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How much dry malt to add to an extract batch

I have read that if you add dry malt to a extract batch, it would make your beer have a more complex flavor. I am wanting to do the sierra madra extract in a couple of weeks. And would like to make it taste as much to it’s clone as possible. Is there a calculation that would help me out? and how do you know which malt would be the best?

That there is what drives me nuts… Which malt will be the best to use… I have to look at it like this… The base malt is the blank canvas on which you’ll add the color to, thats the specialty malt. So with that idea, then you have to decide how big of a canvas to use… That equates to ABV, the amount of malt that drives that. You have to look at JP, how to brew book and he has page or two on the “points per pound for fermentables”… or beersmith, and possibly more than I know of. You can ask all you want to, but no-one will be able to give “the” answer… You’ll need to look, and then brew, and then decide… Too much specialty, or not enough? Maybe a different specialty? Its an endless journey, and I do enjoy researching! Sneezles61

Are you thinking that the commercial example to compare your beer to is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale?

There is :slight_smile: and this may be an interesting “kit hack” we can put together. Let’s start with this recipe

And replace the 1 pound of DME with an equivalent (gravity points) amount of either two row malt or pale ale malt.

This will require you to a “partial mash” (or perhaps a mini-BIAB) for 30 - 60 minutes rather than the “steep until 170*” process in the instructions:

Let me / us know if this the approach you’re looking for. There are a number people here who can help with the next layers of details.

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Yes i would love it to match Sierra Navadas pale ale. This has been a favorite of mine for many years.

I would suggest brewing a recipe as is the first time. If it doesn’t seem right then you will have a better idea what to tweak it with. The big challenge will be finding fresh SNPA to do a side by side taste comparison.

Many ways to brew it well.

First, I agree that @flars approach - brew it first then tweak it to taste - is a good way to get started.

But then, I’m going to suggest that there is enough recently new information available on extract brewing to construct a reasonable rubric for evaluating extract recipes. And then reworking the brewing instructions (which may not be easy for some extract recipes or kits) before brewing for the first time.

One of the reasonable memes in internet based homebrewing is to freshen up the DME/LME by doing a partial mash in place of the some of the DME/LME. To me, this appears to be the technique that you (@themattman) were looking for.

Since you’re wanting to brew the kit in a couple of weeks and I don’t have time to do the math right now, I’ll check back in on this thread later this evening and probably post the math to replace some of the DME with a mini-mash / mini-BIAB.

Well it’s not going to happen in a couple of weeks. It’s going to be next month. To many things to do. So maybe that will give you time. And for me to wrap my head around it. Thanks

If you have some hobby time over the next couple of weeks, these articles over at AHA may help with some of the background. Rather than converting all the recipe, we’ll convert just the DME - but the core concepts remain the same.

Do you have the ability to brew one gallon batches?

If so, there are a number of easy session-able ales that could be made with the 1 lb of DME. There are a number of people here who might be able to offer some ideas if we know that you can brew one gallon batches.

Your new moniker , is it your brews? I do like that… Sneezles61

Nope - I’m not that good of a photographer :frowning: .

_edit (day later): updated my moniker with a cropped photo that I took a couple of years ago. Pacific northwest, somewhere between Bend and Eugene: lots of trees, mountains, and a beer truck :slight_smile: _

I have said this many times here. The first time, follow the kit to the letter. If you think it’s great then you are done. If you tweak it first then hate it, you will never know if it was the recipe or the tweak.

If you have brewed it before, tweak it and it comes out better, please share it with us. The tweak not the beer. Although you will find takers to share the beer. :grinning:

I respectfully diasgree.

Learn to taste and evaluate beer. Great books have been mentioned in this forum earlier this year.

Here’s a thought experiment to back my point.

Pick a IPA recipe - any recipe will do. Pick a Stout recipe (again, any one will do). Can you taste the differences when you read the recipes? You already have the basic skill - it just needs to be refined.

Next, compare an APA to an IPA.

Then, brew some APAs with Crystal 20 in one batch and Crystal 60 in the other.

Then vary just the yeast: US-05 v S-04, …

That wasn’t hard, so let’s go make some real beer and continue tasting. Little BMBs are great for this type of brewing.

Sessionable ales are a pound of DME & a two hour brew session. All-grain BIAB is probably a 2:30 session. Short, shoddy, and worthy of being used to learn about beer flavors.

Short story to tell. I sent some of the Chinook IPA over to Minnesota a few weeks ago. My wife’s brother-in-law always shares. A couple of Bud Lite drinkers tried the Chinook. Basically said, “So this is what real beer tastes like. Can you get some more?”.

If I would have changed the recipe from the very start the Bud Lite drinkers may have said, “Oh it’s okay but I think I’ll stay with my Bud. Home brewed beer tastes kind of funny”.

Congrats on brewing it well!

I find that tasting the batch before I offer it to others prevents this type of embarrassment. If I don’t like it, I don’t offer it. If I offer it and they don’t like it, I listen and take notes. Eventually, we find something that they like.

Many ways to brew (and share) it well!

I mean with kit beers. There are many of us here that have brewed enough that we know what the outcome will be by adding or subtracting or changing an ingredient. For someone starting out I think the first try with a kit beer should be just as it was designed. A lot of them are clone beers and if you want it to come out like the beer it is supposed to taste like then changing it will make it not. After trying it the first time then by all means tweak it to your liking.

I see food recipes online with reviews that say "I didn’t have (whatever ingredient) so I used (something else) and then they only give it a couple of stars. Well you didn’t make what the recipe said so how can you possibly give a decent review. So I guess what I am trying to say is that you bought a kit to have someone else design the recipe so try it their way first time out.

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I can only hope that the original poster’s quest is sincere and that he will use his soon-to-be new found superhero homebrewing skill (soaking malt in a bag in a kettle of 150* water for 30 to 45 minutes) for the purposes of brew better at home and helping others do the same.

It’s a risk I’m willing to take :slight_smile: .

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