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General Category => Homebrew Clubs => Topic started by: shane70 on May 17, 2013, 08:49:05 PM

Title: Newbie Here
Post by: shane70 on May 17, 2013, 08:49:05 PM
Hi,
My Name is Shane. I recently purchased the Brewer's Best , Beer Brewing Equipment Kit. I have been wanting to try home brewing for some time now. The only thing that has been holding me back is my taste in beer. I'm picky.... My favorite beer is Miller Genuine Draft in the bottle. I have yet to find a dark beer that I like at all and from what I've seen, home brew is mostly dark beer. Recently I decided to give it a try. With the purchase of the Kit, I also purchased the Continental Pilsner  Kit (I was told it was a light golden beer), a 5 gallon glass Carboy for a second fermentation. (http://i1324.photobucket.com/albums/u607/shanec70/321461_647619611919268_1442080057_n_zps924c7dd7.jpg)
I have seen the YouTube video's on how to get started and what to do, Plus the kit comes with a to do list. My question is, I cannot find anything on line about the Brewer's Best Continental Pilsner kit, so I'm wondering if its any good. I've been told the kit might be a bit hard for a beginner. Plus, what other brands should I try (Keeping in mind I want to get as close to the taste of Miller Genuine Draft.

Thanks for your help.

Shane
Title: Re: Newbie Here
Post by: theDarkSide on May 17, 2013, 08:53:51 PM
and from what I've seen, home brew is mostly dark beer.

Boy, are you in for a surprise.  Some of my favorite beers are so light and clear, you can read through them (Munich Helles, Pilsner, even a pale ale ).

Also, don't write off dark beers totally.  Maybe what you don't like is roastiness, but there are tons of dark beers that don't emphasize that.

Also, be aware with a pilsner kit, you'll need someway to control fermentation temperature at a low level ( 50-55F). 

Welcome to your new obsession.
Title: Re: Newbie Here
Post by: Slowbrew on May 17, 2013, 09:06:12 PM
Brewers Best Kits are usually very high quality.

Don't let anyone tell you brewing beer is hard.  It is way easier than you think it is at this point.  As theDarkside said your most difficult thing will be keeping it cool while it ferments.  Do a search on swamp chillers and ice baths (using frozen soda bottles filled with water) to control your temps.

Be careful about sanitation and have fun!

Ask any questions you have here on the forum.  Everyone here is happy to teach.

Welcome to the best and most interesting hobby I have ever had.

Paul
Title: Re: Newbie Here
Post by: jeffy on May 17, 2013, 09:07:52 PM
Keeping in mind I want to get as close to the taste of Miller Genuine Draft.

Thanks for your help.

Shane

Shane,
You may be disappointed with your beer if you are expecting it to taste like MGD.  Most homebrews have a lot more beer flavor than that.  More malt, more hops, more body.
You may like it, but it won't be MGD,
Title: Re: Newbie Here
Post by: Joe Sr. on May 17, 2013, 09:42:53 PM
If you want to brew something close to MGD, you should try a cream ale or other light ale.

You'll have a hard time doing lagers without a dedicated fridge to ferment in.

I'm not sure they make a kit to get you what you want.  Good luck.
Title: Re: Newbie Here
Post by: euge on May 17, 2013, 10:38:35 PM
I won't say it is hard but can be time consuming... ;)

Well if you want MGD type homebrew then it'll probably take some experimentation and extra equipment purchases such as a fridge or freezer to lager the beer. Also, you won't get immediate results as it can take months to produce the final polished lager beer you're aiming at.

I think a blonde, kolsch or cream ale would be ideal for a beginner not wanting to stray too far from his normal expectations with lager beer.

Welcome to the obsession Shane!
Title: Newbie Here
Post by: duboman on May 17, 2013, 10:58:38 PM
Congrats on taking the first step and I totally agree with what's already been said.

Take a trip to a good liquor store that sells quality and variety of craft beer and buy some pilsner, kolsch, Saisons or other light beers to sample. A good store manager should be able to help you pick a few.

Lager style beers will require time and dedicated temperature control but kolsch and Saisons are more forgiving and the yeast actually like some heat to ferment so it's less of an issue.

Once you find the lighter styles you enjoy you can then look into those types of kits from the various suppliers of quality kits.

