home brewed beer

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by dirt hokie, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. dirt hokie

    dirt hokie Been here awhile

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    any do home brew beer, how hard is to get a drinkable beer the first try,

    i want to try to get somthing close to dos equis or yuengling, at least that basic style.

    i like to start my internet exploring here, no other forum has some many people with vastly differnt backgrounds on so many differnt subjects, so if we can have 12000000page thread about wtf and awsome stuff i figure the beer knowledge around here must be breathtaking.
    #1
  2. Cpt. Ron

    Cpt. Ron Advrider #128

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    Go to your local homebrew store and ask about brew sessions/lessons there, or if there is a local homebrew club. You can learn a lot by talking and brewing with experienced homebrewers. And you can likely get some hand-me-down equipment, too. For beginners, extract brewing is a pretty easy way to get into it and getting good results. My local homebrew store makes pre-made kits that mimic well-known brews that come out quite tasty. I don't recommend starting out with a lager. The easiest and quickest one I've done is an English brown ale in the book below.

    Buy Charlie Papazian's book, "The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing". Read it cover to cover.

    Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew.
    #2
  3. Kaanan

    Kaanan Knee deep in snow.

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    Start easy with a Coopers canned brewing kit.

    I drank the first beer I brewed, 5 gallons, in a few weeks it was so delicious.
    #3
  4. ShadyRascal

    ShadyRascal Master of None

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    Both these guys are right. I started with Papazian's book and the Cooper's goo. First batch was good. Very soon I was doing 10 gallon all grain brews and drank great beer for very cheap for several years. Made about 70 batches and got right popular with my friends. Fun hobby. Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew.
    #4
  5. hyperboarder

    hyperboarder Potato Farmer

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    My 2 cents:
    Don't buy Papasian's book, I like the guy but I think "How To Brew" by John Palmer is better and less foofy.
    Find your local homebrew shop and buy a recipe (set of ingredients from them) or buy online. Adventures in Homebrewing (www.homebrewing.org) has free shipping now if you spend $100 or more, which should be about what you need to spend for an equipment kit and a recipe or two.
    Find locals that brew and learn from them, they can teach you the ropes.
    Get anal about sanitizing the stuff that needs it, this is the number one cause of crappy homebrew.

    Have fun with it, I've been brewing for years now and I'm up to an all grain system and a 4 tap kegerator, it's not a cheap hobby but it's very rewarding. It's also nice to be able to make decent clones of beers you can't get in your area (e.g. I'm setting up to brew a Founders KBS clone for the holidays right now). There's also a longer thread about this in here somewhere, I think it's called "New Brewery".
    #5
  6. Emperor Norton

    Emperor Norton Kilroy was here

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    My first several batches were quite nice, about equal to some of the local microbrews. BUT those were ales. It sounds like you want to do lagers which is a whole other ball game (far more persnickity about temps and resting). A pilsner was my biggest failure (couldn't keep it at lagering temps). Tho my batch of RIS with mold floating on top isn't encouraging.
    #6
  7. UngaWunga

    UngaWunga Mosquito bait

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    This.
    Make sure stuff is clean.
    #7
  8. Shuffler

    Shuffler Hommes Grande

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    I bought a 5gal kit from Northern Brewer and am on my 4th batch now, an IPA.

    I'm using their recipe kits to get the general hang of things before I decide to create my own. It's great fun and easy to see how a lot of folks geek out with it.

    Now I want to get a Kegerator system to skip the bottling and get it on tap.
    #8
  9. Carl Spackler

    Carl Spackler Been here awhile

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    Anyone interested in an all-grain system, contact me. I'm gonna put mine up for sale. I've a shitload of gear and I'm moving. PM me and I'll send pics.

    Hell, I'll post pics on this thread after I get home.

    Love me some home brew.
    #9
  10. hyperboarder

    hyperboarder Potato Farmer

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    Northern Brewer is my go to shop for recipes, they have great kits and the ones I've had from them were all really solid. Great nut brown, black IPA, saison (despite annoying yeast issues), etc. Usually not bad prices either.

