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DuncB

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Down here you have to pay to dispose of a fridge or freezer so it's often cheaper to give it away than chuck it. But just the right fridge or freezer is difficult to track down but worth it if you have the time.
 
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Merz69

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Pulled the trigger and ordered the premium starter kit from more beer :). I’m going to stick with extract brewing and tinkering until I figure out what I’m doing. The kit has some things I had wanted - a smooth plastic carboy 7 gal, a wort chiller, and an 8.5 gal stainless pot.
their starter recipes seemed odd - a hazy that was out of stock, a double ipa 8%ABV with a couple dry hops, an ale with a fermentation temp of 55-63, and the American Ale (I’m thinking they are steering everyone towards this one.
wish me luck !!!
Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize and keep away from oxygen :)
 

IslandLizard

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Pulled the trigger and ordered the premium starter kit from more beer :).
Congrats, you're now ready to join the obsession! Chances are you won't even regret it.

I just checked the kit order, "Pliny" is available too, and is an awesome clone from what I've heard.
Perhaps you can still change the order if you want?

Hazy is the only one that's OOS...
 
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Merz69

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Congrats, you're now ready to join the obsession! Chances are you won't even regret it.

I just checked the kit order, "Pliny" is available too, and is an awesome clone from what I've heard.
Perhaps you can still change the order if you want?

Hazy is the only one that's OOS...
Than Pliny looks pretty complex for a first brew !! Lots going on there ! Seems pretty strong also @8% ABV. Don’t you need a temp control for fermentation - or a secondary for high ABV beers ?
 

camonick

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Pulled the trigger and ordered the premium starter kit from more beer :). I’m going to stick with extract brewing and tinkering until I figure out what I’m doing. The kit has some things I had wanted - a smooth plastic carboy 7 gal, a wort chiller, and an 8.5 gal stainless pot.
their starter recipes seemed odd - a hazy that was out of stock, a double ipa 8%ABV with a couple dry hops, an ale with a fermentation temp of 55-63, and the American Ale (I’m thinking they are steering everyone towards this one.
wish me luck !!!
Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize and keep away from oxygen :)
I don’t know if it’s been mentioned above, but what do you plan to use for a heat source? Full volume boils with a kettle that big might be a workout for a standard kitchen stove.
 

IslandLizard

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Starsan:
You don't need to make a 5 or 6 gallon bucket full of it. Making as little as a quart (or 2) is enough for a brew session. Or a gallon if you must. Put in a small bucket or other plastic container. Cover (with a lid) when done for the day.

The standard working solution is 1 oz (28ml) od concentrate per 5 gallons, but you rarely need that much sanitizer around...
Use 6 ml of concentrate* per gallon to make a working solution. It's thick and syrupy, so pour very slowly and carefully!

A standard measure teaspoon is 5 ml.
A quarter teaspoon is 1.25 ml.
So use one of each* to make a gallon of working solution. Stir to mix it.
* Relax, using a little (little!) more concentrate is not gonna harm anything.

Put some in a spray bottle, easy for ad-hoc spot sanitation.

The working solution is easily "mopped" onto most surfaces with a small, clean, dedicated soft wash cloth. Or dump some into your fermonster, and swirl it around, wetting all surfaces well for a minute, then recover it by pouring it back into your storage container.

Make the Starsan solution with RO or distilled water, or if your tap water is soft you can use that instead. It can last for weeks or longer as long as you keep it clean and only use it on things that are already clean and rinsed off. It may get a little cloudy over time, but should still be fine. If it looks grimey, gray, or dirty, toss it and make fresh.

Water:
Unless you know for 100% certain that your tap water is soft (very low hardness and low minerals), use RO or distilled water for brewing (with a few exceptions). Buy jugs of distilled or RO water (Supermarket, Walmart, etc.). Some stores have RO machines, fill your own for $0.39 a gallon if you bring your own jugs. ;)

Tap Water treatment:
All municipal tap water if used in beer needs to be treated with a crushed 1/4 Campden tablet per 5 gallons, to remove every trace of chlorine or chloramines, which kills your beer. Seriously!

