Author Topic: What next  (Read 681 times)

Offline patraicemery

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What next
« on: January 26, 2016, 04:41:34 AM »
So I have made a couple of batches of beer and cider to date. All came out great! I have all the basic supplies but what should I invest in next? Thanks in advance

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Offline kpfoleyjr

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Re: What next
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2016, 05:25:51 AM »
I've faced that question myself in the past.  I kept track of what I did and when in the two years that I've been brewing.  The list is attached below.  My next step is to take the Level One Cicerone test.  Probably after that I'll buy a better chiller (probably a JaDeD Hydra), some more kegs, and a chest freezer and controller.

1/2014   Took a beginning brewing class at a local home brew supply store
2/2014   Bought a Brewer’s Best starter kit, Papazian’s “Joy of Home Brewing,” 6.5 gallon glass Big Mouth Bubbler, SS immersion chiller, 12 oz. bottles, and a Blichmann floor burner
3/2014   Brewed first partial grain / extract kit, a Northern Brewer Brickwarmer Red
4/2014   Bought Palmer’s “How to Brew”; brewed four more partial grain kits through 9/2014
10/2014   Built a 10-gallon mash tun using a Rubbermaid picnic cooler with pie-plate fly sparge setup; also bought larger brewpot with spigot, 10 cu. ft. refrigerator & Johnson controller for fermentation chamber, stir plate and flask for yeast starters, and an oxygenation kit
11/2014   Brewed first all-grain recipe
4/2015   Started using BeerSmith2 software; brewed 3 more all-grain kits or recipes through 10/2015
5/2015   Tried ACCUmash water treatment with an all-grain batch
6/2015   Joined a local homebrew club and the American Homebrewers Association; started following the AHA and HomeBrewChatter.com blogs
8/2015   Bought Bru’n Water software; had tap water analyzed by Ward Labs; started treating tap water with lactic acid and gypsum
10/2015   Brewed fifth all-grain recipe, and started kegging
11/2015   Bought counter-pressure bottle filler
12/2016   Bought Mosher’s “Tasting Beer”
12/2015   Designed and brewed first all-grain recipe
1/2016   Bought refractometer
1/2016   Took the Level One Beer Server Certification class at Cicerone in Chicago

Good luck . . .

Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: What next
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2016, 06:52:37 AM »
So I have made a couple of batches of beer and cider to date. All came out great!

I don't want to sound sarcastic, but please define "great". I've been brewing for a good two years now,I have read all the books, and am active on all the forums, and I still haven't made a "great" beer. My last two batches were good, but not what I would call great. Of the beers I made before, some of them were ok, most were lousy. For me, great is when my beer is better than most of what one can find in decent shops.

Good beer cannot be made without temperature-controlled fermentation, decent water treatment, and good recipes (which presupposes some understanding of beer styles).  And from then onwards, I don't know how to make great beer yet. I guess it's endless tinkering?
Frank P.

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RPIScotty

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Re: What next
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2016, 09:34:05 AM »

So I have made a couple of batches of beer and cider to date. All came out great!

I don't want to sound sarcastic, but please define "great". I've been brewing for a good two years now,I have read all the books, and am active on all the forums, and I still haven't made a "great" beer. My last two batches were good, but not what I would call great. Of the beers I made before, some of them were ok, most were lousy. For me, great is when my beer is better than most of what one can find in decent shops.

Good beer cannot be made without temperature-controlled fermentation, decent water treatment, and good recipes (which presupposes some understanding of beer styles).  And from then onwards, I don't know how to make great beer yet. I guess it's endless tinkering?

All the information is out there for people to absorb. It's possible to make a great beer right out of the gate of one has done their homework and executed the fundamentals well.




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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: What next
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2016, 10:33:06 AM »
All the information is out there for people to absorb. It's possible to make a great beer right out of the gate of one has done their homework and executed the fundamentals well.
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Obviously I cannot disagree but those are two if's.
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RPIScotty

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Re: What next
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2016, 12:44:32 PM »

All the information is out there for people to absorb. It's possible to make a great beer right out of the gate of one has done their homework and executed the fundamentals well.
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Obviously I cannot disagree but those are two if's.

Certainly.

I can say that I do not get to brew very often right now but have always spent a considerable amount of time researching and preparing for a brew day.

That may not amount to a ton of tangible experience in the "field" but equates to phenomenal results in my limited data set.


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Offline kpfoleyjr

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Re: What next
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2016, 02:26:57 PM »
I would recommend watching BeerSmith Podcast #82, "Five Tips for Brewers," an interview with John Palmer by Brad Smith.  To me, it provides some good suggestions for those who have done a few brews and want to step up their game a bit.  It covers sanitizing, fermentation temperature control, yeast management, recipe proportions, and water management.  Sanitation gives a few good hints, but you should be doing those already.  Recipe proportions will come later on as you develop your own.  Ferm temp control and yeast management are among the most important things you could do after sanitation.  After watching the video, I bought a small refrigerator and controller to manage my ferm temps consistently and accurately.  I also bought a yeast starter kit and started making starters.  Later on, after getting into all-grain brewing, I bought the Bru'n Water software, had my water analyzed by Ward Labs, and started making small adjustments to the water.  I also bought BeerSmith2 right after watching this video - it helped with knowing how much yeast to pitch, and later on with all-grain details.  I think this video could help you decide what to do next - it did for me.

Offline patraicemery

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Re: What next
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2016, 03:34:44 PM »
Thank you all for the great advice so far. The first batch I did was a cider from Apple juice, not very difficult to do, though I was not a huge fan of how dry it came out I still liked it. Next batch was a blonde ale recipe from a local brew store, just followed the directions and it came out good. Honestly I don't expect to create some great beer from the start, I know with my knowledge base it's not very realistic. It's like asking a person who can barley cook to make a beef Wellington from scratch without a recipe. Baby steps first, for what  i made it came out as something I was proud of. Though I do have a lot of time to research when I'm deployed.

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