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DaveDC

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Hi guys
Iv recently decided to persue a long dream of mine to brew my own beer and iv started looking into everthing in more depth over the last few days and find it totaly overwhelming, from what i can work out i have put together a list of what im going to need for my first brew and was wondering if someone could check it over:

1 fermentation bin (will i need an airlock? if so do you just drill out a hole and put it in?)
1 thermometer
stereliser
stiring tool
1 beer kit (i was looking at a nice ale)
Pressure barrel (bottling seems like an expencive option)

Is this all i realy need to get the first lot on the go?
I read something about CO2 also, what exactly is this for?
I have a kettle to boil water and suger if needed e.t.c
Thanks for any help and sorry for bieng so thick!
David
 
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Give this a read. How to Brew - By John Palmer - Introduction

If you are kegging then you need co2 for dispensing and carbing (well you can carb without it, just like bottling, but many of us force carb with the co2).

If bottling then you add sugar at bottling time and the yeast will eat up the sugar and carb the beer.

You will have some yeast sediment at the bottom of your bottles. You avoid drinking this (it's actually healthy, just not to everyones taste) by carefully pouring all but the last inch of beer.

Bottling is really not that expensive. Most expensive item is the capper.
 
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DaveDC

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Thanks for the reply
if im bottling is there any reason why i cant use old beer bottles as long as the caps fit? Would i have to steralise them first?
Also do i need an airlock on the fermentation bin?
Thanks again
Dave
 

Corkster

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Any old beer bottle will work as long they are not twist off lids.... only pry off bottles will work.... yep you need an airlock... they're super cheap... though you could rig a blow off tube instead... which is simply a length of sanitized plastic hose that fits snugly in the airlock hole and runs down into a jar of water.....
 

Corkster

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oh yeah.. you do need to wash and sanitize all your bottle (new or used) as well as all other equipment that will come in contact with your beer
 

JoeMama

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Yes, you can reuse 'old' bottles (many people here do) JUST MAKE SURE THEY ARE NOT THE TWIST OFF KIND! They MUST be the pry off kind.

As far as sanitizing them, you want to ensure that you have the cleanest environment possible for your beer to ensure that no nasties of any sort make it in there. (They are sneaky like that)
-Me
 

Baldy_Beer_Brewery

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+1

Better yet, Buy the book it will really save you a lot of time searching for answers to all the questions you are sure to have starting out.

Welcome to the obsession! :ban:
-1

I know people around here love Palmer, but if the OP feels overwhelmed, Palmer isn't going to help that IMHO. I prop up the side of my carboy when racking from it with my copy of Palmer.

Uncle Charlie may be a better option for a new brewer. Amazon.com: The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing: Charlie Papazian: Books

Ultimately, I think there is better information on this forum than both of those books put together.
 
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Indy418

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I've gotta disagree Baldy. Charlie's book is great, but there's no substitute for good homework and that's what Palmer lets you do.

The information in Palmer is better organized and easier to get at, imho. As long as you go chapter by chapter, it's easy to synthesize the knowledge into easily understandable terms. If you're not ready to calculate mash efficiency--skip it; and so on.

But different strokes for different folks......except for me because I'm always right :)
 

Budzu

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I vote to start with Papazian, do a batch, then read Palmer's How to Brew, then step up to level 3 with Noonan's New Brewing Lager Beer. Palmer's is the best go-to for reference though. papazian's is essential, and the biggest reason is attitude :)
I also think you should bottle rather than keg for a bit. The bottling process is a meditation of sorts, and helps you think about proper sanitation.
Cheers and I wish you the best of luck on this greatest of hobbies!
 

ACo

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+1 on Chuck P's book, it has everything you need, plus some great recipies.
 

brian_g

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Watch this video:



This is how I got started. Cooper's kit make is really easy and $100 gets you everything you need for your first brew. You can always expand your equipment down the road.
 
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Palmer I've read and is good for your fist batch. It starts out with a nice chapter saying Go through this step by step to brew a batch of beer, then we can explain how/why it all works!
i have CP Joy of HB but have just started reading so I can't vouch for which is better.

Which kit are you using. This will have a big effect on how you brew. A No Boil kit, easiest end of the spectrum, is much less involved than an AllGrain kit, most difficult/involved end of the spectrum. If you post your kit you can probably get a walkthrough of your process.
 

JPicasso

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Uncle Charlie may be a better option for a new brewer. Amazon.com: The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing: Charlie Papazian: Books

Ultimately, I think there is better information on this forum than both of those books put together.
Well, -1 to you to! :)

I've read both, but after reading Charlies book first, I was thoroughly confused. The book is very disorganized, it's written by a guy who is a great brewer and advocate, but not the more organized writer.
The book has great information, and I would recommend everyone read both. His also has "style" and makes brewing beer fun.

Palmers book is more of a textbook-style and really kind of dry. But it contains great information, and I'd say read this one first, learn "How" to brew, and then read Papazian, remind yourself "Why" you're brewing.

Simply put, no matter what you read first, you get great stuff from both.
But most of all, HAVE FUN!
 
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Homercidal

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Both are good reads, and I agree that having a book in hand is very nice. However everything you need to know is here on this forum. Go right now and read How to Brew - By John Palmer very carefully. Maybe read it twice.

There are some great concepts in there, but frankly, there are usually several ways to do many of the things, and the guys here do things differently. The idea is to understand why. I think it would be worth the wait to spend another few days reading up on the subject.

Decide what kind of beer you want to make, and the method. For starting out, maybe make an extract batch. I would not recommend a no-boil kit, but that's my opinion. If you are going to go through the trouble of making your own beer, you might as well take the couple of extra steps to do it right.

At a minimum you'll need a large Stainless or Aluminum pot to boil in.
a fermenter vessel (food grade plastic bucket with hole drilled in top to put the airlock)
airlocks (cheap)
some tubing
sanitizer (some would use bleach, but I recommend a no-rinse sanitizer to make things easier)
bottles (if your state does deposits, ask at the store for returnable for the price of deposits and pick out some clean ones)
caps
a capper (a wing capper is cheaper, like $12 I think)
racking cane
large spoon
 

staffVAJoe

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Hey Dave, if the DC means that you are in our nations capitol I would take a ride to Annapolis MD and visit the home brew shop there. It makes it easier to get started when you can talk to people in the store and window shop a little.
 
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