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Old 02-24-2010, 03:09 AM   #1
mmonacel
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Default If you were a new brewer and had to do it all over again...

What tips / tricks would you wish you knew the second time around?

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Old 02-24-2010, 03:12 AM   #2
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Spend more money up front to get the better more complete kit (i.e. wort chiller, better capper, etc).

The joy of making your own recipe or using one from this site instead of using a "pre-made" kit. More joy of actually creating something of your own design than someone else's kit.

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Old 02-24-2010, 03:16 AM   #3
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forget bottling... PITFA.

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Old 02-24-2010, 03:17 AM   #4
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Start with all grain, you'll end up there anyway. Also, purchase equipment for 10 gallon batches you'll end up there too. Something I wish I had done up front is make a keggle, I bought a B315 pot from morebeer.com, and although it is a great pot it is too wide in diameter. I am currently trying to source kegs off of craigslist. Wort chiller is a must make your own, it will be better, and cheaper. Invest in a pump it will come in handy. Get a subscription to BYO, and Zymurgy they are great publications. Ask, ask, and ask more here on HBT because there are some brewing geniuses on this site.

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Old 02-24-2010, 03:42 AM   #5
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I would have moved into AG sooner. I had in my head that a proper mash tun, HLT and a propane burner were absolutely necessary.

When it came down to it, I did my first AG on my stove. I employed a used, uninsulated $15 HDPE drum for the mash tun and my bottling bucket (5 gal pail) for the HLT. I used reinforced PVC tubing for the manifold and a water bottle with holes poked in the bottom for the sparge arm.

It made beer. Wasn't great but it was drinkable. Had I known this worked, I would have switched to AG after my 3rd or 4th extract batch.

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Old 02-24-2010, 03:52 AM   #6
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I probably would have liked to have a wort chiller up front, but most of my knowledge I'm glad I didn't know up front. It was all a part of the "quest" we love so much. Every time you learn something new, you want to do more. Some of that may have been spoiled if I knew up front.

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You guys joke around with this all you want, but let me tell you something: I tried making my own beer one time and wound up with herpes!


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Secondary: Sorachi Ace IPA
Bottled: Dark Lord Clone Imperial Stout, Winter 2010 Spiced Ale Ambassador Brown Ale, Michigan Berry pLambic
Kegged: Old Woodward ESB, Strawberry Blonde
On Deck: Honey brown ale, dry stout
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:56 AM   #7
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i would not have passed up killer deals on equipment at scrap yards i didn't think i needed (at the time).

if somebody told me i would not stop until i had spent more money on brewing equipment than 2 of my 3 vehicles, i would have laughed maniacally.

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Old 02-24-2010, 04:03 AM   #8
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Pay attention to fermentation temp. Don't secondary. Make starters.

All cheap stuff that would have made my beer a lot better and saved me time.

Eric

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Old 02-24-2010, 04:12 AM   #9
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Pay attention to fermentation temp.
+1 on this, fermentation control has been the biggest improvement to my beer.
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:14 AM   #10
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If I were to do it again, i would still start extract. The only thing I would do different about that is get a 10gal pot to do full-boils and then not have to buy another one for AG. And like someone said above, go directly to kegging instead of bottling.

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