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Datdude
11-10-2006, 12:44 PM
A thread on here got me thinking about home brewing beer again. I was thinking about it a few years ago, but never did it. I checked a few websites and it looks to be pretty complicated. Does anybody have any input as to where to get started? My questions are as follows.....
1. What website(s) should I look at to purchase the required equipment?
2. Anything special I should look for when purchasing the equipment?
3. How difficult is it to come out with a good beer and not waste batch after batch becuase of errors?
4. How long does it take from start to finish of a typical batch?
5. How long is the beer good for once it is bottled?
6. Is it worth the effort?(I am guessing it is but.......)

Besides these questions, if anybody has any other input it would be appreciated. Cheers!:D

slink976
11-10-2006, 01:28 PM
Okay ....
Got into this pretty heavy couple years ago..

Start Small!!!!! Don't try to create a new stran right off the bat. Do the pre-made cans to start. The most important thing to remember is the BEER is the least part of Home brewing. The CLEANLINESS is the most important. Start with the pre-mades work on the cleanliness and then move on once you can consistantly brew and bottle beer that all taste the same!

Go get a cheap brew at home kit and build on to it in the later batches. going cheap to start will help. Avoid plastics, you glass when ever possible for fermenting (going back to cleanliness, Glass is way easier to clean!) .

I can send you some of my succesful blends but I wont! Well not right away... learn the process and the cleaning then lets chat!

Datdude
11-10-2006, 02:16 PM
Thanks for the reply Slink

Is there a certain website I should use when ordering the kit?

Maristar210
11-10-2006, 02:23 PM
www.homebrew.com

flyingskibiker
11-10-2006, 02:30 PM
i started out the same way. a book and a brew kit. the kit was something like $35... i moved up and added equipment as i went along. slink is right. start w/ the basic "brew from a can". the next step is adding some more ingredients. the last, and major, step is from scratch. but it is all rather easy if you can just follow recipes... slinks point about sanitation is also key. be paranoid and you'll be fine.

as far as ordering a kit, you may just want to check your phone book first to see if there are any brewing or wine making supply shops near you. if you find one, it really helps when you have questions. the people working in those stores are usually pretty cool and are willing to help. a place to start surfing for information is www.beertown.org they even list shops...

CoFooter
11-10-2006, 05:53 PM
Dude, you'll love it, lots of good advice already. East Texas Skier also seems to be an expert on this so he can probably give some good advice. Get you a keg system so you can spend time brewing/drinking instead of washing bottles. I've been brewing for almost 20 yrs but don't consider myself an expert. Still brewing with malt extract. I make 5 or 6 batches a year. Most of it has been great beer. Wine too!! Matter of fact I got a batch on Honey Wheat beer I'll be kegging this weekend.

I'm also looking for good on-line sources so lets hear them.

WTRSK1R
11-10-2006, 07:16 PM
There are lots of homebrew websites out there. I found a local supplier who was substantially cheaper then buying on line. I still brew with extract as a base, but use specialty grains to add flavor. Brewing is alot like cooking and spices. Small changes in the type of hops or when you add them can have a significant flavor change. Different malts will impact color and flavor. Its alot of fun, and well worth the effort.

east tx skier
11-11-2006, 11:51 AM
For the how to, go to www.howtobrew.com. John Parmer really lays it out well.

The northernbrewer website (http://www.northernbrewer.com/) and forum are great for equipment and questions.

Datdude
11-11-2006, 12:02 PM
Thanks for all of the replies. Time to start shopping for supplies:D

WTRSK1R
11-11-2006, 03:49 PM
Depending on the end product, we could have custom Minocqua Mayhem home brew. I rarely bottle anymore since making one 5 gallon bottle (keg) is sooooooooooooo much easier then 50+ bottles per 5 gallon batch. On the other hand, I always enjoyed making custom labels for the bottles. It would be kind of fun to take Steve's t-shirt label and transform it into a beer bottle label. As long as we give them away, there is nothing illegal about sharing them at the get together. I might be willing to bring along a couple of cases as parting gifts if I can find the time to to brew/ bottle. For me, I almost only brew in winter. First of all, I just do not have the time in summer, second of all, the basement is too warm to ferment a decent ale. I have toyed with lagering in the refrig, but have not wanted to mess with the thermostat on our spare (read beer) fridge.

What do you think Chad? Should we try to have "Mastercraft Minocqua Mayhem Ale" ?