Well Water:
If you're on your own well, there won't be chlorine/chloramines, but you need to know the mineral composition to make an educated judgment on its suitability for brewing, depending on beer style.
 

IslandLizard

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Than Pliny looks pretty complex for a first brew !! Lots going on there ! Seems pretty strong also @8% ABV. Don’t you need a temp control for fermentation - or a secondary for high ABV beers ?
You always need to control your fermentation temps, low and high gravity beers alike. The yeast determines what the optimal range is, we like to keep it at the lower end of it. You have a cool place somewhere, low 60s, and fairly constant?

Secondaries are out, been out for about a decade. There are some exceptions, none in the beginning brewer's realm.

I was steering you toward the Pliny since it's included in your kit price, and a phenomenal beer!
The kit runs $55 normally.
Sure, Pliny is a little more involved, but you're just adding more hops, and more frequently. Plus a dry hop at the end of fermentation.
It's very doable if you can follow instructions.
 

IslandLizard

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Do you have bottles? Or can you scrounge them up (friends)? You're gonna need 48-50 (12 oz) of them 3 weeks after brewing.

Do you have a local homebrew store?
There may be a few other (smaller) things you're gonna need.

One thing is missing from the kit (description): A siphon or racking cane to transfer your finished beer from the fermenter to your bottling bucket. I'd prefer a racking cane, stainless if possible, over an auto-siphon (due air intrusion).
 

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Do you have bottles? Or can you scrounge them up (friends)? You're gonna need 48-50 (12 oz) of them 3 weeks after brewing.

Do you have a local homebrew store?
There may be a few other (smaller) things you're gonna need.

One thing is missing from the kit (description): A siphon or racking cane to transfer your finished beer from the fermenter to your bottling bucket. I'd prefer a racking cane, stainless if possible, over an auto-siphon (due air intrusion).
You could also use a growler or two and the balance in 12 oz.
Provided you can finish a growler in one sitting, friends make that easier.
 

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Luckily dented freezers still make great beer! Hope you snap that up! It would make a great fermentation chamber for now, and you can turn it into a keezer if/when you eventually move to kegging.

I was at a Home Depot today and saw a couple of busted up dented ones. I was going to ask about them but I couldn't find a human... and all the AIs seemed to be busy.
 

GrowleyMonster

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Than Pliny looks pretty complex for a first brew !! Lots going on there ! Seems pretty strong also @8% ABV. Don’t you need a temp control for fermentation - or a secondary for high ABV beers ?
Not necessarily. Nice to have I guess, but I don't have any temp control stuff and I only go to a secondary when the trub is so deep it is over the mouth of the spigot.
 

Noob_Brewer

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Pulled the trigger and ordered the premium starter kit from more beer :). I’m going to stick with extract brewing and tinkering until I figure out what I’m doing. The kit has some things I had wanted - a smooth plastic carboy 7 gal, a wort chiller, and an 8.5 gal stainless pot.
their starter recipes seemed odd - a hazy that was out of stock, a double ipa 8%ABV with a couple dry hops, an ale with a fermentation temp of 55-63, and the American Ale (I’m thinking they are steering everyone towards this one.
wish me luck !!!
Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize and keep away from oxygen :)
Congrats on pulling the trigger! I started brewing almost two years ago now - time flies when you are having fun and in a pandemic! lol. One thing Ive come to appreciate is that there are 1000s of ways to make wort ranging from cheap to super expensive. But I am glad I invested in good cold side equipment for fermentation (temp control & closed system to minimize O2) and packaging (kegging/keezer). regardless of how you make wort, these two areas are important. If you are interested, I have my fermentation system build in my signature. Spoiler alert - no fancy SS conicals lol. Now Ive done 47 brews since jan 2020 and I regret nothing on my fermentation setup. I also included a part list in my fermentation build thread. You could easily do it cheaper than I did as well if you get some things used, but I bought new everything.

