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Old 03-19-2013, 08:42 AM   #1
frankengentle
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Default Using two Muntons premium Pilsner cans for one brew

HI everyone,

I am fairly inexperienced with homebrew but have made a few extract kit brews of various styles which were quite nice. One problem I always have is that the beers are a bit too watery for me. I use DME to beef the flavour up but it still isn't quite right. I have two cans of Muntons premium pilsner and was thinking of just using both cans for a single ~20L brew to see what happens. I am a little concerned that it will end up being too bitter at the end however. Has anyone tried this and if so should I maybe only use 1.5 cans and some DME? I was also thinking of dry hoping to get some extra aroma. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

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Old 03-19-2013, 02:04 PM   #2
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Welcome, Frank. When you say 'watery' that could mean many things - it could have a thin mouthfeel, have low malt flavor, or be less alcoholic than you want.

I've never used the Muntons cans so can't speak from experience to that but have brewed with extract and would suggest that you take a look at the recipe database here at HBT and find an extract recipe you like (many of the all grain recipes have extract conversions in them). If you start with a tried-and-true recipe at least you won't have that to worry about and can focused on your process and techniques.

Good luck on your next brews!

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Old 03-19-2013, 02:13 PM   #3
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Thanks for the speedy advice Pappers. I will have a look and post how my brew goes.

Cheers

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Old 03-19-2013, 02:40 PM   #4
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Toucans (two cans) are very popular down under. Check out these links to read more; http://www.coopers.com.au/
http://aussiehomebrewer.com/

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Old 03-19-2013, 03:19 PM   #5
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You shouldn't have any problems, I once used a woodfordes kit that recommended 2x 1.8kg tins of extract

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Old 03-19-2013, 03:25 PM   #6
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Muntons Premium Lager is 25-35 EBU (~IBU) which is pretty bitter already. You are likely right that two cans would be too bitter.

Perhaps what your beer is missing is dimensionality. You could try adding some steeping grains. A pound of Munich will add some character. Or you could do something a little more bold like Melanoidin malt. Put them in a muslin bag and let the sit in the kettle until the water comes up to a boil.

To better understand the issue, and to provide good recommendations, more information may help.
How much DME are you adding?
What is the final gravity if the beer?
What water are you using?
How much yeast?
What is the temperature if fermentation and are you using a water bath?

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Old 03-20-2013, 09:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodlandBrew View Post
Muntons Premium Lager is 25-35 EBU (~IBU) which is pretty bitter already. You are likely right that two cans would be too bitter.

Perhaps what your beer is missing is dimensionality. You could try adding some steeping grains. A pound of Munich will add some character. Or you could do something a little more bold like Melanoidin malt. Put them in a muslin bag and let the sit in the kettle until the water comes up to a boil.

To better understand the issue, and to provide good recommendations, more information may help.
How much DME are you adding?
What is the final gravity if the beer?
What water are you using?
How much yeast?
What is the temperature if fermentation and are you using a water bath?
It varies depending on what I am making, but I have been trying ~ 1kg of DME for 1 can. I can't off the top of my head remember the gravity as I'm very poor in keeping records. I just use tap water. I live in Germany and the tap water in Freiburg where i live is very good. The last brw I just used the yeast supplied with the kit. I gave it a head start to activate it before I added it to the mix. I have some trouble keeping a consistent temperature, but on average it stays around 20C I suspect that may also contribute to my problems. I am setting up an old fridge with a friend so we can use that for keeping the brew colder.

To be more specific about what I mean by watery, the brews have i guess been a bit too sweet and lack the dryness I would like from a pilsner style. They also a almost void of any aromatic hop taste which I definitely want to have. They overall lack body and sometimes there is a lingering taste that is a bit of bready flavour which I would prefer to avoid. I have improved them by boiling various hops pellets but still can't quite get that dryness I am after.

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and tips.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:21 AM   #8
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Make the other can unhopped lme

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Old 03-20-2013, 09:51 AM   #9
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+1 to the second can being LME.

Thanks for the extra detail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankengentle View Post
It varies depending on what I am making, but I have been trying ~ 1kg of DME for 1 can. I can't off the top of my head remember the gravity as I'm very poor in keeping records.
You might consider keeping better records. It would probably help you figure out what the problem is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankengentle View Post
I just use tap water. I live in Germany and the tap water in Freiburg where i live is very good.
Good water for brewing doesn't necessarily make good water for extract. Extract has the minerals of the region that it was made in concentrated into the extract. Muntons is made fairly close to London which is known for the high bicarbonate levels and high chloride levels. Combine that with your tap water and it will result in an even higher chloride level. Distilled water is normally better for extract brewing, especially a light style like a Pils.
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankengentle View Post
The last brw I just used the yeast supplied with the kit.
This almost undoubtedly results in under pitching. For most ales use at least one 11g package. For Lagers use 22g.
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankengentle View Post
I gave it a head start to activate it before I added it to the mix.
By this do you mean you hydrated the yeast in warm water?
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankengentle View Post
I have some trouble keeping a consistent temperature, but on average it stays around 20C I suspect that may also contribute to my problems. I am setting up an old fridge with a friend so we can use that for keeping the brew colder.
I agree with your assessment, but a dedicated fridge is likely overkill. Just my opinion, but is seems there are a number of less expensive ways to improve your beer (both monetarily and in time) that you might consider trying first.
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankengentle View Post
To be more specific about what I mean by watery, the brews have i guess been a bit too sweet and lack the dryness I would like from a pilsner style.
This sounds like under pitching, and also could be due to mineral content.
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankengentle View Post
They also a almost void of any aromatic hop taste which I definitely want to have.
Try adding an ounce of hops into the fermentor after fermentation has slowed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankengentle View Post
They overall lack body and sometimes there is a lingering taste that is a bit of bready flavour which I would prefer to avoid.
Bread like flavor is often associated with melanoidin, and could be from the malt caramelizing in the kettle . Consider adding the LME with the heat off. Once the extract is dissolved turn on the heat. But this could also be under attenuation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankengentle View Post
I have improved them by boiling various hops pellets but still can't quite get that dryness I am after.

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and tips.
Hope that helps a little.
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