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Old 01-10-2009, 11:42 PM   #1
Bdub81
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Default So.. Whats the difference?

So for my first batch of beer I am brewing an American Amber beer from Brewers Best.

Has anyone ever used their kits? Here is the typical inclusions for those kits:

Quote:
Brewer's Best™ ingredient kits comprise all the necessary products to brew true-to-style beers. All kits contain base malts, hops, yeast, priming sugar and bottle caps. Most kits also contain crushed specialty grains and other brewing additives. More than 24 recipe kits are available including our Bold Series recipes and seasonal selections such as our spiced Holiday Ale. These kits make brewing a quality batch of beer easy.
And now I am confused. I am looking at AHS and really want to try this:
Austin Homebrew Supply

What confuses me is this part:

Quote:
Fermentable Sugars:
Extract: 7 lbs. Liquid Malt Extract, .5 lbs. Base Grains, 1.25 lbs. Specialty Grains.
Mini Mash: 6 lbs. Liquid Malt Extract, 1.75 lbs. Base Grains, 1.25 lbs. Specialty Grains.
All Grain: 10 lbs. Base Grains, 1.25 lbs. Specialty Grains.
What would be the most similar to the Brewers Best kit I used?

I have no clue why I am so confused on this - but please bear with me as I am new..

Do the AHS kits come with all the hops, etc?

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Old 01-10-2009, 11:44 PM   #2
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I may or may not have just answered my own question.

I think what I have brewing now is an Extract.

Whats so, then what is the benefit of the Mini-Mash, if any?

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Old 01-10-2009, 11:45 PM   #3
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Yes, the AHS kits come with all the grains, hops, yeasts, extra flavorings needed to make the beer, plus the option to upgrade the yeast.

Personally, I much prefer the AHS kits because the ingredients are guaranteed fresh (each kit is made to order), while the brewers best always look like they have been sitting there for ages.

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Old 01-10-2009, 11:46 PM   #4
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Yes, you did do an extract (with either the syrup, malt powder, or both). Read up here: How to Brew - By John Palmer - Introduction

Awesome resource, with everything you need to know.

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Old 01-10-2009, 11:47 PM   #5
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Extract kit includes: priming sugar, milled specialty grains in a muslin bag, hops, and detailed instructions. Mini-Mash kits do not come with grain bags.
That's from the AHB website. Kits usually have all the things you need to brew the beer, so I would imagine that the AHB kits are the same.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:47 PM   #6
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Is it worth it to upgrade the yeast? I've done the dry yeast - which worked fine so far. But I have heard there are benefits to the Liquid yeasts..

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Old 01-10-2009, 11:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bdub81 View Post
I may or may not have just answered my own question.

I think what I have brewing now is an Extract.

Whats so, then what is the benefit of the Mini-Mash, if any?
A mini-mash is more fun to do and gives you more control over your brewing process without requiring expensive extra equipment. You make part of the wort yourself instead of only using extract prepared by some malting company.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:49 PM   #8
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Is it worth it to upgrade the yeast? I've done the dry yeast - which worked fine so far. But I have heard there are benefits to the Liquid yeasts..
More than likely you'll want to make a starter with the liquid yeast. If using dry yeast, just get a cup or so of warm water and rehydrate 20 minutes before pitching.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:51 PM   #9
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IIRC, the main benefit to liquid yeasts is that you have a broader range of types/flavors to chooses from. Also, I think that lager yeasts are liquid in the vast majority.

Dry yeasts are good because they have a longer shelf life and higher viability. Also, dry yeasts do not need a starter.

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Old 01-10-2009, 11:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bdub81 View Post
Is it worth it to upgrade the yeast? I've done the dry yeast - which worked fine so far. But I have heard there are benefits to the Liquid yeasts..
Depends on the style and how comfortable you are with starters, which are highly recommended for liquid yeast.
For me, if there is a dry yeast out there that I think suits the style, I'll use it. If not, I'll go liquid rather than compromise on flavor.
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