Originally Posted by barely
1) DME, if kept dry will store almost indefinitely. If you add more, you'll bump up the ABV. It's up to you.
2) Crystal 20 will give more flavor/body and color. As for style, that's up to you -it's YOUR BEER after all.
3) Nottingham should be good. If you are going to buy more grain/LME/hops anyway, a pack of packet of dry US-05 yeast (my go-to American Yeast) would add about $3 to your total.
4) Mash all grains at the same time. This is what all-grain brewers do every day.
One of the hard parts of homebrewing is making these choices. No matter what, it will be some of the best beer you've ever had.
Sweet thanks. You are right...as i've read frequently on this forum "Worst case scenario is you end up with beer!" haha. I guess my only real worry was that I don't know what exactly is in this WCPA extract kit (but I don't want it to go to waste). I know it is hopped, but i'm sure it's *very* lightly hopped. Veering off the beaten path on my very first brew is a little daunting, but that's what it's all about right?
I found http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/recipe.html
and played around a bit (great tool). I think the extra DME might be a little overkill, the 1lb will still get me a 4.9% ABV which seems about right for this type of beer.
The Crystal 20 will give it a color of 5ish on the SRM scale and i'm curious how that will turn out, probably go with that.
Will hit up the LHBS in the morning, tomorrow is brew day!