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mookie44

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Hey all,
I bottled my first batch of homebrewed beer last Sunday and am looking forward to seeing how the final product comes out. At this point, it looks like everything has gone well. I used a kit and brewed a Red Ale. I bought another one to do this weekend of American Amber. I was looking for any suggestions from experienced home brewers around some other types of beer that may be good for a beginner to try. I typically don't like a real bitter or strong hoppy beer and was just looking for some suggestions to possibly try in the near future. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated for this "newbie"!!
 

Beer_Guy

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Nut Brown ales and Irish Reds are easy ones. Just keep it simple. If you have the urge to do a fruity beer, go with a wheat beer and go real light on the fruit.

Welcome to the obsession.
 

drycreek

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I've done about 10 different brews and it seems like wheat beers turn out the best for me. So if you like that type of beer, then you might give it a shot.
 

mr_bell

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Based on your preferences, perhaps an english style like an mild, bitter or brown? How about a Scottish 60 shilling ? These styles are all beginner friendly, easy enough to brew with extract and steeping grains.

(FYI, Even tho it's called 'bitter', the style is not all that bitter)

I have a really nice batch recently with the Sam Adams Blackberry Wit Clone from Austin Homebrew, which I did as a partial mash. A belgian wit might also be a good choice if you like the less hoppy / bitter styles.

I would recommend looking at the BJCP style guidelines, or picking up "Brewing Classic Styles" by Jamil Zainesheff; either of these provide great information on all of the different styles of beer, which would help you narrow down your choices based on your tastes.
 

Chroma914

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Great thread - I was about to post the same thing! I haven't begun brewing yet, but my friends and I were thinking of brewing an ESB as our first brew. Would you all agree that an ESB would be a good "homebrew beginners" beer to try? We're not expecting to churn out the best thing we've ever drank, but we don't want to mess up on our first try either ;)
 

edie

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welcome - very much a newbie here and still using kits, mostly brewers best. each of those have had on the box somewhere something called IBU's. our tastes in beer sounds about the same and we've just been checking the IBU # and going with something low. our next big adventure, i think, is going to be still using a kit but adding a little something. what that little something will be we don't know but you'll probably see my question posted here in a few weeks as to what to add!

http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art29101.asp

"IBU stands for International Bittering Unit - the scale used to measure hop bitterness in beer. An IBU is one part per million of isohumulone, an acid derived from hops. If you like the very bitter “bite” of the “Extreme Beers,” a higher IBU would be an indication of that snap."
 

mlyday

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My first was a brewers best red ale, and it turned out great. This one was good at 3 weeks in the bottle, but soooo much better a few month after that. My second one was a german altbier, that was really good also. Dark, but malty, not bitter at all.
 

Stardust

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Hey all,
I bottled my first batch of homebrewed beer last Sunday and am looking forward to seeing how the final product comes out.
Welcome to the hobby (obsession :D ) Congrats on getting the first batch bottled. Now comes the hardest part...giving it time to age.

You will get alot of great advice here. Good luck on your second brew :mug:
 

Beer_Guy

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Remember that the IBUs may be high on a strong brew in order to balance the malt sweetness better. So do not look ONLY at IBUs. A high ABV indicates a lot of malt. Thus a lot of IBUs are needed.
 

Stardust

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Remember that the IBUs may be high on a strong brew in order to balance the malt sweetness better. So do not look ONLY at IBUs. A high ABV indicates a lot of malt. Thus a lot of IBUs are needed.
That is an excellent explanation!
 

JonK331

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I would also recommend picking up a copy of Brewing Classic Styles. Kits are nice but it is easy to get too dependant on blindly brewing them without really paying attention to what's in them.
 
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mookie44

mookie44

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Thanks for the great feedback everyone. Definitely have some awesome suggestions that I can definitely use to follow up on!!!
 

OHIOSTEVE

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If DAYTON is DAYTON OHIO, I highly suggest BELMONT PARTY SUPPLIES and BREWTENSILS in kettering. ( same store just different "sides") They are helpful and well stocked on supplies. You are also welcome to for a brew day here ( about an hour tops if you are in dayton) I am a rookie but have made some pretty good beers I think.
 
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mookie44

mookie44

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Ohio Steve,

I am in Dayton, Ohio and Belmont is where I went to get both of my brewing kits. I have relied on them heavily. I plan on grabbing some individual beer types from their retail store to try and get some ideas for beer types to try at home. Apprecite the offer to come up your way. Where are yo located??
 

ralphie

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I think a big part of it is really going to be finding out what you like. What I have done is gone to a liquor store that has a large selection of beer. The one by me has hundreds of different types, it still amazes me every time I go in there. When I go, I find an employee that I can talk to in order to get some recommendations around what I like. I have them introduce me to different styles, different flavor profiles, etc. Try a few, then look for recipes similar to the style you like. Especially as someone new to this (I'm there too), I think it isn't necessarily about finding the perfect recipe but more of exploring what is out there and how each is made and what the ingredients offer. If you don't like it, there is always the next batch ;)
 

Shooter

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If I might make one very small suggestion to all the new brewers in this thread, quit now while it’s still not too late!!! Really, you’re just going to obsess about making new beers, better beers. You’re going to just keep telling yourself and your family, “Well, that should be the last piece of brewing equipment I’ll need for some time!” LIAR! Countless hours of your life will be dedicated to beer, drinking it, reading about it, posting about it, dreaming about it and to what end?!?! Oh SURE, you’ll be making delicious beer for you and your friends, but at what cost? At what cost?

