Top products from r/Homebrewing

We found 1,048 product mentions on r/Homebrewing. We ranked the 3,215 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top comments that mention products on r/Homebrewing:

u/calligraphy_dick · 4 pointsr/Homebrewing

If there are red flags I'm doing in these pictures, please let me know.

edit:

1st batch: Craft-A-Brew APA Kit

2nd batch: Northern Brewer's 1 Gallon Bavarian Hefe Kit

3rd batch: DrinkinSurfer's Milk Oatmeal Stout Recipe @HBT

If I could start over I would go straight to the 3-gallon batches. I hovered around them but I think it's the perfect batch size for beginners -- 1) Most people have a stockpot lying around the kitchen big enough to hold three gallons, 2) The batches are small enough so you don't have to drink two cases of bad brew, but big enough so if you enjoy it [which I'm thoroughly enjoying my first APA], you'll have plenty to taste and rate the evolution of the flavors over various weeks of priming and give out to family friends who are interested to try out what you made, 3) I ordered 3 Gallon Better Bottles for several reasons including worrying about shattering a glass carboy as a newbie. They also qualify for free shipping on MoreBeer's website with purchases above a certain price. 4) Even though I brewed a 5 gallon batch, and since I'm brewing solo, I'm already not looking forward to bottling the whole batch at once so I plan on breaking up bottling between two days.

For resources, I lurk this sub like a crazy stalker. The Daily Q&A is full of information both crucial and minute. I listen to James Spencer's Basic Brewing Radio podcast and practically substituted it for all music recently. It's family friendly and entertaining [I heard the other podcasts aren't so much]. I read Charles Papazian's Complete Joy of Homebrewing, 2nd ed. and For the Love of Hops by Stan Hieronymus to get a better understanding of the hops varieties and characteristics. I plan on reading John Palmer's How to Brew and Ray Daniels Designing Great Beers in the future, as well as Brew Like a Monk. Also, the HomeBrewTalk stickies in the forums provide good picture tutorials for several different styles of brewing.

I got into homebrewing so I can brew the, then, only beer style I liked: Imperial Stouts. But as I learned more about the balance and flavors of beer I surprised myself by branching out to enjoying other beers [even the odd IPA every so often]. My narrow scope of beer has broadened more vast that I ever would've imagined it. My brother got me this beer tasting tool kit used for blind taste tests so I try to keep good records and actively taste and appreciate craft beers. I even keep a couple in my wallet for tasting beers on draft.

I really wish I had an immersion wort chiller, a bigger boil kettle, a mash tun, and a propane burner. Those few equipment pieces hinder me from exploring more advanced style of homebrew. I intend to upgrade to all-grain but making the switch is really expensive. I'm still in the look-to-see-what-I-have-lying-around-the-house phase equipment-wise.

Which leads me to: don't be scared to spend money while DIY-ing. Many of you have probably seen my (and many others', most likely) shitty stir plate. DIY should be a balance of doing things on the cheap, but still making it work and function well. There's no point in DIYing if you're not going to be happy with it and just end up buying the commercial equivalent anyway. That's where I am right now.. I'm currently trying to salvage a cooler [no-spigot] I found in my garage and turn it into a mash tun instead of just buying a new cooler with a plastic, removable spigot. I'm certain it would make DIY easier but slightly more expensive.

But the suckiest thing for me about homebrewing is that I don't have a car so getting local, fresh ingredients and supporting my LHBSs is a piece of PITA bread.

u/Lithras · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

I have to agree the BBS method isn't exactly the most traditional, but if it's all the equipment you have then go for it.

As for starting with all grain - I'm completely against that. It's pretty complicated (especially with trying to get sanitation and other skills right the first time) and most people aren't willing or able to drop $400 on equipment on a hobby they just started out with.

Now, to OP's questions:

>does anybody have any experience with the Brooklyn Brew Shop's kits?

Unfortunately, no. But they seem simple enough, and if you've read the book like you said, you should have no problem with their kit.

>Was the information in the B.B.S.'s book sufficient to get brewing with their kits?

Yes, should be. But keep in mind they're probably glossing over some details (I'm just guessing here since their method is a bit nontraditional and it's a one gallon kit)

>Is there something else I should read in addition to my book before I get brewing?

You don't have to read anything before brewing. It sounds like you've got a good handle on this kit, but if you're looking for more detailed books about brewing definitely check out The Complete Joy of Homebrewing - more than likely it will encourage you to switch to 5gal brewing. It'll be easier and more fun than your 1 gal batches.

>Is there anything else I should get to make the whole process easier or more efficient?

Honestly, I think you'll find the 1gal equipment kit is not going to be enough. It's a fantastic starter/learning system, but once you brew and read The Complete Joy of Homebrewing you'll probably want a lot more equipment. Come talk to us then :)

In the meantime, welcome to the hobby, and happy brewing!!

u/FishbowlPete · 10 pointsr/Homebrewing

My advice is to start simple.

I know it sounds like I'm being a buzzkill, but hear me out. A great beer isn't defined by the number of ingredients, but rather the harmony of those ingredients and the skill of the brewer. Look at Deschutes' homebrew recipes. Most of their non-specialty beers only have 3-4 items on their grain bill.

Also, if you only have a few ingredients (2-row, a specialty grain or two, carapils if necessary, and one hop variety) it will be easier for you to identify the character of those ingredients in the final beer. This is the first step in knowing your grains and hops. A malt/hop chart can only tell you so much. I agree that it's overwhelming at first, which is why my advice is to constrain your first few recipes to just a few ingredients.

Once you understand the character of the more common malts and hops, it will be much easier for you to start experimenting and adding more complexity to your recipes. You will also have more confidence that the recipe you put together will actually taste like what you want.

My method was to first start brewing recipes aimed at a very specific style. I picked up Designing Great Beers and brewed a few different styles out of that book. Since I knew what the styles were supposed to taste like and I only used a small set of ingredients, I learned how those ingredients contributed to the end result. Once I built up a baseline I felt much more comfortable experimenting. For example, I brewed a very good IPA and tweaked the recipe slightly to make a ginger pale ale that also turned out really great.

As for things like amount of malts and hops, boil time, etc. Get yourself some brewing software like beersmith. That will help you calculate IBUs and whatnot. Beersmith also comes with an inventory that has some info about the max percentage you should use for a particular grain in a batch.

To conclude, keep in mind that it won't all fall together right away. You'll research a ton and then you'll research some more. Just keep making recipes and keep brewing and eventually it will start to click.

u/dildoodlid · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

Welcome to homebrewing!

For that stout you probably want to be around 67, but your beer is fine, don't worry! Higher temperatures can impart off flavors, but at the temperatures you are at, your beer should taste just fine. I use this attached to a wine fridge or chest freezer, and it works wonders for keeping your fermentation temperature consistent (plus you can make lagers).

Cold crashing improves clarity, which is not a big concern for a stout so i wouldn't worry about it for now, it is totally not necessary.

Both of those beers would be good, and there is nothing wrong with extract brewing/kits, don't let anyone tell you different! That being said, i switched to biab (all grain) and have enjoyed it more and gotten better beers.

Lastly, as you get deeper into brewing water will become more of a concern, but for now don't worry too much about it. Grocery store water has two problems. First, you don't know whats in it, though some water companies like crystal geiser post the info online. 2. If it is distilled/reverse osmosis/filtered it will not have much of any minerals which you might want in your beer. Calcium, for example, is important for great beer, though you can add gypsum salt to your water to give it the calcium content you might want.

cheers and good luck with your new hobby, its very rewarding and a lot of fun. let me know if you have any questions and ill try to share my (limited) knowledge

u/lenolium · 7 pointsr/Homebrewing

I'm going to give a little balance to what /u/brock_lee said.

It is very easy to make good beer. It is really hard to make great beer. Doing a partial volume boil with extract and some steeping grains, using top-off water to chill it and then tossing in some dry yeast and setting it in a closet to ferment is how most of us start. Brewing that way produces good beer. The initial beer you make should make you happy.

Many of us however aren't happy with just good beer, we want to make great beer. Like the sauce example above, while making tomato sauce using paste is good enough for most people some people want to go above and beyond, selecting the right type of tomatoes, boiling them down and doing everything with more care and attention to detail.

So in the pursuit of great beer: we set up fermentation temperature control; grow our yeast with yeast starters; use RO water that we control the mineral additions to; switch over to an all-grain brewing method; put everything in to kegs to better control carbonation; use conical stainless steel fermenters; setup electronic brewery controls to better control variables during brewing; crushing our own grain to better control the sugar extraction during mashing. All of these things produce better beer so most of us still have that "one last upgrade" to make to the brewery before we are "done". So like many hobbies there is plenty of enjoyment out there for cheap and a deep dark well of effort, technique and polish out there if you decide to develop your hobby into a craft on a never ending journey for the perfect beer.

Oh, and for a great collection of recipes starting out I would recommend Brewing Classic Styles. A nice wide range of recipes that all have both extract and all-grain versions.

u/beericane · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

How are you crushing your grains? Do you have a mill? I would suggest buying a $5 feeler gauge and setting the gap to 0.037. That should get you very close to 75-80% efficiency.

Also, go buy this thermometer, it's basically the go-to many people here use if you don't splurge for the thermapen. Fast, cheap, accurate and waterproof(!!): http://www.amazon.com/CDN-DTQ450X-ProAccurate-Quick-Read-Thermometer/dp/B0021AEAG2

I've never used brewers friend. If it seems like it does all the calcs for you, great. If not, go buy beersmith for $30 and google brulosopher's beersmith setup videos - you will have nearly perfectly predictable accuracy going into your brew day.

For your process, It's pretty simple:

  • Add your water 5-10 degrees hotter than your strike temp (strike temp is the temp before the grain hits it, when you add grain it will drop to your set mash temp). This is to pre-heat your mash tun. Stir it around until the temp drops to your strike temp, then add your grain.

  • Add grain and try to prevent and balls of grain from sticking together, this can kill your efficiency. Once it's all added, give it a good stir up and double check for clumps and eliminate any you find. Close the lid, wait 5 minutes, stir and check temp. You should be bang on your mash temp, or extremely close. If you are way higher for some reason stir until it drops but the only reason you would be higher is if your calcs were off (grain temp is a huge factor here, enter that data point into beersmith if you've forgotten to).

  • Stir every 20 minutes, just to be sure everything is being soaked properly, until your mash time is up.

  • Drain and re-add gently to your tun (called vorlaufing) until the wort runs as clear as you can get it, and drain the tun, this is called your first runnings.

  • Add your sparge water, likely at around 160-170 degrees. Give it a good stir, let it sit for 5 or 10 minutes to resettle the grain bed.

  • Vorlauf again until the wort runs as clear as you can get it, and drain the tun into your first runnings.

  • Give this collected wort a good stir before taking a reading so you aren't accidentally taking a sample from just your second runnings. If using a hydrometer, make sure you are taking the reading at the correct temperature!!! This is huge. Your wort is hot, it needs to be room temp for the hydro to take a correct reading.

  • MEASURE YOUR EFFICIENCY. If you did everything above, you now have an idea of what you can expect for next time, put your efficiency into beer smith and it will calculate how much grain you need to hit your numbers next time. Your first few batches are kind of guesswork but after 2 or 3 batches you should be hitting very close to the same efficiency numbers (as long as you aren't doing some crazy high ABV beers or whatever, which will be much lower efficiency by their nature).

