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-   -   Chicago Newb Seeks Advice (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/chicago-newb-seeks-advice-385747/)

Lethargicwalrus 01-30-2013 12:50 AM

Chicago Newb Seeks Advice
 
Hello,

I am a beer enthusiast looking to get into home-brew. Like many uneducated people I have absolutely no idea where to start. I was wondering if anyone could help me get started. I have no equipment, and I'm looking to purchase my own supplies rather than buying an already put together kit. Perhaps I could come and watch somebody brew a batch or even strike up some sort of homebrewing apprenticeship. I live in the city of Chicago, there has to be someone from around here.

Thanks guys.

Quadrupled 01-30-2013 01:30 AM

Check out Brew & Grow; they offer classes for $20 and a 20% discount on kits/equipment with the class.

http://www.brewandgrow.com/brew/brewingclasses/

thadius856 01-30-2013 02:28 AM

Piecing together your own kit is great and all, but it will end up costing you a good deal more in the end. There's some things that every brewer needs. This kit has them, and is at a very steep discount right now. I suggest you jump on at least one of these to get started at a much more reasonable price than we did:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/grea...al-com-385410/

darth5aint 01-30-2013 02:49 AM

What part of chicago? I like Brew Camp. There right off the Damon brown line. Its a small shop but the guys are real friendly, have everything u need, and offer classes for $20

fatnoah 01-30-2013 03:06 AM

I 2nd the Brew camp suggestion. That's where I go. They have classes, are very helpful, and pretty reasonable prices.

Lethargicwalrus 01-30-2013 06:35 PM

Im in Ukranian village. And the only thing is the classes happen to fall on days that are outside of my schedule, plus I don't want to have to wait until February 10th to start just the class, I want to start learning as soon as possible. Also I've heard that the classes can be a little counterproductive, whereas a lot of my friends are recommending I just go and watch somebody brew, or join a brew club like CHAOS or something similar. Thoughts?

duboman 01-30-2013 06:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lethargicwalrus
Im in Ukranian village. And the only thing is the classes happen to fall on days that are outside of my schedule, plus I don't want to have to wait until February 10th to start just the class, I want to start learning as soon as possible. Also I've heard that the classes can be a little counterproductive, whereas a lot of my friends are recommending I just go and watch somebody brew, or join a brew club like CHAOS or something similar. Thoughts?

Get "the Joy of Homebrewing" by Papazian and read it! It's a bare bones, entertaining read that will essentially tell you everything you need to know in basic form to get started.

Watching and helping someone brew is a great idea if you can find someone or as mentioned find a club near you and ask if you can attend a meeting to meet some local brewers!

BigFloyd 01-30-2013 06:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by duboman (Post 4844883)
Watching and helping someone brew is a great idea if you can find someone or as mentioned find a club near you and ask if you can attend a meeting to meet some local brewers!

+1. Helping someone brew a batch (and then later go back and help bottle) is a great way to learn. That, combined with doing lots of reading on this forum, will take you a long way.

Brewers are amongst the most helpful and sharing folks you may ever meet.

adman 01-30-2013 06:54 PM

Hi Lethargic,

I'm a member over at CHAOS, so I'm biased in that direction. I have had good experiences with both Brew & Grow locations, although I never could get their mill to give me consistently decent efficiency. No problem once I started crushing my grain at the club. The great thing about CHAOS for me is that a majority of the equipment you need for going all grain (mill, burners, pots, MLTs) is available for use at the club. I do all of my brewing at the club's brewhouse, which is great given that I have limited space at home.

The downside obviously is that you have to pay monthly to keep brewing at the brewhouse. It's worth it for me, but is certainly not for everyone. I suggest you check out our Open House on February 16, or come by our monthly meeting on February 10. Or you can just grab a Trial Membership and check us out any time somebody is brewing.

If you're really just getting started (i.e. you've never done a brew at all), I'm teaching a "Brewing 101" class next Monday evening (February 4), doing an extract plus specialty grains recipe. The class is free for CHAOS members (Trial Membership included).

I apologize if this sounds like I'm shilling for CHAOS. Like I said, it works very well for me. Feel free to reply or PM me with any questions.

-Adam

Lethargicwalrus 01-30-2013 07:06 PM

Adman it means a lot that you would mention this because I have been really looking into joining CHAOS. I am interested in coming to the brewing class, you mentioned that it is free for CHAOS members, I'm wondering two things. 1. Does that require me to sign up for the trial or 2. Does that imply that I could just pay the class fee and come not being a member.
Me being 100% new to this (I've never brewed anything, let alone touched equipment) I need all the help I can get. I think that in the long run it would be good to join CHAOS due to the knowledge and passion that, generally speaking, you guys have. I just also wouldn't want to be 1. a burden or 2. have to be continent on the brewspace they have. Anyhow let me know your thoughts, this forum is already helping me loads!


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