Want to increase the body and mouthfeel, but not jack the alcohol through the roof? Simply blend in some rice syrup solids for that extra body while retaining that light beer taste.
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1/12/2013 -- Do your malts come pre-ground? Can they?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: Our grain malts are sold whole unless they are part of a pre-fab kit. If you would like them ground for you, simply leave a customer comment in the comments box at checkout, and we will mill and repackage them for you.
10/20/2008 -- I made a batch of beer using Muntons American Style Light Beer. I put the packet of yeast on top, let it sit for ten
minutes and stired it in.It has been 17hrs later and no bubbles or fermentation has started.What to do now?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: When you have yeast that doesn't start within 24 hours of pitching, it could be any of several problems. The yeast may have been too old. The temperature of the wort may have been too hot. There may not have been sufficient nutrients or sugars for the yeast to start. The best fix is to get a fresh yeast packet, and start it in a pint of sugar water at a temperature between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Add a teaspoon of yeast nutrient, and let the mixture sit in a covered jar overnight. You should see foam on top the next morning, indicating active yeast. At this point you can add it to the wort and be relatively sure it will show activity in the wort within 12 to 24 hours. If after 24 hours there is not activity, then you may have an unintentional ingredient (such as cleanser or disinfectant) in the wort that is killing the yeast.
1/19/2008 -- I have a 3.3 lb. can of your CBW malt extract("golden Light") that I purchased 3 years ago. My questions: One, is this still usable without much flavor lost, and two, should I add hops for a "true beer" flavor? Thanks
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: Hi Ray. An excellent question. I've brewed "old" malt several times with mixed results. Check the can. If it's not rusting around the seams, and it isn't starting to bulge (any more than the normal bulging that always seems to accompany liquid malts) the malt should be safe to brew. Yes, I would add hops depending on the recipe you are trying to emulate. For American light lager, I recommend an ounce of Cascade or Northern Brewer for 30 minutes in the boil. You would need to check a recipe for other styles as they are too numerous to list here (I use the HBD database at http://hbd.org/brewery/gambmug/gambmug.shtml)
What I have found in my own experience is that the older the malt is, the stronger the change in flavor. You will experience some loss of flavor overall with a slight addition of the harsher after tastes. The oldest malt I ever brewed from a can was just over 7 years old and I could detect a slight tinny flavor in the aftertaste of the beer, although the overall flavor was still decent.
5/22/2007 -- What is the best type of sugar to put into the wort?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: Corn sugar is better than table sugar, as table sugar tends to give the finished beer a cidery after taste. Honey is also a good sugar.
4/29/2007 -- I purchased a Muntons Gold Continental Pilsner kit. It does not contain a priming sugar. I can not find any corn sugar in my area but I have read where honey can be used instead. How much honey would I use to prime 5 gallons of beer? Would I disolve it in hot water just like the corn sugar? Does the type of honey make a difference...clover, orange blossom...?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: Yes, honey can be used and is in fact a great priming agent. It results in a creamier head with more head retention.
The type of honey really doesn't matter as you don't use enough for it to affect the flavor of the finished beer. However, I have a friend in Iowa who matches his honey to his batch (clover or wildflower for a wheat, buckwheat for a braggot, etc.) You can always experiment with it if you have an inclination to do so.
I recommend using 3/4 cup, dissolved in hot water and added to the bottling bucket just like you would with corn sugar. Honey will give you slightly more carbonation than corn sugar (thus the smaller amount), but it will take a little longer to carbonate properly since honey is a complex sugar. I would give it 1-1/2 times the conditioning time that you would for the same batch with corn sugar.
3/12/2007 -- What type of malt extract to I need for Coopers Lager?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: We recommend using 3 lbs (dry) or 3.3 lbs (liquid) light or pale malt extract to bring the canned kit to a 5-gallon batch strength.
10/17/2006 -- I got an Ironmaster Stout and Porter Kit for my birthday, but was wondering if is recommended to add any hops if brewing this with another can of malt to make a 5 gallon batch?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: There is no need to add any hops, as the kits are formulated for the 5-gallon standard.
