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Old 02-18-2013, 09:38 AM   #1
tomparkin
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Default St Peter's "Golden Ale" extract kit -- hopped or unhopped syrup?

I'm a newcomer to home brewing and I've recently received a gift of a home brewing starter kit, which consists of the basic bits and bobs required for extract brewing, plus a St Peter's "Golden Ale" kit:

http://www.the-home-brew-shop.co.uk/acatalog/St._Peters_Golden_Ale_Beer_Kit.html

The kit comes with simple instructions for a no-boil extract brew, and consists of two 1.5 kg tins of liquid malt extract, a packet of yeast, and a packet of "hop enhancer" which based on the label is maltodextrin combined with hop oil.

Having done some reading around here and in Palmer's "How To Brew", I don't really want to go down the "no boil" route, so I'm planning to do a partial boil for this first extract brew. I also intend to use just the extract from the St Peter's kit, and ditch the "hop enhancer" and yeast. I've ordered some new yeast and some hops from an online retailer to that end.

Unfortunately, my job is made a bit more tricky by the fact that the extract in the St Peter's kit is not labelled in any way. I know it's manufactured by Muntons, but I don't know whether the extract is hopped or not -- so I'm not sure whether to add bittering hops to the boil!

So -- does anyone have any clue as to whether the extract in the kit would be hopped? I'm imagining it probably would be, but I don't want to guess wrong! Should I be able to tell whether it's hopped based on the smell/taste of the extract once I open the can?

Any hints or suggestions welcomed :-)



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Old 02-18-2013, 11:46 AM   #2
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The first hint I would give you is to brew this batch exactly as is. You don't know if it is hopped or unhopped extract and I sure can't tell either. This isn't likely to be the only beer you brew in your lifetime so plan on making the next brew your way or from a different kind of kit.



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Old 02-18-2013, 02:14 PM   #3
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Ive done a few Muntons kits, all the extracts have been hopped.

I would also suggest you make it as instructed if its your first one. I say this only because its a great confidence booster to have a great beer when it's your first attempt. Muntons make an excellent extract kit. BOL

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Old 02-18-2013, 08:29 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice, folks. I'm sure the St Peter's kit would turn out well brewed as-is, although I'm a little nervous about a no-boil process due to risk of contamination.

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Old 02-18-2013, 10:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomparkin View Post
Thanks for the advice, folks. I'm sure the St Peter's kit would turn out well brewed as-is, although I'm a little nervous about a no-boil process due to risk of contamination.
Bring it to a boil for just a few minutes (5 or less) to pasteurize and then chill it. That little time at boil shouldn't hurt it and it would make you feel much more at ease about brewing this beer.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:04 PM   #6
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Don't worry about the no-boil kits. As long as you do your part and sanitize everything (including the outside of the cans and can opener) you should be fine. I know "should" is subjective, but really you should be just fine.

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Old 02-19-2013, 11:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
Bring it to a boil for just a few minutes (5 or less) to pasteurize and then chill it. That little time at boil shouldn't hurt it and it would make you feel much more at ease about brewing this beer.
That's a good suggestion, and I'll give that a try. Having thought about it a little more deeply yesterday, it seems clear that the contents of the LME cans are already pasteurized. So I guess my only concerns are ensuring I sanitize everything properly (454k30's tip about the can opener and the outside of the cans was a good one!).

On that note, would it be wise to boil the water I use to top the fermenter up with? The kit instructions suggest to simply pour the LME in with a few litres of boiling water, then top up with cold water from the tap. That seems like a pretty good vector for contamination.

Perhaps I'm overthinking things, but I'd like to get a good brew for the first time :-)


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