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Old 08-10-2007, 06:13 AM   #1
Aug 2007
Lafayette, LA
Posts: 24

what was the first setup you used if you can recall...I will soon start learning to brew my own beer, and I was just wondering if any of you could give me any tips or have any of your own mistakes I might heed my first brew. Also, any literature, videos, etc. you might have to recommend would be great. There is so much out there, and I have no idea where to start. Thanks in advance.

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Old 08-10-2007, 06:22 AM   #2
RichBrewer's Avatar
Feb 2006
Denver, Colorado
Posts: 5,901
Liked 171 Times on 90 Posts

Welcome to HBT!
I'll always recommend The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing by Charlie Papazian. It is a great book for beginners and he really makes home brewing fun.

For equipment I suggest you use a basic kit with plastic bucket fermenters. They are much easier to use so it makes the process more fun for your first few brews. They have spigots on them so you don't have to siphon. You can always get carboys later as your brewing expands. Start collecting non twist off bottles now so you don't have to buy them new. This will save you some bucks.

Let us know what you decide and how your first brew goes.

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Old 08-10-2007, 10:12 AM   #3
Jul 2007
Farmington, Mn
Posts: 58

Look up midwest supplies, they have a DVD that they give free with order. it helps, also check out Bobby_M's videos on youtube
I suggest getting a upgraded kit with a secondary, it will make a better beer and plus you dont want the primary tied up for that long! I started out with the basic stuff (4 batches ago) and and have since added alot more stuff. check out www.howtobrew.com . after my first batch I built a wort chiller, I think it's a must have! 2 1/2 hours opposed to 20mins is a no brainer. it costed me 20 bucks to make here is another usefull link. http://www.allaboutbeer.com/homebrew/equip/chiller.html

Also read up on sanatizing, and don't stress your self out wondering if you did it right. rember it's just beer! I tend to over analyze and that was the worst part about it. "relax and have a beer" is key from what I have learned
I like beer, I like making it, I like drinking it, and best of all I like not going to the store to buy it!!

Primary: , common room epa , Monkey butt nut brown,
Secondary: traditional stout, skeeterpee
Bottled: Scottish Export,
OnTap: , lawnmower de sassion, Irish Red w/irish ale yeast , rolf's irish red, Liberty cream
Up Next: golden ticket rye PA

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Old 08-10-2007, 11:29 AM   #4
May 2007
Central Ohio
Posts: 523
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

I would recomend lurking around the forums. I have learned a ton just reading others stories about things they did wrong or right.

I will second reading www.howtobrew.com and the complete joy of home brewing as well, my copy is in the mail.

For equipment I would check out www.midwestsupplies.com, www.northernbrewer.com, or www.austinhomebrew.com. I can not speak for the others, but austin home brew(AHB) has been great for me. One rate shipping and great customer service. They also do price matching. Look into their starter kits and decide how much you want to spend on one. I am sure you will be happy if you go with any of those three companies.

I think the most important tip is RDWHAHB - RELAX DONT WORRY have a home brew!

Welcome to the forums!
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Primary: Fat Tire clone
Secondary: Summit IPA
On Tap: Edwort's Apfelwein
Up Next: Blue Moon clone, Muddy Waters Ale
Coming Soon: Geforce Shugga

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Old 08-10-2007, 12:53 PM   #5
Feb 2006
Posts: 166

I would say that for your first beer, make sure it is a decent recipe or a kit. All malt. The one they gave me when I purchased all my equipment was a can of extract and 4 pounds of corn sugar. If you make one of those, you'll be wondering what the hell everyone is talking about and why they still brew there own beer.

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Old 08-10-2007, 12:57 PM   #6
...My Junk is Ugly...
BierMuncher's Avatar
Jan 2007
St. Louis, MO
Posts: 12,417
Liked 805 Times on 438 Posts

Go with something like this equipment kit

And an recipe kit from Midwest.

Stick with the basic approach. All the equipment in a starter kit will be put to good use as long as you brew. Nothing will be obsolete if you decide to grow your hobby.

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Old 08-10-2007, 01:37 PM   #7
Dec 2006
Doylestown, PA
Posts: 3,725
Liked 12 Times on 12 Posts

My first setup was a starter kit from a local shop....I am still using the majority of it over ten years later. 75 bucks well spent.

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Old 08-10-2007, 02:20 PM   #8
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,599
Liked 158 Times on 148 Posts

Ignoring the BrewS(u)ck, my first kit was the intermediate with buckets from Williams, plus a turkey burner and pot. I've kegged right from the beginning. First, the 5L minis & about 6 months later cornies & a kegger.
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

"I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact." Elon Musk

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Old 08-10-2007, 09:38 PM   #9
malkore's Avatar
Jun 2007
Posts: 6,922
Liked 37 Times on 35 Posts

my first setup was a 1gallon jug of apple juice, 3 lbs of honey, and bread yeast...hiding in my closet when I was 17.
No airlock, and it was a GLASS jug. I'd vent it 4 times a day to prevent an explosion.

VERY stupid...but I was a 17 year old eager to make mead (I was in the SCA at the time)
Primary: English Mild
On tap: Pale Ale, Lancelot's Wheat, English Brown Ale, Steam Beer, HoovNuts IPA
Bottled: MOAM, Braggot, Raspberry Melomel, Merlot, Apfelwein, Pyment, Sweet mead, Cabernet
Gal in 2009: 27, Gal in 2010: 34, Gal in 2011: 13, Gal in 2012: 10

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Old 08-10-2007, 11:13 PM   #10
Senior Member
ajf's Avatar
Oct 2005
Long Island
Posts: 4,646
Liked 105 Times on 99 Posts

My first setup was a plastic trash bin as a fermenter, a hammer actuated capper, a rubber bung and an air-lock. (The bung and airlock were used to make a starter from a bottle of naturally conditioned beer.) Everything else was borrowed from the kitchen.


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