Cheers and good luck! I am anticipating a "my first Homebrew" thread from you on this forum! One last piece of advice that you didn't ask for but I'll chime in anyways...if you have a significant other who a) likes beer and b) you both share finances - he/she is your #1 person to impress with your first couple beers. If he/she likes the beer you create - your hobby will be supported. Been working for me! ;)
 
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IslandLizard

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You could also use a growler or two and the balance in 12 oz.
Can you really carbonate beer in a growler? They're not made for that, to sustain much pressure.

But (smaller) plastic (PET) bottles such as Coke, Mountain Dew, etc. are wonderful. Just keep them out of the light.

Provided you can finish a growler in one sitting, friends make that easier.
Or 2 liter Coke bottles...
 

PCABrewing

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Can you really carbonate beer in a growler? They're not made for that, to sustain much pressure.

But (smaller) plastic (PET) bottles such as Coke, Mountain Dew, etc. are wonderful. Just keep them out of the light.


Or 2 liter Coke bottles...
Hmm, I'd say maybe but you make a good point.
I let my perspective as one who kegs and only fill bottles from a carbonated keg guide my response, my bad.
 

GrowleyMonster

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Can you really carbonate beer in a growler? They're not made for that, to sustain much pressure.

But (smaller) plastic (PET) bottles such as Coke, Mountain Dew, etc. are wonderful. Just keep them out of the light.


Or 2 liter Coke bottles...
Some growlers can be pressurized. I have two.
 

Soulshine2

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I have only skimmed this thread, but I totally agree with this^^^.
As a beginner (or seasoned veteran), there is nothing more simple than sprinkling a packet of dry yeast on your wort before you seal your fermenter. Excellent beer can be made with dry yeast and in my opinion, there are many more things to get proficient at before worrying about liquid yeast. I’ve been brewing off and on for nearly 20 years and I’m still intimidated by liquid yeast and don’t like the hassle quite frankly.
Chose a simple kit, be it extract or all grain from a reputable online supplier, follow and pay attention to each step, and enjoy your first beer in 4-6 weeks.
Sláinte
THIS ^ . As I stated previously, I started brewing roughly 6 yrs ago. I started with a couple extracts, and I've made this comparison before and no slam to anyone who likes extract brewing, hear me out and pay attention to what I show in parenthesis....to me its like saying you made soup but you opened up a can of Progresso , added water and heated it up. um, No , Progresso (Brewing supplier) made it (extract),put it (extracted malts in a can , LME) on a shelf and you opened it up and added hot water and salt and pepper( hops). Theres no learning at all. Once i made a couple "extract beers" , i was looking to the all grains and THAT is where i learned how to make beer. I chose a few grab-and-go made up AG kits when i lived near a LHBS , they come with instructions. Follow along with a good brewing book, might i suggest buying a copy of Charlie Papazians "the complete joy of home brewing" read it cover to cover, then read it again , only slower to understand the hows and whys. He simplifies the brewing process with common household utensils and explains it like youre back in science class. Get a few rock solid brews in under that book ...
THEN buy the other book, "Designing great beers," by Ray Daniels. This guy takes you further into the rabbit hole of brewing. Theres way more depth and no actual recipe in sight , more like a guideline of how to make your own recipes, water profiles, styles of beer according to the region they came from. Hops selection, Yeast selection. pH. I found a lot of ah-hah "epiphany" moments in this book, and improved my brewing a great deal.
The last book i bought last year was "Brew like a Monk" if you like Abbey ales, Trappist beers. BIG malty beers. Get a few years of brewing under your belt then have a go at a monk beer. With the help of the first two books then reading BLAM ,I flat out nailed a Karmelite , first try without trying really. My wife is normally a Hefeweizen drinker (Ive brewed 5 hefs for her , "each one better than the last " in her words )but she went nuts over my version of Karmelite and said mine tasted better than what the actual monks made .
Never stop wanting to improve your brewing.
A couple years ago I made a Blackberry hibiscus sour , i have wild blackberry bushes around our house. I picked 6 lbs this year, that year i picked 8 lbs. I found locally sourced and grown wheat, grew my own hops and it turned out awesome, it matured into an almost wine-like hot weather pool-side refreshing beverage.
Its the confidence you get when you read, experiment and try. You will fail a couple brews but dont let those discourage you. Figure out why they failed and you'll be brewing some great beers. Could be something as simple as the water.
 

