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Old 08-04-2009, 04:00 AM   #1
DizzyPants
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Default 1st - Two Batches from Austin Home Brew

I am only three batches in with my soon to be illustrious brewing career.

1st wheat - great
2nd Hefe - fermented too hot, banana land
3rd wheat - ok, nothing spectacular

I bought the Hoegaarden clone and Miami Weiss from austinhomebrew.com and they arrived today.

I love my local HBS but this looks like it is of higher quality, especially the upgrade to the proper liquid yeasts. Instead of 4.5 to 5 pounds of malt extract they use seven and one is a mix. Also, everything is properly packed, sealed and the muslin bag is already filled.

I think these next two brews are going to be winners.

Are you guys as high on them as I seem to be just from the packaging?

And no, I have no affiliation, I live in Seattle and am trying to make the best brew possible.

As an aside, I was out on a boat yesterday for Seafair (Hydro Races, Blue Angels) and whenever I brought up the homebrew I had it was the most sought after commodity (besides the girls getting beads thrown at them).

This hobby is sure cheaper than my RC airplane obession for the last five years. Where did all that money go?

Have a good homebrew,
SMC

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Old 08-04-2009, 04:22 AM   #2
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Austin Homebrew is pretty much universally loved around here/ All their kits are great, clones are spot on, and have great customer service (the owner has an account here and will answer questions for you). Welcome to the hobby, don't be afraid to branch our from the wheats!

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Old 08-04-2009, 04:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DizzyPants View Post
Are you guys as high on them as I seem to be just from the packaging?

AHB is good people, and are active on this forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DizzyPants View Post
This hobby is sure cheaper than my RC airplane obession for the last five years. Where did all that money go?
Although I was wading in the shallow end (brushed foamies) I augured my share of paychecks into the ground.....

For me the challenge was to teach myself to fly. After I could fly three or so packs back to back without having to replace parts I cut my losses and sold the radio. Gave the planes/motors/parts to kids that were flying at an outlaw field.
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:01 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by DizzyPants View Post
I am only three batches in with my soon to be illustrious brewing career.

I love my local HBS but this looks like it is of higher quality, especially the upgrade to the proper liquid yeasts. Instead of 4.5 to 5 pounds of malt extract they use seven and one is a mix. Also, everything is properly packed, sealed and the muslin bag is already filled.
Just out of curiosity who were you using for a HBS locally?
I have nothing against AHB, and have heard nothing but wonderful things about them. Heck if I ever end up living in Austin I would likely choose my home based on their proximity.

That being said we have about 1/2 dozen local HBS in the area and most of them are pretty good about the quality they stock, and I'm sure would happily sell you a quality liquid yeast. Just curious who you tried.
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:03 AM   #5
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I tried AHB out after seeing them discussed on this forum and I could not be happier with them.

Their prices are fantastic. Even after shipping, they are still cheaper than my LHBS. (though I still try to throw some business to my local store)

Customer service is great. My bottle caps and priming sugar were forgotten when they shipped my first order. Though I didn't notice they were missing for a week or so after the shipment arrived. When I contacted them they didn't hesitate to correct the problem and send me the caps and sugar. I appreciate the lack of a hassle.

I've made two beer kits that I bought through them and I can't wait till I can taste the final products!

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Old 08-04-2009, 05:20 AM   #6
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I wish not to throw any one HBS under the bus. I have staked out a few and just want to keep it simple.

On my part, I could ask more questions about what would make a better brew than just bringing in a recipe or going by theirs.

It was just the simplicity of the website allowing you to add liquid yeast or not...boosters or not and all from there.

On the other hand can you give me you recommendation for a local shop? It is beer, I am willing to travel.

Also, I imagine that the 7 pounds of malt ex will give a better body than the lower amounts I have been brewing with?

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Old 08-04-2009, 05:45 AM   #7
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I hear you on not calling anyone out. That really wasn't my intention. It's a wonderful thing to walk into a great brew store with good people and I was more thinking of why you had a poor experience and offer alternatives.

All things being equal, more malt extract gives you more alcohol and more body. It brews a heavier, higher alcohol content beer. It is a different recipe with a different goal. Not better or worse, just not the same. You must have bought a kit with a higher planned alcohol content then what you bought locally.

There are many very good HBS in the area. Bobs Homebrew in the city is an old school kinda place. I have been in there but not had the pleasure of speaking with Bob. He is friendly and highly knowledgeable from all accounts.

I often use Mountain Homebrew in Redmond/Kirkland (near the border of the two). Great people and well stocked. They won't have the best prices which is more a reflection of their location and rent than anything else. All in all great place.

If you are more price conscious then I would recommend Homebrew Heaven in Everett. Good people, well stocked, and good prices. Also you'll see their banner on the HBT site as they are at least an ad banner advertiser.

Here is a previous discussion thread with more info on local brew stores.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/seattle-home-brew-store-82947/

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Old 08-04-2009, 05:51 AM   #8
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Zen,

Thank you for your response. I will look into those shops. I do remember going to Bob's shop in a pinch when I broke my hyrdometer. It was a great shop and he was answering some pretty tough questions from a newer brewer.

I do believe in supporting locally, no doubt, but am impressed with what I received today. In and out, quick and nearly thoughtless.

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Old 08-04-2009, 08:00 AM   #9
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Austin Home Brew's recipe kits are among the best around. If you brew one and it comes up a little short, at least you know the recipe and ingredients are probably not the cause.

I've also found them to be great with answering my noobie questions.

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Old 08-04-2009, 11:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Are you guys as high on them as I seem to be just from the packaging?
Wait until you have box after box full of packing peanuts.
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