Author Topic: Trying to figure out if home brewing is for me  (Read 1399 times)

Offline mosinnagant

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Trying to figure out if home brewing is for me
« on: October 14, 2013, 08:31:01 AM »
For as long as I've been legal to do so, I've always been a Budweiser drinker.  A lot of heavier beers aren't really for me, too bitter for my taste.  My fiancee can't drink beer at all.  So we've recently ventured into fruity ales.  I know this isn't serious brewing, making a dark flavorful lager or anything.  But I've tried Leinenkugels, Angry Orchard, Reds, etc, and really like the fruit flavors you can get, and it's something I can share with my fiancee.  Is brewing something like this similar to beer brewing?  I like to DIY whenever possible, as I love to learn new things, and perhaps find a new hobby.  Definitely not doing it to save money, but not wanting to spend big bucks, as we're really not heavy drinkers, just occasionally, and it would be nice to have a few bottles of my own brew in the fridge ready for us when we want :)  Anybody else here like this, or is everybody brewing up huge amounts?  I guess I'm just looking for a good place a newbie can go to learn about the process of home brewing.

Offline kmccaf

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Re: Trying to figure out if home brewing is for me
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2013, 08:42:41 AM »
Well, this is a great place to learn about the process! I would say go for it. The best thing about homebrewing is that you can customize your brew to suit your tastes. Brewing a cider, or something with fruit in it can be as difficult or simple as you want to make it. It depends on what you are going for, and the amount of dedication you want to put into it. Brewing really isn't rocket science, so once you have a sound process, customizing your brew to your tastes becomes a lot of fun.

Here's a great setup for some nice easy pragmatic brewing:
http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/
So it goes.

Offline denny

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Re: Trying to figure out if home brewing is for me
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2013, 08:47:57 AM »
While I appreciate the shout out, I'm not certain my approach is applicable to a brand new brewer.

To the OP....I'm not familiar with any of the beverages you mention.  If you could describe them a bit more, maybe we could figure out what you're after and how to help you.
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Online theDarkSide

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Re: Trying to figure out if home brewing is for me
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2013, 08:49:07 AM »
Ciders, meads, and when you get going, light lagers.  There are even techniques for making Gluten Free beer, if that's what keeps your financee from drinking beer.

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Offline svejk

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Re: Trying to figure out if home brewing is for me
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2013, 08:49:27 AM »
My first experience homebrewing was at a "u-brew" business, and I would highly recommend that you look to see if there is one in your area.  They are called by different names, but they are businesses that allow you to come to their location and use their equipment to brew a batch of beer.  They have lots of recipes to choose from and helpful staff that can talk you through the process.  Once I tried it and tasted the results, I was hooked and ended up taking the plunge.

If there isn't such a business in your area, you might want to pick up a Mr Beer kit and then search the web for a custom recipe that sounds good to you.  It isn't a huge investment, and it will give you a chance to test the waters to see if it is something that interests you.

Best of luck!

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Trying to figure out if home brewing is for me
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2013, 09:03:35 AM »
When I started I went to howtobrew.com and read the free first edition book. Then I knew I wanted to try it so I bought a 5 gallon pot, a 6 gallon bucket and lid, some tubing for blowoff. .. i started with an extract kit with steeping grains and went for it. I gathered bottles over the next 3 weeks and bought a bag of caps and a capper.
Never looked back. I brew an average of three times a month now

Offline VinS

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Re: Trying to figure out if home brewing is for me
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2013, 09:19:40 AM »
Mosinnsgant, on November 2 its Learn to Homebrew day (check main AHA page go to events and click on learn to homebrew). See if there is a club or Homebrew shop particapting by you and ask to tag along I'm sure you will be more than welcomed and it gives you a chance to see how little or how crazy you can go.
" There is no such thing as a bad beer. It's that some taste better than others." Billy Carter

Offline mosinnagant

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Re: Trying to figure out if home brewing is for me
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2013, 09:26:33 AM »
Thanks for all the comments.  It sounds like there are many different ways to get started, just pick what  way works for you.  That's pretty cool.  Definitely something I'm interested in.

VinS - I'll definitely check into that, it's right around the corner, and might be the best way for me to get some ideas on how to get started, thanks!

While I appreciate the shout out, I'm not certain my approach is applicable to a brand new brewer.

To the OP....I'm not familiar with any of the beverages you mention.  If you could describe them a bit more, maybe we could figure out what you're after and how to help you.

