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Old 01-21-2013, 04:42 PM   #1
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Default adding to beer kits ?

im just wondering is it possible to add extras to the beer kits they sell at the lbh or are these set in stone .iv see posts and threads about adding honey,dme etc to increase abv and flavour,colour, etc.if it is possible do i need to alter fermenting temp or increase fermenting length ? .do i need to add extra yeast to ferment the extra sugars or dme thats has been added ? honestly have no clue thanks in advance

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Old 01-21-2013, 05:07 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by darragh
im just wondering is it possible to add extras to the beer kits they sell at the lbh or are these set in stone .iv see posts and threads about adding honey,dme etc to increase abv and flavour,colour, etc.if it is possible do i need to alter fermenting temp or increase fermenting length ? .do i need to add extra yeast to ferment the extra sugars or dme thats has been added ? honestly have no clue thanks in advance
You can but keep in mind that recipes are all about balance of hops and malts. If you play with one you need to adjust the other to maintain that balance.

IMHO you brew the kit as is. If you are looking for a different type of beer then find a kit the fits what you are looking for. Example, if you want an 8% beer don't mess with a 5% and try and make it 8, just find one that already is designed to be 8%
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:10 PM   #3
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If you want to get more technical I used to steep a small amount of grain before the boil to give a recipe a few more fermentables sugars and helps to give you more of brewing concept.

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Old 01-21-2013, 05:16 PM   #4
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thaks for the replies guys

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Old 01-21-2013, 05:57 PM   #5
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What kind of kits are you talking about? All grain or extract + hop boiling kits are probably fairly complete and won't need any additions.

The no-boil kits that are just a can of pre-hopped malt extract and a packet of dry yeast can be improved by not following the original recipe: using a different yeast, different adjunct fermentables (e.g. if it asks for plain sugar, use DME instead) or dry hopping.

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Old 01-21-2013, 06:25 PM   #6
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It really helps if you plug the recipe into a calculator(I use Hopville.com).
That way you can see what you start with and what any possible additions or changes will do to your OG and FG, color, IBUs.
I almost always play around with a kit, generally by adding enough grains to make it a partial mash(which usually means subtracting some of the LME/DME), sometimes changing the hops, sometimes changing the yeast strain. I enjoy the experimentation. And yes, when cooking food I usually change the recipe as well.

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Old 01-21-2013, 06:37 PM   #7
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Think of what you might want to add to a batch and do a search. In the past I've added coffee and vanilla beans to extract and partial boil kits and they turned out very good.

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Old 01-21-2013, 11:08 PM   #8
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thanks again for the support. probably the boil kits i havent come across any non boil kits as of yet im buying from a supermarket chain in ireland maybe thats y ?. il check out the hopsville calculator and see if i can figure something out as i want to experiment and i also do the same when cooking lol

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Old 01-21-2013, 11:09 PM   #9
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thanks again for the support. probably the boil kits i havent come across any non boil kits as of yet im buying from a supermarket chain in ireland maybe thats y ?. il check out the hopville calculator and see if i can figure something out as i want to experiment and i also do the same when cooking lol

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Old 01-21-2013, 11:25 PM   #10
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You know, this was one of the things that encouraged me to go to kitless brewing after my second kit. When I buy a box of cake mix it has instructions for making it, but it also includes options for spicing things up, like adding chocolate chips to the chocolate cake mix or swirling rasberry jam into the white when you put it in the pan. Why don't beer kits have something similar, eg. replace yeast with type X, or soak some oak chips in bourbon and add to the secondary?

So, here's a challenge for the experienced brewers on the list: what are some well-defined modifications that can be made to a specific kit to change the outcome of the brew? And please note, when I say "well-defined" I mean, "replace the 60 minute hop addition with 1.5 oz Hallertau pellets" and not "throw some different hops in".

I'm hoping that these mods will give a safe experimentation plain for newer brewers to play on and maybe more experienced brewers can breathe new life into the kits.

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