X-45
11-11-2006, 09:42 PM
If you can make soup, you can make beer. I find it to be a very relaxing winter sport. I bet you can find a local supplier but if you can't www.ebrew.com was who I used. They also give great advise. My first stage is a 6 gallon carboy and second is a 5 gal so when I go to my second I've got 5 gallons. Another thing is use liquid yeast. you will get better results if you repitch. Good luck.

captain planet
03-11-2008, 02:06 PM
I have been looking at some of these old beer making threads to see who on here makes their own. My former college roomate started making his own a year ago and he had me up to his place a couple weeks ago to make some. We bottled on Saturday this last weekend and now I am hooked.:) I can't wait to get my own set-up and start on my own. My buddy has made one beer abour 10 times or so and has perfected it so now he says that he is ready to try some other ales. We should be able to drink our beer on the 22nd of this month.

Maristar210
03-11-2008, 02:26 PM
I have been looking at some of these old beer making threads to see who on here makes their own. My former college roomate started making his own a year ago and he had me up to his place a couple weeks ago to make some. We bottled on Saturday this last weekend and now I am hooked.:) I can't wait to get my own set-up and start on my own. My buddy has made one beer abour 10 times or so and has perfected it so now he says that he is ready to try some other ales. We should be able to drink our beer on the 22nd of this month.


What time shall I arrive wearing my Michigan jersey? :D

M-Funf
03-11-2008, 02:33 PM
You can also try this site...

http://morebeer.com/

I've purchased form them before...

Oh, and if you want to buy fresh hops from somebody, use these guys...

http://www.freshops.com/

My hops crop was a bust last season, but I'm hoping for a better crop this year. Looks like my Chinook bit the dust, though...

I'll second the vote on glass fermenter. 5 G carboys are cheap! As soon as you scratch a plastic bucket, it's a place for bacterial growth.

I got sick of bottling after my first several batches. It was easier to take to a friends house, but what a PITA. I have a soda keg now. Easier to clean and it keeps my beer fresh for a long time...

Here's a good starter kit with glass carboy for $99...

http://morebeer.com/view_product/15910/102142

Then, of course, you need a brew kettle...that's another $75-100

http://morebeer.com/view_product/15753

Oh, and you'll need a "kit". Start with something simple. Shouldn't run more than $20-30.

And you'll need bottles, caps, sanitizer, all the other accessories that make brewing fun :)

M-Funf
03-11-2008, 02:51 PM
Forgot to mention that you may want to consider doing the boil outside on a high output propane burner (like those deep fried turkey burners).

Boiling the wort in the kitchen smells up the place, and if you have a boil-over it makes a REAL mess...don't ask me how I know:o

captain planet
03-11-2008, 02:59 PM
I have already started looking at carboys on ebay as well as some of the kits on there. I saw some of the brewing kits with buckets for about $84 on ebay, carboy included.

My buddy works with metal sheeting as he fabricates heating and cooling ductwork. He has kegs that he has turned into kettles with strainers and so forth for cooking. He has a pretty nice set-up.

We bottled 5 cases of bottles on Saturday. Start to finish, cleaning bottles included, it took 3 hours. I will probably brew with him a few more times, get my own set-up and perfect his recipe then start with some other beers. I'm thinking about finding the recipe for Sam Adams White Ale.

I REALLY want to make Dos XX, but it is a lager. Fermentation temp is lower (44 to 62 F, correct?). Can you just ferment in a refrigerator that is set at about 50 degrees and check temp with a thermometer?

captain planet
03-11-2008, 03:03 PM
Forgot to mention that you may want to consider doing the boil outside on a high output propane burner (like those deep fried turkey burners).

Boiling the wort in the kitchen smells up the place, and if you have a boil-over it makes a REAL mess...don't ask me how I know:o
Yea, we did that on turkey friers in his garage. I already have one propane burner, I will get another one at the end of the season when they go on sale.

M-Funf
03-11-2008, 03:13 PM
I REALLY want to make Dos XX, but it is a lager. Fermentation temp is lower (44 to 62 F, correct?).

I think it's 45-55 F IIRC., which is too bad because I've got a really large room in my basement that stays at 58 F all year around...

captain planet
03-11-2008, 03:16 PM
What time shall I arrive wearing my Michigan jersey? :D
If your going to wear that....how about I just send you a couple.:rolleyes: 8p