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first batch, new to beer, recipie?

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monsterbronc

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ok, Ive been brewing wine for a long time, and mead for a while now. Now I feel its time to take a whack at beer.

I do things the simple way. I dont even own a hydrometer, nor do I know how to use one, I feel its just a way to measure content, and I figure if Im drunk, then it worked. most of my supplies were bought at home dopot, ace hardware, and aquired by other means. (my fermenters are plastic water cooler bottles that I borrowed permenantly, my airlocks are vinyl tubing and mason jars, and all my bottles are second hand empties)
I dont know all the terminology either.

I have learned alot just by surfing, and this site has alot of info.

Im ready to start my first batch. I like high alcohol content, medium color, probobly an ale, any recipie sudgestions for a first batch thats not to easy for a first timer to mess up?
:tank:
 

DeathBrewer

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not sure about those water cooler bottles and i'd definitely get an hydrometer

...but for recipes...

i'd advice any new brewer to start with an extract hefeweizen:

6 lbs Wheat DME (or LME if not available)
1 oz of tettnanger (or hallertau)
boil for 60 minutes
cool to ~75 F and pitch WLP300
Ferment below 70 F if possible
Bottle in two weeks, drink in another 2-3 weeks.

easiest brew to get you started and it's ready quickly so you can get started on your next batches and have beer ready

:mug:
 

5 Is Not Enough

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I own 2 hydrometers and only use them about 1/2 the time. I also rough measure ingredients...
One thing you'll find with beer is sanitation is more important. I suggest you use an oxygen based cleaner(oxyclean) and starsan.

You may want to start with an extract kit to get the process down. Get one with LME cans, steeping grains, hops and yeast (as opposed to the pre-hopped cans). It will give you a good feel for the boil part of brewing(steeping & hopping) and produce good results. You may then decide to move to all-grain, though there's quite a few brewers that like extract and continue to use it for years.

I guess overall, to your recipe question, the synopsis is:
Use a kit that has steeping grains and hops, rather than pre-hopped malt.
Pick a style of beer that replicates what you've tried and like.
 

malkore

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I'm scientific about it. get a hydrometer. would you buy a house from a carpenter who didn't own a tape measure?

don't think of it as a way to quantify anything except whether fermentation has ceased. bottling a stuck fermentation when you have 10-15 points of gravity left is downright dangerous.
I've had one batch of exploding bottles, and putting two cases of volatile stout in the fridge and then having to open each one hoping it didn't pop and cut you...not a sweet experience.

i also agree with a good extract + steeping grains kit, with hop pellets, and a quality dry yeast. if your kit comes with Munton's, see about an alternate strain from Danstar or Fermentis that fits the style.
Definitely go with an ale style. the additional steps of lagering can be a lot to handle on the first beer brew learning curve.
 
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monsterbronc

monsterbronc

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Im gonna swing by ECKraus tommorrow, and pick up caps and corks, and ingredients, Ill look into a hydrometer.(I drive by them on my way home from work)

thanx guys, Ill try this recipie, and I think I saw glass carboys at olde time pottery, Ill look into it, but the cooler bottles have been pretty good so far, as long as I sterilize them after each use. I try to avoid buying equipment off supply stores, lots of the time you can find the same thing way cheaper elswhere, especially if you build your own.

the fermenter cooler looks great, awesome idea, but my house sits on a cellar, and the temp is generally stable, its 32 outside, and 60 in my cellar, and on hot summer days, it only gets up to 75ish, 80 on really really humid days, but its still cool on the floor.

ps, is that recipie for 5 gal?
 
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