    Hope this helps.
u/jamello29 · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

Not sure what country you’re in, but I’ve used Northern Brewer and Brewer’s Best for most of my recipes. I started the same way you did with a 1 gal kit APA and was hooked instantly.

I upgraded by buying a kit for ~$100 that came with an IPA extract kit, a primary fermenter bucket, a bottling bucket, airlock, etc that I’m still using 9 batches later. I’ve expanded now to three separate 6 gallon fermenters (they’re only like $20 for the bucket, lid, and airlock!). You’ll definitely want a large kettle as well and I’d recommend getting a hydrometer to test OG and FG so you know the ABV of your beer. All said and done, $200 should get you a really really solid base set!!!!

The biggest thing I can recommend is buying a copy of [The complete Joy of Homebrewing] (https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Joy-Homebrewing-Third/dp/0060531053) by Charlie Papazian, you won’t regret it!

There’s tons of great advice for starters, midrange, and advanced brewers with a lot of good basic recipes. Good luck, and enjoy!

u/lucilletwo · 4 pointsr/Homebrewing

A good profile for WLP 001 California Ale (Wyeast 1056 / Safale US-05) is to pitch around 67F-68F, then monitor the heat and keep the beer temperature (not just the ambient air) around 68F-69F for the first 80% of fermentation. It can help to bump a couple degrees to 70F-71F for that last 20% to ensure you finish fermentation completely and don't get stuck with a few extra gravity points to go.

General Fermentation Temperature tips:

There are some great shows by the Brewing Network on this (itunes podcast or get it from their website) - Jamil does a great breakdown of WLP-001 fermentation profile on the "Jamil Show" about Robust Porters (towards the end of the episode, maybe 3/4 of the way through). They also have a fantastic episode of "Brew Strong" all about fermentation temperature control and why it matters.

Enough about them... First off you want to keep in mind that during the first couple days of a fermentation the temperature will be elevated by a few degrees by the heat generated by the yeast themselves, so if you're fermenting a beer with ambient air at 64F, the beer may be around 67F or 68F. Problems can arise on day 3 or 4, once you're 75% done with the fermentation and that heat source begins to fade; the beer will drop back down to ambient temperature at that point and the yeast may decide to go to sleep early. This is a major cause of incomplete fermentations and can result in a beer that's too sweet at best or create bottle bombs at worst (as that extra sugar slowwwly ferments later)

On the other hand, if you go warmer than around 72F-73F (the temperature of the BEER, not the AIR) then you can start to generate unwanted esters and fusel alcohols. This is particularly impactful on stronger than normal beers (watch out when doing anything over 1.070)

The biggest impact investment i've made to increase my beer's quality and consistency (on par with going all grain) was without a doubt my fermentation fridge. I have a basic dorm fridge that fits a carboy, with a temperature controller hooked up to the fridge's power supply. It allows me to control fermentation at all steps to within about 1/2 a degree, keeping it cool during the initial activity and warming it up at the end to help it finish. There are plenty of resources around the internet if you're interested in doing something like this; i would HIGHLY recommend it.

Edit for some really good knowledge on yeast and fermentation, i'd highly recommend the book "Yeast" by Jamil Zainasheff and Chris White (White Labs)

u/[deleted] · 19 pointsr/Homebrewing

I'm assuming you are talking about these kits.

Mr. Beer seems to have a love/hate relationship in the homebrew community. I would bet that company has gotten more people into homebrew than any other factor.

Probably the best way to do this is Pro/Con

Pro

Nearly Fool Proof

Easy, which is very nice for a first batch

Good beer

Everything comes with it

Con

If you stay with the hobby, you'll likely only use the equipment once or twice.

Not very cheap, considering you'll only use it once or twice

You only learn the bare minimum of the process

While good, it's not great beer by homebrew standards

You don't learn squat about beer recipes

Most homebrew recipes are based around the 5-5.5 gallon standard making the fermenters nearly useless in the future

Really only useful for Mr. Beer recipe kits


Using a "real" kit like I linked to gets you nearly everything you need to fully pursue a homebrew hobby. It allows you to experiment with the complete process - creating recipes, working through the whole brew/fermentation process, racking to secondary, bottling in real glass bottles.

I would definitely recommend going with a 5 gallon equipment kit.

If you didn't notice, the kit I linked to doesn't come with the ingredients, unlike Mr. Beer. Those are bought separately. I believe Mr. Beer recipe kits only come with Prehopped Malt Extract and yeast, which means everything is boiled together and put in a can. When you buy a recipe from a store you will use some Malt Extract, but you also add your own specialty grains and your own hops. This gets you more intense flavor - and again, many more opportunities to learn and experiment. If you have a Local Homebrew Shop (from here on out referred to as your LHBS) that is the best place to buy ingredients as they are somewhat more likely to be fresh. I still order from Midwest Homebrew Supply. I happened to live about 100 feet from them a couple years ago and they take very good care of me -both then and now. Northern Brewer seems to have the strongest following though.

Some tips for when you get into it:

[John Palmer's
How to Brew*](http://www.amazon.com/How-Brew-Everything-Right-First/dp/0937381888/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1252989771&sr=8-1).
Read it once. Twice. Five times. I still read it front to back every few months. Basically, this is the Brewer's Bible. The most complete reference I've ever seen. Other books are more specialized but this is everything you'll need to know for a long time.

Alton Brown's "Amber Waves" from his show "Good Eats"

Part 1 - www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vlv1wBy7Z5w

Part 2 - www.youtube.com/watch?v=HA7jQ6Wwnqk

Some very good information and you wouldn't believe how much it helps to watch the process instead of just reading about it. Some of his methodology isn't perfect (using ice to cool is questionable, jamming a lid into the bucket can be damaging, can't remember if he racks to secondary or not).

Homebrew Talk - forums dedicated to homebrew. If you need quick answers or advice they are more than happy to help beginners. They can also point you to a reputable LHBS
in your area.

Sanitize Sanitize SANITIZE. If you have any doubts about how clean you got something, do everything again. Bacteria will kill beer.

The biggest thing to remember: have fun and don't worry when things go wrong, because they will. I still make mistakes during the process - both new ones and mistakes I've done many times in the past. I haven't killed a batch yet though. Beer is pretty resilient.

u/dwo0 · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

In this post, I'm going to link to examples. They are examples: I'm not necessarily recommending that specific item. (I'm pretty much doing a search on Amazon and linking to the first thing in the search results that is actually what you need.) It's just an example to let you know what you're looking for.

Yes, you will need a metal stockpot. Five gallons should be sufficient.

You will need some type of stirring apparatus. Some would recommend a large metal spoon, but I recommend using a plastic mash paddle.

I would recommend getting some type of thermometer to put on your stock pot. A candy thermometer is where I'd start, but, if this is a hobby that you'll stick with, it's probably worth investing in something better.

Also, I see that they put a hydrometer in your kit. If you want to take measurements with the hydrometer, you'll need either a turkey baster or a wine thief. I'd start with the baster.

If you need a book on homebrewing, Palmer's How to Brew is pretty much the standard, but Papazian's The Complete Joy of Homebrewing is well regarded. Palmer's book is in its third edition, but you can get the first edition of the book online for free.

Depending on the ingredients that you use, you may need common kitchen items like scissors or can openers.

You'll also need bottles. If you brew a five gallon batch (which is pretty typical… at least in the United States), you'll need about fifty-four twelve-ounce bottles. However, you can't use twist-off bottles; they're no good.

Lastly, you'll need ingredients. Different recipes call for different ingredients. My advice is to buy a kit from a local homebrew store (LHBS) or one online. Some kits make you buy the yeast separately. If so, make sure that you purchase the right strain of yeast.

u/Rikkochet · 7 pointsr/Homebrewing

Cool gift idea!

I'd say, first and foremost, that you aren't going to be able to kit out your boyfriend for homebrewing. There are too many styles for different types of equipment, and it gets very expensive... But a basic kit is good enough to brew just about anything, and it gives him the option to buy new items piece-by-piece as he outgrows the starter ones.

If you want to give him a good start in the hobby, get him 3 things:

  1. A brewing starter kit
  2. A good brewing book
  3. A good beer kit

    For a starter kit, it looks something like one of these: https://www.amazon.com/Share-Enjoy-Homebrew-Brewing-Starter/dp/B0179ZH89Y/ref=sr_1_3

    You get a plastic bucket to ferment the beer, cleaning chemicals, hydrometer, bottles, bottle capper, siphon, etc. This should be perfectly adequate for him to brew beer dozens of times before he might want to start tweaking his equipment. The best part is you can replace individual parts of the kit any time you want - it makes it a very flexible upgrade path.


    For a starter book, it's How to Brew all the way. I'm pretty sure everyone in here owns a copy.


    For a starter kit, you can pick kits off Amazon. You should know there's 3 major types of beer recipe:

  4. Pre-hopped extract kits. These are the beer kits you can buy in every grocery store. They're "fine", but my biggest complaint is that 90% of the work is already done for you, so brew day is almost boring.

  5. Extract kits. (Get one of these). They include barley extract (usually in jars of thick syrup, but sometimes in dry powder form), hops to boil, and sometimes some extra things like specialty grains, spices, etc. Here's an example: https://www.amazon.com/Imperial-Blonde-Homebrew-Beer-Ingredient/dp/B00AC7Q4JW

  6. All grain recipes. All grain brewing is the most hands-on you can get homebrewing, but it also requires some extra brewing equipment. The How to Brew book goes over it in great detail, and your boyfriend can decide if all grain brewing interests him.


    So, for all of these things, I gave Amazon links, but you don't have to buy them online at all. I'd strongly recommend looking up local homebrewing stores and just walking in. Most of my local shops are cheaper than shopping online, the staff are fun to talk to (because they really care about brewing), and it's nice to be able to examine some of the things before you buy them.

    Whether you shop locally of online, everything I listed above should come in at less than $150.
u/caphector · 5 pointsr/Homebrewing

Since I see this topic is posted twice, I'm posting my thoughts here as well:

You're missing How to Brew, and Extreme Brewing (while it has a few decent recipes and has lovely photos) isn't that great a book IMO. Designing Great Beers is good, but a bit outdated and IMO is a lot better after you've gotten a few batches done. Haven't read Jamil's yeast book, so I can't comment on it. Brew Like a Monk is a great volume, but doesn't have the general information you want when you're starting out.

I recommend:

How to Brew - The best single reference on brewing I've seen

Radical Brewing - Great for creative recipes and information on different ingredients

Also, just go and brew something. I brewed my first batch without reading any books and it turned out fine. Brewing will help make the texts make more sense, and the texts will then make the brewing make more sense.

u/machinehead933 · 4 pointsr/Homebrewing

That's a perfect kit, you won't really save any money by purchasing the same equipment piecemeal, and there's nothing that will go to waste from that kit.

Something you should pick up, which is not included in that kit is a kettle - as someone noted you can start with something as small as 5G, but I would skip right over that and get a 10G kettle. Do not spend more than $100, this Bayou Classic 44 qt. stainless steel kettle should last you your (5G batch) brewing career.

