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Old 03-31-2012, 07:32 PM   #1
injendsm
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Default A couple quick questions from an old noob

I joined this site a few years ago with the intention of brewing a decent amount of beer. Shortly after purchasing my brewing equipment kit, I made a batch of Apfelwein. Unfortunately, things never quite worked out for my brewing desires due to unforseen circumstances in other parts of my life and I wasn't able to make a batch of beer. Fast forward to today and I'm finally at a point where I can get back into the hobby without any issues.

Taking all that into consideration, I'm planning to re-read John Palmer's book to regain my understanding of the process and all that it entails. I remember the basics but I want a more thorough understanding. I also thought I'd swing by here to ask the experts a couple of quick questions.

1. Would it be necessary to replace my brewing equipment, considering its age?

I purchased the intermediate kit from Midwest (two buckets, two better bottle carboys) when I started out because I wanted the ability to have a couple brews going at a time. I also purchased a turkey fryer with a 10 gallon pot which should be fine since it was never actually used. The intermediate kit was stored in my garage and it would be cleaned before use but I'm not sure if the quality of the buckets and bottles would suffer over time since they weren't being used.

2. Would I be better off going with a 20 minute boil kit or a traditional brewing kit?

Both cost the same, give or take a couple bucks, so the deciding factor is convenience. I'm thinking the 20 minute boil kit could be good for my first brew but I don't want to shortchange myself by not going the traditional route.

I'm glad to be back and it should be for good this time. Thanks, in advance, for any and all help.

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Old 03-31-2012, 07:39 PM   #2
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Your equipment should be fine if it was only used once, just clean and rinse good. I've never heard of a 20 minute boil kit, so I won't be able to advise you there.

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Old 03-31-2012, 07:42 PM   #3
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Thanks. This is what I was referencing with the 20 minute boil kits:

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/homeb...boil-kits.html

Edit-For some reason that link doesn't take you to the proper site when I click it but, if you go to the "brewing ingredients" drop-down menu, the 20 minute boil kits are listed under the "beer recipe kits" sub-menu.

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Old 03-31-2012, 07:43 PM   #4
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welcome back! i would not buy another kit. get some PBR and clean them really well. maybe, depending on how they look and such, replace the grommits on the lids. as long as its nice and clean you should be fine. also go with a traditional kit. you wont go wrong. i never heard of a 20 minute boil kit... is that the coopers kits? i'm a strong believer that you get what you put into it. get a malt extract kit for your first kit and brew away. Happy brewing!

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Old 03-31-2012, 07:48 PM   #5
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I would say the equipment should be fine, after all, plastic seems to last forever! Just give everything a good cleaning and inspection. Do not use abrasives on the plastic that would create microscopic hiding places for ichy things to grow.

If you plan on continuing your brewing hobby I would go for a traditional 5 gallon extract kit of something you like to drink. Something simple, not a lager. This will get you more in the process without any more difficulty than a 20 minute boil kit other than time.

Start saving bottles unless you already have a leg set up. You will need a little over 2 cases and you have about a month to save them up. If necessary recruit your friends to save their's as well! After all they will want samples! After you brew your first, get thinking about planning your second so you can start a pipeline because those first 2 cases will not last as long as you think

Remember that sanitizing is the first most important thing you need to get a handle on so get some PBW to wash and clean and Star San to sanitize. The kit you select should have everything else you need for your first batch.

Read the directions but don't necessarily follow them, forget about the 1 week primary, then secondary thing, just keep it in the primary for 3 weeks. Patience is your friend! Pay careful attention to your fermentation temperature. Scope out the house and find a spot that is a nice 60-65 degrees as a good range for ales.

Remember to read the stickies on these forums as a lot of beginner questions have been answered there quite well! Most of all, have fun and welcome to the world of home brewing, we're here if you need us!!

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Old 04-01-2012, 12:29 PM   #6
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I have done the 20 minute amber bock from Midwest and it is pretty good. I would say though just get a kit or 3 and start brewing. Being in Florida you need a way to control your temperature while it is fermenting

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Old 04-01-2012, 12:48 PM   #7
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personally i would skip the 20 minute beer kits, and just go for a full 1 hour boil. The 20 min kits are 20 mins because of the prehopped liquid malt extract.

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Old 04-01-2012, 01:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bige9920
welcome back! i would not buy another kit. get some PBR and clean them really well.
I knew PBR was good for something
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:39 PM   #9
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Thanks for the tips, everyone. I was planning to do either a pale ale or a brown ale for my first kit as those are my two favorite types of beer. Temperature control is tough in south Florida so I'm not sure how easy it's going to be to keep the temp of the primary at 60-65 unless I keep the whole house at that temp; not sure my wife would like the electric bill for that month, lol. I was planning to either stick it in a closet with the doors closed so that light couldn't get to it or keep the doors of the closet open but have a fan pointing at the primary.

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Old 04-01-2012, 04:51 PM   #10
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Get a big tub and put your fermenter in that. fill the tub with water and add ice to keep it cooler. You only need to keep it cool for about the first 3 days as that is when the off flavors will occur.

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