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Old 07-21-2012, 03:43 PM   #31
casperjah
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I only brew with kits and I have found then ALL to be great. I use Coopers, muntons, brewferm as they are available here in Ireland. One key I find is to try to use all malt rather than just dextrose for most kits. My favourites are Coopers European lager when aged for at least 2 months in bottles after a long time in primary and muntons St Peters red ale.

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Old 07-21-2012, 04:49 PM   #32
YeastHerder
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I've brewed from extract and its turned out great. I haven't used an actual 'kit' though. I started by showing up at my LHBS and asking them what to get and they put together all the various ingredients and instructions on what to do. Was this more expensive than an on-line kit? Most likely. But the great part about going the brick-and-mortar route is that the store owner is a brewer with a vested interest in my beer turning out well. Every time I go in, my LHBS guys even remind me that if I have any questions, to call them so they can help troubleshoot. Capitalism at its finest..

So, if you have the option in your area, I encourage you to support your LHBS. The owner will most likely be happy to give you advice so your beer turns out well, so you come back and buy more stuff. Call me old fashioned, but I really like the brick-and-mortar experience and the ability to talk with the live humans instead of ordering in-line. Forums like this are great, but a face-to-face conversation with an experienced brewer can make a world of difference.

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Old 07-21-2012, 06:13 PM   #33
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I've not had awesome beers with all extract except on a few occasions. I think at least, some steeping grains or partial mash is a bid step up. For me, all grain is a money saver and though it takes much more time and patience, it's worth it for me.

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Old 07-21-2012, 06:20 PM   #34
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Been a while but the dry Irish stout kit from NB was one of my best dark beers. Are using RO water when doing the kits? That will likely solve your problem, along with fermentation temp control and appropriate pitch rates.

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