Author Topic: New to this hobby  (Read 547 times)

Offline amsmith285

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New to this hobby
« on: February 25, 2015, 02:44:33 AM »
Hey guys, I am brand new to this hobby. I've been doing some research for the last few weeks and I've also been reading The Complete Joy of Home Brewing fourth edition. What do you guys consider the best online store to purchase all of the equipment I need? And is it a smart idea to start out all grain or do you recommend starting out with extracts?
Thanks in advance.

Offline amsmith285

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Re: New to this hobby
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2015, 02:48:19 AM »
Sorry, not sure how this ended up in this section

Offline JT

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Re: New to this hobby
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2015, 02:50:19 AM »
Welcome!  I would strongly recommend seeking out a reputable home brew shop in your area.  If that doesn't exist, MoreBeer.com and NorthernBrewer.com have been my go to's, but there are other great online retailers as well.  Most people start extract, you can get away with less equipment and initial investment, yet still use most of the equipment when moving to all-grain. 

Offline brewday

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Re: New to this hobby
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2015, 03:09:44 AM »
I started with a 1 gallon all grain kit, brewed a few batches with that over the course of the first 3-4 months and then ramped up to a 5 gallon system.
Jon Weaver

Offline majorvices

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Re: New to this hobby
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2015, 12:39:04 PM »
Agree with JT, if you don't have a good local shop check out NorthernBrewer or Morebeer, or if you live in the south RebelBrewer.com.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: New to this hobby
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2015, 12:47:04 PM »
+1 to supporting a local shop if you have one, and like it.  If not, the sites mentioned are great.
Jon H.

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Re: New to this hobby
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2015, 01:35:16 PM »
All of the advice above is good. I'll add another component that can help produce success. Find a local homebrew club and ask for help and advice. At a minimum, it could allow you the opportunity to see the homebrewing process in person before committing your hard earned cash.
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Offline bengelbrau

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Re: New to this hobby
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2015, 02:36:18 PM »
+1 to the club suggestion. Also, some of the folks in clubs are likely to have some equipment available from inevitable upgrades.

Offline duboman

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Re: New to this hobby
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2015, 02:45:21 PM »
+2 to the club suggestion and supporting the locals! Also, if you are not already an AHA member, sign up. Most local stores provide discounts to members and there are other deals available at breweries and tap rooms depending on where you live, not to mention Zymurgy magazine.

One thing I'll add as you investigate is temperature control for your fermentations. It's the one thing that sometimes gets overlooked in the beginning but will go a very long way in producing good beer to start! It can be as simple as a tub of water with frozen water bottles or an aquarium heater or as fancy as a dedicated temperature controlled fermentation chamber but happy yeast in the right environment produce the best beer!
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: New to this hobby
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2015, 04:09:21 PM »
You can start out with all grain but if you want to go that route I would encourage you to do as everybody else has suggested and meet with a club and see a few people brew all grain to see if it is something you want to spend money on and feel confident you can do from the start. There's nothing wrong with starting with extracts. There's less of a cash commitment and you can focus on learning about fermentation.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing

Offline brewday

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Re: New to this hobby
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2015, 04:40:45 PM »
You can start out with all grain but if you want to go that route I would encourage you to do as everybody else has suggested and meet with a club and see a few people brew all grain to see if it is something you want to spend money on and feel confident you can do from the start. There's nothing wrong with starting with extracts. There's less of a cash commitment and you can focus on learning about fermentation.

I hear ya, but I just think that today it's easier to jump in to small scale stove top all-grain brewing.  There are $40 kits out there that give you the full experience of an all-grain brewday in about 3 hours, and it's easy!  You'll know right away if it's something you want to do, and there's no additional transition to a different method of brewing - just scale up and continue along the usual learning curve (temps, water, recipe, etc).  My wife and I started with one of these type of kits a couple of years ago and it wasn't much different than cooking oatmeal or soup.  And it's certainly much easier than asking a bunch of people you don't know if you can watch them brew for half a day!  I suppose there's nothing wrong with extract (I've just never brewed an extract batch) but if everybody wants to get to all-grain eventually, why not just start that way?  It's what I've recommended to friends, so I'm just doing the same here.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: New to this hobby
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2015, 04:44:20 PM »
You've chosen a great hobby! My only advice beyond what others have said so far is to just relax and give it a try. if you are nervous start with extract. It's easy easy easy.
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Offline jaftak22

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Re: New to this hobby
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2015, 09:33:45 PM »
If you want a book that might be a bit easier to read, I would recommend you read How to Brew by John Palmer. It is a little easier to follow than Complete Joy of Home brewing. I have both and will refer to either one of them as a reference pretty often. How to Brew's chapter on all grain brewing is pretty much step by step and is really easy to follow.

Another thing you could do is watch the videos on home brewing here on the AHA website. The videos are well put together. If you do have questions about anything else just post here on the forum. There are many people who will give you great advice. Welcome to the hobby, its a lot of fun!