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Old 06-14-2007, 05:11 PM   #1
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Default Purchasing my first 5 gallon batch supplies (hardware and ingredients)

This is a lot of information and any suggestions / input on any part would be wonderful. Whether it is the selection of my equipment or the ingredients I'm going to use in my attempts to brew a wonderful German Weizen.

Below is a starter list of supplies that I am getting for my first brew. I wondering if anyone could lend me some comments about things that I possibly do not need or things that I am totally missing or forgot to add to the list. As a side note, this is only the hardware components of what I need for a first batch. (minus a Kettle that I'm going to get locally at Target or Kmart) I also plan to order all my ingredients that I need through morebeer.com since I enjoy their free shipping, variety, and it was highly recommended on this site.

Shopping Cart

Your shopping cart contains 11 item(s):
DELETE QTY # PRODUCT PRICE TOTAL
FE345 Plastic Bucket With Spigot (6 Gallon) 11.45 11.45
CL25A Cleaner - PBW (1 lb) 6.95 6.95
FE314 Better Bottle - 6 Gallon Carboy 22.95 45.90
FE370 Airlock - 3 Piece 1.00 2.00
MT300 Hydrometer 5.95 5.95
B480 Bottle Capper - Brev 13.50 13.50
FE500 Rubber Carboy Hood Orange w/White Caps(5 Gallon) 2.50 7.50
FE510 Carboy Handle Orange - (5 gallon) 4.50 4.50
FE313 Better Bottle - 5 Gallon 18.95 18.95
R330 Tubing - Vinyl (1/2'' ID) - By the Foot 0.40 1.60
R320 Tubing - Vinyl (3/8'' ID) - By the Foot 0.35 1.75

Getting my racking canes at a LHBS because they are cheaper

SUBTOTAL: $120.05

I decided to get better bottles over plastic buckets even though they were more expensive due to the recommendations on this site. I also chose to grab two because I am going to secondary fermentor in order to try and reduce that homebrew flavor I hear so many people talk about. I also splurged $18 on another 5 gallon BB Carboy to brew up a famous batch of Ed's Apfelwein. Extra $20 there, but not only do I want to try some (and don't want to wait for my first batch of beer to be done), but my GF also wants to get in on the fermenting action. Again, any thoughts on my list would be wonderful.

As for ingredients I am planning on making a Weizen to try and match my local brews wonderful seasonal Weizen. It is a nice full bodied hoppy, spicey brew with a nice hit of clove. It definitely is not the subtitle hefeweizen that I have tried in so many different brew pups. My current thoughts for this brew are:

1. Centennial hops for bittering, flavor and aroma (getting a 1 lb bag and freezing the rest to save money) (Possibly Hallertauer as well not sure on that)

2. Wheat Malt Extract

3. 5. lbs American Wheat and 5. lbs of Belgian Pilsner

3. Whitelabs Hefeweizen liquid yeast strain that I can buy from my LHBS. (It's $8 per tube, and "pitchable into a 5 gallon batch" however I think I'm going to make a couple starters (washes?) and keep that for my second brew if the batch goes well to save money).

Thoughts on the ingredients and how to get a hearty full flavor Weizen and not just a subtitle light brew?

Thanks to anyone from the community who post and voice their insight. I appreciate your time and knowledge.

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Old 06-14-2007, 05:40 PM   #2
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I'm rather new to brewing myself but I have a couple suggestions.

I'd pick up an extra airlock or two. When you go to transfer to the secondary it will be handy to already have the airlock for the secondary sterilized and ready to go as opposed to having to re-use the same one.

Are you buying your tubing from a LHBS? You'll want one that fits the spigot on the bottling bucket come bottling time and possibly one for a blow-off, depending on how vigorous your fermentation gets.

Are you syphoning from the kettle to your primary? If not, you may want a funnel.

Long spoon for stirring the wort while it's in the kettle.

That's about all I can think off the top of my head. I was trying to think of all the things I forgot and had to run out and get my first brew day.

Oh, on the kettle, if you plan to ever go all-grain it may be worthwhile to consider getting a big enough kettle for it. It's going to be more pricey but also more versatile. I dropped $60 on a 4 gallon kettle when I started and I wish I'd just spent the $140 at the time and picked up a 10 gallon kettle from a local resturant supply store. I'm a year in and I'm itching to make the switch to all grain.

