.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:17 PM   #6
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dont let the AG guys pick on u thats the spirit of homebrewing you can be obsessive or you can be lazy and can still have a great brew day

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Old 04-09-2010, 09:53 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by rexbanner View Post
I've done a few AG batches, but I just don't have the patience to sit around for an extra hour and a half for every batch. Also, if I'm going to brew a keg that will typically be consumed in one night at a party, I don't want to put a lot of effort into it.

I may have to stop being so lazy though.
Are you steeping grains with extract or brewing all extract?
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Old 04-09-2010, 10:17 PM   #8
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(If you do brew in a bag, you can do an all-grain brew day in only about 1/2 hour longer than an extract+specialty grain one)

Extract tips:

You nailed 2 big ones: Full boil is great, and controlling fermentation temperature is one of the most critical parts of brewing in any style.

Pitch the right amount of yeast (neither over- nor under- pitch). Don't rush things off the primary; give it a week after fermentation completes.

Use fresh extract. DME stores better than LME.

I found it easiest to use the same brand and style (the palest available) of DME for every beer, and layer flavors on top of that with specialty grains; that way I was always building from a consistent base (so I knew what to expect), and inventory was simpler. Obviously sometimes (e.g. wheat extract) you have to break this rule.

Do a late addition of roughly half your extract, even in a full boil--prevents unwanted caramelization flavors and keeps color light.

Specialty grains can add a lot.

Consider a partial mash if the style you are brewing would benefit from grains that can't be steeped. This is trivial on the stovetop--it's almost like steeping, just requires a bit more temperature control and 30 more minutes. See DeathBrewer's thread about it. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/easy...ng-pics-75231/

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Old 10-20-2011, 05:02 AM   #9
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seriously i love all this. this are tips i will definitely use on the next one. But whats the thing with lower ferm temp?

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Old 10-20-2011, 05:34 AM   #10
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seriously i love all this. this are tips i will definitely use on the next one. But whats the thing with lower ferm temp?
Try to keep your fermentation at the lower end of the temperature range for that particular yeast. So if you are using Safale it has suggested fermentation range of 59 to 75. Running closer to the low end, say around 60, is better than running at the higher end, like say around 72.
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