would this taste good?

Homebrewing with extract? Share your thoughts here!
9am53
Posts: 100
Joined: |21 Apr 2011|, 23:44

would this taste good?

Post by 9am53 »

I have now made a couple kit beers, and I am about to make another, and want it to taste good. My last ones have had that cidery taste from the pound of dextrose I have been using, and I don't like it. I went on beer calculus and plugged in some stuff and just want to run it by you to see if I am on the right track.

1 can of coopers dark ale
3 pounds of amber LME from homebrewgearcanada
1 pound of maltodextrin
crystal 60L (can't remember the amount)
S-04 yeast.

one quarterpound of the crystal yields an OG of 1050, should I remove the maltodextrin and go straight malt, no sugar?

thanks.
Primary: Brown Ale
Secondary: Plzen that is lagering
Keg: Irish Red
Bottle: Plzen
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9am53
Posts: 100
Joined: |21 Apr 2011|, 23:44

Re: would this taste good?

Post by 9am53 »

I figured I would steep the crystal for an hour, then bring it up to a boil and add the LME till break, then mix it in my bucket with the can o' coopers...
Primary: Brown Ale
Secondary: Plzen that is lagering
Keg: Irish Red
Bottle: Plzen
In The Mail: Nothing

gmac
Posts: 50
Joined: |22 Jun 2011|, 17:32

Re: would this taste good?

Post by gmac »

First of all, I agree about getting rid of the cider taste. I hated that.

Regarding your recipe, I have a couple questions. First of all, why the maltodextrin? Why not just use more malt extract? As far as I know, maltodextrine is unfermentable so it's going to add body to the beer but most extracts already have a high enough percentage of unfermentable sugars so it may end up being pretty thick and not hitting your projected FG. Also, and I don't mean to be rude but it can make you a bit gassy since the bacteria in your gut will be feasting on it. :oops: Now that I re-read your post I guess you asked this so I'll say yes, remove it and go all malt.

Personally, I like to do extract brews with only LME and the modify the taste and colour profiles with specialty malts. I think you would end up with something better and more drinkable if you used 6 lbs of LME and then steeped your crystal malt and bought some chocolate malt and roasted barley. Depends on what style you are shooting for. If you want a dark ale, steep 3-4 oz (75-100g) of chocolate malt with your crystal at 155F for about 30 minutes and then add that to the boil with your LME. If you want a stout profile, you will need to add a bit of roasted barley too. The thing I love about this method is you have complete control and you don't have to deal with whatever Coopers put in their dark malt extract. Plus, you can then make minor changes in subsequent batches to fine-tune it to what you want. 1/4 lb of crystal may add some sweetness but I think it's on the low end of the amount I'd use. Again, depends on the style you're shooting for (and I am not a style nazi, just looking for guidance on what you're trying to do). If you want an amber beer, just use 1/2- 3/4 lb of the C60

Lastly, you didn't mention what hops. What are you thinking or does the Coopers have enough hops in it? Personally I would go with either an English hop or an American hop for this type of wort.

I'm not that familiar with this yeast but I do want to impress upon you the importance of fermentation temps. A lot of the off-flavours associated with homebrew come from fermenting too warm. S-04 is similar to the Whitbread strain from England so it will produce some esters and possibly diacetyl and I'd suggest you try to keep it fairly cool (62-64F) and not let it get above 70F. Remember, during fermentation the yeast produce heat so if the temp is 68, the wort is probably 70+. Put it in a bucket of water and wrap a towel around it to help cool it by evaporation or add some ice to the bucket once in a while if you need to. One of the best improvements I made to my brewing was to monitor fermentation temps. Cider is gone!

Probably way too much information but that's my take on how to approach extracts.
Graham

9am53
Posts: 100
Joined: |21 Apr 2011|, 23:44

Re: would this taste good?

Post by 9am53 »

THanks! I have this coopers kit and want to use it up, this is why I am not going straight LME or DME. I will save the maltodextrin for some other brew, no worries, it was cheap :) I was not going to add hops since the coopers kit is prehopped. I would try the different specialty grains, but this will be my first partial mash, so I feel I would rather start simple with just the C60 for my first try. I will see how much of the C60 I have and add 1/2 or 3/4 pounds. How much water would I need to steep this amount of grain in, and how much water would I need to boil the 3 pounds of LME? or does it really matter?

THanks!
Primary: Brown Ale
Secondary: Plzen that is lagering
Keg: Irish Red
Bottle: Plzen
In The Mail: Nothing

gmac
Posts: 50
Joined: |22 Jun 2011|, 17:32

Re: would this taste good?