If I can think of anything else I'll post it but for now I should probably get back to this job thing...what am I suppose to be doing anyway? LOL

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Old 06-14-2007, 05:46 PM   #3
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The only things I can think of that your missing are a thermometer and a hydrometer.

As for your Hefe question, the WLP300 that you're using will take care of that great hefe taste for you. If you want it bigger, maybe add some light or wheat DME. If you want a stronger hop bite, hop to taste - it's pretty hard to mess up a Hefe so don't worry.

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Old 06-14-2007, 05:48 PM   #4
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Your list looks pretty complete, and Roterdrache already mentioned tubing.

What about when you're beer's done? Do you have bottling/kegging settup? If you're bottling you'll need caps and a capper, as well as empties.

You also didn't mention sanitizer, you can use a bleach solution, iodophor or starsan, but you should use something.

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Old 06-14-2007, 06:12 PM   #5
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Wow! You guys are so great already! Tons of tips and very friendly, I appreciate all your input.

Lets see if I can address everyone's questions and see if there are anymore.

Roterdrache:


1. I actually did put two airlocks into my order, it's probably just not obvious. I thought of the exact same thing you did and how convince will well outweigh the extra buck on an airlock.

2. Tubing for a blow off I did not think about. I will make sure to pick up some for a blow off as well as the bottling bucket. Previously, I just got some tubing at home depot, but it didn't fit my spigot perfectly and felt a bit ghetto. Plus it was almost too large to fit into a bottle and made it kinda a pain to insert and take out.

3. I do have some funnels from my previous brew days as well as a stainless spoon in my kitchen that I will use when the time comes to brew. Although it might be a good investment to get a larger funnel.

4. As for a kettle, I think I'm just going to get one of those "Stock Pot" kettles. They are inexpensive and I think will do the job. Although the largest I have found so far is a 20 quart and I would like a big enough pot to do a full boil. I'm sure I can pick one up locally though and possibly get a better price that morebeer offers.

ohiobrewtus:

1. Yes, I do need both of those. I have heard a lot of first time brewers don't need to get that complicated, but I might as well get started right. I'm sure they won't add more than $8 to my bill anyway... Assuming that I can just get the basic hydrometer...

2. As for the Hefe, I am looking for that bolder more robust flavor, yet still a smooth and clean brew. How much DME should I add in comparison to my LME when I'm creating my 5 gallon batch to find that balance? Or, should I just go all DME? As for hops, any suggestions on the Hallertauer over the Centennial?

Barley-Davidson

1. I have a set of swingtops and I plan to add more from my LHBS before I make my batch. They sell these cool EZ cap 750ML bottles that I think I might add to my collection just for the fun of it.

2. Although, I have a question. My friends and I love beer and I feel bad tossing / recycling all those extra bottles. Can I remove the labels and such, clean, sanitize and use those for my home brews? If so, I'll definitly invest in a capper and caps to go easier on my pocketbook!


3. I Have a leftover packet of One-Step sanatizer that I plan to use for all my sanatizing goodness.



Again, thanks for all the help everyone. Anyone else that has additional suggestions or comments, keep them coming! =D

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Old 06-14-2007, 06:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jekster

2. As for the Hefe, I am looking for that bolder more robust flavor, yet still a smooth and clean brew. How much DME should I add in comparison to my LME when I'm creating my 5 gallon batch to find that balance? Or, should I just go all DME? As for hops, any suggestions on the Hallertauer over the Centennial?
If you want to balance the malt flavor out you'll need to look at your grains that you're going to steep with. Being as this is your first batch I'd recommend that you follow the kit instructions fairly closely just to get that first brew under your belt. If you're not happy with it then you can double the amount of grain that you steep the next time you nrew it.

Making a 15 min flavor hop addition and a 5 min aroma hop addition are options for you as well.


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Originally Posted by Jekster

2. Although, I have a question. My friends and I love beer and I feel bad tossing / recycling all those extra bottles. Can I remove the labels and such, clean, sanitize and use those for my home brews? If so, I'll definitly invest in a capper and caps to go easier on my pocketbook!
Fill your bucket with water and put a few tsp. of oxiclean in it. Soak the bottles overnight and the labels will come right off. There are certain brands of twist bottles that don't cap very well, but most work just fine.
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Old 06-14-2007, 06:35 PM   #7
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ohiobrewtus

Thanks again for the advice friend!