Once your palette adapts to home brew you'll be hooked and your hobby will become an obsession:)
Title: Re: Newbie Here
Post by: shane70 on May 18, 2013, 03:21:50 PM
 :)Thank you all for your reply. I honestly didn't think I would get such nice and very helpful advise. I will look into trying other types of beer, Including the dark one. I do have a liquor store not that far from me that sells all type of beer, maybe they can help me on choosing what I may like in beer.
Also, as for the swamp cooler, I will look into that. I do have a mini fridge that  I may get a 5 gal bucket into. Im not sure. its the kind with its own freezer door. looks like a real mini fridge. But, now knowing I have to keep the temp down to 50-55F, I will need to figure something out before I start it up.
Also, when I bought the kit, the guys suggested I get the carboys for a second fermentation. Since I haven't read all my directions yet, I will before I start it up. Im only guessing I let it fermit in the 5 gal bucket for about two weeks then change it over to the carboy. How long do I let it fermit in there until I bottle it up?
Title: Re: Newbie Here
Post by: Hokerer on May 18, 2013, 03:57:05 PM
But, now knowing I have to keep the temp down to 50-55F, I will need to figure something out before I start it up.

Be aware that the 50-55F is only for fermenting lagers (ie. Pilsner, etc.).  Ales (ie. Pale Ale, Blonde, etc.) only need to be held to the upper 60s
Title: Re: Newbie Here
Post by: shane70 on May 18, 2013, 04:53:34 PM
But, now knowing I have to keep the temp down to 50-55F, I will need to figure something out before I start it up.

Be aware that the 50-55F is only for fermenting lagers (ie. Pilsner, etc.).  Ales (ie. Pale Ale, Blonde, etc.) only need to be held to the upper 60s

Thankyou.
My First batch will be the Continental Pilsner Kit
Title: Newbie Here
Post by: denny on May 18, 2013, 05:13:52 PM
But, now knowing I have to keep the temp down to 50-55F, I will need to figure something out before I start it up.

Be aware that the 50-55F is only for fermenting lagers (ie. Pilsner, etc.).  Ales (ie. Pale Ale, Blonde, etc.) only need to be held to the upper 60s

Thankyou.
My First batch will be the Continental Pilsner Kit

A lot of "pilsner" kits come with ale yeast instead of lager yeast.  If that's the case with yours, you'll want to ferment it in the low-mid 60s rather than the 50s.
Title: Re: Newbie Here
Post by: tygo on May 18, 2013, 05:17:53 PM
Also, when I bought the kit, the guys suggested I get the carboys for a second fermentation. Since I haven't read all my directions yet, I will before I start it up. Im only guessing I let it fermit in the 5 gal bucket for about two weeks then change it over to the carboy. How long do I let it fermit in there until I bottle it up?

Don't worry about transferring it to the secondary.  Let it in the primary for 2-3 weeks then bottle it up.
Title: Newbie Here
Post by: duboman on May 18, 2013, 06:01:09 PM

Also, when I bought the kit, the guys suggested I get the carboys for a second fermentation. Since I haven't read all my directions yet, I will before I start it up. Im only guessing I let it fermit in the 5 gal bucket for about two weeks then change it over to the carboy. How long do I let it fermit in there until I bottle it up?

Don't worry about transferring it to the secondary.  Let it in the primary for 2-3 weeks then bottle it up.

Not if its a true lager, he'll want to rack it off the yeast when at FG and then lager it in the Carboy:)
Title: Newbie Here
Post by: denny on May 18, 2013, 06:23:44 PM

Also, when I bought the kit, the guys suggested I get the carboys for a second fermentation. Since I haven't read all my directions yet, I will before I start it up. Im only guessing I let it fermit in the 5 gal bucket for about two weeks then change it over to the carboy. How long do I let it fermit in there until I bottle it up?

Don't worry about transferring it to the secondary.  Let it in the primary for 2-3 weeks then bottle it up.

Not if its a true lager, he'll want to rack it off the yeast when at FG and then lager it in the Carboy:)

I'm betting it doesn't use lager yeast.
Title: Re: Newbie Here
Post by: morticaixavier on May 18, 2013, 11:04:16 PM
according to the Brewers Best description that kit does use a lager yeast but one selected to perform 'well' at ale temps.

