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Old 06-29-2008, 03:36 AM   #1
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Default can anyone tell me what i need to get started?

i've ben looking at home brew kits and i'm not exactly sure what i need to get started and how much i should be expecting to spend. can anyone tell me what i actually need to get going? i will take any advice i can get for a person who knows nothing about brewing.

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Old 06-29-2008, 03:40 AM   #2
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There are some stickies in the beginner's section that might be of some service to you. Try starting here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=7909

Good luck!

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Old 06-29-2008, 03:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
can anyone tell me what i need to get started?
Capital letters are a good start...

Try this: www.Howtobrew.com
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Old 06-29-2008, 04:29 AM   #4
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To get started, you can look at these sites (among others) for a beginner's kit of equipment:

MoreBeer
Austin Homebrew Supply
HopTech
Midwest Homebrew

Normally the equipment kits do not come with a brew pot. For partial boil extract with grains, five gallons is nice but you can easily do it in as small as a three gallon (12 quart) pot as well. Just boil water and extract to equal about 2.5 gallons of water and top off. You don't need a secondary fermenter but they are nice to have; personally I prefer the plastic Better Bottle carboys over the glass and I think most of the suppliers will substitute (may affect price, I don't know). But others will (correctly) tell you that with care you can use glass for years without any problems . . . I just worry about the high consequences that might occur should there be a slip with a full glass carboy. You will also need a grain bag for steeping the specialty grains, though you can "brew your own" (pun intended) with a large piece of cheesecloth.


As to what to brew first, I would start with an "extract with grains" ale kit from a homebrew supply house that puts together tried and true recipe ingredients for you. The links below are to the index of recipe kits from some online suppliers:

MoreBeer
Austin Homebrew Supply
HopTech
Midwest Homebrew

Pick an ale that sounds like what you would want to drink and order the recipe kit. You will need a yeast to go with it -- for starting out, order a dry yeast and get a couple of spare packages.

I would also take a look at the site where John Palmer has the first edition of his book How to Brew available online. The first of the links below is for brewing a very simple extract, a Cincinnati Pale Ale. The second link talks about adding specialty grains. You can use whatever ingredients kit you buy and follow the process Palmer outlines.

Extract Recipe
Specialty Grains

The above sections will get you started, but the more of the book you read the more you will understand what you are doing. I would suggest ordering the book as well. It gets you the latest edition and it is handy to have around. The one thing I would ignore in the Palmer specialty grain section is the line on removing the steeped grains: " Remove the grain bag from the pot, giving it a squeeze to drain the excess wort and avoid dripping on the stove." Don't squeeze it; I think doing so can cause harsh tannins to be released into the wort. What I (now) do is to put the grain bag in a strainer that I sit over the brew kettle and let drain for about a minute.

There is also a Homebrewing Wiki here at homebrewtalk.com: Wiki

Lots of information there. And, of course, these forums are great for asking questions.

Last, as well as the above links to online retailers, if you are fortunate enough to have a local home brew supply store you should definitely check it out.

Good luck!

Rick

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Old 06-29-2008, 05:08 AM   #5
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You can get started doing AG for about $155.

Get the basic beer starter kit from morebeer. $69 shipped

here

I made a 5 gallon round igloo MLT with cpvc pipe for about $28

Buy a cheap propane turkey fryer. I got one for $32 Which comes with a 7.5 gallon pot.

And lastly, you'll need 20 or 25ft of 3/8 inch copper tubing to make an immersion chiller. I couldn't find anyone that sold 25 feet so I had to get 20 feet from homedepot. I think it was about $27.



Lastly here is a nice All Grain video that will show you all the steps to AG.

This is the 1st of 8 of this guys videos. Watch all 8 a few times.

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Old 06-29-2008, 05:57 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by olllllo View Post
Capital letters are a good start...
Yikes.... let's leave a good first impression for this guy. We're a bunch of beer drinkers here, not grammar nazis.

Sside, I would recommend the beginner kits at midwestsupplies. They supply you with everything you need to get started, and they are among the cheapest I've seen online.