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A lot of good things here and a lot of way over the top for a beginner. You did good, buy a kit. and try it. If drinkable or not, buy another kit. I would go extract for a few brews, then get a bag and a few adjunct grains and. to partial mashes. If that is fun and you want to move to all grain, then spend for that. There are WAY plenty of yeast varieties that will make good beer at 70 to 78 degrees. Pick an ale yeast . I just did a stout using dry yeast. Follow their simple directions and they work. A good book such as Palmer's is good thing to have. 90 percent of the equipment listed in the prior three pages are nice, but totally unnecessary. Stir plate? really? talking about kegs? Really? buying fridges or freezers? really? Cute devices that track your ferment temp? NO. Simple kit, plastic fermenter, boiler, thermometer and hydrometer are really all that is necessary. And the hydrometer really isnt either. then you do need some bottles, and capper. But the most important thing is sanitation. Clean twice and sanitize well. Starsan or idophor. But things must be clean to sanitize. This one thing destroys more beer than anything else. Toys are nice, I just spent in past 2 months about $1000 on this hobby moving to electric all in one. I cut my brew time by over 2 hours. And the mess went to almost zero. One container to clean vs two. (or three if you include the heated water tank.) And as my allgrain system was outside, I had to clean before and after each brew. PITA. I'm getting rid of it to anyone who wants Ss converted kegs and propane.

And Have fun.
 
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Merz69

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THIS ^ . As I stated previously, I started brewing roughly 6 yrs ago. I started with a couple extracts, and I've made this comparison before and no slam to anyone who likes extract brewing, hear me out and pay attention to what I show in parenthesis....to me its like saying you made soup but you opened up a can of Progresso , added water and heated it up. um, No , Progresso (Brewing supplier) made it (extract),put it (extracted malts in a can , LME) on a shelf and you opened it up and added hot water and salt and pepper( hops). Theres no learning at all. Once i made a couple "extract beers" , i was looking to the all grains and THAT is where i learned how to make beer. I chose a few grab-and-go made up AG kits when i lived near a LHBS , they come with instructions. Follow along with a good brewing book, might i suggest buying a copy of Charlie Papazians "the complete joy of home brewing" read it cover to cover, then read it again , only slower to understand the hows and whys. He simplifies the brewing process with common household utensils and explains it like youre back in science class. Get a few rock solid brews in under that book ...
THEN buy the other book, "Designing great beers," by Ray Daniels. This guy takes you further into the rabbit hole of brewing. Theres way more depth and no actual recipe in sight , more like a guideline of how to make your own recipes, water profiles, styles of beer according to the region they came from. Hops selection, Yeast selection. pH. I found a lot of ah-hah "epiphany" moments in this book, and improved my brewing a great deal.
The last book i bought last year was "Brew like a Monk" if you like Abbey ales, Trappist beers. BIG malty beers. Get a few years of brewing under your belt then have a go at a monk beer. With the help of the first two books then reading BLAM ,I flat out nailed a Karmelite , first try without trying really. My wife is normally a Hefeweizen drinker (Ive brewed 5 hefs for her , "each one better than the last " in her words )but she went nuts over my version of Karmelite and said mine tasted better than what the actual monks made .
Never stop wanting to improve your brewing.
A couple years ago I made a Blackberry hibiscus sour , i have wild blackberry bushes around our house. I picked 6 lbs this year, that year i picked 8 lbs. I found locally sourced and grown wheat, grew my own hops and it turned out awesome, it matured into an almost wine-like hot weather pool-side refreshing beverage.
Its the confidence you get when you read, experiment and try. You will fail a couple brews but dont let those discourage you. Figure out why they failed and you'll be brewing some great beers. Could be something as simple as the water.
The Papazians book is 450 pages !! I’ve got a 5 and 7 year old - in addition to working full time. It would take me well over a year to get in that much reading !! I hope that I can find a book on CD version I can listen to on the way to work and back :)
I think I am planning a similar path as you though. I plan to start with extracts and learn as I go - be it in book form or internet research. Then on to Partial mash before going to all grain. This will allow me to get into brewing and decide personally which equipment I would like based on my experience. There’s a bunch of books on sale at Better World Books - a local company that guy huge buying and selling used text books :). I’ll probably get a couple and see if they have any of your recommendations.
Thank you for sharing your journey and guidance to a noob like me. I’ve got so much good advise from all of the awesome ppl here :). It’s getting close to time for me to jump out of the nest and learn to fly on my own :)
Cheers !
 

