Thanks to all you guys for some really useful information and suggestions.
Where I live in SE Asia, most of those ingredients would be all but impossible to obtain, so we pretty much work from the basic malt extract kits - when we can get even those!! These usually call for addition of sugar from which the alcohol content is derived by action of the yeast. About the only areas for experiment are really the sugars and the water!
I think I have at lease enough data now on which to proceed with some organic sugars on the next batch I try!