Author Topic: Northern Brewer Deluxe Kit  (Read 428 times)

Offline sbframp

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Northern Brewer Deluxe Kit
« on: December 15, 2013, 03:10:01 PM »
Hi, everyone.

I'm getting ready to jump into brewing at home. I have a question, however. I recently purchased the Deluxe Brewing kit from Northern Brewer. This kit is designed to allow its user to brew 5 gallon batches at one time. As it turns out, this ends up being something like 54 bottles of beer. I have absolutely no use for this much beer, especially if I make something I don't like. Therefore, my question is this- would I be able to use the kit for 1 gallon batches instead? Or is this a waste of money? Should I just be buying the small batch 1 gallon kit instead?

Thanks for the information,
Seth

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Northern Brewer Deluxe Kit
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2013, 03:27:11 PM »
Welcome to the hobby!

You can totally use a 5 gallon kit for 1 gallon batches. It's a bit overkill size wise but that's not a big deal. You may find you want a smaller fermenter but these can be had fairly inexpensively in the form of 2 gallon food grade plastic buckets.

I suspect, if you enjoy beer and you discover that you enjoy making beer 1 gallon is going to disappear pretty quickly. Remember it takes about 3 to 4 weeks to make a batch of beer whether it is 1 gallon or 10. Lots of folks on here brew 2 or 3 gallon batches because 5 is just too much for them or becuase they like lots of variety and a 5 gallon brew kit will work just fine for that.

Loking at Northern Brewer, it looks like they include a recipe kit with the deluxe brewery kit. Which one did you choose?

If you want to let us know some commercial beers you enjoy we will also enthusiastically give you style and even specific recipe recommendations as you progress.

Again, Welcome! and ask any questions you might have freely. We are happy to help!
 
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline Herminator

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Re: Northern Brewer Deluxe Kit
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2013, 03:45:12 PM »
For sure could use the NB system for smaller batches….but don't underestimate how fast a 5 gallon batch will go.  Especially if you give some to friends, bring some to parties and/or ran out of your favorite commercial 6 pack. 

Nothing hurts keeping some bottled beer on hand.  It isn't uncommon for me to have 4-5 bottled batches at time…because its nice to have some variety.

Happy Brewing and welcoming to the forum!

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Offline sbframp

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Re: Northern Brewer Deluxe Kit
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2013, 03:49:28 PM »
Welcome to the hobby!

You can totally use a 5 gallon kit for 1 gallon batches. It's a bit overkill size wise but that's not a big deal. You may find you want a smaller fermenter but these can be had fairly inexpensively in the form of 2 gallon food grade plastic buckets.

I suspect, if you enjoy beer and you discover that you enjoy making beer 1 gallon is going to disappear pretty quickly. Remember it takes about 3 to 4 weeks to make a batch of beer whether it is 1 gallon or 10. Lots of folks on here brew 2 or 3 gallon batches because 5 is just too much for them or becuase they like lots of variety and a 5 gallon brew kit will work just fine for that.

Loking at Northern Brewer, it looks like they include a recipe kit with the deluxe brewery kit. Which one did you choose?

If you want to let us know some commercial beers you enjoy we will also enthusiastically give you style and even specific recipe recommendations as you progress.

Again, Welcome! and ask any questions you might have freely. We are happy to help!

John,

Thanks very much for your reply. your advice is relieving. I actually chose the Caribou Slobber because I didn't love any of the other recipes. I know that the CS recipe calls for a secondary fermentation, for which it will be useful to have the Deluxe Kit. My very favorite types of beer are generally Bourbon Barrel Aged. Have you ever a batch with a bourbon addition? Thanks again!

Offline fmader

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Re: Northern Brewer Deluxe Kit
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2013, 06:44:49 PM »
Welcome to the hobby!

Caribou Slobber was one of my first brews (3rd or 4th I think). These are wonderful starter kits. For me, they lead me in the direction of bigger and better things in this hobby. The best thing about brewing is that you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

As far as brew size goes... I am going to suggest that you make the full kit recipes and follow the NB directions. These will help you get the hang of the process. I don't know if I've ever gotten 54 beers out of a 5 gallon batch. I usually run around 48-52. But as mentioned, you will want to share your beer with friends. It is also as much time and work to brew a gallon of  beer as it is to brew 5 gallons. Also, with a brown ale like this, it will keep nicely over time. I think with your time and effort, you will appreciate having 5 gallons over 1. One gallon is only 10.66 beers. You may choose to do 3 gallon batches later down the road.

Again, welcome to the hobby! Don't be afraid to ask anything about your brewing experience on this forum. The people on here are very knowledgeable, and more importantly...very awesome people!

Cheers!
Frank

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Northern Brewer Deluxe Kit
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2013, 07:42:22 PM »
Welcome to the hobby!

You can totally use a 5 gallon kit for 1 gallon batches. It's a bit overkill size wise but that's not a big deal. You may find you want a smaller fermenter but these can be had fairly inexpensively in the form of 2 gallon food grade plastic buckets.

I suspect, if you enjoy beer and you discover that you enjoy making beer 1 gallon is going to disappear pretty quickly. Remember it takes about 3 to 4 weeks to make a batch of beer whether it is 1 gallon or 10. Lots of folks on here brew 2 or 3 gallon batches because 5 is just too much for them or becuase they like lots of variety and a 5 gallon brew kit will work just fine for that.

Loking at Northern Brewer, it looks like they include a recipe kit with the deluxe brewery kit. Which one did you choose?

If you want to let us know some commercial beers you enjoy we will also enthusiastically give you style and even specific recipe recommendations as you progress.

Again, Welcome! and ask any questions you might have freely. We are happy to help!

John,

Thanks very much for your reply. your advice is relieving. I actually chose the Caribou Slobber because I didn't love any of the other recipes. I know that the CS recipe calls for a secondary fermentation, for which it will be useful to have the Deluxe Kit. My very favorite types of beer are generally Bourbon Barrel Aged. Have you ever a batch with a bourbon addition? Thanks again!

I've not done a bourbon aged beer but I've done a couple barrel aged beers. Rum barrel that has now become a sour beer tank.

Getting a really solid big beer is a great goal to have. My best advice is to keep it simple and don't lose heart. A beer that is not so much at first can really transform over time into something sublime. And as you experiment and learn you can create beers that ARE wonderful now AND transform over time into something sublime.

Looking over the caribou slobber recipe I don't see a real need for the secondary step. You might be better off just letting it sit in primary for the whole 4 weeks. Actually, while I suspect after 4 weeks it will be done, a good habit to start early is to remember that the beer sets the schedule, not the calendar.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Northern Brewer Deluxe Kit
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2013, 08:45:05 PM »
I agree with everyone here that recommends the full 5g batch for your first couple brews. It takes the same amount of time as a 1g batch, and I think you will find that you will drink more beer than you think. Just a couple 5 gallon batches will help build up that pipeline (in case you have a bad batch, or can't brew for a while). Then, depending on how fast your first couple batches go, you can move back down to 2-3 gallon batches.

Regarding the Bourbon barrel aged beers, I recommend using bourbon soaked oak chips/cubes. If you want a great first batch to make a bourbon barrel aged beer, I would use Denny's Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter, which should be in the recipe wiki. It will give you a great start on your own barrel aged beers.

I think for those who have expensive taste in beer (Barrel-aged, Sours, Brett), Homebrewing gives a great way to make those type of beers a lot more affordable, because you are the one paying the opportunity cost, and that isn't worked into the price of the beer.
In a Keg: Flanders Red Ale, Rye Altbier, Cascade/Topaz Pale
Fermenting: Flanders Red, Saison