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Home beer brewing

Any of you fellas brew your own beer? I am considering getting a brew kit in the near future. I am wondering if there are any good forums or websites or book out there that I should check out?? Any advice? Thanks in advance for any help!

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  • bandyt09bandyt09 AKA Mr. Barley & Mr. HopsPosts: 4,339 ✭✭✭✭✭
    ejenne87:
    Any of you fellas brew your own beer? I am considering getting a brew kit in the near future. I am wondering if there are any good forums or websites or book out there that I should check out?? Any advice? Thanks in advance for any help!
    Evan, PM to you.
  • Ken_LightKen_Light Posts: 3,539 ✭✭✭
    ejenne87:
    Any of you fellas brew your own beer? I am considering getting a brew kit in the near future. I am wondering if there are any good forums or websites or book out there that I should check out?? Any advice? Thanks in advance for any help!
    I do. I recommend staying away from commercial "kits" like Mr. Beer. They can work for you, but for very little more money you can get a MUCH better setup at your local homebrew store. Plus, you know, support a local business and all. If you don't have a local homebrew, I'll give you the name of mine, I'm pretty sure they ship and their recipes are AMAZING. As for books, The Joy of Homebrewing is a classic.
    ^Troll: DO NOT FEED.
  • robbyrasrobbyras Posts: 5,487
    I've been thinking about doing this for a while now too...

    Hey bandy, can you shoot me that info as well?

    and I may hit you up for your contact as well Ken! welcome to the forums btw!
  • GoldyGoldy Posts: 1,638 ✭✭
    I have tried the beer kits and have never had good results. I will be upgrading to a carboy system in the near future since it really isn't all that hard to do right.
  • Ken_LightKen_Light Posts: 3,539 ✭✭✭
    Goldy:
    I have tried the beer kits and have never had good results. I will be upgrading to a carboy system in the near future since it really isn't all that hard to do right.
    I'm not sure if a carboy system is really an 'upgrade' from plastic buckets. If you clean and sterilize them properly (and don't scratch them!!), they can last a good, long time, are cheaper by far than glass carboys, and they have much lower risk of exploding. That being said, I'm setting up a couple one-gallon carboys for test batches. If you have a Whole Foods near you, they sell apple cider in one-gallon glass jugs that you can pitch yeast into and pop a bung & airlock on and make hard cider. Then you can clean/sterlize it and have nice one gallon carboys for future use. Or you could just drink the cider unfermented...but why waste potential alcohol? :)
    ^Troll: DO NOT FEED.
  • ShotgunJohnShotgunJohn Lakewood WAPosts: 1,545 ✭✭
    I have been brewing about 10 years and I use the 5 gallon bucket with a spigot for my primary fermenter and usually my 5 Gallon Carboy as my secondary.
    I then bottle from the carboy. I have never had a carboy explode.

    ejenne87 PM to you
  • nikostewartnikostewart Posts: 451
    Man, you guys have me thinking about trying this myself! Cigars and home brewed beer. MMMMM!
  • Ken_LightKen_Light Posts: 3,539 ✭✭✭
    ShotgunJohn:
    I have been brewing about 10 years and I use the 5 gallon bucket with a spigot for my primary fermenter and usually my 5 Gallon Carboy as my secondary.
    I then bottle from the carboy. I have never had a carboy explode.

    ejenne87 PM to you
    Oh, nice compromise, much less volatility in secondary fermentation, never though of doing it that way!
    ^Troll: DO NOT FEED.
  • ShotgunJohnShotgunJohn Lakewood WAPosts: 1,545 ✭✭
    Ken Light:
    ShotgunJohn:
    I have been brewing about 10 years and I use the 5 gallon bucket with a spigot for my primary fermenter and usually my 5 Gallon Carboy as my secondary.
    I then bottle from the carboy. I have never had a carboy explode.

    ejenne87 PM to you
    Oh, nice compromise, much less volatility in secondary fermentation, never though of doing it that way!

    The glass carboy as a secondary seems to make for a clearer better beer.
    The irish moss does its clarifying in the primary and the yeast "Mother" is left behind in the primary. I have just bucketed only and the result is a bit more clouded.
    I guess it is personal taste and how you we introduced into the hobby. My father has been brewing for 30+ years, both beer and wine.
    My dad also makes bread and more recently in the past 2 years started making cheese, now if only he would smoke with me.
  • Ken_LightKen_Light Posts: 3,539 ✭✭✭
    ShotgunJohn:
    Ken Light:
    ShotgunJohn:
    I have been brewing about 10 years and I use the 5 gallon bucket with a spigot for my primary fermenter and usually my 5 Gallon Carboy as my secondary.
    I then bottle from the carboy. I have never had a carboy explode.

    ejenne87 PM to you
    Oh, nice compromise, much less volatility in secondary fermentation, never though of doing it that way!

