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Old 05-09-2012, 12:35 AM   #1
cormeister7
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Default Brewers Best Kit best beer to start with

Hey all;

I'm thinking about trying to homebrew, but I have a few questions first.

1) I was looking at the Kolsch kit from brewers best. Is that type of beer a relatively easy one to start out with? I'm a fan of mostly light and wheat beers, but I do know I like Kolsch, so that one seems like a good starting point for me.

2) How stinky is the process? I live in a studio apartment, so I'm concerned about the odor of the fermentation process. A day or so of brewing wont be bad, just dont want to live with a pungent odor for a month!

3) I was going to get the Brewers Best deluxe kit that I found at wholefoods. Im just starting out, but I feel like I want something a little more robust than the Mr.Beer kit I've seen around. Any thoughts or warnings either way?

I guess that's all for now. I'm trying to get this in motion soon, as it would be a blast to have something together by memorial day weekend!

Thanks for any input.

Cheers!

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Old 05-09-2012, 12:41 AM   #2
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Everyone really liked American Light and American Amber kits from BB that I made when I first started. Very wasy kits. I'll bet the Kolsch would be very good too.

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Old 05-09-2012, 12:47 AM   #3
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American light is great! Kölsh was great too but for one or two days during fermentation my house smelled like farts it was worth it though!

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Old 05-09-2012, 04:04 AM   #4
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Personally I think the malt and hops smell great. I'm only on my second brew so that may depend on what you are brewing, but my problem is more that I like the smell too much and keep opening my lager to bask in that delicious aroma.

I just got that deluxe kit a few days ago and I like it. I do wish it came with a beer thief and test tube to check gravities in, but that's a minor complaint. Get yourself some StarSan in a spray bottle because the cleaner that comes with the kit is a cleaner not a sanitizer.

Also, my little bit of advice: get a bigger brew pot than you think you will need. I did my last wort boil in a 3 gallon pot and only had about an inch of space in it once the malt was all in. Needless to say the approach to the hot break was mildly terrifying.

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Old 05-09-2012, 11:39 AM   #5
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Lighter colored and lower alcohol beers ferment out and mature faster than the dark and higher alcohol beers but the darker beers flavor hides flaws in your process better. Mostly brew an ale that you think you like. I wouldn't make a Kolsch for the first brew as it is a light color and to be true Kolsch it needs a period of cold conditioning. I would probably go toward the middle of the bunch with an amber or red ale as I like these flavors and they are dark enough to hide some flaws and still light enough to mature quickly. Fermented with Nottingham or US-05, these shouldn't be very stinky either and the smell should be gone in 2 to 3 days. I do mine in a small room with the door closed and rarely notice the odor when I open the door to check on them.

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Old 05-09-2012, 12:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by optaka View Post
Also, my little bit of advice: get a bigger brew pot than you think you will need. I did my last wort boil in a 3 gallon pot and only had about an inch of space in it once the malt was all in. Needless to say the approach to the hot break was mildly terrifying.

I have a stainless steel 20qt pot that I make stock in. Do you think that is big enough? If my memory serves me correctly 4 Quarts = 1 Gallon, so that SHOULD be a 5 gallon pot.
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cormeister7 View Post
I have a stainless steel 20qt pot that I make stock in. Do you think that is big enough? If my memory serves me correctly 4 Quarts = 1 Gallon, so that SHOULD be a 5 gallon pot.


If you're doing a partial boil, which is what i think those kits "suggest," then you should be fine. If you're wanting to do the full 5 gallon boils, you're gonna need something closer to 9 or 10 gallons.
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:58 PM   #8
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I let my very first kit ferment in my bedroom. It didn't stink at all. It just smelled like sweet beer and hops in the airlock. I really liked it actually.

20qt is fine for a partial boil (2-3 gallons). I use a 30qt aluminum turkey fryer for my full boils which is only 7.5 gallons. Watching for the hot break is the only concern...but if you are paying attention during that point, it's not a big deal and 7.5 is plenty big enough for full.

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Old 05-09-2012, 01:00 PM   #9
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The BB Wit is a great kit

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Old 05-09-2012, 01:05 PM   #10
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The 5 gallon pot will be plenty of space. The BB recipes have you boiling about 2.5 gallons and then adding the rest in cold water after the boil, so your pot will give you more than enough space to avoid a boil over.

I'm very new to this and started with the exact same set up as you (BB deluxe kit & a BB recipe box). I found the instructions pretty helpful and straight forward. The only flaw I found in the IPA kit was that the bag of priming sugar was too much for the 5 gallon batch. After reading The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, I learned that I only should have added 3/4 of a cup at most instead of the whole bag. This adjustment made my 2nd batch much better. But all in all I think BB is very helpful for us NewBs. BTW I highly recommend The Complete Joy of Homebrewing - now I'm hooked!

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