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Old 10-08-2009, 09:01 PM   #1
nasmeyer
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Default Brewing kit options good or waste of money?

I have noticed some of the online homebrew stores offer options like... double pitching yeast if over 1060 OG, Alcohol boost of 1%, yeast nutrient, and carbonation tablets. Are these options usually a good idea, or are they just trying to make a buck?

I can see the double pitching if I am brewing a big beer, but can too much yeast be a problem? The alcohol boost seems like it would give off flavors or contribute to esters etc. anyone have a problem with this? Is the yeast nutrient necessary if I am using city H2O with natural minerals? I can see a small benefit with the carbonation tablets by needing one less step (boiling H20 and priming sugar) which could possibly add contamination to the brew.

Just a couple of questions on additives I have not yet tried.

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Old 10-08-2009, 09:46 PM   #2
cvstrat
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More or less it's a way to milk you outa some cash. Your recipe itself should put you spot on the alcohol percentage you are looking for. If you were doing a brew that needed an artificial boost you'd probably be getting candi sugar with the recipe anyway. So no I wouldn't think you'd ever wanna do that.

Carb tablets cost more than sugar, and sugar works just fine. So no you'd probably not want that.

I have never needed yeast nutrient for pitchable yeast. I pitch vials, smack packs, and dry packets straight into the carboy no problem. One thing you will use yeast nutrient for is if you are making a starter. That it would be important for. And if you are making a starter you can probably use one pack of yeast.

Go to mrmalty.com and look at the yeast pitching calculator. Pitching two vials of yeast is pretty much always a good idea. I made a winter spice ale that needed 3.5 vials, so I just made a starter instead because my LHBS charges 8.80 a vial and I wasn't about to spend that much.

The truth is that none of those should be an addon. You should already know how many vials you need, if you are making a starter, and what your ABV is gonna be based on your recipe anyway before you checkout.

Priming with sugar isn't rocket science. If you boil it it's not going to contaminate anything.

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Old 10-08-2009, 09:55 PM   #3
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1) There has been some big debate about the alcohol boost. Frankly, I don't see the benefit or would I notice a 1% change in alcohol.

2) Carb tablets have their place. Say for example you were kegging part of a batch and bottling the rest. Or maybe you were splitting a batch to add something and wanted just a few bottles of the regular beer.

3) The extra packet of yeast over 1.060 is a good idea. If it's dry yeast, I'd definitely pay for it, but if it's liquid yeast, it's cheaper to make a starter.

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Old 10-08-2009, 10:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvstrat View Post

I have never needed yeast nutrient for pitchable yeast. I pitch vials, smack packs, and dry packets straight into the carboy no problem. One thing you will use yeast nutrient for is if you are making a starter. That it would be important for. And if you are making a starter you can probably use one pack of yeast.
Actually, if you're making a starter, there's no real need for a nutrient. You're building the yeast up in an ideal environment and they'll be fine on their own. I never use yeast nutrient regardless, but I wouldn't think it would be important for any use, really.
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