Hi everyone, just getting into brewing and my brother (who is a damn good pintsmith himself) told me this was the place to get info. I’m no stranger to fermenting…i’ve made several ciders so far, and even made a Chianti and a Pinot Noir, both of which turned out great! But now I’m stepping into the world of home brew.
I’ve got my pots (7gal and 11gal), a few carboys, some buckets, a burner (turkey fryer with timer bypassed), airlocks, yeast starter vessels, bungs, measuring spoons/cups, thermometer, long handle spoon, hydrometer, auto-siphon, bottle filler, mesh bags, literature on beer/wine/cider making, and cleaners/sanitizer…i think all i’m lacking is a capper, some caps, and the specific yeast/hops/extract/etc for my beer. I don’t have a wort chiller yet, but i have a keg bucket i’ll fill with ice and salt water to lower the wort temp if i don’t have a chiller by my first batch.
I’m not exactly sure what i want to make for my first batch, but I’m leaning towards an Irish Red. I heard the kits are pretty simple to make, and my friends and I are all Red Ale fans. Any suggestions about the process? things that make it go easier, things to avoid, etc?
Thanks in advance, it’s great to finally be here getting ready to brew!!!
Love the Irish Reds, but if I had to do it all over again, I would go with a basic American Ale. At least with it, my non-real-beer-drinking friends would have appreciated it more than the 9.5% abv Belgium Tripel I gave to them in bottles. I’m sure they didn’t pour them correctly and couldn’t truly appreciate such a big beer, as their initial taste of home-brewed beer. Although I did get decent reviews from them, I felt it was a very nice brew, even now, after about 15 different brews over the past year. Also, take Nighthawk’s advice about the capper. In fact, anything he says is golden, in my opinion. Also, start saving bottles. Don’t waste your money buying them at .50 cents each. Don’t use twist-off bottles, as they won’t seal properly, from what I’ve been told. And, sanitization, as you know is perhaps the most important element in home brewing. Best.
[quote=“Nighthawk”]Suggestions? Read the first 2 pages of the General, Extract/PM, and Yeast sections. Maybe even the 3rd page.
But if you have made wine/ciders, you have the majority of the knowledge you need.
Capper, I suggest the bench capper. One that accepts both American and European caps.
What are you doing with your ciders? Corking them?[/quote]
not sure what literature you’re talking about…i’m guessing they are sub forums though so i’ll go look. I don’t have as much space as I’d like for a bench capper, so i’ll probably wait until I figure out a more dedicated brew space than my crowded garage and guest bathroom.
I actually cleaned and santized the 1 gal jugs i bought the juice in and put the cider back in those. It worked pretty well, and each batch hasn’t lasted long enough for the jugs to do anything negative to each batch.
I’ll look for a clone of an American Ale that i know i like before I settle on a Red, thanks for the advice. I have no need to buy bottles, one of my friend’s Dad works for Sierra Nevada Brewery so he gets discounts on their beer (and free kegs!!! :shock: ) and he was able to get me 50 bottles in two weeks, NO PROBLEM!! he had plenty more empty 12 packs lying around when i picked up the bottles too, so i know i’ll always have a steady supply, especially since he’ll probably be sampling most of my home brews with me to help me perfect recipes.
I’ll look for a clone of an American Ale that i know i like before I settle on a Red, thanks for the advice. I have no need to buy bottles, one of my friend’s Dad works for Sierra Nevada Brewery so he gets discounts on their beer (and free kegs!!! :shock: ) and he was able to get me 50 bottles in two weeks, NO PROBLEM!! he had plenty more empty 12 packs lying around when i picked up the bottles too, so i know i’ll always have a steady supply, especially since he’ll probably be sampling most of my home brews with me to help me perfect recipes.[/quote]
Any friend of a friend of a Dad who works for Sierra Nevada is a friend of mine! Keep us updated on how it turns out. My first American Ale was kegged. It turned out fantastic.