Hello from San Francisco

I am totally new to brewing beer, but very excited to start. I have done a lot of research and procured what I believe to be all the equipment necessary to do an all grain brew. I realize that some of the first advice is going to be to start with extract, but I want start out by doing as much of the process as necessary from the start. I also realize this creates a higher likelihood of a batch or several coming out less than perfect, and am willing to accept this. I have been reading “How To Brew” and am about half way through it, as well as watching many many youtube videos.

My first batch is planned to be a California Common with the Uncommon Common recipe from here:


and eliminating the Munich, Victory and pale chocolate malts to get it closer to an Anchor Steam.

I am planning on starting some Hard Cider and Apple Wine at the same time.

I will post details about my setup once I get home tonight, the brewing will all be done in my garage which has several nice cool closets that stay at a pretty consistent temperature.

Once I have a little time this evening I will post pictures of my setup as well as my whole plan for brewing, in hopes of avoiding a few mistakes.

Thanks in advance, I am happy to be here.

Welcome to the forum and your new obsession! I only brewed a few extract batches before I decided to brew AG. People will disagree but I don’t really think I learned anything by doing extract other than the actual processes of brewing. I think you can learn those just as easily doing AG. You seem to have embraced the idea that there’s some risk there so yea go for it and have fun!

I liked the way extract brewing let me learn and refine each brewing skill one at at a time, in order. Maybe not the most logical order, but in some order. People like me benefit from doing extract batches first; tasting success, literally, before moving on to AG.

Other people seem to like taking on the whole shebang. They like to get the big picture and refine whichever skills are lowest hanging fruit for them first. I’m guessing that’s you? I can’t comprehend it, but different strokes for different folks.

What you’re doing is not for me, but don’t let anyone tell you it’s not for you. It’s your process after all.

Welcome to beer brewing, my brother.

Well, the fortunate thing about this is that it’s a hobby. So it’s not as though there are rules regarding how to start. It’s an activity whereby you are trying to have fun while at the same time making something that you love. So start with all grain if you desire. The great thing with beer and barbecue is that under most circumstances you can drink and eat your mistakes and it will be OK. The mistakes may not taste as you hoped but they are still consumable. Now go forth and brew on!

I started out “All Grain” and have never brewed extract.(I still consider myself a novice) All of my beers have turned out awesome except 1 batch in which I tried to do a multi step mash. I missed all the temps and it was a complete shit show but I learned a lot from it. I have done all of my brewing on a cooler mash tun and boiled over a propane burner in the garage. Just follow a good recipe and pay attention to CLEAN. Sanitize every thing that comes in contact with your wort post boil.
One thing that I learned along the way is that there is loss of wort depending on your system. Once you figure out what your loss is with your system you can calculate your recipe so if you want 5 gallons when you are done you will need to adjust things along the way. My new system has about a 2 gallon loss with pump lines, loss to grain absorption etc. so I calculate my recipes for 7 gallons that way I get a nice full keg at the end.



Welcome to homebrewing, and welcome to the forum. This a place where you can get information and learn things from many experienced brewers. The guys are right about sanitation, and learning good basic practices, and you will learn good things from John Palmer. I have a set routine and I consider my brewday as a process with definite steps. My advice is to keep good notes about your process, and later on you will know what’s more important or not, but I still keep notes every brewday. Be patient, don’t rush things, and above all enjoy your experience with a well rewarding hobby. I’ve done it now for over 25 years and still get excited about my next beer. Good luck and welcome to the brotherhood of brewing