Back to Shopping at

Virgin Brew

After about a month of research i’m about to pull the trigger and get into brewing. I’m going to start by getting the deluxe starter kit. I really want to do all grain but the prices of everything are really adding up and this will be a good way to work up to that anyway.

For anyone brewing for awhile, I was looking for any suggestions, mistakes not to make, good extract kit to start with, gear tips, or anything really. Would be much appreciated. Thanks

If you are going to spend extra on any piece of equipment to start - spend it on a pot and chiller.

*Get a good pot - a 10 gallon pot with spigot if you can swing it. You can do full boils, easy transfers and you can use it to transition into all-grain. Research “Brew in a Bag” - this is a way you can go all grain and it won’t cost you anything extra at all if you have a good pot to start with.

*Wort chiller! Makes your brewday MUCH easier and faster.

*Sanitation - use something like oxyclean, or PBW to CLEAN your stuff. Use Starsan to SANITIZE your stuff.

Check out the podcasts on The Brewing Network - Jamil show and brew strong. I have found them to provide a tremendous amt. of information. Also, John Palmers book - How to Brew is a great book for brewing overview.

Brew in a Bag- episode 54

Just out of curiosity do you have a budget?
If you were like me a college student with a fixed budget, craigslist, and forums are your best friends to find brewing gear. If you do go all grain look into a getting yourself a grain mill or a corona mill.
Also as Braufessor mentioned Starsan get the big bottle it is cheaper in the long run, i am still using my big bottle and it has been almost 10 months since i bought it from NB. Also you should never have to make 5 gallon of sanitizer at a time perhaps around 1.5-2.5 gallons of sanitizer at a time. It saves you LOT of sanitizer.
+1 on BIAB brew in a bag, My first batch was a NB Cream Ale that i made with brew in a bag. I even made the bag that was made out of an old white cotton shirt that i hand sewed the neck and arm holes. That beer turned out amazing. See attached pic.
Also try to make yeast starters it seriously makes better beer and lower lag time which cuts down on the “WHY ISN’T MY FERMENTATION STARTING” threads.
Just because airlock activity stopped doesn’t mean fermentation is over. Fermentation is over when the hydrometer readings are the same for a couple of days. For good measure 3-4 weeks is a good timespan for primary. After that you can probably bottle it. Doing Secondary fermentation, transferring into another vessel and allowing suspended yeast to dropout, is not really needed unless you want to.
Buy at least a single packet of dry yeast like safale S04 US05, Notthingham ale yeast and what not, just incase.
Don’t bother trying to make a lager beer on for your first brew unless you have experienced brewers help and guidance and a temperature controlled refrigerator.
Make sure you have enough bottles and bottle caps. 5 gallons of beer is 640 Fl oz which is about 53.3 12Fl oz bottles
Don’t forget to prime your beer during bottling and avoid double priming your beer. Forgetting to prime your beer will result in flat beer, double priming will potential cause explosive beer bottles (Bottle Bombs)
Clean everything after you finish brewing don’t wait for later, do it NOW. I remember in a thread someone forgot to empty and clean their cooler mashtun and the grains started to ferment from the left over sugar inside of it. The result was a funky smell of wild fermentation which also made the cooler mashtun smell.

Not on a serious budget, my biggest problem is that i’m in an apartment and willl have to use stove top. Im still trying to figure out how much thats going to hold me back. And if its even worth trying, as im not brewing to save money, it would be nice, but really I just want to brew to make GOOD beer.

On yeast starters ive been reading alot about them, I would still buy whatever type of yeast I wanted then cultivate that yeast in a starter before putting in fermentor.

Check out that BIAB video I linked - that is all grain in a very small space.

you will probably be limited to being able to boil 4 gallons or less on most stoves. You will be able to do partial boils and then use top off water to make 5 gal batches with the stove. If you want to go further in brewing in the future you can then buy a propane burner or build a electric brew kettle for full volume boils. extract brewing is a nice way to see if you enjoy brewing before you invest in a lot of expensive equipment.

I’m doing full boils on a stovetop for the time being. It takes a wide kettle, so you can put two burners under it. And an exhaust hood - it generates a lot more steam than a partial boil.

Back to Shopping at