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Old 12-28-2011, 02:59 AM   #1
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Default Need help choosing first brew

Hi everybody,
My name is Erik, but everyone calls me Cooler. I've been lurking around for a long while now and thought I should finally chime in and say hello.
I got into real beer about 6 years ago thanks to my dad who introduced me to IPA. Since all I had known before that was Miller, I was simply blown away with how much flavor beer could have and was instantly hooked. Living in WI, I fell in love with New Glarus pretty quickly, and their beers are what made me want to try my hand at home brewing. I finally got a Brewer's Best kit for Christmas (basic kit, 2 buckets/no carboy), and I cannot wait to start brewing! But for the life of me I cannot decide which brew to start with, so I figured maybe you all could help me out.
Since this will be my first batch, I'm having trouble judging what would be the best one to start with so I don't end up in over my head or waiting months to taste my first batch.

I've narrowed it down to three choices (all Brewer's Best kits):
German Altbier, American Amber, or Imperial Blonde Ale

I'm sure I will end up brewing all three, but which one would be the best (read easiest) to start with? I'm leaning towards the Alt, but the phrase "A great beer to ferment cool and cold condition" (with no additional explanation) kind of intimidates me for a first batch.
Thanks in advance!
Cooler

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Old 12-28-2011, 03:02 AM   #2
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amber is a great style to start off with! alt's are great too, but require a bit more attention and preferably the ability to lager at cooler temps after fermentation.

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can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
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it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
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Old 12-28-2011, 03:03 AM   #3
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Don't do the Alt. You certainly have to have firm control over your fermentation temps. I'm not sure what your craft beer drinking has looked like over the last six years, but start with a style with which you're well acquainted. If you can identify flavors that don't belong with a particular style, you'll have an easier time identifying problems with your process.

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Old 12-28-2011, 03:41 AM   #4
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Thanks guys!
That's what I was afraid of with the Alt. I live in an upper apartment, so I have limited options as far as space with suitable temps. With winter here, I'm sure it would either be too warm or too cold.

What about the Blonde? From my understanding, beer with higher ABV can take longer to reach completion than something like the Amber with a lower ABV. Is that accurate?

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Old 12-28-2011, 03:48 AM   #5
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yep, higher gravity, the longer it takes to ferment and condition. since you'll want to try your new creation, i'd say go for a style that'll finish up in 5-6 weeks, boil to bottle.

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can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
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it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
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Have you seen the price of ketchup lately? And I'm not talking Heinz.
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Old 12-28-2011, 03:59 AM   #6
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yep, higher gravity, the longer it takes to ferment and condition. since you'll want to try your new creation, i'd say go for a style that'll finish up in 5-6 weeks, boil to bottle.
Does the Amber fit in that time frame?
If so, Amber it is!
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Old 12-28-2011, 04:04 AM   #7
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yep of your choices the amber is your best choice.

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Old 12-28-2011, 12:29 PM   #8
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You may consider a wheat beer, though not on your list. Quickest to your glass. Can be ready as fast as 3-4 weeks.

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Old 12-28-2011, 01:07 PM   #9
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If you want to stick with Brewer's Best kits, you could do their English brown ale. It's pretty good, and it helps "hide" a few mistakes because of the dark color and full flavor. It's similar to a Newcastle in taste and body.

I assume you're going to Homebrew Market? That is a good store. You could also brew one Brewer's Best kit, and then find a recipe here on our forum (we have a nice recipe database) or have us help you make a recipe and you can pick up the ingredients at Homebrew Market and make exactly what you want!

I have a nice Fat Squirrel clone posted, but I don't think it's easily done as an extract batch. So maybe you aren't ready for something like that, but you will be soon once you get a few batches under your belt!

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Old 12-28-2011, 01:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I assume you're going to Homebrew Market? That is a good store. You could also brew one Brewer's Best kit, and then find a recipe here on our forum (we have a nice recipe database) or have us help you make a recipe
Yooper can you point me to that thread?
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