I actually steeped additional grain for my first brew using a Mr. Beer kit. I would definitely be open to doing it again since that turned out alright. As for the "kit," I was planning on just buying DME, LME, grain hops and such from morebeer, not really getting a specific kit. This might backfire, but I really just want to try and get in their and start tweaking recipes for my own (keep notes of course when something goes right or wrong). I just checked and they actually do sell a white wheat grain malt that I could get a pound or two of in additional to LME. Or, should I just go with LME and DME? Suggestions?

As for the bottles: Money saver here I come. =D One-Step is a Oxygen cleaner correct, and I have some of that. Or do you suggest a cheaper and better alternative?

*Feels like his brain is getting bigger with wonderful brewing knowledge*
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jekster
ohiobrewtus

As for the bottles: Money saver here I come. =D One-Step is a Oxygen cleaner correct, and I have some of that. Or do you suggest a cheaper and better alternative?
One step should work fine. Some lables (Bass, Sam Adams, Magic Hat) come off with just a soak in plain water. Others (Saranac) are always difficult.
The cheapest thing for soaking is washing soda, you can find it in the supermarket by the laundry detergent.
Ammonia will also work, but can be unpleasant to work with.
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Old 06-14-2007, 10:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jekster
ohiobrewtus

Thanks again for the advice friend!

I actually steeped additional grain for my first brew using a Mr. Beer kit. I would definitely be open to doing it again since that turned out alright. As for the "kit," I was planning on just buying DME, LME, grain hops and such from morebeer, not really getting a specific kit. This might backfire, but I really just want to try and get in their and start tweaking recipes for my own (keep notes of course when something goes right or wrong). I just checked and they actually do sell a white wheat grain malt that I could get a pound or two of in additional to LME. Or, should I just go with LME and DME? Suggestions?

As for the bottles: Money saver here I come. =D One-Step is a Oxygen cleaner correct, and I have some of that. Or do you suggest a cheaper and better alternative?

*Feels like his brain is getting bigger with wonderful brewing knowledge*
I've accumulated about 400 commercial bottles that I use. I make some of my own labels occasionally and sometimes I get motivated enough to try and wash commercial labels off of bottles, but most of the time I just use them as they are and write something on the cap at bottling time to indicate what's inside the bottle.

If you're going for a more robust taste than a traditional hefe, I'd recommend steeping some grains. White wheat would work fine, but you may want to consider only using 1/2 to 3/4 lb of it along with something like a Belgian pilsner or 2 row for a base. Flaked wheat is also an option.

Ultimately it's all up to you. You could certainly make a damn fine beer using strictly LME and DME. That's the beauty of brewing. Speaking of which, I need to go teabag my honey porter grains that are steeping
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohiobrewtus

If you're going for a more robust taste than a traditional hefe, I'd recommend steeping some grains. White wheat would work fine, but you may want to consider only using 1/2 to 3/4 lb of it along with something like a Belgian pilsner or 2 row for a base. Flaked wheat is also an option.

I really do want to steep some grain in this batch as well. So I can add more to my knowledge, why do you suggest the Belgian Pilsner and what characteristics will it lend that the white wheat does not have? (I checked John Palmer's online brewing book and he didn't have Belgian Pilsner or Pilsner for that matter) Also, how much would you suggest? Around equal parts with the wheat? Maybe I could do 1/2 lb of each to keep ingredients simple and equal and so I can make a second batch when this one comes out fantastic (Can you tell I love being optimistic? =D)

As a side note, I have decided to forgo the Sterile Siphon and just do a setup like Walker recommends in this thread (because it's a bit cheaper and I'm trying to save where I can):

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=2910

However, what length of racking cane should I need for my fermenter if I'm using a 6.5 Gallon Carboy? The Sterile siphon comes with a 26'', but morebeer does not offer than length. They only offer 21'' and 30'' I checked my LHBS store though and they sell racking canes in a 24'' and 30'' sizes for 1.95. Which do you recommend?
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