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Old 08-07-2007, 01:55 AM   #1
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Default Extract kit advice

I have been lurking here and learning for some time. I have been brewing with kits for several years and have been very happy with my beers. I have a new son on the way and have bought a John Bull India Pale Ale that I want to brew and have ready to celebrate with when he arrives in a couple of months.

Anybody have any tips on how to make this batch really really really good? I have always used corn suger when I brew and the local brew store is pushing me to sustitute malt extract. I have never done an IPA and figure it can be done better than by just following the directions, right?


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Old 08-07-2007, 03:48 AM   #2
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Welcome to HBT Jeff!
I agree with malt extract replacing the corn sugar. It will make your beer better.
Some other ideas;

Steep some crushed specialty grains like crystal malt in the water while it is heating. Remove them before the water boils. This will add some malt complexity and sweetness to your beer. (You can put them in a grain bag which is easily removed)

Do a full 1 hour boil and do some hop additions at 60, 30 , and 5 minutes left in the boil. This will add more hop complexity to the beer. More bitterness, flavor, and aroma. This would be key if you want to make an IPA.

What are you using for yeast? If you use dry yeast you could find a good liquid yeast for the beer you are making.
Talk to your LHBS. They can help you decide what extras to put into your beer and how to steep grains and add hops.

Let us know what you end up doing for your special beer.

Oh and keep us informed on the birth of your baby.

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Old 08-08-2007, 02:02 AM   #3
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I second the added grains. I have been using them from batch number two forward (I have batch #10 in the primary). Pick up a grain bag and a pound of Crystal 40L. Put the grains in the bag and tie it off and let it steep while you heat the boil water - move it around a bit so it doesn't stick to the bottom. I let mine sit at 150F or so for about a half hour then remove the grain bag and continue with the recipe. As you get more comfortable with it you can do a mini mash and sparge (rinse) the grains through a colander back into the boil water with hotter (170F) water.
I only use dextrose for bottling and have replaced any dextrose in a recipe or kit with light DME (dry malt extract) pound for pound. If the kit is pre-hopped I would also pick up an ounce or two of 7-10% pellets of your choice - after all it is an I.P.A.
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Old 08-08-2007, 02:31 AM   #4
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corn sugar only makes alcohol. using extract instead will make more alcohol, more malt flavor, more color, more body, ....a better beer.
Primary: English Mild
On tap: Pale Ale, Lancelot's Wheat, English Brown Ale, Steam Beer, HoovNuts IPA
Bottled: MOAM, Braggot, Raspberry Melomel, Merlot, Apfelwein, Pyment, Sweet mead, Cabernet
Gal in 2009: 27, Gal in 2010: 34, Gal in 2011: 13, Gal in 2012: 10
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