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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > New to the Hobby, please help
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Old 07-25-2006, 07:00 AM   #11
Exo
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It's kinda like college...but you can get drunk off the labs.

Buy a book and read. Or read http://howtobrew.com Watch/help yer buddies. Get to a local homebrew supply store and get started on the cheap. Then get into the lab and make some drink.

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Old 07-25-2006, 03:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Levers101
I reccomend that you get all your equipment at a local place ... you don't have to pay any shipping and get to talk to someone who (hopefully) knows ...
Here's an example why I will ALWAYS buy ingredients from my local HBS (unless of course they can't get what I want).

I went in the other day and was talking to the guy about a beer I was planning and mentioned that I was going to use White Labs English Ale Yeast. He asked what temperature I've been able to hold in my fermenters on previous batches this summer. 70 degrees has been about as chilly as I can get it (no fermentation chiller). He immediately suggested that I use the White Labs California Ale Yeast instead since he has had less off flavors in the Texas climate with that yeast and similar temperatures. It's that sort of personal experience and knowledge that makes your local store (if the staff is any good and the ingredients fresh) extremely valuable.
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Old 07-25-2006, 03:58 PM   #13
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Actually austin homebrew has another week of offering free shipping. Their prices are a bit higher than what I generally pay at other shops, but free shipping seems to make it cheaper.

To make ale, you'll need...

-6.5 gallon plastic primary fermenter (i use a 7.9 gallon one from thegrape.net)
-lid with grommet
-econlock airlock
-5 gallon glass carboy (plastic bucket optional and cheaper)
-drilled stopper (for the carboy)
-twin bubble air lock (fits the carboy stopper)
-Two stick on thermometers (kinda like fish tank ones, but for beer)
-bottling bucket with spigot and hose (optional but very handy)
-black beauty capper (bench capper's are nicer, but more expensive)
-caps
-One-Step sanitizer
-racking tube
-bucket clip
-spring loaded bottle filler
-siphon hose
-floating glass thermometer
-beer hydrometer (optional but highly recommended so you know your % ABV)
-beer bottle brush
-20qt+ stock pot (or larger)
-beer bottles (pop top bottles only... sam adams bottles work perfectly with the hand capper)


on top of that, you'll need four basic ingredients to make beer

Malt/Grains (dried malt extract is what you want for starters)
Hops
Yeast
Water

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Old 07-25-2006, 04:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gruntingfrog
Here's an example why I will ALWAYS buy ingredients from my local HBS (unless of course they can't get what I want).
He's dead on with this one. The HBS local to me is also a brew pub, and the one up in upstate NY near watkins glen was a winery. (I grew up in watkins glen). Both have very knowledgeable (and friendly) owners who are making a living brewing. They know exactly what you will need, and will be able to answer any possible question you could have.

besides... its always nice to go to the brewpub and have a sampler when picking up new supplies!! HAHAHAH!!
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~~~~~~~~~~~___//_ ____________________________~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~_/ [][]| | /```\/```\/```\/```\/```\ |~~~~~~~~~~
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Old 07-25-2006, 05:10 PM   #15
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Hey, I lived in Syracuse last year. I love the Blue Tusk. I also got my start brewing there so I know that there is a homebrew store in the city. I wish I could remember the name or at least the location but I do know there is one around there somewhere.
Good luck.

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Old 07-25-2006, 05:22 PM   #16
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For the record the list below is debatable. For instance, the items in bold are not really needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirsloop
To make ale, you'll need...

-6.5 gallon plastic primary fermenter (i use a 7.9 gallon one from thegrape.net)
-lid with grommet
-econlock airlock (one airlock is all you need)
-5 gallon glass carboy (plastic bucket optional and cheaper)
-drilled stopper (for the carboy)
-twin bubble air lock (fits the carboy stopper)
-Two stick on thermometers (kinda like fish tank ones, but for beer) Very optional
-bottling bucket with spigot and hose (optional but very handy)
-black beauty capper (bench capper's are nicer, but more expensive)
-caps
-One-Step sanitizer
-racking tube A long enough siphon hose can be used without a racking cane
-bucket clip Really optional
-spring loaded bottle filler
-siphon hose
-floating glass thermometer I've never actually seen anyone uise these in years of brewing
-beer hydrometer (optional but highly recommended so you know your % ABV)
-beer bottle brush
-20qt+ stock pot (or larger)
-beer bottles (pop top bottles only... sam adams bottles work perfectly with the hand capper) you can eliminate need for the caps and capper if you get grolosh style flip top bottles


on top of that, you'll need four basic ingredients to make beer

Malt/Grains (dried malt extract is what you want for starters) Liquid Malt Extract is another option-- many kits come with LME
Hops
Yeast
Water
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Old 07-25-2006, 06:03 PM   #17
sirsloop
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A lot of the stuff is up to debate

