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Question about NB's basic brew kit

What different kinds of beer can the very basic kit (the $79 one) make? Seems the Caribou Slobber is the most recommended with this kit. I know there will be other items I’ll need to add (5 gal kettle, etc.), but thought I would ask how limited this kit is. As I get more into home brewing, I would like to see what all I can make with just the basics before expanding. As far as the commercial “equivalents” go, what does the the Slobber resemble?

I guess the reason why I ask is for taste. Brands I like are Newcastle, Fat Tire, Harp, Redhook ESB. I don’t expect an exact taste as those (or even remotely close on a first attempt), but thought maybe you all can recommend something closer I would like if the Slobber doesn’t fit the bill.

Thanks for any advice and suggestions. It is appreciated!

You can make any beer with the basic kit. The kit itself is not what will limit you. The only you thing you might need is an extra carboy if you plan on doing fruit beers. I dry hop in the primary and many others do as well. I would suggest ordering the extract kit that appeals to you for your first batch. If you have any more questions, please ask!

yeah you can do pretty much any kit from here that you want to because every kit has extract options and the basic brewing start up kit looks like it will get you pretty much everything you need. I believe there is a Phat Tire clone, or at least there used to be but just pick something you like.

If you are starting soon I would just suggest thinking about how to keep your fermenting beer at a cool temperature with this oppressive heat wave most of the country is suffering through. I ferment in the basement which is currently reading 74* which is a little warm for most yeast strains so I’ve been putting mine in a water bath with frozen bottles of water to keep the temp at a more suitable range. Just something to think about for a better first beer.

As far as finding an extract kit that suits your tastes, I suggest using the metadata filter on the left side of the extract recipe page. It will allow you to browse the kits by style and other criteria. So, if you like Newcastle which is an Northern English brown ale, selecting “brown ale” and then “British” on the next page should narrow the choices for you. You’ll find that “Nukey brown” is a Northern English brown ale.

If you’re unsure what style a specific beer is, you can search the BJCP style guideline, which gives pretty widely available commercial examples of each style. The down-side is that the guideline only gives a handful of examples. You could look-up a specific beer on ratebeer or beeradvocate to see how they list a beer, but I don’t think they’re always right. They should get you in the ballpark, though.

As far as equipment is concerned, I’ll add to what the other guys said: I recommend thinking about scalability. For example, if you think you will eventually move from extract to all grain, you’ll want to get a 10 gallon brew kettle that will allow you to do a full boil–which you must do for all-grain. You could even use a 10 gallon kettle to do a full wort boil of an extract batch–which is not required, but is recommended if you can.

The other thing that may not be obvious is, how will you heat your wort? What kind of stove do you have? If you have an electric stove, you will be lucky to get a few gallons to boil. If you do, it will take forever. A patio burner will save you a lot of time and frustration. You can get them on Amazon and elsewhere very reasonably priced. There is nothing wrong with the Bayou Classic burners, which are reasonably priced.

Caribou Slobber is a clone of Big Sky’s “Moose drool” I’ve had them side by side and they are very close. I don’t know anything about beer styles, but ignorance never stopped from giving my opinion so here goes. CS is an American brown Ale that is a little higher in hops than the English Ales. English Ales can vary from region to region and Scottish and Irish Ales can be different as well.
The NB kits and description of the kits has really helped me in finding where to experiment and what I really like.

I appreciate all the great advice. Thanks everyone.

All I have to cook with is my kitchen stove. I’m sure a separate burner like the Bayou Classic will be easier on my marriage as well (lol) as my brewing, so I’ll add that and a ten gallon kettle to my list.

I’ve never had the Big Sky. Most nut brown ales I do like (Newcastle, Redhook, Bluegrass Brewery, etc.), so is the Slobber still a safe bet?

Thanks again everyone. I do appreciate it.

[quote=“Yesfan70”]I appreciate all the great advice. Thanks everyone.

All I have to cook with is my kitchen stove. I’m sure a separate burner like the Bayou Classic will be easier on my marriage as well (lol) as my brewing, so I’ll add that and a ten gallon kettle to my list.

I’ve never had the Big Sky. Most nut brown ales I do like (Newcastle, Redhook, Bluegrass Brewery, etc.), so is the Slobber still a safe bet?

Thanks again everyone. I do appreciate it.[/quote]

I would say if you like those browns, caribou slobber will be an excellent first beer. This will have higher hop presence than Newcastle, but you’ve mentioned two American browns which I believe would be similar to this kit.
I think the gravity on this one is 1.052 - 1.055, so if you’re going liquid yeast you may need a starter first. If you go with the dry yeast option, 1 package will be a good alternative to not deal with the extra step of making a yeast starter.

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