Newbie's 4 Style Mr. Beer batch
Hi I'm new to home brewing , but I'm excited to get started. Heres some background:
Age - Pushing 30
Experience - 1 Mr. Beer batch about 5 years ago
Favorite Beer Style - Strong IPAs
So why home brew? For me it was a combo of new found love for quality brews ( $$$ ) and Ive always been a do-it yourself type guy.
So I started reading on this site a couple months ago and a recent trip to the local flea market set this all in motion when i scored the following.
2 - Mr. Beer kegs - $10.00
2 - 5 Gal Glass Carboys - $20.00
1 - Northern Brewer Primary Bucket - Free
But this thread I will be throwing on my training wheels and doing 4 - 2 Gal Mr. Beer batch's.
But first I took some advice and read this for 2 weeks after work, front to back.
OK lets brew.
1 - 1 can American IPA, 1 can Unhopped Wheat, 1/2 oz Cascade
2 - 1 can American IPA, 1 can unhopped pale, 1/2 oz Cascade
3 - 1 can West Coast Pale Ale, 1 can Unhopped Wheat, 1/2 oz Glacier
4 - 1 can West Coast Pale Ale, 1 can Unhopped Pale, 1/2 oz Glacier
So first sanitize everything.
Hot water to to thin the extract.
Dissolve Booster ( Corn syrup solids ) in cold water, and bring to boil.
1/2 oz hops at knockout to kick it up a notch.
Let cool and add yeast.
Next project cleaning and sanitizing over 300+ bottles, to start off my brewing career.
Sounds like you got a good deal on the buckets/carboys, etc., but the recipe is a bit "too" basic in my opinion. It's probably a decent recipe for the ultra-beginner, but I don't believe the end result will meet your expectations (especially using corn syrup).
I checked online & found a http://www.google.com/search?q=stockton+california+home+brew&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a#q=stockton+california+homebrew&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=RqV&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=ivnscm&source=univ&tbm=plcs&tbo=u&ei=T8NlTtTGMKrXiALt6amiCg&sa=X&oi=local_group&ct=more-results&resnum=1&ved=0CDMQtQMwAA&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.&fp=26ac797b000d0693&biw=1920&bih=893 (nothing in Stockton, sadly...), and I'd suggest heading to one of those spots & talk with them about decent starter recipes as well as what other equipment you need.
Equipment-wise, you'll also need:
-Bungs & airlocks if the carboys didn't come with them
-A kettle (think I started with a basic 10-gallon)
-Sanitizer (iodine based or Star-San if you want my recommendation)
-Stirring spoon (decent size, about 1.5' to 2' long is the average)
-Thermometer, preferably digital (glass ones tend to break easily if you're not careful with them)
-A way of cooling the wort, either a copper chiller or just set the kettle in a tub full of cold water & swap out frozen water bottles-there's a lot of threads here on how to do that
-Would also highly recommend a Wine Thief & auto siphon. You'll thank me later.
-Tubing for transferring to/from your fermenter (size depends on the type of siphon you get)
-A large Rubbermaid tub (so you can hold a large amount of sanitizer in one spot--good for spot cleaning or sanitizing a huge amount of bottles)
-A bottling wand (must get)
-A copy of Charlie Papazian's "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing", or head to HowToBrew by John Palmer & research, research, research.
Since you love IPA's like I do, I'd suggest asking the homebrew shop if they have a recipe book (many reputable spots have their own homespun recipe books) & see if they have a basic extract IPA recipe you can try out.
It's an investment, but well worth it when you get the basics figured out. Good luck & welcome to the addiction! :mug:
Thanks for the advice, I have my list of needed supplies to make the jump into 5 gal batch's. I know the Mr.Beer thing is kinda lame but I thought it would be good practice and a good baseline to judge my future brews against. In the future I will use the mini kegs for mead,cider, and experimental batch's. And I just gotta say this site rocks with all the info people are willing to share.
Aside from the fact that they provide Hopped Malt Extract, it's no different than any other extract brewing. Sure, you lose a bit of control by having it pre-hopped but you can still do additional hop boils to add bitterness, flavor and aroma just like you would with any other extract or all grain brewing.
Don't let the cute little brown keg fool you. You can make GREAT beer with Mr.Beer extracts with or without additions.
I brew all grain and still use Mr. Beer refills/kits on occasion when I want to brew a tried-and-true recipe with minimal effort.
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