Brewer Mike

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A lot of good things here and a lot of way over the top for a beginner. You did good, buy a kit. and try it. If drinkable or not, buy another kit. I would go extract for a few brews, then get a bag and a few adjunct grains and. to partial mashes. If that is fun and you want to move to all grain, then spend for that. There are WAY plenty of yeast varieties that will make good beer at 70 to 78 degrees. Pick an ale yeast . I just did a stout using dry yeast. Follow their simple directions and they work. A good book such as Palmer's is good thing to have. 90 percent of the equipment listed in the prior three pages are nice, but totally unnecessary. Stir plate? really? talking about kegs? Really? buying fridges or freezers? really? Cute devices that track your ferment temp? NO. Simple kit, plastic fermenter, boiler, thermometer and hydrometer are really all that is necessary. And the hydrometer really isnt either. then you do need some bottles, and capper. But the most important thing is sanitation. Clean twice and sanitize well. Starsan or idophor. But things must be clean to sanitize. This one thing destroys more beer than anything else. Toys are nice, I just spent in past 2 months about $1000 on this hobby moving to electric all in one. I cut my brew time by over 2 hours. And the mess went to almost zero. One container to clean vs two. (or three if you include the heated water tank.) And as my allgrain system was outside, I had to clean before and after each brew. PITA. I'm getting rid of it to anyone who wants Ss converted kegs and propane.

And Have fun.
Amen, Braj! Start simple. Be sure you enjoy it and want to continue and go from there.
 

hout17

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Bark at the Moon !!!
Hahahahahaha !

bark-like-a-dog-for-me.jpg
 

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I don't have time to read all of the long responses in this thread, but I've skimmed it and I'll add another vote for the "keep it simple and cost effective" side of things.

I'm a little bit surprised at some of the things that are being promoted as "essential" without justification. A stir plate? Not even remotely close to essential, even if you want to use liquid yeast. I have a stir plate and I don't even use it anymore! Miraculously, my starters have continued to work and my beer has continued to improve.

A wort chiller? More useful than a stir plate IMO, but still far, far from "essential." I've used an immersion chiller since the beginning, but the copper to make it was pretty expensive, probably much more so now than in 2016 when I bought mine. Luckily, as it turns out, you can make killer beer without a chiller. I only use it 25% of the time anymore - the rest of the brews I just let them cool naturally over night. This won't work for all styles but for many that I enjoy, I have seen absolutely no downside to doing this.

For some people, acquiring "gear" is a critical part of what makes a hobby fun. And that's OK, to each their own, but I hope newcomers get the message loud and clear that you can do this stuff with very small budgets and still get very good results.

I think a good approach is to start small then only spend money on things that either 1) address a problem you've identified with your results; or 2) address some kind of annoyance you have with the process. An example of #1 would be, maybe your basement temperature fluctuates and you're getting inconsistent results fermenting at ambient temperature with a certain yeast. A method of fermentation temperature control would likely be money well-spent here because it provides clear, targeted benefit. For #2, maybe you come to absolutely hate bottling, as most of us do. A kegging system would be money well-spent in that case - not because it makes the beer "better" but because it smooths over some of the pain points in your process.

