Jump to content
Mr.Beer Community
Sign in to follow this  
vitch61

Booster v All Malt

Recommended Posts

Hi guys. I'm new to the forum. In fact, I'm relatively new to brewing beer. I just bottled my second batch and look forward to brewing a third tomorrow. Both batches have been all-malt. I'm thinking about going standard with this batch by using Booster. Will doing same produce a cidery taste? I worry about that kind of taste. Thanks for listening.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my non-expert opinion, you're usually better off with all-malt. There are exceptions, like Belgian Triples or light summer ales perhaps. I brewed two standard MB kits as-is, and I found them to be too thin. Plus, your beer tends to need more conditioning time to mellow out.
In regards to your concern of getting a cidery taste, stick to the rule of thumb for adjunct, and you'll probably be OK. Read this. The best way to learn when/how much sugar to use, is read through the forum. Do a specific search for a type of sugar, and you'll find more examples than you will ever need.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the link and your comments re: Booster v all-malt. Hey, I'm really getting into this. Very interesting stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the batches I've done with all malt and no booster. That is not saying that I think the booster is bad (not at all). My personal taste is for a heavy bodied beer, so I tend to do 2 HME cans, leave out the booster, and maybe steep some grains. If I want to boost the ABV beyond what I have, then the booster is a good option. My $.02

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use Booster for batch priming and thats it anymore.

If you have a bunch of booster and you don't want to go out and buy more malt, then why not use it? Either use it all up, or use it for bottling/batch priming. Won't hurt necessarily, but it also won't help make the beer more flavorful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use my booster to "gently stretch" my batches to fill the LBK to the brim so I can get 9 or 10 liters out of it. As long as I use enough hops to cover that amount of liquid and enough malt to stand above the booster, I get a little bit extra beer while keeping the cost reasonable. As a matter of fact, my personal taste for malt is so strong that most of my relatives actually prefer it when I add some booster so they can drink it easier. A lot of people like their beer a bit more on the light side, so booster isn't ALWAYS an evil thing, I find. I sure wouldn't be throwing it away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"pete rose haircut" post=263151 said:

most of my brews have been 2 cans of malt, either a premium or deluxe refill, + 1 bag of booster.

If you don't mind, what type of results are you getting with that combination? Apparently you are happy with it if most of them are that way. Do you find it makes for a heavy malty brew, a light brew, a hoppy brew, a very balanced brew? Just curious. It does sound like a good safe bet to me. Might have to try that combination just that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joe,

One of my favorite recipes so far was the "X-Treme X-Sport", which called for one can of the WCPA HME, one can of the Pale Export UME and 1 package of Booster. It also had some Tettanger hops for a dry hop.

I'm kind of kicking myself for not stocking up on some extra UME so I could make this one again. But I'll figure out something.


Rick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"rickbray66" post=263182 said:

Joe,

One of my favorite recipes so far was the "X-Treme X-Sport", which called for one can of the WCPA HME, one can of the Pale Export UME and 1 package of Booster. It also had some Tettanger hops for a dry hop.

I'm kind of kicking myself for not stocking up on some extra UME so I could make this one again. But I'll figure out something.


Rick

Rick,

Do you think about 19 oz of plain pale LME from any home brew store would get very similar results in place of the Pale Export UME can?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We do think along the same lines. I don't expect it to be exact, but perhaps close enough. Plus, I can get a pound of LME for $2.39


Rick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Joechianti" post=263179 said:

"pete rose haircut" post=263151 said:

most of my brews have been 2 cans of malt, either a premium or deluxe refill, + 1 bag of booster.

If you don't mind, what type of results are you getting with that combination? Apparently you are happy with it if most of them are that way. Do you find it makes for a heavy malty brew, a light brew, a hoppy brew, a very balanced brew? Just curious. It does sound like a good safe bet to me. Might have to try that combination just that way.

The flavor profile depends on the extract used, i just do it to get to the 5 to 6% abv that I like without making them too filling. I added a can of pale export ume I had sitting around to a sticky wicket premium refill, it ended up being a heavy beer but that works for a stout.

I'm not a hop head so a lot of the old Mr beer premium refills were a little hoppier than I like, I had planed in the future to get another pilothouse pilsner, split it in half & brew 2 batches by adding a can of pale export ume + booster, I think I would've loved it, but alas I'll never know now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks a lot, guys. I appreciate your input. @Joechianti re: results of my first two all-malt batches: I do not know how my first two batches came out...just recently bottled, so I'll have to wait and see. I just have a few bags of Booster I haven't used, and was wondering the pluses and minuses of using Booster. Well, I decided to give it a shot on my next brew. I might like a lighter beer seeing how the summer has hit Cleveland already. Again, thanks a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"pete rose haircut" post=263197 said:

I'm not a hop head so a lot of the old Mr beer premium refills were a little hoppier than I like, I had planed in the future to get another pilothouse pilsner, split it in half & brew 2 batches by adding a can of pale export ume + booster, I think I would've loved it, but alas I'll never know now.

