Muntons Premium Lager help
So I'm very new at this but I've ordered some keg stuff that should be here next week or the week after. I wanted to get a start on something in the primary so on my last trip to the city I hunted down a HBS. I selected a Muntons Premium Lager kit pretty much at random and I was told that I needed a bag of dextrose to make the kit.
Now, I've been hanging out around here and reading, reading and still more reading so I now know that dextrose is a cheap way to get higher alcohol at the expense of quality and flavour. That's not what I'm getting into this for. Turns out I have to go to the city again on Monday so I can go back to the store and get more supplies to do a better job.
This is a hopped extract so I was just planning on getting some dry extract to take the place of the sugar. I know there were a few packages of hops around the store and I saw bags of DME, but it seemed pretty sparsly populated with products. That being said, I really wasn't looking with a practised eye.
I would like to solicit suggestions from you EACs and any one that has been in this situation before. Things such as how much DME and what kind to use, whether or not I should add extra hops and what kind, etc.
I wouldn't normally ask for such simple information but I don't get to the city very often so I need to get my supplies on Monday or I have to use the dextrose. ick. I've been reading at www.howtobrew.com but I'm not confident enough or knowledgable enough to modify the basic ingredients. I'm not concerned at all with the manufacturing process, it's just the ingredients. Everything else I can look up between now and when I brew.
So if anyone can tell me what I should be looking for on my trip I would be grateful. BTW, I'll probably brew an ale of some kind next. I only just found out about the issues of brewing a lager!
The dextrose is more than likely for priming during bottling. You can also prime with DME, but that's more expensive and really doesn't help or hurt the flavor profile of your beer. Since it sounds like you'll be kegging, you can simply skip priming altogether and force carbonate.
A word of caution for your lager - it should be fermented at a rather cool temperature (probably around 45-55 degrees, depending on the yeast). If you ferment it at a higher temperature, the flavor may not be what you expect due to the formation of esters and fusel alcohols. Also, a lager should be aged in a cool place for at least a month before drinking. A search for "diacetyl rest" in this forum or in "How to Brew" may also prove to be worthwhile reading before you make your first lager.
Honestly--if you go to northernbrewer.com or williamsbrewing.com, you can get a kit for just about any style that gives you absolutely everything you need--no mucking around with picking up dextrose or anything. Northern Brewer is a bit cheaper and has more kits, but Williams has great support. Other than that, I'd say go hog wild, whatever you buy I'm sure you can work into great beer.
The recipe calls for a kg of dextrose right at the beginning to aid fermentation. The jar only has 1.5kg of product in it so it needs some help from the dextrose. I know that the lager needs to be conditioned at a low temperature. Hell froze over last week so I don't think that's going to be a problem.
So I went to the city and found yet another brew shop and dropped a bunch more money. I bought:
1.36kg high maltose syrup (to substitute for the dextrose)
1.25kg light liquid malt extract
2kg Munton's hopped light Spraymalt (in 500g bags)
25g Fuggle hops pellets
25g Saaz hops pellets
25g Hallertau hops pellets
6g Morgan's lager yeast
6g Morgan's Ale yeast
I still don't have the slightest idea what I'm doing but as long as I don't admit it to SWMBO she'll think I do. The only drawback is that I can't admit that I made a batch of weasel piss so if that happens I'll have to make yummy noises and choke it down. She doesn't drink beer so as long as I don't yak on her shoes I should be able to pull it off.
The plan is to use the original kit without the yeast or the dextrose and add the maltose syrup in place of the dextrose and use the Morgan's lager yeast in place of the unlabled yeast in the kit. The malt is hopped so I can only assume that it has enough for the entire batch. I don't know anything at all about hops so I hope I can learn a bit this week before I make the kit.
I think there are enough other ingredients for a second batch. The DME is hopped so that kind of throws a wrench in the whole thing. I think I'll skip the hops at 60 minutes boil and just use some at 30 and 0 minutes. Of course, in the interest of staying true to the "I still don't have the slightest idea what I'm doing" concept, this is pretty much random.
Cry havoc! And let loose the dogs of beer....
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