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#1 Akari

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 01:56 PM

So, I've always loved good beers. You'll rarely see me drinking a Budweiser. 

 

I like imports. Mainly IPAs, Stouts, and Shandys.

 

I was wondering to myself the other day though... what do I need to make my own beer...

 

Then I realized I was a member of Topia... I know one of you guys or gals likely brews their own beer, or at lease knows someone who does... Or is at least smart enough to tell me how anyway... So yeah...

 

TEACH ME! lol


Edited by Akari, 10 January 2014 - 02:11 PM.

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#2 firerat

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 04:57 PM

Read "How to brew" by John Palmer.

 

Better yet here:

 

http://www.howtobrew.com/intro.html

 

It's not hard to make beer.

 

Start with an extract kit and follow the directions. Stay away from prehopped kits.

 

Controlling your fermentation temperatures is paramount. Unless you are looking for banana flavors in your beer, ferment at the lower end of the specified yeasts parameters.

 

Make a few bateches of extract beers, then a few of partial mash beers (look in palmers book) before trying all grain. (my sugestion)

 

Give it a shot and feel free to ask any questions.


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#3 MrGumball

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 07:32 PM

Firerate referenced Palmer's book.  Palmer has made it available online for free here:  How to Brew



#4 FIYA

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 08:28 AM

brewing is fun and easy. sanitation is key as with mushrooms but not to such an extreme. lots of sanitizing equipment and stove time. alot like cooking.

probably start with a beginning home brew kit and equipment. a homebrew store could get you started with the things you would need. fermenter, cooking pot, etc.

watching the yeast take off for the first time is wicked fun, like a witches brew. I like to make mead. honey, water, yeast.

best of luck with your first batch.


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#5 Akari

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 01:34 PM

This is gonna be a forever kinda thread... You know I ain't about to be doing this shit like next week or nothin.... Lol

 

But yeah, I've read a lot of the link you gave me. When I was young, I was witch, and I think deep down inside I still am... I love making teas, and cooking food...

 

I have a special ability to channel my spiritual energies in these processes. I wanna start my own brewery... but I'm many years from that.



#6 Juthro

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 03:28 PM

I have been toying with the idea of home brewing for quite some time, and I think maybe it’s time to get off my ass and try it.  I have read Palmers book before, but it was some time ago.  I need to go over it again.  Would anybody suggest any other good reference or recipe books, or other resources?

 

I don’t have a lot of places to go for supplies in my part of the world, but Amazon has all of the equipment for reasonable prices IMO.

 

I have read in more than one place to stay away from the prehoped kits, or kits in general.   Yet other resources, like Palmer, say kits are ok if you follow his directions instead of the kits.   Would any of you experienced brewers like to weigh in on this please?  I would be curious as to what you might suggest for a first time recipe as well please.

 

Peace and friendship,

Juthro



#7 firerat

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 04:41 PM


 

I have read in more than one place to stay away from the prehoped kits, or kits in general.   Yet other resources, like Palmer, say kits are ok if you follow his directions instead of the kits.   Would any of you experienced brewers like to weigh in on this please?  I would be curious as to what you might suggest for a first time recipe as well please.

 

 

You would be correct in avoiding anything prehopped. Yuck.

 

Most of the "kits" I have gotten are just measured out recipes from the specific vendor. It really boils down to the vendor and whether or not they send you fresh ingredients. Fresh grains / extracts / yeasts make good beer.

 

I wouldn't buy anything that was sitting on a shelf for a year or more.

 

The one thing I will say about kits is never use the yeast they provide. Buy some quality yeast like Safale or Nottingham.

 

And stay away from those Mr. Beer things. Those are freaking nasty.


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#8 firerat

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 04:44 PM

I just realized this was in Lifestyles.

 

Moving to "Trip on Inn"



#9 Akari

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 08:55 PM

I just realized this was in Lifestyles.

 

Moving to "Trip on Inn"

HA! I've been here for 4 years, and I didn't know that the Trip On Inn was about beer and wine...

 

Silly boy.



#10 Juthro

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 09:08 PM

Firerat, do you have any suggestions for a good vender to supply a quality kit? 

 

Also if I understand correctly, an ale should be easier and faster for a newbe like myself, as opposed to a lager.



#11 dead_diver

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 10:46 PM

Remember that with kits it doesn't hurt to add more malt or hops to your liking. Most "kits" are a bit thin with the malt and need extra sugars added. Usually they advise to use corn sugar to bring the gravity up but it's much better to use light malt instead and double the amount. These guys are local to me but also have mail order. Their 5 gallon starter kit is a pretty good deal and shipping is only $5. http://www.beerandwi...m/beerkits.html

If you like good beer then you definitely should try home brewing. Even if you screw up a batch it will still taste better than the domestic swill that is passed off as beer in the US.


Edited by dead_diver, 13 January 2014 - 10:49 PM.

