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Old 04-05-2011, 09:25 AM   #1
stella86
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Default new to homebrew quick question

Just wanted to know if it's possible to add flavours to beer despite using a refill kit? Heard people talking about peanut butter and chocolate, thought I'd like to test the chocolate one. Just to say I have. Obviously all these recipes are for making it using own ingredients. I dont think I'm ready to plunge into that just yet. Need a bit more experience first I think. Thanks



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Old 04-05-2011, 01:25 PM   #2
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I'm not sure what you mean by a refill kit or what that is. Yes you can add ingredients like peanut butter and chocolate. For chocolate you usually want to stay away from the chocolate you would eat and use cocoa nibs or cocoa powder as the cocoa butter will not make it in to ruin head retention and mouthfeel. With peanut butter I am not exactly sure but I believe I have seen some people mention a peanut butter powder? Again, the whole idea is to get the flavor of the ingredient but avoid the oils that come with the standard product as they can negatively affect the beer.



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Old 04-05-2011, 01:34 PM   #3
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Oils will ruin the head, among other things.

I think the biggest piece of advice as far as adding adjuncts or whatever you call it, is to check out the make-up of the ingredient. I think there was a thread about adding a butterfinger or butter cup, sure you might want a chocolate and peanut butter taste, but what about all those other ingredients, all those colors, oils, acids, chemicals, and possible preservatives.

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Old 04-05-2011, 01:56 PM   #4
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Word to the wise: make good beer first; then start to tinker.

You need to be able to make a good base beer before you can start adding funky adjuncts and flavors. Otherwise, you are going to end up with bad beer that is made worse by whatever else you are throwing in there.

***This is from experience. I tried to freelance on my first batch. After I ruined that in a million different ways, I decided to learn to crawl before trying to qualify for the Olympics.

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Old 04-05-2011, 01:57 PM   #5
stella86
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A refill kit isn't that what it's called? Malt in a can add water and yeast. Again sorry for not explaining better, like i said still new to me.

Was just thinking if it was possible to put some cocoa powder in secondary whilst the brew is conditioning, wether it would give a chocolate taste. I have a barrel conditioning now and a tester bottle. Seeing what the difference is thought I'd put some powder in and see. I don't think doing a 5g brew with chocolate flavour would be good as I might hate it.

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Old 04-05-2011, 02:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joetothemo View Post
Word to the wise: make good beer first; then start to tinker.
+1,000,000

Please do yourself a favor and make a couple of easy, simple recipes first. Don't add a bunch of weird stuff, it will make it complicated when you try and refine your process. Do a couple of pale ales, bitters, blonde ales, etc... When those beers are good, then make your peanut butter, triple decocted, double chocolate chipotle BBQ stout.
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:11 PM   #7
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"Extract Kit" is what that is called.

For cacao flavors, people use this: Cacao Nibs

Really though, drink your first beer first. See how it turns out before you start messing with it.

Think of it this way, you have baked your very first cake. You mixed up the ingredients from a box. It is baking away in the oven. You haven't even tasted it yet. Yet you are already thinking of going back and adding ingredients.

If I were you , I would eat that cake the way it was intended to be made. Then, next time around think about what I would do differently.

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Old 04-05-2011, 02:50 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone. I do fully intend to walk before I run, I guess to many questions keep popping into my head whilst I'm waiting for my first brew.

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Old 04-05-2011, 02:57 PM   #9
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There are a couple ways to fight this urge. I've been known to employ all 3 at a time.

1. Buy some good commercial beers that can inspire your next batch.
2. Check out some books and read up on process and techniques.
3. Get yourself another fermenter and another kit and start brewing that second batch. Fill that pipeline!

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Old 04-05-2011, 03:34 PM   #10
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I come down somewhere in the middle on this discussion. Logically, tinkering before you really know what's going on with your process could result in problems.

On the flip side, my first batch ever was a PM pumpkin ale, complete with spice, whose recipe I totally designed myself. To this day, it is still considered by friends and family one of the top 5 beers I've made. I happened to get lucky, but tinkering before you know what you're doing doesn't have to be a bad thing.

My advice if you want to use chocolate or peanut butter, find an established recipe on this site (or a prepackaged kit) and stay true to that recipe. If you know that you are going to be a "kit" person or simply follow other's recipes for your brewing enjoyment, I don't see the need to strictly adhere to the "crawl before run" philosophy. If, on the other hand, you suspect that developing recipes yourself will be a big part of your brewing experience, I 100% agree with the above posters: start with simple beer, simple ingredients, and learn as much as you can about individual contributions.

Just my 2 cents.



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