After 6 years in the hobby only now am I starting to pivot away from plastic bucket fermentors. They're so unglamorous and cheap-looking compared to some of the stainless steel bling that's available, but honestly, I love them. They're so damn easy to use, to carry, to clean, at a tiny fraction of the cost of the fancy options. My only "real" complaint about them is that they can't be pressurized and defenses against oxygen are not very good (although with a carefully thought out process you can still do quite well in this regard, even with the shortcomings of the buckets). I recently picked up a Fermzilla all-rounder and it maintains most of the things I like about buckets while also adding the ability to hold pressure. The whole thing cost me like $100 shipped in Canada and I think it's a bloody outstanding kit for the price - worth every single penny.
 

PCABrewing

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The Papazians book is 450 pages !! I’ve got a 5 and 7 year old - in addition to working full time. It would take me well over a year to get in that much reading !! I hope that I can find a book on CD version I can listen to on the way to work and back :)
I think I am planning a similar path as you though. I plan to start with extracts and learn as I go - be it in book form or internet research. Then on to Partial mash before going to all grain. This will allow me to get into brewing and decide personally which equipment I would like based on my experience. There’s a bunch of books on sale at Better World Books - a local company that guy huge buying and selling used text books :). I’ll probably get a couple and see if they have any of your recommendations.
Thank you for sharing your journey and guidance to a noob like me. I’ve got so much good advise from all of the awesome ppl here :). It’s getting close to time for me to jump out of the nest and learn to fly on my own :)
Cheers !
Well Papazians book has a lot of good info for those just starting and it is written at a time when we didn't have all the fancy equipment we have today so it focused on pressing into service standard available household items. And guess what, you can still brew that way today.
But I think one of the best bits of advice in the book is: "Relax Don't Worry, have a home brew", Don't sweat it, just do it!
 

Velnerj

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I hope that I can find a book on CD version I can listen to on the way to work and back
Another option is podcasts. There are a lot of them out there but for beginners (and seasoned veterans) I think Basic brewing radio is a good place to start. I think they have over 10 years of podcasts to go through. And very rich in info. Check them out!
 

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Good that you bought the starter kit with an 8.5 gal kettle. You will be able to do full volume brews (not having to add water after the boil), and a kettle that size will be perfect if you want to venture into 1-vessel brew in a bag (BIAB).

Will you be brewing on a stove top? If so, some electric stove tops will struggle to bring 5 gallons to a boil. Do a test: put 5 gallons tap water in the kettle and see if your stove top can bring it to a boil. See how long it takes. Better to know now, before you're doing an actual brew. You could get an electric bucket heater to assist the stove top.

If you want to go propane, look for a turkey fryer on Craigslist, FB Marketplace, etc. You could probably pick one up for $25 or so.
 
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Merz69

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Good that you bought the starter kit with an 8.5 gal kettle. You will be able to do full volume brews (not having to add water after the boil), and a kettle that size will be perfect if you want to venture into 1-vessel brew in a bag (BIAB).

Will you be brewing on a stove top? If so, some electric stove tops will struggle to bring 5 gallons to a boil. Do a test: put 5 gallons tap water in the kettle and see if your stove top can bring it to a boil. See how long it takes. Better to know now, before you're doing an actual brew. You could get an electric bucket heater to assist the stove top.

If you want to go propane, look for a turkey fryer on Craigslist, FB Marketplace, etc. You could probably pick one up for $25 or so.
I have a couple deep fry burners - 1 from a fish fry kit and a Turkey burner :)
 

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There are a lot of podcasts out there. And YouTube videos of which some are mainly talk and surprisingly easy to stream with a phone. I'd for sure try and listen to some of these is you have a decently long drive. Been there and don't want to do again. 16 years of 60 mile one way commute at 55mph.
 

