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Old 07-12-2017, 05:16 PM   #1
Piperbrew
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Not sure if I have posted in the correct section so apologies if in the wrong place.

I have a few questions which I think might actually lead onto other areas but here goes.

I have been making my beer with standard malt extract kits and tinkering with them with powdered malt extract etc. My question is am I able to buy generic liquid malts cheaper than ready made kits or could I buy powered malts and then 'cook' them as such along with hops....as opposed to buying the malt grains which looks to much of a palaver to me ...no offence intended to the expert who do )).

Reason I ask is I am thinking of converting a stainless beer keg which I cut the lid off and thought about making it into a boiler ( propane). If I did this are there any plan as to what else I would need to do to it as guessing a temperature probe and tap and possibly a site tube, oh and I am an ex plumber so a doddle for me to do.

I am also looking to start secondary fermenting my beer , would I see improvements if I do?

Thanks

Pete
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:26 PM   #2
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Hi Piperbrew,

I haven't done much liquid malt brewing, I went direct from kits to all grain, but I know you can sometimes but liquid malt on special offers from Holland & Barrett.
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:33 PM   #3
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Geterbrewed sells bags of LME(https://www.geterbrewed.com/?subcats...roducts.search) or you can create your own kit. Extract brewing is much more popular in the states than it is over here.

I’ve never used either though, I do all grain.
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piperbrew View Post
Not sure if I have posted in the correct section so apologies if in the wrong place.

I have a few questions which I think might actually lead onto other areas but here goes.

I have been making my beer with standard malt extract kits and tinkering with them with powdered malt extract etc. My question is am I able to buy generic liquid malts cheaper than ready made kits or could I buy powered malts and then 'cook' them as such along with hops....as opposed to buying the malt grains which looks to much of a palaver to me ...no offence intended to the expert who do )).

Reason I ask is I am thinking of converting a stainless beer keg which I cut the lid off and thought about making it into a boiler ( propane). If I did this are there any plan as to what else I would need to do to it as guessing a temperature probe and tap and possibly a site tube, oh and I am an ex plumber so a doddle for me to do.

I am also looking to start secondary fermenting my beer , would I see improvements if I do?

Thanks

Pete
What you have described is 'extract brewing'. This is where you use unhopped liquid or dried malt extract and carry out a boil with hops. You don't necessarily need to boil all of the wort with the hops, just enough to extract the hop bitterness and flavour. The rest of the malt can then go into the FV just like you would for a kit. You can also add things like a grain steep or a minimash to enhance the brew just like you would for a kit.
There are some savings to be made over buying a kit but not a huge amount, but the advantage is you have more flexibility to brew what you want. And many AG recipes can be directly converted to extract beers. And if you want to brew small batches you can do this since you are not driven to 20+ litres like you are with a kit.
There are some extract brewers on here including myself and if you are interested we can point you at a few recipes.
Finally since you make up your own recipes and brew volumes and don't need to boil all the wort you don't require a large boiler. I can make 15 litre brews with two SS pots sized at only 3.5 and 5 litres.
Hope this helps.

PS.
I assume by secondary fermentation you mean racking off to another FV towards or at the end of the primary. There are advantages in doing this in that it removes the beer from the yeasty trub, and that helps clearing; that's what I do. However many homebrewers don't rack off because they believe it is unnecessary, especially since the beer will clear anyway given time, but many don't do it because they fear it will increase the risk of an infection due to the transfer. So in the end its down to personal choice.
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Last edited by terrym; 07-12-2017 at 05:51 PM. Reason: PS added
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:53 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies gents.

Ok its making a bit more sense now and I have also just looked at the sticky on extract brewing. Terrym , I am sure I will be asking you some questions soon and although you mention small batches I don't think I would ever bother and stick to 23 litres. I know you say you don't need to boil all the wort but would it be better to boil as much as you can? , hence why I am looking into making a boiler.

So if this is one stage up from kits, whats the next stage.....how much more equipment is needed / skill and finally does each stage tend to yield better results?

Many thanks

Pete
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Old 07-12-2017, 06:41 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies gents.

Ok its making a bit more sense now and I have also just looked at the sticky on extract brewing. Terrym , I am sure I will be asking you some questions soon and although you mention small batches I don't think I would ever bother and stick to 23 litres. I know you say you don't need to boil all the wort but would it be better to boil as much as you can? , hence why I am looking into making a boiler.

So if this is one stage up from kits, whats the next stage.....how much more equipment is needed / skill and finally does each stage tend to yield better results?