A wort chiller is (very) nice to have, a vinator and bottling tree really make bottling day much easier. Skip those if you think you'll be kegging any time soon, or want to DIY some other solution. A refractometer makes it easier to check your gravity on brew day, but not very useful after that - more useful in all-grain than extract. Same holds true for a nice digital thermometer. The Thermoworks rt600c is a good inexpensive thermometer - again, not that useful in extract, but you'll need it for all-grain.

Also, when/if you start making your own recipes, get a nice kitchen scale that can read in grams or 10th ounces.

Good luck!

u/mattzm · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

If he's an extract brewer, upgrading to an all-grain setup would be fun. Mash tuns, ported brewing kettles with temperature gauges and sight glasses, a nice gas burner or an all in one BIAB setup like the Unibrau or Wort Hog (especially if you have 240V power available, though 120v options are available). The latter two hit just around $1000 themselves but are ready to go out of the box.

If he's already an all-grain brewer in either multi-vessel or BIAB (or even if he's not), does he have a kegging setup? A good size chest freezer (consult the chart here for model numbers that fit the right number of kegs), a 4 pack of kegs with connectors, a gas manifold, a CO2 cylinder, and an Inkbird temperature controller will fall neatly within the budget range and is a significant "luxury" upgrade to buy all at once.

Already got that? He's probably already got fermentation temperature control if so, but if not, it's a nice one. This option tends to be the most awkward to just buy off the shelf and the temperature controlled conical fermenter I'm seeing runs around $1800, so its a bit out of budget. Again, a fridge or freezer with temperature controller are nice. I'd advise against a conical unless you know it will fit into his fermentation chamber. They are super sweet but they require a setup built with them in mind.

Already got all that? Ok, we're into the hilarious luxury items now. A reverse osmosis water setup? A high end pH meter? A giant stainless steel sink in his brewing area with one of those nifty shower head things for easy water filling and cleaning? A barrel of some kind for ageing? Can't help you past here, I'm too poor!

u/SgtMaj_Obvious · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

They don't get a lot of love around here (though they don't get much hate either I suppose, lol) but I started with a Mr. Beer from the hobby shop. I quickly out grew it, but it was ~$60 and came with two batches worth of extract and yeast and allowed me to figure out that despite the beer not being as great as I'd hoped, I enjoyed the process. So it was definitely worth the money and effort even though I don't use the Mr. Beer anymore.

As far as DIY equipment, most individual parts of the process are relatively inexpensive. You can save money by using Aluminum instead of stainless steel for boiling your wort (unfermented beer), and you can do without things like immersion chillers to cool your wort and use ice-baths instead. But the beautiful thing is you can upgrade different pieces of equipment as you see necessary. You can start out cheap but decide it's worth the $60 to get an immersion chiller. Or if you are handy with metal and such you can make your own! Again, a lot of answers can be gained from books (and here of course!). Like I said earlier, this book is great. I too was afraid of the cost of the hobby and worried I wouldn't like homebrewing and be out a bunch of money. Turns out I enjoy it enough to warrant the cost!

u/JustPandering · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

I built this for about $20 (not including the erlenmeyer and the stir bar).

I got the cigar box a while back at a second hand store.

Here's the USB powered PC fan I used:
http://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-Mobile-Fan-External-Cooling/dp/B00080G0BK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1381376532&sr=8-2&keywords=usb+pc+fan

I chose a usb fan so that I could power it with an android usb phone charger and not screw around with splicing wires.

Here's the magnets I used (just needed one though):
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B1M37MY/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i02?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Aside from that it just took a few odd nuts, washers, and a bit of superglue. I had to bore the hole in top of the cigar box because the box turned out to be a bit too thick (sorry Pepin Garcia!) to get enough attraction between the magnet and the stir bar. I think I might have had better luck with stronger magnets or a different stir bar but oh well.

As someone suggested I first glued a washer to the fan so that I could move the magnet around a but to find the sweet spot where it didn't shake too bad then I glued the washer in place.

I used the long bolts/nuts that came with the fan to attach it to the lid (you can see the bolts in the first picture). Between the top of the fan and the lid I had to add washers to keep the fan from rubbing on the cigar box.

That's pretty much it. The fan has a variable speed control but I get a small vortex on the lowest setting, and higher settings throws the bar off the magnet.

Now I just need to wait for my soda preforms to show up so I can start saving a bit more yeast after I use the stir plate!
http://www.amazon.com/Soda-Bottle-Preforms-Caps-30/dp/B008MB1QNY/ref=sr_1_1?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1381377304&sr=1-1&keywords=bottle+preforms

I got the idea for using the soda preforms from here:
http://www.mikebeer.net/reuseyeast.htm

Cheers

u/LegendofPisoMojado · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

We are short on dedicated homebrew supply shops by me as well. Major city but had none for about a month. Some of the larger liquor stores (Party Mart, Liquor Barn... I know they're chains but not sure if it's just local) have supplies and ingredients. Pretty good selection too. Just don't count on anyone there knowing anything about it. Not sure where you live but there's several in WV according to google.

In the past I've always had good luck with NorthernBrewer.com, but I haven't ordered from them since a LHBS opened near me. And I probably won't since the AB-InBev buyout. But if you don't care about the politics they do a good job.

Stick to extract with at least your first few batches. Do yourself a favor and read a book before you brew. This one was good for me. Opinions vary though. Welcome to the club. Happy brewing.

u/wartornhero · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

pretty much any kit from any online or local homebrew shop. Will do. Most of them come with a fermentation bucket, a bottling bucket, a capper, caps, a hydrometer, some hoses, a bottling wand, and your first recipe kit Some come with carboys or better bottles (plastic carboys) but that isn't necessary for the types of beer you posted. If you are purchasing for Christmas (IE you don't need it within a week) be on the look out for a Midwest starter kit Groupon. 127 dollar value for 64 bucks plus IIRC 25 dollars shipping.

If you purchase from your LHBS you could ask for an upgraded recipe usually for the difference of what you need (say it comes with a 25 dollar recipe and you want a 30 dollar recipe they will only charge you the kit plus 5 dollars.) at least that is what my LHBS did. Also they will be able to help you with what you need.

As for how to brew advice. on top of your kit get him John Palmer's How To Brew It is the best beginners book in my opinion.

Good places to shop for kits

u/h3rbivore · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

IMO you can make pretty decent beer with bottled spring water. Depending on the chemistry of that spring water, it'll make some beers better than others, but spring water generally has a mixture of minerals that tastes pretty good and this often translates to good-tasting beer.

I'd say that the differences you get from water treatment are subtle but effective in making the difference between a pretty good beer and a very good beer.

This book is generally regarded as the classic source for water treatment in homebrewing.

You do not need a pH reader if you use a calculation like that in Bru 'n' Water. I don't have a pH reader, but I definitely want one now.

u/rooksjeff · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

Question One: Fridge Temperature Control
There are several different units available to adjust the temperature of your fridge. The Johnson Controls A419 will control only cold (or heat if rewired), but the Inkbird ITC-308 will control both cold and heat.

I’ve used both and the Inkbird better fit my needs and is less expensive by more than half. There are other options available as well. Google something like “temperature control unit homebrewing” and you have plenty to read. As for wiring your own, I’m sure it’s possible, but I have no expertise in doing so.

Question Two: Carbonation Pressure
There are many different ways to carbonate your beer and several different gas blends available. Oxygen is not a good choice, as it will cause your beer to oxidize quickly - this common tastes like wet cardboard smells.

I only use carbon dioxide (CO2), but I do draft line consulting for a bar that uses a “beer blend” of 80% CO2 and 20% nitrogen. I can’t taste a difference and it pours the same, but that gas blend costs a little more. There may be other reasons to choose a specific blend that I am unaware of.

As for carbonating your kegs, what you described sounds like burst carbonation. Brulosophy has a great write up on different carbonation methods. I normally use the Set It And Forget It method, but will use the Burst method if I’m in a rush.

Question Three: Infusions
Not sure if you mean infusing the beer with flavors in the keg or glass or if you mean adding fruits or other flavors during fermentation.

To infuse in the keg, I use a mess bag to keep the liquid diptube from clogging. To infuse in the glass you can use a coffee press or even a Randall The Enamel Animal.

As for adding things to fermentation, fruits, hops, oak, spices, and liquor all make good additions to the right beer. Google phrases like “beer infusion recipes, “adding fruit to fermentation,” and “keg dry hopping” for more information.

Happy home brewing and good luck. Kanpai.

u/SuckMyJagon_ · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

Wow you're really lucky, I wish I'd got that much to spend on brewing for a grant!

Feel free to ask this subreddit any question at any type of course, and I'm sure we'd also love it if you posted your findings as you study the chemistry too.

Are you completely new to brewing? Do you want to make beer or mead or what?

Some good sources:

Designing Great Beers - Great book full of hard data and numbers on tons of brew related topics. This would be good to use as a reference for experiments.

Brew Judge Certification Program website - This is the official certification site for beer judges and it outlines a large variety brew styles from various types of beer, to styles of mead, and explains what is used to make them, how it should taste, etc.

u/hackler22s · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

A 10-gallon kettle would probably do you well but if you truly want to not have to buy another kettle later on, go with a 15-gallon. That's what I went with right out of the gate and it's been great. I can pretty much do whatever gravity beer I want for a 5-gallon batch and can even do quite a few 10-gallon batches. I pretty much never have to worry about a boil over with it either. When I was looking into BIAB about a year and a half ago, this was the best piece of advice I came across. Bayou makes a pretty solid kettle Bayou Classic

u/the_ubermunch · 9 pointsr/Homebrewing

I think a good way to go about crafting your own recipe is to learn a bit about what makes a particular beer style unique. There are tons of guidelines that differentiate one style of beer from another. It has a lot to do with the amount and types of malt that are used as well as the hops and yeast.

Books like Brewing Classic Styles give you a good "baseline" recipe for each beer style as well as what types of ingredients (and in what proportion) are used to create that style.

You can also use some online recipe database like Brewtoad. There are loads of recipes on there all labeled by style.

One thing that I like to do is pull up 3-4 recipes of a style that I'm shooting for and take a look at the average ratios of each type of malt and hops. Then, I kinda wing it from there based on qualities I want in my beer (higher/lower gravity, lighter/darker color, particular hop varieties, etc...)

The real answer to your question though, is to try a lot of pre-made recipes that work well. The American Homebrewer's Association has tons of great recipes, many of which have won awards. After brewing a lot and paying attention to the ingredients, you'll get a pretty good handle on things you like/dislike about different beer styles and recipes.

u/brock_gonad · 3 pointsr/Homebrewing

drmischief links below - but you REALLY ought to buy and read How to Brew by John Palmer.

It's pretty much indispensable for the noob brewer. It's a great blend of easy to understand process, as well as a good helping of science if you really want to understand what's going on.

Make it through that book, and complement it with Brewing Classic Styles and Brewing Better Beer.

You may not be a book learner, but those books have great references that you can look up mid-brew.

Other than that - find someone to mentor you through a local homebrew club if at all possible. I started with a mentor, and have since passed the torch to other all grain noobs.

u/theCaitiff · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

I hate to say this, really I do because I don't want to be the guy who tells you to start on extract, but get yourself an equipment starter set from one of the big brewers supply places like Northern Brewer or Midwest and a kit beer for your first go round. Caribou Slobber and Dead Ringer are good Northern Brewer kits that anyone can make without fucking it up.

