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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Hopped Malt
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:37 AM   #1
Sum1Stu
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Default Hopped Malt

Hi guys, Im new to the forum, and sort-of-new to beer brewing. I made some batches of wine, from grape juice kits, and some mead from scratch!

Ive never invested a whole lot of money in brewing equipment, just keep it simple carboy, airlocks, and my hydrometer.

Ive made my first batch of beer using a "coopers" kit. Im sure many of you are familiar with this "hopped malt extract", it comes in many different styles. I can say one thing, that it is a very good product and VERY easy to use. I look forward to trying many different brew cans that they sell, however it doesnt feel like im making my own beer yet.

I notice the majority of people on these forums are more xpiereinced and like to make their own style of beer. Id also like to get involved in tweaking recipes to get the best personalized beer.

I need to know two things before I get started. #1 Why did many of you move from extract brewing, to DIY beer. #2 What do you guys use as primary fermenters ?

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Old 04-07-2009, 09:25 AM   #2
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First of all, welcome to HBT!

I moved away from hopped extract kits pretty quickly (about 4 batches) because it didn't really feel like I was making beer so much as just assembling it. I wanted to learn more about the process and try some different recipes than what I could buy as a mix. I still use plain light extract, but I also use fresh grains (partial mash) and whole hops because it gives me more control over the beer I make and I feel like I get a fresher tasting product.

I use plastic buckets for my primary fermenter system. Two of them I made myself with free buckets from the grocery store, and one I purchased from my LHBS. I also have two 5 gallon glass carboys that were given to me by a friend that I use as secondaries.

Good luck with your brewing, and start with whatever method is comfortable for you. When you're ready to take it to another level we'll be here to help answer any questions you might have.

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Old 04-07-2009, 12:45 PM   #3
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I started with extract kits with steeping grains and adding hops. The reason I started there was that I didn't know of anything else! I don't really have a local place to buy ingredients, and I had every thing I needed for wine making so I bought the only kit I saw on a shelf in a store. It was a Brewer's Best English Brown Ale kit, and it was actually really good! It came with good instructions, so I followed them carefully and it ended up coming out tasting like Newcastle so I was hooked on brewing.

For a primary, I use the 7.5 gallon "ale pail" with a lid and an airlock. I rarely use a secondary for beer, so the beer stays in there for about 3 weeks or so.

One of the most important things in beer making is temperature control, so this is a good time of year to brew since it's not too hot and not too cold for most of us. Ales are fairly easy to do at a moderate room temperature (60-70 degrees f) so that's what I do the most.

Some equipment you may want to get is siphoning tubing, and a bottling wand if you don't already have some. Beer is very forgiving, but you definitely want to protect it from oxygen and aeration when transferring to bottles.

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Old 04-07-2009, 01:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sum1Stu View Post
#1 Why did many of you move from extract brewing, to DIY beer. #2 What do you guys use as primary fermenters ?
Plenty of people here still brew with extract even after learning to brew all-grain. Extracts can make excellent beer, but all-grain allows the brewer a lot more flexibility and latitude.

I liked using plastic buckets for fermenters. They are cheap and easy to fill and carry. But I got paranoid that they were harboring some nasties and causing "swampy" off-flavors so I switched to glass.
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Old 04-07-2009, 03:15 PM   #5
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Although I've never done pre-hopped extract, I still use extract in about half my batches. All grain is better for certain styles and necessary for a small range.

I'm still using my original plastic buckets.

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Old 04-07-2009, 04:33 PM   #6
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Welcome to HBT - TONS of great info on here.

I ferment in glass carboys. I use my bucket for bottling though. Keep it around. I only made 2 prehopped batches and they turned out good. The only reason I moved on to unhopped extract is more flexibility in my brewing.

Also, a warning: This hobby is extremely addictive and you'll find that your thirst for homebrewing and homebrew is never truly quenched. My "brewery" has gone from a corner in my entertainment room to its own brew room in less than a year. It's an extremely rewarding hobby.

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Old 04-07-2009, 04:34 PM   #7
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It is great to learn how to steep grains and add hops on a schedule. Converting grains in hot water to a fermentable wort is also a process well worth trying out. Still, the whole thing is so much fun that I can be happy opening a can of Coopers and getting something going if I'm short on time.

Whatever gets that airlock bubbling!

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Old 04-07-2009, 08:52 PM   #8
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Hehe thx for the input all!

Where do many of you buy your hops and fresh grains ? Or is it only available online ?

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Old 04-07-2009, 09:28 PM   #9
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I have an LHBS (local home brew store) only a few miles from me that carries everything. You might look in the yellow pages or online to see if there's one close to you.

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Old 04-07-2009, 09:50 PM   #10
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Most homebrew stores will carry the grains/hops/yeast/etc. that you'll need. If not, there are a lot of good places online to buy from for decent prices.

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