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Old 11-08-2008, 01:50 PM   #1
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Default No-boil vs extract

I've made a few extract kits(Brewer's Best) and have been pretty happy with the process.
However, I recently heard about no boil kits that take about 1.5 hours compared to 4 for brewing and look to be less messy and involved.
I plan to still do extract and may move up to all grain eventually, but would like to have a quick alternative so my supply can keep up with my needs.
Does anyone have any observations on this process, recommendations for brands, etc.?

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Old 11-08-2008, 02:00 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by sharpstick View Post
I've made a few extract kits(Brewer's Best) and have been pretty happy with the process.
However, I recently heard about no boil kits that take about 1.5 hours compared to 4 for brewing and look to be less messy and involved.
I plan to still do extract and may move up to all grain eventually, but would like to have a quick alternative so my supply can keep up with my needs.
Does anyone have any observations on this process, recommendations for brands, etc.?
I did a no-boil kit ages ago. It was one of those where you dissolve the prehopped extract in water, and add some sugar and stir and then ferment. I thought it was awful, but my best friend liked it and she and her husband drank the entire batch for me. It was a kit in a can (I think it was a John Bull kit, but I honestly don't remember) that made 6 gallons.

It did taste quite a bit like beer, but had an odd taste to it as well. I much preferred the Brewer's Best kits I was also doing at that time. I always had good results with those, and went back to them until I started making my own recipes.

It's a long day if it takes 4 hours for you! Maybe there are some ways to still brew the best kits you can, but to shave hours off of your time. I don't think it ever took me more than 1.5 hours to do an extract kit. It takes me about 4- 4.5 hours for an AG batch. If you want to figure out how to be quicker, maybe we could help.

I think there have been several people who have done no-boil kits and liked them, though, so hopefully they'll chime in with some encouraging words.
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Old 11-08-2008, 02:49 PM   #3
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I started brewing earlier this year with a bunch of the canned kit before moving on to Brewers Best and other kits. For most of these I just added the 5 cups destrose and a few I added DME plus a smaller amount dextrose.
These kits are definitely quick to make -- I did 3 in one evening once.
YMMV, but here's a few of my favorites:

  • Coopers Australian Pale Ale
  • Brewmart Czech Pilsner
I brewed these 2 both as just the kit + 5 cups dextrose. I still have sixer of each left (bottle age 8 months). Both of these were excellent beers right from the start.
  • Ironmaster Northern Brown Ale
  • Coopers Bavarian Lager (now discontinued, but replaced by European Lager)
Both of these brewed with DME + a couple cups of dextrose. I just threw in what I had laying around so I'm sure the style is off, but they still taste good!
Looking back at my notes, for the Bavarian Lager, I added 1# Light DME & 3/4# Amber DME & 1/2 cup dextrose. For the Northern Brown Ale, I added 2 1/4# Amber DME & 1 cup dextrose. I also divided up an ounce of Spalt Select hops between these 2 batches so I had to boils these for a while. Both of these kits turned out great!

I know there are a lot of complaints about cidery flavors with these kind of kits due to the amount of dextrose. I think in many cases, a good compromise would be to use 1# DME + 3 cups dextrose rather than 5 cups dextrose.

Let us know how this turns out for you.
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Old 11-08-2008, 07:13 PM   #4
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IMO Coopers Extract kits are the best. Just dissolve in water with 2 lbs of honey and ferment 4-9 days longer is better then bottle and wait 3 weeks. That easy takes me about 25min by myself. Clean up is easy and Heartshomebrew.com has a special buy 6 get 1 free! On any kits!

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