Now, go spend the rest of your investment money on a refractometer (measuring the SG of hot wort accurately is the shit, $25), a couple 5 gallon and 1 gallon paint strainer bags from Lowes/Home Depot (BIAB starter set, $2.48 and $3.98 depending on size at HD), and the book Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil Z(fuck if I can spell his last name).

Once you've decided that; yes, you and your friend are going to be amazing brewmasters some day (I really miss the boundless optimism of my first few brews before I learned to taste the imperfections), read the book cover to cover. Pick out a style you enjoy, brew the next beer based on the recipe in the book (use the all grain recipe and use the strainer bags with Brew In A Bag techniques). Be amazed that you did this!

Next time, screw with the recipe from the book a bit and make it your own. Change the hops to something different. Use a different Specialty Malt. Use a different yeast... Little changes make huge differences so do one at a time.

Kiss your disposable income goodbye.

u/Nickosuave311 · 3 pointsr/Homebrewing

Are you thinking of buying a mash tun "kit" from some place like Northern brewer? If so, then I think those kits are overpriced for what you get. $100 bucks for just the cooler, then $30 for the valve/bulkhead assembly plus another $50 for the false bottom is awfully expensive.

I've pieced together several mash tuns before using cheaper coolers from places like Target, walmart, and amazon. The Coleman Xtreme 70 qt cooler works well, but I currently use an Igloo 52 qt cooler for my 12 gallon batches without issues. I'd be willing to bet that this cooler would do the trick just fine. It's 3 gallons larger and about 1/4 the price compared to the 10 gallon cooler. You'd still need the valve/bulkhead assembly, but instead of the false bottom you can add a bazooka screen and save $35. The downside of this route is a less-than-ideal mash tun geometry, but I hit 86% efficiency yesterday with a 12 gallon batch, plenty good for a home setup.

Are you planning on stepping up batch sizes at some point in the future? If you are, I would future-proof yourself when buying a new kettle and burner. The Bayou Classic KAB4 performs as well as the Edelmetall and Blichmann burners for significantly less cost (they all use banjo burners). This one even includes a high pressure regulator, which means your propane tank lasts longer too.

As far as kettles go, a 15 gallon kettle is great for 5-6 gallon batches and might get you by for double batches if you're careful, but I would suggest 20 gallons instead. Lots of choices on amazon here too: some with holes drilled, some with thermometers built in, and really cheap aluminium stock pots too. If you're a DIY guy like me, you can drill your own holes in a kettle using a step bit, some lube, and patience.

u/kds1398 · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

It's up to you. I used to brew with my brother-in-law. He never read a book or had much knowledge in the why's and hows and we didn't have any issues brewing together. If you only get 1 book, How to brew is it.

See my other list of essentials/optionals in this thread. Any kit is going to contain most everything you need except for a pot. I'd also pick up an autosiphon if the kit doesn't include one.

Lagers definitely need specific temperatures. Well, ales do too, but they are more forgiving. See the guide to fermentation temperature control in the sidebar. I'd suggest starting out with temperature control right away even something simple/cheap like a swamp cooler can do wonders for the quality of your beer. Yeast health (pitching rate, O2, sufficient nutrients, and temperature control) is easily the #1 most important part of brewing great beer once you have the basics down. You're really going to need a fermentation chamber before you can make lagers effectively unless your climate is ideally suited.

IPA/APA/Amber/Brown/Dry stout/Porter are all fairly forgiving styles to start out with.

u/FraggelRock · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

I got started using this book Complete Joy Of Homebrewing I felt this book was super friendly as introductory material.

There is also this book How To Brew I think most people will tell you John Palmer's book is better but honestly both will contain all the information you need to get started. I am sure someone more resourceful than me will be able to direct you to some great (and free) internet resources to take a look at as well.

Edit: A quick Google search yielded This Have fun and welcome!

u/admiralwaffles · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

I'm not sure my approach to recipe formulation is really going to help here, but one of the things you can do to start learning is to taste a commercial beer and try to devise a recipe that you think would clone it. Then, look up clone recipes online and see how close you came. It really helps you understand some of the different flavors that go into beer.

Anyway, I think I can most contribute by sharing some resources I consult when making a brand new recipe. Firstly, I cannot speak highly enough about [Designing Great Beers](http://www.amazon.com/Designing-Great-Beers-Ultimate-Brewing/dp/0937381500 "Not a referral link, so click away"). It gives you a good understanding of the ingredients found most in styles, and a nice history of why they're brewed the way they are.

Next, I spend a lot of time looking at the Homebrew Wiki Malts Chart. It gives you a really good idea of what flavors and properties different malts iwll bring your beers.

Lastly, I experiment. Try stuff out. Re-brew the same recipe with minor tweaks to improve it.

u/essie · 3 pointsr/Homebrewing

Sounds good!

In terms of learning more about beer styles, I'd recommend buying and tasting a bunch of different beers - when you find something you like, make a note of it and do some searching to get a general sense of why it tastes the way it does (usually you'll want to look into the basic types of malts, yeast, and hops used, along with any other ingredients that may be of interest). Sites like Beer Advocate are great resources for learning about new styles and figuring out what you might want to try next, and there are tons of local microbreweries with employees/brewers that are happy to talk with you about what goes into making their beers.

Once you actually take the leap into homebrewing, I'd recommend going to a local homebrew store (like Stomp Them Grapes), chatting with the employees, and picking up equipment and ingredients to do a basic extract-based recipe with steeped grains. My personal preference at that point would just be to jump right in - it's not really that difficult, and you'll learn a lot as you progress. From there, you might check into some local homebrew clubs, get some books like The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, How to Brew, or Designing Great Beers, and start creating your own recipes by tweaking existing ones.

Really, the biggest thing is just to have fun. Beer is surprisingly hard to screw up as long as you follow the basic steps and sanitize everything well enough.

If you have any other questions, or want to chat at some point, feel free to send me a PM. I'm in Boulder, but would be happy to help out if possible!

u/ahoogen · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

As for books on yeast, the first one I read was First Steps in Yeast Culture by Pierre Rajotte and Chris White's Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation

Rajotte's book is a quick read and will give you a great overview of the process of propagating yeast for brewing. Chris White's book (of White Labs) is, IMHO, way more in depth into yeast selection, management and testing. But both offer something that the other does not, so I highly recommend the both of them.

As for books on brewing, I started off with what is basically the bible of homebrewing which is The Complete Joy of Home Brewing by Charlie Papazian. But don't stop there. There are plenty of great books on brewing. Papazian's book will cover the foundations of brewing, but other books that deal with specific styles of brewing will give you a lot more information about how intricate the brewing process is. A lot of this information you can also get from perusing online how-to's and articles about specific practices. There are so many you will continuously learn about ways of making bear you never thought were "standard" or possible.

I read Sibel Institute's Technology Brewing and Malting by Wolfgang Kunze cover to cover. It's really informative, but I would focus on the books above and online resources before tackling Kunze's book.

As far as getting a setup like mine, if what you want is to be able to propagate yeast, you don't need most of what I have. Just start picking up pieces when you can. Start out with getting good at managing and making starters for your brews. That's basically what I do, but I'm starting on a much smaller scale. One vial or package of yeast in 1 litre of wort fermenting for 24 hours will give you great yeast growth (as long as you pay attention to temperature). Get acquainted with that process and you'll be able to jump into more advanced yeast management principles much easier.

u/dmnota · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

Heya, I'm two secondaries away from this stage myself. I bought a book that goes into pretty good detail about where to start and the different styles. Personally, it wasn't exactly what I was looking for so I'll save you what I learned:

I started off making an excel sheet that calculates pretty much everything but SRM (or color). While this is great for me (I have it tell me what each grain/hop/yeast contributes) there's better options. I use qBrew for now. Why these softwares are nice is because they allow you to figure out your style. This leads to OG, color, IBU, etc.

You've certainly got some OG ready in there (qBrew claims around 1.085). And you've definitely got some hops. IMO, I would put some more into the boil. I've only done DH once and haven't tasted it yet, but it seems like you're headed for a very aromatic beer with a mild bitterness. That's a lot of grain (around doppelbock levels IIRC) so you might want to consider upping your boils to match and then overcome that maltiness. Not smart enough to comment on your yeast yet. I'm sure its fine :D

If your hops are providing some earthy tones, I could see some orange bitters being a really cool addition.

Edit: if you get a brewing software: http://www.2shared.com/document/0wxR6IAU/soulfrequencies.html

u/GritCityBrewer · 4 pointsr/Homebrewing

A great book that would answer all your questions is:http://www.amazon.com/Yeast-Practical-Fermentation-Brewing-Elements/dp/0937381969/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1462387187&sr=8-1&keywords=Yeast+book

But I'll give a couple quick responses that hit some highlights:

What is the difference between yeasts? Each yeast strain is a different organism. Each one is going to impart its own flavor profile. Some yeasts leave a lot of flavor behind in the form of esters, phenols, etc (like a saison or belgian yeast). Others will leave little behind and allow the hops or malt to shine (cal ale, us-05). Along with the flavor profile they add, some are more voracious eaters than others so certain strains will give you a lower finishing gravity (san diego). Others may end up more sweet (some english yeasts). Some like to ferment warmer and others cooler. Many times, the yeast determines your beer style more than the grain bill. You LHBS or the yeast manufacturer has literature telling you the yeast profile. Like what temperatures it likes, gravities it may ferment to, flocculation characteristics, and more.

difference between dry yeasts (Safale US-05, Nottingham, etc) and liquid yeasts: Dry yeasts are cheaper to manufacture, ship, and store. They are not recommended for propogating/reusing but they are cheap enough and easy enough to handle that it doesn't matter. Liquid yeasts are better fresh. They can be propogated. THere are more liquid yeasts available than dry. I suggest you go with the yeast that best suits the style you are brewing and not worry about the form it comes in (unless the reasons above impact you).


is low flocculation ever a good thing? Sure. Think about what kind of flavor and appearance you are going for. If you are looking for a beer like a heff, low flocculation may be desired because you want the yeast flavor to be perceived in a beer and it is not supposed to be a clear beer. High flocculating yeasts may also drop out to quickly resulting in incomplete fermentation. For example: if you don't have a fermenation chamber and your house gets cooler at night a high flocculator may drop out and you could end up with a stalled ferment. You could also end up with more diacetyl in the finished beer since it didn't finish up.

u/thatmaynardguy · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

Best advice is to take an existing recipe that is known to be a good example of the style and start there. This is why Brewing Classic Styles is such an ubiquitous book in most homebrewer's libraries. There are other sources too like the AHA Recipe Archive (although some are locked behind membership), Brewers Friend, or Beersmith. Starting with a good, known recipe helps you learn the style as well as the nuances of the brewing methods for it.

Second piece of advice: Avoid the kitchen sink problem. With big, bold beers like this it is soooo tempting to start adding "all the things" and then you end up with a muddled, murky thing. I've had a lot of Imperial Stouts that have this issue. Especially Xmas stouts with every single spice in the cabinet thrown in. (Not that any of my brews have ever had this problem, nope!) Just focus on learning the style and a couple of main flavors. I just brewed one yesterday that's targeting chocolate and cinnamon as "high points" with some minor other ingredients to play support (a pinch of vanilla for example to augment the chocolate).

