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Old 04-02-2013, 06:30 PM   #1
Incoerenza86
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Default Ciao a tutti Beer lovers

Hello Guys,

My name is Marco, Italian but living around Europe since several years now (England, Czech Republic and then back UK with frequent trips to Ireland and Belgium) so obviously the step from enjoying beer and self brewing it was a dream that always tickled my brain.

I would need your suggestion as I believe you way ahead on the matter obviously:
1) What kit do you suggest to buy for a beginner? Craigtube use his own and then the Coopers One. Mr Beer I read controversial reviews and then there is the Balliihoo one who has very good review. Which one would you recommend?

2) How do you personalize your beer in the process? I mean if everyone follow the instructions on the kit wouldn`t be like making the same thing? What if I want to add something etc.? So basically how to improve quality from basics.

3) I understand there is another process different from using the Malt Extract. I believe will involve the dried hops, how does that work in terms of process and differences vs the malt extract? Is too complicated?

Thanks a lot for your insights and feel free to add points if I forgot any,
Ciao
Marco

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Old 04-02-2013, 07:51 PM   #2
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1. Well if you want to start small you can do
http://www.brewdemon.com/
http://www.beermachine.com/
http://www.mrbeer.com/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/mr-b...estions-46360/
and many home brewing stores sell their own small batch kits like this one for example.
http://www.northernbrewer.com/starte...tarterKit_Tile
you might be able to find a homebrew supply store near where you live that sells their own.
Or you might decide to just jump in and get a 5 gallon sized starter kit.

2. Until you really have a feel for the ingredients and your brewing processes you should probably just follow the tried and true recipes (or kits) other have formulated before you. As you get more comfortable you can start making modifications to the recipes and even begin formulating your own. There are several fantastic books on the topic of brewing and recipe formulation. You can also learn a fair amount of the information here on this forum, I know I have. Then, just brew what you like.

3. I'm not sure about the whole dried hops thing, But there are three main ways of brewing.
All extract, which utilizes dried and liquid malt extracts and usually pellet hops. You can steep specialty grains for more complexity and flavor
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/begi...g-howto-99139/
Partial Mash, which involves using mini mashes, which is mashing (controlled steeping) of base and specialty grains at certain temperatures and then using extract to bring the gravity up to target. This technique allows a brewer to achieve more customization to their beer without the need for all the equipment and boil scale required for batches that are all grains.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/easy...ng-pics-75231/
All-Grain, which involves using ground malts (base and specialty) and mashing them, which is 'basically' like controlled steeping where you utilize specific temperatures to allow the natural enzymes in the malt to convert the complex starches into tasty fermentable sugars.

A lot of people who start with all grain will utilize the BIAB(Brew In a Bag) technique which simplifies the process somewhat.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/biab...g-pics-233289/
I use a Gatorade cooler to mash in. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/chea...version-23008/
The type of hops you use don't really change the brewing technique

heres a basic guide to the whole brewing process. http://www.howtobrew.com
Check out the stickies at the top of the subforums to find out more information and lastly, welcome

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Old 04-02-2013, 08:21 PM   #3
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John Palmer has been gracious enough to put the first edition of his book, "How to Brew" online for people like you to learn from. I have read it and the second edition which has some changes in it to reflect new knowledge but the first edition will give you a good background. www.howtobrew.com

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Old 04-03-2013, 09:03 AM   #4
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Thank you both guys!

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Old 04-03-2013, 02:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgmatic View Post
1. Well if you want to start small you can do
http://www.brewdemon.com/
http://www.beermachine.com/
http://www.mrbeer.com/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/mr-b...estions-46360/
and many home brewing stores sell their own small batch kits like this one for example.
http://www.northernbrewer.com/starte...tarterKit_Tile
you might be able to find a homebrew supply store near where you live that sells their own.
Or you might decide to just jump in and get a 5 gallon sized starter kit.

2. Until you really have a feel for the ingredients and your brewing processes you should probably just follow the tried and true recipes (or kits) other have formulated before you. As you get more comfortable you can start making modifications to the recipes and even begin formulating your own. There are several fantastic books on the topic of brewing and recipe formulation. You can also learn a fair amount of the information here on this forum, I know I have. Then, just brew what you like.

3. I'm not sure about the whole dried hops thing, But there are three main ways of brewing.
All extract, which utilizes dried and liquid malt extracts and usually pellet hops.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/begi...g-howto-99139/
Partial Mash, which involves using mostly extract and using mini mashes, which is steeping specialty grains at certain temperatures to achieve more complexity and flavor that you can get from all extract.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/easy...ng-pics-75231/
All-Grain, which involves using ground malts (base and specialty) and mashing them, which is 'basically' like controlled steeping where you utilize specific temperatures to allow the natural enzymes in the malt to convert the complex starches into tasty fermentable sugars.

A lot of people who start with all grain will utilize the BIAB(Brew In a Bag) technique which simplifies the process somewhat.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/biab...g-pics-233289/
I use a Gatorade cooler to mash in. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/chea...version-23008/
The type of hops you use don't really change the brewing technique

heres a basic guide to the whole brewing process. http://www.howtobrew.com
Check out the stickies at the top of the subforums to find out more information and lastly, welcome
Partial mash isn't steeping specialty grains. That's Extract with Steeping Grains.
Partial mash is mashing grains to get part of the fermentables,then adding extract LME or DME to get the wort up to the desired OG. For instance,I typically mash 5lbs of grains for an hour to get about 50% of the fermentables. Then add 3lb od DME or 3.3 pounds of LME to get the Original Gravity the beer requires. I also do this as PB/PM BIAB-Partial boil/Partial Mash Brew In A Bag.
I use the same equipment for this that I used for All Extract (AE) save for a 5 gallon paint strainer bag.
I agree that all extract is a great place to start & get a process down that works for you. Here's a link to midwest's basic starter kit for $65; http://www.midwestsupplies.com/brewi...pment-kit.html
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post

Partial mash isn't steeping specialty grains. That's Extract with Steeping Grains.
You... are correct
I fix that now
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People's brains are interesting....and tasty too.

(See what I did tthere? ;))
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