Moving from canned extracts to the "real way"

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caesius

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I've made quite a few batches now using what I assume is the way most beginners start, a can of malt stuff (please excuse my naming - it's just how I see it), and a bag of sugar stuff...

I'm now ready to take the plunge and start using ... ... ahhh what am I meant to be using???

The problem is I'm not at all sure what I should be substituting/adding here! I see a lot of recipes call for something along the lines of

1. X grams dried malt extract
2. Y grams different dried malt extract
3. hops
4. so forth...

Call me an amateur (go on, you're allowed), but my mind is screaming "Where is the sugar!!!??" I really don't understand what replaces what in this transition from extract to something more professional.

Long story short, I'm what am I replacing my "malt in a can" and "bag of sugar" with, is dried malt somehow enough? Or are the recipes I'm reading omitting the sugar part for sake of clarity (no pun).

I hope I haven't convoluted things but I'm having a hard time getting my head around this all! Cheers.
 

eriktlupus

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no prob man

malt extract is all the brewing sugars included and most times is listed as either LME=liquid malt extract or DME= dry malt extract.


most extract recipes also call for some sort of steeping grains for color modification or to impart a special flavor that doesn't translate well in extracts,like chocolate malt.

please read the online book How to Brew - By John Palmer - Contents it will answer many questions you might have.

hoppy brewing
 

Indy418

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+1 on Palmer.

Steeping is super easy. I recommend DeathBrewer's beginners partial mash thread at the top of the beginners forum. It's super easy and takes you through the process step by step.

Also, you don't need sugar. Your malts have all the sugar you need (until bottling).

and mainly...RDWHAHB!
 

Tenchiro

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I base all of my recipes on the following;

6-7 lbs Malt Extract
1 lb Specialty Grains
2-4 oz Hops

Depending on what I want to bew I find those measurements make fairly tasty brews. I just mix and match the actual ingredients based on existing recipes. For example if I want to make an IPA I could do the following;

Malt:
6# Extra Light Malt Extract
1# Amber Malt Extract

Grains: (steeped @ 155f for 30m)
8oz 40L Crystal
8oz Carapils

Hops:
2oz Centennial @ 60m
1oz Amarillo @ 15m
1oz Amarillo @ 5m
Or if I wanted to make a Hefeweizen I could go;
Malt:
6# Wheat Extract

Grains: (steeped @ 155f for 15min)
8oz Wheat Malt
8oz Raw Wheat

Hops:
1oz Liberty @ 60m
Basically I shoot for 6lbs malt extract, 1 lb specialty grains and 2oz hops as a baseline for most of my recipes. It has worked well for the most part. I just look to existing recipes for the specific ingredients for whatever style I am trying to do.

It can be trial and error but the more you do it and the more beers you brew the better feel you will get for the specific ingredients and how they affect the beer.
 

brian_g

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I assume your using a no-boil kit. Cooper's and Muttons are two popular brands. If you want to step up the quality of your beer you can leave out the sugar and instead add a can of unhoped malt extract (3.3lbs).

Malt, by the way, is a type of sugar made from grains. It adds richness to your beer. The corn sugar adds little flavor, just alcohol.

If you want to try something a little harder, buy a kit called Brewer's Best. It comes with malt extract, hops, and specialty grains. After you learn how to add your own hops and specialty grains you can start using recipes in books, or create your own.
 

SumnerH

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I've made quite a few batches now using what I assume is the way most beginners start, a can of malt stuff (please excuse my naming - it's just how I see it), and a bag of sugar stuff...

I'm now ready to take the plunge and start using ... ... ahhh what am I meant to be using???

The problem is I'm not at all sure what I should be substituting/adding here! I see a lot of recipes call for something along the lines of

1. X grams dried malt extract
2. Y grams different dried malt extract
3. hops
4. so forth...

Call me an amateur (go on, you're allowed), but my mind is screaming "Where is the sugar!!!??" I really don't understand what replaces what in this transition from extract to something more professional.

Long story short, I'm what am I replacing my "malt in a can" and "bag of sugar" with, is dried malt somehow enough? Or are the recipes I'm reading omitting the sugar part for sake of clarity (no pun).

I hope I haven't convoluted things but I'm having a hard time getting my head around this all! Cheers.
Sugar boosts alcohol content at the cost of flavor (it causes a thinner, dryer beer). But it's cheap, so people who don't want to pay a little extra for flavor use it to get higher alcohol content without paying for more malt extract.

Most people who are interested in brewing really good beer leave out the sugar and use more malt extract instead. That also boosts the alcohol content, but helps the flavor as well--but it's more expensive than sugar.

There are exceptions, especially in really high OG beers (e.g. double IPAs, Belgian strong ales) there's often sugar added in addition to a _lot_ of malt extract, though usually that'll be some sort of caramelized brown candi sugar or something else that helps flavor in addition to boosting alcohol content. When there isn't, it's because the style of beer needs some dryness or thinness, usually because there's already so much malt extract in these beers.
 

homebrewjapan

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Tenchiro,
As a beginner, that little recipe was very instructive. It gives me a basis to look at other recipes now.
Thanks.
 

EcuPirate07

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Somthing that helped me get a visual of how to do an extract brew was Jim Koch the CEO of Sam Adams beer, if you step up from the cans watch this a couple of times until you can go through it in your head, it makes the process seem less stressful, oh and +1 on Palmer im only through the first 2 chapers and im learning a lot you can pick it up at amazon or half.com and subsiderary of Ebay.

http://www.samueladams.com/promotions/PatriotHomebrew/video.aspx
 

Homercidal

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Adding more extract adds more sugar from the extract, and adds body and flavor too. using less extract and a bunch of sugar is a cheap and dirty way to up the alcohol.

You'll get a better beer by not using sugar and adding more extract. Trying different recipes and using hops and yeasts of different types is part of the fun of homebrewing.
 
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