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Jan
03
2011

Planning my first extract batch

I am now planning my 3rd batch with batch 1 bottled and batch 2 still in the fermentor. I have yet to taste any finished beer but it is time to get prepared to brew my next batch. (As I mentioned in the previous post, brewing beer is a bit like growing a garden). And my next batch will be another step in the learning process as I take on an extract batch. The difference between extract brewing and kit brewing is that you use unhopped malt extract and do a boil to add in bittering and finishing hops at different times during the boil. I will also use some speciality grains to add an additional dimension and fresh flavour to the beer.

I am planning to brew an American Pale Ale. It is a hoppy style of beer that differs from a standard pale ale (or English style pale ale) in that it features American originating hop varieties such as Cascade and usually in higher doses. The yeast typically used for American Pale Ales produces less fruity flavours than standard ale yeast. One of the most well known commercial examples is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, a beer I enjoyed very much when I lived in the States.

I have some of my ingredients (hops & yeast) already ordered (from BrewShop.co.nz) as well as a new fermentor tap (to resolve this problem), so I just need to pick up some malt extract from Bin Inn. I have a rough idea of how I’m going to do it but I have not finalised that yet. I think I will write out a set of instructions for myself to make sure I’ve planned everything in advance and not end up running around like a chicken with it’s head chopped off in the middle of the whole thing. Here’s my ingredient list so far:

  • Safale US-05 Yeast – 1 packet (11.5g)
  • Medium Crystal Malt – not sure of amount yet, probably 250g
  • Simcoe Hops pellets (for bittering) – not sure of amount yet
  • Cascade Hops pellets (for finishing) – not sure of amount yet
  • 3kg Liquid malt extract – perhaps 1 can of Coopers Light for the boil and 1 jar of a cheaper amber (Brewmaster) to add after the boil

For my method I will be using John Palmer’s How To Brew as my primary guideline with some other ideas and simplifications, etc. coming from what I pick up on the forums. I found a good set of videos on YouTube which give an easy to follow demonstration of the process similar to that outlined by Palmer. The main deviation is that I will not boil all the malt extract – my 12L brewpot is not quite large enough and from what I’ve learned from the forums, there is no need. I may not follow this exactly but I think my process will be fairly similar once I have it planned.

Brewing an Extract Batch – Part 1

Brewing an Extract Batch – Part 2

Brewing an Extract Batch – Part 3

Brewing an Extract Batch – Part 4

4 comments

  1. Andy says:

    You’re really getting serious about this home brewing! I’m going to stick with the kits for a while yet.

    I just finished bottling my second batch of Cooper’s Larger. I followed the instructions for both batches so I’m hoping that they’ll both taste roughly the same. If they don’t then I’ll have to check my figures and see what I did differently and which batch I prefer. My second batch of Cooper’s ended up with a final gravity of 1.006, which I was impressed with. Even the first ended with a nice 1.008.

    I’m going for an IPA next time, and would be interested in sampling your Blackrock East India Pale Ale when it’s ready.

    1. Aidan says:

      I’ll still do some kits – I want to do the Coopers Stout, I’ve read good things about it, Guinness fans seem to like it and I’m a big fan of Guinness. But it will be interesting to compare an extract brew with a kit brew. It still seems pretty easy looking at those videos, just a few more ingredients and a bit of a boil up.

      I’ve had an SG sample of the Blackrock IPA. It tastes promising but not much hint of the IPA bitterness and hoppiness that I was expecting and it’s a fairly gold colour instead of darker like an IPA usually is. So I figure it will be very mild for an IPA which might suit you.

    2. Aidan says:

      If I was doing a kit IPA again, I’d try the Coopers IPA – I think it would be more closer to what an IPA should be like, darker and more hoppy. I found a great spreadsheet application for playing with beer recipes and it has Coopers and Black Rock kits in it too – look under Home Brewing Resources for Kit & Extract Beer Designer. Using that, a simple kit recipe that would be more like an IPA would be something like:

      1 can of Coopers IPA
      1kg of dried malt extract OR 1.5kg of amber malt extract
      (optionally 0.25kg dextrose to boost alcohol)
      Made up to 20L instead of 23L

      1. Andy says:

        As I mentioned before, I went for a Coopers Real Ale this time instead of an IPA (after reading positive comments online). It’s pretty dark, and smelt really nice when I was mixing the kit up.

        My Coopers Lager is a bit bitter and has a bit of a cidery taste to it. It seems to pack a bit of a punch though, even though I calculated the alcohol content at just 4.2%. Hopefully the bitterness will subside over time as it was bottled only two weeks ago.

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