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Old 05-04-2009, 09:14 PM   #1
ianac1
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Default Advice please

Hi all i'm new to the forum.

I bought all the kit 25 litre bin, hydrometer, pressure barrel, airlock, syphon tube etc and I've done my first brew (youngs harvest lager, empty can add water and sugar).

Fermented for 7 days, transferred to barrel and added sugar, secondary fermentation for 4 days and now out in the shed where it will stay for around 1 month before i try it.

The thing is i want to try a real brew like i've been reading on the forums, boiling, mashing an preparing it myself instead of just pouring in a can etc.

Is there a dummy guide to all the lingo (it's all lost on me) and guide?

I want to prepare my own brew from scratch and have a few questions.

I'll use brewimng sugar for my next one, apart from that could someone explain to me what all the stuff is for in comparison to the can i used.

I've been looking at DME, brewing sugar, spraymalt, rice, beer finings and beer improver (i think that's what it's called) and where do i get good quality yeast as i hear the little packet i got with the can aint very good?

This forum seems very good and i'm sure people will help me along.

Could someone also point me in the direction of a good but quite forgiving recipe for a brew until i get a bit better at all this?

Thanks for any help.

Ian

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Old 05-04-2009, 09:17 PM   #2
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How to Brew - By John Palmer

Have you read this yet?
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:20 PM   #3
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Isn't there a law against mixing metric with the word "aint"? Shouldn't there be?

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Old 05-05-2009, 02:18 AM   #4
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First of all, welcome to the obsession and congrats on your first beer!!! here are my 2 cents. Read How to brew! it is an outstanding guide for both new and old brewers. DME (dry male extract) is good stuff, much better shelf life than LME (liquid malt extract). that said FRESH liquid malt extract is a superior product in my opinion. brewing sugar (with the exception of dark candy) is a waste. If it is clear you can just use regular sugar. Spray malt, not sure what that is, sorry. rice, hey that is up to you, when used properly, it is fermentable. finings and improver(?) i dont use either but that is just me. Finally yeast, source yourself some good liquid yeast if you can. both white labs and wyeast are very respected in the community! If you can't get liquid always rehydrate your yeast with plain water prior to pitching. Hope this was helpful.

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Old 05-05-2009, 03:26 AM   #5
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Hello My Friend,

Have you looked into Partial mashes with Steeping grains (sorry drunk and hard to type with pizza grease on keys... ... SWMBO will be upset)

Peck around on Annapolis Home Brews site for partial mash kits. The Oatmeal stout for $35 is awesome.

If you are smart enough and talented enough to make a better cheese burger than McDonald's then you are good enough to out brew Budweiser.

end of discussion.

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Old 05-05-2009, 04:54 AM   #6
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Hang around the beginners board for a while and read all you can! There is lots of good info here!

Welcome to brewing. There seems to be so much to learn in the beginning, especially if you haven't done any type of fermentation before. This is also a very addictive hobby! You have been warned...

I had some brewing experience when I started doing beer so I jumped in faster. For someone who hasn't brewed before, I would work on one thing at a time per batch. First thing, make sure you have good sanitation. All your work will be for naught if you get an infection in your batch! Make sure you have good cleanliness and good sanitizing practices and keep doing them each and every batch...

Extract is a great place to start. Some folks stay with extract for their entire brewing careers and make some damn good beer. If you want some more control, add your own hops to some extract recipes. Both liquid malt extract and dry malt extract have their plusses and minuses. Depending on if you have a LHBS close to you and what they stock will make a huge difference. Once you feel like you have the process pretty well figured out, start steeping some grains with the extract. It gets you used to temp controls and helps you step into the all grain. After that, try some partial mashes (there is a great sticky in the all grain and partial mash section.) and then step up to all grain if that is where you want to go. The DIY section of the board has some great projects you can do to save money when you do step up to all grain!

Since you are curious, you will make some really killer beers! There are all sorts of tweaks you can do with extracts, steeping grains and partial mashes too! Most of the things that people don't consider that make or break your beer are things like fermentation temps, yeast starters, sanitation, having patience to let your beer age in your primary and/or secondary fermentation container for a long period of time and giving your beer time to properly condition in a bottle or keg for the right amount of time to let it carbonate.

Have fun and enjoy this hobby! I love brew day, I love bottle day and I love that day that you pop open that beer after it has been in your loving care for the right amount of time and it tastes like heaven in a bottle!

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Old 05-05-2009, 04:57 AM   #7
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here is a pretty well presented video on all grain


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Old 05-05-2009, 05:02 AM   #8
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Welcome to HBT Ian!

Where are you located? It is harder to give advice if we don't know where you are and from what you described, it sounds like you are not in the U.S.

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Old 05-05-2009, 10:37 AM   #9
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Firstly thanks for all the replies, i'm sure they'll all come in very handy.

I'm located near Glasgow, Scotland.

I'm off to the nearest homebrew shop today (about 10 miles away in Glasgow City centre) to see what i can pick up and get some advice.

I think i'll try and get some liquid yeast maybe.

Is DME used instead of sugar or is sugar still added at the start or just for the secondary fermentation?

Also this mash that you make up, i take it this would basically just replace the can of treacle like substance that was in the harvest lager tin?

Still not sure exactly what that treacly type stuff was, malt?

Sorry for all the stupid questions but i am just a learner, give me a few months and hopefully i'll be brewing with the best of them!

I'm just glad i've found a hobby that gives you some real self-satisfaction and gets you drunk at the end of it!

I'll have a look out for those books mentioned.

Thanks again

Ian

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Old 05-05-2009, 10:47 AM   #10
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I would recommend reading "The Complete Joy Of Homebrewing" by Charlie Papazian. I read the first few chapters before diving in and he explains it really well.

I still reference the book while I'm brewing - I always learn something new.

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