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Old 11-01-2006, 07:31 PM   #11
Cheesefood
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Jul 2005
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I think the Brewers Best kits are a bad idea. Let's face it: most brewers don't use kits, so those kits can sit on the shelves for MONTHS or YEARS. That means your yeast and hops are just getting funky.

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Old 11-01-2006, 08:03 PM   #12
Ol' Grog
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Sep 2006
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All the BB kits I got have "born on" dates and have been well within the specified parameters. If you got website or a LHBS that sells you out of date stuff, then you need to jettison them ASAP. Of all the other brethren that have used BB kits on this website, I have yet to hear of one complaining that the brew was awful. Face it, without kits, a lot of us wouldn't be brewing. It's either convienent, don't have access to a LHBS within reasonable mileage and/or we just don't have the time to spend. I'd be almost willing to bet that dang near 90% of everyone on this board has used a kit at some point in their brewing careers.

 
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Old 11-01-2006, 08:05 PM   #13
God Emporer BillyBrew
 
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My LHBS only stocks a couple of brands of kits and one of them is Brewers Best. Couple that with the fact that it's the only store in Oklahoma City and you end up with some pretty fresh BB kits.

Three quarters of the beers I make are recipes, but I still find that BB kits work pretty good for me. their California Pale Ale is a "house" beer for me. Their's almost always a keg or carboy full of it. I kick it up with an extra ounce of hops and usually liquid yeast and it makes a fine beer.

The other thing is that when I make a recipe beer I always end up spending $40-$45 and I can get out with a BB kit for $30 or less. Unless I need to buy more liquid yeast, which is rare with yeast harvesting and splitting starters.
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Old 11-01-2006, 08:09 PM   #14
fezzman
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Jul 2006
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It seems like the turnover of BB kits at my lhbs (http://homebrewemporium.com/)is pretty good. They seem to move 'em pretty quickly.

 
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Old 11-01-2006, 08:19 PM   #15
WAGNER BREWING
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Oct 2006
Front Royal, Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheat King
arent you following someone's directions either way? if its not whoever put the kit together, then its whoever wrote that recipe...? the only difference is your ingredients arent pre-packed together when you get them.

im all for (omg i cant believe im going ot use this phrase)...going "outside the box"

Im looking to make great quality beer, w/o stepping up to AG just yet. I feel that getting away from kits (for the most part) and getting into recipes and then tweaking those to what suits me. Can anyone give me some good suggestions on good books that will help me learn how to make my own recipes? Thanks a lot guys for all of your input!


JON
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Old 11-01-2006, 08:22 PM   #16
Ol' Grog
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That's about the same prices as at my LHBS, but it's about 50 miles North of me, don't get to get there that often.

 
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Old 11-01-2006, 11:48 PM   #17
Engelramm
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Jul 2006
Lexington, Kentucky
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I did 2 Brewer's Best kits then went to using other people's recipes. I've made several from Papazian's The Complete Joy of Homebrewing and several from Clone Brews and Beer Captured. The Brewer's Best kits that I've used made good beer with quality (I think) ingredients, such as Muntons, Breiss, etc. I just found that I have so much fun going to the store with my shopping list for a recipe and picking out all the ingredients. The books I listed above have pretty detailed instructions on when to add what as well as hop substitutions, so with my grocery bag of ingredients and book in hand, I kinda have my own "kit".

I'm no expert but I am starting my 10th batch this weekend.

 
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Old 11-01-2006, 11:59 PM   #18
WAGNER BREWING
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Oct 2006
Front Royal, Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engelramm
I did 2 Brewer's Best kits then went to using other people's recipes. I've made several from Papazian's The Complete Joy of Homebrewing and several from Clone Brews and Beer Captured. The Brewer's Best kits that I've used made good beer with quality (I think) ingredients, such as Muntons, Breiss, etc. I just found that I have so much fun going to the store with my shopping list for a recipe and picking out all the ingredients. The books I listed above have pretty detailed instructions on when to add what as well as hop substitutions, so with my grocery bag of ingredients and book in hand, I kinda have my own "kit".

I'm no expert but I am starting my 10th batch this weekend.

I am with you fully...you pretty much hit it on the button. And again, with doing that, I want to learn how to tweak those recipes, so that they become more personal and unique. But dont get me wrong, I know that most of that knowledge comes with experience.
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Old 11-02-2006, 12:38 AM   #19
Engelramm
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Jul 2006
Lexington, Kentucky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WAGNER BREWING
I am with you fully...you pretty much hit it on the button. And again, with doing that, I want to learn how to tweak those recipes, so that they become more personal and unique. But dont get me wrong, I know that most of that knowledge comes with experience.
You might want to look at Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels. I haven't bought that one yet, but thumbing through it, it looks to have a lot of ideas on, well, designing great beer.

 
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Old 11-02-2006, 04:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
Yeah, some kits do suck. However, I have a different approach on that subject. I think that kits are great for the simple reason that what all you need is there and you can concentrate on your tecnique rather than your ingredients. This is exceptionally true for those of us that are really virgins in this new and exciting hobby.
Canned kit may suck but those from my LHBS are made up fresh when you order. They have a tremendous turnover and you will never have a problem with stale ingredients or out-of-date yeast. This is probably true of most of the big HBSes that make up their own kits to order.

Austin Homebrew has hundreds of recipes to choose from on their web site from clones to original Austin Homebrew recipes. All are made up when you place the order.
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