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Old 09-20-2009, 10:53 PM   #1
scubadan
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Last year I brewed a couple of batches in a Mr. Beer kit and really enjoyed the experience. I wanted to go beyond this and move up to the full blown brew experience. This weekend I went to my local home brew supplier and bought what I need to get started. I bought a 6 gallon glass carboy and the ingredients to make my first batch of beer.

I was thinking of doing my batch today. I am going to used a canned beer kit for this batch before trying something more difficult. I bought a can of Muntons Connoisseurs Nut Brown Ale and a can on Briess Munich LME. After talking to the shop owner, he talked me into trying the liquid yeast (White Labs English Ale) rather than the dry yeast that comes with the canned kit.

I checked out some things on the site today before getting started and now I have more questions. Here they are:

1. The Muntons can says it will make 6 gallons of beer and I only have a 6 gallon carboy. I'm worried I won't have enough headroom in the carboy? Is this a problem and what do you suggest? If this is a problem and there isn't an easy fix I could always return the 6 gal carboy for a 6 1/2 gallon carboy.

2. Do I have to (or would it be best) to start my yeast a couple days before I actually prepare the wort or can it just be added to the cooled wort in the fermenter?

3. The store owner suggested I start with the canned kit before trying an extract kit. How difficult is it to move to that next level? Is the difference between canned vs extract just a matter of convenience/simplicity?

4. What is your opinion of the beer this will make? I really have no idea what this will be like and just went on the store's recommendation.

Thanks for your help. Perhaps I'm over thinking some of this but I thought better safe than sorry before getting started.

Dan



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Old 09-20-2009, 11:09 PM   #2
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1. I would make 5 gallons with your kit. Those pre-hopped canned kits are ok but it won't hurt to leave out a little water to give it a little more umph.

2. It is best to make a starter but I've done dozens of extract kits without a starter and they worked just fine.

3. Sounds like your LHBS is pretty good. Canned kits are good for getting you started on methods and sanitation. Moving up to steeping grains and hops is a piece of cake.

4. I think you will be happy with this kit if you don't get impatient and drink it too early.



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Old 09-20-2009, 11:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nurmey View Post

4. I think you will be happy with this kit if you don't get impatient and drink it too early.
This should be rule no.1!

Patience grasshopper
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:02 AM   #4
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As a beginner, really focus on nailing down your process and sanitization. Find a supplier you like and trust, follow some tried and true recipes and make some good drinkable beer. Once you're comfortable with that, maybe try to slowly expand your technique, gear and process. It's all about balance, find what process and technique works for you and makes great beer you like to drink and use that as your foundation. Don't over extend yourself on complicated rigs or recipes, just make some damn good beer and you'll be happy.

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Old 09-21-2009, 12:04 AM   #5
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Thanks to both for your input. I'll decide whether or not I want to start the yeast as I get closer to brewing next weekend. Patience wasn't a problem when I did the Mr Beer kits; I had been already reading on this forum and knew that was important.

I'm not using a hydrometer and will leave probably the beer in the primary for three weeks before bottling. I will then bottle condition for another 3 weeks before chilling for a couple of days to drink.



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