Afternoon Brewers… So I ordered my new kit today with the IPA. Really looking forward to brewing it . My question is about the next beer. Repeatability is a very important skill, but I really don’t want to brew 3 or 4 of the same beer, what did u guys do for your second and third batches? Did u brew the same one or something new? I am pretty sure I’m not going to start the second one until the first one is bottled and tasted . Any thoughts and opinions would be extremely helpful . Thanks in advance !!!
It’s a hobby, do what makes you happy. Brew what you want to. I’m no expert by an stretch, but I think I’ve only brewed one style more than once and that was a Hefe or a wheat. I did a 5 gallon extract that was not good, a one gallon all grain that I screwed up by adding too much lemon and orange zest and I doubled a gallon batch the other week keeping it simple with DME. I like variety and I don’t think I could brew a 5 gallon batch over and over and over to get it just perfect. I wouldn’t be happy with all that same beer. Just makes notes on what was good and what was bad and when you come back to it, try and make it better.
Personally, I like some variety in my beer. I have a two tap kegerator so typically I try to have two different styles on tap. If you like brown ales, I highly recommend the Caribou Slobber. That was my first extract beer that turned out really well. I very rarely brew the same kit twice with some notable exceptions being Plinian Legacy, Off the Topper and Smashing Pumpkin among others.
I’m with everyone else, I like variety. And I know that’s going to be an issue when I start kegging because I’m going to want a minimum of 5 taps going at once. Probably more.
As far as your question goes… I did start with the same kit for both my second and third batches… but I didn’t stick with the kit. I have a hard time with things like that. My first kit was a Brewers Best kit, Chocolate Milk Stout. It was ok. I followed the instructions. Second kit was from Northern Brewer, Dry Irish Stout. Not being able to leave well enough alone, I added a pound of kiln coffee malt to the steep and a bit of DME to the brew. Turned out ok, but I later discovered that it benefited greatly from aging, one year in the bottle made it perfect. Third kit was a NB Dry Irish Stout. I added some DME and Lactose to it to make it a sweet stout. Fourth kit was a BB English Brown Ale that I added to. After that? I forged out on my own and started playing with partial mashes and my own recipes. Brewed a couple other modified kits here and there but, like I said, I can’t leave things alone.
That said, I don’t recommend that everyone follow my path. You need to be comfortable with the process before moving on and there are a lot of good kits out there. If you want to try partial mashing, get a grain bag or paint strainer bag, get a pound or two of say, pale 2-row malt, and combine it with the steeping grains from a kit. Read up on BIAB brewing, because that’s what you do with a partial mash. Gets your feet wet so to speak without doing a double back flip off the high board with no experience.
I’ve been brewing for three years, about 40 batches. I started off brewing different beers to find what I like. Now I brew my favorite “dead ringer IPA” every third batch it goes quick. Then I alternate between repeats that I liked and new brews.
I started with an IPA because that’s what I liked to drink at the time. I didn’t brew a kit but I copied a recipe and tweaked it a bit. I believe I brewed it a couple times with changes untill I was satisfied. Then moved on to a different style and did the same with it.
Don’t even worry about repeatability yet. If you’re just starting, you probably have some bad process. As in “bad for you” not necessarily “just plain wrong” You need to spend a bunch of batches working out what works for you and what doesn’t; what steps you want to focus on improving, and what skills can wait until later. I say, just play, do a variety of brews.
First get a good process, then make it repeatable. A repeatable bad/unsatisfying process is worse than inconsistency.
Not much more experienced than you, i’m on my third batch, but i view homebrewing as a fun hobby, not a subject in school. That being said, you do need to take it semi seriously if you want to turn out any potable beer, but basically, do whatever you want! That’s why you decided to brew in the first place…there are plenty of delicious beers out there for the purchasing, but we brew because we WANT to. Thoughts, anyone?
It depends on where your definition of “potable” sits. With the extract kits, all you need is proper cleaning and sanitizing; if you follow the instructions, you’ll make drinkable beer.
From that point, there ARE several advancements that can make real improvements. Let’s just say, there are a few points where the kit instructions favor ease over quality results. Late LME additions or full boils are easy enough, and can make small improvements. Yeast starters seem daunting when you first read how, but they’re actually quite easy. To me, all the biggest improvements came with better temperature control; quickly chilling after the boil, and controlled temps during active fermentation.
As for “semi-seriously” I agree, and I like your perspective. You need to take it only as seriously as any other hobby. As long as the effort you need to put into it is more satisfying than the day job, it’s s good hobby for you.
That’s what we all say. Just going to do it semi seriously but before you know it your hooked. If you don’t believe me read the thread about wether people like brewing or not. There are a lot of guys that don’t enjoy it but can’t stop. Crazy right? Don’t say you weren’t warned.
I brewed different NB extract kits for my first couple of batches. The process is similar across many of the NB kits - so you can refine / improve the brewing process while trying different styles. Here’s a link to many of the extract kits - the instructions are available as PDFs by clicking on links on that page.
Too late, buddy im in middle of my first all grain recipe as we speak. No turning back now!
That page is great, but looks out-of-date; it seems to be missing quite a few recipies. But no worries. Every NB kit’s recipe is available, in PDF, on the specific page for that kit. Look for the Additional Indformation tab.
You’ve come to the right place for moral support