Of course, if you prefer your beers a little hoppier than "standard", you should feel free to do so. If that's the case, I would recommend no more than an ounce of Fuggle 45 minutes in the boil, and probably a half-ounce would boost it enough for most folks, for either the porter or the stout.
8/22/2006 -- I was given a Muntons Pilsner kit and it calls for adding 2.2 pounds of sugar. I am new to brewing and want to know what kind of sugar to use and if I can use corn sugar.
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: Yes, not only can you use corn sugar, but we encourage it. Using table sugar (cane or beet) tends to give a cidery taste to the finished beer, and using fructose or lactose will tend to sour it. Corn sugar will add the appropriate amount of fermentable to get the correct alcohol rating without altering flavor or body. You could also use 2.2 pounds of malt extract to give a richer, fuller bodied flavor if you prefer.
8/20/2006 -- This is my 1st attempt at homebrewing. I got the EDME red ale in two 4lb cans. Do I need some sort of sugar to add with the kit?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: Each can of the Edme is balanced to produce 2.5 to 3 gallons of beer with no additional ingredients required. Most brewers will add three pounds of malt extract or corn sugar in order to produce a 5-gallon batch. With two cans of Edme Red Ale, you can do one of two things. You could either brew them together to make a 6-gallon batch, or you could brew them separately with additional malt extract added to each to make two 5-gallon batches.
For red ales, my recommendation for additional malt would be 3-pounds of the liquid amber. Corn sugar will make for slightly less body in the finished product, but is also less expensive as an additive.
5/15/2006 -- I have brewed a batch of your Honey Nut Cheerio recipe and am ready to bottle it. It does not come with bottling sugar, nor is any listed on the recipe. How much do you recommend? I usually use 3/4 cup. Also, if I use honey, how do I prepare it? I assume it should be boiled with some water first, as we do with bottling sugar?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: Because of the honey option, we specifically do not have added priming sugar for the Honey Nut Cheerio. However, we should probably include priming instructions in the recipe. Thanks for bringing that shortfall to my attention, as I'm certain you're not the only one to run into the same issue.
That being said, if I were to use corn sugar, I would probably go with a full cup. However, as you mentioned, priming with honey actually enhances the flavor and head retention of honey-based beers more than any other. So, I would recommend using honey. Since honey is a little more volatile than sugar (due to the fructose content), I recommend using a little less - usually between 2/3 and 3/4 cup. I prepare it by steeping in a quart of hot water (just under boiling point) until completely dissolved, then pouring it into the bottling bucket and siphoning the beer in on top of it. The conditioning period will run about 1.5 times longer than it would for corn sugar... about 2 to 3 weeks or so to build up good carbonation.
Another option is to use dry malt extract, dissolved in boiling water the same way you would prep corn sugar. Since DME is only 70% to 80% efficient, I generally go a little more than I would with corn sugar... about 1-1/4 to 1-1/3 cup in a quart of water.
5/3/2006 -- Priming 5 gallons of beer with honey instead of corn sugar for better head sounds great, but how much honey would I use?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: A good rule of thumb when priming is 1-1/3 cup DME = 1 cup sugar = 3/4 cup honey. You can use that conversion and adjust your honey amount for whatever priming agent your recipe calls for. I generally recommend between 2/3 cup and 3/4 cup honey for most beers.
4/17/2006 -- When selecting a priming agent, why does honey give a better head retention than malt or corn sugar?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: There are a couple reasons. First, honey is made up of complex sugars that take the yeast a longer time to break down. As a result, the carbonation profcess is slower resulting in a more thoroughly absorbed CO2. Second, honey contains a large concentration of acids and proteins that are missing or available in smaller amounts from other priming agents. The protein content in particular provides more body when used as a fermentable, and consequently more body in the head when used to prime with. Finally, stir sugar or dry malt extract into water and see how thick it gets... then look at honey - the high viscosity translates directly to the quality of the head in the finished product.
4/17/2006 -- Have you ever heard of chili pepper beer? Do you have a recipe?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: Yes, I have heard of it, and in fact have sampled several. I have come to the personal conclusion that chili peppers are to be enjoyed WITH a beer rather than IN a beer, but hey - who am I to judge?
Try this recipe. Substitute a jalapeno for the green chili for a more "vibrant" taste.
