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Old 10-10-2007, 12:16 PM   #1
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Default AHS Recipe Kits for a Beginner

Hello all!

In preparation for my first brew, I am trying to pick an appropriate recipe for (obviously) a total beginner.

I am currently reading How to Brew and was thinking about just attempting the Cincinatti Pale Ale recipe. I am wondering, however, about the AHS Kits, as those seem like they might be just as easy and offer a little more variety.

My specific question: how are the directions in the AHS kits, and more importantly, can they be followed without alteration? Palmer warns of kits that suggest adding sugar, etc. I assume he is talking about el-cheapo kits and not something from a reputable source like AHS appears to be (based on feedback from this board and other places), but I just wanted to confirm.

What about other recipes, kits for a beginner?

Thanks in advance,
Matt

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Old 10-10-2007, 12:31 PM   #2
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AHS kits a easy and turn out great. I would even do a mini mash from AHS as they are not any harder and turn better results. The instructions are great

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Old 10-10-2007, 12:46 PM   #3
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I agree- AHS kits are very well done. When I first started brewing, one of the first kits I bought from them was a Fat Tire clone. It was excellent- and the directions are well written and easy to understand.

I would just order the extract kit, because it usually comes with steeping grains. (I don't remember if it came with a grain bag or not- I'm sure it'll say on the website when you order). You can also order by phone- they are great to talk to on the phone, too.

I've also done a couple of Brewer's Best kits. They are also very well done with great instructions and everything you need. The only "but" I have is that sometimes they sit on the shelf a long time and you don't know how fresh they are. I didn't have any problems with them, but I know the ones from AHS (and Northern Brewer) are crushed and packaged when you order so they are super fresh and ready to use.

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Old 10-10-2007, 12:52 PM   #4
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Whatever you choose, make sure it uses a dry yeast like Nottingham or Safale-05. You'll save money and life will be easier for you this first time and skip the alcohol boost (it's just sugar).

It's best to be gentle with first timers.

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Old 10-10-2007, 01:57 PM   #5
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AHS kits are exceptional, the ingredients are fresh, the instructions are easy to follow, and they do not recommend adding sugar. Follow Ed's advice and go with Nottinghams or Safale for yeast.

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Old 10-10-2007, 02:07 PM   #6
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The directions are easy to follow and their clones are spot-on. I've been brewing 7 years and still buy their kits for variety. It's great making some beer you've never seen or heard about and know the results will be good.

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Old 10-10-2007, 02:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boston Brewer
Palmer warns of kits that suggest adding sugar, etc. I assume he is talking about el-cheapo kits and not something from a reputable source like AHS appears to be (based on feedback from this board and other places), but I just wanted to confirm.
The prehopped can kits that have you add some sugar are the ones he is suggesting you avoid.

The standard recipe kits from places like Northern Brewer, Midwest & AHS are a much different beast using all malt extracts (and only sugars where appropriate), steeping grains for added flavor & complexity, fresh yeast and specific hops. Some of those suppliers do have the prehopped can kits too, they are described as such.
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Old 10-10-2007, 02:25 PM   #8
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Here's another positive vote for AHS kits. You really can't go wrong with them.

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Old 10-10-2007, 02:33 PM   #9
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Awesome. That's more than enough confidence for me. I think I'll go pick myself out something nice and coppery with fruity hops...

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Old 10-10-2007, 03:11 PM   #10
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another vouch for AHS kits. grains do come crushed in a grain bag. My first kit was a raspberry wheat, and it was easy to brew, and turned out mighty tasty. I'm fermenting a double chocolate stout now, and I'm hoping that turns out as well as the wheat! good luck!

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