Author Topic: Aspiring brewer, new to forum  (Read 1427 times)

Offline BananaSlug

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 24
  • Santa Rosa, CA
    • View Profile
Aspiring brewer, new to forum
« on: February 08, 2018, 12:15:19 AM »
 Howdy folks,

    I have not as of yet brewed, but I am hoping to get started in the next month or two. I love great beer of most styles, although I have become somewhat turned off at the prevalence of crazy bitter and overhopped, mostly pale ales, that seem to be so popular in my area. Hard to beat a great pils, a fine creamy stout or porter....heck, I just like great beer :D

  I'm a craftsman in other disciplines, and I have really no interest in extract brewing, not knocking those that do, it's just not suited for my temperament being as how I like to do things from scratch as far as possible. I'd like to jump right in to all-grain brewing, whether BIAB or more conventional methods I haven't decided. One thing I'm curious about, is what beers are "easier" for a novice to brew, and what beers might be better left to a brewer with some seasoning under his belt? For the near future, I won't be kegging, but will bottle my liquid treasure when the time comes. Anyhow, glad to be here and I look forward to learning from you folks

Offline coolman26

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 793
    • View Profile
Re: Aspiring brewer, new to forum
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2018, 12:21:13 AM »
I would send a sample of your water to Ward Labs. Get your water report and brew the style that matches your water profile. When I started, I tried to brew yellow and hoppy. I got not good. I brewed black and creamy and it matched my tap perfectly.
That is my $.02


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Jeff B

Offline coolman26

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 793
    • View Profile
Re: Aspiring brewer, new to forum
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2018, 12:22:39 AM »
I should have started with welcome to the Club, glad you stopped by.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Jeff B

Offline BananaSlug

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 24
  • Santa Rosa, CA
    • View Profile
Re: Aspiring brewer, new to forum
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2018, 12:26:06 AM »
 I've wondered about this very issue. Most of the answers I've received have been, "If your water tastes good, it'll make good beer", which kinda felt like a non-answer. Do you have a general rundown of what water types are best suited for certain beers? I keep tropical fish, and I'm pretty familiar with my local water chemistry.


I would send a sample of your water to Ward Labs. Get your water report and brew the style that matches your water profile. When I started, I tried to brew yellow and hoppy. I got not good. I brewed black and creamy and it matched my tap perfectly.
That is my $.02


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline Robert

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1905
    • View Profile
Re: Aspiring brewer, new to forum
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2018, 12:28:53 AM »
Welcome BananaSlug!  You are in the right place.  (And hey everybody, who was worried about getting new blood in the hobby and the forum?) The main thing I would recommend is not so much a style as an approach.  Figure out what kind of equipment and process you can manage, simply, without tripping over yourself.  It doesn't have to be perfect at first. Then pick a style you really enjoy and want to stick with for a while, and find a simple recipe.  Then brew that repeatedly until it comes out the same every time. Then you will know you are able to produce predictable results in your system.  You will have some idea of how changing x affects y.  That's the time to start branching out to try new styles and consider refining your home brewery.  But whatever you do, make sure you're having fun.  Don't stress.  "Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew!"
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline Robert

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1905
    • View Profile
Re: Aspiring brewer, new to forum
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2018, 12:32:19 AM »
I've wondered about this very issue. Most of the answers I've received have been, "If your water tastes good, it'll make good beer", which kinda felt like a non-answer. Do you have a general rundown of what water types are best suited for certain beers? I keep tropical fish, and I'm pretty familiar with my local water chemistry.


I would send a sample of your water to Ward Labs. Get your water report and brew the style that matches your water profile. When I started, I tried to brew yellow and hoppy. I got not good. I brewed black and creamy and it matched my tap perfectly.
That is my $.02


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

For all you need to know about water go to th e Bru'n Water website. The Water Knowledge page will school you, and when you want to go more advanced there's a spreadsheet to help you adjust your Water chemistry.   But for now just learn what water does.

EDIT If you get your water from a municipal supply you can get an report from the water department that will be fairly representative.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 12:35:33 AM by Robert »
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline BananaSlug

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 24
  • Santa Rosa, CA
    • View Profile
Re: Aspiring brewer, new to forum
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2018, 12:59:41 AM »
 Thanks! Gives me something to research. I'm familiar with our local water report, and according to my local fish store, it's pretty accurate and representative of their own tests.

I've wondered about this very issue. Most of the answers I've received have been, "If your water tastes good, it'll make good beer", which kinda felt like a non-answer. Do you have a general rundown of what water types are best suited for certain beers? I keep tropical fish, and I'm pretty familiar with my local water chemistry.