Post by gmac »

I'd steep it in a couple gallons for 30 mins, pull it out and then bring that up to the boil to add your LME (take it off the heat so it doesn't boil over or have a squirt bottle of water handy to knock back the foam). Is your C60 milled? If not, you'll need to crack it open so that it can steep properly. For that amount you could roll it with a rolling pin or tap (don't smash) it with a hammer in a bag. Key is to just crack it open, not make it into flour. Do you have a muslin bag to put it in? You could use a fine mesh strainer too if you don't. You want to get as much grain out as possible before you boil or you'll end up with hazy beer (tastes fine, just not that pretty).
Good luck and I'm sure it will turn out just fine.

9am53
Posts: 100
Joined: |21 Apr 2011|, 23:44

Re: would this taste good?

Post by 9am53 »

thanks. I will be getting a muslin bag with my homebrewgearcanada order (it comes with their kits).
Primary: Brown Ale
Secondary: Plzen that is lagering
Keg: Irish Red
Bottle: Plzen
In The Mail: Nothing

User avatar
Tony
Posts: 881
Joined: |15 Apr 2011|, 16:16
Location: Heart`s Delight. Newfoundland

Re: would this taste good?

Post by Tony »

gmac wrote:First of all, I agree about getting rid of the cider taste. I hated that.

Personally, I like to do extract brews with only LME and the modify the taste and colour profiles with specialty malts. I think you would end up with something better and more drinkable if you used 6 lbs of LME and then steeped your crystal malt and bought some chocolate malt and roasted barley. Depends on what style you are shooting for. If you want a dark ale, steep 3-4 oz (75-100g) of chocolate malt with your crystal at 155F for about 30 minutes and then add that to the boil with your LME. If you want a stout profile, you will need to add a bit of roasted barley too. The thing I love about this method is you have complete control and you don't have to deal with whatever Coopers put in their dark malt extract. Plus, you can then make minor changes in subsequent batches to fine-tune it to what you want. 1/4 lb of crystal may add some sweetness but I think it's on the low end of the amount I'd use. Again, depends on the style you're shooting for (and I am not a style nazi, just looking for guidance on what you're trying to do). If you want an amber beer, just use 1/2- 3/4 lb of the C60

Lastly, you didn't mention what hops. What are you thinking or does the Coopers have enough hops in it? Personally I would go with either an English hop or an American hop for this type of wort.

I'm not that familiar with this yeast but I do want to impress upon you the importance of fermentation temps. A lot of the off-flavours associated with homebrew come from fermenting too warm. S-04 is similar to the Whitbread strain from England so it will produce some esters and possibly diacetyl and I'd suggest you try to keep it fairly cool (62-64F) and not let it get above 70F. Remember, during fermentation the yeast produce heat so if the temp is 68, the wort is probably 70+. Put it in a bucket of water and wrap a towel around it to help cool it by evaporation or add some ice to the bucket once in a while if you need to. One of the best improvements I made to my brewing was to monitor fermentation temps. Cider is gone!

Probably way too much information but that's my take on how to approach extracts.
Graham

Agree totally.
Fermentation temps are most important. S-04 is a very fast fermenter and probably will raise the fermenting temps high.
Fermenting at about 62 - 64f will keep the fruity taste in check a little. It also drops clear very fast.
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9am53
Posts: 100
Joined: |21 Apr 2011|, 23:44

Re: would this taste good?

Post by 9am53 »

ok, thanks boys! I can't wait!
Primary: Brown Ale
Secondary: Plzen that is lagering
Keg: Irish Red
Bottle: Plzen
In The Mail: Nothing

9am53
Posts: 100
Joined: |21 Apr 2011|, 23:44

Re: would this taste good?

Post by 9am53 »

OK, so I made the beer yesterday and here is what I did:

1 can of coopers dark ale
3 pounds of amber LME from homebrewgearcanada
1/3 cup of maltodextrin
crystal 60L (can't remember the amount)
1/4 cup of coffee
S-04 yeast.

I tasted the beer from the beer thief and it is going to be good! The beer is darker than I thought, much like a porter, and the added coffee really is present in the aroma in the head, and the little bit of added biterness. I didn't end up adding any hops to the kit, so thought I would throw the last bit of my cup of coffee (black of course) into the boil for added biterness, and I think it was a good idea! My only issue with this beer was that after aeration with my drill and paint stirrer the head was HUGE and I had difficulty not making a mess while pouring it into my carboy, but it will be worth it I hope!
Primary: Brown Ale
Secondary: Plzen that is lagering
Keg: Irish Red
Bottle: Plzen
In The Mail: Nothing

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blacktiebrewing
Posts: 231
Joined: |09 Apr 2011|, 02:09
Location: Saskatoon

Re: would this taste good?

Post by blacktiebrewing »

Sounds interesting! Let us know how it turns out.
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-Harold Rudolph

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