Author Topic: First time brewer needs help!  (Read 2559 times)

Offline andresp11

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First time brewer needs help!
« on: January 04, 2012, 11:32:26 AM »
Hello,
Im just getting into homebrewing and was wondering what steps should i take first. What equipment should i buy?
Thanks for the help  :)

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: First time brewer needs help!
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2012, 11:39:51 AM »
I think the best start for you would be to read through these links and then come back with questions

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/lets-brew/get-schooled/get-started
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/zymurgy/free-downloads/zymurgy-an-introduction-to-homebrewing

It's not a massive deluge of information, but it is enough info to give you a basic idea of the process and equipment involved.

Are there any homebrew shops near you?
Tom Schmidlin

Offline euge

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Re: First time brewer needs help!
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2012, 11:54:35 AM »
To start go with the buckets, etc demonstrated in the link.

If you have a decent stock-pot that holds a couple gallons you can do an extract partial boil on the stove in the kitchen and brew some pretty decent beer very easily.

But, if you get into this thing serious then there is equipment to buy- and I would start with a decent sized brew kettle. Secondly, give some thought to the temperature you'll be fermenting in. For ales you want to have a range between 60 and 70 Fahrenheit. Often this takes special measures in both summer and winter.

Thirdly, it's never too soon to discuss water. You can't have good beer without water that tastes good. So if your tap water is crap then buy gallon jugs at the store. With extract brewing purified or distilled water works very well.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

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Offline andresp11

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Re: First time brewer needs help!
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2012, 11:56:08 AM »
Yeah, i found a place not to far from me. Im actually gonna head over in a bit.
Thanks for the links, im gonna go through them

Offline andresp11

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Re: First time brewer needs help!
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2012, 12:00:03 PM »
@euge:

I had read about the water quality playing a major part, i had thought about using distilled, so yea ill use that.
Now i was looking into investing into a brew kettle, but i think im going to go with the crockpot u mentioned instead, until i figure out what the hell im doing.

Offline andresp11

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Re: First time brewer needs help!
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2012, 12:01:17 PM »
oh and i meant stock pot not crockpot lol

Offline euge

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Re: First time brewer needs help!
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2012, 12:02:48 PM »
oh and i meant stock pot not crockpot lol

Disaster averted! :D
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Laws are spider-webs, which catch the little flies, but cannot hold the big ones. -Anacharsis

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: First time brewer needs help!
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2012, 12:08:16 PM »
For absolute beginners I recommend The Complete Joy of Homebrewing
http://members.brewersassociation.org/store/detail.aspx?id=303

I think the layout of the book is the best for getting your first batch or three under your belt without giving you extraneous information.  It's very linear and has all of the info you need.

There is also this book online
http://www.howtobrew.com/intro.html

It's a great book, but I recommend you wait until after your first batch to read it.  It will give you something to do while it is fermenting.  Then after a couple of batches, buy the updated paperback version.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline euge

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Re: First time brewer needs help!
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2012, 12:14:07 PM »
Yeah, i found a place not to far from me. Im actually gonna head over in a bit.
Thanks for the links, im gonna go through them

What do you want to brew first? For now stick to ales. You can go the kit route which can be dead simple, but they have a bad reputation amongst homebrewers. I suggest going by a short recipe of dried extract and pellet hops. If you want we can provide a recipe.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Laws are spider-webs, which catch the little flies, but cannot hold the big ones. -Anacharsis

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: First time brewer needs help!
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2012, 12:32:14 PM »
Yeah, i found a place not to far from me. Im actually gonna head over in a bit.
Thanks for the links, im gonna go through them

What do you want to brew first? For now stick to ales. You can go the kit route which can be dead simple, but they have a bad reputation amongst homebrewers. I suggest going by a short recipe of dried extract and pellet hops. If you want we can provide a recipe.

Ask at you LHBS about what proven recipes they have.  The stores around here have 3 ring binders with what they consider "proven" recipes.  If you use one of theirs it will also give a place to go talk face to face when you have recipe specific questions.

Paul
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: First time brewer needs help!
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2012, 12:33:19 PM »
Don't try lagers, decoction or really big beers until you've made a few batches.  Try using dry yeast at first.  Keep the fermenter in a cool place and don't rack it over for at least 3 weeks.  You will be happy to drink the best beer you ever made.
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Offline Jimmy K

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Re: First time brewer needs help!
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2012, 12:35:49 PM »
i had thought about using distilled, so yea ill use that.

Spring water is OK, but distilled water is not. Beer (yeast actually) needs certain dissolved minerals in water that distilled water won't have.

Edit: Of course then I read Euge's original post and maybe I'm wrong for extract beers.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: First time brewer needs help!
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2012, 12:37:46 PM »
Oh, and ignore anything about secondary fermentation, just leave it in primary the whole time.  Three weeks is good, like ynot said.

i had thought about using distilled, so yea ill use that.

Spring water is OK, but distilled water is not. Beer (yeast actually) needs certain dissolved minerals in water that distilled water won't have.
Distilled water is better for extract beers than spring water - the extract already contains the needed minerals, so if you use spring water you're adding more minerals.  I wouldn't rehydrate in distilled, but it is better for diluting the extract.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline andresp11

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Re: First time brewer needs help!
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2012, 12:40:33 PM »
Cool! Thanks for all the advice.
 Im gonna ask for a proven recipe, i dont want to use a kit since it kinda defeats the purpose. I actually prefer ales so im gonna go that route. Lets hope it turns out decent enough!

Oh and ill be sure to ask about distilled and spring water use in extract beers

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: First time brewer needs help!
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2012, 12:43:13 PM »
Oh, and ignore anything about secondary fermentation, just leave it in primary the whole time.  Three weeks is good, like ynot said.

Yes! ^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Distilled water is better for extract beers than spring water - the extract already contains the needed minerals, so if you use spring water you're adding more minerals.
I never thought about that, but it makes sense.
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