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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Most basic set up for 1st extract brew
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Old 04-04-2006, 02:48 AM   #1
NEPABREWER
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Default Most basic set up for 1st extract brew

Hey all - I have been reading this board quite alot now for the past week and I am getting geared up to purchase my first extract or possibly partial-mash kit from morebeer.com.
I've got a 6-7 gallon speckled metal turkey cooker pot, what I beleive to be at least a 6 gal. carboy, a slew of Grolsch pop-top empties and an undenialble desire to cook something up. Do I really need anything more than these additions?

carboy cap w/ blow off hose
carboy thermometer
stirring spoon,
racking cane(s) w/siphon hose,
bottling bucket or vessel of some sort
hydrometer for diagnostic purposes
san-star or whatever
ingredient kit

I've looked around and this seems to be about all there is to getting started. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I want to see how the first bottled batch goes, but I think I'll be moving to a carni-keg system shortly because of the added convenience.

Cheers


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Old 04-04-2006, 02:55 AM   #2
Kevin K
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Here's my equipment list. I'd consider all of these items very useful, if not all necessary.

*6.5 Gallon fermenting pail
*Lid for pail
*2-6 Gallon glass carboys
*Stirring spoon
*Hydrometer
*Thermometer
*Racking cane & syphon tube
*Bung for carboy
*Airlock (3 pc)
*Carboy bottle brush
*Thief
*Iodaphor
*Bottling wand
*Grain bags
*Spigot for pail (want to convert to bottling bucket)
*Funnel to transfer cooled wort to primary
*SS strainer to fit in funnel, for straining wort into primary carboy
*Stick on thermometer
*16 Qt. SS pot for boils (probably minimum size you'd want to go with)

These aren't all necessary, but they sure are useful. I didn't find myself saying "Man, I wish I'd bought a XXXX" during my first brew. I think I have everything I need (with the exception of additional carboys/pails for more brews on the go at once).

Hope that helps!



That said, I'd get a 6.5 gallon pail as well. They're handy, and if you only have one carboy, you'll probably want to use it as your primary fermenting vessel.

Oh, and watch the temps on that speckled turkey pot, I'm betting that thin bottom will make it very easy to scorch your wort. You'll have to stir non-stop.

Good luck, this sure is a fun hobby, and this forum is fantastic.

Kevin



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Old 04-04-2006, 04:01 AM   #3
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That's a pretty good starter list there, Kevin.

NEPABREWER,
If you get one of the starter kits, they should come with everything special you need. The rest you should have in the kitchen. You even have a big pot, so you should be all set.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin K
Oh, and watch the temps on that speckled turkey pot, I'm betting that thin bottom will make it very easy to scorch your wort. You'll have to stir non-stop.
There is not much worry here if all the malt extract (LME or DME) has been dissolved in the wort. I brew with such a pot and can turn out pretty light beers.

Kai
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Old 04-04-2006, 04:05 AM   #4
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I'm sorry to voice my opinion like this but I really don't like recipe kits. It makes it more fun if you use a simple recipe that you've come up with on your own/with help from your LHBS or this forum. Just my 2 cents...
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Old 04-04-2006, 04:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkewedAle
I'm sorry to voice my opinion like this but I really don't like recipe kits. It makes it more fun if you use a simple recipe that you've come up with on your own/with help from your LHBS or this forum. Just my 2 cents...
I have to second that .

When I was talking about a kit, I ment the basic equipment kit.

But then again I also heard pretty good things about some beer kits (at least the ones put together by the HBS).

Kai

Hey, this was my post 777. I missed 666
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Old 04-04-2006, 11:12 AM   #6
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Kevin K - I will purchase some of those items you suggested. More carboys and a new kettle to come shortly, however, I would like to brew a couple super low cost, minimal set-up brews just for the fun of it.

I think that I can purchase most of the items on Kevin's list at a substantial savings if I buy seperate pieces. I don't need a bottle capper, or caps so why pay for them. I found my first 6.5 carboy in an 'antique' shop for $18.00, have an old Turkey Pot laying around and enjoy the idea of brewing great things (relative term) with little.

As far as recipes - Im listening. I would like a boil a little grain-in-a-bag recipe for:

a full flavored, spicy Austrian Style cloudy and yeasty Weiss beer (light and/ or dark)
my wife has requested a 'Hoegaarden duplicate'
and maybe something dark, smooth and German

Thanks for all the help - this has to be one of the most amicable and helpful forums I have ever belonged to. Oh wait. Its a beer enthusiasts forum.
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Old 04-04-2006, 12:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
I'm sorry to voice my opinion like this but I really don't like recipe kits.
this always kind of discouraged me when i was starting out. then i got to thinking. the kit is really someone's recipe. no shame in starting from someone's recipe/expertise and developing your recipe from that base.

even if you start with coming up with your recipe - you are basing it upon what others have tried, unless you blindly go into an hbs and go "gimmie a 1 of that - and a half pound of that and some of this, a few of those, a couple of naked lady t's". you might make beer that way and you might just luck up and make something drinkable but i wouldn't bet on your success.
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Old 04-04-2006, 12:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEPABREWER
As far as recipes - Im listening. I would like a boil a little grain-in-a-bag recipe for:

a full flavored, spicy Austrian Style cloudy and yeasty Weiss beer (light and/ or dark)
This is a good place to start: Wheat beers are pretty easy, a light hefeweizen doesn't even need any specialty grains--extract only will be perfect. A dunkelweizen is hardly any more complicated--just takes the addition of some specialty grains for color and flavor. We could give you exact infgrediants to purchase if you like.

Quote:
my wife has requested a 'Hoegaarden duplicate'
Slightly more complicated as an extract brew: a true-to-style wit requires the use of some adjuncts (unmalted wheat, oats, and/or barley) that are more successful in all-grain brewing, but a very credible facimile can be made with extract.

Quote:
and maybe something dark, smooth and German
This is tougher: to do a dunkel or schwarzbier, you'll need to have the ability to lager (ferment and store at cool/cold temperatures). A lot of homebrewers do mostly or entirely ales, for this reason.

Welcome to the obsession.
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Old 04-04-2006, 12:18 PM   #9
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Brewhead: I think the problem with the kits is that you may be getting pretty old ingrediants (especially LME that's been in a can a long time), and a dried yeast strain that may not fit the style you're trying to brew at all.

My wife bought my initial brewing setup as a Christmas gift (best gift she ever got me, by far). She bought the gear and a couple Brewer's Best kits. The kit's were fine, but, for example, one was a hefeweizen kit which came with dried nottingham ale yeast. That would have made a pretty odd hefeweizen.

I think that a kit assembled on the spot by the LHBS guy would be perfect for a beginner's first batch, though--or from a high-volume mail-order place like morebeer or Austin Homebrew.
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Old 04-04-2006, 12:21 PM   #10
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I would appreciate those ingredient lists. I will be attempting a 6-6.5 gallon boil.
When you say a 'light' hefe what might I compare that to commercially? Paulaner? If so I would prefer something not necessarily
darker, but more complex. Thank You.


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