I would send a sample of your water to Ward Labs. Get your water report and brew the style that matches your water profile. When I started, I tried to brew yellow and hoppy. I got not good. I brewed black and creamy and it matched my tap perfectly.
That is my $.02


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

For all you need to know about water go to th e Bru'n Water website. The Water Knowledge page will school you, and when you want to go more advanced there's a spreadsheet to help you adjust your Water chemistry.   But for now just learn what water does.

EDIT If you get your water from a municipal supply you can get an report from the water department that will be fairly representative.

Offline BrewBama

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1621
    • View Profile
Re: Aspiring brewer, new to forum
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2018, 01:12:56 AM »
Welcome aboard.  Good advice above.  I’d simply add: whatever you decide, use a tried and true recipe out of the gate.  It doesn’t have to be complicated to produce a nice brew.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Huntsville AL

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8930
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Aspiring brewer, new to forum
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2018, 02:31:05 AM »
The Bru’water knowledge page. The Bru’water knowledge page. The Bru’water knowledge page.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
AHA Governing Committee
BJCP National
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline ynotbrusum

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2852
    • View Profile
Re: Aspiring brewer, new to forum
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2018, 02:36:42 AM »
I am one who was worried about new blood - so Welcome!  Brew the beers you like.  If they require some special touch, then apply it as the members here set it out.  Usually RO or relatively soft water works best for the pale styles.  pH is something to watch, but the water gurus can dial you in readily.  As I sit here tonight, I am comparing my Helles to Wehenstephaner Original and I prefer mine.  Not bragging, just saying what you can achieve with a bit of trial and retrial.  Cheers and best of luck to you.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline lalla

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Aspiring brewer, new to forum
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2018, 04:01:36 AM »
Welcome aboard. I joined today also and it looks like I joined an hour or so earlier so I am no longer the Newbie!  ;)

I have been brewing for almost 4 years now so still a bit of a brewing newbie compared to many here so looking forward to learning more about this great hobby.

 I've done 3 vessel All Grain for most of that time and in the past year I've gone to single vessel BIAB to incorporate LODO techniques. I understand that LODO might be a bit taboo here but making my best beer ever since incorporating many of the recommended techniques.

Offline trubgerg

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
Re: Aspiring brewer, new to forum
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2018, 04:15:12 AM »
I'd suggest starting with all grain recipe kits from a homebrew shop... either online or local.  That's how I figured out what I could brew that tasted good with my tap water and my basic equipment.  Then when I got a recipe kit that turned out good, I'd use that as a basis to develop my own recipe.
~Homebrewer Since 2010~
~Aspiring Brewery Owner~

Homebrew Timer - an app for iOS devices

Offline BananaSlug

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 24
  • Santa Rosa, CA
    • View Profile
Re: Aspiring brewer, new to forum
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2018, 01:07:13 PM »
 Thanks for the welcome gents  8)

Offline Visor

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 280
    • View Profile
Re: Aspiring brewer, new to forum
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2018, 04:34:45 PM »
   I won't claim the knowledge or experience that many of the folks on this forum can, having only returned to the hobby/obsession a couple years ago, but I wouldn't let my water profile dictate my brewing choices. If your water is wholly unacceptable for one beer style or another, you can always use store bought RO water, which is only a small additional expense. If your water is unacceptable for one style though, it probably isn't really good for any other style.
   As far as sticking to only one style until you get it dialed in, for my first 10 batches I did 7 different types of beer, only 1 did I repeat. Of those 10 batches all were drinkable even though the 1st consisted mostly of 30 year old grain. The 1st 2 batches were not very good, but that was mostly a matter of developing a process that worked for me. That process has continued to adapt with experience and equipment upgrades. I do have train wrecks from time to time, I imagine that most people do.
   I brewed my 60th batch last week, probably 25 or 30 different types of beer, and not a single one even came close to matching any official style definition. And, though I do have several general recipes I repeat with some regularity, I've never tried to do an exact repeat of a previous beer. Even when I start out intending to do a copy, somewhere in the process I get a wild hare and throw in a change up.
   I personally couldn't care less about matching style guidelines, and think some folks would enjoy brewing a lot more if they were more concerned with satisfying their pallets and enjoying the brewday, than winning competitions.
   Brew what you want, in a way you enjoy. When you make mistakes, accept them as part of life, and try to learn whatever you can from them.
   
I spent most of my money on beer, tools and guns, the rest I foolishly squandered on stupid stuff!

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19637
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Aspiring brewer, new to forum
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2018, 05:23:25 PM »
The Bru’water knowledge page. The Bru’water knowledge page. The Bru’water knowledge page.

In case it wasn't clear, THIS^^^^^
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