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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Stepping up from extract
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:00 AM   #1
mogarth
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Default Stepping up from extract

My girlfriend and I recently started brewing we started off with a mr.beer nut brown with brown sugar as the primer. It wasn't enough so we went bigger got a real brew kit and brewed a muttons bock extract kit added dry malt extract primed with priming sugars. Same thing just bigger, we want to do more. We decided to try partial mash but keep to the kits that are out there. We decided on DuClaw's Vanilla Bean Oatmeal Stout - Mini Mash Beer Kit ( which sounds absolutely awesome)[http://morebeer.com/view_product/619...Mash_Beer_Kit] {Has anyone tried this kit before?}. Now the kit doesn't come with yeast so I get to choose which type I want it recommends English Ale yeast but I've got my eye on White Labs - Edinburgh yeast strand for the maltiness and the slight smokiness. This yeast will need a starter as I've come to understand. For the starter I need a dry malt extract will any dry malt work? Does it make a difference if I use a light, amber, or dark? And I was reading about a 1% alcohol boost that can be added to give beer a slight more kick, is this something worth getting if I want a slightly more alcoholic beer, or are there better ways to achieve this? (found alcohol booster thread!)

Thank You !

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Old 07-13-2010, 04:17 AM   #2
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It looks like you'll be ordering dme for your yeast starter. By buying extra and adding some to your boil you can increase the % alcohol in your beer.

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Old 07-13-2010, 04:17 AM   #3
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If you want more alcohol then you just have to add more fermentable sugars basically, and have the proper yeasties. I haven't done a starter before so I can't help you there, but if you're using a kit then that may be the only way to get a higher boost in ABV. Otherwise, if you're going to brew your own beers, you can just add more grains at certain temperatures, or extract.

Brewmasters Warehouse has a very cool BrewBuilder tool. You can find it by clicking on Vendors Showcase on this site, and click on the link to their site. You select what type of beer you're trying to achieve, then it gives you "target" or "baseline" numbers for OG, FG, ABV, SRM, IBUs. Then you can click on certain ingredients you'll be adding, for how long, and how you plan to use them, and it will calculate all those numbers for you. You can then add all those items to your cart and buy them all in 1 package, sort of your own beer kit.

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Old 07-13-2010, 02:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mogarth View Post

This yeast will need a starter as I've come to understand.

For the starter I need a dry malt extract will any dry malt work?

Does it make a difference if I use a light, amber, or dark?

And I was reading about a 1% alcohol boost that can be added to give beer a slight more kick, is this something worth getting if I want a slightly more alcoholic beer, or are there better ways to achieve this? (found alcohol booster thread!)

Thank You !
You don't have to use a starter, although it's recommended. Any extract would work just fine. As for more alcohol, try to plug the numbers into a calculator (I've been using qbrew), to see how much additional #s of DME will increase your recipe's alcohol.
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Old 07-13-2010, 03:41 PM   #5
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I normally stick to light DME... you basically want to make a mini wort similar to the beer you are going to brew...

For more alcohol, I would just work with increasing fermentables as opposed to adding any boosters...

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Old 07-13-2010, 03:51 PM   #6
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I haven't done a kit or used LME since 1994.

If I'm doing an all extract (DME) or a partial mash I use Munton's Extra Light DME as my base DME.

I buy a 55# box of it on hand and add it to the specialty malts. This is the absolute BEST way to go if you are going to use DME.

Years ago I stated that I never thought I would ever go all grain (as a standard practice), but I have done a number of them now. They really are not that more difficult, you just need more equipment. I do either PMs or all grain now.

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Old 07-13-2010, 03:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fugazzi View Post
You don't have to use a starter, although it's recommended. Any extract would work just fine. As for more alcohol, try to plug the numbers into a calculator (I've been using qbrew), to see how much additional #s of DME will increase your recipe's alcohol.
A starter really isn't necessary if the OG is less than 1.055, i.e. most common beer styles. Once you're over that number, then you should use one, but not with dry yeast. Dry yeast contains nutrients that get depleted in a starter. It's better to just buy another pack. Also, always follow the instructions on the packet. The yeast manufacturers know more about their own yeast than brewers do, so if it doesn't say to proof them, then don't.
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