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Old 02-22-2006, 03:49 PM   #1
kevinrhaart
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Hi all,
I was wondering if you could add malt extract to a beer kit thus replacing the sugar or enhancer?
Thanks,
Kevin

 
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Old 02-22-2006, 03:53 PM   #2
Walker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinrhaart
Hi all,
I was wondering if you could add malt extract to a beer kit thus replacing the sugar or enhancer?
Thanks,
Kevin
Absolutely!

In fact, this is the recommended way to brew those kits. Keep the sugar for priming, and add another can/bag of extract to the boil. It will be MUCH better beer.

-walker
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Old 02-22-2006, 04:33 PM   #3
kevinrhaart
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Thanks,
I presume that you've outgrown kits! I hope to get to the next stage in a while but need to brew a few drinkable batches first. My first brew was marred by a leaking valve in my new King Keg but it's a very passable "Still Beer". Got a new lid so here's to my next brew.

 
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Old 02-22-2006, 04:53 PM   #4
Walker
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There's really not much difference in the way I brew and the way you brew.

You buy a kit that contains extract, grains, hops, and yeast in once nice little package.

I hand-pick extract, grains, hops, and yeast from lots of smaller boxes at my local brew shop and take it all home in a sack.

After you brew a few dozen kits, you start to get a general idea of what needs to be in a particular style of beer. I 'outgrew' kits simply because I wanted to try my hand at making up my own recipes.

-walker
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Old 02-22-2006, 04:56 PM   #5
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When adding malt to kits you may find that they become overly malty. I have found that a little extra hopping will balance everything back out and you'll have a fantastic beer! Don't forget that the kit already has hops so you don't need to add much.
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Old 02-22-2006, 05:23 PM   #6
kevinrhaart
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Thanks to you all for your response

 
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Old 02-22-2006, 05:31 PM   #7
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Never put sugar in a beer no matter what the kit tells you. Raw sucrose gives all kinds of off flavors. It's a cheap scam on the part of the kit makers to make their product less expensive. Always substitute malt extract as you suggest.

Use kits that have dry malt extract and some grains for steeping whenever possible. Adding any grains, even to an extract batch, will make it MUCH better in general. Steep the grains, but don't boil them in water up to about 180F before adding the malt extract. Avoid hopped extract and buy your own hops.

Another good reason to "outgrow" kits is because you can select your own quality ingredients and make tastier beers. Get a recipe book. One of the fun ones is Beer Captured or Clone Brews, which tell you how to make lots of famous beers. Software like ProMash also makes recipe formulation a cinch. It's really fun and you can really get the kind of beer you're after.

Cheers
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Old 02-22-2006, 05:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janx
Never put sugar in a beer no matter what the kit tells you. Raw sucrose gives all kinds of off flavors. It's a cheap scam on the part of the kit makers to make their product less expensive. Always substitute malt extract as you suggest.
Your so right. My first brew used corn sugar for extra fermentables and it didn't turn out to well.
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Old 02-22-2006, 05:50 PM   #9
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Corn sugar is a bit better than sucrose, but really the only time to use sugars is in high gravity brews where you still want to boost the alcohol without adding more body. Because the brew already has a full body, the sugar only contributes clean alcohol with no body.

Any time you use sugar in a lighter beer as a significant percentage of the fermentables, you'll get weird flavors.

FWIW, I use sugar all the time, but in beers with a gravity around 70 or 80 that already have a LOT of malt.
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Old 02-22-2006, 06:01 PM   #10
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When I started, I did a lot of reading, and came to the conclusion that brewing a basic recipe from individual ingredients was no more difficult than a Kit. As such, I started out that way, and have not yet used a kit. From everything I have read here, adding sugar is not desirable in most cases. If I were you, like others have said, just sub in some light/extra light DME, and possibly some hops to balance. I would also think about just making the jump to recipe brewing, using extracts and grains. The fact that you are asking this questions tells me that you are thinking on the right track, and the fact that you have mastered the complexities of posting on a board tells me that you can handle the process of brewing from scratch. Not trying to be glib here, but trying to emphasize that while it might seem more complex than kit brews, it was not bad at all. My first brew turned out fine. I used John Palmer's online How To Brew and ignored the directions that came with the equipment.

This is all just my $.02, however, FWIW
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