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Old 11-11-2011, 02:00 AM   #1
vekzero
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Default Good Beginner Beer Recipe

I bet this question is asked a lot but I thought I'd ask. I want to try brewing beer but I would like to know which is a good starter recipe? should i get extract kits or attempt to use full grain?

thanks


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Old 11-11-2011, 02:09 AM   #2
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Well, it depends on if you have the equipment to do an all grain batch. I have been brewing for 6 years and have never brewed an all grain batch of beer so nothing wrong with starting out with extract or mini-mash receipes (a combo of extract and grain).

If you are just getting into it, I would recommend buying an extract kit from one of the major homebrewing sites. I personally love AustinHomebrew.com as they have a lot of great recipes and good instructions for each. Good luck.

I wanted to add that you could select a basic Amber Ale recipe or an Imperial Rye IPA recipe kit and the steps to brew each are going to be pretty similar so I would suggest going onto one of the brewing sites and just pick out something you think you will enjoy and give it a shot. What equipment are you starting out with??


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Old 11-11-2011, 03:14 AM   #3
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slowly building up my collection of equipment. i have a couple 1 gallons & 1/2 gallon jugs. But before I brew I'm probably going to get a 3 gallon carboy or bucket. If not 1 gallon test batches for now.

as for cooking equipment for my mead & cider im been using basic kitchen cooking thermometers and other stuff.

Do they even make extracts in small enough proportions?
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:21 AM   #4
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Normally I would suggest an extract kit.
But, 9 days ago I brewed a stove top batch of all grain, with only a 3 gallon pot, a sieve as shown (perhaps a bit bigger than this one), and grains, hops, a packet of windsor dry yeast, 5 oz dextrose.
I filled my pot up nearly to top, got it up to 155, turned heat way down, filled the sieve up to the brim with crushed barley malt, a few oz of specialty grains, and mashed for an 90 mins. My sieve had hooks to set it on top of the pot so it would just span the top of it and not fall in.
I stuck a temp gauge in the malt, and checked it periodically either slightly turning up heat or turning heat off. During this I also placed the cover on as best as I could. I would also dip the sieve completely under the water, and lift up, the grains stayed in quite well. I did this probably 6-7 times for a few minutes each time.
At the end of mashing, simply lifted up the sieve pressed out the remaining liquid, and into the garden it went. Boiled for 60 mins, with three additions of .25oz of willamette, cold water bath, and pitched yeast, didn't expect alot, but had an idea it would be pretty tasty judging from the smell. Mainly did it to try the windsor strain, and also build a yeast cake.
After a few days of fermenting, placed 3 gallon carboy out side for a few night to cold crash it with a garbage can over the top of it to keep light out, also just put a sandwich baggie over the top of it and tied it on around the neck of carboy with a string.
Anyway, I wish I had done something like this in the first place earlier in my brewing trajectory. This beer was Great! Ended up with approximately 2.5 gallons all said and done. Real tasty, force carbed it using the carborator cap. Didn't taste green (young) at all, cold crashing it to below freezing really dropped everything out.
Next time I am going to do this and add some honey to make a small batch of braggot.
So, I don't know if this helps you, but it might give you some ideas on how to get your feet wet...
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Old 11-11-2011, 05:38 AM   #5
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I'm 6 beers in and moving to all grain sat. I've done extract and pm already. I suggest finding a clone recipe that you already like commercially and have ready access to it from somewhere like Austin homebrew and doing the extract version first. Then do the partial mash version to compare and see how your process is and how it compares to the commercial version. It won't be exact, but you can tell a lot about your process with the experiment. Sanitation, fermentation temp and proper yeast pitching rate have become my focus.

To answer your question specifically a Belgian blond is a great one to start with. Its a bit forgiving on fermentation temps and a simple ingredient list.
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Old 11-11-2011, 05:50 AM   #6
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Sorry, just really read your second post. Most kits are usually 5 gallons, but there is nothing stopping you from buying half or a fourth of the ingredients seperately. There are a ton of great recipes on this site. Put your halved or quartered recipe into hopville.com and make sure your gravity, srm's and ibu's compare to the original recipe and your golden.
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Old 11-11-2011, 04:17 PM   #7
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Just note that a 1 gallon batch takes pretty much as much time and effort as a 5 gallon batch. If I were you, I'd spend $100-150 on a good starter kit and a 6-7 gallon pot.

I can't imagine spending 3-4 hours on brewday and waiting 4-6 weeks to brew enough beer to last me a Sunday afternoon. My time's worth more than that!

Check out THIS kit:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/b...arter-kit.html

And THIS Brewkettle:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/3...ss-kettle.html

All of that equipment can be used for all types of brewing, so once you have a few extract batches under your belt and want to go all-grain, you don't need to replace this equipment, you'd just add a 10 gallon cooler and be good to go.
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Old 11-11-2011, 04:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TopherM View Post
Just note that a 1 gallon batch takes pretty much as much time and effort as a 5 gallon batch. If I were you, I'd spend $100-150 on a good starter kit and a 6-7 gallon pot.

I can't imagine spending 3-4 hours on brewday and waiting 4-6 weeks to brew enough beer to last me a Sunday afternoon. My time's worth more than that!
Totally agree. The other advantage, is that most starter kits come with handy tools you don't realize you need until you need them - like a bottling wand, theif, autosiphon, etc.

I also second the advice that most kits are very similarly easy - pick what you like and it'll be great.
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Old 11-11-2011, 05:26 PM   #9
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Take a look at Brooklyn Brew Shop 1 gallon all grain batches. Still takes about the same time as bigger batches but it's a great introduction. They sell full kits or just the ingredients.

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Old 11-11-2011, 05:36 PM   #10
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Another consideration is your ability to be patient. Waiting on that first beer is hard. As soon as you are drinking your own stuff, it becomes ten times easier to just let a beer sit in primary for a month. If this is a concern for you, consider a fast maturing beer like a mild or a 60/-. It won't be quite as forgiving as a porter or IPA, but it will get you drinking a little sooner.


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