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Old 01-03-2011, 07:11 PM   #1
dmbRedGetta
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Default Favorite Extract Kit/Recipe

Hey everybody, I'm still pretty new to homebrewing but I really want to step it up this year. So far, I've made 5 Brewer's Best kits (over the last couple of years). They have all turned out okay, and they're getting better as I'm learning more, but there's still something about the flavor that isn't quite as good as store-bought.

Has anyone else had a similar experience with their kits? Or is it more a factor of extract kits in general?

Either way, I'm looking for another good kit or recipe to try. Please post what has worked well for you! (Preferably an IPA or American Ale)


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Old 01-03-2011, 07:18 PM   #2
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Cream ale from Northern Brewer. Make your batch, leave in the primary for 5-6 days, transfer to secondary, and add 2 lbs of FROZEN blackberries. Let that secondary for at least two weeks.... make sure to check final gravity before removing from secondary.

Makes a GREAT blackberry cream ale. Also, might try wyyeast or white labs yeast.


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Old 01-03-2011, 07:40 PM   #3
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I have did many kits from Midwest Supplies and have never been dissapointed. The support you recieve is also really good. I personally like there Altbier, I know you said you were looking for an IPA type though.
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Old 01-03-2011, 08:34 PM   #4
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The first thing to remember is that commercial breweries refined their recipe many, many times to get what you so thoroughly enjoy.

In my short experience, I find creating a complex malty beer to be difficult. I am not sure if that is because all grain brewers have more tools and options to create that complexity.

I have been very, very happy with beers that get their flavor mainly from the yeast. E.g. hefeweizen, belgian ales. My friends say those are as good as anything they have bought.

I think a hoppy beer would turn out well because all of that aroma is best fresh.

Finally, its about good ingredients and good habits. The freshness of the extract is important. Also, using good yeast and having a very healthy fermentation is very important. For me, trying to improve these things is what makes this hobby fun!
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Old 01-03-2011, 08:44 PM   #5
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Those are good points.

I was looking at Midwest's site and their instructions offered some good pointers as well. It seems like a 2-stage fermentation is recommended across the board, so I'll probably try that next time.

I agree that the process of improving is one of the main reasons to have this hobby, and practice makes perfect, so I guess the easiest way to improve is just to try out a variety of kits while learning how to do everything properly.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:42 PM   #6
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we've only used brewers best kits and have not had a bad batch yet. i lie - pitched the yeast too hot in our second batch and the little fella's didn't make it. other than that all good. favorites have been the red ale and the dunkelweizen.

cheers
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Old 01-04-2011, 05:25 AM   #7
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theres nothing wrong with BB kits...BUT. sometimes those can sit around a while. If you have a LHBS that does a fair bit of business, they usually put together their own kits often with fresher ingrediants. I havent gone wrong with Northern Brewer kits. My favorite is their 3-hearted ale. Its a (somewhat) copy of Bell's 2-hearted. By far and away its the best beer i've ever brewed. If i can make another suggestion it would be to try liquid yeasts, they offer a lot more choices and versatility. There is nothing wrong with using dry yeasts but the liquid stuff can add more notes to your brew. A little more expensive, but its pennies per bottle.

Good luck and have fun. Go Pack!
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:15 PM   #8
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Here's my all time favorite. I've brewed it twice and it is better than you can buy at a pub or store. I also have added 16oz. of corn syrup to boost the ABV. Check it out.

http://www.williamsbrewing.com/WILLI...E_P277C189.cfm

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Old 01-04-2011, 10:49 PM   #9
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Norther's Advantageous Weizenbock and Big Honkin' Stout are awesome. MoreBeer's Frank Ellis Pale Ale is a winner for me a swell.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:51 PM   #10
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I would strongly recommend ANY of Austin Homebrew Supply's kits. They are fantastic.


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