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Old 06-28-2008, 02:30 AM   #1
Yeast of Eden
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Default Newbie looking for guidance.

I've just purchased my first basic kits, and being a typical male, want to run before I have taken my first tentative steps. What's the generally followed home brew progression. Kits then extract, then PM then AG. I'm particularly keen to try PM but dont want to overreach. Slow and steady or jump in with both feet and damn the consequences?

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Old 06-28-2008, 02:48 AM   #2
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Some folks skip the PM stage and go to all grain. A few extract beers are good experience on boiling,fermenting and temperature control while you get a grasp on how the all grain process works. Then you get the extra equipment and jump in.

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Old 06-28-2008, 03:01 AM   #3
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You can successfully progress any way you want. Some folks even started with AG!
Brew your first batch and see how you like it. If you feel like you want more then progress at the rate that makes you comfortable.
Keep us informed!

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Old 06-28-2008, 03:05 AM   #4
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Cheers guys.

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Old 06-28-2008, 03:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeast of Eden View Post
I've just purchased my first basic kits, and being a typical male, want to run before I have taken my first tentative steps. What's the generally followed home brew progression. Kits then extract, then PM then AG. I'm particularly keen to try PM but dont want to overreach. Slow and steady or jump in with both feet and damn the consequences?
Congrats on getting started.

I did two PM batches and went AG.

If you are patient, and are willing to do your homework so you know what to do ahead of time, moving up is fun and the results are great! The main difference with a PM vs all extract is time, about an extra 45 minutes for the saccharification rest of the mini-mash. It isn't complex. Going AG doubles the time per batch, since you have to sparge, there is a lot more cleanup, and a lot more planning since you have to figure out strike temp, etc.

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Old 06-28-2008, 03:52 AM   #6
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Welcome to the obsession! I'm oughta control as my wife says.
I did two extract brews and went right to all grain. I can tell you that everything you need to know is here in this forum. The people are great and the technical details are very understandable. That being said you definetly have to some home work. It is certainly worth it though! Good Luck.

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Old 06-28-2008, 05:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Kits then extract, then PM then AG
Actually, you can get kits that are extract, extract with steeping grains, partial mash, or all grain. Granted, most kits are going to be extract with some steeping grains, but they are available in each. Check out Austin Homebrew Supply (AHS); their kits can usually be ordered in all three (extract, partial mash, or all grain).

I'm not sure there is a general rule; the first brew I did was a recipe I formulated myself. I was three or four batches in before I did an extract with steeping grains kit. I plan for my next to be a partial mash.

I'd suggest a couple of extract w/grains kits to get you going, then try and formulate an extract w/grain recipe (or use one of the ones that can be found here and elsewhere).

Good luck,

Rick
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Old 06-28-2008, 06:45 AM   #8
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Yeast of Eden,

Howdy, I started with a kit and it wasn't fit to drink.
Then liquid extract {LME} has kept me brewing for 14 years.
More recently, {I guess I am getting sophisticated},
I prefer DME and steep in speciality grains to add taste.
It is good enough for me,
and cooking on the stove ...
and the problems with cooling 5 gallons rather than 2,
along with the fact that I haven't tasted all that much all whole grain brew, and what I have, has not impressed me enough to go all grain,
I figurativly speaking have become 'stuck' on:
DME extract, {made of base grains}
with speciality grains steeped in.
It is better than a store bought beer and costs .65
for 12 oz's of 6 3/4% alcohol ale.
'Meine acht pfund Hammerbier'


Thank you


J.Winters VonKnife
{Sandymay is asleep}
http://jacksknifeshop.tripod.com/

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Old 06-28-2008, 07:48 AM   #9
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I'm going to say "brew with the freshest materials you have". If that means AG, go AG. If it means DME or LME, so be it.

The grain at my LHBS is of dubious age since they don't do very much business. The business they do is mainly kits, so their brewer's best kits go really fast (some of the basic LME cans have rust on them they're so old!). In that case, I'd stick with the kits that are fresh. The shop an hour away blows through inventory like gas through a beer drinker, and so you pretty much have the selection of whatever you want, including pouring your own LME.

My 2 cents, as a n00b, is KISS. If you're just getting started, and don't have tons of disposable income, focus on perfecting your brewing technique and rely on established recipes and/or kits to take the worry out of the ingredient assembly. When you can brew a good beer consistently, control the temperature well, and avoid doing silly things like dumping 2 pounds of corn sugar into your beer to "carbonate" it, then you can look to complicate matters more. I figure if you become a good brewer, then the equipment and effort spent on going AG will have better yields. I find if I have 20 things to pay attention to, I forget 5 of them, but if I only have 10 things to remember, I'll tend to remember them all (except tonight, I forgot the f*cking Irish Moss!!!)

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Old 06-28-2008, 12:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeast of Eden View Post
I'm particularly keen to try PM but dont want to overreach.
Then do it!

None of this stuff is hard. If you read about it and know what you're trying to accomplish, when you actually do it, you'll realize, "Hey, this is easy. Why was I worried?" Obviously your first time doing something new won't be perfect, but it won't be perfect no matter how long you spend dithering about doing it.

Really, it's not a question of difficulty. When considering different approaches to brewing, the only things you need to ask are: Do I have the equipment I need? and Do I have the time required?

For extract, you need about an hour and really just one pot.
For partial mash, you need about two hours and probably two pots (depending on how you want to PM.)
For all-grain, you need more like three hours, and a mash tun as well.

A rough outline, but no approach to brewing is "difficult," and there are many ways to skin a cat, so you really just want to understand the philosophy behind the brewing technique and then figure out how to make it work with what you've got.
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