Ready To Order

Buying, building and using brewing equipment and apparatus. Product reviews and questions.

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Ready To Order

Postby skiluvr03 » Fri May 21, 2004 10:39 pm

Hey everyone! I bought a brewing kit, with 2 5 gallon bottles and all the hoses and stuff. My question now, is what do I need to order to get started. I know I should start out with a beer kit (I want to make beer first, then, wine) but what else? I don't know exacty what additives I need, there are so many. Also, which sanitizer do you like best? The Iodophor? And Bottles, can you just clean and sanitize the leftover longnecks from the store and just buy caps for them? I know, I know, I should just read more and/or buy a !@#$ book, lol, but I have all this stuff and I wanna start now! I have the step-by-step instructions, but they say add this, and I go to order and there are 20 diff kinds of the same stuff. Also, while I have your ear, give me any tips so I don't make any newbie mistakes. Thanks, and I hope you are enjoying the fruits of your labor, with whatever you made.
skiluvr03
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 10:17 pm

More info please

Postby Dr Strangebrew » Sat May 22, 2004 5:08 pm

What equipment do you have? Do you have a stockpot that can serve as a brew kettle? If so how big is it? What kind of primary fermenter do you have? I'll do my best to help you out.

Nate
Dr Strangebrew
Pale Ale
Pale Ale
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 7:01 pm
Location: Lincoln, NE, US

Thanks

Postby skiluvr03 » Sat May 22, 2004 5:23 pm

Thanks Nate! Well, I was gonna run out and buy one of those propane Turkey cookers, I thought that would be a good idea and get hot enough. In addition, I have a huge plastic bowl and of course, the 2 5 gallon water bottles that has the hose's and stuff that run between the two. What do you think? I found a local brewers club here, so I sent a EM and joined it. We don't have a place to buy the ingredients, as far as I know now. Thanks again! I'm sure getting parched, rofl.
skiluvr03
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 10:17 pm

I had something typed

Postby Dr Strangebrew » Sat May 22, 2004 7:18 pm

I had spent the last hour typing and what I thought to be good advice, but I must have been timed out or something and it did NOT post. I'll try to collect my thoughts agian to tomorrow.

Nate
Dr Strangebrew
Pale Ale
Pale Ale
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 7:01 pm
Location: Lincoln, NE, US

Sorry

Postby skiluvr03 » Sat May 22, 2004 9:28 pm

I hate when that happens! I'm sorry it happened to you. I appreciate everything you are doing for me.
skiluvr03
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 10:17 pm

try this webpage

Postby newbrewdude » Wed May 26, 2004 7:07 pm

http://www.howtobrew.com/

This should get you started. Also check out HBD.org when it comes back online....lots of very knowledgeable people. I'm new at this as well(2 batches in.....started with wine and moved to beer). Let me know if you have specific questions after reading through.....I'll try to help.

After you tried a few batches we can trade experience.....this is what it is about, learning faster, right?
newbrewdude
 
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Thanks

Postby skiluvr03 » Wed May 26, 2004 11:01 pm

Thanks for that link! I have been searching and reading all kinds of material but this is the best yet! I will be glad to share what I learn, once I learn something from experience, lol. How did your first batch turn out? Was it worth waiting for?
skiluvr03
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 10:17 pm

I'll Try this again

Postby Dr Strangebrew » Wed May 26, 2004 11:06 pm

I recommnend getting a fryer that has a stainless steel pot. I haven't used an aluminum pot so I don't know for sure, but aluminum pots have been linked to metallic off-flavors. I wouldn't take the chance.

What material are the bottles made from?

Don't worry too much about additives. You really don't need any. If you want though, you could get some Irish moss and some yeast nutrient. How is the water from the tap? If you can drink it then you probably can brew with it. I recommend leaving the water that you are planning to brew with out overnight so that the chlorine can evaporate out from it.

If you want to reuse bottles from the store, don't get screw on. They cannot handle the pressure. Also, get brown bottles. Make sure that you have a good bottle capper.

Have you bought an ingredient kit yet? Try to get one that is all malt-extract and specialty grains- very little or no sugar. Would you like me to outline a generic batch procedure?

I strongly recommend reading about homebrewing. A couple of my favorite titles are 'Brewmaster's Bible by Stephen Snyder and 'New Complete Joy of Homebrewing' by Charlie Papazian.

Nate
Dr Strangebrew
Pale Ale
Pale Ale
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 7:01 pm
Location: Lincoln, NE, US

Thanks Nate!

Postby skiluvr03 » Thu May 27, 2004 11:39 am

Thanks Man! That is exactly the kind of information I was looking for. Thanks for what kind of kit to get, as I didn't have a clue, since there are so many. I'm glad I got busy with T-ball and haven't ordered it yet, lol. If you have time and don't mind, I wouldn't mind that outline. Thanks, I will pay you back one of these days, lol.
skiluvr03
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 10:17 pm

Going on...

