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Newbie

Happy New Year! I have recently started making my own wine and am enjoying it. But I realized it will be awhile until I can drink my wine! While I wait for my wines to ferment and age, I need another hobby to get into. I’m interested in starting to brew my own beer! Should I buy separate equipment for beer, or are they mostly the same? What are some of the best and easiest ingredient kits to start off with?

Thanks!

No need for separate equipment. Tubing, hydrometers, fermenters are fine to use.

You may be using a sulfate for sanitizing with your wine. Switch to Star San or Iodophor for brewing. Since you have it on had now, use it with your wine.

Which kit to buy? What do you like to drink? Like wine, if you don’t like Merlot, don’t make one. If you don’t like stouts, don’t brew one.

Thanks! I need a brew kettle, correct? Which is the best size to get?

I know I don’t like super hoppy beers.

Thanks!

Someone linked to this item the other day.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/30-Quart-Turk ... t/13059419

To start, you will probably do a “partial boil”. Meaning you only boil a part of the full amount. 2-3 gallons. So you would need a minimum of a 4 gallon pot. If you have that you are set. If you need to buy a big pot, go right to the turkey fryer set up. Aluminum is fine to use.

Your stove to will not boil the 6+ gallons (evaporation) of a full boil very well. Unless you have a big commercial stove. Thus the turkey fryer.

With the partial boil you can cool it in the sink with a ice bath. With the full boil you will need an immersion or plate chiller. You can make the immersion chiller your self.

Lager beers require a way to maintain ~50* during fermentation. If you can’t control the temp stay away from Lagers until you can. Otherwise the Ales: Amber, Brown, Scottish, Wheat, ESB, Stouts and Porters are good low hop/bitterness beers. And the ideal temps to maintain are in the mid 60’s.

Thanks for all the info! So if I just use a 4-5 gallon pot, I can just use my stove, correct?

Yes, if you have a 4g or bigger pot you are set and can boil on the stove. Like I mentioned, the larger the volume, the harder for you stove to get a rolling boil going.

http://www.howtobrew.com/sitemap.html

Above is an online version of John Plamer’s book. Some info is a bit dated, but still a good read. He has updated info in the latest paper version. Worth purchasing.

Of course, I haven’t tried a brew yet and do not know how it will turn out. But, having said that, I recommend the turkey fryer listed above or, at a minimum, a larger pot. I brewed the NB Petite Saison Friday and brewed a 3 gallon partial in a 7.5 gallon pot.

You would not believe how close it came to boiling over. I had to turn the burner all the way down and stir like crazy.

I did enough research to order the fermcap, which helped a lot w/ the second brew

So my point is pay close attention to boil after you had the malt.

The only problem w/ the turkey fryer is the 15 min safety timer. Anybody know how to fix that?

Thanks

Another hint for doing partial boils is to only boil with a percentage of your extract. For instance, if you can only do a 50% volume boil, only boil 50% of the extract and add the remainder at flame out. This helps a little with boil overs but the real benefit is that you get much better hop utilization.

Glug Master,

So are you saying that if I do 1/2 the 5gal boil that I should only add 1/2 of the ingredients - the hops and malt extract? Then add the remainder after the boil, during cool down? I assume all the grains should still be steeped per instructions. Thanks

Yes, Blake was the one that posted the fryer link.

Another standby method for the boil over (just like the protein boil over with pasta) is to have a spray bottle on hand with water in it.

Glug’s recommendation for only using a 1/2 of the extract is spot on. It also reduces the chance of caramelizing the sugar saturated liquid.

To your new question. Add all the ingredients at the specified times. But only 1/2 of the extract at the beginning of the boil. The rest can be added right before cooling the wort.

Just the malt extract, steep the grains and add the hops per instructions.

That being said, you may want to check with whoever you purchased the kit from, some may increase the bittering hops to account for a partial boil.

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