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Old 01-13-2012, 05:53 PM   #1
inda_bebe
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Default first time brewer...

Hello, everyone. im a first time homebrewer, adding another hobby to my long list. i enjoy craft beers and it hard to go back to beers that i grew up with. also, hard on my pockets if i keep spending $20-$30 on a bottle of good stuff. i cant always drink stuff like 100% cuir or black tuesday and CBS. ive spent over $500 last month and that got me into a **** load of trouble, lol.


i just got a deluxe brew kit for xmas and i want to break it in with something easy. i was thinking

DIPA Hop Head Double IPA w/ Headwaters Ale Wyeast Activator,

Old Ale Bourbon Barrel Old Ale - Brewing Ingredients

or Quad. where would you guys recommend picking up a good recipe kit w/ good taste and highest ABV possible?

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Old 01-13-2012, 06:04 PM   #2
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Welcome to this awesome forum! It is not all about ABV, you know....

I have made the second kit, adding a bit more bourbon and two vanilla beans to the secondary, which sat for six months before bottling. It took first or second place in this forum's regional competition in its category last year.

Brewing big beers - those high in alcohol - takes more work (creating big starters, boil over concerns, sugar boosts during fermentation, etc) a bit of finesse, and certainly more attention (temperature control is more critical, for example) than those in the "session" category.

Alcohol aside, much depends on your style preference, as the three you listed are very diverse.

I would start with a simpler kit, a basic ale, to get your preparation, sanitization, brewing, fermenting, and bottling process down before doing the bigger beers, where there is a higher risk of failure and the subsequent $$$ loss greater.

That said, enjoy this great hobby

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Old 01-13-2012, 06:14 PM   #3
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thanks for the tip. as for basic, any recommendations? i dont mind starting off w/ something less complicated. i guess it would give me more room to make mistakes.

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Old 01-13-2012, 07:58 PM   #4
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Inda,
I started with a Mr Beer 2.5 gallon cheapy for 40 bucks to see if I would like the hobby. If your looking for a good starter kit the Mr beer is OK, but the review pages on this forum list several much better candidates for just a few bucks more that will do 5 gallon batches and accomodate your high ABV wishes when you get there. I would definately take these guys suggestions about smaller beers first since you can waste a lot of ingredients rushing to the finish line so to speak. Once you get the basics down cold then a high ABV will be fairly easy, but make sure you have mastered cleanliness, sanitation, and temp control 100% before you get the high ABV stuff because the ingredients will be about 40 bucks or so if you use LME and UME concentrates plus dextrin or table sugar. That would be alcohol abuse and we would have to bend your brewers tags and not validate your parking at the hop store for a year. Have fun and welcome, I just got addicted, but I am definately stuck like chuck and I'm still waiting for my first batch to age and mature in the bottles.
Bob

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Old 01-13-2012, 08:09 PM   #5
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lol. i get what you guys are saying. i ordered an IPA kit, from midwest. In two weeks, my friend will be brewing up a RIS to see if i like brewing. He's gonna help me out by brewing it his house and learn as he goes. he's made some really good 14% barley wine, so thats the whole idea that got me interested.

He doesnt like kits, so i figured id start w/ training wheels and get one anyways.

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Old 01-13-2012, 09:29 PM   #6
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A RIS is a great beer, but definitely not a beer for a beginner! (Spoken as someone that is definitely a beginner) Most kits are fine, especially considering they really are just taking a recipe and putting together the ingredients that you could buy for yourself separately if you wanted to.

My first kit was a Brewer's Best kit from the LHBS (local homebrew store). Northern Brewer kits seem to be well liked and that's more than likely what I'm going to be brewing next. The only real worry about kits is whether or not the liquid malt extract and the yeast are fresh. Purchase somewhere that goes through a decent number of kits and that won't be a problem.

One other point of advice that isn't the first thing noticed for many new homebrewers (certainly wasn't for me until I started doing some reading): CLEAN and SANITIZE. If it touches your beer it should be CLEANED. If it touches your beer after its boiled it should be SANITIZED. So you can get away with only cleaning your brewpot, but pretty much everything else you use needs to be sanitized.

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Old 01-13-2012, 09:40 PM   #7
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Speaking from a beginners standpoint, I think everyone should skip Mr. Beers and go straight into 5gallon extract kits. As long as you're paying attention to sanitization, not throwing things randomly into the wort and keeping an eye on temperature I can't see someone failing miserably. Plus, if your first is a standard 3-5% ABV ale then I really can't see the reason not to start there. Just spend a few days reading around the forums, especially in the extract / sanitization sections and you'll be on your way to some seriously delicious homebrewed beer.

Anyways, hope it all works out for you. Good luck INDA

Best,
Saintdog

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Old 01-13-2012, 11:44 PM   #8
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I think for $20 or $30 you can buy enough specialty grains, DME and yeast to make a great easy ale in a small batch, say 3 gallons, to get going. That will give you about case of your own tasty stuff and you can work on your technique as well.

Good Luck Inda!

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Old 01-13-2012, 11:57 PM   #9
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buy Home brew den's micosukee IPA. Simple and tastes close to stone IPA

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Old 01-14-2012, 06:19 AM   #10
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I'll look into it, I wanna have 2 carboys fermenting.

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