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Old 01-28-2010, 05:51 PM   #1
GRHunter
 
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First question: I assume that most home brewers start out using the ingredient kits. About how many kits did most of you brew before trying your first brew from scratch?

Second question: When I first bought all my brewing gear the guy at the LHBS told me that almost everyone starts out with the ingredient kits, then move on to brewing from scratch, and then return to the kits as they are easier and just about as good as the scratch beer. Any truth to this?
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:00 PM   #2
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1) I did 4 kits then moved to all grain
2) I'm not sure what is meant by scratch beer. does this mean formulating your own recipe? or moving to all-grain?
I think that if it means formulating your own, people probably do some kits, some made up recipe's. if you mean moving to all grain, I would imagine that some do occassional kits, but most buy ingredients seperately to reduce cost.

 
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:01 PM   #3
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By scratch I meant to buy the ingredients separately.
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:04 PM   #4
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I've never brewed a "kit". I get all my recipes from various sources and buy my ingredients in bulk.
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:15 PM   #5
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I've brewed two kits and my next batch is a recipe I've come up with. I'm also doing a stovetop partial mash. I don't think I'll ever go back to a kit. I have nothing against them, but I prefer the freedom of designing my own recipe or even just picking a good one from here. Also, as long as I don't completely screw up the partial mash, that's going to be a money saver and will provide me with some more freedom and control in my recipes as well.

 
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:18 PM   #6
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I think I did maybe three kits. I don't know too many people who ever go back to the kits, other than maybe buy something from AHS or NB or one of the other major suppliers on occassion (their kits are pretty highly regarded, they're "real" recipes made with fresh ingredients, they aren't sitting around the shelf for six months). Don't know anyone who goes back to the Brewer's Best kits, or the beer-in-a-can kits (I never did one of those). Most people, once they start brewing LOVE the whole process, including researching recipes and developing their own. You'll find a lot of really interesting recipes around here, and you'll have your own ideas that don't fit into what the HBS is selling on a prepackaged basis.
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird View Post
Most people, once they start brewing LOVE the whole process, including researching recipes and developing their own. You'll find a lot of really interesting recipes around here, and you'll have your own ideas that don't fit into what the HBS is selling on a prepackaged basis.
+1 to that. I can't brew every day, but it seems I'm researching and designing a new recipe every couple days. I don't even save them unless I'm planning to brew them soon. I enjoy the design process enough that I don't care about having to redo it.

 
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:25 PM   #8
maida7
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well made kits make fantastic beer.

I started at a time when good kits were not widely available. So I was making beer from recipes in books and experimenting with my own recipes. For many years I looked down on kits as being inferior. They aren't! After the last good local shop in my area closed, I started buying all my stuff online and got into the kits. Kits from morebeer, AHS, Nothern Brewer, etc... are very well put together recipes that can make awesome award wining beer.

Just recently I'm moving back to recipes from books and buying in bulk. But It's not because kits are bad. It's because you can save some money when buying in bulk.

 
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:27 PM   #9
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I did 3 Brewer's Best kits then moved on to buying ingredients separately from recipes. I'm not up to the level of making my own just yet. I'm sure I could piece stuff together from a couple recipes (grain from 1, hops from another), but I'm not near ready to just walk in and go... ummm... gimmie some of this... and some of that...

My LHBS is going to start to put together their own kits, which will be cool. You walk in and say 'give me this' and then they will have it all pre determined. So, you walk in and say 'give me this kit' and they will mill the grains and box it up for you right then. Nothing sitting on shelves for months on end.

 
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:34 PM   #10
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I think both Palmer (How to Brew) and Mosher (Radical Brewing) give first-timer recipes to use instead of kits. This seems fine to me, and they let you pick your own hops, which is fun.

I'd hold off on full recipe development a bit, but there are some recipes that are easy to brew, and some kits that pose challenges.

 
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