I think you can still get a lot of the old formula Mr B stuff on Amazon at reasonable prices and free shipping. You should check that out while you still can. I know there's a few I'd like to have around as long as I can, myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Joechianti" post=263205 said:

"pete rose haircut" post=263197 said:

I'm not a hop head so a lot of the old Mr beer premium refills were a little hoppier than I like, I had planed in the future to get another pilothouse pilsner, split it in half & brew 2 batches by adding a can of pale export ume + booster, I think I would've loved it, but alas I'll never know now.

I think you can still get a lot of the old formula Mr B stuff on Amazon at reasonable prices and free shipping. You should check that out while you still can. I know there's a few I'd like to have around as long as I can, myself.

May just do ths

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Joechianti" post=263205 said:

"pete rose haircut" post=263197 said:

I'm not a hop head so a lot of the old Mr beer premium refills were a little hoppier than I like, I had planed in the future to get another pilothouse pilsner, split it in half & brew 2 batches by adding a can of pale export ume + booster, I think I would've loved it, but alas I'll never know now.

I think you can still get a lot of the old formula Mr B stuff on Amazon at reasonable prices and free shipping. You should check that out while you still can. I know there's a few I'd like to have around as long as I can, myself.

May just do that once I get back to work. Btw joe, your question got me to craving a sticky wicket, so i grabbed one out of the fridge, after I got done pouring it I realized it was my last one. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pricing issue aside, one thing I feel pretyy confident about is that Mr B will find a way to come up with suitable replacements for most of the old favorites, along with some new favorites. In that respect, I think we'll all be very happy with the brews that will be available when all the dust settles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My LHBS guy said that using booster thins the flavor so that any faults are more apparent. Do you all think that is true?

I have a lot of booster left over, so using it for bottling seems like a great idea. Do you find any difference in the taste or carbonation levels?

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"thompscr" post=263401 said:

My LHBS guy said that using booster thins the flavor so that any faults are more apparent. Do you all think that is true?

I have a lot of booster left over, so using it for bottling seems like a great idea. Do you find any difference in the taste or carbonation levels?

Thanks!

I think there's some truth to that, but it's an oversimplification and slight misstatement.

It's not that the Booster thins the flavor, it's that Booster adds ABV without adding any additional flavor. So, I suppose if there are faults, they might be a bit more apparent.

It's somewhat similar to why it's easier to make a full bodied, full flavored beer than a thinner, lighter flavored beer. If you have a really light bodied, light flavored beer, and it fermented a couple of degrees too warm, the yeast will contribute fruity esters that may well be very noticeable. If you brewed a much more complex beer at the same temperature, those fruity esters wouldn't be as noticeable because there would be plenty of other flavors to hide them. I know we tend to knock the BMC offerings because they don't have a lot of flavor, but it's actually a lot harder to do that and get it right.

When you brew with Booster, if you're adding the Booster to a beer that is already full bodied (so you're adding it in addition to the malt), you won't notice faults, but if you add the Booster to replace malt, you won't have as much complexity to mask any faults.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"thompscr" post=263401 said:

My LHBS guy said that using booster thins the flavor so that any faults are more apparent. Do you all think that is true?

I have a lot of booster left over, so using it for bottling seems like a great idea. Do you find any difference in the taste or carbonation levels?

Thanks!

I use it for carbing. Just remember that it is NOT sugar. Treat it like honey for the most part. So you will need a different amount than what is used for sugar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

+1 on bpgreen's comment. I'll never use the booster in the way the simple recipes suggest again, but i have found uses for it. For my last couple of batches, I've used booster to nudge the wort into the desired OG range. Each batch already had about 3 lbs of malt extract already though, so there is little to no risk of the beer tasting too thin. As for faults, we'll just have to see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW, since I got a bunch of it along with my cheap OVLs a while back, I've used it in some beers which had plenty of malt which I wanted to lighten and dry out a bit adding some more alcahol. The beers where I have used it intentionally like this, knowing why I was adding it, have turned out quite decent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quick question:
I used a pound of muntons DME for the ADIPA instead of the booster. ADIPA has 2 cans of LME. Will it hurt in the future if I add a pound of DME for a recipe that provides only one can of LME? I've heard there is a ratio of fermentables and LME. Thanks. Should I use a half pound?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well you can't just sub 1 lb. to 1 lb. of dry to liquid or vice versa if that is what you mean. To equal 1 lb. of DME you would need 1.21 lbs. of LME.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest System Admin

