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Old 02-01-2011, 06:23 AM   #1
tsnyder88
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Default tips for my first brew

i am looking for tips before i start my first brew i have just a home brewing kit and i would like to get as much info as i can before i get to brewing so any tips and info on what to watch out would be helpful


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Old 02-01-2011, 06:38 AM   #2
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1. Buy The Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian and read at least the first section of the book. No one puts it quite like he does, and this is just the definitive text on hombrewing (you may already have it).

2. For your first batch, brew something that will be ready somewhat quickly like a brown ale or a pale ale (or bitter) of some sort (this is just personal opinion), that way you can taste the fruits of your labor more quickly, then decide where to go from there. It is also kind of nice to brew something for which you have some comparison as well...if you do things right you are likely to find that your beer is actually better.

3. When you do brew, KEEP EVERYTHING IMMACULATELY SANITIZED. This is probably the absolute most important thing about brewing.


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Old 02-01-2011, 06:39 AM   #3
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What kit are you brewing?
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:51 AM   #4
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Start your brew day respectfully early, like 0600 on a Saturday. Try to have a Founders Breakfast Stout on hand, seeing it's breakfast time, actually.

Make sure your assistant brewer shows up on time with a decent assortment of craft-type beers.

If asst brewer gets cranky, just have the wife call his girl to come get him since he's drunk at 0930. Keep the craft beers.
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:14 AM   #5
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Bad Skmo, bad!

It's really up to you. I agree to find something you like that has a quick turnaround - pale ale, wheat, hefeweizen, or whatever. But no matter what you brew, remember that it will take forever to be good. You will drink it before it's ready, so relax and have a beer 1 week after bottling, have another after 2 weeks, and then dive in at week 3. And if you can punish yourself and hold out for longer, you should do so.

Sanitation is key and it's easy to do. Before the boil - no worries. After the boil - everything that will touch the beer should be cleaned and sanitized. Spray, dip, or otherwise immerse equipment in sanitizer before use.

Other than that, have fun. Brewing isn't rocket science. You'll probably do better the first time when you don't have information overkill messing with your head. (And that will happen later, trust me!)

So - don't worry, brew happy!!!

Cheers!
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:16 AM   #6
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The main things that mess up a beer for starters IMO is fermentation temp and water (depending on location).

Typical ale yeast should ferment around 65-68 max. Over 70 and you will start to get off flavors. Some yeasts you want to ferment warmer, all depends on what you are brewing.

Now with water, safest bet is to buy clean water. People's tap water can vary. If you have hard water, or your water has an odd taste or smell, don't use it on light colored beers. They will not turn out. Hope that helps a little. Good luck. Keep in mind if you accidentally go over ideal fermentation temp, don't stress. It will probably be fine. Takes a lot to crank out an undrinkable beer.

Also, what they said, sanitation post-boil, with everything.
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:11 AM   #7
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One thing that helped me was take at least a week before brew day to search the threads for ANY questions you may have, believe it or not, the dumb, silly or outrageous questions have already been answered. Read through the new threads daily to get ideas for new searched questions. When you think you're good to go, read more.......

Sanitation is key, fermentation is key(see swamp cooler) other than those two set it and forget it. It's hard to do but you will appreciate it way more. 3/4 weeks fermentor, 3+ weeks in bottle......but the main thing is to relax....RDWHAHB!!
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:01 PM   #8
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My tip is to read the stickies and current discussions on homebrewtalk.com, THIS ENTIRE PLACE IS ONE BIG SERIES OF TIPS.

I alone have posted something like 26,000 tips on here...And I'm only one of 40,000 members.....so you have plenty to choose from.

Oh and relax, you can't f- this up.
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
My tip is to read the stickies and current discussions on homebrewtalk.com, THIS ENTIRE PLACE IS ONE BIG SERIES OF TIPS.

I alone have posted something like 26,000 tips on here...And I'm only one of 40,000 members.....so you have plenty to choose from.

Oh and relax, you can't f- this up.
I believe, at last count, it was 26,104. Well, 26,105 if you count telling him to read as a tip. I'll give you that one
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:51 PM   #10
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Like Revvy says.. Read all of the stickies. Tons of good info there. I spent so much time reading them before my first brew that my wife started calling my beer porn. There is a ton of great info on this forum.

From a relative noob here are some tips I learned.

First learn what RDWHAHB means.

Start collecting bottles as soon as you can. I am finding that I am brewing faster than I can collect bottles.

Read the directions many times before you start your first brew.

I even suggest a checklist of the steps so you can check them off as you go so you don't forget anything.

Patience is the hardest part.

Oxyclean rocks.. soaking bottles in Oxyclean the labels just fall right off.

Starsan for sanitizing. Don't fear the bubbles. Also keep a spray bottle of it around and whenever in doubt just spray everything down.

Use a blow off tube. Just in case. I have not had anything blow off yet but one batch got very close and my wife would be pissed if I blew beer all over the ceiling.

Don't be in a big rush. Many kits recommend transferring to a secondary or bottling too quick. Follow the directions up to the fermentation part, then listen to what everyone here says. Letting your beer sit longer will give you better beer.

Use a short tube to connect your bottling wand to your bottling bucket and then set it on the counter over the open door of your dishwasher. Brilliant idea that makes cleaning up easy.. Just shut the door.

After bottling just let them sit long enough to carb up properly. Life is too short to drink bad beer. You can use the extra time to collect more bottles.

Most of all, have fun and enjoy your new hobby (obsession)


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