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Old 09-30-2013, 03:48 PM   #1
Chillout
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Default Best way to start this great hobby?

Hi, I'm Mike from CNY. I'm a big beer fan, kinda partial to IPA's favorite being from Dogfish head which is $$. I'd really like to get into making my own brews. I don't know the first thing about it though and need to study up. Can anyone provide me with a few bits of info?
1. Where is the best place to read about the process online?
2. Should I purchase a kit or should I buy all the supplies piece by piece? ( I'd rather buy quality supplies first instead of going cheap and spending more later).
3. Any beginner tips that you can offer?
Thank you.

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Old 09-30-2013, 04:01 PM   #2
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1 - How to Brew by John Palmer. free online version of his book. has some out-of-date info, but is by far the best place to start online

2 - the book has a list of basic supplies you will need, plus optional equipment that comes in handy. you'll have to go by what you're capabilities are at the moment. if you have a gas stove with good ventilation, you can do all-grain BIAB on the stove. if you have an electric range, you might not be able to get 5 to 7 gallons going at a rolling boil. if you have room outside, you can get a turkey fryer (propane burner + big kettle)

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Old 09-30-2013, 04:02 PM   #3
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I started with a kit till I got the hang if things then went and got bigger and better supplies, and biggest tip is make sure to sanitize everything and to follow a recipe or instructions closely for the best results

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Old 09-30-2013, 04:11 PM   #4
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Hi mike, Welcome to the obsession, if it takes hold. I would highly recommend 3 thinks to start off with.

#1) Purchase any one of these books and read it. How to Brew by John J. Palmer or The Complete joy of home brewing third addition by Charlie Papazian.

#2) Purchase a starter kit from a local home brew store and make something you like. Follow the direction listed and continue to read the book you purchased.

#3) Relax sit back and have a commercial brew until your home brew is done. Continue reading your book and maybe listen to pod casts that are out there.

The Brewing network has some great archive podcasts, after getting through the bs has great information. Start at the very begining 2005 then go from there.

If the bug hits you after your fist home brew, trust me you will know, then the door will open up even wider to the obsession of homebrewing.

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Old 09-30-2013, 04:19 PM   #5
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When I first started out (over 17 years ago), I boiled liquid malt extract in a 5 gallon pot. I'd boil 3 gallons, then dump it into a carboy which had a couple gallons of cold spring water to cool it, then I'd top it off with more water, then add a dried packet of yeast. Those beers came out surprisingly good.

After several batches like this, I moved to all grain and a bigger pot, and much more equipment. You can make great beer with extract (and a few steeping grains), and if you really feel like it's something you want to get into, you can get more advanced and start buying more and more specialized equipment.

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Old 09-30-2013, 04:24 PM   #6
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Keep a look out on Groupon or LivingSocial. They tend to have some good deals from Northern Brewer or Midwest for beginners kits. Usually include one recipe kit as well.

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Old 09-30-2013, 04:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twistr25 View Post
Keep a look out on Groupon or LivingSocial. They tend to have some good deals from Northern Brewer or Midwest for beginners kits. Usually include one recipe kit as well.
This is how I got started. I did a Groupon from American Brewmaster and immediately spent twice the Groupon amount upgrading to the deluxe kit. It was still a good buy. Their "textbook" was laughable now that I read it again, but otherwise, it was a good kit and made my start easy. I still don't see how people start without the basics such as a hydrometer and siphon.
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Old 09-30-2013, 04:51 PM   #8
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I read a Homebrew book from 1963
I bought all equipment from Ebay.
2 Kegs 1 FV all equipment needed plus 80 bottles £50
My mother brought me a second FV
I bought 9 kits from tesco that had just passed their best before date £140 worth for £52
My first Kegging is this coming saturday :0

Not planning on looking back

FV 1 Coopers real ale
FV 2 Coopers Stout
Keg 1 Empty
Keg 2 Empty
120 Bottles Empty

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Old 09-30-2013, 05:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eluterio View Post
Hi mike, Welcome to the obsession, if it takes hold. I would highly recommend 3 thinks to start off with.

#1) Purchase any one of these books and read it. How to Brew by John J. Palmer or The Complete joy of home brewing third addition by Charlie Papazian.

#2) Purchase a starter kit from a local home brew store and make something you like. Follow the direction listed and continue to read the book you purchased.

#3) Relax sit back and have a commercial brew until your home brew is done. Continue reading your book and maybe listen to pod casts that are out there.

The Brewing network has some great archive podcasts, after getting through the bs has great information. Start at the very begining 2005 then go from there.

If the bug hits you after your fist home brew, trust me you will know, then the door will open up even wider to the obsession of homebrewing.
I agree with everything eluterio states here, but would add to also spend alot of time on this forum, just looking around, linking from one post to another. You'll learn fast. Good luck and welcome!
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:13 PM   #10
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You can save money on your initial costs by not buying a secondary. Most of us don't bother with them anyway.

Put that money towards some kind of fermentation temperature control. Good beer isn't fermented at room temp unless you happen to live where it's pretty cool.
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