    The glass carboy as a secondary seems to make for a clearer better beer.
    The irish moss does its clarifying in the primary and the yeast "Mother" is left behind in the primary. I have just bucketed only and the result is a bit more clouded.
    I guess it is personal taste and how you we introduced into the hobby. My father has been brewing for 30+ years, both beer and wine.
    My dad also makes bread and more recently in the past 2 years started making cheese, now if only he would smoke with me.
    I do secondary fermentation, I just use another bucket, and you're definitely correct that it clarifies the beer GREATLY. But the carboy is probably better for this when you bottle because then you can actually see where the remaining sediment is and not pick it up with the bottling thing (cane? wand? whatever it's called). Our last bottle is usually marked somehow as a warning, and we rotate who gets it. :) I don't brew alone, so I'll definitely have to bring this up with the two guys I do this with.
    ^Troll: DO NOT FEED.
  • SmokySuitSmokySuit Posts: 429
    Yes, I have to agree with Ken, get a 5 gallon set up from your local homebrew shop. Most of the guys in homebrew shops are real helpful and will give you great advice. That said I should mention I did start out on a Mr. Beer set up. Mr. Beer can be a great little brew set up as long as you DON’T follow the instructions and you’re good at math. They say you can ferment for 1 week, carb for 1 week, then drink…not if you want anything worth drinking. If you follow a basic 2 -2-2 schedule (2 weeks ferment, 2 weeks card, 2 weeks condition)with the Mr. Beer ingredients you can make some pretty good beers. But you’re limited to recipes that revolved around MR. Beer stuff because it’s not a standard 5 gallon set up (if I remember correctly it ends up to be 2.17 gallons). You can do the math and scale down recipes from other places and use the Mr. Beer set up…but why take the time to do the math and changes all your measurements just so you can get less beer????? Go for a 5 gallon set up from your local shop and have a great time. If you don’t have one check out Annapolishomebrew.com they have some good stuff.
  • zoom6zoomzoom6zoom Posts: 1,214
    I always found the forums on realbeer.com to be very useful and welcoming to newbies. Northern Brewer is one of my favorite online sources. "Better Bottles" are plastic carboys and won't break.
  • bigharpoonbigharpoon Posts: 2,963 ✭✭✭
    Brewing beer is a fantastic hobby, I've done a ton of it. This is what I would recommend:

    Start off with either a malt extract kit or make your own kit at a home-brew supply store. This doesn't produce excellent beer but it's very easy and it allows you to get a batch or two under your belt while you're learning all the vocabulary and general processes. All the equipment you buy at this stage can be used forever.

    If you decide you like homebrewing educate yourself and begin all-grain brewing. This is more vocabulary and process intensive, but not too bad, and it produces EXCELLENT BEER FOR CHEAP!!! You can make some of your own equipment, like the lauter-tun, and use all of your existing equipment so the equipment upgrade is minimal. This is where it's at.

    Don't worry about explosions. If you fully ferment your beer in the carboy your bottles won't explode. Put a bubbler on your carboy and in won't break either.

    Don't quit if you don't like the beer you make with malt extract, just begin all-grain brewing.

    Relax, have a home-brew!
  • SmokySuitSmokySuit Posts: 429
    Yea man! One of the most exciting times in home-brewing is the move from malt extract brewing to grain brews! Once you get to that point the sky is the limit...you can experiment with all sorts of recipes and flavors.
  • ejenne87ejenne87 Posts: 1,925
    SmokySuit:
    Yea man! One of the most exciting times in home-brewing is the move from malt extract brewing to grain brews! Once you get to that point the sky is the limit...you can experiment with all sorts of recipes and flavors.
    I actually plan to start with only one batch of liquid ingredients and move straight in to grain after that. I have some high hopes for this hobby! I can't wait to get the set-up and see what I can create!
  • letsgowithbobletsgowithbob Posts: 677
    I have been brewing for a few years now, and I hughly recommend Austin Home brewing. The guys on that site run their business like cigar.com from everyting I have ever experienced. They are a great group of guys. I would get a 6 gallon carboy and a 5 gallon carboy to start with. You can get a stainless steel turkey fryer (has to be stainless not aluminum) at a local store usually if you look around. The malt extract kits are very tasty from austin home brew. I do the 90 minute IPA and the brown ale. They are great. If you have any questions PM me, and the most important this is to sanitize everything.
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 5,188 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I haven't done this in years, but used to brew some good ones. My sister got me the "Mr. Beer" kit, usually haven't cared for this approach, but may try it using the suggestions above, really need to get back into it. Hmm.
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    "There is nothing so in need of reforming as someone else's bad habits."   Mark Twain
  • SmokySuitSmokySuit Posts: 429
    Amos Umwhat:
    I haven't done this in years, but used to brew some good ones. My sister got me the "Mr. Beer" kit, usually haven't cared for this approach, but may try it using the suggestions above, really need to get back into it. Hmm.
    I haven't used my mr beer set up in a wail but I started on it and have a book with some great recipes in it. A good Yuengling clone, a great Sam Adams cherry wheat clone, a nice pale ale... You start with mr beer cans and add some other hops and steeping grains. If you want any of the recipes and any mr beer tips PM me. It can be a great little set up.
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