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Old 09-11-2007, 04:46 AM   #1
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Default Oke, so its been a year.

Oke, so its been just over a year since I began homebrewing with my friend. We've gone though 8 batches (kits from beer-wine). Its been a great learning process and we've been 6/8, making 6 delicous batches with only 2 failed ones. I invested in mini-kegs and they have been great, less damn bottles to clean everytime we brew.

For some odd reason we have not gotten around to purchasing a glass carboy for 2nd fermentation, that's the first thing on our list for year 2. I also want to get more involved in the process, I want to step away from purchasing kits with all the ingredients already waiting for us to just boil them away, etc.

I am asking for suggestions to what the two of us can do to get more involved into the brewing process, although note we are still college students and thus we are poor.

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Old 09-11-2007, 05:09 AM   #2
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Are you steeping grains?
Using the late extract method?
Considered a Partial Mash?

Read HowtoBrew.com?

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Old 09-11-2007, 01:36 PM   #3
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Well, first things first, to get away from kits, all you have to do is make your own recipes. By now, I would imagine, that you have an idea of what goes into a style of beer. Some base grain (probably extract for you), some specialty grain for color and flavor, some hops, some yeast, and maybe some spice or fruit. Now, all you have to do is apply that to the type of beer you want to make. Or just tinker with stuff. My first couple of recipes, didnt exactly follow any guidelines, I was just making beer..and I loved it. I still do it. I make beers too style now too, but sometimes I still just kind of concoct my own. That is part of the fun of homebrewing.

It is hard to say exactly what you can do to get more into the process without knowing what your process is now. Are you just steeping? How much grain do you typically steep? Would you have the capacity to steep more? Do you do any mashing? Could you do more?

IMO, beers are best made from grain. This is no knock on extract brewers as you can make very fine, award winning beer with extract, but to me, if you are looking for of the 'process' you are looking towards grain. Not to mention, grain is cheaper than extract, and if you can use more, without buying more equipment, you will be saving money. So, if you are steeping or mashing, and have the capability to do more, mimick some of the kits you have bought, but steep/mash more base grain, and use less extract.
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Old 09-11-2007, 05:14 PM   #4
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Cubbies got it All Grain brewing will get you more intamately involved, because it allows you to make a plethura of wort styles and flavors, as opposed to the light, amber, dark selection of extract. Also, although a longer process, All grain should cost less once you've got your gear. If I'm way off let me know, I'm an extract guy. The extract seems to be the big exspense, while bags of grain are way cheaper per pound. I wish I had discovered brewing whilst at college, it would have changed everything! Reading and knowledge are a brewer's best friend, so study up and have at it.
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Old 09-11-2007, 05:53 PM   #5
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Lurk and learn.

If you decide to begin brewing from an all-grain process, you'll be graduating from "Duncan Hines" beer making to "from-scratch" brewing. Your beer will be markedy better.

Read about the process. Lurk around this forum and ask when you're stuck. AG brewing is actually pretty darn simple. More involved, but simple. You just need to expose yourelf to discussions about the process to de-mystify.

You'll also spend considerably less per batch once you make the modest investment in some basic equipment.

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