My first extract brew

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YEsterday I did my first extract brew. I have done many kits before, and then moved to All Grain brewing. With some hops taking up room in the freezer and 3kg of DME available, I thought I'd give it a go to see what the advantages are over AG.
I must say, although I am yet to taste the end product, the brewday itself was quite a bit easier than my AG brewdays have been.
I made a Bramling Cross Pale Ale (not quite SMaSH as I used Magnum for bittering).
From my experience doing this, the biggest benefits were:
  • Time saving - no mash required, no cooling required (due to only boiling a few liters and adding the rest cold, rather like a kit beer)
  • Easier cleanup - while I brew AG on Brewzilla now, when it comes to cleaning, you realise that it's not a "1-vessel system", given all the components. For the extract brew, I simply cleaned my stockpot and funnel afterwards and was done.
Pending the results, I'll be certain to do more extract brewing in the future, likely for pale ales or any brew not requiring specialty malts, such as the Cherry Lambic in Gregg Hughes' book.

Until I tried it, I wasn't sure what the appeal of extract brewing was. I now get it athumb..
 
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When I first got into brewing (c.1998), I started on kits then progressed to brewing with liquid malt extract. I guess it was finding the Brew your own British ale at home book that inspired the progression. Some great recipes in that book and I made some nice beers. When I did them, however, I boiled the extract with water and hops for 60 mins. If I had known back then how easy AG is I probably would have progressed to that rather than stopping for a long time.

When I got back into this last year I looked at the price of malt extract now and was shocked at how much it was. I've never used DME but guess it's quite reasonably priced?

Am sure your brew will turn out great, and definitely seems like your saving alot of time 👍
 

Bitter_Dave

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When I started brewing years ago I skipped onto AG quite quickly after a couple of kits, bypassing extract (except one beer which I think I messed up). In the last few years I’ve done some occasional extract brewing with DME and steeping crystal and chocolate malts (milds mostly). They have been pretty decent beers that have been quick to make and clean up after. Steep grains, remove, boil with hops for 15 mins and cool. I think it’s still worth doing AG beers, though.
 

-Bezza-

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I understand that extract and partial extract are very popular in Australia and the US. You can kinda see why. I'm quite tempted to give one a go myself. Interested to hear how you get on taste wise.
 

Fazzer

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Not sure if this is a stupid question or not.
What's the difference between 'kits' brewing, and 'extract' brewing?
 

damienair

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Not sure if this is a stupid question or not.
What's the difference between 'kits' brewing, and 'extract' brewing?
With extract brewing you steep grains for 30 minutes and then follow with a 60 minute boil whilst adding hops at different intervals. You still use liquid malt extract as well or dry malt extract.
 
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Not sure if this is a stupid question or not.
What's the difference between 'kits' brewing, and 'extract' brewing?
For me, kit brewing is basically adding water and yeast to the extract (and hops if supplied/wanted) whereas extract brewing was doing a boil with hops for 60 mins....basically a brew without mashing. Obviously there are other ways to do extract brewing. I always found the taste of an extract brew better than a kit.
 

damienair

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I have done about 18 kits now, pimped a few and also have done some premium kits and a couple from the Bruphoria range from the homebrew company. My next brew will be an Extract Kit which I purchased from the Homebrew Company. Looking forward to it.
 
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I'll be ure to update here once I have tried it.

Not sure if this is a stupid question or not.
What's the difference between 'kits' brewing, and 'extract' brewing?
Not a stupid question. For me the difference was doing a 60 minute boil to dd the hops to the dried extract. With kit, the extract is pre-hopped so does not require the boil. (Some kits have hops for the dry hop, but the extract has ben pre-hopped by the manufacturer).
 

-Bezza-

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I thought extract brewing could be a lot more flexible and that you didn't need to boil for a full 60 mins, can boil smaller volumes etc.
 
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When I did extract brewing I never boiled the extract I made them just like a kit. I did make a hop tea to add. Came out ok better that kits but nothing like AG.
PS Never had the twang with extract that you got with most kits 10+ years ago.
 

Sadfield

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Not sure if this is a stupid question or not.
What's the difference between 'kits' brewing, and 'extract' brewing?
As done in a brewery, the brewing process has three basic stages; mash, boil then fermentation. With traditional beer kits, someone has done the first two stages for you. Extract brewers take over the process between the mash and boil. All grain brewers do the whole process. These distinctions can get a little confused with short cuts and workarounds.
 

MrRook

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I switch between extract and all-grain, both make good beer.
I usually do a much shorter boil with extract, sometimes no-boil. I did a bitter with only steeping hops for 20 minutes just under boiling temperature that turned out pretty good.
 

Fazzer

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It's all as clear as mud lol.
I love doing what i do now, which are the kits. One day i see myself prgressing, but now i see there is a mid ground between kits and AG, it may be closeer than i origanlly thought.
 
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It's all as clear as mud lol.
I love doing what i do now, which are the kits. One day i see myself prgressing, but now i see there is a mid ground between kits and AG, it may be closeer than i origanlly thought.
There are great kits available. Having gone from kit, to all grain, and now tried extract, all three will have their place in my future brewing
 

Twopan

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I recently moved to extract. Like @AnimatedGIF says kits still have their place. My missus loves the MJ New Zealand pale kit which I make between extract projects. I have a c. 25 litre Klarstein pot so can do full volume boil if aiming for a 15 litre brew. But if on a 22 litre recipe I use the 'John Palmer ' method - dissolve half the malt extract and do the steep then boil. Then dissolve the remaining LME or DME at knock out before cooling and pouring into the remaining 11 litres of cold water in the FV. This keeps the gravity correct for the boil and retains the character of the recipe I understand. I always pretreat all water used with a Campden tablet as well to ensure no TCP taste from chlorine.
 
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I love doing what i do now, which are the kits. One day i see myself prgressing, but now i see there is a mid ground between kits and AG, it may be closeer than i origanlly thought.

I would say they aren't equi-distant, Extract is much closer to AG than kits in terms of quality.

I always thought it would be good to brew an AG and Extract version of the same brew, and compare them. It'd have to be a relatively simple malt bill so that the base malt could be replaced by DME/LME, but it can be done with say DME/LME and a bit of crystal malt. Has anyone done a comparison? I've brewed BrewUK's Exmoor Gold extract kit many times before doing it AG, I've just done it again but I've never had the two together to do an A/B comparison.
 

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