Finally, don't be afraid to make less in either ABV or volume. When you have limited space (I'm in this boat as well) it's important to get rid of the "I must make 5 gallons!" mentality. Consider making a half batch at 8% ABV instead of trying to force a full batch at 12%. Big beers in a BIAB set up can be tricky to accomplish.

Have fun, be sure to post results! Cheers.

u/Deranged40 · 3 pointsr/Homebrewing

Mash tun cooler (this is probably cheaper at your local hardware store or wal mart) Also, this isn't the only cooler that works. Pretty much any plastic cooler works. But you'll need a different false bottom if you use a chest cooler, which may allow you to mash bigger batches.

Weldless Ball Valve Just take the plastic valve off the cooler and screw this one on. Will work on most any cooler you choose.

False bottom Put this at the bottom, connecting the silicon hose to the ball valve and the top of the false bottom.

3/8" barb You'll need to screw this onto the ball valve on the inside of the mash tun to connect the silicon hose to.

Honestly, if you've already got a kettle that can boil 6 gallons, you're good to go there, and just add this to the mix. Otherwise, pick up a Stainless Steel Brew Kettle.

This whole setup comes in just under $200 but you'll need some hoses and some hose clamps as well. But I'm sure that if you shop around (even on amazon) you might find better deals than I linked. But that's the gist of it. And there's no need to stick with the specific brands I linked. But just make sure to stick with stainless steel for the kettle, ball valve, and connecting accessories and food-grade plastic for the cooler. And any hoses need to be high temp hoses. Silicon is ideal.

This is by no means the "only" way to do it, but a great start down the road. You may also choose to use a pump. It has advantages and disadvantages. You can make great beer with and without one.

u/BeerIsDelicious · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

Awesome! Welcome to the greatest hobby there is. If you are really interested in creating your own recipes, Designing Great Beers and Radical Brewing are two of my favorite resources. The former is very technical and contains detailed information on ingredients and how the play with other ingredients to affect the flavor of your beer. The latter is a great, well-rounded brewing book that focuses a lot on brewing with non-conventional ingredients, and how to use them in your recipes.

u/kzoostout · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

I have a Blichmann burner and I love it, but a Bayou Classic KAB4/6 is more or less the same thing with a lower price and a few drawbacks (painted metal v. SS, the Bayous hold the pot farther away from the burner, Blichmann claims superior fuel efficiency). The Edelmetal from Northern brewer seems like it's in the middle. They all have the big-ass banjo burner which I feel is the key component.

I'm using Bayou Classic 16 gallon kettles and I'm pretty happy with them, too. They seem like a good mix of quality and affordability. I got mine for $125 last year. They're a little higher right now. You can often find open box discounts on amazon's warehouse page. I've got a SS pickup and a 45 degree elbow from bargainfittings.com that works well. If you have a pump, I also use the spincycle whirlpool arm from brewhardware, and I like that, too. Only drawback is cleaning it when you use hop extract.

I haven't brewed 10 gallon batches, but I'd look into upgrading your chilling system, too, if you don't have a nice one right now. And thinking about how you will manage it so it will work on your burner. 10 gallons of boiling wort is nothing I want to try to move.

u/_MedboX_ · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

I started with the Williams kit and it's been great over the last year. It's for extract, but could be upgraded to all-grain pretty easily.

There are cheaper kits out there somewhere, but this was the only one I could find (at the time) that came with a pot (pre-drilled) and wort chiller.

For your first brew, I would advise to follow a kit, and then make the same kit again for your 2nd brew. It will familiarize yourself with the process, and back-to-back beers are a great way to see how process improvement affects the taste and quality of your beer. It might sound boring, but once you got the basics down, then you can really go buck wild with your own recipes. Makes for a lot less hard lessons.

Use the search bar first, but don't be afraid to post questions, this sub is pretty helpful to new guys.

Other helpful tidbits

Brulosophy

Mad Fermentationist


BrewUnited

The Bible

The other Bible

Edit: Many edits...

u/jelousy · 3 pointsr/Homebrewing

Hey, welcome to reddit, I haven't read the complete joy of home brewing yet but one book I do recommend as something every one should read is "How to Brew" by John Palmer.
He starts off with the absolute basics like sanitation then has a really well structured progression from extract brewing through nutrients, how all your temps and proteins work, water chemistry, all grain brewing even how to fabricate your own equipment! Definitely cant praise it enough, I know it certainly made me step my game up lol.

the first edition is free online http://www.howtobrew.com/
But I highly recommend getting the hard copy 3rd edition and for $5 secondhand you really cant say no lol http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0937381888/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=

u/dlyford · 7 pointsr/Homebrewing

Since he has never brewed before I would recommend a basic kit. I'm not saying that you have to get this from NB, but this is an example what comes in a starter kit. I strongly recommend purchasing, How to Brew by John Palmer. This book will clear up a lot of brewing mysteries.

I'd also recommend going to your local homebrew store (LHBS) and ask them for help. If you have one close by, and they are any good, they can be an invaluable source of knowledge for a new brewer. Good luck, this can become a life long hobby if he chooses to pursue it.

As your husband grows into the hobby he will

u/TheRealFender · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

Can you force carb/keg? If so, your options are pretty wide open.

If not, you're going to have to do something pretty quick, like an American wheat. According to Designing Great Beers, many 2nd round winners for the AHA's NHBC have been all-extract wheat beers. Go with a two cans of Briess wheat LME and 2 pounds wheat DME (or just 8 pounds DME), some noble (Hallertau/Liberty/Mt.Hood) hops at 60 and 10 and Wyeast 1010. This yeast is pretty forgiving on fermentation temps as well. You could go with 8 - 12 ounces of crystal 10 or 20 or carahell for steeping grains to add a little more character. Make a big starter so it ferments quickly and you get a healthy fermentation.

u/hornetjockey · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

I'm not a fan of Mr. Beer, but there are people making great beer with it. However, what you will want to get is a starter kit from the likes of Midwest Supplies, Northern Brewer, or Brewer's Best. This plus a kettle (at least 4 gallons) will set you up for extract brewing.

If you want to brew all-grain, upgrade that kettle to at least 7.5 gallons (I recommend 10 gallons) and build a mash tun.

Edit: If you go all-grain, you're likely going to need a propane burner to get all that wort boiling. IMO, the best bang for the buck is the Bayou Classic SP10.

u/realmccoy_ucf · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

Don't overlook The Joy of Homebrewing. A lot can be learned. It may not be as in depth as Designing Great Beers, but it probably has all the information you need to make a good first shot.

Also, to design a beer that you love, you need to understand what are the characteristics in your favorite beers. So starting with a clone recipe of a favorite beer and tinkering with it is a great thing to do too.

u/bluelinebrewing · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

This is the thermometer that usually comes up in discussions of bang-for-buck value: https://www.amazon.com/CDN-DTQ450X-ProAccurate-Quick-Read-Thermometer-NSF/dp/B0021AEAG2

There are reasons why chilling quickly is important (protein break for clearer finished beer, reduced risk of infection, DMS concerns if you're doing all-grain), but for the most part, it won't change the way your beer tastes.

The exact same wort fermented with the same yeast at different temperatures will taste different. Depending on the wort and the yeast and the temperatures, it might not be that different, but the typical ale fermentation temperature range is lower than you want to keep your house. Fermentation creates heat, as well, so if your house is at 68, there's a good chance your beer is cranking away at 76 or 78, which is a great way to get something that tastes like rubbing alcohol and banana Laffy Taffy.

I still recommend getting a wort chiller, but the biggest improvement in the quality of your beer will come from controlling fermentation, and the biggest part of that is controlling the temperature.

u/GradesVSReddit · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

Good luck! I'm still a beginner but a great book that I've been using to help me is The Joy of Homebrewing. Hope that helps.

u/Lev_Davidovich · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

If you want 100 bottles per batch, that means 10 gallon batches, so you'll want at least a 15 gallon brew pot. You'll need a burner as well. And if you're planning on doing all grain I think the best option for a mash tun is another 15 gallon kettle with a false bottom. For 10 gallon batches I also suggest a pump, moving that volume of liquid from vessel to vessel without a pump really sucks. If you have a pump you also might as well get a plate chiller if you don't already have a nice chiller.

I agree with Machinehead933 that you should also get a fridge or freezer with temperature controller for fermentation. Good fermentation temperatures are essential. A grain mill is also a good suggestion if you don't have a LHBS with a good grain mill.

Here is a list of my suggestions:

u/Justbeermeout · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

If you want to learn a whole lot about the subject of brewing water I found this book to be really useful (if a little dry to read).

https://www.amazon.com/Water-Comprehensive-Brewers-Brewing-Elements/dp/0937381993

I think it is actually easier on some level to start with RO (for brewing purposes RO water is very close to distilled and generally way cheaper) and then just "build" your water from scratch at least for some styles. Pilsners are a good example because Plzen, Czech Republic has famously low mineral water and very few other places have such water. So the best option for an "authentic" Czech Pils is to start with water with essentially no minerals and add back tiny amounts.

Other styles of beer became what they are in order to make the best possible beer with the water the brewer historically had to deal with. So Irish stouts are obviously well suited to Dublin's water profile and English IPAs well suited to Burton water, etc. And with RO water, a good scale, and a few powdered minerals you can pretty straightforwardly replicate the water from anywhere in the world.

If you don't use RO water it gets a little bit trickier in that you have to know what you are starting with regarding minerals in your tap water. That's harder for some than others. Where I live, my municipal water is pulled from three different sources, they all have slightly different mineral profiles, and it's not as though the city tells you when they switch from one source to another. On top of that, because they are all sourced from surface water, their mineral content will change depending on time of year (winter water vs. spring runoff water for example). So unless you pretty routinely have your water tested (expensive to do often) you don't necessarily know what your starting mineral levels are... which makes getting your mineral additions right tricky. Luckily I have pretty good water for brewing IPAs and that's what I brew most often. But when I brew a pils I start with RO (and add very little), when I brew a stout I try to get a little closer to Dublin water by using filtered tap, baking soda, and chalk, and like I mentioned when I do American IPAs I only have to add a little gypsum. I don't try to replicate water from around the world exactly, but I do try to get my water closer to the recommended ranges.

You can get as deep into water profiles as you like, from trying to completely replicate the water where a style originated to just adding a couple of minerals to get somewhat closer to those "ideal" ranges. It's one of those subjects we can nerd out on as much as we like.

u/VolsPE · 4 pointsr/Homebrewing

Fermenter

I would recommend any of the wide mouth, plastic fermenters. IMO they're all pretty similar. They are so easy to clean. Just make sure you only use a soft rag or sponge. Don't use anything remotely abrasive.

Heating Element

I use this guy. But that's only for heating the entire chamber. It doesn't put out a lot of heat, and I haven't tried using it in the full harshness of winter, with temps in the single digits. I like the heat belt idea, but most of my brews are 10+ gallons split up into multiple fermenters, so I try to keep the entire ferm chamber the same temperature.

Gloves

Two suggestions: Those Blichmann gloves look better than what I use.

