I started brewing earlier this year with a bunch of the canned kit before moving on to Brewers Best and other kits. For most of these I just added the 5 cups destrose and a few I added DME plus a smaller amount dextrose.
These kits are definitely quick to make -- I did 3 in one evening once.
YMMV, but here's a few of my favorites:
- Coopers Australian Pale Ale
- Brewmart Czech Pilsner
I brewed these 2 both as just the kit + 5 cups dextrose. I still have sixer of each left (bottle age 8 months). Both of these were excellent beers right from the start.
- Ironmaster Northern Brown Ale
- Coopers Bavarian Lager (now discontinued, but replaced by European Lager)
Both of these brewed with DME + a couple cups of dextrose. I just threw in what I had laying around so I'm sure the style is off, but they still taste good!
Looking back at my notes, for the Bavarian Lager, I added 1# Light DME & 3/4# Amber DME & 1/2 cup dextrose. For the Northern Brown Ale, I added 2 1/4# Amber DME & 1 cup dextrose. I also divided up an ounce of Spalt Select hops between these 2 batches so I had to boils these for a while. Both of these kits turned out great!
I know there are a lot of complaints about cidery flavors with these kind of kits due to the amount of dextrose. I think in many cases, a good compromise would be to use 1# DME + 3 cups dextrose rather than 5 cups dextrose.
Let us know how this turns out for you.