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Old 03-06-2013, 06:24 PM   #1
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Default Top 5 tips to make a good extract beer?

What would you guys say are the top five tips to make a good batch of extract beer?

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Old 03-06-2013, 06:26 PM   #2
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Fresh ingredients

Full boil

Proper yeast pitching rate

Proper fermentation temperature (not ambien temp, actual fermentation temperature)

~2+ weeks in the fermenter, ~3+ weeks in the bottle

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Old 03-06-2013, 07:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ_IPA
Fresh ingredients

Full boil

Proper yeast pitching rate

Proper fermentation temperature (not ambien temp, actual fermentation temperature)

~2+ weeks in the fermenter, ~3+ weeks in the bottle
I would agree with AZ_IPA and add the obvious sanitize everything phrase...
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:59 PM   #4
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Yeast (quality - no Munton's!)
Yeast (fermentation temperature control)
Yeast (pitching rate)
Yeast (proper wort aeration/oxygenation)
Yeast.

Seriously. After my first batch using crap Munton's yeast and not knowing anything about yeast, all of my research on making a better batch of beer has gone back to yeast in some way. Proper yeast management is more important than switching to all-grain.

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Old 03-06-2013, 08:01 PM   #5
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Late additions for the extract for lighter, less caramelized beer...

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Old 03-06-2013, 08:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VampireSix View Post
Yeast (quality - no Munton's!)
Yeast (fermentation temperature control)
Yeast (pitching rate)
Yeast (proper wort aeration/oxygenation)
Yeast.

Seriously. After my first batch using crap Munton's yeast and not knowing anything about yeast, all of my research on making a better batch of beer has gone back to yeast in some way. Proper yeast management is more important than switching to all-grain.
Interesting you say this. The first batch I did from Midwest came with the Munton's yeast and so far that's the only one of my 4 batches that is bottled and ready to go. I've always detected something wrong with it but couldn't put my finger on it.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Upthewazzu

The first batch I did from Midwest came with the Munton's yeast ...I've always detected something wrong with it but couldn't put my finger on it.
Yea spend the extra $1 to upgrade to a better dry yeast (fermentis, safale, danstar). The option is on the order screen at Midwest's website.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:45 PM   #8
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Yea spend the extra $1 to upgrade to a better dry yeast (fermentis, safale, danstar). The option is on the order screen at Midwest's website.
Yep, I've been doing that on the last 3 I've made (liquid, liquid, US-05) but the first kit was a gift from my parent's so I didn't' have a say in that one. Unfortunately, they aren't ready yet
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:19 PM   #9
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Being an inexperienced extract brewer myself (6 brews under my belt) but having picked the brain of my quite knowledgable all-grain brewing neighbor, I'd recommend a yeast starter so that your good guys beat whatever is floating around in your home atmosphere to metabolization of the sugars.

If that's "pitch rate", then I only proved my inexperience.

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Old 03-06-2013, 09:26 PM   #10
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My Top 6 Tips are:

1. Fermentation control is the most important. Keep your beer at the correct temp to avoid off flavors. It doesn't have to be expensive. Swamp coolers work, cold basements, anything that keeps the temp constant and within the working range for your yeast strain.

2. Fresh Ingredients (extract, hops, yeast, steeping grains)

3. Use only pale or extra pale extract since those are made from base 2-row (or marris otter from Northern Brewer), and use steeping grains or partial mash to get the color and other flavors that you want. This was a good tip from Chris Graham I think on an old episode of The Sunday Session that I recently listened to. His point was that using an amber or darker extract puts you at the mercy of the extract maker with regards to flavor since you have no idea what malts went into the extract. Using extract made from base grain will help ensure that you get the exact flavor profile from your beer.

4. Late extract addition. This prevents extra caramalization of the extract, reduces extract twang, and increases hop utilization.

5. Full boil. A small but high quality pot can cost the same as a cheap but large pot. Spend the extra money and start off with a pot large enough for full 5 gallon boils especially if you have the room for it. You will probably need to get a propane burner too, but it is so worth it.

6. Pitch the right amount of yeast.

Bonus: Proper sanitization is important to all kinds of brewing.

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