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AHammer16

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Hello, I've been looking through the threads and this is a great community.
I just purchased my homebrew kit from a local Chicago suburban store called Winemakers and I have a few questions about brewing in general and a couple about the forums.

I have noticed that a few of the members here are in the chicagoland area. Are any of you familiar with Winemakers? any comments on their experiance or stock of products?

I purchased a kit for brewing 5 gal batches and I have made 2 batches so far. The first was a recipie from Winemakes for a medium to light bodied brew. The second batch was for a light bodied brew. They were both all extract brews. I used dry yeast bloomed in tepid water with LME. I have had great success so far. the first batch is already bottled and the second is racked to the secondary. Question #1: The first and second batches fermented vigorisly, the first batch was racked and showed no signs of furthe fermentation after 1.5 weeks in the secondary and was bottled w/ a priming sugar. How long should it sit in the secondary fermenter? Should it sit even if it shows no signs of further fermentation?

Question#2: I like beer that i frequently see referred to in online forums and other websites as "swill". I think I just dont enjoy heavy, i.e. guinness, or bitter , extremely hoppy, brews. Am i comitting a sin in the home brew world by wanting to brew pilsners or other light beers?

Question #3: What books on the subject of home brewing are considered the brewers "bible"?

I'll stop talking nowand give you all a chance to respond.
thanks
AHammer16
 

Sasquatch

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In reverse order - #3 the Bible is Charlie Papazian's Complete Joy of Home Brewing

#2 No. If that's what you like, make it. Maybe your tastes will develop into other styles, and maybe not.

# 1 10 days in secondary is pretty usual... depends on activity though. I've had a recent batch be absolutely done fermenting in about 3 days, and others have taken more like 10. Difference being???

Don't know nothin bout Winemakers.
 

cbotrice

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Don't know a thing about winemakers, is that out south or to the west? Up north in wheeling is Perfect brewer, which I have gone to once so far, they are fairly new but pretty well stocked for my needs (relatively new 6 or so batches under my belt). MPW
 

brewhead

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#1:the rule of thumb (which is a misnomer since there are few if any rules in homebrewing) is 1 week in the primary, 2 weeks in the secondary, 3 weeks in the bottles. minimum..adjust to styles or your patience level which ever comes first.

#2: don't fall into the trap of being a beer snob or being intimidated by beer snobs. look.. you like beer - you like a certain style.great brew it and drink it with gusto. the whole beer snobbery thing i don't get. as soon as people start hand crafting something they suddenly become pretentious. don't get me started.

#3: while not a bible per sei, john palmer's - how to brew certainly is informative. http://www.howtobrew.com/intro.html

by the way it is believed that the term "rule of thumb" could have been used by early brewers when there were no thermometers. when the wort was cool or neutral to an inserted thumb, they knew it was time to pitch the yeast.
 

El Pistolero

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AHammer16 said:
Question#2: I like beer that i frequently see referred to in online forums and other websites as "swill". I think I just dont enjoy heavy, i.e. guinness, or bitter , extremely hoppy, brews. Am i comitting a sin in the home brew world by wanting to brew pilsners or other light beers?
Two month ago I HATED pale ales. :mad: A month ago I started tasting a lot of different beers to see what I wanted to brew for my second batch. I have since found several pale ales that I thought were pretty good, and this weekend I had one of the same brand pales that had originally tasted down right disgusting to me...and I liked it...a lot! :D

Brew what you like, but be aware that this hobby will change your tastes, IMHO. :cool:
 

DeRoux's Broux

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1. 3-5 days in primary, 7-10 Secondary is what i follow for a typical ale.
2. brew for YOU! brew what you like and screw everyone else :~)
3. Dave Miller's Guide to Homebrewing, Byron Burch's Brewing Quality Beers, Brew Your Own magazine, join the American Homebrewer's Association www.beertown.org , www.beer-brewing.com, THIS FORUM! :~)
welcome aboard and good luck!

El Pistolero : what pale ale didn't you like that you like now???????
 

El Pistolero

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DeRoux's Broux said:
El Pistolero : what pale ale didn't you like that you like now???????
Years ago I bought a sixer of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, had part of one, and thought it was the worst thing I had ever tasted. It convinced me that I didn't like pale ales, and I hadn't had a beer that was actually called a pale ale since. This weekend I had one on tap, and it was pretty good.