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/produ...Cat=11166&fd=1

The Brewing Basics kit is good, and if you don't plan on doing secondary fermentation this is all you really need. If you plan on doing secondary, I would spend the extra $20 for the Brewing Start kit, since it comes with a 5 gallon glass carboy which is perfect for secondary fermentation.)
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Old 06-29-2008, 09:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RodfatherX View Post
You can get started doing AG for about $155.

Get the basic beer starter kit from morebeer. $69 shipped

here

I made a 5 gallon round igloo MLT with cpvc pipe for about $28

Buy a cheap propane turkey fryer. I got one for $32 Which comes with a 7.5 gallon pot.

And lastly, you'll need 20 or 25ft of 3/8 inch copper tubing to make an immersion chiller. I couldn't find anyone that sold 25 feet so I had to get 20 feet from homedepot. I think it was about $27.



Lastly here is a nice All Grain video that will show you all the steps to AG.

This is the 1st of 8 of this guys videos. Watch all 8 a few times.

here
If the man knows next to nothing about brewing, any DIY projects or half of what you said is going to make his head spin 99 times out of 100.

I used to teach at the local community college, and I figured out that education while you're doing a simple first project that you can appreciate when you're done does wonders for a person's confidence.

Go read www.howtobrew.com and start perusing it. Pick up a brewing kit from any of the fine establishments online that have been said. Make sure if the kit doesn't have it, get some sanitizer to make things easier on you. StarSan is fantastic (though don't worry about the foam. It turns into yeast food in the beer). Get a good brew kettle (4 gallons is good if you're *just* starting, but you'll have to upgrade) Buy a good kit (one that has malt extract, hops you add on your own, and probably some grains you'll have to seep) for 20-40 bucks depending on what you want. Buy a good kitchen spoon to stir everything. Buy a strainer too with some cheesecloth (makes filtering out the hops later EASY).

Then, brew your beer. Ask us for some pointers, post your instructions and let us give you suggestions on how to make things easier for you. Brew your first batch of beer, and see if you enjoy the patience and time it takes to brew. If you do, pick up the how to brew book, pick up the complete joy of homebrewing if you want a more user-friendly version, and get into talking here. Think about what kind of ales you like, and search the forum for people talking about those ales (you have a search function for this). See if there's anything specific that you need to know. Order your next beer, and brew it.

Take notes. A brew diary is fundamental. It could be a notepad file on your computer, or a hardcover journal, or like me, I use both. The journal to scribble and take "field notes", and then I feed everything into my computer later for easy review. Learn to take readings with your hydrometer. It's easy, and as long as you sanitize everything, it's pretty fun. Don't toss out your starsan solution, it's good for a month at least, so keep it in a tupperware bucket so you can sanitize anything you need quickly and easily.

I know it seems like a lot, but really, beer brewing is pretty procedural. You're doing the same thing over and over again, just with different ingredients. Don't worry about all grain unless you're the type to geek out on something immediately. Learn to brew well, learn to keep things cool and at the right temperature when fermenting, and learn patience. Once the fundamentals are down, you can move on to as complicated as you want.
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Old 06-29-2008, 04:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TheFlatline View Post
If the man knows next to nothing about brewing, any DIY projects or half of what you said is going to make his head spin 99 times out of 100.
Ah you are correct. Unless he watches the vids..... And does a lil searching into the other links that everyone else posted already :-)
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Old 06-29-2008, 06:16 PM   #9
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Yikes.... let's leave a good first impression for this guy. We're a bunch of beer drinkers here, not grammar nazis.
Precisely. There are alot of people that ignore posts without an attempt at punctuation, grammer and paragraph breaks.

Just letting the OP know that.
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Old 06-29-2008, 08:59 PM   #10
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There are alot of people that ignore posts without an attempt at punctuation, grammer and paragraph breaks.
By the way, "alot" should be "a lot" with a space and "grammer" is misspelled.

Just saying.

Rick
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