Bother with the boil on pre-hopped extract

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Ramsbottom_Brewer

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I am brewing some pre-hopped extract. The instructions said to mix them with boiling water in the primary fermenter... fill up with cold... any away you go. I am about to keg the beer and all seems to have work (so far).

(On a side issue I may throw my air lock in the bin - it creates too many worries for us newbies.)

I am considering my next move to be pre-hopped extract but try my hand at some specialty grains.

If I did the above, I would follow the palmer instructions and boil. This would technically be against the pre-hopped instructions.

Does this matter?

Even if I had another go at standard pre-hopped extract with no specialty grains should I have a go at boiling anyway?

For you info here is what I am brewing at the moment...

Colchester Homebrew Supplies - Woodfordes Wherry Homebrew Beer Kit

And one more thing to hit you with... If I do decide to 'add' speciality grains to a pre-hopped can, can can I just go for any specialty grains and experiment? Or should I seek advice?

Sorry for the long question. I've learned so much over the past week or so. What the hell did you guys do before the internet??!!??

Mark
 

brian_g

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I am brewing some pre-hopped extract. The instructions said to mix them with boiling water in the primary fermenter... fill up with cold... any away you go. I am about to keg the beer and all seems to have work (so far).

(On a side issue I may throw my air lock in the bin - it creates too many worries for us newbies.)

I am considering my next move to be pre-hopped extract but try my hand at some specialty grains.

If I did the above, I would follow the palmer instructions and boil. This would technically be against the pre-hopped instructions.

Does this matter?

Even if I had another go at standard pre-hopped extract with no specialty grains should I have a go at boiling anyway?

For you info here is what I am brewing at the moment...

Colchester Homebrew Supplies - Woodfordes Wherry Homebrew Beer Kit

And one more thing to hit you with... If I do decide to 'add' speciality grains to a pre-hopped can, can can I just go for any specialty grains and experiment? Or should I seek advice?

Sorry for the long question. I've learned so much over the past week or so. What the hell did you guys do before the internet??!!??

Mark
I hope your joking about throwing out the airlock. The airlock is suppose to let CO2 escape and keep bacteria out.

I've never tried adding specialty grains to a pre-hopped kit. I think it's worth a try. You don't need to boil the grains though. Just steep them in 150 F water for about 20 minutes. When people boil the wort, that is for the hops. Hops must be boiled. Some classifiers such as Irish Moss need to be boiled as well. But you don't need to boil your pre-hopped malt. I would just add the water that you steeped your specialty grains in to the fermenter and mix it with the malt extract then.

What grains to uses. Hmm. That depends on what your trying to do. Crystal malt is always a good bet. It's used in a lot of beer recipes. Not too over powering. roasted barley adds a coffee flavor. Careful, don't use too much or you beer will taste like starbucks. Chocolate malt tastes like chocolate. Mmmm, makes the kitchen smell like brownies.
 

brewer_duke

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Most people generally agree that you should always boil malt extact, whether you are going to hop it or not. At least for 15 minutes...I am not sure why, just some beer magic.
As far as specialty grains go, you want to use ones that will impart their flavor without having to be mashed. This are typically the colorful and aromatic ones. Crystal malt is always popular, the lighter colored vairties have a light-honey sweetness that gradually switches over to intense caramel as you get to the darker varities. You can research all the other type's of grains for steeping on some of the websites, like Briess or homebrew supply websites.
 

SeamusMac

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I don't boil the canned kits and the beer turns out fine in my experience.
My procedure:

- Soak can in hot water to soften contents
- Add appropriate amount of DME (dried malt extract) to a pot of water on the stove; stir until dissolved and let simmer for 15 minutes
- Sterilize exterior of the can along with can opener
- Pour contents into primary fermenting pail
- Rinse can repeatedly with boiling water and pour into primary
- Stir to dissolve with sterilized spoon
- Add appropriate amount of DME (dried malt extract) to a pot of water on the stove; stir until dissolved and let simmer for 15 minutes
- Cover DME solution and chill the pot in an ice bath
- Pour cooled DME solution into fermentation pail
- top up pail to 25L with room temp bottled water (18.9L jugs are great for this) and stir to aerate

I don't often use a secondary so I have an airlock installed on the lid of my primary.
 
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Ramsbottom_Brewer

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I hope your joking about throwing out the airlock. The airlock is suppose to let CO2 escape and keep bacteria out.
Thanks for the advice. I meant 'throw it out' metaphorically as no bubbles was causing me newbie worries. The SG fell nicely during primary and I've now got over the 'no bubbles' jitters.

I'll try some specialty grains but not boil my pre-hopped extract. Experimenting is the way forward!

Mark
 

MikeG

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I recommend you move up for your next batch to Extract (un-hopped) + Steeping grains.

1 Steep grains ~155-170F (~66-76C) for 20-30 min. Those grains will prob be approx 1lb, in 1.5 gal water.
2 Remove grains, add water according to recipe (usually 2-3 gal) and get it to boil
3 Add extract and bittering hops
4 Boil for 1 hr. (15 min before boil time is over, add aroma hops).
5 Cool to 80F and pitch yeast.

This is a rough outline but is quite simple and your beer will be much improved over pre-hopped extract kits and worth the time IMO. There is room to improve on this process (late-extract addition for example) but worry about that after you've done the process once. :mug:
 
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