Quantcast

Altering a kit

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

cbotrice

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 19, 2005
Messages
90
Reaction score
0
Location
Northern Ill
I am new to the game (5 brews) and have been using True Brew kits (brother sells them). I have started dry hopping them in a carboy, what else can I do to make better beer with the kits? I am not unhappy with the results so far, some brewing friends have praised them as well. It just that I would like to bump them up a little as I get more experience. Thanks MPW
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
255
Reaction score
0
Location
Columbus, MS.
I haven't used many True Brew kits so I'm not sure if this applies. If these kits do not use specialty grains (grains which you steep in ~155f water for 30-45 minutes), this is something you could do in addition to the kit. Carapils dextrin malt grains would be one such grain which you could steep to increase the body of your beer. There are other steeping grains you could use to add flavors and colors to your beer.
Do these kits use liquid yeasts or dry yeasts? Dry would be quite an upgrade for you.
Also, read up on primary and secondary fermenting times on other posts on this site. If you are brewing these kits per instruction, you are probably drinking your beer within a few weeks of brewing. Give your beer more time in both fermenting and bottle conditioning to improve the quality.
 
OP
C

cbotrice

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 19, 2005
Messages
90
Reaction score
0
Location
Northern Ill
Some of the kits contain grain some not, pale ales, continental dark, IPA, all have grains, others don't. I have steeped at 155 deg, never seem to have time to let it age before use. Have secondary fermented with a some of the priming sugar boiled and thrown in for some reason (I just figured it would ferment again and get co2 in the carboy for contamination protection). I have added cascade hops in the secondary phase to get increased hop notes on the nose, almost too much but as it gets a little older in the keg (cornys in a fridge outside) it gets better. I am getting more kegs (have 3 going to 5) so they can sit carbonated in the basement for a time before I "have" to get into them. Thanks for the response. MPW
 

loopmd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
656
Reaction score
7
Location
Omaha, Nebraska
I have brewed about a dozen true brew kits. I like them. (sorry, guys, it's just my thing). Not that I wouldn't want to stray from them, but I like them. I have altered just about every one that I make. Mostly, I will add about 2 lbs of honey to the brew. I have also done some with wyeast smack packs. Dry hopped in secondary, used different hops then what comes with the "kit" i.e. cascade instead of halertau. My last batch I added a pound of dry malt extract. They have all turned out great.

cheers, dave
 

Rhoobarb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
3,553
Reaction score
20
Location
Gainesville
Not familiar with these kits, but I would suggest that if they come with dry yeast, buy some liquid yeast and substitute it for the dry. Either Wyeast or White Labs (my personal favorite) yeasts will really change the profile of the beer, depending on what strain you choose.
 

boo boo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
4,164
Reaction score
45
Location
Hearts's Delight, Newfoundland
Rhoobarb said:
Not familiar with these kits, but I would suggest that if they come with dry yeast, buy some liquid yeast and substitute it for the dry. Either Wyeast or White Labs (my personal favorite) yeasts will really change the profile of the beer, depending on what strain you choose.
I'm not familiar with these kits either but I brew kits and I haven't had trouble with them except that I use fresh dry yeast re-hydrated and proofed before pitching to wort. Also I now use DME instead of high malt glucose to boost my kits. :cool:
 

Rookie

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
210
Reaction score
2
Location
Vancouver, WA
Using more/less IBUs or different hops can make a pretty big difference in the final beer with only a small change to the kit.
 

DragonTail

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
3,379
Reaction score
10
Location
Genoa City
Haven't really done any "kits" (ie. hoped tins). I have been doing extract/grain recipies with White Labs yeasts, mostly from Midwest Supplies, since I started about a year and a half ago. (I did do a few "experiments" that I came up with on my own though) As for adding things, honey will add more alcohol and even more flavor the later you add it to the boil. Hops amd fruit will add aroma snd flavor if you add it to the secondary. Just keep experimenting.
 

DragonTail

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
3,379
Reaction score
10
Location
Genoa City
Haven't really done any "kits" (ie. hoped tins). I have been doing extract/grain recipies with White Labs yeasts, mostly from Midwest Supplies, since I started about a year and a half ago. (I did do a few "experiments" that I came up with on my own though) As for adding things, honey will add more alcohol and even more flavor the later you add it to the boil. Hops amd fruit will add aroma snd flavor if you add it to the secondary. Just keep experimenting. :cool:
 

SwAMi75

Banned
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
2,458
Reaction score
10
Location
Midwest City, OK
cbotrice said:
Have secondary fermented with a some of the priming sugar boiled and thrown in for some reason (I just figured it would ferment again and get co2 in the carboy for contamination protection).
I'd stop doing that, unless you're just after more alcohol content. The sugar won't add any kind of flavor....plus, you won't have enough to prime it with. End result sounds to me like some strong, flat stuff!

Also, the alcohol content of your beer, once in secondary, should be enough to ward off potential contamination. Secondary fermentaion is mainly for letting the stuff settle out of your beer, and to let it mature a little bit.
 
OP
C

cbotrice

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 19, 2005
Messages
90
Reaction score
0
Location
Northern Ill
Sam, dont have to worry about flat beer the 5 lb can of co2 takes care of it, I use cornys. I use a bit of the priming sugar from the kits to make sure that the secondary has enough co2 to keep it crud free for a week or two, as I can never seem to get to moving from primary to secondary before fermentations is pretty much done. MPW
 

SwAMi75

Banned
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
2,458
Reaction score
10
Location
Midwest City, OK
I still say that adding sugar to the secondary is completely unnecessary. The alcohol content of your beer, combined with proper sanitizing practices are plenty to ward off any contamination at that point.

Adding sugar will only increase your alcohol content, without adding any flavor. It might make your beer finish out a little dryer, and could give it a wine/cider like flavor if you use too much. If that's what you're after, then go for it! Otherwise, I don't think it's necessary.
 
Top