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The Papazians book is 450 pages !! I’ve got a 5 and 7 year old - in addition to working full time. It would take me well over a year to get in that much reading !! I hope that I can find a book on CD version I can listen to on the way to work and back :)
I think I am planning a similar path as you though. I plan to start with extracts and learn as I go - be it in book form or internet research. Then on to Partial mash before going to all grain. This will allow me to get into brewing and decide personally which equipment I would like based on my experience. There’s a bunch of books on sale at Better World Books - a local company that guy huge buying and selling used text books :). I’ll probably get a couple and see if they have any of your recommendations.
Thank you for sharing your journey and guidance to a noob like me. I’ve got so much good advise from all of the awesome ppl here :). It’s getting close to time for me to jump out of the nest and learn to fly on my own :)
Cheers !
honestly that book is an easy read, all 450 pages. sit your kids down and read it to them , lol. im not sure if a audio book will get you the same results, theres charts and pictures you'll need to see to understand the content. i think i read it in 3 days. i couldnt put it down. other thing, i do NOT like extract brewing. i tried partial , didnt like that either. if any extract is in my beer, it all tastes the same. i go all grain and i brew my best beers. have your water tested . or buy bottled spring water. do not buy purified drinking water or distilled, nothing in it.
 

Soulshine2

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Another option is podcasts. There are a lot of them out there but for beginners (and seasoned veterans) I think Basic brewing radio is a good place to start. I think they have over 10 years of podcasts to go through. And very rich in info. Check them out!
never knew there was basic brewing radio existed...im on pandora on a regular basis , i wonder if they have an I-heart radio station on there.
edit - Found it on YouTube. thanks a lot , now i can drive my wife crazy with brewing videos too. lol
 
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Merz69

Merz69

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So now that someone mentioned cleaning, rinsing, sanitizing, drying, filling, and capping every time I brew - I’m thinking Korny keg ! Ball lock.
Anyone have tips on hose sizes ? Or odds and ends that make things easier ?

after watching a few videos, I’m guessing Ima need:

Keg
CO2 tank (size - with and without force carbing)
Tubing, clamps, barbed fittings (sizes ?)
Regulator
Liquid and gas ball valves - do they normally come with the tank ?
Tap ?
Secondary regulator ?
 

palmtrees

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So now that someone mentioned cleaning, rinsing, sanitizing, drying, filling, and capping every time I brew - I’m thinking Korny keg ! Ball lock.
Anyone have tips on hose sizes ? Or odds and ends that make things easier ?

after watching a few videos, I’m guessing Ima need:

Keg
CO2 tank (size - with and without force carbing)
Tubing, clamps, barbed fittings (sizes ?)
Regulator
Liquid and gas ball valves - do they normally come with the tank ?
Tap ?
Secondary regulator ?

Go for it if you're that pumped! But I would recommend bottling at least one or two batches before jumping into kegging, for a couple reasons. First, kegging is expensive and takes up space, so it's best to make sure you like the hobby first. Second, brewing can have a big learning curve at first. There's just a lot of things going on, and kegging adds a whole other layer of complexity. You might be better served by getting your hands around the brewing and fermenting process a little bit first. Third, I think it's good to know how to bottle, and it's not *that* hard or annoying. I don't miss it, certainly, but it wasn't that bad. Fourth, and probably the most important, I think it works best to design your kegging setup when you have a good idea of what kind of brewer you are. By that I mean, do you make multiple 10 gallon batches a month and have friends over all the time? Do you make one five gallon batch every two months and drink solo? Do you make 2.5 gallon batches so you can brew more often? Each of these scenarios will call for a different keg setup. Maybe you want a huge keezer with tons of kegs, maybe you want smaller 3 gallon kegs, maybe you're good with two 5-gallon kegs in a mini fridge. It's tough to know the answers to those questions as a beginner, so you run the risk of buying equipment you don't need or will end up replacing soon.

That said, if you're gonna jump in with both feet, go for it. Then I would recommend keeping your keg super simple until you have a better sense of the answers to the questions above. It's easy to build onto a system later. All you really need right now is a ball lock keg (the ball lock posts come with them), a gas tank (5 lb is good), a regulator, a gas line to run from the regulator to the keg, a gas quick disconnect to connect it, a picnic tap, some beer line to run the tap to the keg, a beer quick disconnect to connect it, and a place to keep the keg cold (sounds like you've got that figured out above).

