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Old 02-09-2006, 06:04 AM   #1
MrEcted1
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Default Hello! First post!... time to pick your brains a little bit =)

Hello Everyone,

First I'll introduce myself since I'm a new guy... I'm Steve from Colorado and I have been drinking beer for quite awhile now. My favorite beers are Belgian beers, namely St Bernardus (abt 12 mostly), Trois Pistoles, Terrible and a whole bunch of other Belgians. Anything Trappist is always good of coarse! My favorite American brews are Stone beers, Avery beers, Great Divide (especially Titan, Yet and Old Ruffian) Deschutes beers are also good, especially the new Hop Henge (great value!). Other beers that are often in my fridge include Delerium, Bridgeport IPA, Rochefort, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (of coarse!), Piraat...sheesh the list goes on and on. I am pretty rediculous with my bottle collection, I have hundreds of bottles on shelves lining my entire dining room. I have always wanted to brew beer, but I guess I'm just a little intimidated, until now!

Well... I've been wanting to start brewing beer for quite awhile now, and I'm finally gonna take the plunge and go for it. This Wednesday i am buying my first brew kit - I can't wait! Anyways, I have a couple general questions.

I tried brewing beer once before, but it was with a Mr. Beer kit that I got for x-mas a few years ago, it didn't turn out all that great and I never really felt like I was really brewing beer. After a little reseach I feel that an extract based kit is the way to start. I live relatively close to a brew-shop, so I decided that I'm gonna pick up this kit:

http://store.thebrewhut.com/index.as...PROD&ProdID=28

Other then ingredients, what do you guys feel that I should pick up ASAP? Is it worth spendin' the extra $30.00 for this kit?

http://store.thebrewhut.com/index.as...PROD&ProdID=29

There is a section that says "OTHER ITEMS YOU MAY NEED WITH THE ULTRA KIT"... that seems like a lot of extra crap, do I really need all that?

Thank you very much for your input!
-Steven

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Old 02-09-2006, 06:31 AM   #2
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I personally would go with the all glass $30 more unit. I started with the plastic bucket for the primary and then went to all glass. Now, the plastic just sits in the garage.

Extras - they never really end but one thing I don't see is a pot to boil in. I'd look for a turkey fryer at some other store with the propane burner. If you stick with the hobby you will be brewing outside with a large pot if you have the outdoor facilities. You could get the 20qt pot, I did and still use it for heating water but I now use a 7.5g kettle for brewing. Other item(s) would be the carboy handles. From there you got a good start.

And then there is http://www.howtobrew.com/ for a good online guide.

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Old 02-09-2006, 06:40 AM   #3
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The biggest difference I see in the two kits is the two glass carboys instead of plastic. The plastic works just fine, but the glass is great too. There are pros and cons for each. Glass is easier to keep sanitized because it won't scratch like plastic. Plastic with spigots makes trasfers easy. You can see in the glass, you can't see throught the plastic.

I still use plastic buckets for my primaries, but transfer over to a glass secondary. As far as the other crap, build your own immersion chiller out of copper tubing. I have never used the auto siphon, but I do use the Carboy Cap on my glass carboys. They are only a couple bucks. Use them with a long racking cane and transfer in and out of a carboy is simple. I would buy the floating thermometer, and of course bottle caps. Thats about it. You don't really need all the other stuff. Reuse non twist off bottles. You will need about 50 12 oz. for a 5 gallon batch.

For your first brew, I would keep it simple. Make sure everything is sanitized. To cool the wort, just put the pot, with the lid on, in a sink or bathtub full of ice water. Use the 6.5 plastic bucket with spigot for primary. Pour the chilled wort in with the yeast and make sure to shake the wort good so the yeast has oxygen. Let ferment for about 10-14 days, for an ale I'm assuming, then either trasfer to glass for secondary, or go straight to bottling if you can't wait.

After the first brew you'll be hooked, and after a few, you'll get the hang of it and know what other equipment to buy and/or make. The list seems to never end.

Happy brewing and welcome to the hobby!

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Old 02-09-2006, 06:47 AM   #4
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Man, I browse these forums and I have a hard time grasping what the hell you all are talkin about! This is gonna be fun =)

Thanks for all the tips. I might start with the first kit... if I end up spending more then $150.00 to start my wife will kill me. So for boiling do I just need a big stainless steal pot? I can't really afford a turkey fryer at this time... maybe next payday...

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Old 02-09-2006, 07:07 AM   #5
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Or you can use an enameled pot, if you already have one. Don't go buying one yet if you don't have to. Especially if the wife is watching the $$$. The first kit should be fine. If you buy a ton of stuff right now, you might find that you don't really need it somewhere soon down the line.

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Old 02-09-2006, 10:57 AM   #6
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Where are you at in Colorado? I'm just down the street from the Brew Hut.

I see The Complete Joy of Home Brewing in both of those kits. This is a great book for beginners. If you read the first part of the book and follow Charlie's instructions you will make good beer the first time. I read that thing cover to cover before my first batch. Now it is tattered and falling apart from all of the use.

Also, the folks at the Brew Hut are friendly and helpful. They can assist you with any questions and suggestions for your first brew.

Good luck and welcome to the hobby!

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Old 02-09-2006, 11:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrEcted1
I can't really afford a turkey fryer at this time... maybe next payday...
Welcome aboard.
Keep an eye out for clearence items at Target. Many have found the Turkey Frier for $9 - $15 and that includes the pot (aluminum) thermometer, lid, and burner.

Good luck,
Wild
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Old 02-09-2006, 02:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichBrewer
Where are you at in Colorado? I'm just down the street from the Brew Hut.

I see The Complete Joy of Home Brewing in both of those kits. This is a great book for beginners. If you read the first part of the book and follow Charlie's instructions you will make good beer the first time. I read that thing cover to cover before my first batch. Now it is tattered and falling apart from all of the use.

Also, the folks at the Brew Hut are friendly and helpful. They can assist you with any questions and suggestions for your first brew.

Good luck and welcome to the hobby!
I'm a little ways away from it - I live in Wheat Ridge. I keep hearing nothin but good things about The Complete Joy of Home Brewing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wild
Welcome aboard.
Keep an eye out for clearence items at Target. Many have found the Turkey Frier for $9 - $15 and that includes the pot (aluminum) thermometer, lid, and burner.

Good luck,
Wild
Wow, I didn't realize they were so cheap! I always thought they were like $60-$70...
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Old 02-09-2006, 09:30 PM   #9
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I just started doing this at the beginning of the year but I like the 2nd kit you linked to. You will need a brewing pot. If you have a good range you will be OK at the beginning. You will get great support and advice here so ask questions.
Oh Yeah --- Start saving bottles.

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Old 02-10-2006, 04:14 AM   #10
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Two more brewers in Colorado? We're going to be the next Texas on HomeBrew Talk.

Maybe we can exchange brews sometime.

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