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New to Brewing. Need Advice

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DarthRader

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I have recently decided to take up homebrewing. My ultimate goal is to keg my own homebrew. I currently have a kegerator (http://www.beveragefactory.com/refrigerators/beer/dkc445bls.shtml) that I used to be able to by commercial 1/4 barrel kegs for. Howver, I have moved to a new state that doesn't sell kegs as small as 1/4 barrel. So, I have decided I will try and make my own.

I am completely new to this and am a little overwhelmed as to where to start. So I have some questions.

Should I start with a homebrew kit and bottle first?
Or is there a kit that will allow me to keg right away?
Can you get commercial style 5/7 gallon kegs or do I need to go with the soda kegs?
Is it possible to convert my current kegerator to accept the soda style kegs and taps?
How much space will the brewing take up?
Will I need a large refrigerator for the brewing process itself or just for the conditioning/storage of the kegs?

Thanks for any and all help.
 

awillis

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The brewing process doesnt take up a lot of space as a beginner. When your getting started you should figure a system that will make cleaning, sanatizing and filling much easier. I do a lot in the tub, more room for me to move carboys and buckets. In addition, reserve a cool,dark spot for your fermenter to go. I use an extra bathroom where its cool and quit. When doing the first batch I used open fermentation and eventually bottled 46 brews. This was a simple easy way to produce delicous beer. Also, I think most will agree here, after bottling your first batch you will see why most keg. I hope this will wet your palate and I will leave the rest of your questions for the pros. Good luck, its a lot fun!
 

Janx

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DarthRader said:
Should I start with a homebrew kit and bottle first?
Kits are OK, but I would (and did) start with a book, picked a recipe and bought the ingredients and made it. A lot (most?) kits come with crappy ingredients and *really* crappy instructions. Kits from places like morebeer are an exception. Avoid beer kits that have you add sugar or don't tell you to boil the wort. I'd get a book like the Papazian book and read a bit on it. You'll really appreciate understanding the whole process.

DarthRader said:
Or is there a kit that will allow me to keg right away?
Kit or no kit, you can keg your first batch. Most people bottle their first batches because they are trying to get going for the least expense possible. So, to avoid buying kegs, a CO2 tank, a regulator and a fridge, they bottle. Kegging is much easier once you make the investment. Get a couple soda kegs, a CO2 bottle, a regulator and the fittings and you're set.

DarthRader said:
Can you get commercial style 5/7 gallon kegs or do I need to go with the soda kegs?
Your life will be a lot easier if you go with the soda kegs because they're a lot easier to find and parts and fittings are widely available.

DarthRader said:
Is it possible to convert my current kegerator to accept the soda style kegs and taps?
Taps won't need to change...just the fittings that connect to the keg. You'll need a gas in fitting and a beer out fitting for each keg.

DarthRader said:
How much space will the brewing take up?
You mean making the beer? I don't really know. I brew outside and I take up a lot of room because I have a lot of room. It really doesn't take much space. Some people brew in their kitchen risking messes and subsequent wife wrath.

DarthRader said:
Will I need a large refrigerator for the brewing process itself or just for the conditioning/storage of the kegs?
Just for the kegs. Some ingredients like hops and yeast like to be kept cold, but I use my keg fridge for that too. If you want to lager or get fancy controlling your fermenting temps, you can get another fridge for that, but it's far from necessary.

DarthRader said:
Thanks for any and all help.
Sure. Have fun. I really do recommend getting a good book or reading howtobrew.com. You'll answer a lot of questions and you'll come up with some more. This forum also has quite a lot of information if you run some searches. Kegging and conditioning has been discussed here quite a bit.

Cheers :D
 
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