Author Topic: New to Homebrewing  (Read 1430 times)

Offline lazydog79

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 130
    • View Profile
Re: New to Homebrewing
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2010, 06:47:16 AM »
My kit came yesterday and I'll be out most of the weekend, but with monday off, I'm thinking it'll be the perfect time to brew the first batch of "Mad Scientist"

Edit:  My fiance has already requested her own batch of beer... Something along the lines of a blue moon.  Doesn't need to be an exact copy, but something with an orange-citrusy flavor (I guess even something along the lines of a magic hat no. 9 but with orange), so if anyone knows if this is too difficult to do yet, or has a link to some kits, let me know.  

If you are looking for a Wit kit (hehe, that rhymes!), I would suggest Northern Brewer's.  I'm not a big kit buyer, but when I do, I buy NB - usually very good kits.  I bought and brewed their all-grain wit last year to thank some buddies for a roofing job.  It was danged good, and I'm not usually a wit fan.  Here's a link to the extract kit: http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/recipe-kits/extract-kits/extract-ale-kits/witbier-extract-kit.html
« Last Edit: July 02, 2010, 01:48:53 PM by lazydog79 »

Offline euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7223
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: New to Homebrewing
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2010, 11:51:12 AM »
A little late to the thread but never too late to the party my Momma used to say.

Here's a few pics of my setup and it only cost me $10 for the tote and I had the Reflectix already. It holds two 7.9 gallon brew-buckets.

 I used to keep several gallons of water in there as well but it promotes mildewing on the sides of the fermenters. The water helped keep the temps steady along with the ice-packs but now I've since gone without the water for many batches and the mildew problem cleared up immediately.

Depending on ambient temps and desired wort temps I'll use 2-4 blue ice packs or 20oz soda bottles. This has worked extremely well for my brewing ales.

The "out" on the thermometer corresponds to the interior of the chamber.



The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline dmtaylor

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 773
    • View Profile
Re: New to Homebrewing
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2010, 03:10:21 PM »
The secret (well it's really not a secret at all!) to making a good witbier is the coriander, which provides all the orange flavor you will be looking for.  You don't even really need to add orange peel to the beer at all -- the coriander does all the work for you.  I use anywhere from 0.5 to 1 ounce, depending how much orange flavor I want, in the last 10 minutes of the boil.  If you do add orange peel, add it for its bittering qualities, not to make the beer taste like orange.  I know it seems odd, but... that's what my experience tells me.
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)

Offline madscientist

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 321
    • View Profile
Re: New to Homebrewing
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2010, 05:51:35 AM »
A little late to the thread but never too late to the party my Momma used to say.

Here's a few pics of my setup and it only cost me $10 for the tote and I had the Reflectix already. It holds two 7.9 gallon brew-buckets.

 I used to keep several gallons of water in there as well but it promotes mildewing on the sides of the fermenters. The water helped keep the temps steady along with the ice-packs but now I've since gone without the water for many batches and the mildew problem cleared up immediately.

Depending on ambient temps and desired wort temps I'll use 2-4 blue ice packs or 20oz soda bottles. This has worked extremely well for my brewing ales.

The "out" on the thermometer corresponds to the interior of the chamber.





I just lost everything i typed.  That sucks...

Anyway, I pretty much use the same set up but I have water with the ice packs and a tshirt around the bucket.  Where do you get the reflectix?

The brewing pretty much went off without a hitch (I should invest in a bigger pot though), and I started getting activity in my airlock, so I'm happy.  I'm changing ice packs at least twice a day, and the set up has been really good at maintaing a temperature.  I'm going to invest in a digital thermometer because those stick on ones suck.  I am confident in this set up, and we'll see how well it handles over the next few days which of course are supposed to be the hottest yet this year. 

Thank you everyone for your advice, and should this go well I will attempt the Wit. 
Homebrewed since 2010

Offline euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7223
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: New to Homebrewing
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2010, 12:18:42 PM »
I found the Reflectix at Lowes and Home Depot.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline madscientist

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 321
    • View Profile
Re: New to Homebrewing
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2010, 07:45:24 PM »
I promised I would update after the process of making my first brew was completed.  It was an Amber Ale from a kit.  Today has been 8 days since the beer was bottled, and I couldn't resist trying one, so I chilled one and a few hours later tried it.  Wow!  I guess i did everything right, because the carbonation was there, and it had a nice head on it.  It tasted... good.  Not amazing, but damn it was good.  Hopefully it will only get better as I continue brewing!  I have plans for a Belgian Wit next and then I think an Irish Ale or Pale Ale.  However, I think I might go with the irish ale, since this amber ale is almost like a pale ale.

The swamp cooler was a great no-cost method to ferment the beer.  I took a plastic tub and filled it partially with water and ice bottles, and used a t-shirt.  Easily kept the beer below 75 deg F during some of the hottest temperatures NJ has seen this summer.  At times i checked the stick on thermometer and the temp was actually about 68.  (I don't know how accurate those are, but i figure it was at least below 75).  I cut the lid into two sections and now the top of my fermeting bucket sticks out a few inches. 

OK now i'm just rambling.  I will say, though, there is something extremely satisfying about opening a bottle of home brewed beer.
Homebrewed since 2010

Offline euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7223
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: New to Homebrewing
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2010, 08:52:36 PM »
Congrats! ;D

Tastes... good? You made an A+ my friend. Welcome to the obsession! ;)
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Online theDarkSide

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2074
  • Derry, NH
    • View Profile
Re: New to Homebrewing
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2010, 06:13:48 AM »
Wow...you lasted 8 days?  I was cracking mine on day 5.  Not much carbonation at that point but I didn't care.

Congrats on your success!!
Sergeant - BNArmy Member
AHA Member
Seacoast Homebrew Club Member
https://www.facebook.com/SeacoastHomebrewClub
Stephen M.
------------------------------------------------