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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: jeffgrace on August 13, 2011, 03:13:24 AM

Title: Rookie looking for guidance...
Post by: jeffgrace on August 13, 2011, 03:13:24 AM
I'm just getting my feet wet in this wonderful world of brewing, and I am looking for a little help in getting some ingredients!  I purchased the equipment, after much research and debating, and neglected the ingredients...

I wanted to brew something I knew I would enjoy for my first time out, and settled on a belgian witbier....sooooo
1. Is that too ambitious for a first time out....and
2. can anyone recommend a good place to go for ingredients?

My local shop seems kind of limited in the ingredients department, and I was trying to stay away from buying a kit...but when I went on line, I found these GREAT prices...until shipping came up and wow, it about doubled the cost!  When I found resonable shipping they didn't have all of the ingredients I was looking for.

What do you guys use?

Any input will be greatly appreciated....thanks and wish me luck!
Title: Re: Rookie looking for guidance...
Post by: tygo on August 13, 2011, 12:04:35 PM
Welcome to the hobby.

I use Northern Brewer a lot.  Their wit kit with liquid yeast and flat rate $7.99 shipping would be $40.  http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/witbier-extract-kit-2.html

Morebeer has free shipping on orders over $59 which is a pretty good deal but I didn't see a wit kit there.  www.morebeer.com.

There are other options that I'm sure folks will chime in with.
Title: Re: Rookie looking for guidance...
Post by: majorvices on August 13, 2011, 01:15:27 PM
It depends on what part of the country you live in. Northern Brewer has always sevred me well, but I live in SE and have been using RebelBrewer.com and they are very prompt, very friendly and I have never gotten an order wrong from them.

Witbier  might be a difficult style to brew since it requires some mashing. It's one of those beers that really should be done all grain IMO.
Title: Re: Rookie looking for guidance...
Post by: saintpierre on August 13, 2011, 01:46:00 PM
Welcome to our obsession!

I agree with Keith, a wit should include some mashing (i.e. mini mash).  My first ever beer was a 1-gallon brown ale kit fermented in a reused water jug... I recommend you try something basic that you like to drink.

As for suppliers I have used both Morebeer and Northern Brewer and have had nothing but good experiences with both companies.  Depending on where you are located, when you want the supplies, and how much you are going to spend might sway you to one supplier or the other.

For me I live in central Maine and it is hard to get quality hops since my LHBS packages them in ziplock baggies so my solution is to buy my grain and yeast locally and get my hops online.
Title: Re: Rookie looking for guidance...
Post by: bigchicken on August 13, 2011, 02:37:08 PM
I live in Nebraska and have great luck ordering from Midwest Supplies, Northern Brewer, and Austin Homebrew Supply. I'd recommend sticking with kits for your first few brews. It lets you focus on the process and not with what you're using.
Title: Re: Rookie looking for guidance...
Post by: corkybstewart on August 13, 2011, 05:53:35 PM
I think you could brew a wit with wheat DME, it's actually a very easy style and would be a nice intro beer.  Wheat DME  from Breiss is 35% barley, 65% wheat.  Go easy on spices and other additions though.
Title: Re: Rookie looking for guidance...
Post by: euge on August 13, 2011, 06:30:56 PM
I think a "wit" kit would be appropriate for a new brewer. Just throw out the instructions on fermentation time and any transfers to secondary fermentation vessels.
Title: Re: Rookie looking for guidance...
Post by: a10t2 on August 13, 2011, 06:43:46 PM
I think you could brew a wit with wheat DME, it's actually a very easy style and would be a nice intro beer.  Wheat DME  from Breiss is 35% barley, 65% wheat.  Go easy on spices and other additions though.

