Hopped Malt

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Sum1Stu

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Hi guys, Im new to the forum, and sort-of-new to beer brewing. I made some batches of wine, from grape juice kits, and some mead from scratch!

Ive never invested a whole lot of money in brewing equipment, just keep it simple carboy, airlocks, and my hydrometer.

Ive made my first batch of beer using a "coopers" kit. Im sure many of you are familiar with this "hopped malt extract", it comes in many different styles. I can say one thing, that it is a very good product and VERY easy to use. I look forward to trying many different brew cans that they sell, however it doesnt feel like im making my own beer yet.:confused:

I notice the majority of people on these forums are more xpiereinced and like to make their own style of beer. Id also like to get involved in tweaking recipes to get the best personalized beer.

I need to know two things before I get started. #1 Why did many of you move from extract brewing, to DIY beer. #2 What do you guys use as primary fermenters ?
 

ifishsum

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First of all, welcome to HBT!

I moved away from hopped extract kits pretty quickly (about 4 batches) because it didn't really feel like I was making beer so much as just assembling it. I wanted to learn more about the process and try some different recipes than what I could buy as a mix. I still use plain light extract, but I also use fresh grains (partial mash) and whole hops because it gives me more control over the beer I make and I feel like I get a fresher tasting product.

I use plastic buckets for my primary fermenter system. Two of them I made myself with free buckets from the grocery store, and one I purchased from my LHBS. I also have two 5 gallon glass carboys that were given to me by a friend that I use as secondaries.

Good luck with your brewing, and start with whatever method is comfortable for you. When you're ready to take it to another level we'll be here to help answer any questions you might have.
 

Yooper

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I started with extract kits with steeping grains and adding hops. The reason I started there was that I didn't know of anything else! I don't really have a local place to buy ingredients, and I had every thing I needed for wine making so I bought the only kit I saw on a shelf in a store. It was a Brewer's Best English Brown Ale kit, and it was actually really good! It came with good instructions, so I followed them carefully and it ended up coming out tasting like Newcastle so I was hooked on brewing.

For a primary, I use the 7.5 gallon "ale pail" with a lid and an airlock. I rarely use a secondary for beer, so the beer stays in there for about 3 weeks or so.

One of the most important things in beer making is temperature control, so this is a good time of year to brew since it's not too hot and not too cold for most of us. Ales are fairly easy to do at a moderate room temperature (60-70 degrees f) so that's what I do the most.

Some equipment you may want to get is siphoning tubing, and a bottling wand if you don't already have some. Beer is very forgiving, but you definitely want to protect it from oxygen and aeration when transferring to bottles.
 

944play

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#1 Why did many of you move from extract brewing, to DIY beer. #2 What do you guys use as primary fermenters ?

Plenty of people here still brew with extract even after learning to brew all-grain. Extracts can make excellent beer, but all-grain allows the brewer a lot more flexibility and latitude.

I liked using plastic buckets for fermenters. They are cheap and easy to fill and carry. But I got paranoid that they were harboring some nasties and causing "swampy" off-flavors so I switched to glass.
 

david_42

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Although I've never done pre-hopped extract, I still use extract in about half my batches. All grain is better for certain styles and necessary for a small range.

I'm still using my original plastic buckets.
 

TurboBrew

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Welcome to HBT - TONS of great info on here.

I ferment in glass carboys. I use my bucket for bottling though. Keep it around. I only made 2 prehopped batches and they turned out good. The only reason I moved on to unhopped extract is more flexibility in my brewing.

Also, a warning: This hobby is extremely addictive and you'll find that your thirst for homebrewing and homebrew is never truly quenched. :D My "brewery" has gone from a corner in my entertainment room to its own brew room in less than a year. It's an extremely rewarding hobby. :mug:
 

mlanoue

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It is great to learn how to steep grains and add hops on a schedule. Converting grains in hot water to a fermentable wort is also a process well worth trying out. Still, the whole thing is so much fun that I can be happy opening a can of Coopers and getting something going if I'm short on time.

Whatever gets that airlock bubbling!
 
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Sum1Stu

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Hehe thx for the input all!

Where do many of you buy your hops and fresh grains ? Or is it only available online ?
 

ifishsum

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I have an LHBS (local home brew store) only a few miles from me that carries everything. You might look in the yellow pages or online to see if there's one close to you.
 

captianoats

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Most homebrew stores will carry the grains/hops/yeast/etc. that you'll need. If not, there are a lot of good places online to buy from for decent prices.
 
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Sum1Stu

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I asked my LBS and he told me that they dont sell the grains/hops. Its funny because he has brewpots, and all equipment for making people beer. I even seen him adding hops to a brewpot one time.

He told me the hops are very expensive and it would cost me more than if I just bought the extract kits. I get the kits for 15$ cnd each, which isnt bad, but like I said its boring.
 

pizzaman

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I just made my first homebrew that didn't use a "kit" yesterday, I can tell you that after a year of opening a can and pouring it into a bucket what I went through yesterday was very rewarding, and only a bit troublesome. The really cool part was reading through different recipes and calculating my own concoction that will be 100% original(afaik). The cans I used to buy ranged from $15-$25 each, the brew I made yesterday cost me $28. You can usually get hops for around $3 per ounce, and extract for about $3 per pound. Depending on where you live, buying online may be a good route for you. Places like austinhomebrew.com ane midwestsupplies.com have pretty good deals on shipping, though from your post above I see you pay "15$ cnd", so I'm not sure about how shipping would be to canada.

