Malt extracts...More info please!

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Malt extracts...More info please!

Postby HardcoreLegend » Sun Oct 13, 2002 3:24 pm

I posted this topic here a few weeks ago, but did not get too much response from you guys. My local homebrew shop has an excellent selection of liquid malt extracts that they sell all for the same price. They sell Cooper's, Munton's, John Bull, Northwestern, Briess, Montmellick, and maybe a couple others. Which is the best? Which should I stay away from? I would appreciate your advice so that I can make the best beer I possibly can. Thanks!
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Some tips

Postby jayhawk » Sun Oct 13, 2002 10:41 pm

Brewing the best beer possible is less dependent on the extract brand and more dependent on how you brew. You could be using the freshest extract straight from the brewery and still produce crappy beer because of the way you handled the brew process. There are a number of things that you can do to increase the quality of your beer:
1)For starters, choose quality yeast. Using quality yeast will enhance the flavour profile of your beer. They are more expensive at first (ie Wyeast), but you can reculture from the bottle, or pitch on top of the yeast cake (another subject altogether).
2)Use good brewing practices. Moving the beer off the trub, I feel, is one thing that has really improved my beer. After pitching, I move it out of the primary as soon as a good head of foam is going, usually within 24 hours. I then transfer within 3 or 4 days after that to another vessel, or the one I first had the beer in. When doing this, make sure anything touching the beer is CLEAN!!!! Honestly, when I first started, I thought that transferring after 12 to 24 hours was a little anal. How much difference could it make? Well I sure noticed a huge difference the cleaness of the flavour. It tasted more like beer and less like "homebrew".
3)A good chiller. I use a counterflow chiller whichs rapidly cools the wort. This is crucial in getting a good cold break, which reduces the amount of undesirable compounds in the beer.
4)Proper fermenting temp. If too high, you will get flavours that may not be wanted. You can keep things cool in the fermenter by wrapping it in a wet shirt and putting it in the airstream of a fan.

If you go back in the archives at the forum (set the thread display to "all"), you will pick up alot of good tips. I have.

If you still want to make sure you are using the best extract, do some brand research. I would assume that the extract making process each company uses is very similar, and as long as they aren't using fillers or any strange crap you should be fine no matter what brand you use. To make sure, you should look into how each brand process the extract, what they add to it (if anything), and then make a decision.

You probably didn't get much response earlier because most of the regulars are all grainers, and, if you have the time and desire, all grain is the best method to brew the best beer. I have only ever use one type of extract, from United Canada Malting. It was fine, but after 10 months of extract brewing I made the switch to all grain. I made some good extract brews, but I found there was only so far I could go with steeping the grains and using the same extract. With all grain, the possibilities are endless as to how you can manipulate the batch to produce desired qualities. If you want the best possible beer, go all grain. Don't get me wrong here, extract brewing is great. You can still produce great beer that surpasses much of what you could buy at the store. Extract brewing is way easier than all grain and way quicker, and you still get good results. Remember, brewing the best beer possible isn't easy, it takes work, dedication, and attention to detail, but in the end it sure is worth it, especially when you pop that top and say "I brewed this."
Now git brewin and git hardcore
Chris
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All a matter of opinion

Postby Fraoch » Mon Oct 14, 2002 3:00 am

Some extract brewers i know swear by coopers,some use EDME, myself, if im doing an extract beer i prefer to use Morgans Pale Malt liquid as a base and add crystal etc to the boil.This is the nearest i can get in flavour to an all grain batch.They make an amber malt, roast, black etc so you can mix without touching a grain if so desired.But if you want to make THE BEST beer possible, then you will eventually go AG.Once the leap has been taken, you wont want to go back.I tend to drink more than time will allow to brew so i chuck in a"bulk" extract every month and then count the days till mash time!!I tend to view my AG beers as "premium" and extract as standard bulk stuff.just to add, its a lot cheaper doing AG beers also.

Happy brewing,

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Whatcha brewing?

Postby Gravity Thrills » Tue Oct 15, 2002 6:03 am

I am doing my first extract brew in 3 years this weekend, to go along with an AG witbier (variety, baby). I usually tryto get two styles out of a big base mash, but the wit grain bill si just too unlike anything else to make it work.

I was en extract brewer for many years, and I gravitated toward using Northwestern/Briess light liquid as the base for most brews
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He said Gravitate!

Postby Freon12 » Tue Oct 15, 2002 5:17 pm

Come on Jim, Shake yourself.
We all know that your mill is broken.

Don't try that "I've got a wedding to go to" stuff. Or that "I'm brewing extract for varity" stuff.
Who are you talking to?

Freon "the disruptor of the facsad"(spelling?)

P.S. I have already milled the grist for the Wit #2.(Same yeast culture I might add)
You should have bought a JSP!
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That's MY story...

Postby Gravity Thrills » Wed Oct 16, 2002 5:28 am

and I'm sticking to it! I have ingredients coming UPS today for this weekend's belated wit and the return to extract brewing - dubiously tagged as "Bitter English Extraction." I bought a 7 oz bag (only need 2 for the brew) of soft Indian coriander yesterday and now need to decide whether to mill or crush.

And, actually, I don't even mill my own grain anymore. Since my shop is willing to deal in fractional amounts of specialty grains I don't keep grain on hand anymore. I just order what I need a week ahead of time, let them crush it all, save my energy for brewing and my storage space for beer.

I almost decided to forego a second batch this time around. But it'll probably be another month before I brew, and knowing how quickly the witbier went at your end, I had better whip up a contingency beer.

Cheers,
Jim
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