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Old 09-09-2008, 11:29 PM   #1
pistolero
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Hello brewers!
Newbie here. I brewed a batch or three (and good stuff too) a few years back then let it go.
Anyway I decided to try it again recently.
Went to a local brewstore and picked up a kit of Munson's Premium Lager, some equipment. Got some advice from the nice folks there.
So the kit is a "no boil", but the directions and the brewstore guy said to add extra sugar so I picked up a 1&1/2 lb package of LME. I cooked it up on Monday Sep first. I boiled some water and mixed the can and the LME in the fermenter with the hot water. Topped up to 4.5 gallons with cold water.
OG came out at 1.040 so I didn't add any more water.
Pitched the starter prepared the day before at 76*F, come back < 2 hours later and airlock is already bubblin. Next day and the day after, vigorous airlock activity, temps steady at 70-72 Thursday I come home and nothing. Temp had dropped to 68. I didn't have all my bottling stuff ready until Sunday.
Final gravity read 1.010, too high I think.
So I think I should have boiled the LME before I added it to the no boil kit.
Also I bought another kit after I brewed the first one, Munton's Nut Brown Ale, Connoisseur's Range.
So what I want help with is how long should I boil the malt extract (I have another pack of the LME or a 22 oz bag of light dry malt extract I can use to add to this kit). The instructions just say "add 1kg sugar or DME" and in my defense I don't think it mentions anywhere to boil the extract.
Also will dry hopping in the secondary help with the sweetness? I know most of the bitterness comes from hops added early in the boil and aroma later. But I really want to brew this up tonight if I can and I have no hops for the boil and the brewstore is closed until tomorrow. I don't need bitter and hoppy just enough to tame the sweet.

TIA!

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Old 09-09-2008, 11:45 PM   #2
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Wait before you bottle this. Wait atleast 2 weeks.

The length of the boil is decided by the style of beer that you are brewing. Any time that I am adding extract to make a beer I add half of it at the start of the boil and 1/2 with about 20 minutes left.

Dry hopping this beer will not help if it is too sweet. Dry hopping only adds aroma, maybe a little flavor.

So this beer will be finished at only about 4%abv. And it will be sweet. Another thing to consider is if this is not done fermenting, and it isnt you might restart fermentation when you rack to bottling bucket., Then risk all kinds of stuff.

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Old 09-09-2008, 11:53 PM   #3
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The first batch is already bottled. I would have waited but I assumed that not boiling the extract is what screwed up the FG, leaving unfermentable sugars. I could be wrong. Thanks.

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Old 09-10-2008, 12:02 AM   #4
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If it's a 'no boil' kit then you should be fine, though I've not used one myself. I'd suspect you have hopped extract so there's little need for a full boil.

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Old 09-10-2008, 12:07 AM   #5
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Ahaa, I have not made myself clear. I know I don't need to boil the can of kit extract but the recipe calls for another kilo of extract or sugar and that's what I think I should have boiled before adding.
Thanks!

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Old 09-10-2008, 04:29 PM   #6
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Boiling does not break down sugars. That is not your problem. You did good by adding the additional sugar, then boiling for 20 minutes-just to sterilize it.

Residual sugar is from the malt, and also the yeast is a factor. I'd say it is time to move away from kits, and buy components. You can recipes many places- here, the HBS, or Google for <(type of beer) homebrew extract recipe> or use "partial grain" instead of the extract. Soon you will be creeping up on All Grain. More work, more sense of acccomplishment, and cheaper too.

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Old 09-10-2008, 10:06 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info. I still don't know why it just stopped so fast though. If it happens again I'll wait and try to restart fermentation. I'll probably go with secondaries too.

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Old 09-21-2008, 03:17 PM   #8
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Well that first batch was sweet, I just mixed it with some real beers and drank it.
My problem is my second batch has done the same thing but worse! It is stuck at 1.012!!!
1 Munton's Nut Brown ale kit
1 pound Brit Light DME
1 pound dark LME
topped up to 5.5 gallons OG = 1.040
Pitched a strong yeast starter @ 78*, almost immediate strong fermentation, 3 days later stops. Moved to secondary a week later gravity @ 1.012.
This was brewed on the 9th and I checked the gravity today @ 1.012.
Should I go get a good yeast and try to save this? My LBS carries Wyeast.

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Old 09-21-2008, 08:53 PM   #9
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Just got back from American Brewmaster with a packet of Wyeast 1028. A higher attenuation ale yeast. Should I try it or no?
The guy there said it was probably done but 1.012 sounds too high to me. The last one went down to 1.010 and it was sweet.
I'm done using kit yeasts and will also add hops from now on.

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Old 09-21-2008, 11:12 PM   #10
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1.012 is fine, and the beer is done fermenting. It went fast because of the high temperature. 78 degrees is about 10 degrees too warm to pitch your yeast- next time, try your best to keep the temperature at 70 degrees or lower. I like having a stick-on thermometer on the carboy, so it's easy to see the actual wort temperature.

Most of my beers finish at the 1.012-1.016 range, depending on what I'm making.

I'd wait a week for the yeast to "clean up" after itself following the warm fermentation. Keeping it on the yeast cake will allow the yeast to digest its own waste products like diacetyl, and also might clean up some of the fusel alcohols from the hot fermentation. In a week or 10 days, it'd be ok to bottle it.

Edit- if your beer tastes sweet at 1.012, I bet it's underhopped. What's the hopping schedule for this one?

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