Author Topic: Getting ready to start brewing, have a few questions.  (Read 1870 times)

Offline bwn

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Getting ready to start brewing, have a few questions.
« on: December 14, 2010, 07:18:29 AM »
I am going to start home brewing, I just became a member of this forum but have been reading/ browsing it for about a month or so.  I have a few questions before I get started.  I apologize if this is posted in the wrong place on the forum.

I will be extract brewing.  Are there any good recommendations for a good first beer?  I have gathered that ales are good to start with and am a big fan of IPA's, and would like to try one but also don't want to screw it up either.

When I buy an ingredient kit what else do I need?  I think I also need to buy yeast and priming sugar.  Or should I buy the ingredients separately instead of a kit? 

Is there an advantage to dry malt extract or liquid?

What are the advantages of secondary fermentation?  The kit I plan on getting will have the extra 5 gallon carboy, I think I could have 2 batches going after I move the first batch to the 5 gallon carboy.  Would this work?

any help would greatly be appreciated, thanks

Brian

Offline theDarkSide

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Re: Getting ready to start brewing, have a few questions.
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2010, 07:30:51 AM »
If you like IPA's, I say go with an IPA.  A lot of people start out with Pale Ales, but I think they are harder to do for your first, since there's not a lot to cover up any off flavors you may get.  Start with a kit, get your process down and learn the ingredients.  Later you can start to develop your own recipes or get your ingredients seperately.

Dry or Liquid doesn't really matter as long as they are fresh.

I personally do not do secondaries.  I feel the potential danger of exposing it to oxygen or bacteria doesn't warrant it.   Some things you should do secondary on, like adding fruit or longer fermentations.  I dry hop right in the primary with no adverse affects.  I went the same route as this kit and have 2 5 gallon better bottles that I never use.  I now wish I had just got another 6 gallon better bottle.

Good luck and welcome to the obsession.
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Offline dzlater

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Re: Getting ready to start brewing, have a few questions.
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2010, 09:20:45 AM »
A good kit should include yeast and priming sugar.

Offline bwn

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Re: Getting ready to start brewing, have a few questions.
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2010, 09:58:50 AM »
Thanks for the replies.  I talked to my local homebrew shop, they can hook me up with what I need.  Their expertise is in winemaking but they still seem to know more about beer than me. ;D
Brian

Offline euge

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Re: Getting ready to start brewing, have a few questions.
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2010, 12:34:42 PM »
Dry extract is supposed to be more "fermentable" than liquid, and stays fresher longer.

Unless you're doing an actual secondary fermentation, like adding fruit then primary fermentation for 3-8 days is more than adequate. Once expected final gravity has been reached you can bottle.

I say brew an Amber ale with a good hop schedule. Straight amber extract no steeping grain. This way you get your feet wet and a baseline for all your future brews. And it isn't complicated.

Welcome to the obsession.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Getting ready to start brewing, have a few questions.
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2010, 06:55:38 PM »
Welcome to the AHA Forum.

Here's a great website.

http://www.howtobrew.com/intro.html

You can also purchase the book "How to Brew" by John Palmer which I highly recommend before you start brewing.

I would start out with an AAA extract kit...like this.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/american-amber-ale-extract-kit-2.html
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Offline bwn

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Re: Getting ready to start brewing, have a few questions.
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2010, 10:42:12 AM »
Thanks again.  I have been reading how to brew online while I'm at work ;D.  I have also ordered The Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian(something to read at home).  It will keep me occupied until Santa can bring me my kit :)

Offline kgs

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Re: Getting ready to start brewing, have a few questions.
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2010, 01:16:37 PM »
Thanks again.  I have been reading how to brew online while I'm at work ;D.  I have also ordered The Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian(something to read at home).  It will keep me occupied until Santa can bring me my kit :)

I recommend the Basic Brewing DVDs. If you don't have other homebrewers to guide you, a DVD is very useful for seeing the process in work, and the Basic Brewing videos are well-made. They recently updated their beginners' DVD:

http://basicbrewingshop.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=26

I find their DVDs (and their podcasts) very helpful.

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Offline Podo

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Re: Getting ready to start brewing, have a few questions.
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2010, 07:44:02 PM »
I would brew what you like.  I recommend a kit with thorough instructions, or study the section on extract brewing on the how to brew website that was posted earlier.  Main thing for your first  batch is to use good sanitary practices and be careful, but don't worry if the brew doesn't go exactly as planned. 
So good once it hits your lips!

Offline bwn

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Re: Getting ready to start brewing, have a few questions.
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2010, 12:08:36 PM »
If the kit I buy comes with yeast, the one mention above recommends using Wyeast 1056 American Ale, will one package be sufficient?  If I understand correctly I need to activate the yeast a few days before I brew right? I have also read about steeping and have gathered that steeping small and boiling big is the way to go.  Does that mean steep the specialty grains in a small amount of water for the required time, then add more water to meet the required amount, bring to a boil and add the extract?  I know these questions are probably annoying and you have heard them before, but I am trying to find out as much as I can before I post.

Offline hokerer

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Re: Getting ready to start brewing, have a few questions.
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2010, 12:30:46 PM »
If the kit I buy comes with yeast, the one mention above recommends using Wyeast 1056 American Ale, will one package be sufficient?

Basically, no.  In some special (very low gravity) cases, one package by itself might be Ok but, in general, you should always make a starter.  Check out this earlier post for a little more info...

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=1895.msg23519#msg23519
Joe

Offline Wheat_Brewer

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Re: Getting ready to start brewing, have a few questions.
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2010, 12:49:31 PM »
Thanks again.  I have been reading how to brew online while I'm at work ;D.  I have also ordered The Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian(something to read at home).  It will keep me occupied until Santa can bring me my kit :)

I recommend the Basic Brewing DVDs. If you don't have other homebrewers to guide you, a DVD is very useful for seeing the process in work, and the Basic Brewing videos are well-made. They recently updated their beginners' DVD:

http://basicbrewingshop.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=26

I find their DVDs (and their podcasts) very helpful.



+1 to this.  While you may only watch the DVD's a few times I found them invaluable since I'm a very visual learner.  You may find them online, or something close, but the comfort feeling for me when I brewed my first batch of being able to run to the computer and re-watch the next step was amazing! 

As for any other helpful hints, never forget that this is supposed to be fun!  I bet you'll love it and welcome to the community!
Homebrewing isn't my obsession, it's my life calling, there's a difference.

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Offline oscarvan

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Re: Getting ready to start brewing, have a few questions.
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2010, 01:15:01 PM »
I have been reading how to brew online while I'm at work ;D.

Wouldn't that be cool..... ;)
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Getting ready to start brewing, have a few questions.
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2010, 06:30:46 PM »
If the kit I buy comes with yeast, the one mention above recommends using Wyeast 1056 American Ale, will one package be sufficient?  If I understand correctly I need to activate the yeast a few days before I brew right
You don't need to make a starter when using dry yeast.  It does help to rehydrate it, but you can do this just before you want to pitch.
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Offline capozzoli

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Re: Getting ready to start brewing, have a few questions.
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2010, 06:48:16 PM »
My first batch was a sort of Belgian Wheat type beer with raspberries. I made it with Muntons German style "lightly Pre-hopped" wheat extract. Then I added about ten lbs of raspberries to the primary.

It was real easy and it was very good. I still make it every now and again. Mostly for the wife, she likes it cause it is "Champagne-y".

Other than that I just make extract ESA. Boring me.

I dont know what all this AG hype is about.  ;D


Maybe I will go crazy and try this next.



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