Many thanks

Pete
There really is no need to boil all of the wort in my view. You can can extract adequate hop bitterness and flavour by only doing a partial boil. And the added advantage of doing a partial is that you don't have to cool all of the wort.
So if you wanted to make up a 23 litre brew you could get away with a stock pot of around 15 litres working capacity. Others may be able to advise on this, cos that's out of my extract brewing volume range.
And since I only use smallish stock pots from the kitchen I have no extra kit compared to kit brewing.
If you do go down the extract brewing route I suggest you start with DME rather than LME. I have in the past only used LME but some brews using cheap LME had the dreaded twang. No-one, as far as I am aware, gets twang with DME. I will probably go to DME when my stock of LME is used up.
Finally the next step up from just a kit and kilo or making up a premium kit as it comes is, for me, pimping/boosting/tweaking a kit, usually a one can, with a grain steep, or a minimash, or a hop tea or a dry hop or all or any of them. That's what I do as do lots of others on this Forum it seems.
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:14 PM   #7
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There really is no need to boil all of the wort in my view. You can can extract adequate hop bitterness and flavour by only doing a partial boil. And the added advantage of doing a partial is that you don't have to cool all of the wort.
So if you wanted to make up a 23 litre brew you could get away with a stock pot of around 15 litres working capacity. Others may be able to advise on this, cos that's out of my extract brewing volume range.
And since I only use smallish stock pots from the kitchen I have no extra kit compared to kit brewing.
If you do go down the extract brewing route I suggest you start with DME rather than LME. I have in the past only used LME but some brews using cheap LME had the dreaded twang. No-one, as far as I am aware, gets twang with DME. I will probably go to DME when my stock of LME is used up.
Finally the next step up from just a kit and kilo or making up a premium kit as it comes is, for me, pimping/boosting/tweaking a kit, usually a one can, with a grain steep, or a minimash, or a hop tea or a dry hop or all or any of them. That's what I do as do lots of others on this Forum it seems.
Whats a partial boil please? and twang? ...
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:20 PM   #8
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So if this is one stage up from kits, whats the next stage.....how much more equipment is needed / skill and finally does each stage tend to yield better results?
I think the next stage after extract + speciality grains would be Brew in a Bag (BIAB), I was going to go from kits to extract like yourself but then I found the easy all grain thread here and found out you can do it very simply.

The basics is that you get a mesh laundry bag from a supermarket put the grains in there and mash (soak) in water at 65 - 70c for an hour. Remove the grains and boil the wort with hops at which point you're as per extract. This method let me do 8L batches, after 4 of them I bought a Grainfather as I was hooked on all grain.

Here's a link to the 3 BIAB equipment kits from geterbrewed.

For me the extra work of mashing (which isn't very hard) was a fair trade off compared to the price difference. Extract is expensive, my last 3 batches of beer have been 15L and have cost £4.69 (brown porter), £7.30 (saison) and £7.80 (bock), granted that excludes the yeast which can vary from <£1 to the £7 liquid I'm using (and reusing which is why I exclude it's cost). Also mashing lets me play with so many different malts which interests me more than hops.

Hope that helps and I didn't misunderstand your question.
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Zephyr259 View Post
I think the next stage after extract + speciality grains would be Brew in a Bag (BIAB), I was going to go from kits to extract like yourself but then I found the easy all grain thread here and found out you can do it very simply.

The basics is that you get a mesh laundry bag from a supermarket put the grains in there and mash (soak) in water at 65 - 70c for an hour. Remove the grains and boil the wort with hops at which point you're as per extract. This method let me do 8L batches, after 4 of them I bought a Grainfather as I was hooked on all grain.

Here's a link to the 3 BIAB equipment kits from geterbrewed.

For me the extra work of mashing (which isn't very hard) was a fair trade off compared to the price difference. Extract is expensive, my last 3 batches of beer have been 15L and have cost �£4.69 (brown porter), �£7.30 (saison) and �£7.80 (bock), granted that excludes the yeast which can vary from <�£1 to the �£7 liquid I'm using (and reusing which is why I exclude it's cost). Also mashing lets me play with so many different malts which interests me more than hops.

Hope that helps and I didn't misunderstand your question.
Thanks for the reply, yes exactly what I was asking )). I suppose what I need to do is make the extraction starter kit I just purchased and see how I get on, I will also look at the info. you pointed me too also. I suppose the main reason I initially asked about brewing in the beer keg I have is because if I am using extra ingredients I am a bit unsure of cooking a large pot on my cooker and it would be handy it I could do everything outside on a gas ring and keg.
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piperbrew View Post
Not sure if I have posted in the correct section so apologies if in the wrong place.

I have a few questions which I think might actually lead onto other areas but here goes.

I have been making my beer with standard malt extract kits and tinkering with them with powdered malt extract etc. My question is am I able to buy generic liquid malts cheaper than ready made kits or could I buy powered malts and then 'cook' them as such along with hops....as opposed to buying the malt grains which looks to much of a palaver to me ...no offence intended to the expert who do )).

Reason I ask is I am thinking of converting a stainless beer keg which I cut the lid off and thought about making it into a boiler ( propane). If I did this are there any plan as to what else I would need to do to it as guessing a temperature probe and tap and possibly a site tube, oh and I am an ex plumber so a doddle for me to do.

I am also looking to start secondary fermenting my beer , would I see improvements if I do?

Thanks

Pete
It is very easy, buy 25li of LME from MaltMiller. Weigh out how much you need for your brew and add the required ammount of water. Add a few liters of water to allow for evaporation. Start your hop design
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