Postby Dr Strangebrew » Thu May 27, 2004 7:34 pm

My first batch was an Altbier kit by Brewer's Best. I must admit that it is the only kit I have used or recipe that I have scrictly adhered to. Having said that, I recommend starting with a Brewer's Best kit because as far as I know they contain no corn sugar- although I suspect that if they have a cream ale or an american lager kit they will probably have a portion of corn sugar in those recipes. Corn sugar will serve to raise the alcohol percentage, but will do very little if anything for flavor. Corn sugar will also increase the alcohol percentage, but will lower the body of the beer. Unless you enjoy beer high in alcohol, but low in flavor stay away from kits or recipes that have a significant portion of the fermentables from corn sugar. Let me define my terms, by significant I mean anything over a pound.

There are times when using corn sugar is okay, but use it sparingly. For example, I am currently formulating a recipe for an English bitter. The yeast that I am using will leave a beer that will be full bodied. I don't want a full bodied beer so I will add some corn sugar. I haven't yet decided on how much. It will be the first time that I will use corn sugar in a recipe. I do know that I will not add more than a pound out of general principle!

I must mention that I have often used corn sugar as a priming agent for bottling. If I remember right I believe that 'Brewer's Best has some corn sugar in the kit for this purpose. I am not affiliated with 'Brewer's Best' in anyway. They are however the only kit that comes to mind that is NOT prehopped and HAS specialty grains.

This brings me to specialty grains. www.byo.com has a hop and grain chart. I recommend taking a look at it some time. It is a good resource for when you are ready to make your own recipes. Also you could use the site to see what flavors the grains in your kit will contribute to your beer.

Specialty grains add interesting malt flavors to your beers. Some of them must be mashed, others not. At this point you do NOT want to use any grains that MUST be mashed. I am confident that any specialty grains found in a 'Brewer's Best' kit will not have to be mashed.

Hops also add dimensions of flavors to your beer. Hop contributions depend on when they are added to the boiling kettle. Hops add bitterness to beer as they boil. Hops add their own particular flavor to the beer when they are boiled a 'little while.' Hops add aroma to the beer when they are added at the very end of the boil. The typical hop schedule is 60 minutes for the bittering hops, 15 minutes for the flavor hops and 0 to 5 minutes for the aroma hops. Some recipes call for adding hops at different times than these for example I created a Bohemian pilsner that has a really complex hop profile by adding hops at 60 minutes then every ten minutes that followed. Hops can also add aroma to the beer my being placed in the secondary fermenter this is called dry hopping.

Most kits have brewing instructions included. If yours doesn't let me know by emailing me at brewsage@neb.rr.com. I will do what I can to help. I hope that this gave you an idea of what you are getting into. There is much more that I could write, but now I will take a break.

To be fair. There are other kits out there besides 'Brewer's Best.' I have never used them. Some that I see require large amounts of corn sugar, I point that I have already labored. Others use prehopped malt extract. I stay away from prehopped extract because I am not sure how it keeps and I also want to know/control the bitterness levels of my beer. Adding hops isn't that hard. I do of course assume that you have access to a supply of relatively fresh hops. I also recommend that sooner or later you stick with using light extract only and get your color entirely from specialty grains. This will give you greater knowledge/control of your beer.

I have rambled much about ingredient selection. I believe that with quality ingredients there is really little else that you must worry about. This I will go into later.

Nate
Dr Strangebrew
Pale Ale
Pale Ale
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 7:01 pm
Location: Lincoln, NE, US

Results of my 1st tries

Postby newbrewdude » Thu May 27, 2004 8:20 pm

I brewed 2 batches pretty mcuh at the same time. IPA and a Belgian Ale. Both taste great, but I ended up using dried malt for bottle carbonation and they are flat.....just a bit undercarbonated. I must have messed up the measurement. Next time I'll go with corn sugar for priming.

I'm trying to find time to get the next one going. I'd like to do an Irish Red Ale...can't find/decide on a recipe.

Let me know ho wit turns out with you or if you have any questions and I'll try to help. I've done a lot of reading, but not so much brewing. So I'll be able to help with some things and not others.
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Thanks again!

Postby skiluvr03 » Fri May 28, 2004 10:41 am

Thanks again, the kit is on the way (Brewers Best Altbier). I can't wait to get started. A friend of mine makes wine, and it is awesome! Plum wine is my favorite. I love watching the fermenting. To me, it's more enjoyable then watching the fish aquarium, rofl. He has wine stashed all over the !@#$ house, I bet he has wine stashed next to the toilet paper in the bathroom, lol. He has quite an imagination too, he makes wines out of stuff that I won't even eat, lol. I like wine and will make the next, but I really love good beer, and where I live, we just get that "near beer", which is not greater than 3.2 percent, and has no taste. I can't wait to go to the local brewers club meeting, I bet they have all kinds of refreshments, lol. It will be like going to a microbrewery. I will keep you updated on my progress. The wort has to get real hot doesn't it? Hotter then a stove can get, that's why I thought of the propane cooker. What did you and others use?
skiluvr03
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 10:17 pm


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