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Old 11-03-2008, 12:14 AM   #1
Fish-man
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Hope Im not asking any obvious and/or repeated question's again

Ive been looking at getting started at beer making and in particular looking at the kit's available.

Ive found a few which have the ingredient's listed but most of then seem to just have LME listed (with yeat etc) but nothing in the way of Hops. one even claimed to have "simple no boil instructions"

Now don't get me wrong I want my first beer to be pretty simple but just dumping a load of ingredients in a big pot and leaving it a while sounds far too simple. Even making a cup of tea is more complicated then that

I don't want to over complicate things but I do want to LEARN something and hopefully get to the point where I can concoct my own beer's perhaps even eventually go onto AG brewing.

Is there anything wrong with these kit's ?
Is This pretty standard?
Will the brew come out tasting good (provided I do it right)
If the answer is "NO" to 2/3 of the above - What else is there ?
Who makes a good kit?
Should I just try to follow a recipe from on here somewhere for my first?

Oh and last of all, have a missed something glaringly obvious as to why hop's might not be listed / used ?

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Old 11-03-2008, 12:21 AM   #2
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Welcome to the obsession!

Some of those kits are "no boil" kits, and they are prehopped. So, you open them, dump them in a sanitized fermenter and add water. Some call for sugar, but I'd recommend avoiding those kits. They do make beer, but it's not really very satisfying to do that, and the beer is not very good. You sound like you need a little bit more of a challenge than that.

I'd recommend getting a kit from a homebrew store- either online, or if you live close to one that has helpful and knowing salespeople, a local store. A good kit will have extract (either dry or liquid), hops, some grains and good instructions. Some kits come with yeast, but some do not. You should double check to see if yeast is included. Most of them require you to dissolve the extract in about 2 gallons of water, bring that to a boil and begin adding hops.

For kits, I've used some from morebeer.com, northernbrewer.com, austinhomebrew.com and I've purchased some Brewer's Best kits from a local place. As long as they are fresh (not sitting on the shelf for ages), the Brewer's Best kits are ok. I'd prefer one from a store with higher turnover, so I would probably buy one from the online stores I listed. I've been happy with everything I've purchased from those online stores.

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Old 11-03-2008, 12:22 AM   #3
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These kits you talk about will make beer. Whether or not it tastes good is up to you. If you are looking for something a little more challanging but easily doable look at the kits that Northern Brewer and Austin Homebrew sell that have steeping grains. Go with the standard dry yeast they include to keep it simple. These kits are great and many people stick with extract with steeping. As far as the hops not being included in the kits I suspect that the LME is pre hopped. This is fine for bittering but you wont get any hop flavor or aroma this way.
Good luck and welcome to the sickness

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Old 11-03-2008, 12:27 AM   #4
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Ah should have filled in my profile properly, I'm one of those charming Brits .

So unless those online store have very reasonable shipping (I will take a look anyway) it will have to be the LHBS and hope they have some decent kit's . He certainly knew his stuff about cider so finger's crossed about beer.

Thanks for explaining , I was beginning to get worried that I had missed something.

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Old 11-03-2008, 12:28 AM   #5
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I like the kits that Austin Homebrew Supply has. So far I've brewed their ESB and Creamy Smoked Amber. Both came out great, and you get instructions specific to the kit you bought. Good luck!!

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Old 11-03-2008, 12:30 AM   #6
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There are plenty of kits out there. Some are better than others and some are more complicated than others. Brewers Best has good kits and I have made a few of theirs. My LBHS also makes his own kits and I have made them. If you add yeast to LME, you will make beer. Making beer is like making a hamburger. You can cook a burger and throw it on a bun and you have a hamburger. OR. You can cook a burger, put it on a bun and add lettuce tomatoe, onions, pickles, ketchup etc. So, if you want to make a better beer, look for a kit that has more ingredients. There are different levels of kits, not all of them are for beginners.

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Old 11-03-2008, 12:36 AM   #7
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Fish-man - There are a number of Brit's on this forum, maybe they can jump in and point out a few places a little closer.
Depending on the type of beer your like, you should be able to find a kit that comes close. But I would avoid the no boil kits. All you need for ingredients is extract (liquid or dry), hops, yeast, and decent water.
Irish Moss, and possible water treatment additions could improve your beer. Equipment is another addiction entirely. Best of luck and enjoy yourself.

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Old 11-03-2008, 12:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kauai_Kahuna View Post
Depending on the type of beer your like,
I'm not really fussy, If I'm in the pub a bitter or stout is usually what I order, I don't really drink lager's much (not even 100% sure of the reason for that myself)

I can see what you all say about obsession ... I'm not even allowed to start brewing till the g/f car is sorted and Ive already got a couple of recipe's I want to try and a long list of equipment that I want (but wont be allowed to buy)

Thanks for the speedy and helpful responses.
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Old 11-03-2008, 12:52 AM   #9
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What are styles are you most interested in? Since we don't really know what's available in your area (most of us are on the other side of the pond) maybe we can help you put together something that you may enjoy more than what's available to brew.

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Old 11-03-2008, 12:57 AM   #10
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Make a kit or two first, then start branching out to original recipes. You'll quickly find that there can be far more to beer brewing than just dumping stuff into a kettle and leaving it alone.

Sorry to bring up a personal pet peeve, but the next time you think you need an apostrophe, you almost certainly don't.

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