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Old 02-22-2013, 08:03 PM   #1
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Default Whats the best brew to start with as a rookie

I'm pretty ignorant to the life of a home brewer other than what I've read from forums and other Internet research. I will say one of the common things income across is the the first batch is often a failure. So to the HB vets out there what is a good brew to start with? My LHBS carries Brewers Best ingredient kits, what are your feelings on that brand and is there better ones out there?

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Old 02-22-2013, 08:09 PM   #2
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Crock, I wouldn't say that most people's first batch is a failure. Maybe not as good as they'd hoped for, but not a failure. The first one (like many other things) is something you'll stumble through and make mistakes but you'll always learn something. Most people learn quickly how addicting this hobby can be. Brewer's Best makes some good kits by the way. Which one are you thinking of brewing?

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Old 02-22-2013, 08:19 PM   #3
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Crock:
Try one of Munton's CHEAPER syrup kits: Thay are ALL no-boil. If you add nothing else(sugar, nutrient, etc.) and use only clean water(I used Poland S DW, changed to Wal-Mart DW at 88cents/gal.) you will not have to heat anything. They are hopped, but not dry-hopped.
This is good practice, and if you are adventurous, you can try different hops (trade with people) by hopping in the bottle: messier, but with only one bottle each, you can test a hop variety.

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Old 02-22-2013, 08:21 PM   #4
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I'd say some kind of derivative of a mild-brown ale... It doesn't have to be spot on the style to be good.

As a rookie, you should use Dry Extract and spike it up with lots of nice grains like Crystal, a little chocolate grain, very little Black, through a process called STEEPING. It lets you get some freshness out of your extract brew while keeping things very simple.

Use classic hops like Northern Brewer or Golding, aim for an IBU around 20.

Use clean yeast, preferably dry yeast like SAFALE US-05.

I chose this pseudo-style because the brownish burnish taste is strong enough to hide the little mistakes you might make with temperatures, hop timing, etc.

You can use BeerSmith to do the calculations...

Of course, some will tell you to use a KIT, but I hate kits, I think you don't learn a lot from them, I always prefered building my own recipes using beersmith and style books. Another way is to inspire yourself from specific style recipes and build those ingredients into beersmith... Beersmith is magical... ;-)

Those are just pointers... Do your research! ;-)

Good luck!

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Old 02-22-2013, 08:21 PM   #5
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Do brew a beer style you like to drink, because you are going to have a lot of it.

Don't brew a beer style you have never had a commercial example of. How will you know if you did it right and the style sucks or you screwed it up?

Do buy a quality kit from a reputable source.

Do read the threads here for insight on how that kits directions may be 'incorrect'.

Don't rush your beer. Give it time and be patient.

Beyond that, hoppy beers can cover up a lot of faults. I didn't really notice my early mistakes until I stopped brewing hop bombs.

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Old 02-22-2013, 08:23 PM   #6
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Thanks for the support…I'll probably pick up the robust porter and the cream ale…I want to eventually brew a vanilla porter but my wife enjoys lighter beers. Being a stay at home dad I needed a new hobby so I'm excited to start.

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Old 02-22-2013, 08:26 PM   #7
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I wouldn't go with any no boil kits unless you want the first batch to be a failure. And by failure I mean it will taste like crappy beer, regardless of how well you make it.

Buy a basic extract kit from Brewers Best or one of the online shops (AHS, Norther Brewer etc). Most people go with something straightforward like a pale ale or irish red because they're lower alcohol and will be drinkable sooner (they're usually less expensive too).

Personally, I'd go with a dry irish stout simply because I think the roasted malts cover up flaws in the brewing process (which you're bound to have the first time you brew). An irish stout is still low gravity (lower in ABV) so it will be drinkable in 3-4 weeks and develop nicely over time.

Whatever recipe you decide on, be mindful of sanitation and keep it fermenting under 70 degrees if possible. As long as the recipe is proven, good ingredients + good sanitation + controlled fermentation temperature will yield great beer every time.

And be patient with it. Good beer doesn't happen overnight.

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Old 02-22-2013, 08:29 PM   #8
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I think a wheat is a great place to start. They are quick to turn. You can be drinking it in 4 weeks. I find the hardest part for many new brewers is the waiting.

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Old 02-22-2013, 08:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckeye2011 View Post
I wouldn't go with any no boil kits unless you want the first batch to be a failure. And by failure I mean it will taste like crappy beer, regardless of how well you make it.

Buy a basic extract kit from Brewers Best or one of the online shops (AHS, Norther Brewer etc). Most people go with something straightforward like a pale ale or irish red because they're lower alcohol and will be drinkable sooner (they're usually less expensive too).

Personally, I'd go with a dry irish stout simply because I think the roasted malts cover up flaws in the brewing process (which you're bound to have the first time you brew). An irish stout is still low gravity (lower in ABV) so it will be drinkable in 3-4 weeks and develop nicely over time.

Whatever recipe you decide on, be mindful of sanitation and keep it fermenting under 70 degrees if possible. As long as the recipe is proven, good ingredients + good sanitation + controlled fermentation temperature will yield great beer every time.

And be patient with it. Good beer doesn't happen overnight.
Plus the Irish stout is in season!
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:36 PM   #10
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There is no "certified best" place to start for a beginner. That being said, I would NOT fo a no boil kit; if you have an interest in actually learnign to brew, why bother going through the motions of something that you will never use once you step up to "real" brewing?

Pick a beer style that you enjoy, and get an extract kit for it. Ideally you would do a kit that has some steeping grains, and one that you do actual hop additions during a boil.

Pick something relatively simple - don't do something with fruit, extra spices, chocolate, etc. Otherwise, you'll be fine, and you'll be practicing the skills that youwill use forever when brewing.

Incidentally, OP - my first batch was quite good. Beer is kind of hard to screw up to the point hwere it's not drinkable, if you just bother to educate yourself the tiniest bit. Since you are posting here to ask for help, you are WELL on your way.

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