I would have thought that it was maybe a case of a bad bottle the first time, but there have been a few others (New Belgium Abbey, St. Arnold's Amber) that I didn't care for a month ago, but are really growing on me now. A couple more months and I may even be worthy of an Arrogant Bastard! :cool:
 

DeRoux's Broux

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that's not too suprising. i think most people have to acquire a taste for the hoppier and bigger beers. my wife for example. she doesn't care for IPA's, but at the Two Row's brewmaster's dinner ,she loved the IPA w/ the lamb shank. pairing beer w/ food is another way to really appreciate the complexity of a brew........i think it's better than wine w/ food.
aaahhhh...the Bastard! i love that bad-boy.........
try the St. Arnold's on tap at the Ginger Man or the Flying Saucer. sometimes stores don't have it chilled or it's been on the shelf a little while. they don't pasteurize their brews, so they need to be consumed fresh. or better yet, take the tour every Saturday @ 1:00 and get free beer!
 

Rhoobarb

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a). Winemakers in Elmhurst? Yes. A buddy and I got the bright idea that we'd try and brew beer on our summer vacation from college - that was about 25 years ago. We bought a kit from them and made two brews of pale ale. One turned out cidery, but with some alcohol 'kick' to it. The other had a better flavor, but no alcohol to speak of. I haven't been back there since that day, so I couldn't tell you much more about them. At that time, they were the only game in town!

I gave up on homebrewing back then,. But my buddy was living in Bloomington and revisited the idea back in the late 1980's. He even joined a homebrew club there and made some very good brews. He evetually left the hobby about the same time I was getting curious about the hobby. I got his stuff about seven years ago and I began!

I currently buy all my ingredients from The Brewer's Coop in Warrenville and have recently bought from Brew & Grow in Schaumburg, since I now work in S'burg.

Question #1: Primary: 3-7 days, sometimes a day or two longer. Secondary: I usually do 14 days, sometimes three weeks. I personally believe long secondary times make for better beer.

Question#2: If you like pilsners, brew them! They are actually harder for many to brew because the light body makes it difficult to hide flaws. Besides, I'd be willing to bet that as time goes on, your tastes may change. I used to drink MGD a lot before I found Sierra Nevada and was givien a six-month subscription to Beer Across America as a gift from my then-girlfriend back in the 1990's!

Question #3: What they said! :D I like John Palmer's a lot. I also own "Homebrewing For Dummies" by Marty Nachel. I know there are some who take issue with it, but I really like it and refer to it just as much as the others. Plus, he's from Chicago - a member of BOSS (Brewers Of South Suburbia)! Gotta support the local boys! ;)
 

Shmohel

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Lucky for you, there is the aptly named "The Brewmasters Bible". Although I do not own it, so I cannot vouch for its quality. I have just seen it around.

I do like Papazian's book, and ofcourse Radical Brewing is good too.
 

El Pistolero

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DeRoux's Broux said:
or better yet, take the tour every Saturday @ 1:00 and get free beer!
So you're recommending that I take the tour EVERY Saturday? I think I can handle that. :cool:
 

DeRoux's Broux

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AHammer, I'm sure there's a brewery or two in your neck of the woods that has tours that end in a tap room, right????

believe me, there are "regulars" there every Saturday for their "3" beers. if you buy any St. Arnold's logo pint glass, pilsner glass, krug, stein, etc, they fill that puppy up for you three times. it's just TOO HOT to go right now. no A/C! we go in the fall/winter/spring. i guarantee you'll leave w/ a good buzz! plus, it's a cool little operation, very unassuming. Brock Wagner works really hard and the sales numbers show it!
 

Rhoobarb

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DeRoux's Broux said:
AHammer, I'm sure there's a brewery or two in your neck of the woods that has tours that end in a tap room, right????
Actually, considering Chicago is the 3rd largest city in America, there are no breweries, as far as I know, that still offer regular tours. Two Brothers does them by prior arrangement and they have no 'tap room'. Goose Island doesn't offer them at all, at least they don't mention them on their website. Some brewpubs somewhere might. For a real tour/tap room experince, you have to drive to Milwaukee (Sprecher's is the best).
 

DeRoux's Broux

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bummer. i thought everybody bitched about Texas because you can't buy beer direct from breweries here.....guess i can't complain then? going to Real Ale Brewing Co. in Blanco this week, so I'll just load up on freebies there! WOO-HOO!
 
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