From the HBD Archive
From: jhersh@yy.cicg.rpi.edu (Jay Hersh)
Subject: extracts, cider, etc..
Date: 1988-12-29 14:40:28 GMT

Hello,
For Rob,
Extract certainly makes a big difference. My 2 favorite brands are the
Ireks and Alexanders Pale. I used to use Munton and Fison almost exclusively,
though I wasn't ever convinced there was a great difference between that
and John Bull or Edme. About 1.5 years back I read something in Zymurgy
urging the use of light Extract as a base for fermentable sugars and the
creation of flavor and color from the use of a partial stove-top mash
with grain. I have adopted this technique, and it works pretty well for
everything but the darkest of beers for which I still use the M&F dark
or extra dark DME. The one brand which I have little respect for is the
Superbrau products from N.C. I find their only virtue is that they're
inexpensive, but I think the quality is inferior. Alexanders on the other
hand is an excellent quality malt, comes in 4lb. cans ( i like that little
25% extra oomph) and makes a great base for the above techniques.

Regarding BOOTS. The only can I have ever seen of it was already empty. Some
friends of mine had been given it by someone who brought it back from
England. I never tasted the batch he made from it, but hopefully he is
reading this and will chime in!

Who said cider has no sugar. Maybe it has no dextrose, but it certainly has
sugars or it wouldn't ferment. I believe it is fructose, which is a type
of fruit sugar. All fruits have some type of "sugar" content. The ciders
I have made/ am making have all fermented to high alcohol contents without
added sugar. I also have never used sterilizing agents (like campden tablets)
in them. I don't use those for meads either and don't see any need to. For
mead there will typically be little or no wild yeasts, especially if you
boil it down or hold at a sterilizing temperature (+180F) so campden tablets
are unnecessary. For ciders I have found that the added champagne yeast
will quickly displace any wild ones, as its growth is more vigourous.

- jay h

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