Category Archives: extract or partial-mash brewing

Extract Brewing Revisited, Batch Two: Dark-Saison

Well I’m going through my drafts folder and publishing everything that I had forgotten about.  So this one is a bit out-dated but what the hey, let’s post it!

Results:

I just popped a test bottle of this one. it’s a bit odd, but it’s plenty drinkable and even qualifies as tasty beer.

I wanted to prove to myself that there’s nothing wrong with amber or dark or extra dark extracts, so I simply tried making beers using those extracts. I can’t see any reason NOT to use them (not that you’d need them all the time, of course). But if you just want some color and body, the amber and extra dark extracts (munton’s, FWIW) have not imparted excess sweetness, maltiness, or roasty/whatever flavors to these two beers, they seem to have provided more color than anything. So now that I’m not just regurgitating the old standard “use extra light extract, and add specialty grains for color and body” advice, well, what does that mean? Nothing, I suppose. There’s nothing wrong with the old standard advice, but it’s not the only way to make tasty beer. You can also use amber, dark, and even extra-dark extracts and still make fine beer. My new advice would be to consider what your goals are, and how to best accomplish those goals, and use the ingredients that best accomplish those goals.

The T-58 comes out quite a bit like 3711, but my impression is that 3711 comes out dryer. It’s hard to say exactly how much that’s true, because I haven’t brewed the same beer twice and varied only the yeast, but it’s fairly similar at least. Preliminary assessment of T-58 is that I’ll keep using it for these little two gallon extract batches that are brewed without temperature controls*.

*brewed in my room, temperature usually a bit higher than optimal for most yeasts, and fluctuations are higher than optimal for most yeasts too. The T-58 has handled these fluctutations well (admittedly they are fairly MILD fluctions, lol).

KISS Amber extract ale

The name almost says it all.  The malt bill is quite simple:

  • 3 lbs Amber Extract

The hops bill is also very simple:

  • 0.5 oz cascade at 60
  • 2 oz cascade at FO

2 gallon batch. American ale II yeast used.

The primary purpose of this beer is to test straight amber extract and see what it’s like on its own.  This is part of my “not regurgitating standard advice when you haven’t actually tried it yourself” campaign.

I plan to keep brewing stuff with amber and dark and extra-dark extracts too, because I don’t believe that everything extract needs to be done with extra-light + steeping grains.  It’s ok to get some of your color from extracts. However, we’re going to see real soon just how much other than color this particular extract added to the beer.\

I suppose this is a smash beer too. Can’t have too many smashes!

I may dry hop it, we’ll see.

 

EDIT and update: well first test bottle popped. Great carbonation, great amber color (the amber extract straight up gives the perfect color for an amber ale). Oddly, a strangely wine-like flavor and aroma, not the cascade-bomb amber I expected. Not sure what’s up with it, but hey, it’s still tasty beer!  Definitely confused on the wine-like qualities tho. I’ll have to make another similar brew and see what happens.

Stout: Another Experimental 2 gallon Extract Brew

Today I am trying a small 2 gallon batch of extract brew, an American stout. I’m using dark liquid extract from Briess, and a mini-mash. Here’s the recipe:

  • 3 lbs Briess dark liquid extract
  • 4 oz Caramel 20
  • 4 oz Caramel 60
  • 8 oz Maris Otter
  • 2 oz Carafa III
  • 2 oz Roasted Barley
  • 1/2 oz Special B

Hops:

  • 1 oz Tettnanger at 60
  • 1 oz Willamette at 10
  • 1 oz Willamette at FO

Yeast:

  • Irish Ale Yeast, WLP004

Tasting notes: seems to be way heavy on the special-B and Carafa-III. Very heavy, very dark fruit forward. It’s quite nice when made into a black-and-tan with about 1/3 stout and the rest something lighter. Drinks like a heavy imperial stout. Not my favorite that I’ve made, but certainly drinkable.

Mini-Batch of Weird Saison-ish extract/mini-mash Beer Strangeness

Decided to try a mini-batch of weird beer today in my old Mr Beer keg, approximately 2.4 gallons.  Used the following ingredients:

  • 1 lb 6-row
  • 8 oz maris otter
  • 4 oz caramel 20
  • 4 oz caramel 60
  • 4 oz flaked corn
  • 0.9 oz honey malt
  • 2 lbs Amber Dry Extract (Munton’s)

Hops:

  • 1 oz willamette mash hop
  • 0.5 oz tettnanger 60 minutes
  • 1.5 oz tettnanger 1 minute

Misc:

  • campden (to guard against chloramines in water)

Yeast:

  • T-58 saison yeast

I honestly have no idea what the heck I’ve made here.  It did taste, smell, and look like it’ll probably become beer after it’s done fermenting!  But we’ll find out in about a month!

UPDATE: it’s ready, and it’s delicious!!  Very saison-y but not at all dry (which is a little odd, but hey, it works).  Next up for the mini-batches will be something along these lines, but with extra-dark Munton’s extract!

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