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Old 12-23-2007, 10:21 PM   #1
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Default Preparing for my first batch....

I have been planning this for a long time, but I haven't actually purchased anything yet.

My lovely wife is getting me a 36 quart stainless steel stock pot for Christmas and I'm going on a shopping spree at Larry's Homebrew Supply. I'm planning on buying 2-6.5 gallon Carboys with airlocks, all the brushes and sanitizing solution that I would need for a couple of batches, a hydrmeter, a thermometer, bottle caps and bottle capper, bottling bucket, racking cain with hose and priming sugar.

I'm planning on my first day of brewing being this Sat Dec 29, but I don't know what to brew for my first time. I'm thinking of just going with a pre hopped malt extract, but I'm also looking at the option of doing a partial mash.

I have an old chest freezer that I converted into a "Fermentation chamber" that has room for 3 6.5 gallon carboys and probably 40 bottles. It maintains a consistant temp of 65-72 degrees F. I just used a voltage level (baseboard) thermostat that turns a 60 watt light bulb (which is painted blue with high temp paint) on and off. Works really nice and I'm planning on doing the same with a cool only thermostat to control the cooling system on the freezer for summertime fermenting.

Check it out...

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Old 12-23-2007, 10:27 PM   #2
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You are more prepared than I ever was but start with a good basic extract kit and steeping some grains versus the pre-hopped kit. I would get the first batch in the fermentor and then get ready for the partial mash type of brewing.

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Old 12-23-2007, 10:28 PM   #3
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Wow- you're starting out with a bang! That all looks great.

I love the ideas, and think you'll make some great homebrew with your setup. The any advice I can give you is to skip the prehopped extract and make a "real" extract beer. It's not any more difficult, and if you can get a Brewer's Best kit (or something like it), the directions are spelled out in simple terms step by step and it makes great beer!

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Old 12-23-2007, 10:32 PM   #4
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Welcome to HBT!
Wow! you have really prepared yourself well!
I suggest doing a simple beer for your first session. You can probably get a kit beer from your home brew store. This will simplify everything so you can practice the basics.
You can worry about more advanced brewing after you get one under your belt.

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Old 12-23-2007, 10:45 PM   #5
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+1 on extract and steeped grains. depending on your recipe you'll have 6-8 lbs of light malt extract and a pound or 2 of crushed grains for flavor and color. much better, i think, to get some real grain in there on your first attempt, just so it feels like brewing!!! that's a great setup you have with that freezer. depending on your tastes, i foresee a question about lagering coming from you in about 3 months. as for what to brew, brew what you want to drink. your LHBS (local home brew store) will likely have ready made extract kits for many different styles of beer. good luck, let us know how it turns out!

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Old 12-23-2007, 10:46 PM   #6
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Thanks for the responses so far...

I'm kinda nervous about this whole thing. I've been saving recappable bottles for quite some time now and just yesterday did an initial prep on 60 of them. Removed the labels and cleaned them up pretty good.

BTW.. I'm only using the old freezer because that is about the only open spot I have to store the carboys in the first place.

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Old 12-23-2007, 10:58 PM   #7
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I like the ideas generated about steeping the grain. Go fo it.

When you go to your home brew shop find out if they have a starter kit. That kit may have much of what you originally listed.

Then, think about where you might want to go in this hobby. it is a process intense hobby that you can take in many directions.

Gain some experience, dip your toe in the water. Then, plan where you want to go and only spend money on an item one time. Don't underbuy your long term need.

Good luck.

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Old 12-23-2007, 11:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorWanderer
LHBS (local home brew store)
Intresting anogram LHBS....

My local LHBS is Larry's Brew Supply...

Larry's Brew Supply

When I talked to the people there they told me that they don't seel beer "kits" they sell beer "recipes".... I like that idea. I'm reasonably certain that I will have the capactity to do steeping grains on my first attempt. When I did my original post I think I had my terminology wrong.

The gal at Larrys told me that I could do a pretty convincing clone of Black Butte Porter (my favorite beer) my first time out.
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:40 PM   #9
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+1 on the extract with steeped grains.

Based on your list of planned purchases the one change I would make is to buy one 6.5 gal carboy, but for the second one buy a 5 gallon carboy to use for the secondary. This will leave much less headroom when you rack to the secondary.

If you aren't planning on racking to a secondary then, as Emily Litella would say, "never mind."

Rick

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Old 12-24-2007, 12:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickylr
+1 on the extract with steeped grains.

Based on your list of planned purchases the one change I would make is to buy one 6.5 gal carboy, but for the second one buy a 5 gallon carboy to use for the secondary. This will leave much less headroom when you rack to the secondary.

If you aren't planning on racking to a secondary then, as Emily Litella would say, "never mind."

Rick
The more I read here, the more I think I should rack to a secondary fermenter. One reason is I would like to be able to re-use the yeast. I'm figureing I can have a new supply of wort cooled and ready to put into the primary on secondary racking day.

My MAIN brewing goal for right now is to have a good tasting amber ale to drink as a celebration of my one year anniversary of quitting smoking on Jan 27,2008.
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