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Old 10-03-2008, 04:36 PM   #1
DD2000GT
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Default You CAN make good extract only beer

I have been a homebrewer for over 8 years, but just recently got back into it from a 4 year hiatis. My previous beers always had an annoying metalic "twang" that I could never seem to get rid of (and believe me - I tried everything). Since I am recently unemployed - and like beer - I decided to give it another try. After finding this great boards and doing some research - I found that this "twang" could be what most call extract twang. I aways bought my LME from the local homebrew supply store - so I guess that could be the case.

This first batch getting back into it was a hefe-wizen as I really love wheat beers. I got a hopped Edme kit, added 3 lbs. of wheat DME, specialty hefe-wizen dry yeast, and some extra flavoring/aroma hops at the end of the boil. Fermented in primary for two weeks, then kegged for three weeks. I just poured my first glass and was very impressed. Plenty of wheat flavor, decent head, and no "twang" - this is what I got into homebrewing for.

So - it took 8 years (well - actually 4) - but you can make good extract only beer that you are proud to share. It obviously depends though on the freshness of the extract... So if there are any discouraged extract only brewers out there - keep your head up.

Now - onto the next step - mini-mashing.

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Old 10-03-2008, 04:41 PM   #2
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Good job. The jump to mini is worth it, but won't last long until you want to go AG

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Old 10-03-2008, 04:47 PM   #3
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Good job. The jump to mini is worth it, but won't last long until you want to go AG
Actually - my goal IS to get to AG - but as you can tell - homebrewing does not come naturally to me and I need a lot of practice before I finally get it down. Plus - since I am unemployed - I can't afford any specialty equipment. I can do the mini-mash in a 5 gallon round igloo water cooler - so I am going to go that route and see if my beer quality improves.

Also - I am only buying from Austin Home Brew Supply as I know their ingredients are always fresh. All this time I thought there was a failure in my process - and it appears it was a freshness issue (or I got lucky with this batch LOL).
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Old 10-03-2008, 05:07 PM   #4
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Plus - since I am unemployed - I can't afford any specialty equipment. I can do the mini-mash in a 5 gallon round igloo water cooler - so I am going to go that route and see if my beer quality improves.
You can convert that same cooler to a mash tun for all-grain brewing for about ten bucks.

That doesn't get you the rest of the equipment, but I can tell you to keep an eye on your local Craigslist for brewing gear. Many people have scored great equipment for next-to-nothing.

And, incidentally, I completely agree. You CAN make not just good, but great beer using extracts.
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Old 10-03-2008, 05:28 PM   #5
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+1 to great beer being possible using extracts. I have been kind of hit-or-miss as far as dealing with "twang" goes, but I think these are the two most important factors:

1) Fresh extract. If you can't be sure of the freshness of your LME, use DME instead
2) Boil volume. The closer to a full boil you can do, the less caramelization will occur in the kettle and the less and un-planned, annoying sweetness will be hanging around afterwards. Smaller batches make it way easier to do full or near-full boils. If you must do a small partial boil, try a late extract addition.

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Old 10-03-2008, 10:09 PM   #6
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Well, my expercience is limited, very limited, but I brewed a Coopers Lager, extract only, it was my first one, and I got a very good beer.
I think that the trick was a very accurate sanitzation job, temperature control and a long rest of the beer upon his cake.
Surely the quality of the extract make is business.
My two european cents,
Giovanni

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Old 10-03-2008, 10:17 PM   #7
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I wrote a blog about it awhile back...

http://blogs.homebrewtalk.com/Revvy/...all_get_along/

It ain't the type of beer beign brewed, it's the brewer....Not every contest winner is All Grain...

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Old 10-03-2008, 10:26 PM   #8
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These are holy words!

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Old 10-03-2008, 10:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goplayoutside View Post
+1 to great beer being possible using extracts. I have been kind of hit-or-miss as far as dealing with "twang" goes, but I think these are the two most important factors:

1) Fresh extract. If you can't be sure of the freshness of your LME, use DME instead
2) Boil volume. The closer to a full boil you can do, the less caramelization will occur in the kettle and the less and un-planned, annoying sweetness will be hanging around afterwards. Smaller batches make it way easier to do full or near-full boils. If you must do a small partial boil, try a late extract addition.
Regarding boil volume, you can reduce the effect of a small boil (darkened color, lousy hop utilization etc) by doing a partial boil. A full boil on a kitchen stove is tough, but you can use a smaller brewpot and boil only about 1/2 the extract for 60 minutes and add the remainder at flame out. I'm sure you can get full details about procedures else where on the site.
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Old 10-03-2008, 11:21 PM   #10
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Fresh extract. If you can't be sure of the freshness of your LME, use DME instead
Hello All!

First off, I'm an uber-noobie with little experience other than studying and asking opinions of more experienced brewers. So my experience on this is quite limited...I'm just questioning LME based on pure instinct here.

But I have always wondered about the possibility of LME in a metal can adding the "twang" to the flavor. You know, in the same way that peas or other veggies in a can just never taste the same as fresh? I know that some suppliers offer LME in plastic but locally I am only able to find it in metal cans. I have just steered away from LME in a can for the same reason I avoid canned corn...the metallic flavor. I use DME not from vast experience but from instinct based on canned veggies I've made the mistake of cooking with.

Can any of you with more experience offer a difference in metal vs. plastic DME containers?

-Tripod
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