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Mesa512

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Hey guys,

My brother and I are going to try and make our first batch of beer. We have never tried to brew before so I apologize if I am not that knowledgeable on the topic.

Anyways...we went to a local store to buy our kit and our ingredients. The kit seems to be fine (as a starter kit that is) however I have a question about the ingredients. My friend who has brewed before told me to avoid the cans where you just pour in the ingredients and boil. Like I said this is my first time brewing so I was not able to catch it in the store for the kit came in one box. I am going to attach an image of the kit.

Can any of you tell me if I can substitute real malt for the malt extract syrup and if it would be compatible with the remaining ingredients or are we stuck with the kit that we have?

Thanks a lot for all your help. Cheers

Picture 1

Picture 2
 

Parker36

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There's nothing wrong with using the extracts, but I would recommend adding some specialty grains (maybe a pound or two of pilsner?) and avoid hop extracts - use real pellets or leaf. I strongly suggest reading up here. Good luck and welcome!
 
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Mesa512

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So there is nothing wrong with the extract? Just curious....do you know what my friend was talking about when he was referring to the cans that you just pour in and boil.

By the way, thanks so much for the advise.
 

Nurmey

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Welcome to HBT!

I don't think the cans are a bad way to learn the brewing process. Organization, sanitation, fermentation, and patience are learned from a can kit just as easily as a more complex kit. The only caution I would throw out is that sometimes the instructions are NOT good on the simple kits. If it tells you to add a bunch of sugar or bottle in a week, run, don't walk back here for better instructions.
 
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Mesa512

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That is great to hear. For future reference are there any other kits that you would recommend or is the one that I bought (True Brew Kit) a good one to stick with.
 

Nurmey

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There are lots of good kits that can be purchased locally but Austin Homebrew Supply is one of my favorite resources. I've made many exceptional kits from them. The series in the link below is made for beginners.

Austin Homebrew Supply
 

Baldy_Beer_Brewery

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Kits are fine. There are even no-boil kits and while I've never brewed one of them, there must be a place for them in the home brew world. The kits I always liked best were ones with specialty grains. I felt like I was doing a little more to make beer although it was just steeping some grains.

Welcome to the hobby.
 

Indy418

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Welcome!

Take it from another newb--read as much as you can and start experimenting with grains. Even if it's just a pound or two to see how it works. It'll add a world of difference to your beer!
 

snailsongs

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A kit from a place like Austin Homebrew or Midwest Brewing supply is generally going to be of much better quality in freshness, directions, and recipe formulation than any kit that comes in a pre-packaged box, so next time I would recommend going that route....there's no reason you can't make good tasting beer while learning organization, sanitation, fermentation and patience, ya know? - and a kit from one of these places is no harder to brew than what you have there......
....that said, make what you've got, and while it's fermenting you can place your order for the next batch or two and give them time to get to you, then you'll be ready to go when the fermentor comes up empty. good luck and have fun!
 

mrpinkbunny

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I'm a complete n00b here too, have my first batch conditioning. I got the coopers kit, which says mix extract with fresh boiled water and sugar, top off with cold water, add yeast and seal. I know there's a lot of info on here about better ways to get better tasting beer, but I decided to follow the instructions to the letter the first time. Then I know what other people, and soon myself have improved on. It's still not going to make bad beer - just not as awesome as it could be. I have read many times though that no matter what it tastes like, your first homebrew is always the best beer in the world!
 

justinakajuice

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I use extract and have had great success. I will be moving to all grain brewing, which requires a bit more equipment, but you can make a hell of a good batch of beer with extracts.

Welcome!

~juice~
 

ajf

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There are a few types of kits available:
  1. Pre-hopped extract
  2. Extract
  3. Extract and steeping grains
  4. Partial mash
  5. All grain
Pre-hopped extract is brewed by literally adding the extract to water, and boiling.
Extract is almost the same, but you have to add hops to the boil. This gives you the ability to adjust the bitterness and hop flavor by adjusting the amount of hops you add, but you don't want to do that for your first brew as you need a frame of reference before making adjustments.
Extract with steeping grains, also adds some crushed grains that you need to steep in hot water before starting the boil. This can add color and complexity to the beer flavor, but takes a little longer. If I were to make a kit that is what I would use, but it is worth making at least one batch without the steeping grains so that you can judge what effect the steeping grains have.
The last two take more time and equipment, and you may want to try them when you have a bit of experience.

-a.
 
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Mesa512

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Ok so my brother and I talked about it. We are going to go back to the store to pick up some specialty grain to add into our brew. Someone mentioned a pound or two of pilsner. We both agreed we will try that but we are unsure of how to incorporate it into our batch.

Can someone please give me instructions as to when I would add that grain?

Thanks!!
 

Corkster

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If the store will grind the grain for you (they may not be able to) that would be awesome...

if they can't/won't then crush the grain yourself.... (a rolling pin with the grains in a ziplock baggie works nice) the idea is to break the grains into smallish chunks not beat them into a flour.... just get em broken up...... next get your water in the pan on the stove and add your grains to it.... bring the heat of the water up to about 160 degrees Fahrenheit and then hold that temp for about 30 minutes....

After thirty minutes remove your grains and then bring the water to a boil and continue with your regular instructions....

That's how I do it anyway.....
 

Corkster

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oh, and just for the record, my first batch of brew was a Premier malt extract which was pre hopped... I added 2 lbs of dry malt extract instead of the recommended table sugar and let it bottle condition for three weeks..... all in all it was not a bad brew....
 

Joos

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NO table sugar in beer.Iv'e made that mistake before.
 
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Mesa512

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Welcome to HBT!

I don't think the cans are a bad way to learn the brewing process. Organization, sanitation, fermentation, and patience are learned from a can kit just as easily as a more complex kit. The only caution I would throw out is that sometimes the instructions are NOT good on the simple kits. If it tells you to add a bunch of sugar or bottle in a week, run, don't walk back here for better instructions.
Now I see what you mean.

Among other things, our kit came with the following ingredients:

1 pound of Rice Syrup Solids
1 pound of Corn Sugar
5 Ounces of Priming Sugar

After adding the malt extract in, the instructions say to "continue stirring while adding the sugar, rice and hops. Stir until materials dissolve, then return to heat and bring to a boil."

Do they want us to add the entire amount of each ingredient? And when they refer to the "sugar", do they just mean the priming sugar? Thanks.
 

jeansberg

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The priming sugar is for adding carbonation when the beer is being bottled or kegged. It should not be boiled in the wort.
 
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