The drinks all call themselves different things, though mainly hard cider or apple ale.  The Leinenkugel (sp?) has a definitely beer flavor, with a slight fruit aftertaste.  Another I forgot is Shocktop, which has an apple drink as well.  It's not as heavy on the beer flavor as the Leinenkugel, but obviously present. The others are all very similar, with more fruit than anything when it comes to flavor.  My fiancee just doesn't like the taste of beer itself, not sure if it's the malt or hops or what.  But the apple ales or cidars have almost none of that taste.  That's what we're looking to make.  Since almost all of them are apple based, I thought it might be fun to branch out, try some other stuff.  Mango makes a good mixed drink, why not a mango ale? :)  Tons of fruits out there, and I'm curious lol

Offline bluesman

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Re: Trying to figure out if home brewing is for me
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2013, 09:43:06 AM »
Ciders, Fruit Ciders, Perry's and Fruit Beers are all styles of some interest here on the AHA forum. You can find some discussion on this here: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?board=31.0

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Offline seefish

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Re: Trying to figure out if home brewing is for me
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2013, 09:45:13 AM »
While I appreciate the shout out, I'm not certain my approach is applicable to a brand new brewer.

To the OP....I'm not familiar with any of the beverages you mention.  If you could describe them a bit more, maybe we could figure out what you're after and how to help you.

The drinks all call themselves different things, though mainly hard cider or apple ale.  The Leinenkugel (sp?) has a definitely beer flavor, with a slight fruit aftertaste.  Another I forgot is Shocktop, which has an apple drink as well.  It's not as heavy on the beer flavor as the Leinenkugel, but obviously present. The others are all very similar, with more fruit than anything when it comes to flavor.  My fiancee just doesn't like the taste of beer itself, not sure if it's the malt or hops or what.  But the apple ales or cidars have almost none of that taste.  That's what we're looking to make.  Since almost all of them are apple based, I thought it might be fun to branch out, try some other stuff.  Mango makes a good mixed drink, why not a mango ale? :)  Tons of fruits out there, and I'm curious lol
[/quote]

They have a couple fruity beers, Summer Shandy and Berryweiss come to mind. 
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 09:47:02 AM by seefish »

Offline mosinnagant

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Re: Trying to figure out if home brewing is for me
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2013, 10:09:42 AM »
Ciders, Fruit Ciders, Perry's and Fruit Beers are all styles of some interest here on the AHA forum. You can find some discussion on this here: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?board=31.0

Welcome to the AHA Forum!

Thanks for the link Bluesman.  I was reading the thread about the "The Everything Hard Cider Book", and it sounded like it was right up my alley, so I went ahead and purchased it.  Sounds like if there won't be anything local here in OKC I can get into to get my hands dirty, this might be a good place to start too.

Offline hubie

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Re: Trying to figure out if home brewing is for me
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2013, 07:17:28 AM »
I know this isn't serious brewing, making a dark flavorful lager or anything.

Serious brewing is whatever it is that makes whatever you (and/or your financee) likes to drink.  It is no different than cooking, and like cooking there are many ways to get where you want to go.  Do you want to make your pie completely from scratch and make the pie dough (all grain brewing), or save some time and effort and buy a frozen pre-made one (partial mash and/or extract brewing)?  You can end up making very tasty pie either way.

Based on what you've said, I would recommend starting with cider making, mead making, or country wines.  All of those are very easy to make in small (one gallon) batches, and the equipment requirements are very modest.  I've got various types of mead sitting in one gallon glass jugs in my basement right now.

You can get lots of good advice on mead and cider making on this forum, there is also http://www.gotmead.com for mead making, and http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/ for making wine out of just about anything you can think of.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Trying to figure out if home brewing is for me
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2013, 11:52:09 AM »
It's amazing how people who "don't like dark lagers" and craft beer start to change that opinion when they start home brewing. Education is a wonderful thing.

Unfortunately we live in a white bread and American cheese society. But these are all learned tastes. The good news is, you can learn how to appreciate flavor. Just gotta step out if the box a bit.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Trying to figure out if home brewing is for me
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2013, 12:43:53 PM »
It's amazing how people who "don't like dark lagers" and craft beer start to change that opinion when they start home brewing. Education is a wonderful thing.

Unfortunately we live in a white bread and American cheese society. But these are all learned tastes. The good news is, you can learn how to appreciate flavor. Just gotta step out if the box a bit.

Truth^^^^

I always ask those who don't drink a particular style if, as a kid, they only bought one kind of candy at the candy store or only chose one type on Halloween.  Put in that perspective, they usually will try something new...but it needs to be close to what they are used to having.  Then you have to move their comfort zone little by little.  The same may be for the OP.  Listen to Major, OP, and give some new stuff a try after you make a couple batches in your comfort zone for your gal.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Trying to figure out if home brewing is for me
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2013, 06:51:41 PM »
What about people who don't let the carrots touch the potatoes? Stew must drive them crazy.