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Brewing for beginners

read 4887 times • 61 replies • posted 9/8/2012 9:07:10 AM

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DietPepsican 1526:55
Brewing kits are a great way to start. Brewing isnít for everyone, and a serious setup for all grain brewing can set you back a good bit of cash. About $200 around these parts can get you everything you need to make a nice extract beer and you will use almost all of that stuff later if you step up to all grain.
9/8/2012 10:15:51 AM

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DA 1
I think extracts are a good place to start, it limits a lot of the frustrations of brewing on your first time and cuts down the length of the brew day.

I would try to find the extracts that donít have hops added to them, adding the hops yourself is easy and lets you add your own touch to the beer. Do a batch or two with the extracts to get a feel for the brewing process and see if you like brewing. They you can step up to the full process if you want.
9/8/2012 10:17:45 AM

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italarican 1526:79
Iím fairly new to homebrewing, and hereís what I did:

1. Read John Palmerís "How to Brew" book to learn the necessities of brewing. Thereís a free version online that should be a good start. The physical copies have more updated and detailed information.

2. Review homebrew forums to get a look at introductory questions and prepare to get started (homebrewtalk.com is where I initially went).

3. Once you understand the steps of homebrewing and the ingredients youíll need, think about what kind of beer you would first like to make. I personally recommend starting with extract (as opposed to all-grain) and a simple, light style that you like (I went brown ale but also considered wheat or pale ale). In the long run, this will really help you understand the nuances of homebrewing so that down the road youíll be able stretch boundaries in a precise, less risky way.

4. After figuring out a basic style you want to brew, think about some beers you really like that represent the style well. Search the web, including those forums you researched before, for peopleís clone recipes of these beers, focusing on extract recipes. You may notice some similarities among the recipes that will give you confidence that you know the types and ratios of ingredients that will get you the beer you want to make.

5. Visit a homebrewing "beer calculus" website that allows you to enter recipes. Play around with types of ingredients/ratios and notice how it changes the profile of the beer: how malty or hoppy it is, changes in ABV, color, etc. I used hopville.com. Settle on a recipe thatís not too complicated but appears to meet the profile of a beer youíd want to drink.

6. Search through some youtube videos of beginning homebrewing and watch other people brew beer. There are a few videos that will allow you to translate what youíve read into what it actually looks like in real life.

7. Order the equipment and ingredients youíre going to need.

8. Get started! Take notes on every part of the process: ingredients, steps, temperatures, etc.

Iím sure Iím forgetting a few things and others would recommend a different route. This is just one fellow newbieís route.
9/8/2012 11:27:54 AM

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giorgos 4
i dont disagree that brewing kits are the easy and best way to start and im not saying that one can make a very good beer from the first time. i just prefer to do something not that mainstream - using an almost readymade product of a cheap lager!
so im thinking of buying this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bigger-Jugs-6-Kit-Premium-Starter-Beer-Equipment-Making-Set-23-Litres-New-/180946981793?pt=Home_Brew&hash=item2a2147d3a1#ht_1484wt_1271 and something like this http://www.colchesterhomebrew.co.uk/colchesterhomebrewshop/cat_124958-4Ingredients.html so as to get something better than a coopers kit. what do you think?
9/8/2012 2:00:00 PM

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DA 1
Yah, that kit would work fine. Itís nothing special. I would look for a kit similar to this, which should get you going well and still work down the road for more advanced brewing.

9/8/2012 5:40:51 PM

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giorgos 4
yeah i saw that. the one i posts is like 78 dollars . plus about 30 dollars for some ingredients.. it seems cheaper. im not sure if northen brewer ships to europe.
9/8/2012 5:52:28 PM

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BenH 3020:21
Some very sound advise there from italarican, follow what he said. I used a kit for my first home brew and just regretted it, wished Iíd jumped straight in at the deep end. An ipa is a good first brew. Keep it simple to start with and once you get a feel for your ingredients and equipment you can begin to push the boundaries. The John Palmer book and YouTube videos are best for finding your feet. Good luck
9/8/2012 6:18:23 PM

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giorgos 4
yes mate. this is what i was planning to do anyways! dont wanna waste money on silly kits and brew bad beer and bad lagers. ill probably going to buy the equipment i posted above. do you guys think that is sufficient and good equipment?
9/9/2012 9:40:21 AM

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olie 22:8
Iíd read up on brew-in-a-bag. Thereís quite a lot of info online. Iím about to start brewing for the first time, and also not attracted to the idea of a kit, but havenít got the flat space or money for all the equipment needed for all grain. BiaB seems like an interesting compromise, will report back in a few days when iíve tried making my first brew!
9/10/2012 12:43:50 PM

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SpringsLicker 3251:138
I have several friends who learned to brew by helping me who have never brewed with extract, but unless you are also in that type of learning situation; I would recommend an advanced kit with extract. Try to find a kit using dry malt extract vs liquid, and with "specialty grains or steeping grains" This will not be too much harder than a very basic kit and it will add a lot of flavor and will make you feel good seeing real barley grains being converted into good beer. As you feel comfortable with the process and become more proficient you can move towards advanced all grain brewing. None of the steps are hard, there are just more and more of them involved. But if you can boil water you can make good beer. And if you can read a thermometer, you can make great beer.
9/10/2012 1:25:35 PM

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