Title: Re: Newbie Here
Post by: shane70 on May 19, 2013, 12:46:04 AM
so keep my temp in the upper 60's?  ???
Title: Re: Newbie Here
Post by: dzlater on May 19, 2013, 11:31:20 AM
so keep my temp in the upper 60's?  ???
Look at the packet of yeast, what type is it?
Does it say to pitch and or ferment at a certain temp?
Title: Re: Newbie Here
Post by: Slowbrew on May 19, 2013, 12:45:31 PM
If you want to use the dorm fridge to control your temps most folks use something like this: http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/johnson-controls-a419-digital-temp-controller.html

I have the Ranco 111000 (digital) and may use temp controllers for Johnson Controls (often analogue).

They are snap to use if you buy them prewired.  If you are handy with a screw driver and not scarred off by electricity, they are cheaper as controller only and you wire them in yourself.

Paul
Title: Re: Newbie Here
Post by: flbrewer on May 19, 2013, 12:50:29 PM
If you end up needing to ferment mostly ales (~mid 60's) and are having trouble with either the cost or size of a refrigerator or mini cooler that will fit your carboy or bucket, I highly recommend the below Igloo cooler for fermentation. I was able to keep my wheat ale right at 65 for 2 weeks with very minimal tweaking (adding ice cubes periodically). Good luck!
http://www.igloo-store.com/detail/IGL+ICECUBE+70+MCROL
Title: Re: Newbie Here
Post by: HydraulicSammich on May 19, 2013, 01:49:04 PM
If you end up needing to ferment mostly ales (~mid 60's) and are having trouble with either the cost or size of a refrigerator or mini cooler that will fit your carboy or bucket, I highly recommend the below Igloo cooler for fermentation. I was able to keep my wheat ale right at 65 for 2 weeks with very minimal tweaking (adding ice cubes periodically). Good luck!
http://www.igloo-store.com/detail/IGL+ICECUBE+70+MCROL

+1

I used three of these early on.  Frozen liter bottles and a floating thermometer worked well.  You can buy these at Walmart or Sam's for $30.00
Title: Re: Newbie Here
Post by: shane70 on May 19, 2013, 03:52:17 PM
so keep my temp in the upper 60's?  ???
Look at the packet of yeast, what type is it?
Does it say to pitch and or ferment at a certain temp?
(http://i1324.photobucket.com/albums/u607/shanec70/0519131035_zpsd5f590c1.jpg)
This is my Yeast. Looks like for lager. As for temp, it shows 12-15C ????? What is that in Fahrenheit. Also it says for 20 liters of beer. Is that 5 gallons?

FYI- It also comes with Briess dried malt extract ( 2 lbs), Crushed Pilsen malt, Crushed Carapils Malt, Priming Sugar, 3 bags of .5 oz hop pellets, grain bag and Pilsen Light Pure Malt extract (concentrated Brewers Wort).
Title: Re: Newbie Here
Post by: shane70 on May 19, 2013, 03:55:59 PM
If you want to use the dorm fridge to control your temps most folks use something like this: http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/johnson-controls-a419-digital-temp-controller.html

I have the Ranco 111000 (digital) and may use temp controllers for Johnson Controls (often analogue).

They are snap to use if you buy them prewired.  If you are handy with a screw driver and not scarred off by electricity, they are cheaper as controller only and you wire them in yourself.

Paul

Thanks. I do like this Idea. If I can get the bucket and also the carboy in my fridge, I will use this... Otherwise I may have to go with the cooler idea
Title: Re: Newbie Here
Post by: dbeechum on May 19, 2013, 03:56:08 PM
~54-59F
Title: Re: Newbie Here
Post by: denny on May 19, 2013, 03:57:25 PM
so keep my temp in the upper 60's?  ???

What Drew said....54-59F.
Title: Re: Newbie Here
Post by: shane70 on May 19, 2013, 07:51:43 PM
and from what I've seen, home brew is mostly dark beer.



Welcome to your new obsession.

Yeah, No kidding... I haven't even started brewing just yet, (Still waiting on getting everything I need before I start). With all the help and good advise Im getting from everyone in here, Me and my wife (yeah, she's letting me do this) is wanting to try different flavors, and even thinking about making a Party cooler, (http://i1324.photobucket.com/albums/u607/shanec70/partycooler_zpsc3596349.jpg) to put my beer in for my first home brew party....lol