Hey guys about to order my first kit and wanna start brewing. what do you guys recommend for my first brew? i enjoy all beer. Any other tips? thanks.

I tend to think that hoppy beers are good for beginners. The hop flavor tends to overpower most off tastes that may come out from not having perfected your craft. Also, pick something with a quick turn around time so you can drink it sooner rather than later too.

As for tips:

  1. Get a stick/pole of some sort, put a gallon in your boil pot and mark the stick. Add another gallon and mark it. Continue on until you reach the top so you can measure your volume accurately and easily.
  2. Do the same thing for your fermenter. A lot of off gravity readings result from the volume being wrong. Either you add too much water or too little. Also, take gravity readings; it’s worth the couple bucks for a hydrometer.
  3. Speaking of gravity readings; if you’re doing extract kits make sure to shake up your wort to mix the water and wort together before taking a reading. If they are not mixed the sugar can sink to the bottom and you’ll be taking a weaker sample of watered done wort. This also doubles as aerating your wort to make for a healthier fermentation.
  4. By one of those stick on thermometer strips for your fermenter and try to keep it at a steady temperature within the yeast guidelines. Use a water bath if needed.
  5. Have fun! I like to buy a bottle of good commercial beer close to what I’m trying to brew for brew day.

awesome. i appreciate the tips

An American Wheat would bee a good choice going into the Spring/Summer. Use US-05 for the yeast. ... t-kit.html

Here is a link to some ways to keep the fermentation temp down. I like to stay in the low to mid 60’s.


Innkeeper and Cream Ale were both good as my first few kits.

My favorite kit so far is the Dead Ringer IPA, but I’ve only done a 8 or 9 so far. All of them have turned out good; just go with a style you like to drink, and it’ll be fine.

EDIT << ditto to the suggestions above, but don’t get over-concerned about the gravity readings. If you are doing an extract kit and top off to the correct volume, it will be fine.

Biggest thing I’ve found is keeping the temperature to the low end of what the yeast calls for when it is fermenting, and that may involve setting up a ‘swamp cooler’ with some frozen bottles of water to keep the temp down.

Also, cleanliness and good sanitizing is the key to good beer. All else will fall into place.

Another note that I wish I had known right off the bat. Yeast is amazingly powerful yet surprisingly sensitive. Read up a bit on it and consider buying yeast starter equipment as your next purchase. If it is overworked because you didn’t pitch enough it will affect you beer. We jumped right into the big batches and they sucked, they finished overly sweet and tasted off because we hadn’t pitched enough yeast. For beers bigger than 1.060 it really helps if you toss in an adequate amount which is going to be more than one packet.

You can get into that whole mess about yeast starters now if you want but in general I’d say just stick to lower gravity beers. Something around the 1.040-1.050 range and work your way up. All the above selections are good.

Welcome to the forum and the hobby. There are a lot of guys who really know their stuff here. Read up on topics and you will soon be brewing very good beer. Probably the most important issues are sanitation, pitching rate and controlling temperature of the fermentation. Use bottled water for your first few batches and the beer will be really good.

Ask questions… good luck with it.


I’m sure whatever you decide to brew will turn out to be the best beer you ever tasted! Just remember to follow sanitation procedures and let us know how it turns out! - Cheers mate

When you are bottling your brew, fill one 16/20oz soda bottle. Squeeze the air out and screw the cap on. As the beer carbonates, they bottle will expand. No need to wonder if they are carbonating!

Later if you can plan ahead, 2lt soda bottles make great bottles for camping/poker nights…

When/if you want to make a starter for liquid yeast, an used large wine jug make a great container.

Welcome to the obsession! My biggest issue when first starting out was chilling! It’s amazing how long 5g will retain heat and I was ill prepared. 24hrs later and my wort was stil +105F. I’d take your 2.5g-3g of topoff water and put it in the fridge so when you add it to your carboy it will cool it down to pitching temps.

Muslin bag for hops is pretty much a must if you’re running thru a strainer funnel. My strainer would always clog and I’d have to take a spoon and swirl it around. Super pain, but it all gets better as you get more into it and eventually have better equipment that’s made to do the things we want them to do, such as a chiller. The whole thing is a learning process and 11 years in I’m still learning new stuff every day.

I’ve done a lot of NB’s kits and there are two I always go back to: Scwarzbier using German Ale yeast (I know, not really a scwarz lager but c’mon, it’s good) and American Wheat using Weihenstephan yeast because I like the banana and clove it adds, kinda like a Hacker-Pschorr. This one you could even do at room temp 68F, which is one way to enhance the banana.

Oxyclean (cleaner), Starsan (sanitizer) and an auto siphon all are great, and so is kegging, but if not, a spring loaded bottle filler is way better than any valve.

Good luck on whatever you decide to brew!


Man you guys are amazing. I love this site. Thanks for the advice.