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Old 12-13-2010, 11:51 AM   #1
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Default Kit recipe question

I am getting ready to brew my first batch and I have a couple of questions for the group. I am reading Palmers How to Brew which has cleared up quite a few things for me, unfortunately it has raised a few questions that I am trying to sort out. In the recipe kit I received as a gift from my beautiful wife (Brewers Best Holiday Ale) it included 1lb of corn sugar to add to the boil with the extracts. In How to Brew Palmer recommends replacing the corn sugar with DME, I don't have the formula for conversion handy but that should be pretty simple, what are the group thoughts on doing this? Also the kit I received is formulated for a 2.5 gallon boil, I intend to to a boil to end up with 5 gallons finished after boil. I know this will increase hop utilization due to the decreased gravity of the boiling wort, do you guys recommend adjusting the amount of hops in the boil to compensate for this? I am probably not going to be brewing until after Christmas because I still have a few things to pick up, so this is still early planing stages. Thanks for any input you can provide!



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Old 12-13-2010, 12:08 PM   #2
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You can decrease the bittering hops a bit, generally about 20%.

There have been some new studies and thoughts coming out that a full boil does not impact hops utilization (a Basic Brewing Radio podcast, as well as some new thoughts by John Palmer), but it my experience lower IBU beers have been impacted by a full boil or late addition of the extract so I still recommend a 20% reduction of bittering hops (only) for a full boil vs. a 2.5 gallon boil.

I think with that kit the corn sugar is not one of those that you want to replace with DME. I think it's part of the kit, to boost the ABV without making the beer too thick, but it's been a long time since I've seen that kit. Palmer is talking about the cheaper kits, the ones that call for 3 pounds of extract and 2 pounds of corn sugar, the kind in a can.

If you type out the recipe, we can make sure.



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Old 12-13-2010, 12:08 PM   #3
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Hey Chief....most of my immediate family lives in Waynesboro or Mont Alto...I spent the first 20 years of my life in Chambersburg..nice to see a local....as to the question..I think the corn sugar is in that recipe to kick up the alcohol a little bit...switching to more DME probably wouldn't hurt, but being its your first brew, I'd stick with the recipe and see how it goes. As to the boil...if you are planning on doing like a 6.5 gal. boil, then you may want to cut back on the hops a little. I would check out Beersmith, great brewing software that has calculators in it that can help scale boil volumes up and down and all kinds of other great stuff. http://www.beersmith.com

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Old 12-13-2010, 12:12 PM   #4
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I wouldn't mess with it, the blonde ale I make calls for the exact same thing. Turns out great.

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Old 12-13-2010, 12:42 PM   #5
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My personal recommendation would be to do it as the instructions are written. Do it inside on the kitchen range where you have some counter space to arrange the ingredients in the order that they are used and water is readily available.

By doing this on the kitchen range, you may not be able to bring a full 5 gallons to a rolling boil so a smaller quantity works well. The kit is formulated with this in mind. You'll be inside where you can smell the entire range of scents as the steeping grains progresses to the adding extracts to the hop additions. If you decide later to do full boils outside, you will at least have smelled them once. Be comfortable too as you need to watch the temperature as you steep the grains to keep it in the proper range. it's harder to be comfortable outside and keeping the temperature constant in a cold wind may become difficult. Just be sure to watch for boil overs as you add the malt extract and especially the hops. The wort will make a sticky mess if you boil it over.

The instructions for that kit are confusing. In one place it says to dump in all the corn sugar and in another is says to add the corn sugar at bottling time for carbonation. Does the kit contain 2 packages of corn sugar or does the package of corn sugar say to divide it to keep some for priming the bottles?

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Old 12-13-2010, 01:09 PM   #6
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I asked on another thread... but maybe someone here can help me? I made my first kit and skipped the sugar but didn't replace it with anything. It was dumb, I know now. It's been in the primary for little over 2 weeks, but is there anything I can do now to save it?

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Old 12-13-2010, 01:22 PM   #7
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Wow, Thanks for all of the quick replies! I appreciate the input, Yooper I think you are correct in that the additional corn sugar is intended to boost the final ABV, it is expected to finish at about 7.5% - 8.0%. I will take a look at the numbers for the 20% reduction once I get home and have all of the details I need (provided they have the AAU% listed the info on the hops packages, I can't remember if they did). RM-MN, I am leaning to ward doing a full boil because I don't have a pot large enough to do 2.5 gallons and if I am going to buy a pot I may as well buy one large enough to do a full boil and save making two purchases. I can appreciate the benefit of doing this indoors the first time, but I am very familiar with hanging out in the garage and watching temps since I am a BBQ smoker also and that takes a considerable time of doing the same thing.

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Old 12-13-2010, 01:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lorvan View Post
I asked on another thread... but maybe someone here can help me? I made my first kit and skipped the sugar but didn't replace it with anything. It was dumb, I know now. It's been in the primary for little over 2 weeks, but is there anything I can do now to save it?
At two weeks the fermentation should be mostly over. You COULD dissolve the sugar in about a pint or so of water and add it, once cooled, and start another fermentation, but this might also really dry the beer out.
Did you take an OG and an FG? If so what did you get? If the FG is already with in 4 or 5 points of what the recipe indicates you probably don't want to mess with it.

I think most of the experienced brewers on this site would say that this beer is done, don't mess with it and appreciate it for what it is. Take this learning and apply to the next batch.
Happy brewing!
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Old 12-13-2010, 01:51 PM   #9
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Thanks for the reply, D0ug. What do you mean by a "dry beer"? I wasn't on the ball on my brew day and so didn't take a OG... I had a look on Saturday and it said 1.010. If this batch is no good for drinking, I'll take it as a lesson learned... it's just unfortunate.

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Old 12-13-2010, 02:05 PM   #10
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Hey...I got your PM Navy...but your box is full...can't reply...just an FYI



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