I think Keith said that because a traditional wit would use raw wheat and/or oats.
Title: Re: Rookie looking for guidance...
Post by: corkybstewart on August 13, 2011, 07:14:00 PM
I've brewed good wits without raw wheat-they may not be absolutely "to style' but they tasted close enough for me and my friends.
Title: Re: Rookie looking for guidance...
Post by: majorvices on August 13, 2011, 07:56:16 PM
I think you could brew a wit with wheat DME, it's actually a very easy style and would be a nice intro beer.  Wheat DME  from Breiss is 35% barley, 65% wheat.  Go easy on spices and other additions though.

I think Keith said that because a traditional wit would use raw wheat and/or oats.

yeah, I just can't picture a Wit without a large portion of starch in the grist.
Title: Re: Rookie looking for guidance...
Post by: jeffy on August 13, 2011, 08:13:00 PM
I kinda doubt you can make an actual Wit from an extract kit, but you can certainly make a pale wheat beer from extract and add spices to it (coriander, orange peel) at the end of the boil and make something very wit-like.  Combine this with the appropriate yeast and you'll have something very reminiscent of the style and sounding pretty good for a summer beer.
Title: Re: Rookie looking for guidance...
Post by: corkybstewart on August 13, 2011, 11:37:40 PM
I think you could brew a wit with wheat DME, it's actually a very easy style and would be a nice intro beer.  Wheat DME  from Breiss is 35% barley, 65% wheat.  Go easy on spices and other additions though.

I think Keith said that because a traditional wit would use raw wheat and/or oats.

yeah, I just can't picture a Wit without a large portion of starch in the grist.
You can simulate that, to a certain extent, by adding a couple of tablespoons of whole wheat flour for the last 10 minutes of the boil.
Title: Re: Rookie looking for guidance...
Post by: rightasrain on August 14, 2011, 12:32:53 AM
I have used www.midwestsupplies.com (http://www.midwestsupplies.com) for almost everything. I have gotten an order with a substitute hops and my roomate was missing some hops. I didn't bother with my order. My roommate called about his missing hops and they offered to 2day the hops free of charge. They have also helped us both with a few questions. And one time I ordered a refractometer and they gave me a $10 upgrade for free. So I would highly recommend them. They ship out of MN and package everything really well. I also have used morebeer.com (http://morebeer.com) a little, never had any reason to test how good there customer service but I liked there products and shipping was fast so I might start using them more.

Both would have supplies to create your own recipe. I'm glad I started with a kit but really it isn't that hard at all. Here's a kit if your at all interested http://www.midwestsupplies.com/belgian-witbier.html (http://www.midwestsupplies.com/belgian-witbier.html).
Title: Re: Rookie looking for guidance...
Post by: jeffgrace on August 14, 2011, 02:21:12 PM
Hey...thanks for all of the great information!    I think I'm going to give it  a shot, and if it comes out bad, just use it as a "wow, so thats what I shouldn't have done!" moment.  Now off to compare the sites!

Thanks all, I'll let you know how it turns out!
Title: Re: Rookie looking for guidance...
Post by: jiggs26.2 on August 19, 2011, 05:44:45 AM
Here are the places I have ordered brewing supplies with and I have never had any problems with any of them. I am currently stationed in Sicily so I can not really compare shipping prices with shipping in the states.

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/
-They are one of the best priced place I have shopped at and refund shipping they don't use. (NOTE: I live in Sicily)

http://www.homebrewery.com/
-Never had any problems with these guys a little spendy though

http://www.homebrewers.com/
-this one is between the two I have mentioned above

http://www.austinhomebrew.com/
-Great site and I know they had a shipping promo going one in July they may still have it.



I hope this helps
Title: Re: Rookie looking for guidance...
Post by: madscientist on August 19, 2011, 12:52:50 PM
Definately echo what everyone has said.  Austin Homebrew, Midwest supplies, Northern Brewer all great.  I would also look for a wit kit which is pretty forgiving.  As someone above stated, don't use the fermentation/secondary instructions on the kit.  And regardless of how the beer turns out, it will still be awesome because you brewed it.  Welcome to the hobby.