Author Topic: New to the show  (Read 1129 times)

Offline Chasin_Taco_Trucks

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New to the show
« on: April 13, 2022, 05:42:03 pm »
What’s up everyone! I’m new to brewing and looking to learn how to get better. I’ve brewed two 1 gallon batches so far that turned out pretty good (to me anyway). Just got my kegerator and fermentation chamber set up so I’m going to move up to 3 gallons. I’ve only done extract brews so far. I’m still a little confused on recipe building and all that. Not sure if I’m ready to do anything like all grain brewing yet. Does anyone have any tips or tricks they have learned along the way that they wish they had known when they started out?

Offline Skeeter686

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Re: New to the show
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2022, 06:43:42 pm »
Welcome!  I'm pretty new to brewing, myself. :-)

I started out with extract but it didn't take me long to try out BIAB (brew in a bag), which is a pretty easy way to get started with all-grain.  I've had some great results with BIAB so far.  I'm starting to see some limits to it, but it depends on how advanced you want to get.

There's a ton of great posts here and I've been learning a lot, myself.

Sent from my SM-T870 using Tapatalk


Offline Drewch

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Re: New to the show
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2022, 09:22:29 pm »
I'm only 2 ½ years ahead of you but here's what I've learned so far.

1a. Don't assume that all-grain is automatically better than extract.  Water chemistry, hops, yeast, fermentation time & temp, adjuncts, fruit ... all contribute to the recipe.
1b. Also don't assume that jumping to all grain has to be hard or expensive. You can switch to all grain BIAB with your existing hardware + a grain bag.
1c. Don't assume that switching to all grain is a one-way street. The shorter brew day of extract fits my life better right now; so that's what I'm doing right now.
2. Don't assume that bigger is automatically better. I've settled on 8-10L as the batch size that works for me.
3. Don't assume that gadgets make better beer.
4. Don't forget it's a hobby: it's supposed to be fun. Find what works for you and makes beer (or cider or mead or wine) that you like.
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Offline BrewnWKopperKat

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Re: New to the show
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2022, 05:01:44 am »
I’m new to brewing and looking to learn how to get better.  [...] Does anyone have any tips or tricks they have learned along the way that they wish they had known when they started out?

A book (or two) will set up a solid foundation for what is discussed in forums.  How to Brew, 4e is a common recommendation (and I recommend it as well).  Also, the /r/homebrewing wiki has a list of books with one paragraph reviews. 





Offline pete b

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Re: New to the show
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2022, 05:19:38 am »
I’m new to brewing and looking to learn how to get better.  [...] Does anyone have any tips or tricks they have learned along the way that they wish they had known when they started out?

A book (or two) will set up a solid foundation for what is discussed in forums.  How to Brew, 4e is a common recommendation (and I recommend it as well).  Also, the /r/homebrewing wiki has a list of books with one paragraph reviews.
Agreed that reading complete books is important then you will have specific questions for the forum. You don’t need to worry about recipe building just yet, kits or established recipes are fine. Fermentation temperature is a good thing to concentrate on.
FYI I have some books available including HTB in the classified section near the bottom.
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Offline HighVoltageMan!

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Re: New to the show
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2022, 05:43:32 am »
Stick to dry yeast until you have firm footing in brewing. It will produce consistent results and is very forgiving. As you gain more confidence, you can try liquid yeast if you choose and dive into starters, pitch rate, aeration, etc. But for now, dry yeast is your ticket to getting good beer.

Offline Megary

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Re: New to the show
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2022, 07:04:33 am »
I'm only 2 ½ years ahead of you but here's what I've learned so far.

1a. Don't assume that all-grain is automatically better than extract.  Water chemistry, hops, yeast, fermentation time & temp, adjuncts, fruit ... all contribute to the recipe.
1b. Also don't assume that jumping to all grain has to be hard or expensive. You can switch to all grain BIAB with your existing hardware + a grain bag.
1c. Don't assume that switching to all grain is a one-way street. The shorter brew day of extract fits my life better right now; so that's what I'm doing right now.
2. Don't assume that bigger is automatically better. I've settled on 8-10L as the batch size that works for me.
3. Don't assume that gadgets make better beer.
4. Don't forget it's a hobby: it's supposed to be fun. Find what works for you and makes beer (or cider or mead or wine) that you like.

+1
The best advice (among a ton of great advice) that you will get on this forum.

Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: New to the show
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2022, 08:42:20 am »
You can make really good beer with extract,  just be sure it's fresh. And be diligent with cleaning and sanitation.
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Offline denny

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Re: New to the show
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2022, 08:45:03 am »
The best advice I can give you is go get a copy of the 4th ed. of John Palmer's "How to Brew". It will take you from yiur first batch all the way through advanced topics. There is no better source of info.
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Offline Chasin_Taco_Trucks

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Re: New to the show
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2022, 10:39:02 am »
Welcome!  I'm pretty new to brewing, myself. :-)

I started out with extract but it didn't take me long to try out BIAB (brew in a bag), which is a pretty easy way to get started with all-grain.  I've had some great results with BIAB so far.  I'm starting to see some limits to it, but it depends on how advanced you want to get.

There's a ton of great posts here and I've been learning a lot, myself.

Sent from my SM-T870 using Tapatalk


I was going to try BIAB next! I’ve got an 8gal kettle so it shouldn’t be a problem. I get my kits from Northern Brewer and I should be able to do two batches with a 5gal kit I think. Do you do any kind of sparging with BIAB or do you just top off the fermenter? Also are you buying your grains pre milled or doing it yourself? Is there any benifit or downside to either?

Offline Chasin_Taco_Trucks

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Re: New to the show
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2022, 10:43:32 am »
I'm only 2 ½ years ahead of you but here's what I've learned so far.

1a. Don't assume that all-grain is automatically better than extract.  Water chemistry, hops, yeast, fermentation time & temp, adjuncts, fruit ... all contribute to the recipe.
1b. Also don't assume that jumping to all grain has to be hard or expensive. You can switch to all grain BIAB with your existing hardware + a grain bag.
1c. Don't assume that switching to all grain is a one-way street. The shorter brew day of extract fits my life better right now; so that's what I'm doing right now.
2. Don't assume that bigger is automatically better. I've settled on 8-10L as the batch size that works for me.
3. Don't assume that gadgets make better beer.
4. Don't forget it's a hobby: it's supposed to be fun. Find what works for you and makes beer (or cider or mead or wine) that you like.

I haven’t gotten into water chemistry just yet. Our city water isn’t bad but not the best either. I’ve been using RO water.
I’ve actually got a batch of mead in the cabinet that’s in secondary fermentation that’s about to hit the 2 month mark. I was going to bottle it this weekend.

Offline Chasin_Taco_Trucks

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Re: New to the show
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2022, 10:47:17 am »
I’m new to brewing and looking to learn how to get better.  [...] Does anyone have any tips or tricks they have learned along the way that they wish they had known when they started out?

A book (or two) will set up a solid foundation for what is discussed in forums.  How to Brew, 4e is a common recommendation (and I recommend it as well).  Also, the /r/homebrewing wiki has a list of books with one paragraph reviews.

A book is a very good idea. I’ll definitely look into picking one up. I’ve been YouTubing a lot of stuff which has helped but they do not always explain some of the things in detail like I would like.

Offline Chasin_Taco_Trucks

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Re: New to the show
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2022, 10:50:43 am »
Stick to dry yeast until you have firm footing in brewing. It will produce consistent results and is very forgiving. As you gain more confidence, you can try liquid yeast if you choose and dive into starters, pitch rate, aeration, etc. But for now, dry yeast is your ticket to getting good beer.

My last batch was an Ale and the next one will be also so I picked up some US-05. I’ve heard liquid yeast can have some benefits over dry but if not used in a certain time frame it’s not as effective. Is that correct?

Offline Chasin_Taco_Trucks

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Re: New to the show
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2022, 10:53:53 am »
You can make really good beer with extract,  just be sure it's fresh. And be diligent with cleaning and sanitation.

I picked up some PBW soon after my first brew. I’ve seen a lot of people that use Oxiclean also. What are you using?

Offline BrewBama

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Re: New to the show
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2022, 11:00:32 am »
1. Don’t believe "If the water tastes good, you can brew with it." At a minimum, remove chlorine or chloramine depending on your source water.  It’s hard to make a good beer with chlorinated water.

2. Use the freshest ingredients you can get. Hops at home brew stores rarely list harvest year. Yeast has an expiration date. Use a homebrew shop that rotates it’s malt extract stock. When the time comes, grain can be bought by lot number and stored in an airtight container.

3. Control fermentation temps as best you can. Hot fermentation affects the flavor of beer. Rarely in a good way.

4. Keep beer cold and drink it fresh. Hot beer stales fast. Stale beer sux.

5.  It’s just home brewed beer. Not brain surgery. Make what you like how you like it. You can get as technical or superficial as you need to to enjoy yourself.