But also, consider sparging instead of squeezing. I suspend my brew bag above the kettle, and I do a super lazy "sparge." I just have room temperature, pH and mineral adjusted water on hand. And I just pour it slowly into the top of the brew bag.

It sounds like a terrible technique, and maybe it is. But my efficiency jumped quite a bit once I started doing this. And I don't have to screw with squeezing a super heavy, steaming hot grain bag over my head.

u/gromitXT · 4 pointsr/Homebrewing

Yeast. Highly recommended.

Brewing With Wheat. Great book, but you'll get the most out of it if you feel comfortable taking some basic parameters and building a recipe yourself.

Radical Brewing. Lots of weird stuff, but I thought it was surprisingly strong on the basics, too.

Brewing Classic Styles. Good resource for tried and true recipes. One or two recipes for each BJCP style might be either a strength or a weakness, depending on how varied your brewing interests are.

u/ThisIsCuylerLand · 4 pointsr/Homebrewing

Like most water reports, that one lacks most of the brewing-specific pertinent info. Call or email your provider and they'll give you the complete report.

Taste is FAR more important than content, IMO. Make sure you enjoy drinking the water out of the tap before you brew with it. I personally HATE my local water, so I get the filtered dispenser water at my grocery store. For hoppy beers, I add 2-4g of gypsum(/5gal), for non-hoppy beers I add the same amount of CaCl. Either way, the yeast need Calcium. I like to keep it simple, unless I know I want a specific mineral profile for a beer style.

Generally on water:

Palmer does a great job setting the foundation. http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter4.html
If you really have not read anything yet, this is an excellent place to start (you will likely be told a lot of conflicting info on this topic, which would be confusing even IF most people used a common vocabulary, which is of course not the case).

The "Water" addition to the Brewing Elements series is pretty new, so the stuff discussed in there won't be common knowledge most likely. http://www.amazon.com/Water-Comprehensive-Brewers-Brewing-Elements/dp/0937381993/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383162459&sr=8-1&keywords=water+book
That one is next on my list, "Yeast" was the best brewing book I've read since "Brewing Better Beer."

Cheers!

u/Cgn38 · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

You don't need to spend that much for the same level of quality, contact thermometers come in two varieties the typical kitchen thermometers and ones with thermocouples, thermocouples read fast and are very accurate.

I got this one, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0021AEAG2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

reads just as fast as the 100 buck thermopen, is water resistant, and most importantly can be calabrated, (you just put it in a glass of water and ice and hit calibrate) The one I got read within one degree of our slow fragile but very accurate glass alcohol thermometer.

16.22 on amazon free shipping with 35 bucks worth of stuff with 900 plus reviews. also got this one.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0084JQL1Q/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

gives you two reading from two standard k type thermocouples (you can order many different varieties all just plug in) large lcd display and can be calibrated.

18.67 I have not used the double thermometer yet but im pretty sure it is going to work well, may have to order longer k type sensors the ones that came with it are only one meter.

Hope this helps. Brew on!


u/kalvaroo · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

Congrats! I would recommend doing some reading before you dive in. The Complete Joy of Homebrewing Third Edition is a good read as well as How to Brew which is available online and free.

Edit: I read The Complete Joy of Homebrewing cover to cover before I bought any equipment. I started with extract brews bought as a recipe kit, my first few were strictly extract then I got into using specialty grains. I did around 12 batches this way before I put together a DIY mash tun and stepped into all-grain. There's a good learning curve involved, be patient and don't get too far ahead of yourself. I've had buddies try to do that and their equipment ended up on Craig's List.

u/jimmy_neutrino · 16 pointsr/Homebrewing

Holy smokes! I almost didn't send my Dunkelweizen in, because I didn't think it was very good.

Here are all the details about the two winners, in case anyone is curious (I can also post this somewhere else, too):

  • It was my first time making both styles (Saison and Dunkelweizen)
  • I did 10 liter (2.6 gal) brew-in-a-bag batches, both with dry yeast
  • Both recipes were from Brewing Classic Styles, but I subbed and tweaked ingredients based on what I had available.
  • I used Bru'n Water for my water adjustments (Martin's actually in my homebrew club), and did my grain and hop calculations by hand.

    Anyway, the recipes:

    Walla Walla, Wallonia (Saison)

    Fermentables:

  • 80% Avangard Pilsner
  • 8% Table Sugar
  • 6% Briess White Wheat
  • 6% Avangard Light Munich
  • 1% Dingeman Cara 45

    Hops/Boil:

  • 60: 27 IBU German Tradition
  • 20: Irish Moss
  • 20: Yeast Nutrient
  • 0: 0.75 oz German Tradition (for 5 gal)
  • Dry: 0.75 oz German Tradition (for 5 gal)

    90 min mash at 147F

    60 min boil

    Yeast: Danstar Belle Saison

    Water Profile: Bru'n Water Yellow Balanced

    Der Onkel (Dunkelweizen)

    Fermentables:

  • 54% Briess White Wheat
  • 24% Avangard Light Munich
  • 16% Avangard Pilsner
  • 3% Dingeman Special B
  • 3% Briess Crystal 40
  • 1% Weyermann Carafa II Special

    Hops/Boil:

  • 60: 16 IBU German Tradition
  • 20: Irish Moss
  • 20: Yeast Nutrient

    60 min mash at 152F

    60 min boil

    Yeast: Safbrew WB-06

    Water Profile: Bru'n Water Brown Full


    If anyone has any questions, let me know. What a great competition!

    Jimmy
u/theGalation · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

If you can tell the difference between extract and all grain it's not necessarily the ingredients but the brewers level of skill. Ray Daniels lays out reasons why you can make great beer with extract.

As zebbielm12 pointed out, you'll get better tasting beer with Ferm Temp control than you will doing AG. But AG is cheaper to get into and provides another level of fun to brew day. I'd recommend using equipment you probably already have to do a partial mash. I just picked up a 2 gal cooler and some paint stainer bags for <$15.

Finally, to answer your question, I have. Sounds like we have the same beginnings. I didn't want to waste money transitioning to AG and went straight too it. I found it was annoying to have all of that equipment in a small apartment so I went to extract with steeping grains. I'm able to brew more and enjoy having less things to worry about.

u/Das_Hos · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

I got my AG kit at northernbrewer.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/all-grain-equipment/deluxe-all-grain-systems/fermenters-favorites-essential-all-grain-brewing-starter-kit-10-gallon

that's the one, except I have the old high school football game orange coolers. I know for a fact you can make those yourself for cheaper, but that's not exactly the sorta thing I'm good at!

Some people love carboys. I did, too, until I dropped one. I swear to God, it was a friggin miracle nobody got hurt, especially since my kids were nearby. Now they have plastic carboys, but honestly, fermentation isn't really that exciting to look at. Buckets are way cheaper, easier to move, and they don't explode if you drop them (your hands are going to be wet A LOT). When I'm done with the mash, I usually have like....ohhh I dunno about 6.5-7 gallons of wort to start off with, so you're definitely gonna want a nice big kettle. I have an 11 gallon kettle because fuck boil-overs. (http://amzn.com/B000VXHKMC).

So you've already got your fermentation bucket, right? That's really all you need other than a bottling bucket. Some people do secondary fermentation, but man, that's just more hassle IMO. Exposes the beer to oxidation and contamination and it's really unnecessary when you can do all of your additions in your primary bucket. The syphon, hydrometer, bottling wand.....the buckets.....the mash tuns....did I forget anything? Maybe an extra kettle for sparging. I have that 11 gallon one and a 5 gallon one that I use for sparge water, but the only reason I have that smaller one is because I went extract first, then "graduated" to AG. Oh, helpful tip for extract brews, try doing a full volume boil, it just makes it better...and I prefer DME to LME, but that's personal opinion.

Oh snap I did forget something.....the wort chiller. These things are awesome, and chill your wort much faster than an ice bath, in my experience. Sorry for rambling!

u/RedbeardCrew · 3 pointsr/Homebrewing

I gave this post to someone else asking a similar question:

How I started was an extract kit and simple brewing kit that included a couple of buckets, 5 gallon carboy, cleaning brushes and cleaning and sanitizing solutions. Plus some air locks and other stuff you need. It was like $75 or at most $100. Kinda like this kit but without the kettle and it had a glass carboy. That kit is better than the one I had but the same brand. I had a turkey frying kit my brother had bought me like six years earlier but I had never used so I used the kettle and propane burner for brewing instead. Worked pretty well for a while. I did like six or seven extract batches batches my first couple years. Then I moved to all grain and built a mash tun from an igloo drink cooler and using a stainless steel braided line like this but I made my braid into a circle to avoid crushing it with the weight of the grain. For two years after I moved to all grain I just brewed recipes from Brewing Classic Styles twice a month till I felt like I had my process down before messing with doing my own recipes or doing more difficult styles. Hope some of that helps you get a start.

Just look at More Beer, Adeventures in Homebrewing or some other online homebrew store if you don’t have a local store and buy any extract kit that is an IPA and follow the instructions.

u/Jwhartman · 3 pointsr/Homebrewing

How to Brew is pretty widely excepted as the must have piece of reading material. There is an online version, but it is pretty outdated. Definitely spend a few bucks and buy the most recent edition. It is totally worth it. Other than that I think Brewing Classic Styles is great to have around as well regardless of skill level.

u/Brew_Wise · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

I think one issue here is that the terms "lagering" and "cold conditioning" have become synonyms which isn't exactly right to my understanding.

Traditional lagering is the process of cooling down the wort slowly in a way that doesn't shock the yeast into dormancy, which can cause more flavor compounds (mainly esters) to express and allows lager yeast to continue to uptake compounds in the beer down to the conditioning temperature.

Cold conditioning is the same for both lager yeast and ale yeast insofar as causing some compounds to drop out. Ale yeasts by and large don't do well at cold condition temperatures so instead of doing all the extra meddling with temperatures, we just usually crash to the condition temperature. From that point on they're essentially the same.

I've played with lagering ale yeast before and it did seem to reduce esters and produce a very clean beer compared to regular crashing, but I didn't do a triangle or anything so confirmation bias is in play. If you have the ability to lager, I would strongly suggest playing with it to see what the process does for ya. Might also be a great brulosophy experiment to compare lager to crashing, hmmmm....

There's more detailed info on page 114 in Yeast by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff. A great book but not a casual read =)

u/ab_bound · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

You are asking an excellent question.

Extract is good starting point; most of us started with that and made very drinkable beer. It is nice as all of the variables are taken care of for you - all you need to do is boil the extract, add the yeast, and make sure kept everything sanitary. If you follow the directions, you will have a beer at the end of it.
It is my belief that most people will encourage that route as it is a nice way to ease into homebrewing.

The downside of extract kits, especially in Canada, is that they can be pretty darn pricey. My LHBS (local home brew store) sells the Brewer's Best 5 gallon extract kits for between $80-90 a pop (probably cheaper other places - don't get me started on my LHBS...) whereas I can throw together a similar 5 gallon all-grain brew for around $20-40 depending on what I am making.

Most brewers will transition from a few extract brews to all-grain, or at least to the BIAB (Brew in a Bag style) all-grain brewing. And, most people will then need to purchase a larger kettle, somewhere in the realm of 8-10 gallons is often suggested.