1/2-lb crystal malt
3.3-lb light LME
3.3-lb amber LME
2-oz cascade hops
1 lb roasted green chili
1 packet ale yeast
Crack the grains and place them in a gallon of cool water. Apply heat to slowly raise to a boil. At the start of the boil, remove the grains and add the LME, honey, and hops. Boil for one hour. Pasteurize chili peppers by soaking them in 160F-170F water. At the end of the boil, strain the wort and the chili peppers (with the water) into a fermenter and add chilled water to bring up to 5 gallons.
4/17/2006 -- Just curious... is there a natural way to make green beer? ...without adding the food coloring?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: My partner and I tried for years to produce a naturally green beer with horrid results. The closest we got was a green champagne, when we pushed it through copper tubing in a jockey box on a really hot day (the acid in the champagne caused copper to leech into the beverage, rendering it really nasty tasting and somewhat poisonous).
We did find one article online that claimed to have a "green" beer. Imagine our surprise when we found out that "green" meant it was brewed in a solar-powered brewery.
4/17/2006 -- I want to try malting my own barley. What would you suggest as a good resource?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: There are a number of good resources on the market. The magazine "Brew Your Own" has published some great articles in the past - look for them online at byo.com. Some good books include "Malts and Malting" by Dennis E. Briggs, which talks about it from the commercial perspective, but includes a great section on chemistry/biology and another on methods; "The Homebrewer's Garden" by Joe and Dennis Fisher has a 30-page chapter on growing and malting your own grains; "The Biotechnology of Malting and Brewing" by James S. Hough, which has several chapters on the malting process.
3/19/2006 -- I received a Mr.Beer brewing kit as a gift and was wondering if I could use any type of sugar for bottling or if I need a special type. The sugar is the only thing that didn't come with the kit and they don't offer any on there web sight. I haven't found any in yours with the exception of your drops.
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: We highly recommend using corn sugar rather than table sugar as a priming agent. Table sugar is high in fruit sugars (fructose) and often lends a slightly cidery taste to beers. Corn sugar is cheap and easy for the yeast to convert into carbon dioxide. A Mr. Beer kit would need about 1/3-cup boiled down in about a pint of water to prime the 2-1/4 gallon batch.
You can find it in the "Honey and Sugar" section in one-pound (2K1) and three-pound (2K3) bags.
1/20/2006 -- I need a recipe for making a 6 gal carboy of Blueberry Mead.
How much Honey to Blueberries & does that stay the same if we use Raspberries, Blackberries, or Pears?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: When using fresh berries, I usually use a ratio of three to one. In other words, I would use three pounds of fresh berries to one gallon of finished mead. The amount of honey would depend on whether you prefer a light, dry, or sweet mead. With berries, some of the fermentable comes from the natural sugars in the fruit. Therefore, I would start with 2 pounds of honey per gallon of mead, and add honey as needed in the secondary fermentation. If you prefer a sweet mead, you would want to start with 2-1/2 to 3 pounds honey per gallon. The same would be true with any berry.
With pears, your pectin content is high. I would start with about 10 pounds of pears, possibly as high as 12 if they are small or hard, since you will get less juice. Definitely start pears with 2-1/2 pounds of honey per gallon. Also, use pectic enzyme to keep haze from forming in the finished mead.
In any melomel, I prefer to chop/mash my fruit and let the pre-boiled water sit on it for 5 to 7 days. Then siphon the juice off of the dregs, and add the honey water to bring the volume up to your batch size. You will also get a better product if you freeze and thaw the fruit twice before mashing.
1/4/2006 -- A friend gave me one of your Cooper Stout kits for Xmas, and I'll be brewing my first ever batch of beer with it. However, the instructions that came with it don't say anything about boiling it... they just say to add boiling water to it and then fill the fermenter the rest of the way with cold tap water. Is this the correct way to use these kits?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: Coopers makes an entire line of what they call "no boil" kits. In truth - nearly every malt extract could be billed as "no boil" because the mashing process (converting starches to sugars) is already done and the malt was already boiled down to create the extract.
