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Old 07-10-2012, 01:11 PM   #11
alexsaunders
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Give us some more details and perhaps we can help with that bite.

I've been brewing with extract for the last 3 years, only one bad batch and that was a recipe malfunction (kit came with, I kid you not, 10oz of spices for a 5 gallon pumpkin beer - it smelt like a scented candle when we were done).

The kits have been Brewer's Best, the local homebrew shop (Brew Hut), and pieced together following Jamil's book.

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Old 07-10-2012, 01:20 PM   #12
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Well of course... for about 10 years until when recently I moved to all grain.... BUT I alway steeped 3 pounds of "something" (usually crystal, roasted barley, oatmeal) for my 5.5 gallon batches... Most of the good extract brews I have had had some steeped grain...But I know people who don't and just play with the different Malt Extracts and they have it down to a science and brew tasty stuff... BUT they make sure when using LME that it is fresh...

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Old 07-10-2012, 02:41 PM   #13
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I've done around a dozen extract recipes now, and they've all turned out good. With and without specialty grains. I grow each time in the hobby, and on the past two I've started doing late additions. I want to move on though to at least partial mash if not BIAB or all out AG.

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Old 07-10-2012, 02:48 PM   #14
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I've done a number of extract kits (almost all through Midwest), and generally have had pretty solid results. Some beers were good, a couple were great. Only one kit didn't turn out well (I think that had more to do with poor fermentation temperature control than anything else, so I won't put that on the kit).

Two things I keep in mind when going with an extract kit:

1) make sure it has at least some steeping grains. Even 8 oz of something can make a difference.

2) fresh yeast is key. One advantage of ordering a kit through an online supplier is that you can specify fresh(er) yeast. Kits sold in LHBS might be fresh, might be somewhat more "shelf-bound." If you buy a kit from a LHBS, try to figure out dates (if that is at all possible, which sometimes it isn't).

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Old 07-10-2012, 03:00 PM   #15
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Just finished my last bottle of Brewer's Best Australian IPA, a GREAT extract/mini-mash kit for under $40. It has 2 lbs of steeping grains as well as a total of 4 oz hops, infused an ounce at a time throughout the boil. Also, the usual DME and LME

Beer tasted fantastic, good head retention, and overall a treat to savor. Try it if you can still find it... it's a limited seasonal if I recall.

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Old 07-10-2012, 03:00 PM   #16
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Everything I've brewed so far has been Extract from Northern Brewer...Bourbon Porter, Sinistral Warrior IPA, Black IPA, Nut Brown Ale, and RyePA. All turned out stellar, but I also never followed the instructions completely...I add something or fiddle with it somehow. as for a the carbing issue, I'm not sure what you mean...I just add a 5oz bag of corn sugar with 16oz of waater and boil. seems to work every time!

oops, I also did a Rogue Dead Guy batch that we bought a LHBS in Sioux Falls, it was the one that Rogue puts their name on...I think it's Craft Brew USA or something like that. That one might be one of my favorites, we tried it as a blind side by side and everyone picked our batch over the pros!

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Old 07-10-2012, 03:03 PM   #17
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I've brewed lots of extract kits that came out excellent, most of them from either NB or Midwest. If you have a good process, you can make amazing beer using extract kits.

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Old 07-10-2012, 03:18 PM   #18
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The key to making good extract beer is making sure its fresh extract; it's imperative if using LME. Buying from Northernbrewer, Midwest Supply, Austin Homebrew and the like can pretty much assure you that the extract is fresh because of the quantity they sell, on the otherhand you may find your LHBS has extract kits that have sat around their hot store room for a long long time, I'd avoid those.

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Old 07-10-2012, 03:25 PM   #19
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I've done only extract kits for my first 6 batches. All of the beers were pretty drinkable but I also made some modifications. Friends loved them and they tasted great!

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Old 07-10-2012, 04:12 PM   #20
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Just brewed (yesterday) my 12th extract brew, a NB American Wheat. Experimented with late addition, if it turns out well I'll doing that more (easier to control boil).
I've used Austin Home Brew Supply, MoreBeer, NB, and HomeBrew Heaven kits. Like others have mentioned, I think temperature control is a big factor for good results, In my area of Oregon we can get temperature swings of up to 50 degrees. This week we are averaging 40 degrees from day to night. The only room in my house that is now temperature controlled is my brew room

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