Designing your own custom beer recipe can be one of the most rewarding experiences for a homebrewer. It’s equal parts art and science. If you like studying the mechanics that shape the BJCP style guidelines, Ray Daniels has written what I consider the definitive manual on beer recipe design. However, if you really want to wrap your head around how any one particular ingredient effects a beer recipe, try brewing a single malt and single hop (a.k.a. SMaSH) recipe.
Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of discussions being started on Home Brew Talk by people using Mr. Beer homebrew kits. The general consensus amongst most experienced homebrewers is that these kits are essentially on par with other single can, “no boil” kits that make mediocre, dried-out, cidery beer. So what’s with their popularity?
Muntons extract syrup, and dry extract powder
If you’ve spent any time reading homebrew discussion forums, you’ve no doubt been exposed to the unfortunate myth that extract beers are universally inferior to beers brewed from all-grain. This idea is what doctors refer to as “bullshit”.
It’s true that all-grain brewing allows for more flexibility and customization of your beers. But this does not make all-grain beers objectively “better” by default. With this in mind, here are a few tips for brewing better extract beers.