ADIPA has lots of IBU to spare and adding 1# DME (or 1.25#LME) to two cans will drop the beer in to a more balanced beer since it is on the hoppy side

If you only use 1 can and use 1# DME you make a malty beer since you only using half the HME you are sugested to use.

hopsgraph.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"dbark" post=265632 said:

Quick question:
I used a pound of muntons DME for the ADIPA instead of the booster. ADIPA has 2 cans of LME. Will it hurt in the future if I add a pound of DME for a recipe that provides only one can of LME? I've heard there is a ratio of fermentables and LME. Thanks. Should I use a half pound?


dbark: The ratio you're thinking applies to adjuncts (sugar, corn, and booster). LME and DME aren't adjuncts, so with the exception of making a beer too malty for your liking, you don't have to worry about adding too much to your HMEs. To be on the safe side, I try to keep the adjunct-malt ratio below 1/4. For most cases, I would say you're better off substituting 1 lb of DME for a pouch of booster, when doing one of the more basic recipes. You'll probably appreciate the added body and complexity.
BTW, I dig your icon, Tool (especially old Tool) rocks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea that's right it is the adjunct ratio I was thinking of, not the dme/lme ratio.
I saw Tool in '94 in London at the Shepards Bush Empire. It was the undertow tour. Totally rocked. Peach opened for them. Their current bassist was with Peach back then and he played Sober I think. Check out youtube. The entire concert is on there. You will be blown away if you like old Tool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Example:
The Cowgirl Honey light has one can of HME and a booster pack. If I substituted one pound of DME instead of the booster, to me it seems that would be too malty. I added one pound of DME for the adipa this past wednesday and that has two cans of HME. I don't know if makes a noticeable difference or not. I was doing my own math by thinking 1 lb for 2 cans, 1/2 lb for 1 can

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

dbark:
I will definitely check out that concert. Undertow and AEnima are my favorite albums by Tool, so I have no doubt that the concerts they did around that time were the best.

As for the Cowgirl Honey light, I suppose it depends on your taste. I can tell you that I made two beers using 1 can HME and 1 pouch booster, and I wasn't too impressed with either. I'd prefer a beer to taste a little more malty than overly light and crisp. Also consider that MB used to sell kits that paired a can of HME with a can of UME. Of course that was before the dark times... before Coopers. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"The Dark Times" Got me laughin on that one. Yea I see some of the things that are discontinued on the website and I'm lickin my lips. Too bad really. I wish there was a summer ale. It looks like they are coming back with the seasonal in fall or winter of this year. I'm on my second batch so I didn't get to try any of the stuff that is discontinued or out of stock. I start bottling the west coast pale ale Wednesday. I don't expect much but we'll see.
I really like aenima alot, looking towards the new stuff coming out this year too!
I just talked to a friend of mine, he said apparently they are done recording the new stuff but comes out next year sometime. We'll see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That'll be a long time to wait, but Tool doesn't exactly come out with albums quickly. I hope it'll be worth the wait. 1,000 Days was good, but I just couldn't get into it as much as AEnima or Undertow.
Yeah, I assume they'll replace all of the extracts they've discontinued, but it may take some time. I just can't seem them only selling 12 extracts, when they used to sell at least twice that many. I plan doing a hef next using their new weissbier extract and a Golden Wheat. We'll see how it turns out.
If you like really light beers, you'll be OK with the WCPA. One thing I've noticed is that MB's recommend amounts for priming sugar are a bit high. If you are still bottle priming, consider using a little less sugar. That's just me though.

EDIT: Nevermind about the Golden Wheat, it's out too. Agh! :angry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No not really a fan of the light beers. I think on a hot day it hits the spot. The WCPA was my first brew. I bottle it Wednesday. My second was american devil ipa. I added dme, caramel malt and hop boiled it. qbrew shows it at 47 ibu so I'm really looking forward to that. I won't bottle that for another 2 1/2 weeks. The trub is crazy in the LBK. It's covering the spigot. I used us 05. I'm thinking of the prince ludwig lager for my 3rd beer and mess around with it a bit to get more out of it.
Whats up next for you now that yours is out of stock?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, you must have 2 LBKs going. I'm seriously considering that, but space is a slight issue at the moment. As for my next brews, I'm still doing a hef. I found that they're still selling the Whispering Wheat HME, so I'll use that with the new Bavarian Weissbier HME. I'll probably add just enough light DME to bring down the IBUs a bit, but not much. I definitely regret not making my purchase a few days ago, when the HMEs were 20% off. The prices are expensive as hell. I got the ingredients to brew an Oktoberfest beer after that, so I'll have something to drink while I'm eating bratwurst und sauerkraut and listening to German metal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"smgarrett" post=266004 said:

