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Old 11-13-2012, 03:56 PM   #1
furstyjaymar13
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Default improving brew by brew but few ideas for No. 4

Ive just started drinking my third ever batch of beers!
(3.75lbs pre hopped dark ale extract with 1.65lbs of amber malt extract unhopped and 0.65lbs brewing sugar) made a 5 gallon recipe.
and I'm still absolutely loving the learning of this new craft but whilst half me brain is learning, the other half is compounding questions and ideas!

ive bought a 1.7kg/3.75lbs 'thomas coopers selection' india pale ale' hopped extract can(with ale yeast;type unknown),
http://www.homebrewdoncaster.co.uk/t...n-ipa-61-p.asp
and an unhopped light malt extract. so im going to use these maybe with a bit of brewing sugar too(?) to a 5gallon recipe.

however this time im ditching my kettle, and me and the stirring spoon are trying boiling in the brewpot for the first time.
-im not going to do any hopping yet, until my next brew but have considered dry hopping for aroma during later fermentation(?)
-ive been advised its always worth boiling unhopped extracts at least and sometimes* hopped extracts, what do the experts recommend?
-i also picked up a pack of beer finings whilst i stood patiently at my local hbs sales counter... how/where/what do i do with these? theres nothing written on the packet! i feel it would be beneficial as all my beers(3!) haven't been very clear at all!
-and what about the use of my friend's bees honey for boiling into the wort or carbonation?

any suggestions/experience on offer would be most appreciated, thanks

*apparently you lose the bittering/finishing hop resins, although i've have had reasonable ales for a beginner that have lacked aroma, ive rightly or wrongly thought that if i boil both hop and unhopped extracts, ill lose some/most bittering hops but could potentially gain them back by dry hopping in the fermenter(?)

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Old 11-13-2012, 04:11 PM   #2
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My advice wouold be to stay away from pre-hopped cans of extract. If you want to stay with kits, fine and dandy - check out Northern Brewer, Austin Homebrew, and other suppliers, for recipe kits complete with extract, steeping grains, hops and yeast.

The process is really not that complicated. Have you ever made a pot of chili? A batch of pancakes? Can you boil water and fry an egg? If so, you can make a beer that will be miles ahead of what you are trying to do now.

Cheers!

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Old 11-13-2012, 04:16 PM   #3
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agreed. I went off brewing for years because of the disappointment of my results with kits. I've just started back with a brewpot, grains, hops and DME and I'm loving every brew I've done (with the exception of a particularly objectionable blueberry cider)

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Old 11-13-2012, 04:19 PM   #4
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I would agree you should move away from hopped extract, but it looks like you already bought some. But you can and should add some late flavor hops and aroma hops.

Finings: what kind? With Irish moss, you just add a teaspoon or so to a small amount of warm water, then add this late in the boil.

But the best thing to clear your beer is probably refrigeration. Cold crash the whole fermenter or just leave carbonated bottles in the fridge longer before drinking (or do both).

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Old 11-13-2012, 05:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGarnigle View Post
I would agree you should move away from hopped extract, but it looks like you already bought some. But you can and should add some late flavor hops and aroma hops.

Finings: what kind? With Irish moss, you just add a teaspoon or so to a small amount of warm water, then add this late in the boil.

But the best thing to clear your beer is probably refrigeration. Cold crash the whole fermenter or just leave carbonated bottles in the fridge longer before drinking (or do both).
thanks for your comments Frazier, willthegoth and mcgarnigle. i completely agree hopped extract is often too DIY and lacking quality/balance to be anywhere comparable to to all grains or /and unhopped extracts but as this is my 4th brew im trying to walk before i run and learn the taste results and methods bit by bit so not to overwhelm myself with too much for now, im happy to move on from the hopped extracts in a few brews time but have genuinely been happy (considering experience)with results so far given the amateur method of stirring the hopped extract into off boiling water of about 2 gallons then mixing into 3 gallons of boiled cold water to get a temp of 20-24c. so i muchly appreciate your suggestions but hope you understand my procedure

without having anything written on the finings pack i think its most likely irish moss since doing a bit of research. if i put them in towards the end of the boil, how long should i do that for roughly? 30m, 45m, 1h?

if i do decide to hop on this boil rather than dry hop in fermenter (or perhaps the same answer would apply to either) what hops would go well with ipa style for aroma, my books told me you wouldn't usually bother with bittering hops with prehopped extract boiling. my local hbs has very poor stock on hops, the only one not labeled for wine was 'fuggles' and i'd imagined that was for classic english ales

thanks for the guidance!
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:53 PM   #6
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Irish moss: put in during the last 10 minutes or so.

Fuggles is a British IPA hop and I think the Cooper's IPA is a British style. East Kent Goldings would be very good. Normally, Cascades, Citra, and several other citrusy hops would be excellent, but I don't know if they'd gibe with the taste.

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Old 11-13-2012, 09:32 PM   #7
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Man those C hops that I used in my recent IPA are awesome citrusy... not overpowering though.

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