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I have been given one of those beer kits, namely Coopers International Series Beer Kit English Bitter.

I've used these kits before and I've also made my own beer without the use of such kits. What I'd like to know is can I add things to these kits to make them more my own? I've been reading about subbing dandelions for bittering hops and wondered if it were possible to do this with my kit - seeing as dandelions are so abundant right now?

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The kit you linked is already hopped. Presumably, no boiling is required so you'd have a hard time introducing the dandelions. You'd be better off starting with unhopped extract, and building a recipe on that. –  Tobias Patton Mar 30 at 15:39

2 Answers 2

When I first got into homebrewing, I started out adding my own twist to kits, I found this video really helpful when adding my own hop tea to bump up the hoppiness. You could also do a similar thing with speciality grains (such as crystal or amber malt). This will also help detract from the 'tang' you often get with kits and extract.

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You can certainly use adjuncts with extract kits. Definitely keep in mind that your extract is already hopped, but you could add more hoppiness, or use dandelions if you wish. The key is finding the right time to introduce your adjuncts. I'm currently fermenting an American Porter. I added a few hop pellets when I mixed the extract with water that had been brought to a boil and removed from heat. I'll also steep a few more hop pellets along with some cracked coffee beans for 48 hours before I bottle my beer.

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