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Old 06-16-2008, 11:00 PM   #1
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Default Beginner Recipe

I have done a lot of research, I mean a lot. I feel like I know how to do pretty much everything and when to do everything. At this point I am looking for a recipe that will be, for the most part, basic but also include steps that are more advanced. Any suggestions?

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Old 06-16-2008, 11:03 PM   #2
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For people who have not yet brewed a batch my advice is always to get a clone kit of a commercial beer that you enjoy. This way you'll have a known product to judge your results against.

Knucklehead Brewery, Est. 2007

Always do sober what you do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut. -Ernest Hemingway
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Old 06-16-2008, 11:17 PM   #3
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Get a kit. If your LHBS doesn't have any, AHS and midwest have both served me well in the past and in particular the AHS clone kits.

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Old 06-16-2008, 11:31 PM   #4
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True, get a clone of something you already like. How else are you going to compare it?

BUT...if it doesn't turn out the way you like remember it is only a kit and your brewing techniques and confidence will grow with every batch.

HB Bill
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:29 AM   #5
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Find a brewing friend. If you don't know anyone do a google search for local Homebrew clubs. Go to your local LHBS and ask them if they have any flyers for local Homebrew clubs. Observe/Help your new buddy do a batch. Have that buddy there when you make your first batch. No matter how much you have read/know it's a HUGE confidence booster to have that experienced brewer there with you when you make your first batch. The worries about "will I forget a step?" are taken away like a godsend when you know you got somebody watching over you that first time.

+1 on doing a kit the first time. Clone kits are fine but you can just as easily get a kit within the style of beer you like. Hell, Austin Homebrew has a very simple kit that doesn't even have any specialty grains to worry about. I've never tried it but it looks very simple and if you can't find anyone to help you or provide that backup I was talking about, it seems like it would be a hard recipe to f*ck up.

Austin Homebrew Store Honey Blonde Ale

Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war;
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.

Prim 1: Ogre's Inverted Extra Red Ale
Prim 2: Ogre's Hair of the Dog Imperial Amber Ale
Prim 3: Ogre's Relaxed APA
Sec 1: Honey Blonde Ale with Hefe Yeast
Sec 2: Scotch Wee Heavy
Sec 3: Ogre's Simple Mead
Keg 1: Ogre's Brown Ale
Keg 2: Ogre's Extra Red Ale
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:04 PM   #6
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My first was a Brewers Best English Pale ale. It has grains you can PM or steep.

+1 on getting a clone of a beer you like. If your local does not have a good one, then you could purchase from AHS. Call Forrest there and he will help you out. Tell him you are new but want something more than extract. He should set you up with a PM


Primary: IPA
Secondary: empty
Keg 1: American Wheat
Keg2: German Ale
Next up: Christmas Old Ale, American Wheat AG, need suggestions

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Old 06-17-2008, 02:26 PM   #7
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I'm not a fan of kits, personally. Even if you end up with good beer, you don't totally feel like it was your beer, and all a kit really does is simplify the recipe selection/shopping experience.

With the internet the way it is, there are so many great recipes already out there, the biggest issue is finding one that is quality. Personally, whenever I set out to brew a style for the first time, I usually start with whatever recipe Jamil uses and then either brew that or tweak it to suit my goals. I've yet to be disappointed with any of his recipes, which I think is probably a pretty common experience.

As for the shopping, your local HBS can facilitate that for you. My first time, I just went in with a list of the ingredients I needed and they helped me gather everything and milled my specialty grains for me. It was as easy as could be, and I got to start a relationship with them.

So really, for a first time recipe, I'd decide what style I wanted to brew - preferably something on the easier end of the spectrum - then go from there.

I've gotten to where I recommend for a first recipe something with a lower gravity - a mild or a Scottish 60-/ because you don't have to create a yeast starter for those brews without underpitching. Or you can use dry yeast and not worry about that side of it. That lets you concentrate on the actual brewing and fermentation processes without having to deal with yeasties yet.

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