I would have no qualms about someone jumping straight into all-grain brewing right away. Most of us get there anyways, and really it is not all that difficult after you get the hang of it.
Pick up a copy of John Palmer's How to Brew and Brewing Classic Styles and you will be set with a good resource on brewing and quality, tested recipes. A bit reading, this sub, and YouTube will make a good homebrewer out of you. Also, Homebrew Talk is a great resource for all things beer making.

Others want to just dabble in some beer making before spending that kind of cash on a set-up to discover that they actually don't like doing it or don't have the time/space/patience for brewing.

So, my personal recommendation is, if you are up to the task of taking on all-grain brewing sooner than later but want to do a few extract brews first, is to buy a kit that doesn't have a kettle and instead purchase an 8-10 gallon kettle separately. It will handle extract brews and all-grain. Everything else that comes with the basic kit you will use whether you are an extract brewer or an all-grain brewer so you don't lose anything, and are actually ahead if you do go all-grain.

u/beeps-n-boops · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

> Roasted malts will lower the pH of the mash more than pale malts

The gold star answer right there! ::cheers::

You have to tailor the water to the specific grain bill of each recipe, so that you end up with both the correct mash pH as well as an appropriate mineral balance for the desired flavor.

(As an aside, this is a key factor in how different regions adopted certain beer styles way back when... they didn't understand the chemistry going on in the mash, but they learned through experience that certain types of beers came out better or worse than others, because of the water available to them.)

I cannot recommend Bru'n Water highly enough... I've been using it for years, and the quality of my beers -- which were pretty good to begin with -- skyrocketed. Some beers were substantially improved, others had an "intangible cohesiveness" that they never had before.

I also went for the paid version, more to give Martin some compensation for all of his hard work than the added features (although the added features are nice).

I will also mention that once I got a pH meter, the measured results were nearly spot-on to the calculated results in Bru'n Water.

IMO Bru'n Water is far far far far far better than the water chemistry module in any of the major brewing software.

I also recommend the Water book, although it's not for the timid. I have no chemistry background (I'm a designer and audio engineer/musician, much more right-brain than left-brain!) and it's taken me a while and multiple re-reads to wrap my head around some of it... but IMO it was well-worth the effort.

u/Cake954 · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

A lot of people are saying sanitation here but not saying how to go about it. Use StarSan (can get from any brewing supply store, Northern Brewer for me). For extract kits, it is unnecessary to take gravity readings, but still fun! I recommend this book if you haven't read it already. Take your time, relax, and have a beer. Good luck!

Edit: Someone did say StarSan, my apologies.

u/epk22 · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

"Laws" as in the legality of it or like actually homebrewing procedures and principles? The former, your state probably has some info online. The latter, How to Brew is a good start. AHA is another good stop (which may also have links to your state ABC info as well if that's what you meant) - they have a tutorial section. There are a plethora of books as well; The Complete Joy of Hombrewing is one that people recommend (haven't read it myself) and on the more advanced side the Brewing Elements series are great for brewing in general.

u/Thrillingtonn · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

I'd highly suggest picking up a book. It also wouldn't hurt to head on down to your local homebrew shop and ask for advice/starter kit recommendations. Most shops are very friendly. If you have any friends or co-workers that brew try and shadow them for a brew or two. Just being there to observe the process helps a ton. Also, welcome to the club! It's a great hobby that can be very rewarding. :D

u/sunburnt · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

Interestingly enough, I just started picked up Radical Brewing, which was published in 2004. The first chapter on beer history points out loud and clear how American craft brewers unencumbered by centuries of tradition are experimenting and innovating into quite a vital and amazing beer culture. As I read that I was thinking that, since American craft brewing market is getting saturated in some (many?) areas of the country, maybe it'd be interesting to start a craft brewery some place in Europe. It's good to see someone--Stone--giving it a shot.

BTW, I haven't been to Europe since the late nineties. So, I don't have any first-hand experience with beer culture there. If the original premise is inaccurate, I'd be really interested to hear about it.

(Based on the little that I've read of the book so far, Randy Mosher--the author--is probably a Stone fan.)

u/kadozen1 · 4 pointsr/Homebrewing

Brewing Classic Styles is very good. It has extract and All Grain recipes for every BJCP style, the style guidelines as well as giving a quick run down of how to tweak the recipes while staying in those guidelines. If you're looking to adhere to specific styles, this is a great place to start, but it is pretty set on the styles.
 

As /u/Mazku pointed out, John Palmer's How to Brew is the standard. If you are a science major, honestly I can't think of a better place to look. The link I provided is to the free edition Palmer offers and it isn't a trial, it's packed with in depth information. There are newer editions available for purchase, but free is for me.

u/discontinuuity · 3 pointsr/Homebrewing

It's usually cheaper to buy everything you need separately than buy a kit. Or check out craigslist; lots of homebrewers will sell their equipment if they are moving or if their wife is nagging them :)

Lots of restaurants and bakeries throw out perfectly good food-grade plastic buckets, and will save one for you if you ask.

An airlock, a bottle of Star-San, crown caps, and a bottle capper from the local homebrew store will run you about $35, plus another $35 for all the ingredients necessary for a batch of beer. You'll also need a large stock pot and maybe a racking cane.

Recipes and advice are free on the internet, or you can buy a book. I suggest The Joy of Home Brewing.

The moral of the story is that for about the same cost as a Mr. Beer kit and ingredient pack, you can make twice as much beer, and at a better quality.

u/camham61 · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

You can look at my recent post to see how mine is coming. I am doing it with a new 7.1 igloo that I got from best buy for about $200 tax included. I bought a 3 tap system from kegconnection with a dual regulator and all stainless hardware and perlicks. That came to about $370, which is a lot BUT everyone recommends it, and if you're going to fucking do it, you might as well fucking do it right.

I probably spent close to $100 on materials for the collar, BUT this is my first real project and I didnt have a lot of tools/screws/misc stuff around to put that together so about $30 of that would go there.

I got a temp controller on amazon for $16 and an extention cord at home depot for ~$10, and have some leftover electrical accessories from my previous TC build so YMMV there.

I bought these dehumidifiers on amazon for $32

I bought two converted ball lock kegs from cornykeg.com for $100 with shipping and it was a breeze to clean them even thought they said they would be cleaned already.

I then got a 10lb steel air tank from adventures in homebrewing for $60 which I thought was a steal (steel hehe).

So this puts me close to $900. Which is $300 less than a very DIY-spirited blog post like this says it will cost. Sure I havent bought the last two kegs, but I then would still be $200 short of it.

There are some suggestions by the other guys in here that will save you money, and I'd say that my attempt is a little bit of combining both.

Hope I was some help!

u/veggiter · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

I've only brewed twice with extract, but I'd like to get into all grain, at least starting with biab.

The pot I use now is pretty small, so I'm thinking I want to get a new one that would be good for biab, but that I could potentionally still use for other methods in the future if I feel like it or want to make a larger quantity or something higher gravity.

I was looking at something like this or one of these, but I'm wondering if it makes sense to get it tricked out with the false bottom and the thermometer and stuff. Are those kettles and acessories that would lend themselves to the different methods?

Also, are the built in thermometers really always shit, and am I really better off getting a thermapen? I'm not super concerned about price (within reason), but for some reason I need convincing or clarification on the thermometer.

One other thing: what kind of bag should I get?

u/Aquascaper_Mike · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

My top suggestion would be "How to brew" By John Palmer or "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing" By Charlie Papazian and read before buying anything. You will get a strong understanding of the process and be able to make sure it's something you will want to do before dropping $100 dollars on getting started.

If you want to jump in with smaller batches (1 Gallons) I would suggest buying one of Brooklyn Brew Shops kits or another small batch kit. The process is pretty much the same just in smaller portions. If you decide from there you want to go bigger you always can and then you have a better grasp on the process and what will be needed to make better beer.

u/georgehotelling · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

Designing Great Beers has a lot of good advice on what goes into a recipe. Books like How To Brew and Complete Joy of Homebrewing spend of lot of time on the "how", Designing Great Beers does a good job with the "why" of recipes.

u/kingscorner · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

The Complete Joy of Homebrewing is on the front page right now, it is an excellent book and a must read. One that really helped me out as well is Designing Great Beers. YouTube also has a lot of great videos of people showing you the basics.

I would also second brendanmc6 comment to jump to Brew-in-a-Bag. Get some extract batches under your belt so you can understand the entire process but purchase equipment geared towards Brew-in-a-Bag, brewing will become so much more enjoyable!

Cheers!

u/neutral_response · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

You should check out the book "Brewing Classic Styles - 80 Award winning recipes" by Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer.

All the recipes are extract with an all grain option. I made the Blonde Ale from there to give to my friends, as that is an easy to like style for people not very familiar with craft beers. They all approved :)

Amazon Link

Here is the recipe for the Blonde Ale

u/HopsOnTheGreenLine · 8 pointsr/Homebrewing

Both kits will get you started. I started eight years ago with something like the $90. kit. The second bucket is not necessary but if you stick with brewing for some time you likely will purchase a second fermenter, this mostly allows for you to clear your beer of some of the sediment. I recommend going with $100.00 kit as you can brew more often as you will have a primary fermenter open on a faster basis if you move beers to the secondary after a week. I also recommend purchasing a book you can keep with you when you brew, like "The complete joy of homebrewing." http://www.amazon.com/The-Complete-Homebrewing-Third-Edition/dp/0060531053

u/jaapz · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

Nobody measures the actual amounts of any brewing ion in solution in your water.

You either:

  • send a sample of your tap water to a lab and have them measure the amounts of several brewing ions in your water
  • are lucky (like me) and your water supplier periodically measures and reports those things and makes that available to the public
  • start from distilled water (which is pure water, with no (actually very little) ions in it)

    Using one of the above you determine the base amounts of brewing ions in your water. Then you use something like bru'n water, brewersfriend, any of the other tools out there to determine a water profile and which salts to add to achieve that profile.

    After adding the salts, you just assume the desired amounts will be achieved, no need (or possibility, really) to actually measure those as a homebrewer.

    The tools I mentioned above also calculate mash pH and other important brewing water measures.

    Water is a very interesting topic to dive into, and if you really want to research this thoroughly I highly recommend Palmers "Water" book. Only part of that book is applicable to homebrewers, but it very clearly explains what water chemistry entails and what is important. It was only after reading this book that I fully understood how "residual alkalinity" works in brewing water, for example.

    Also, in my experience, getting the mash and boil pH right is way more important to the final product than the amounts of ions in your wort (as long as they are not exceedingly low, or high). When I brew with tap water without adjustments, my mash pH will be too high (especially for pale beers) which in turn means my boil pH will be to high. Invariably, those beers will take way longer to become clear, and the bitterness will be "weird". When I adjust my water to a (calculated) mash pH of ~5.4, the beer is already clear when I move it from the fermenter into bottles, and the bitterness is way more pleasant.
u/gerbilcannon · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

Learn about brewing. Even if you can't pick up the hobby right now, nothing will help you to improve your understanding of beer more than learning how the product and the flavors you end up with are created. Even on a homebrewing scale, the science is the same, so as an introduction, "How to Brew" by John Palmer is a good star for this, and "New Brewing Lager Beer" by Gregory Noonan is an appropriate next step. This kind of background knowledge is a critical foundation to understanding what you are tasting.

