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Old 08-17-2010, 01:14 AM   #1
Hannable1975
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Default Crawling before I walk - modifying box kits

So I am getting back into brewing - but it's like I am totally new. My first batch - a Brewer's Best Red Ale , is sitting in bottles, waiting for the magic date with the fride and a mug. I put this together totally by the instuctions / advice of friends.

Second batch - wanted to play JUST A LITTLE - so I upped the mid boil hops with some leaf hops of the same variety ( Willamette) that was included in my boxed English Brown Ale ( Brewer's Best once again ). I also had at thins point learned of Whirlfloc, which is not part of the kit.

Now - I really want to take a step away - but not leave the "safety" of the box kit. I LOVE Milk Stout ( the Duck Rabbit brewery local to me makes an amazing one ) and wonder -

Any one ever buy a stout kit and modify it with lactose to make a milk stout? Any warnings, tips, tricks?

Thanks!

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Old 08-17-2010, 02:30 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Hannable1975 View Post
So I am getting back into brewing - but it's like I am totally new. My first batch - a Brewer's Best Red Ale , is sitting in bottles, waiting for the magic date with the fride and a mug. I put this together totally by the instuctions / advice of friends.

Second batch - wanted to play JUST A LITTLE - so I upped the mid boil hops with some leaf hops of the same variety ( Willamette) that was included in my boxed English Brown Ale ( Brewer's Best once again ). I also had at thins point learned of Whirlfloc, which is not part of the kit.

Now - I really want to take a step away - but not leave the "safety" of the box kit. I LOVE Milk Stout ( the Duck Rabbit brewery local to me makes an amazing one ) and wonder -

Any one ever buy a stout kit and modify it with lactose to make a milk stout? Any warnings, tips, tricks?

Thanks!
Remember a box kit is nothing more than a manufacturer or LHBS taking a recipe and adding all of the parts in a box for you with instructions. Take for example NCBeernut's Deception Stout Recipe (which uses lactose). If you bought that recipe as a box kit, you would get in the box the grains which would likely be crushed and placed in a bag. Next you would get two bags of DME, then a bag of hops, and a bag of priming sugar, a bag of lactose, a package of yeast (which would be some neutral dry yeast and you would have to pay extra for a good yeast), and likely some bottle caps.

So, why not try an extract recipe, like Deception Stout (which incidentally I wrote a set of instructions for the recipe in the thread at post #78), and step outside the box by getting the individual components yourself from your LHBS or an online vendor like Northern Brewer, Midwest, or AHBS. If you print off the first post and take it to your LHBS or call one of the online vendors, I'm sure they would help you assemble your own box kit. You already have the instructions after all.
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Last edited by BigB; 08-17-2010 at 02:39 AM.
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:55 PM   #3
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+1 on the above recommendation. That's one of the most important things that I realized when I started brewing.

Also, +1 on the Duck Rabbit Milk Stout; my fiance can't get enough of that stuff.

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Old 08-18-2010, 05:48 PM   #4
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Not to plug a specific store, but www.northernbrewer.com has a link to the recipe for all of the kits on their site. It's at the bottom of the product page. I learned a lot about how to make my own recipes by reading the kit sheets on the site and modifying them based on my tastes. If you don't want to order from them, you can just buy the ingredients from your LHBS and follow the instructions from the NB site.

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Old 08-20-2010, 11:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BigB View Post
Remember a box kit is nothing more than a manufacturer or LHBS taking a recipe and adding all of the parts in a box for you with instructions. Take for example NCBeernut's Deception Stout Recipe (which uses lactose). If you bought that recipe as a box kit, you would get in the box the grains which would likely be crushed and placed in a bag. Next you would get two bags of DME, then a bag of hops, and a bag of priming sugar, a bag of lactose, a package of yeast (which would be some neutral dry yeast and you would have to pay extra for a good yeast), and likely some bottle caps.

So, why not try an extract recipe, like Deception Stout (which incidentally I wrote a set of instructions for the recipe in the thread at post #78), and step outside the box by getting the individual components yourself from your LHBS or an online vendor like Northern Brewer, Midwest, or AHBS. If you print off the first post and take it to your LHBS or call one of the online vendors, I'm sure they would help you assemble your own box kit. You already have the instructions after all.

Well, not only did I decide that you were right - but that you were right on target! The Deception Stout looks like it would be awesome, and after making a cheat sheet and going a FAR SUPERIOR LHBV in another town - I was sold. Got all the goods, and this will be a first for me in many ways.

1 - First "component-not-in-a-box" beer.
2- First all DME beer.
3 - First Liquid Yeast beer.
4 - First use of Lactose in a beer.

With all those "new" experiences - nothing can go wrong, right?
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:14 PM   #6
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Any one ever buy a stout kit and modify it with lactose to make a milk stout? Any warnings, tips, tricks?

Thanks!
Northern Brewer sells a Chocolate Milk Stout kit that is very good
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:25 PM   #7
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Well, not only did I decide that you were right - but that you were right on target! The Deception Stout looks like it would be awesome, and after making a cheat sheet and going a FAR SUPERIOR LHBV in another town - I was sold. Got all the goods, and this will be a first for me in many ways.

1 - First "component-not-in-a-box" beer.
2- First all DME beer.
3 - First Liquid Yeast beer.
4 - First use of Lactose in a beer.

With all those "new" experiences - nothing can go wrong, right?
AWESOME! I have no doubt that you won't regret this decision and it will do nothing less than fuel your experimentation fire! NC's recipe is by far one of the best stouts I have ever had and it is suprisingly simple. Please keep us informed as to how it goes for you!
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I love the sound of an airlock bubbling in the morning. It sounds like.....VICTORY.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TxBrew
It's now degenerating into nu uh and uh huhs and it no longer serves a point.
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