Extract brewing - a couple of questions

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I've done a few AG brews now using my Brewzilla, and am keen to try doing an extract brew to see what it's like.
Last year I got carried away and bought a load of hops before realising I prefer the convenience of ordering AG kits, so was thinking of doing some extract SMaSH type beers with them, also using it as an opportunity to compare different hops.
I was looking at this thread on extract brewing and noticed that not all the DME and water needs to be boiled, but can be added cold. My questions are:
  1. How does one ensure the water is free from anything nasty? With my AG brews, I collect RO water in an old PB (which has actually only ever been used for this purpose).
  2. Also, I believe one of the reasons for doing the boil is to drive off DMS - is this required with extract or is it done during manufacture/processing?
If it is ok to only boil some of the water and DME, I can see this really cutting time for brewdays such as this.
 
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1. I just use tapwater passed though a filter to remove chlorine, done loads of Extract brews and never had a problem topping up with cold water this way.
2. No, you don't need to do this with Extract brewing, no need to boil DME although a bit in there does help with hop utilisation.

Honestly, just give it a go and try to keep it simple. I did loads of Extract brewing before moving to AG, and in all honesty I was a little bit disappointed after making the step up to AG because the beers weren't that much better. It was just that you could make a greater range of beers due to the variety of malts available.

I'd typically do the boil in a 15L stockpot with about 12L in there, about half the DME added at the start and the rest at the end. Do the hop boil and steep, strain into your FV then top up to volume with cold water and add the yeast. You save a huge amount of time by not doing the mash and a full-volume cool, by topping up with cold water you negate most of the cooling stage. I still do the odd Extract brew when I don't have a lot of time, I can do one in an evening whereas an AG brew has to be done on a day off.
 
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1. I just use tapwater passed though a filter to remove chlorine, done loads of Extract brews and never had a problem topping up with cold water this way.
2. No, you don't need to do this with Extract brewing, no need to boil DME although a bit in there does help with hop utilisation.

Honestly, just give it a go and try to keep it simple. I did loads of Extract brewing before moving to AG, and in all honesty I was a little bit disappointed after making the step up to AG because the beers weren't that much better. It was just that you could make a greater range of beers due to the variety of malts available.

I'd typically do the boil in a 15L stockpot with about 12L in there, about half the DME added at the start and the rest at the end. Do the hop boil and steep, strain into your FV then top up to volume with cold water and add the yeast. You save a huge amount of time by not doing the mash and a full-volume cool, by topping up with cold water you negate most of the cooling stage. I still do the odd Extract brew when I don't have a lot of time, I can do one in an evening whereas an AG brew has to be done on a day off.
Great, this is exactly what I was hoping to hear. Yes, I can see the time benefit, which is my main motivation when I am doing pale ales and the like.
Thanks athumb..
 

clib

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You can remove chlorine by simply adding a crushed campden tablet to the water.

I found that steeping some grain usually improves extract beers. Some grains can just be steeped to provide colour and flavour. Crystal malt or anything with cara in the name is the obvious choice but there are others like chocolate malt, roast barley, black malt.

And if you mash a little base malt, like 500g, it will help too, and any of the above grains can go in with it. This can be a pretty quick easy job on such a small scale.
 

Druncan

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My "Oh fek, no time to do a proper brew" method,,,,,,,,, ;)

I use UV filter and 5u particle filter on my potable water. My HLT supply is @ 92*C then I add room warmed HLME (Muntons, or Brewferm 25kg) + dextrose. Heat to 75*C to sanitise and homogenise. Boiled cooled water and two packs of yeast to hydrate. Drop hot wort and rinse into FV with 1 dissolved campden/60L and bring down to FV temp. Bottom fill until 30*C then jet fill to oxygenate. Add yeast slurry. After fermentation I transfer to keg and wet hop with a hop back. Force carb and condition/chill.

Anyone got any quicker/cost effective methods? 🤔🍻
 
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Sadfield

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Also, I believe one of the reasons for doing the boil is to drive off DMS - is this required with extract or is it done during manufacture/processing?

The precursors to DMS are formed at germination and gets converted to DMS above c80°c. So, if they don't exceed that temperature mashing and then evaporating Extract, then no. Likewise, you don't need to boil AG, many people brew 'no boil' AG, and need not worry about DMS. The question is, what else am I getting from the boil?
 

AJA

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The precursors to DMS are formed at germination and gets converted to DMS above c80°c. So, if they don't exceed that temperature mashing and then evaporating Extract, then no. Likewise, you don't need to boil AG, many people brew 'no boil' AG, and need not worry about DMS. The question is, what else am I getting from the boil?
The hot break for clarity, and hop utilisation. I guess sterilising the wort as well, but you don't have to go full boil to achieve this.
If I was to make a NEIPA now (where neither of clarity/hop utilisation are important) I probably wouldn't boil to save time/energy.
 

Sadfield

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Flavour and colour development and the removal of sulphur and keytones.

Melanoidin formation and pH drop that can improve stability and shelf life.
 

Jim Brewster

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I have done one fully dry extract brew, I used Munton's extra pale spray malt with a few oats steeped to make a lemon, coriander and rosemary Saison last summer and it was just as good as an AG brew.

I've done 2 kit brews using the pre-hopped liquid extract, one was a Wherry and one was Wilko's, but quite honestly I was not that impressed.
 

The Furnace Green Brewer

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Sounds good. Thanks.
I only brew extract ales which go down well with Family and friends, generally Muntons LME amd DME with hop combinations from Graham & Gregs books, I find Challenger and Brambling cross Hops go well together, US 05 or muntons dry yeasts. My water is filtered and I boil for an hour or so. Clean and sanitise everything ferment at 18 degrees in the shed.

Happy brewing
 

Ozzy

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Hi guys,

I've order 1kg of each.
(crisp) black malt,
chocolate malt,
Have about 4kg Light crystal malt from a blond ale kit.
maris otter
and torrefied barley.
(Yeast)
Mangrove Jack's californian lager yeast
Nottingham ale yeast
And kveik yeast.

225g of East kent goldings

I've Amber malt extract,but I'll probably need to go and get light or extra Light lme tho.

Extract recipe
Looking for a nice light beer/lager that isn't very hoppy andeast yo make. For my 40th.

I've looked at recipes online and they seem tricky at times.
I'm going to fo an oat meal stout kit when it arrives.
Any suggestions would be welcome.
 

Ozzy

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Hi guys,

I've order 1kg of each.
(crisp) black malt,
chocolate malt,
Have about 4kg Light crystal malt from a blond ale kit.
maris otter
and torrefied barley.
(Yeast)
Mangrove Jack's californian lager yeast
Nottingham ale yeast
And kveik yeast.

225g of East kent goldings

I've Amber malt extract,but I'll probably need to go and get light or extra Light lme tho.

Extract recipe
Looking for a nice light beer/lager that isn't very hoppy and is easy to make. For my 40th.

I've looked at recipes online and they seem tricky at times.
I'm going to mske an oat meal stout kit when it arrives.
Any suggestions would be welcome.
 

Ozzy

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Hmm,I might hold 2 that 1 for the future,sounds great tho. Will need to do another hop order.
 

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