-Some plastic buckets have grommet sizes too large for the standard twin bubble locks. If you plan on having something in both your primary and secondary, you will need two locks

-Tape Thermometers are very accurate and will let you know what your fermentor temperature is. This is EXTREMELY handy if you use the wet towel trick to get the wort below ambient temperature. If you brew in a basement or something that is constanty ambient at your fermentation temperature, then its kinda worthless.

-A bottling bucket only costs a few bucks, and makes for clearer beer. Good luck trying to get the last few beers out of the secodary using a siphon, dont expect them to be clean either.

-Racking tube and clip make siphoning off your primary and secondary a breeze, and result in cleaner beer. If you hit the trub with a standard hose, you just contaminated the beer making it cloudy.

-Floating glass thermometer is an abolute must if you steep specality grains. Hitting 160 degrees for 30 minutes is impossible without it... well unless you use some other more expensive thing like a external thermometer with a probe. Those are $$$ though.

-Hydrometers give more experienced brewers an indication on how the batch came out. If you were expecting a lower/higher SG/OG/FG then that could indicate you did something wrong. You also can calulate your % ABV/ABW. That is somewhat useless information to some people, but still nice to know. Plus it gives you a good reason to taste the beer cause you will have a small sample in the hydrometer tube.

-Fip top bottles may be your thing, thats cool. They are expensive and require new gaskets ever ~4 uses. Being cheaper than a hand capper and pop top bottles is debatable because of the initial investment.

-What kind of malt extract you choose (liquid/dried) is really a personal preference. IMHO liquid is a pain in the butt cause its messy, annoying to get out of the container, heavier to ship, and easier to scorch on the bottom of the stock pot. DME is more concentrated, floats on top of the wort until dissolved so its nearly impossible to scorch, and pours out of a bag like flour.


Again, A LOT of this is preference so you will just have to try it out and see how you like doing things. Its your beer, so if you dont want to use a racking tube, thermometer on the steeping grains, or dont care what the ABV is... forget it!

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~~~~~~~~~~~___//_ ____________________________~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~_/ [][]| | /```\/```\/```\/```\/```\ |~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~_/_______| |____NOW TRIPLE HOPPED______|~~~~~~~~~~
~~~___/[_]| 00 /| | \,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/ |~~~~~~~~~~
~~|___|___|___/_| |___________________________|~~~~~~~~~~
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Old 07-25-2006, 10:16 PM   #18
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One other suggestion...

Join a homebrew club! Why not meet some other locals who brew beer, bring your friends that brew along and eat pizza, drink each others homebrew, and learn from each other. This is one of my favorite aspects of this hobby.

For a listing of homebrew clubs in your area, go to:
http://www.beertown.org/homebrewing/listings.asp

I would also suggest joining the American Homebrewers Association, which publishes Zymurgy magazine, which is a great read. More info at:
http://www.beertown.org/homebrewing/beginning.html

Cheers!

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Old 07-25-2006, 10:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirsloop
A lot of the stuff is up to debate
Which is why I always hesitate to tell anyone they 'need' anything debatable or that is useful to solve a problem that not everyone has.

2 other items that aren't a 'need' but is a handy tools are: the spring loaded bottle filler and one step. I've used non-spring loaded ones and even bottled without a bottle filler. It's certainly nice to have but certainly isn't a 'need'. One-step isn't required as there are several other sanitizer options, including non-fragranced household bleach.
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Old 07-25-2006, 11:15 PM   #20
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I dont know why you would not want a bottle filler, especially a spring loaded one. They are like a dollar and keep your beer from getting oxygenated when you put it in bottles.

One step certianly isnt absoutely neccessary, but when you can get a pound of the stuff for four dollars, why would you use anything else? I personally keep a sink full of one step water and anything including me that touches anything beer related goes for a dip - minus papers

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~___//_ ____________________________~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~_/ [][]| | /```\/```\/```\/```\/```\ |~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~_/_______| |____NOW TRIPLE HOPPED______|~~~~~~~~~~
~~~___/[_]| 00 /| | \,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/ |~~~~~~~~~~
~~|___|___|___/_| |___________________________|~~~~~~~~~~
~~|=(*)[________]==(*)(*)=| \________/=(*)(*)=|~~~~~~~~~~
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