Author Topic: Advice for a Newbie  (Read 1872 times)

Offline ShotShell_Rebel

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Advice for a Newbie
« on: September 28, 2015, 02:57:32 AM »
Hey guys wanna get in on this hobby and wanted to see if someone would throw any pointers as to the best way to start which techniques to use as a beginner and what equipment would make me get through the learning phase.... thanks for your time

Sent from my SM-N910T using Tapatalk


Offline 69franx

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3106
  • Bloatarian Brewing League
    • View Profile
Re: Advice for a Newbie
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2015, 04:28:15 AM »
Check out the videos on the homepage here under "Let's Brew" follow along on the forum. Read some books and/or blogs: John Palmers How to Brew; Complete Joy of Homebrewing, etc. I started with Palmer and it was extremely helpful, still refer to it often 2 plus years into my obsession/hobby
Frank L.
Fermenting:
Conditioning:
In keg:
In Bottles:  
In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline stevecrawshaw

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 55
    • View Profile
    • My Recipes
Re: Advice for a Newbie
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2015, 12:47:12 PM »
Could do worse than start with this quick guide..

http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2010/07/how-to-homebrew-all-grain-beer.html

cheers
steve
I like to keep a bottle of stimulant handy in case I see a snake, which I also keep handy.

Offline pete b

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3123
  • Barre, Ma
    • View Profile
Re: Advice for a Newbie
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2015, 02:01:21 PM »
Most of us probably started out with extract. You need a minimum amount of equipment: a kettle, a fermenting bucket, airlock and bung, racking cane and tubing, hydrometer, bottles, caps, capper, bottling bucket and a sanitizing product. You can get all of that in a kit. Read some books. With extract you learn most of the basics: boil, hop additions, cooling wort, pitching yeast, fermentation, gravity readings, bottling, etc. You can make great beer too. If you like all that you will probably want to move to all-grain (extracting your own sugars from malted grain). The cheap and easy way is batch sparging with a cooler mash tun: http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/

Other than that pay attention to:
1. Sanitation
2. Pitching healthy yeast
3. fermentation Temperature

Also, if you get a kit that has you transfer to a secondary fermenter after a week or so don't bother unless you are adding fruit or aging for months. Also don't bottle after x number of days. If you think its ready take gravity readings two days apart to make sure its the same, in other words fermentation is done. Its OK for a beer to sit in a primary fermenter for several weeks.

Also also, use an online calculator to figure out how much priming sugar is needed for your style of beer. Last I knew kits came with a standard 5 oz of priming sugar which is often the wrong amount. And make sure the priming solution is mixed good in the bottling bucket by stirring thoroughly without splashing or, even better, put the solution in first and rack the beer onto it.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2015, 02:02:52 PM by pete b »
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8469
    • View Profile
Re: Advice for a Newbie
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2015, 02:45:13 PM »
I agree with you guys. But sometimes I wish I had hooked up with an advanced brewer and learned hands on. But the way I did it probably lead me to a deeper understanding,  through trial and error

Offline Slowbrew

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2382
  • The Slowly Losing IT Brewery in Urbandale, IA
    • View Profile
Re: Advice for a Newbie
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2015, 03:22:50 PM »
The simple advice I give people is buy a Homebrewing Starter Kit.  Don't bother with the "Advanced" version with the secondary until you really need a secondary.  And go buy a 20 qt. or larger stock pot to get started.  It doesn't have to be a great pot, one from Sam's, Walmart, Bed, Bath and Beyond are good enough.  The kits contain all the minimum amount of do-dads they need to get batch #1 under their belt and they can add things as they learn.

Another good purchase is a two of three cases of good beer in reusable bottles.  Drink two cases of the good beer so you will patiently wait for the first batch to get done and then use the bottles to package that batch.  Drink the third case while you wait for it to carbonate.  Then start the next batch.

The hardest part of the first few batches i waiting until they are actually finished before tasting them.   ;D

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19444
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Advice for a Newbie
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2015, 04:01:15 PM »
Could do worse than start with this quick guide..

http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2010/07/how-to-homebrew-all-grain-beer.html

cheers
steve

I know people do it, but in general I would not recommend starting out with all grain.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline brewinhard

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3225
    • View Profile
Re: Advice for a Newbie
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2015, 10:10:46 PM »
Could do worse than start with this quick guide..

http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2010/07/how-to-homebrew-all-grain-beer.html

cheers
steve


I know people do it, but in general I would not recommend starting out with all grain.

+1.  Learn the ins and outs of brewing a simple batch first.  Cleaning, sanitation, transferring beer, minimizing oxygen pickup, yeast handling/starters, and fermentation control prior to going to all-grain.  It will make that first all-grain beer taste like gold!

Offline Werks21

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 167
  • Enterprising brewer and aspiring beer judge
    • View Profile
Re: Advice for a Newbie
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2015, 07:11:20 AM »
Could do worse than start with this quick guide..

http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2010/07/how-to-homebrew-all-grain-beer.html

cheers
steve


I know people do it, but in general I would not recommend starting out with all grain.

+1.  Learn the ins and outs of brewing a simple batch first.  Cleaning, sanitation, transferring beer, minimizing oxygen pickup, yeast handling/starters, and fermentation control prior to going to all-grain.  It will make that first all-grain beer taste like gold!