[EDIT]I forgot to mention, as far as price is concerned even if you do have to pay for shipping you're still gonna come out with about three cases of damned good beer for less then the price of one case of okay beer you would buy from the store. I used this argument to convince swmbo to let me take brewing to the next level...and it worked![/EDIT]
 

ArcaneXor

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#1 Why did many of you move from extract brewing, to DIY beer. #2 What do you guys use as primary fermenters ?

Welcome to the hobby!

1.) I did about four batches with hopped extract and was less than happy with the results. I then moved on to unhopped extract with steeping grains and eventually partial mashing. Currently, I can handle about 8 pounds of grain maximum, so I still use some extract in virtually all of my batches.
Why did I move on? More flexibility with ingredients (many types of grain cannot be used with the extract brewing process) and more control over the final taste and mouthfeel of the beer. It's also somewhat cheaper in the long run to replace much of the extract with grain. Finally, it's a whole lot more fun - there's just something magical about mashing grains.

2.) For my full-sized batches I use 6-gallon plain Better Bottles exclusively, which fit perfectly into my converted Igloo cube coolers for temperature control.
For pilot batches, I use 1-gallon glass jugs (available for about $6 from any decent grocery store, filled with apple juice or cider).
Finally, I have repurposed my old Mr. Beer keg for 2-gallon Apfelwein and Cyser batches.
 

ArcaneXor

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Where do many of you buy your hops and fresh grains ? Or is it only available online ?

I usually buy online from Austinhomebrew.com, though I have also been happy with the service from Brewmasterswarehouse.com, Midwest Supplies and Northern Brewer. I have a local homebrew shop, but their prices tend to be higher than what it available online, even when taking shipping into account.
 

HOOTER

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I asked my LBS and he told me that they dont sell the grains/hops. Its funny because he has brewpots, and all equipment for making people beer. I even seen him adding hops to a brewpot one time.

He told me the hops are very expensive and it would cost me more than if I just bought the extract kits. I get the kits for 15$ cnd each, which isnt bad, but like I said its boring.

An LHBS without hops and grains. :eek:

That place is worthless. There's a ton of great on-line suppliers that are more deserving of your money. I personally buy my ingredients from Northern Brewer when my LHBS doesn't have something I'm looking for.

Your can literally make beer that is as good or better than the stuff in the store with extract, specialty grains, hops and yeast. Plus it's alot more fun than opening a can, although I must say I've been thinking about trying one of those canned kits just to say I've done it. Maybe not. :cross:
 

crazyboy

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I have never done an extract batch. The reason for this was I felt it was premade, like kool aid all I had to do was mix with water heat it an boil it.

All grain brewing is easier than you think. I use a plastic bucket as a primary.
 

SchizoFilly

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Did the beer in a can method a couple of times with decent results. Just being able to steep the grains and add your own hops is NIGHT AND DAY difference. Plus you feel like you actually did something other than just add water.

I use the plastic stuff without any trouble. Occasionally you have to replace if they get scratched up, but you can pick them up for free if you know where to look.
 
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Sum1Stu

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I live in toronto, im pretty sure there has to be some kind of store that sells fresh grains and hops, ill keep my eye out for more brewery stores.

Say, what about health food stores ?
 
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I started with 2 Brewer's Best kits, then did a Partial Mash. I then moved to Ag. For the same reason it seems most did. I wanted to feel more involved. I felt weird calling my self a brewer just mixing ingredients in a pot. Extract brewing does not mean you are not a brewer. you are making beer. I just FELT that way personally. Plus any hobby I start I tend to get obsessed and go balls out for.
 

Chips

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I live in toronto, im pretty sure there has to be some kind of store that sells fresh grains and hops, ill keep my eye out for more brewery stores.

I'm not from Toronto, but live just outside in Hamilton. I've been to every brew shop in the area and have found Brew Time to be by far the best. They don't do any online orders, but if you get a chance check out their shop. They have everything you could possibly want (specialty grains, hops, yeast, equipment, even bulk LME).

That being said, I'm sure if Hamilton has such a great store Toronto must have one somewhere as well!
 

bradjoiner

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as far as a primary goes. i used to use a plastic food grade bucket. lately i have been trying out edworts recipes. he doesnt do a primary and a secondary. so i started using a carboy for a primary and no secondary. its been working well for me. i just crash cool it, throw it in a corney, add carbonation, and let it set for a week. ITS DELICIOUS.
 
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Sum1Stu

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Im partially ready to do an all-grain or partial mash. I found a local brew beer store that carries grains, and hops.

My main concerns is finding a recipe, and tweaking its tastes to a beer of my likings. Ive been to the recipe area of the forums, but I just cant stick to one.

Id like my beer to taste like molson export, or another type of ale thats based on those ingredients. I would like to brew a lager, but I cant ensure a temperature under 70f for the fermentation period.
 

Ryan099

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I personally use plastic buckets for my fermentation process. And my knowledge says, almost all grains are better for certain styles and necessary for a small range. Rite members?
 
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