Ah, you must have 2 LBKs going. I'm seriously considering that, but space is a slight issue at the moment. As for my next brews, I'm still doing a hef. I found that they're still selling the Whispering Wheat HME, so I'll use that with the new Bavarian Weissbier HME. I'll probably add just enough light DME to bring down the IBUs a bit, but not much. I definitely regret not making my purchase a few days ago, when the HMEs were 20% off. The prices are expensive as hell. I got the ingredients to brew an Oktoberfest beer after that, so I'll have something to drink while I'm eating bratwurst und sauerkraut and listening to German metal.

Have you looked into Bargain Outfitters yet? I haven't checked today, but you may still be able to get a 3-pack of the older standard refills for $18.75. If you get 3 of them, you get free shipping. You get Octoberfest, WWW and HCCD. Just an idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe that deal may be over. But thanks for the heads up, I'll keep my eye on that site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you buy the individual cans of octoberfest and the bavarain weissbeir or the whole international pack?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

S**t no!, I wouldn't buy the whole international pack. I'm unsure of the two that I bought. I probably wouldn't have bought them at all, but I plan on adding to them a bit. Not to knock anybody who's into the other beers, but I've used the St. Patrick's Stout, I have no interest for a Canadian light, and I spent a week in Cancun drinking almost nothing but but Corona.

It just occurred to me that I'm being a little harsh. Forgive me, I've been listening to the drama of others. Some mofos just need to RDWHAHB, myself included. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"smgarrett" post=266008 said:

I believe that deal may be over. But thanks for the heads up, I'll keep my eye on that site.

Here's the link again:
$18.75 Variety Pack

(These 3 make a good base to build on).

Free Shipping Code: BH788 (For $50 order)
$10 OFF code: BF1948 (For $75 order) (saves extra $2)
ONLY ONE CODE PER ORDER

[edit] I just saw that the site is down to be worked on right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Joechianti" post=266302 said:

"smgarrett" post=266008 said:

I believe that deal may be over. But thanks for the heads up, I'll keep my eye on that site.

Here's the link again:
$18.75 Variety Pack

(These 3 make a good base to build on).

Free Shipping Code: BH788 (For $50 order)
$10 OFF code: BF1948 (For $75 order) (saves extra $2)
ONLY ONE CODE PER ORDER

[edit] I just saw that the site is down to be worked on right now.


Ah, I didn't realize the value pack was in the same page as the whole kit. That's a pretty good price. I may have to snatch a few of those up for future use. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As time goes on, personally, I don't see the need for booster at all. Then again, I'm trying to leap from idiot beginner to full-out complexity.

If I want to boost alcohol, and body....I'm just going to add more DME. It's not like DME is so expensive that we have no choice but to use booster.

If I have PLENTY of malt and want to add some alcohol from another source, then I will use fruit, honey, brown sugar in quite small ratios. I know MRB says 2/3 of fermentables should come from malt, but I'm becoming convinced that 80-90% should come from malt.

And if I'm going to make some style, like belgians....and I will....or maybe barleywines? then I'm going to use a higher grade sugar, like that candy belgian sugar I see in stores.

Yes, to a certain extent "sugar is sugar", and I don't want to come across like a snob but I view booster as a great tool for the very beginner to up the alcohol with little effort, while learning the process.

I almost see it like the T in pee-wee T-ball.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm right there with you Fee. I've found that even using less than 1/4 sugar can make the beer taste too thin, for me at least. And sugars like honey and brown sugar impart flavor, so they are a whole different animal to figure out. Despite their faults, I'm glad the new refills are all-malt. I think beginners will get results closer to what they're expecting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"smgarrett" post=266435 said:

I'm right there with you Fee. I've found that even using less than 1/4 sugar can make the beer taste too thin, for me at least. And sugars like honey and brown sugar impart flavor, so they are a whole different animal to figure out. Despite their faults, I'm glad the new refills are all-malt. I think beginners will get results closer to what they're expecting.

As long as the directions tell them to ferment and condition for longer than a week each.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The directions do mention a longer conditioning time, but it sounds more like a suggestion, where I think they should make it a requirement. But I guess it's a matter of opinion. I still prefer the idea of starting out with all-malt as opposed to booster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...