+1. There is enough going on for the first time book educated brewer without adding a mash and the mind numbing intricacies/info/decisions that comes with it, ie. Water profile, mash type, lautering method, temp(s), efficiency, mashout, PH monitoring, to dough in or not to, ect.
Jonathan W.
Snohomish WA

Offline kpfoleyjr

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 31
    • View Profile
Re: Advice for a Newbie
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2015, 06:12:47 PM »
Another good thing to do is find a local home brew club and go to the next meeting.  The folks should let you in as a prospective member.  You should find other newbies, first and second year brewers . . . all the way to grizzled veterans.  I joined the Illiana Beer Rackers Union (IBRU) that way and have a wealth of experience to draw on.  After meetings we all share brews and mead.  If you're wondering about even small things, someone is usually available to help.  If you like the club, join it!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline Joe Sr.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4352
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: Advice for a Newbie
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2015, 09:47:02 PM »
I agree with you guys. But sometimes I wish I had hooked up with an advanced brewer and learned hands on. But the way I did it probably lead me to a deeper understanding,  through trial and error

I agree with this.  If you can find someone to brew with, you can learn without investing anything more than time and maybe buying the ingredients.

I also agree with Denny that jumping into all grain is maybe not the best way to go. 

Keep it simple.  Do an all extract batch.  Figure out fermentation and bottling.  Work your way up to a partial mash and then, if you want, move on to all grain.

Don't be intimidated.  You can make great beer in your kitchen, using extract, and using a concentrated boil. 

Just don't expect to make great beer the first time.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

S. cerevisiae

  • Guest
Re: Advice for a Newbie
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2015, 11:34:33 PM »
I know people do it, but in general I would not recommend starting out with all grain.

+10,000

There was a local guy who spent a fairly large sum of money building an all-grain brewery.  He brewed three batches of beer before quitting. 

Starting with extract allows one to focus on sanitation and other basic brewing tasks.  The quality of modern extract and dry yeast is light years ahead of where it was twenty years ago.  Add in the fact that one can purchase hops that are not oxidized beyond belief, and a new brewer who pays close attention to sanitation and does not get crazy with hops is almost guaranteed to have a successful first brew.


Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Advice for a Newbie
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2015, 11:45:41 PM »
I know people do it, but in general I would not recommend starting out with all grain.

+10,000

There was a local guy who spent a fairly large sum of money building an all-grain brewery.  He brewed three batches of beer before quitting. 

Starting with extract allows one to focus on sanitation and other basic brewing tasks.  The quality of modern extract and dry yeast is light years ahead of where it was twenty years ago.  Add in the fact that one can purchase hops that are not oxidized beyond belief, and a new brewer who pays close attention to sanitation and does not get crazy with hops is almost guaranteed to have a successful first brew.




I agree, too. Not saying that brewing AG as a first batch is impossible, but getting competent with sanitation and fermentation/yeast management first is a pretty sound way to start. Having those things come as second nature when you brew your first AG batch makes your chances of success go way up. There'll be plenty of new things like pH to manage when the time comes .  ;)
Jon H.

Offline brewday

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 453
  • Chicago
    • View Profile
Re: Advice for a Newbie
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2015, 12:18:51 AM »
I know people do it, but in general I would not recommend starting out with all grain.

+10,000

There was a local guy who spent a fairly large sum of money building an all-grain brewery.  He brewed three batches of beer before quitting. 

Starting with extract allows one to focus on sanitation and other basic brewing tasks.  The quality of modern extract and dry yeast is light years ahead of where it was twenty years ago.  Add in the fact that one can purchase hops that are not oxidized beyond belief, and a new brewer who pays close attention to sanitation and does not get crazy with hops is almost guaranteed to have a successful first brew.




I agree, too. Not saying that brewing AG as a first batch is impossible, but getting competent with sanitation and fermentation/yeast management first is a pretty sound way to start. Having those things come as second nature when you brew your first AG batch makes your chances of success go way up. There'll be plenty of new things like pH to manage when the time comes .  ;)

Ok, I'll disagree!  Since for the most part sanitation and yeast management takes place after wort production, I don't think it really matter how you get to that point.

But I am one of those who started AG, and based on my experience I wouldn't hesitate to recommend small batch, AG to start.  My first few batches were with a one gallon stovetop all-grain kit.  Very easy, and fun too.  I paid close attention to directions (and sanitation post-boil) and those batches turned out good enough to keep me brewing.  I built one of Denny's cheap n easy coolers after a couple of months, then added fermentation temp, yeast management and water along the way.  I've brewed exactly zero extract batches to date, and looking back I can't think of single reason why I should have.  Starting out small is probably a good idea regardless, but I just think that all-grain stovetop batches are fairly simple.
Jon Weaver

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Advice for a Newbie
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2015, 12:34:50 AM »
Ok, I'll disagree!  Since for the most part sanitation and yeast management takes place after wort production, I don't think it really matter how you get to that point.

But I am one of those who started AG, and based on my experience I wouldn't hesitate to recommend small batch, AG to start.  My first few batches were with a one gallon stovetop all-grain kit.  Very easy, and fun too.  I paid close attention to directions (and sanitation post-boil) and those batches turned out good enough to keep me brewing.  I built one of Denny's cheap n easy coolers after a couple of months, then added fermentation temp, yeast management and water along the way.  I've brewed exactly zero extract batches to date, and looking back I can't think of single reason why I should have.  Starting out small is probably a good idea regardless, but I just think that all-grain stovetop batches are fairly simple.

You make good points, Jon. If the amount of good free info today was available to me when I started, I may have jumped into AG first. But judging by some of the overwhelmed new brewers I see at my LHBS, maybe that should be on a case by case basis. ;D   I guess better said would've been "Go with your comfort level and don't try to do more than you feel comfortable with at first".
Jon H.