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#12 Juthro

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 11:55 PM

Thanks for the link DD, look like they have some good deals,



#13 MrGumball

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 12:22 AM

@Juthro - Brewing Classic Styles by Palmer.   I've actually never brewed anything out of the book, but it's a great reference for understanding styles as well as a great place to start when formulating your own recipes. 

 

You may want to check out the brew in a bag (BIAB) pictorial over at home brew talk.  It's an easy way to jump into all grain brewing without building or investing in a mash tun.  I know a lot of people start with kits using extract (I did too), but if I were getting into brewing today I wish I would have been pushed to experiment with BIAB.  You can make good beer with extract, but IME all grain will make better beer than extract - it's also cheaper.


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#14 firerat

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 07:56 AM

You may want to check out the brew in a bag (BIAB) pictorial over at home brew talk.  It's an easy way to jump into all grain brewing without building or investing in a mash tun.  I know a lot of people start with kits using extract (I did too), but if I were getting into brewing today I wish I would have been pushed to experiment with BIAB.  You can make good beer with extract, but IME all grain will make better beer than extract - it's also cheaper.

 

BIAB is my favorite method of all grain brewing.

 

The reason I sugest using extract before jumping into all grain is to familiarize yourself with the fermentation process. (like what to look for, how to take gravity readings, how to dial in temperatures, etc.)

 

I can see why some would just go for the all grains though.

 

IMO anyways.


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#15 firerat

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 07:59 AM

Firerat, do you have any suggestions for a good vender to supply a quality kit? 

 

Also if I understand correctly, an ale should be easier and faster for a newbe like myself, as opposed to a lager.

 

I used Northern Brewer and Midwest Brewing Supply for most of my first kits. A little pricey, but quality supplies.

 

Yes, stick to ales at first. Lagering is a bit more advanced.


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#16 Juthro

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 04:10 PM

Thank you both, Mr. G and Firerat.    I may well move into trying the BIAB.  It sounds like a good way to go, but I think for my first run I will try an extract kit.   I am so new to this that I kind of want it as a base line.

 

This summer, after I get done with fishing season, I hope to brew some beer.   I hope to order all of the supplies and have them waiting for me when I get back.    I will wait to order the extract kit until I get home to help insure freshness.   I truly enjoy good beer and look forward to being able to make my own.

 

Firerat, I noticed that the kits from the suppliers that you suggested offer different kinds of yeast.  Do you still advice not to use yeast from the kits, and if so what kind would you suggest?  For instance Midwest Supplies offers Safale US-05 , American Ale Yeast Activator - Wyeast 1056, or White Labs California Ale Yeast WL001 with their kits.  What are the major differences between the yeasts they offer?

 

Thanks again for helping me to see the light, I think it might be a beer sign.

 

 

 



#17 Juthro

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 04:15 PM

I apologize for hijacking your thread Akari, I just got excited thinking about making beer, no disrespect intended.

 

Peace,

Juthro



#18 firerat

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 04:38 PM

Safale US-05 is a dry yeast and a damn good one too. Just rehydrate and pitch. Hell sometimes I just pitch without rehydrating. There's a lot of cells in there.

 

Wyeast and White Labs are liquid yeasts. These require a starter, which is essentially a liquid culture. The vials say they can just be pitched as is, and really they can, but it'll slow fermentation start times down.

 

Liquid yeasts are bred for a specific type of beer. Personally, I only use them in beers that require a "yeast" forward style.

 

IMO, something like an IPA, that is hop forward, benefits little from liquid yeast.


Edited by firerat, 14 January 2014 - 04:41 PM.

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#19 dead_diver

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 06:14 PM

There are yeast "cultures in a bag" type products on the market that are pretty good. It's a pouch similar the kind fruit juice drinks come in that you poke a straw into. Instead of a straw or juice the bag is usually filled with corn sugar and water or a thin liquid malt. There is also a small capsule inside that contains yeast. Without opening the pouch you bend it to break the yeast capsule open and then wait for it to start fermenting. When the bag has expanded from the CO2 gas it's ready to use. It doesn't take long. This method gives you a large shot of fresh thriving yeast instead of sprinkling a little packet of dried yeast into the bucket and waiting for it to start. 


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#20 firerat

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 08:39 AM

There are yeast "cultures in a bag" type products on the market that are pretty good. It's a pouch similar the kind fruit juice drinks come in that you poke a straw into. Instead of a straw or juice the bag is usually filled with corn sugar and water or a thin liquid malt. There is also a small capsule inside that contains yeast. Without opening the pouch you bend it to break the yeast capsule open and then wait for it to start fermenting. When the bag has expanded from the CO2 gas it's ready to use. It doesn't take long. This method gives you a large shot of fresh thriving yeast instead of sprinkling a little packet of dried yeast into the bucket and waiting for it to start. 

 

Those are smack packs.

 

I've used them a few times with pretty good success.






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