Author Topic: New to brewing and I need help!  (Read 1585 times)

Offline CTbeerworks

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New to brewing and I need help!
« on: May 23, 2014, 09:20:08 AM »
Well as the title states I/we (my business partner and I) are new to brewing. However we have purchased a nice home brewing kit that should arrive next week.

I love to learn new things... I love beer... so we thought lets just brew our own.

So the reason for the post if to see if there is someone in our area (Boston area) we could buy a few pints for and talk beer. Someone that has done this for enough time that they know what they are doing and get teach us a few things that we "need" to know.

Even if its just "here read this book or article"

We want to learn how to brew great beer... any help or pointers would be awesome!

Thanks in advance

Cheers!
Always something new to learn!! And I have a lot to learn!

Offline 69franx

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Re: New to brewing and I need help!
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2014, 09:40:20 AM »
I'm still pretty new to the home brewing scene, with 9 batches in the last 11 months, but I have learned a ton just from this forum, so you should definitely spend some time here. If you have not read John Palmer's "How to brew..." you should. It's a great starting place and is all about making good beer the first time out of the gate. Easy to follow, and great details make it great for someone starting out in the hobby. Check it out and ask any questions you may have here. Also, if you are on here, the home page has some great videos and detailed info on getting started all the way up to advanced brewing. As I have seen on here so many times, "Welcome to the obsession!"
Frank Laske
Franx Brew Workz
Fermenting:
Conditioning: GHE via HoosierBrew with 835, German Pilsner Via Brulosopher with 835,  Sour Saison on raspberries and something WILD
In Bottles: N.German Pilsner 2 ways with 835, Doublenut Brown, Evil Twin, Smoked Porter, EBW
In the works: Trad'l Bock, Doppelbock, Bluesman's Pilsner, Ballantine IPA, Saison split between lemon balm & blackberries, Dunkel

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: New to brewing and I need help!
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2014, 09:42:54 AM »
Check out the 'find a club' section on the AHA main pages. There are likely several in your area. Clubs are one of the best resources available for that kind of face to face knowledge transfer.

This forum is invaluable as well. Ask questions. doesn't matter if they have been asked before. We all love to talk  about beer and are happy to show off err share our knowledge with new brewers.

in terms of books, How To Brew by john palmer is a classic as is the complete joy of homebrewing my mr. papazian. as beginner books those are a good place to start.

best advice I can give you to start out is to keep it simple until you get the idea. And then, still keep it simple (or not as the humor strikes).

What styles do you like to drink? make those first (assuming it's not bud or miller, those are more advanced believe it or not)

and most of all, relax, don't worry, and have a homebrew! (or commercial brew if homebrew is not yet available)
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
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"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
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Offline Vin S

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Re: New to brewing and I need help!
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2014, 09:43:19 AM »
Welcome CTbeerworks, If you go to main AHA page and click community and then click find a home brew club you will find all the people you need to talk and answer your questions in your area. Also just by joining this forum you can get all the help and answers too.
" There is no such thing as a bad beer. It's that some taste better than others." Billy Carter

Offline bbesser

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Re: New to brewing and I need help!
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2014, 09:47:22 AM »
Just by being here and reading the forum, you are going in the right direction.  Here are a few tips to help you out.

1. The book "How To Brew" by Jon Palmer is a great reference to have.
2. Make sure that your equipment is cleaned well and anything that will come in contact with the beer after the boil is sanitized.  I recommend using Starsan as your sanitizer.  It works great, is fast, is no rinse, and dont worry about the foam.  It will sanitize too.
3. Make sure your wort is cooled to at least around 70 degrees before you add your yeast.  Use either an ice bath or immersion chiller to accomplish this.
4. Be sure to aerate the wort prior to adding your yeast. (Buying an O2 stone is one of the best brewing investments I have ever made).
5. Control your fermentation temperature as best as you can.  Generally, keeping the fermenting beer in a cool space in your basement will be adequate.  If you dont have a basement or a cool room, there are other low cost options such as (http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/lets-brew/homebrew-hacks-aquarium-heater-fermentation-controller/)
6. Pay attention to your airlock.  No activity is probably OK, but if you see some tanish sediment in there, add a blow off tube or you will have a huge mess to clean up.
7. Most importantly, have fun and dont get discouraged if you are not making perfect beer right away.
"He who breaks a thing to find out what it is, has lost the path of wisdom." - Gandalf

Offline erockrph

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Re: New to brewing and I need help!
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2014, 10:11:40 AM »
1) http://howtobrew.com - it isn't completely up to date, but at least 95% of the info in there is exceptionally useful.

