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Extract experimenting

So I am brand new to home brewing. I did my first Caribou 4 weeks ago and am going to bottle it tomorrow and then do 2 new batches as well. I was curious about drying out the beer by adding sugars and candi syrups to the boil, when it should be done and what different type of hops and times added will bring out the best in the beers I’m brewing. everything I’ve been reading has talked about styles and I haven’t found anything that is saying yes or no to anything and I’d rather not make a 5 gallon batch or garbage really.

dark/red ‘ipa’
steep 1lb carabrown for 30 min
6lbs amber dme
1lb extra dark candi syrup
2lbs dark brown sugar
3oz magnum @60
1oz cascade or Amarillo @15-20
1oz cascade or Amarillo @0-2
WLP001 with starter so I can split the one yeast batch over 2 beers

brown ale
steep 0.5lb black malt for 30
6lbs amber dme
2lbs light brown sugar
1oz magnum @60
1oz cascade or Amarillo @15-20
1oz cascade or Amarillo @0-2
WLP001

Sounds like a lot of sugar. Extract kits are known for a bit of a “watery” mouth feel and drying them out with sugar will really bring that out. I’m still pretty new to homebrewing so I can’t really give a whole lot of advice or reasons why to do or not do something.

As far as re-using yeast though, no real need to do a starter unless you are trying to have both batches going at the same time. I did a couple brews re-using yeast now, I brewed up a kit, chilled it, pitched the yeast in the primary, waited two weeks and racked it to the secondary. Scooped out part of the yeast cake in the primary, brewed, cooled and pitched the next batch right on the remains of the yeast cake. Stir it up good and within a day or so it was fermenting away just fine. :cheers:

For the dark/red IPA, the first thing that jumps out at me is all that dark sugar. Second is the 3oz of Magnum at 60min. Did you put this through a recipe calculator yet? I bitter with Magnum on 80-90% of my beers. Even for APA and IPAs I use somewhere between 3/4oz to 1.5oz. 3oz is going to give you and extremely bitter beer. Without running any numbers, I’m sure 3oz for 60min will get you somewhere WAY over 100IBUs. That’s really over the top. I can’t imagine that beer being drinkable. Personally, I’d shoot to get around 60 IBU from the bittering addition then add more late additions. I’d do something like this:

1 - 1.5oz Magnum @60min
1oz Amarillo @20min
1oz Cascade @15min
1oz Amarillo @ 10min
1oz Cascade @5min
1.5oz each Cascade & Amarillo at flame out.

For the Brown Ale, I kinda the same thing. I think you need to put that through a calculator and see what numbers you come u with. I’d probably make some adjustments, but am not sure off the top of my head.

One other thing I’d suggest… use the lightest DME you can fine (extra light pils DME) and get your color and flavors from steeping grains. It just makes sense to me since you’re already steeping. You’ll have better control over color and flavor doing it this way.

I ran it through brewers friend calculator and it came off at 90ish IBUs which is kinda what I’ve been drinking for the past little while.
The homebrew store by me doesn’t have a whole lot of options for grain or really much of anything, so I was just really throwing stuff together that they had there that sounded interesting.

So I pretty much ignored advice and went with it doing the dark ‘pale’ ale with
3oz magnum @60
1oz Amarillo @15
1oz Amarillo @5
sugars and everything
it is stupid dark, but so far so good. Its sitting in secondary right now
OG 1058
FG 1016
tastes fairly bitter, and not too dry (I don’t really understand what that means to my taste buds yet) but you get a very nice hop aroma coming from the Amarillo.
going to bottle next week and see how it turns out a couple weeks after that.

So I pretty much ignored advice and went with it doing the dark ‘pale’ ale with
3oz magnum @60
1oz Amarillo @15
1oz Amarillo @5
sugars and everything
it is stupid dark, but so far so good. Its sitting in secondary right now
OG 1058
FG 1016
tastes fairly bitter, and not too dry (I don’t really understand what that means to my taste buds yet) but you get a very nice hop aroma coming from the Amarillo.
going to bottle next week and see how it turns out a couple weeks after that.

just tried my dark ‘ipa’ and thus far it is awesome.
not nearly as bitter as the comments suggested it would be which is fine by me. its still a little undercarbed, but other than that not too bad.

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