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BNVince

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I've been reading many threads on this forum over the past few days just to get an idea of what people recommend here. I am also almost completely done reading John Palmer's "How To Brew". Needless to say, after reading the book and this forum I am quite anxious to get to brewing.

I have found a nice starter kit that I am going to purchase soon from midwestsupplies.com. I figure I will buy one of their extract kits to use for my first batch.

Originally, I was planning on doing some sort of stout or porter since those are my preferred beers. After thinking about it for a while, I think I should wait to do a darker beer for later batches. I would like to be able to see the clarity and color of my beer after my first batch.

I was thinking of going with an IPA kit from midwestsupplies. Has anybody ever brewed a kit from midwestsupplies and if so what would you recommend? Or should I just go for a stout or porter on my first batch?

Thanks in advance.
 

Beerrific

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I have not used a kit from there, but everything I hear is good. Go for it.

A porter or stout is an excellent choice for a first beer, so is an IPA. IMO, go for what you like best.
 

southern brewer

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I've done kits from Midwestsupplies. I like them. I prefer a less hoppy less bittery taste though. But i've brewed winter ale, another ale, rasberry ale, honey wheat, and now strawberry wheat (still in the carboy). I liked the rasberry and honey the best. They are sweeter and have a lighter hop bite to it. Just my taste :)
 

Matt Foley

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Brew what you like. I love stouts and porters. Unfortunately, those around me do not. Also (correct me if I am wrong here guys) it seems that the darker beers may be a little more forgiving. I don't think there is anything more difficult about darker beers. Rather, if it doesn't clear as you had hoped it is not as noticeable. In any event, it will be good beer.
 

deharris

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A really great, really easy first brew is a hefeweizen (assuming you like them, of course). Plus you can customize with the hops to get a more personalized beer. All you need is:

6.6 lbs. liquid wheat extract
1 oz. German noble hops (.5 oz. 45 mins., .5 oz. 15 mins.)

This is, of course, for 5 gallon batch with a 60 min. total boil.

It's really that simple, and ours (we used Tettnang hops) has been drawing rave reviews. Good luck!!
 

Blender

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I would make the one that you prefer first as the darker beers are no harder than the lighter beers. The one thing I learned pretty early is to do your best to keep the fermentation temps in the yeast range as that can have a great effect on the final outcome.
 

Southwood

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Another vote for brew what you like. If you wanted to keep things simple untill you get a feel for the brewing process, I would suggest a recipe that doesn't have a dry-hop. This will also give you a starting point to see what effect dry-hopping will have on future batches.

That being said, If you feel you've already got a handle on the process, go for it!

Welcome to the world of homebrew! :mug:
 

Nurmey

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We've probably done about 30 kits from Midwest and not had a bad batch from them yet. On the darker side, the Oatmeal Stout, Honey Porter, Excelsior Altbier, Bourbon Barrel Old Ale, Honey Nut Brown and the Scottish Export 80/ were all really good.

If you are set on a lighter brew, their Fuggles IPA came out extremely well. We tend to brew to the dark side but occasionally we do something lighter for the friends so we have done the Honey Bee Ale a few times too.

Those are a few Midwest kits we've tried that I can think of off the top of my head. We do a lot of our own recipes now but we always have a couple kits in the lineup too and as you may have guessed, Midwest is our main supplier. :D
 
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Brew what you enjoy. If you make a lighter beer just to see the color, so what? So the color is, let's say, perfect. Now you got five gallons of something you are not that fond of. The advice about hefeweisen is excellent, it is easy to brew, tastes wonderful (and is pretty hard to screw up if you are sanitary).
 
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BNVince

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Thanks for all the advice.

I decided to go with the Hank’s Hefe Weizen kit from midwestsupplies.com as my first brew. I just placed my order this morning.

One last question. I have read that the Hefe's don't take long to reach their peak flavor. Should I just skip racking to the glass carboy and bottle the hefe? If so, can I bottle the beer once my hyrdrometer readings haven't changed in a few days?

Thanks in adavance.

P.S. I will try to take some pictures of my first brew and post them here.
 

Beerrific

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BNVince said:
Thanks for all the advice.

I decided to go with the Hank’s Hefe Weizen kit from midwestsupplies.com as my first brew. I just placed my order this morning.

One last question. I have read that the Hefe's don't take long to reach their peak flavor. Should I just skip racking to the glass carboy and bottle the hefe? If so, can I bottle the beer once my hyrdrometer readings haven't changed in a few days?

Thanks in adavance.

P.S. I will try to take some pictures of my first brew and post them here.
Of course you do not want to move beer from the primary until you reach your expected FG (or near) and it is not changing.

With hefeweizens I would go 10-14 days in primary then bottle given the above has been satisfied.
 
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I'd check it for a couple days after all the bubbling in the airlock has stopped (or slowed to almost nothing). If it remains the same for two or three days, bottle it. Could take a week, could take two weeks, let the beer tell you when it is ready.
 
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BNVince

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holidayinflorida said:
I'd check it for a couple days after all the bubbling in the airlock has stopped (or slowed to almost nothing). If it remains the same for two or three days, bottle it. Could take a week, could take two weeks, let the beer tell you when it is ready.
Yeah, it's been in the fermenter since Wednesday and it's still bubbling about every 30 seconds. I'm going away tomorrow and won't be back until Sunday. I'll take a reading Sunday and then Monday and if it's the same and has hit the FG then I'll bottle it. Plus, I have an American Pale Ale on deck that I want to get brewing!

On a side note, it's amazing to me the change of smell from wort through fermentation. The aroma from the airlock (yeah I sniff it so what) has changed considerably in the past 3 days. The SWMBO smelled the airlock and she said "It smells like beer!". She is more excited about this then I am. The funny thing is, she doesn't drink much beer. Bless her little heart.
 
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BNVince said:
Has anybody ever brewed a kit from midwestsupplies and if so what would you recommend? Or should I just go for a stout or porter on my first batch?
I made their Red Hook ESB clone (I think they call it "Red Hood") and it was fantastic. That keg didn't last too long.

A stout or porter is the usual choice for a first brew, as the color hides many common mistakes. On the other hand, why assume mistakes will be made? With any simple ale kit, just carefully follow the directions and you'll be fine.
 
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