However, I have found through practice that if I don't boil at least 15-20 minutes in 4-6 quarts of water, I never get the malt liquidy enough to completely mix with the water. The result then is that the malt sinks to the bottom of the fermenter, and I don't get complete fermentation. By boiling, I ensure that the malt is evenly distributed in the fermenter, and the end-result tastes much better.
There are some people who also contend that you should always boil because boiling, even for a few minutes, kills all bacteria; and that ensures that you start with a sterile batch.
I recommend boiling 6 quarts of water, remove from the burner, add the malt, stir until liquified, then return to the burner for 15 minutes. Watch the pot, and stir constantly in the beginning, because the malt will foam up. Use a big pot (16-quarts or larger) to avoid boil-over. As the foam rises, you can also lift the pot off the burner and it will subside. This is called "hot break". After boiling, I recommend adding at least a gallon if chilled water to your fermenter. Then pour in the boiled wort (beer that isn't beer yet), then fill up with more chilled water. That lowers the temperature of the beer so the yeast isn't shocked. Also, for a five-gallon batch, I usually fill to 5 gallons plus a quart. You will lose a little liquid at the end when you siphon the beer out, since there will be a yeast sediment layer in the bottom of the fermenter that you will leave behind.
10/24/2005 -- What does "overprimed" mean?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: Priming is the addition of fermentable sugar (sugar, malt, or honey) to a finished beer prior to bottling or kegging. Residual yeast in the beer will feed on the sugar and put off small amounts of carbon dioxide. Since the bottle or keg is sealed, the carbon dioxide will be forced back into the solution, carbonating the beer.
We say that a beer is overprimed if too much sugar is added, or if the beer is bottled while it is still fermenting, resulting in an explosive event.
9/2/2005 -- Can you tell me how much and what type of sugar I need to make Pepsi Cola?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: Cola extracts can be blended with any basic sugar and water to make cola. Table sugar (beet or sugar cane) work best. Corn sugar is an acceptable substitute. You would need one pound of sugar for each gallon of cola.
3/24/2005 -- Does the flavored honey change the taste of beers significantly? How about meads?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: I'll answer these in reverse order:
Yes, the flavored honeys make a significant difference in meads. in fact, if you can pair up a flavored honey with a complemetary fruit juice, the results are a richer flavor with a better/stronger aftertaste.
As for beers, it depends on the strength of the beer and the style of honey. For instance, an orange blossom honey in an amber ale provides a very strong and quite pleasant citrus flavor to the beer. However, a star thistle honey in a porter wouldn't allow the spicy qualities of the honey to really stand out significantly.
7/28/2004 -- Do you sell Coopers home brew starter packs with all the essential gear for brewing and bottling etc?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: We carry the True Brew or Brewers Best starter pack for equipment. Both have all the equipment you need to get started (except a brew pot.)
We do carry a complete line of Coopers liquid-malt ingredient kits as well as Coopers unhopped liquid malt extracts. Look in the section labeled 'malts, grains, and extracts', and select "Beer Kits by Brandname" for the Coopers kits. Select "Malt Extracts" to find the unhopped LME.
7/1/2003 -- I recently dug out my home brew equipment stored since 1994. Inside were two cans of Muntons light malt extract. Whadya think? Should I try to use it?
Response From The Home Brew Store Dot Com: I can say from experience that it is possible to use really old malt when brewing. I can also say that while it works, it will not produce the same product that fresh malt would. Here are some things to look for: Is there any rust or corrosion around the edge of the can (where the rim meets the side)? If so, there may be oxidation of the liquid malt. Is the can bulging at all? If so, bacteria may have gotten in. While the bacteria can be killed by boiling, if it included wild yeast you may have some off-flavor from wild fermentation. If you open the can, is there any "solid" material floating on top of the liquid? If so, you may have crystalization. This can be cleared up by boiling. Finally, just being in contact with the sides of the can for that long may lend a slightly metallic taste to the malt. This can be partially overcome by blending the malt with fresh malt in a batch, or covered by brewing a high-hop beer or a clove beer.
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In any case, boil the malt in a gallon of water for at least 30 minutes before adding to any batch you brew, just to minimize the effects of any of the negatives. Also, be prepared for a finished beer that doesn't necessarily taste as good as it might with fresh malt.
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