I would suggest something relaxing, oil painting perhaps. That Bob Ross guy seemed like a decent, gentle fellow. If I were you, I’d take a look at his video catalog and let him introduce you to the world of happy little trees.

Run now…
 

ShermanTank

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One of my recent favorites was a Brewers Best Smoked Porter with a small addition of chocolate extract at bottling time. My wife hates dark beer but loved this. It was flavorful and smooth at the same time. My next batch is a Black IPA. I can't wait.

Tank
 

joelmole

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I would recommend looking at the BJCP style guidelines, or picking up "Brewing Classic Styles" by Jamil Zainesheff; either of these provide great information on all of the different styles of beer, which would help you narrow down your choices based on your tastes.
I would also recommend picking up a copy of Brewing Classic Styles. Kits are nice but it is easy to get too dependant on blindly brewing them without really paying attention to what's in them.
I'm gonna third this suggestion. This book really ought to be a required purchase for all new homebrewers. It's just a great resource for excellent, easy to brew recipes, that are not of suspect origin or quality as in some recipe books. I want to underscore how important this is for a new homebrewer. As a new homebrewer it's really easy to end up following recipes that aren't very good because you don't have the knowledge to tell a good recipe from a bad one, or buy kits based on poor recipes (or that use cost cutting measures). It sucks to brew a beer that doesn't taste very good, and not know whether it was the recipe, or your methods that caused the problems. You know if you brew one of these recipes right, it should taste good, so if it doesn't, the cause is pretty much guaranteed to be your methods.

Almost all of the recipes are supposed to be straight down the middle of the appropriate BJCP styles, so you'll have a good idea of what each style should taste like. With the exception of a couple of recipes that require a mini mash, every recipe in the book is written for extract + steeping grains, and there are instructions for conversion to all grain when you're ready for it.

There's no need to buy kits when you can just follow these recipes and get better results. I just brewed the Dirty Water Brown Ale recipe from the book, and it's honestly the first batch of beer I've made that I can say I'm pretty proud of. My first two batches prior to this have been kits.

If you don't have the equipment to make a starter, there are plenty of recipes in the book that have a dry yeast option (Most or all dry yeasts in the book are Fermentis Safale/Safbrew). There are instruction in the book to convert the recipes to partial boils, and instructions for doing an easy mini-mash in your brew kettle for those recipes that require it. After doing 2 or 3 batches, the money you save just buying raw ingredients instead of kits will probably pay for the book.
 

Beer_Guy

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If I might make one very small suggestion to all the new brewers in this thread, quit now while it’s still not too late!!! …
Run now…
Too late for me.

I just spent $80 on beer alone at the store. The manager suggested Dogfish Head's Burton Baton. It should be cold later and be consumed with maybe some Bells Expedition Stout or Bourbon County Stout or North Coast’s Old Stock Ale or Bell’s Special Double Cream Stout. Next time I’ll have to look into some of the expensive stuff. You know the imported Belgian Quads or at least doubles.

I am now enjoying for the first time a Founders Breakfast Stout. MAN is it good!!!!

I ramble on, but as you can see, I am a lost cause.
 

Beer_Guy

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I'm gonna third this suggestion. This book …
After doing 2 or 3 batches, the money you save just buying raw ingredients instead of kits will probably pay for the book.
I have to point out that every “Kit” I found and compared the individual cost of the ingredients was spot on.

Now if you use some of those ingredients for several batches and buy in bulk, then you CAN save money. But that is NOT why I do this. I want to say, “I did it!!” That is why every brew I do now is my own recipe. I look at several recipes of the style and design what I think I will like. So far, so good.
 

Shooter

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Too late for me.

I just spent $80 on beer alone at the store. The manager suggested Dogfish Head's Burton Baton. It should be cold later and be consumed with maybe some Bells Expedition Stout or Bourbon County Stout or North Coast’s Old Stock Ale or Bell’s Special Double Cream Stout. Next time I’ll have to look into some of the expensive stuff. You know the imported Belgian Quads or at least doubles.

I am now enjoying for the first time a Founders Breakfast Stout. MAN is it good!!!!

I ramble on, but as you can see, I am a lost cause.
Lost another one to the addiction!!! :mad:;)
 

LaurieGator

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Another +1 for Brewing Classic Styles! I wish I would have had it when I first started brewing...

I picked this one up a month ago to play with. The nice thing is the book puts the recipes as "extract plus steeping grains" and puts a little blurb for all-grain at the end of the recipe. The explanation before the recipe also lets you know if it is a beginner beer, an intermediate beer or an advanced beer.

I look at the book as a great starting point. If there is a style that I am not familiar with that I want to try brewing, I will go for a recipe in this book. A definite MUST HAVE for your brewing library...
 

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