Getting Back into Brewing after 15 Years - Home Brew Forums
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Getting Back into Brewing after 15 Years
Cool Brewing Corny 5G & Mini Giveaway
Sign-up To NEW HBT Article Newsletter - Brewing Articles Direct To You!

Thread Tools
Old 08-15-2007, 06:22 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1
Default Getting Back into Brewing after 15 Years

15 years ago my wife convinced me it was too dangerous to brew with a baby in the house. Our son will be going off to university soon, so I'd like to get back into things.

I thought I'd start with at least one extract brew before getting back into full grain mash. As you could imagine I have several questions:
  • I've got a boiler, a primary and secondary fermenter, a wort chiller a syphon as well as a hydrometer. Will I need any more equipment to brew extract?
  • I love English style ales and seem to recall the better extract brews don't use a lot of adjuncts and added sugars. Can you suggest a simple all-extract recipe? What should be my original and final gravities?
  • A friend grows hops (variety?) and has offered some. Since I don't know the variety is it possible to judge how bitter they will be and how much to add to the boil? (I like a very bitter ale!)

Thanks for your help.

stokell is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2007, 06:38 PM   #2
bradsul's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,894
Liked 28 Times on 24 Posts
Likes Given: 4


Welcome to HBT and back to brewing!

If your primary is a bucket I would consider replacing it with a new one. 15 years is a long time and plastic can pick up funky smells and various nasties etc. Buckets are cheap so it's good insurance.

For a recipe I would check out the recipe database, there are tons of good recipes and if you see an all-grain one you like, there are lots of people to help convert it to extract.

I don't know much about growing hops, but I would imagine you would need a lab or something to find out the alpha acid percentage. I would maybe use them for flavour and aroma additions and use something with a known value for bittering.

Canadian Brewers Unite!

Projects: Sylvania Kegerator Conversion, Tower Cooling, Grain Milling Station
bradsul is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2007, 10:50 PM   #3
dibby33's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Hobart, Tasmania
Posts: 2,127
Liked 15 Times on 15 Posts


Welcome back. I second the replacement bucket.

happy brewing!

s : Ginger Beer, Wheat Beer
Secondary :
: all drunk
Drinking : A Lot.
Next Up : Wheat Beer with grainy things
dibby33 is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2007, 11:13 PM   #4
Vendor Ads 
Jaybird's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Nor*Cal
Posts: 6,977
Liked 797 Times on 565 Posts
Likes Given: 212


Welcome to HBT and welcome back to the obsession. Brad has some good advice buckets are cheep and there are several places online to aquire your stuff, if you dont have a LHBS (local home brew store) around you I personally like BeerBeer & more Beer others have lots of luck with I think its called northern brewer but I have never ordered from them. as far as your hops taste them eat one if there VERY bitter chances are thay can bitter up your brew nicely using them for flavor or aroma would be a better choice as brad also suggested, calibrate your hydrometer @ 60 deg F toss out all your hoses or anything that is plastic 15 years is too long to keep and its just not worth the risk, you could end up chasing a funk in your brews for many months amd many brews and that stuff is fairly cheep anyhow Good luck.
Again welcome back your beer missed you
Need a False Bottom for your Keg, Kettle or Cooler?

I have been making custom False Bottoms for just about everything since 2008

Nor Cal Brewing Solutions, Reddings local homebrew store
(530)243-BEER and (530)221-WINE

Still have questions PM me here or hit the website. and like us on Facebook Facebook only promos too
Smoke Cigars?

*Member: The HBT Sweaty Fat Guy Cigar Club
Jaybird is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2007, 11:54 PM   #5
david_42's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Willamina & Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,578
Liked 148 Times on 139 Posts


Although you can't really judge the AA% of a home grown hop, you can tell the difference between a high AA hop and a low one. Just chew a flower. If it's a high AA hop, you'll be wondering why you did something as stupid as chewing a flower. Having done this with Summit (AKA Experimental 19% AA hop), I speak from experience. Fuggles and EKG are actually tasty.

If you brew a fresh hop ale, use 4-5 times as much as you normally would. Finally, if you do a 3 gallon boil and use lots of bittering hops, you'll max. out around 90 IBU. Diluting this to 5 gallons would mean 55 IBU, which is a good spot for an ESB.
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
david_42 is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2007, 12:09 AM   #6
malkore's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 6,922
Liked 37 Times on 35 Posts
Likes Given: 9


Originally Posted by david_42
If it's a high AA hop, you'll be wondering why you did something as stupid as chewing a flower. Having done this with Summit (AKA Experimental 19% AA hop), I speak from experience.
This comment just made me smile.

I agree with everything said here. If there's a local homebrew shop, you could look for a Brewer's Best kit. They're pretty decent, often have some specialty grains for added flavor and color, and never have you use sugar for anything but priming the bottles (unlike most Cooper's kits which call for sugar to make up the rest of the alcohol).

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
malkore is offline
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
First Brew in 14 years...good to be back! KatoBaggins General Beer Discussion 11 03-23-2009 02:58 PM
I'm back brewing after 12 years SAMBUCA Home Brewing Photo Forum 6 01-23-2009 10:26 PM
Back to Homebrewing After Years of Absense man4labs Extract Brewing 5 07-17-2006 04:07 PM

Forum Jump