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Old 05-22-2010, 06:21 AM   #1
May 2010
Las Vegas
Posts: 55

I'm relatively new to brewing (three extract batches so far, doing an all-grain next week) and hoping to make a beer as a gift for my friend who's turning twenty-one in late august. Although he is certainly no expert when it comes to beer, I wouldn't consider myself one either. Hoping for a little direction as to a good kit or recipe.

I'm looking for something that's dark, probably with a high bitterness and low fruit flavor. I would like something distinct, but not anything that would turn off someone with a less sophisticated pallet. He is also taking a beers class next semester, so I don't want anything too simple either. He's a big, loud guy so I figure I'd like to make a big, strong beer with higher ABV%. He likes dark beers, although his favorite beer is Moosehead.

I have a limited budget, so I'm hoping to keep the kit itself at around $35 if possible as I might also spring for labels, custom caps, or something else to make it look nice.

Thanks for any help. And yes, we're both college students if that matters.

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Old 05-22-2010, 01:33 PM   #2

Looking for an extract or all-grain kit/recipe, Terrence?

FYI, you can make some cool labels just by printing on regular paper, cutting them out and gluing them on with a plain old glue stick. Low cost, straightforward, works great.

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Old 05-22-2010, 01:47 PM   #3
Jul 2007
Oceanside, CA
Posts: 1,204
Liked 121 Times on 90 Posts

You are not going to be able to a high ABV extract for that price.

You could order Austin Homebrew supplies Black Butte Porter (one of my favorite Porters) with Nottingham yeast for around $40, for two bucks you can boost the alcohol also. Except for Russian Imperial Stout darker beers tend to be less hoppy than lighter beers like IPAs.

The labels and caps would be a nice touch but, my guess is a "big, loud college kid" turning 21 in Vegas may not be the most elegant affair. Have fun with this.

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Old 05-22-2010, 04:21 PM   #4
Registered User
Jul 2008
Posts: 987
Liked 8 Times on 7 Posts

i suggest keeping it simple with a dry irish stout

5pounds light lme
1pound munich lme
1pound roasted barley
1oz galena hops at 60mins
notty yeast
$21.65 at brewmasterswarehouse plus shipping

or AG i would do
the same as above but instead of the LME do 8pounds 2row and add 2pounds flaked barley ($17.13 plus shipping and a little higher alcohol depending on efficiency)

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Old 05-22-2010, 05:10 PM   #5
Dec 2009
New York
Posts: 75

How bout a smoked Porter... a pretty unique brew for a 21st. Personally i brewed myself an IPA bottled the morning of my 21st about a week ago - tastes great @ 1 week bottle conditioned. If you want to go the Amber route, id say an Imperial pale ale, high bitterness and strong abv - cant go wrong.

also good that you have until august, gives you plenty of time for a big beer to age a bit.

sounds exciting, let me know what you end up brewing. great 21st birthday idea... wish i didnt have to brew myself my own 21st birthday beer, but hey... i dont have any friends that brew their own.

p.s. are you planning to do this AG, partial mash, or extract?.. i personally like austinhomebrews kits.
Primary: EdWorts Apfelwein, Summer Saison
Bottled: Brown Porter, Dunkelweizen, Cream Ale, IPA
Planned: Witte, Wheat Stout, Mead, & more Apfelwein!

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Old 05-22-2010, 05:35 PM   #6

assuming you want to do an extract, how about a nut brown ale?

If your friend's favorite beer is a Moosehead, I wouldn't assume he'd want a bitter or extreme beer.

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Old 05-22-2010, 05:58 PM   #7
JOHN51277's Avatar
Nov 2005
Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,019
Liked 12 Times on 6 Posts

How about a nice RyeIPA. Not that dark, but has some good flavors in my opinion. If you really want to add to the flavor, add some bourbon and oak! I make this often now, as it is one of my favorites!
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On Deck: Centennial Blonde, Midnight IIPA
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Old 05-22-2010, 06:23 PM   #8
Jan 2010
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Posts: 555
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

If you do put labels on the bottles. I suggest using milk. It works like a charm! Plus the labels come right off in some warm water...but not when the bottle sweats.

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Old 05-22-2010, 06:31 PM   #9
SC_Ryan's Avatar
Dec 2007
Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 769
Liked 29 Times on 23 Posts

I think a Hop Rod Rye clone is exactly what you are looking for. Darker in color, high abv and very hoppy. This beer is soooooooo good.
Oh no! Bitter beer face!!!

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Old 05-22-2010, 07:49 PM   #10
May 2010
Las Vegas
Posts: 55

I'm doing an all-grain silk stout on wednesday using DeathBrewer's tea-bag method, so I'll have some experience with all-grain. However I'm a little limited on equipment so a partial-mash might be the way to go on this one depending on how much grain I need.

Thinking about investing in a cooler to convert to a mash-turn, not totally sure what I need though.

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