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First brew, need some advice

Hello all:

I have made several batches of wine before so I know about sanitation and all. This will be my first beer brew and, following the advice of an article I read on the net, I purchased the following from Northern Brewer:

American west Coast yeast (.388 oz.)
Malt extract powder (maltoferm 10001 one pound)
One oz hop pellets
4 pounds of corn sugar.

What I can not seem to find is a basic recipe for how much of each to add to the wort. The article I read also said I need several pounds of white sugar, which I also have.

I just want to make something basic, drinkable and simple on my first run here.

Any and all help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

I am in Bowling Green, Ky.

Thank you all in advance,

Bill

There is not a lot you can do with what you have. My advice would be to purchase an ingredient kit for a style you are interested in.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/brew ... rder=price

Most will do well with the yeast you have. So you can skip purchasing that.

Do you have a capper to put caps on the bottle? You may need to order one of them.

Nighthawk:

Thank you for the reply. What I purchased was basically the ingredients in one of the kits offered. I know I need more sugar for a 5 gallon batch than the malt extract powder I bought which is why I bought the 4 pounds of corn sugar. No bottles needed here, I am going to use 2 liter pressure bottles. (soft drink style) I just can’t lock down how much of the corn sugar to add to the malt powder.

If this works out at all, I will buy a couple of cases of those 16 oz bottles that you can open and re-seal over and over. (with the metal brackets.)

Thanks,

Bill

I’d personally look into standard starter kits if I were you and take note of what you don’t have that can contribute to making a quality brew.

1lb of malt extract and 4 lbs of sugar is going to make for a pretty nasty beer. The rule of thumb is not more that 20% of the fermentables should be sugar. Buy a cheap extract kit and use the corn sugar for carbonating. You can use the malt for a starter or gravity boost.

With what you already have on hand, you could add a couple lbs of stale gummi bears, some canned sweet potato, and a shoelace, and make hobo beer. If you have a dirty gym sock and some moldy bread, you could pitch that and save the commercial yeast for a regular kit. :wink:

:lol:
Hobo Beer!

I don’t think we are trying to be smart asses, but seriously, while you might call what you would get with the ingredients “beer”, it really won’t be anything worth drinking, unless your goal is to guzzle something to get drunk. If you want to make a beer that you can enjoy, go for a recipe kit for your first brew.

You have some homework to do before you can brew. My advice would be to take a look at some of the recipes for the kits on NB’s site (they’re all posted.) Both to look at the ingredients (items and quantities) as well as the brewing process itself.

You will notice a pattern pretty quickly, like most of the standard beer recipes you’ll want to try first have 5-6 pounds of malt extract syrup or powder, and a couple of ounces of hops, and yeast. And they all follow similar brewing timing/schedules. Do you know what type of hops you got (and the Alpha percentage?)

You’ll be a lot closer to making beer if you get more malt extract. Sugar isn’t going to work well as a substitution for malt. Good luck!

Is that JZ’s Hobo Beer? Always wanted to try that one but I don’t have any of the books. Thanks Shade!

Well, ok then. I was going by the famous book written by the guy on how to brew your first beer. I am not an idiot. I have spent $30 on the ingredients listed in the book on a basic first beer but, evidently, I do need an additional 3-4 pounds of dme. I am only going for a light ale here guys…nothing fancy. I do believe the opinion here is to obtain a basic “kit” of ingredients. I have searched and for the ale I want, I have most of them already but am light on the dme.

To those that gave me constructive advice, I really do appreciate your time. To the others, my advice is to not drink too much prior to making a post here. Very bad form and all that. In other words, go screw yourselves.

Bill

If you could post the recipe, you might get some better feedback.

[quote=“Pirate88179”]Well, ok then. I was going by the famous book written by the guy on how to brew your first beer. I am not an idiot. I have spent $30 on the ingredients listed in the book on a basic first beer but, evidently, I do need an additional 3-4 pounds of dme. I am only going for a light ale here guys…nothing fancy. I do believe the opinion here is to obtain a basic “kit” of ingredients. I have searched and for the ale I want, I have most of them already but am light on the dme.

To those that gave me constructive advice, I really do appreciate your time. To the others, my advice is to not drink too much prior to making a post here. Very bad form and all that. In other words, go screw yourselves.

Bill[/quote]

This forum is for people who enjoy brewing and drinking beer, wine, cider, sake, etc. Sometimes we BS, don’t take it personal. :wink:

I’m not sure about the famous book, but you can check out NB proven recipes for ingredient lists.

I’m partial to pruno and keestered smokes.

[quote=“mrv”][quote=“Pirate88179”]Well, ok then. I was going by the famous book written by the guy on how to brew your first beer. I am not an idiot. I have spent $30 on the ingredients listed in the book on a basic first beer but, evidently, I do need an additional 3-4 pounds of dme. I am only going for a light ale here guys…nothing fancy. I do believe the opinion here is to obtain a basic “kit” of ingredients. I have searched and for the ale I want, I have most of them already but am light on the dme.

To those that gave me constructive advice, I really do appreciate your time. To the others, my advice is to not drink too much prior to making a post here. Very bad form and all that. In other words, go screw yourselves.

Bill[/quote]

This forum is for people who enjoy brewing and drinking beer, wine, cider, sake, etc. Sometimes we BS, don’t take it personal. :wink:

I’m not sure about the famous book, but you can check out NB proven recipes for ingredient lists.[/quote]

Yes, I get that…thanks. The book was by John Palmer and I was led to believe it was the “bible” for home brewing. Possibly, this was incorrect information. I am a Moderator on an international energy research forum so, I do know how it goes. Everyone does indeed need a sense of humor.

Thanks,

Bill

PS Now how many ounces of gummy bears do I really need?

Like mentioned, try to limit the simple sugars to less than 20%. Cidery flavors can come out with to much corn/beet/cane sugar.

Tastybrew
http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/recipe.html
has a free online recipe calculator and Qbrew is a free downloadable one.

With 1lb DME and 4lb sugar, your OG will be ~1.046 @ 5 gallon. A good 4.4% ABV drinker.

I would prefer to see you use 4lb DME and 1lb sugar. Same OG and it should be a better product.

Adding the oz of hops at the beginning of the boil will make a good beer. Nice and simple to compliment the lower ABV. You could say it’s a lawnmower beer. Refreshing to drink after mowing the lawn.

And ya, don’t mind Shade to much. He is a good egg.

Nighthawk:

Cool, thanks. Yes, everything I read says more malt, less refined sugar or even corn sugar. I will get more DME and try to use hardly any additional sugars. I will check the sg and if it is close, I will go for it. I can use the corn sugar for carbonation. (I wish I had a keg system with CO2.)

Thanks for the help. EDIT Also thanks for the calculator as well. I really appreciate it.

Bill

Well, it is in the fermenter now. The air lock began bubbling only 3 hours after pitching the yeast. It is in the bath tub in case it blows up. I only had one slight boil over which I think was good for my first brew.

Again, I appreciate the good advice I received here. We will see what happens.

Bill

Are you keeping it cool? Mid 60s (actual, not room temp.) at the start of fermentation will improve the quality of your beer.

mmmmmmm…gummy bear beer… urghrghrghrgh. Homer Simpson

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