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Old 07-10-2012, 11:38 AM   #1
ozzy4355
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Default Anyone brew a great beer with extract kits?

Know most of you on here are all grain but I'm just getting started with homebrewing and has been using extract kits from northern brewer. Unfortunately my first two beers were sub par, partially due to carbonic bite. Have any of you brewed a great beer with an extract kit, something that if you tried it in a store you would be glad to purchase it?

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Old 07-10-2012, 11:45 AM   #2
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I've always had good results with extract kits. I've done a couple from NorthernBrewer, but most of the ones I did were from austinhomebrew.com.

I'm not sure why yours aren't that good- carbonic acid shouldn't be an issue at all as a beer should be carbonated. What seems to be wrong with it?

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Old 07-10-2012, 12:02 PM   #3
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I've brewed five or six kits from Northern Brewer and they have all turned out excellent. I liked my beer better than what I could get in the store (Though I am a littled biased).

You'll have to give us more information about what the off taste is like and your process if you want help solving the problem.

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Old 07-10-2012, 12:02 PM   #4
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I'm guessing by carbonic bite you meant the beers were over carbed, not carbonic acid? I've had good luck with extract kits I've done thru Midwest supplies. I have found however that the standard 5 oz bag of corn sugar that comes with most 5 gallon kits isn't always appropriate for every style. It could be if you are just using the full amount include with the kits, the beers are coming out more carbed then you prefer. Look online for calculators to tweak the amount I corn sugar you want to reach a certain carb volume. That may solve your problem.

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Old 07-10-2012, 12:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozzy4355 View Post
Know most of you on here are all grain but I'm just getting started with homebrewing and has been using extract kits from northern brewer. Unfortunately my first two beers were sub par, partially due to carbonic bite. Have any of you brewed a great beer with an extract kit, something that if you tried it in a store you would be glad to purchase it?
Definitely. I have brewed over 30 extract batches and all but two turned out damn good. One of the bad batches was due to poor fermentation temps, the other I attribute to a bad recipe. Don't give up hope. You can make great beer with extract.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:11 PM   #6
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my first kit was a hefe from NB and it turned out AMAZING. easily beats out many craft brewers hefe's hands down. I'm hoping my 2nd batch of hefe turns out as good

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Old 07-10-2012, 12:21 PM   #7
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My opinion is that extract rarely results in lower quality beer. It only limits the variety of beer you can make since some ingredients just can't be used correctly without mashing.

With that said, you can make great beer with extract. When I was making extract batches, some of my favorite batches were kits from Austin Homebrew. I was particularly impressed with their Cascadian Dark Ale.

If your beers have been sub par, my wild guess would be fermentation temperature. A rough guideline is that you need to ferment the beer under 68 degrees. Keep in mind if the temperature in the room is 68 degrees, the fermenting beer could be well above 70 degrees!

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Old 07-10-2012, 12:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
My opinion is that extract rarely results in lower quality beer. It only limits the variety of beer you can make since some ingredients just can't be used correctly without mashing.
I agree. If you have good technique...sanitize well, pitch the proper amount of healty yeast, and control fermentation temps, extract can make great beer.

As KISSbrew points out you are limited in the ingredients you can use so you are somewhat limited in the brews you can make.

But if you are doing extract with steeping grains a simple switch to partial mash will open up a lot more brews that you can make.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:39 PM   #9
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Extract brewing is pretty straightforward, but it also gives you the opportunity to hone your techniques, like Beergolf said. If you're getting overcarbonated beer, it could be that you bottled it too early (still a lot of active yeast and unfermented sugars) or used too much sugar to prime it. Patience is the hardest lesson to learn when brewing because, well, BEER! But you have to wait if you want something solid.

The extract kits I've used are from Brewer's Best and www.ebrew.com (my LHBS)

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Old 07-10-2012, 01:09 PM   #10
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I recently made my first extract kit. It was the Irish Red from Northern Brewer. I could not have been more pleased with the results. I was shocked how good it was. Of course, I am bias, but everyone I shared it with also loved it. After I've tried some other stuff, the Irish Red will be near the top of my "to brew again" list.
Sweet Stout bottled 12 days ago, haven't tried one yet. Caribou slobber nearing it's 3 week in primary, will bottle then. I hope they are great too.

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