You don't need a second regulator. Down the road, you may want to get a manifold, which will split your gas into multiple lines, but you should wait on that until you know what type of setup you want and how many kegs you will end up with.

It might not take you long to figure these things out, maybe a few batches. Hard to say! But for myself, it took me quite a while to figure out I wanted to do 3 gallon batches so I could do full boil BIAB on my stove and could brew a few times a month without drowning in beer. I'm glad I waited on kegging until I had my process more figured out. But there's no wrong way to do this, really, so just have fun.
 

GrowleyMonster

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Agree. I keg. I think kegging is more reliable and consistent. It is also easier. BUT, your first batch should be done with an eye on the bottom line, and 53 120z or 40 16oz or 29 22oz bottles and a capper and a little corn sugar or table sugar is the cheapest way in. Plus you can salvage bottles. Drink two cases of brown crown cap bottled beer from the grocery and there's two cases of bottles. Get your buds to save them for you, too. You don't want twist off. I know some guys have used them but regular plain top bottles are definitely better for bottling.

Now here's the thing. Even when you are kegging, occasionally you might want to bottle up a six pack to take with you somewhere. Sometimes you miscalculate end your 5 gallon batch turns into 5-3/4 gallons and it won't fit in a corny keg. Rather than dump it, you can bottle. Also sometimes you brew a batch in anticipation of having your one and only keg go empty in time to take the new batch, but it isn't, and you want to do get your fermenter empty for another brewing project. So you end up bottling the whole batch. Ergo while bottling is a PITA, it is a basic brewing skill that should be developed. And when you bottle a few beers out of every batch as a matter of course, you should always have a few bottles on hand to give to someone or take to someone's house for whatever occasion.

So, if you had all your gear and all your ingredients on hand already, and were ready to brew today, you would actually have about two weeks to accumulate bottles or kegging stuff. You should be able to recycle enough bottles to put up your batch by the time it is ready, and your only expenses are caps, and a capper. Maybe a wand or gun. A few ounces of sugar.

I don't want to discourage you from kegging, cause kegging just rocks. But save your money, for now. Use it for ingredients. Meanwhile, read, study, question. Put your kit together bit by bit. Keg up your second batch if you still feel called to the one true way.
 

TestTickle

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@palmtrees and @GrowleyMonster both touched on some really good points. I bottled for a few years before kegging and learned a hell of a lot not only about the entire brewing and bottling process, but the kind of beer drinker that I and my friends/family are. By the time I began kegging, I was comfortable enough with every other aspect of brewing that I was able to focus on kegging with a lot more confidence and patience.

I still bottle quite a bit for two reasons. One, there are times when kegs just don't get drank as fast as I anticipated, so I end up bottling some batches instead. I don't like running out of certain brews, so I try to keep a constant rotation going. Two, there are styles that I prefer to let age in bottles and not take up space in the keezer. In cases like this, it's a great idea to get the bottling process down in case you need it as a backup or alternative option.

Kegging is certainly easier and faster, but bottling doesn't bother me at all. At least for now, there are probably better ways to spend your money. I still say that temperature controlled fermentation should be a bigger focal point.
 
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Merz69

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Thanks :)
I bought a scratch and dent freezer for fermentation.
I have a line on a co2 tank, regulator, and corny keg with a couple buckets and a 5 gal pot for a c note. I also got a starter kit coming :). Gonna brew soon :)
 
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Merz69

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I plan to bottle the first few batches. Get another keg or 2. Start legging once I’m ready to do closed transfers - prolly need an all rounder first unless my fermenter can be pressurized. Not worried about that yet
 
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Merz69

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Or an electric unit - we’ll see what deals are around when I’m ready to next step it. There’s a bunch of equipment at decent prices if you look. There’s a couple plastic 30 gal fermenters for $150 … I’m nowhere near needing anything that size tho
 
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