    If you have the scratch (OP or others), go to kegging. It's a steep start up cost (to give you an idea of the cost of my 4 tap, my fridge was $50, taps were $140, kegs were $200, gas setup was ~$200, remaining misc hardware was ~$100) but it's just so bloody easy and much more user friendly long term.
    #10
  11. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    Anal sanitizing, there's an irony in there somewhere.
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  12. flackattack

    flackattack Been here awhile

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    Good yeast and good water make better beer. Get the liquid yeast. Follow the directions. Fun hobby but unless you get really into it cost wise I bet I never saved much

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
    #12
  13. Kaanan

    Kaanan Knee deep in snow.

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    I agree. Never use unfiltered tap water and buy the liquid yeast.

    I'd say I have about $700-1,000 in brewing/kegerator equipment and its a hobby thats easy to keep spending $$$ to upgrade. If you resist that temptation, over time you will actually save money!

    It's not so much about saving money for me, I like it because it's relaxing and rewarding to drink something you made yourself.
    #13
  14. bikerfish

    bikerfish flyfishandride

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    like said above, SANITIZE EVERYTHING that will come in contact with the beer, EVERYTHING!!!!I Pretend your doing surgery! we're dealing with active yeast cultures here, it doesn't take much for things to go wrong.
    good advice for using known good water, I always buy gallons of spring water.
    good water and good sanitizing, follow the directions and you will have some great beer.
    #14
  15. Shuffler

    Shuffler Hommes Grande

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    Agree on everything ... these Kegerators look nice but they are pricey. My only concern is the quality of the motor/cooling system in the long run.

    http://www.beveragefactory.com/refrigerators/beer/sbc500bv-2.shtml
    #15
  16. Snarky

    Snarky Vodka Infused.

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    While I'll agree that cleanliness is the key to good beer, lets use some common sense here. Humans have been brewing beer for thousands of years. We've only understood hygiene and microbes for probably less than 150.

    Be clean and do things properly but don't go crazy. Do what needs to be done and realize that not being 100% perfect is what makes beer 'good'. A bit of variation between batches is what keeps craft brews from being clinical like the macrobrews. Besides it's like like you can sterilize every ingredient that goes into a batch.

    #16
  17. Carl Spackler

    Carl Spackler Been here awhile

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    ^^^ People drank very shitty beer for thousands of years. VERY important to use the best hygiene available. Particularly when the wort comes from boil to room temp. When it passes 110 degrees to fermentation temperature, all available bacteria are competing with your precious yeast for all that sugar.

    Plan accordingly.
    #17
  18. hyperboarder

    hyperboarder Potato Farmer

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    There are good and bad liquid and dry yeasts, I'd say just experiment. For instance I keep 4-6 packs of Safale US-05 dry yeast around as it's a good go-to yeast for ales and works well to clean up where other ones (Like stupid Danstar Windsor) fail. Some liquid ones are crazy temperamental too, Wyeast Belgian Saison comes to mind. I had to coax that damn beer along for 7 weeks to get it to ferment to completion.

    Water is an aspect I've yet to delve into but like everything else, it's easy to get carried away with. You can add minerals and whatnot to get things absolutely perfect if you want to, but as long as you have decent city water, it works.

    I'd skip the pre-made units and make one yourself, cheaper and more fun. You can do a keezer too, I helped a friend build one, not bad at all. I just started writing for a beer blog and I'm currently working on a big post about DIY kegerators, I'll throw a link up here when I finish.

    On the cost savings note, you have to be quite dedicated to really make that happen, I have no illusions that I'm saving money. The new system I'm building is deep into the 4 figure territory. It's all electric, some estimates by one of the electric brewing pioneers have the cost of beer made on his system at about 10-15 cents a pint, but the break even point is still decades out.
    #18
  19. Nessman

    Nessman Cluttered Minimalist

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    I borrowed Papasians book from a friend, every time I tried to read it I got distracted by the sweater :evil

    It's a nice sweater.
    #19
  20. Mattbastard

    Mattbastard Lazy ass

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    As a small piece of advice, don't set your sights on cloning the mass produced light lagers. You'll only set yourself up for failure if you're expecting your first beer to be the same.

    Light lagers are one of the most difficult beers to make. They are so light in flavor and procedurally intense that any mistake will be noticeable in the finished product. Lagering, for instance, is something most noob's don't have, nor have experience in. Cold fermenting is another. Yeast starter? You get the idea...

    Start with a stout (NOT Guinness). They are an Ale (ferment at room temps), and the roasty flavors mask imperfections in procedure. Stouts are a great noob brew.
    #20