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Old 09-12-2012, 09:07 AM   #1
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Default New & what to do?

Hi I am a 23 year old in southern California. I Have been looking into home brewing a batch for a couple months but don't know really where I should start??? Should I get a kit or do they suck when it comes to learning and getting a good beer? What would you recommend in southern Cali? I know I want to brew around the 5 gallon mark but want to start on a good beer I can't really mess up. Also I don't want to heckle my wife into spending lots of money batch after batch... Thanks in advance for these tips and tricks... I need to study this app and how to use it a little better...

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Old 09-12-2012, 09:47 AM   #2
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I think a kit would be a good place to start. If nothing else it will help you get familiar with the process. Then after a few batches you'll better know if you want to keep doing kits or try All Grain, BIAB, partial mash, extract etc etc etc

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Old 09-12-2012, 04:20 PM   #3
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My girlfriend bought me a starter kit (fermenter, carboy, etc) for my birthday. Made my first batch in June (IPA from Brewer's Best). It turned out okay, but seems to be a little too bitter. For the record, I love IPA's. My next batch (Caribou Slobber, brown ale, from Northern Brewer) was bottled about two weeks ago and it's coming along nicely. Taste is good, but needs to condition a little longer.
I would recommend using an ingredient kit. Not sure who you're thinking of, but Northern Brewer, Midwest Supply, Morebeer and Austin Homebrew all seem to be really good. Even a local homebrew store may sell their own kits.

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Old 09-12-2012, 05:16 PM   #4
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Depending on where you are, there may be a homebrew store near you which isn't a bad place to look for a kit and for advice. I'm in Thousand Oaks, so I can let you know some places if you're North of LA. Maltose Falcons is the oldest homebrew club in the country as far as I know, and they're based in Woodland Hills. Message me if you'd like more info.

I started with a kit, and pretty quickly went much further, but I'm still glad I started with a kit. It shows you the process, and they make pretty good beer, and if you follow directions they're pretty hard to screw up.

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Old 09-12-2012, 11:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilSwillBasementBrews View Post
I think a kit would be a good place to start. If nothing else it will help you get familiar with the process. Then after a few batches you'll better know if you want to keep doing kits or try All Grain, BIAB, partial mash, extract etc etc etc
+1

Also, I think one of the things that is easily overlooked, but is necessary, is to get down some procedures for sanitation. The (ingredient?) kit will have all the ingredients needed to start an extract batch. And it will familiarize you with the process of brewing. You might also want to get a starting brewing kit. Your LHBS should have something; if not, you can order one on line. This will have the fermenters, racking cane, tubing, bottle capper, etc needed to get you started. One thing that you will need, but will probably not be in the kit, is a boil kettle. I would recommend at least a 10 gallon boil kettle. Sure it is a little large for your needs now, but it will still have utility if and when you move into all grain.

And welcome to the forum. Mark
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cromwell
Depending on where you are, there may be a homebrew store near you which isn't a bad place to look for a kit and for advice. I'm in Thousand Oaks, so I can let you know some places if you're North of LA. Maltose Falcons is the oldest homebrew club in the country as far as I know, and they're based in Woodland Hills. Message me if you'd like more info.

I started with a kit, and pretty quickly went much further, but I'm still glad I started with a kit. It shows you the process, and they make pretty good beer, and if you follow directions they're pretty hard to screw up.
I am in the San Bernardino area. I have Hangar close by are they the closet brew shop? Who else is near by? I love beer and have been to beer festivals just not sure on where to start. I guess I'll get a kit, is it cheaper for a home brew store kit or a BevMo mr beer kit? Lol I probably seem retarded! I want to do an easy beer that isn't hard to screw up the flavor. I personally love wheat beers(hefe's) and also hoppy flavors but when I'm playing beer pong bud light lol!!!
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:18 PM   #7
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Kits are great for someone just starting out, because, if you don't think you know more than the creator of the recipe and try to mess with it like jacking it up to make it have more alcohol, or adding fruit where fruit isn't necessary, then they are FOOLPROOF. You don't need to worry about the ingredients or the recipe, and can concentrate on the process of brewing. You can get a feel for how to sanitize, how to follow the hop additions, how to transfer your beer, how to take gravity readings, knowing that everything else will fall into place. That at the minimum you'll still have good beer.

Also it will allow you to troubleshoot anything wrong easier, than if you chose an unproven recipe, or tried to wing it, or dumped a bunch of crap into it. Because you know the recipe is foolproof. If it tastes funny, you know it's NOT because of the recipe...it's because of some flaw in your process.

It's one variable less to worry about, until you get the basics down, get your process nailed, and a little more about recipe creation and the fundamentals before you start experimenting.

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Old 09-13-2012, 03:21 PM   #8
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Actually, Brewers Best makes some good kits, IMO. I've made a few of them and they turn out darn decent beer. I think the IPA is very nice. I'm about to do an APA.. along with getting my junk together to try my first all grain. Coopers makes some decent kits if you can find them. However, I think they are pretty low abv and can use some help in the taste area. But, they do make beer. There are threads here to help how to help those kits. I've had best results from Brewers Best tho. Good every time. They are a bit more "advanced" than the Coopers kits in that they have specialty grains which have to get STEEPED.. not boiled for a period of time.. usually about 30 min before adding the extract. Hoping you have great success's

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Old 09-13-2012, 03:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy
Kits are great for someone just starting out, because, if you don't think you know more than the creator of the recipe and try to mess with it like jacking it up to make it have more alcohol, or adding fruit where fruit isn't necessary, then they are FOOLPROOF. You don't need to worry about the ingredients or the recipe, and can concentrate on the process of brewing. You can get a feel for how to sanitize, how to follow the hop additions, how to transfer your beer, how to take gravity readings, knowing that everything else will fall into place. That at the minimum you'll still have good beer.

Also it will allow you to troubleshoot anything wrong easier, than if you chose an unproven recipe, or tried to wing it, or dumped a bunch of crap into it. Because you know the recipe is foolproof. If it tastes funny, you know it's NOT because of the recipe...it's because of some flaw in your process.

It's one variable less to worry about, until you get the basics down, get your process nailed, and a little more about recipe creation and the fundamentals before you start experimenting.
Thanks that sounds pretty good... I do like to rush things and get creative. I definitely need a kit to get the basics down a few times before I start "experimenting". Are any style beers way different when it comes to the kits, or are all about the same level???
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:27 PM   #10
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Yeah, I started out with BB kits too. Pretty good stuff. I've also had other folk's BB kit beers, and they're pretty tasty. If you like Mexican beers, the Mexican Cerveza is great. I know one AG brewer who still brews that kit when he wants a simple cerveza.

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