2) Ask questions on this forum. We've all been beginners ourselves. There are no stupid questions here, and everyone is quite helpful. You've come to the right place.

3) Control your fermentation temperatures. Low-to-mid 60's F is right for most ales. If you have a basement that stays relatively cool, then you're in good shape for brewing in New England.

4) Pay close attention to sanitation

5) Use fresh, quality ingredients

6) Have fun. Don't stress. Whatever happens, you will make beer.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline Wheat_Brewer

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Re: New to brewing and I need help!
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2014, 11:43:01 AM »
Welcome to the obsession!!

I learned to brew by watching the instructional DVD that came with my first kit, reading "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing" (as mentioned already) and keeping it simple at first. Buy an ingredient kit so you don't have to worry about complex all grain recipes and techniques. Stick to ales at first as well.

There's lots of intelligent and experienced people on the forum and lots of different books, DVD's, YouTube videos, and podcasts to solicit.

I promise that the first batch is worth it in the end and truly not that hard!

Cheers!

Casey
Homebrewing isn't my obsession, it's my life calling, there's a difference.

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: New to brewing and I need help!
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2014, 11:45:57 AM »
Welcome CTbeerworks !  I don't need to add a thing on to all this good advice, except to re-emphasize to ask all the questions you need to here. The advice is top notch and we all started somewhere.
Jon H.

Offline tbmcdonough@suffolk.edu

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Re: New to brewing and I need help!
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2014, 12:11:34 PM »
I live in the Boston area, I've been brewing for several years now, even worked at Sam Adams for a few years. What kind of questions were you all looking to have answered?[/size][/size]

Offline CTbeerworks

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Re: New to brewing and I need help!
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2014, 12:46:57 PM »
Wow so much help so fast! Thank you all for the responses. I'm a car guy so I'm used to car/jeep forums and it can be touch and go on those forums. Some people are great other just don't know when to stop. lol

I purchased this kit: http://morebeer.com/products/personal-home-brewery-kit-5-kegging-super-deluxe.html Not really having any useful knowledge other than the little I read so far. I did purchase it planning ahead. I'm sure its more advanced than I need right now but I'm fairly OCD and type A personality, so I figured I would buy a "better" kit...(not even sure if it is or not...) or at least one that seems like it is based on my infant beer brewing knowledge.

I have downloaded the "How to Brew" book by John Palmer. I'll read that over the weekend... or at least try to.

I think as time goes on I'll honestly have more questions, however I'm so new to this I almost don't know where to start. I thought to search for a forum after I purchased the kit.

Based on the great responses here I should read the book first so I have a more purposeful question that isn't so general.

I live in the Boston area, I've been brewing for several years now, even worked at Sam Adams for a few years. What kind of questions were you all looking to have answered?[/size][/size]

I really appreciate your offering to help and I will be hitting you up for some local help ;) Im going to read the book so I can have a broken english conversation about brewing beer with you. lol ;D

Hopefully by the end of next week, I'll have the kit and have finished reading the book and I can get started and have some more useful questions for you.

Thanks again for all the help and pointers guys!
Always something new to learn!! And I have a lot to learn!

Offline 69franx

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Re: New to brewing and I need help!
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2014, 01:51:35 PM »
And keep the book handy(laptop) while actually brewing. All kinds of helpful reminders in there


Sent from The Alpine Brewery using Tapatalk
Frank Laske
Franx Brew Workz
Fermenting:
Conditioning: GHE via HoosierBrew with 835, German Pilsner Via Brulosopher with 835,  Sour Saison on raspberries and something WILD
In Bottles: N.German Pilsner 2 ways with 835, Doublenut Brown, Evil Twin, Smoked Porter, EBW
In the works: Trad'l Bock, Doppelbock, Bluesman's Pilsner, Ballantine IPA, Saison split between lemon balm & blackberries, Dunkel

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: New to brewing and I need help!
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2014, 02:20:59 PM »
I'm sure Denny and I would be willing to come brew with you but airfare from PDX would wipe you out. Not to mention rooms, food, beer

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: New to brewing and I need help!
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2014, 02:36:22 PM »

I'm sure Denny and I would be willing to come brew with you but airfare from PDX would wipe you out. Not to mention rooms, food, beer
Jim is planning a vacation trip :)


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Smoked Bock
MaiBock
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Marzen
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: New to brewing and I need help!
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2014, 08:15:55 PM »
Can't hurt to try

Offline erockrph

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Re: New to brewing and I need help!
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2014, 09:07:58 PM »
We should push for the AHA to schedule one of the upcoming conferences for Boston, Providence or maybe Portland (Maine - the other Portland with a great beer scene) so you all have an excuse to head out way to drink visit.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer