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Dry malt, liquid malt,fresh grains rookie question

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howardbeach

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Why do some kits come with liquid malt extract and dry malt extract? Aren't these the same thing? Also, I used to brew with fresh grains in a grain bag which was steeped in the brewpot. My local brew stores only offer kits with liquid malt extract and of course dry malt extract. . It seems like cheating to me. Are there any noticeable taste differences between the two? It seems more like making soup than beer. This is my first brew in 8 years.
 

brian_g

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Liquid and dry malt are basically equivalent. Some people prefer one over the other.

How did you make beer before? Did you use any malt extract or only the grains. There are four main ways home brewers make beer:

1) No boil kit -- these kits have no grains and don't require boiling

2) extract w/ steeping grains -- this method requires steeping some grains for about 20 mins, then you have to boil the hops for an hour. It also uses extract, so no mashing is required.

3) mini mash -- This is basically the same as 2 except you have to mash the grains yourself. About half the malt comes from extract, and half from grains. Mashing take about 60-90 minutes.

4) All grain-- no extract is used. All the malt comes from grain you mash yourself.


Do you remember how you made beer before? There are people on hombrewtalk.com that can help with any of the above methods.
 

fretsforlife

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Who makes the kits they're selling? The Brewers Best's kits that Ive used, all had some kind of steeping grains included. These could possibly be kits that your LHBS is making themselves, or they could be the pre-hopped extract kits (cooper etc). If this seems too basic for you, just do a search in the recipe section for the type of beer you want to make, and bring that recipe in with you. As far as a taste difference, Im still too new to the hobby to fully elaborate on that. Ive brewed Mr. Beer batches (which are as basic as you can get) that have been fantastic when done right.
 

Yooper

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The fresher ingredients, the better the brew. If you can find a good LHBS that will make you up a fresh kit with fresh grains, and fresh extract, you can make a great beer whether you use liquid or dry extract.

I like to order from austinhomebrew.com and northernbrewer.com, because they actually crush the grains when you order and they have decent prices. I'd suggest either looking at our recipe database for ideas or browsing the kits at austinhomebrew. They have many, many, easy kits to "clone" whatever kind of beer you would like to make. I'd suggest staying away from lagers until you have a bit more experience, but just about any ale extract kit would be doable for you.
 
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howardbeach

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I did the mini-mash in the past. I never had to open a jar or a can. I guess it just seemed a more organic way to brew-using real grains. Thanks for the brewtalk link.
 
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