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Old 02-21-2008, 06:50 PM   #1
adamvelvetu
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Default Not thick enough...?

I'm just getting the hang of brewing using one of the beer kits that also comes with the cans that already contain the malted barley/hops. I'm progressing to a certain amount of comfort with this method, but I am noticing that my batches are never as thick as I would like (read: they are two watery). Is there a variable I can control to increase the level of thickness? Thanks for any help!

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Old 02-21-2008, 06:56 PM   #2
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You would need to add specialty malts that increase the body - like crystal malt - but it will change the recipe and end product significantly. AG brewers can control this by adjusting the mash temperature - one reason to go AG. If you are now comfortable with the process you could start making extract recipes from scratch or switch to higher quality kits. I've done some Williams Brewing kits that were impressive.

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Old 02-21-2008, 06:57 PM   #3
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I'm sure there's going to be some other advice, but one thing is to look into doing extract + steeping grains. Steeping grains can add various properties to your wort.

The wiki has a list of malts. You'll want to focus on the ones that do not have an "X" in "Mash Required", and to probably start by looking at the ones that have an "X" under "Body". Crystal malt is one that jumps to mind right away, since it adds color and some unfermentable sugars.

Also look at a lot of recipes, here and elsewhere, that use the extract + steeping grains technique. Basically, though, you'll get the bulk of your fermentables from light (in color) DME or LME and get the color and other properties you want from the steeping grains.

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Old 02-21-2008, 09:15 PM   #4
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A very simple method is to add 4-8 ounces of maltodextrine to a batch. It's a non-fermentable sugar that adds mouthfeel and body without increasing sweetness.

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Old 02-21-2008, 10:00 PM   #5
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Add less water when topping off. That plus the grains should be good.

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Old 02-21-2008, 10:44 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the advice! Heading to the supply shop now to try them out. Much appreciated.

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