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newbrewr4fun

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I like beer. I like it alot. I like it enough that I want to make my own but need a little help getting started. I have been looking at some kits and found some that looked decent for 120 dollars. Could someone point me in the right direction for a kit that has everything I need to make a batch of beer? I am willing to spend up to 150 dollars, and then some extras on things I need, a brew pot, thermometer, and maybe even a kegorator of somekind. Any advice you guys have for me on how to start homebrewing lay it on me. I

Secondly, I have never done anything like this before and would not know where to begin. What is the best way to make your own beer? I am unsure which method to use and the difference between them. I assuming a secondary brewing system is what I would want.

Anyhow thanks for reading my noobie post.
 

EvilTOJ

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What are some of the kits that you've looked at? Generally equipment kits come with everything you need except the brewpot, and they usually do run about $120. A cheap enamel brewpot can be had for $10 or less if you buy a used one from goodwill. There's no one 'best' way to make beer. Most people start off using malt extract, which works well.

As for your second question, I would start off reading our wiki(link at the top of the page) and howtobrew.com. Lots and lots of reading is in your future! If you have a specific question and can't find the answer searching, post a thread! You'll get lots of help and only a little mockery. :p OK I was just kidding about the mockery.

And what kind of beer do you like?
 

videoman

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One handy device that is usually not in a kit is an auto siphon... really helpful to transfer wort and beer from bucket to bucket.

http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product_info.php?products_id=974

Another little item is something to grab a little wort and put it in your hydrometer container so you can get a reading.... when I first started I bought a cheap turkey baster at the grocery store for this. Just a couple bucks. Now I use a wine thief:

http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product_info.php?products_id=1227

After reading the recommended material suggested by EvilTOJ, I would recommend you start with extract brewing... you can do this in a cheap lobster pot, available at any Wal-Mart or Target, right on your stove top. It is the easiest form of brewing available. It definately yields tasty beer. You can find extract kits like Tru Brew kits at a local homebrew shop, or you can purchase kits on line from vendors like Austin Homebrew;

http://www.austinhomebrew.com/index.php?cPath=178_452_42

Last but not least; you'll also require bottles which are not in your initial kit. You can find these at any local homebrew shop, they are available on-line (though I'm not sure how well they travel through the UPS system... I've never had glass shipped to me) or you can recycle beer glass and accumulate the amount you need, as long as the bottles are not twist off. A 5 gallon extract kit will yield two cases of beer.

Hope this helps.... best of luck!!
 

FishinDave07

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If have remote cooking skills (i.e. making pasta), you can definately make a great brew. Find a style that you like, I'd stay away from pre-hopped kits. Check out AustinHomeBrew for some good stuff at great prices.
 

Rick_R

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To get started, you can look at these sites (among others) for a beginner's kit of equipment:

MoreBeer
Austin Homebrew Supply
HopTech
Midwest Homebrew

Normally the equipment kits do not come with a brew pot. For partial boil extract with grains, five gallons is nice but you can easily do it in as small as a three gallon (12 quart) pot as well. Just boil water and extract to equal about 2.5 gallons of water and top off. You don't need a secondary fermenter but they are nice to have; personally I prefer the plastic Better Bottle carboys over the glass and I think most of the suppliers will substitute (may affect price, I don't know). But others will (correctly) tell you that with care you can use glass for years without any problems . . . I just worry about the high consequences that might occur should there be a slip with a full glass carboy. You will also need a grain bag for steeping the specialty grains, though you can "brew your own" (pun intended) with a large piece of cheesecloth.


As to what to brew first, I would start with an "extract with grains" ale kit from a homebrew supply house that puts together tried and true recipe ingredients for you. The links below are to the index of recipe kits from some online suppliers:

MoreBeer
Austin Homebrew Supply
HopTech
Midwest Homebrew

Pick an ale that sounds like what you would want to drink and order the recipe kit. You will need a yeast to go with it -- for starting out, order a dry yeast and get a couple of spare packages.

I would also take a look at the site where John Palmer has the first edition of his book How to Brew available online. The first of the links below is for brewing a very simple extract, a Cincinnati Pale Ale. The second link talks about adding specialty grains. You can use whatever ingredients kit you buy and follow the process Palmer outlines.

Extract Recipe
Specialty Grains

The above sections will get you started, but the more of the book you read the more you will understand what you are doing. I would suggest ordering the book as well. It gets you the latest edition and it is handy to have around. The one thing I would ignore in the Palmer specialty grain section is the line on removing the steeped grains: " Remove the grain bag from the pot, giving it a squeeze to drain the excess wort and avoid dripping on the stove." Don't squeeze it; I think doing so can cause harsh tannins to be released into the wort. What I (now) do is to put the grain bag in a strainer that I sit over the brew kettle and let drain for about a minute.

There is also a Homebrewing Wiki here at homebrewtalk.com: Wiki

Lots of information there. And, of course, these forums are great for asking questions.

Last, as well as the above links to online retailers, if you are fortunate enough to have a local home brew supply store you should definitely check it out.

Good luck!

Rick
 

anderj

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seeing as how you are from Oregon I am willing to bet that there is a homebrew shop near by, they should be able to set you up. If you are in the Eastern part there is a great shop just across the border in Nampa, ID.
-ander
 
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newbrewr4fun

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What are some of the kits that you've looked at? Generally equipment kits come with everything you need except the brewpot, and they usually do run about $120. A cheap enamel brewpot can be had for $10 or less if you buy a used one from goodwill. There's no one 'best' way to make beer. Most people start off using malt extract, which works well.

As for your second question, I would start off reading our wiki(link at the top of the page) and howtobrew.com. Lots and lots of reading is in your future! If you have a specific question and can't find the answer searching, post a thread! You'll get lots of help and only a little mockery. :p OK I was just kidding about the mockery.

And what kind of beer do you like?
Here is one of the kits that I have been looking at. I am thinking about buying it. The only thing I can see that is wrong with it is that it does not come with a carboy but a second bucket.

I have began to read the online brewing book that is a suggested read by so many. It is good so far I am through the first 3 chapters.

I typically drink porters and dark ales. I do like an occasional lager.

Thanks to everyone for the advice thus far. I will continue to read up here and the brewing book online. I should be purchasing a kit withing a week or so. I just have to decide what to get. I know my first beer will be a dark ale from Austin homebrew. A malt extract kit, and a wort pot and I should be good to go.
 
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