It is important to try to cultivate your palate as well. "Evaluating Beer" by Brewers Publications is a great starting point for understanding the basic philosophy and techniques of judging. I'd also recommend looking at the BJCP website and going through their resources, particularly the study guide. And of course, taste lots of beer! A good way to work through this terrible burden is to look at the BJCP Style Guidelines and see what is listed as classic examples. Pick out the styles that you are not as familiar with and try to find some of them. Grab a few examples of one of your weak styles all at once and organize a flight, using a score sheet (warning: PDF) to organize your thoughts on each. If you can find other judges or people interested in judging to do this with you and discuss, even better.

u/xboarder · 3 pointsr/Homebrewing

My first bit of advice would be to check out the side bar to the right for an extensive collection of links with excellent advice.

If you're interested in extract brewing then I'd recommend you start with these bare minimum items:

u/mattigus · 18 pointsr/Homebrewing

www.northernbrewer.com is a great source for brewing equipment and ingredients. They only charge a flat shipping fee and a lot of the equipment is bulky, so it might be a good idea to get everything at once from them.

Here's a basic starter set for brewing beer. It has all the tools you need to get started (minus bottles, but I think he can find his own). It also comes with an instructional DVD, as well as 3 different starting recipe kits. If he likes porters, I'd recommend the Caribou Slobber.

You can also browse for ingredient kits and recipes for different beers. Make sure you look for "extract recipe kits." You can browse this list for a beer he might like.. Remember, each batch will give you 5 gallons of beer (usually).

Also, for books, definitely check this one out. Essential literature for a homebrewer.

u/austin713 · 3 pointsr/Homebrewing

coming from a guy that has been on the SP10 for over a year, spend the extra $30 and get the bigger Banjo style burner. it puts out way more heat and less time will be wasted waiting for strike temps and boils.

also, not sure if you are set on the keggle but having gallon markings on the inside of the kettle is amazing for BIAB, since you do everything in one vessel. it makes measuring out your strike water super easy. i have a 15 gal SS brewtech with the markings and its amazing. AIH has a 15 gal with markings for $119 and they offer the option of adding on a ballvalve for $28.

u/ijustwant2feelbetter · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

Yeah, that midwest kit looks great... You also definitely need the wort chiller, cleaner and sanitizer. Also, get The Complete Joy of Homebrewing if you don't already have it. It will explain everything you need to get started and is also a really good jumping off point if you decide you all want to move into all-grain brewing. Good luck!

u/jvonkluck · 4 pointsr/Homebrewing

Honestly, find a reliable source for the White Labs vials or Wyeast smack packs. They're $5 or $6 a piece, but a fresh, healthy, properly pitched culture is one of the most important things you can do for your beer. Harvesting and reusing is good if you're brewing at least every two weeks, but if you're letting it sit longer than that without some serious lab procedures you're probably better off culturing a starter from a commercial culture.

(Read Yeast by Jamil Zainasheff and Chris White for a far more detailed explanation by two experts.

u/lucasmark83 · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

I recently brewed an India Red Ale from the Radical Brewing book (http://www.amazon.com/Radical-Brewing-Recipes-World-Altering-Meditations/dp/0937381837):
6.5 Lb 2 row
5 lb Munich 10L
.75Lb Crystal 40
.5Lb Crystal 80
.12 Lb Black Patent
2 oz Cascade (60 min)
2 oz Cascade (30 min)
2 oz Kent Goldings (5 min)
WLP001

I made a starter for the yeast and fermented at 65 degrees & let it rise to 70 degrees during fermentation.

The issue is that the beer has a nice body & malty profile on the front end, but that dissipates very quickly and the beer becomes thin. I mashed at around 151 degrees.

Any suggestions on how to fix this? I've experienced some of the same issues in some other homebrews, and would like to know how I can correct it. I lost about a degree off the mash temp over the hour. Could this be a hop schedule issue, a mash issue, a recipe issue, or even a water profile issue? I used tap water treated with campden, and the water here in Cincinnati is great for brewing. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

u/weeglos · -2 pointsr/Homebrewing
  1. tl/dr.
  2. http://www.northernbrewer.com has really nice kits.
  3. RTFM. Palmer: dead tree / electrons

    Read Palmer's first chapter (free online at that link), then come back with questions.

    Make sure you have a good craft brew on hand, because you won't have any homebrew yet. It's an integral part of the process - when you're stressing, just sit back, relax, have a homebrew. Repeat that mantra, and you'll be just fine.

    Good luck!
u/802bikeguy_com · 3 pointsr/Homebrewing

I have that burner, it works. However, a friend has a burner with a frame shaped like this one and it seems to be more efficient at directing more heat at the bottom of the pot and letting less escape up the sides of the pot. Our burners have the same exact gas manifold (his frame is just shaped like the one below, it doesn't have that fancy manifold).

http://www.amazon.com/Bayou-Classic-KAB4-Pressure-Cooker/dp/B0009JXYQY/ref=sr_1_5?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1302578608&sr=1-5

YOU WANT A POT WITH A TRIPLE CLAD BOTTOM. The pot you linked to doesn't appear to have that. It distributes heat much better and prevents overheating at the bottom.

I use an 8.75 gallon pot for 5.5 gallon batches, cost me $60 shipped on ebay. This one is nicer than the one you linked to:

http://www.amazon.com/Professional-Commercial-Stainless-Induction-Certified/dp/B003ATSMJY/ref=pd_sbs_k_1

u/dirtyoldduck · 3 pointsr/Homebrewing

Read How to Brew by Palmer or The Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Papazian. Palmer is a bit more technical, but either will give you a basic understanding of homebrewing, including the equipment needed.

Probably the best single piece of advice I can give, however, is to not blindly believe everything you believe on the internet from homebrewers. For some reason, homebrewing has a lot of hot button issues (glass versus Better Bottle versus plastic bucket, primary versus secondary, stainless steel versus aluminum) and a lot of people who tend to believe the only right way to do something is the way they do it. The problem is, they only do it that way because that is the way they were taught and a lot of homebrewing myths are perpetuated this way. Read, study, decide for yourself what makes sense and find out what works for you. There are lots of ways to make good beer and for a lot of issues there really is no right or wrong way to do something. Except fermentation temperatures. Listen to the people who tell you to control your fermentation temperatures. They are correct.

Take Charlie Papazian's advice to "Relax. Don't worry. Have a homebrew" (RDWHAHB) to heart. It is harder to screw up beer than you think and even when you do screw up you usually end up with beer. Brewing when you are relaxed is much more enjoyable than when you are stressing about every little thing. You are not going to taste the difference if your hop addition is at 19 minutes instead of twenty.

u/emvy · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

Here's my advice to a beginner from a recent beginner.
A lot of people start with a small batch kit like Mr. Beer or Brooklyn Brew Shop that they got as a gift or bought on a whim. However, if I were going to recommend a 1-gal starter kit, I'd probably go with something like the one from Northern Brewer. Or you can get a 5-gal setup for just a little bit more and you get a lot more beer for you money, and it's really not that much more work. However, it was nice learning the process on a 1-gal batch, because it's a lot more manageable and you can easily do it on your stove with a pot you already have. Also, if you stick with it, and upgrade to bigger batches, you will still be able to find good uses for your old 1-gal equipment.

Whether you decide to test the waters with a small batch or jump right into a 5-gal batch, I would do an extract w/ specialty grain kit for your first brew. All grain is not that much harder, especially with small batches, but for your first few brews it's nice to just learn the process without having too many variables to worry about.

Also, buy a copy of The Complete Joy of Homebrewing or How to Brew or both and read the first chapter or so and you will have a good idea of what you're in for.

u/pvanmetre · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

Best guess for you would be a Porter. Full-flavored, dark roasted malts with chocolate notes but not as dry as a Stout. Hard to tell though if you have no prior experience. Dark ales are otherwise often seen as good starter batches since off-flavors will be less noticeable.

There's three websites that people here seem to favor if you don't have a local homebrew supply store (LHBS) nearby (in no particular order):

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/

http://www.austinhomebrew.com/

http://www.northernbrewer.com/

They all offer good starter equipment kits and ingredient kits. This starter would be my personal pick:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/brewing/starter-kits/basic-starter-kit.html

Pretty much all you would need to add to that is a large brew pot (4-5 gallon min.)


Check out all the sidebar links ->


And definitely read this book at some point:
http://www.amazon.com/How-Brew-Everything-Right-First/dp/0937381888

u/Lov-4-Outdors · 3 pointsr/Homebrewing

I'm just started reading "Designing Great Beers" so I can learn how to make my own recipes. The book comes highly recommended from several respectable sources. I also read Brewing Classic Styles, which, besides great recipes, it has great descriptions and guide lines for each style.

u/liquidawesome · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

Brewed a sweet stout from the Brewing Classic Styles book.

  • 10 lbs Pale Malt UK
  • 1 lb Black Patent Malt
  • 3/4 lb Crystal 90L
  • 1/2 lb Chocolate Malt
  • 1 lb lactose
  • 1.5 oz. Kent Goldings Hops
  • WLP005 - British Ale Yeast - Substituted this in place for WLP006 which wasn't available at my LHBS

    Tasted it prior to going into the fermenter, tastes pretty sweet already, nice coffee / chocolate notes. Hopefully it comes out well. Woke up this morning and found my carboy covered in krausen, quickly cleaned it up and got a blow-off tube inserted.

    My plan is to take a gallon of it and try to make a coconut milk stout in a small secondary.
u/socsa · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

Technically, the primary reason to fully boil the wort is to reduce the volume and concentrate it. DMS decomposition occurs starting at around 120F IIRC, and evaporates down to 100F or so. The Oxide (DMSO) is much less volatile, and does not evaporate until about 180F, but is generally produced in much lower quantities (especially if you are doing extract, since there really should be no reason for excess oxygen to enter the wort). Hop acids and whatnot dissolve just fine at non-boiling temperatures.

Honestly, it's far from ideal if you cannot reach a full boil, but it also isn't the end of the world. It's more important to not cover the wort if you can avoid it, and keep it as hot as possible. You'll end up with beer on the other side, and it will probably taste fine, if not a bit weaker than expected, though once again, since it is an extract brew you can just use less water to top it off (or throw in some extra extract to compensate). If you want to stay electric and indoors, you can try something like this to help you get a better stove boil.

u/romario77 · 3 pointsr/Homebrewing

This book could help:
https://www.amazon.com/Designing-Great-Beers-Ultimate-Brewing/dp/0937381500

it's a bit old, but it's still a very nice book and in the second part of the book it goes through various styles and tells you about them.

It has tables with what commercial breweries put into beer and NHC second round entries did. It goes over the amounts of malt (the types and variation), hops, yeast, covers water chemistry for each style.
There is also cool historical info about styles and how they evolved.

It's pretty good in showing you what options you have and the ranges of each addition. If you mostly brew hoppy beers I would get a different book since this one is old and hops for IPAs changed a lot since the book was published.

u/the_mad_scientist · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

a10t2's comment is spot on.

Smack packs can be enough when fresh and when making a low(er) OG beer, but if they are older or the OG is higher, the time to make a starter is well worth it.

If you want to make your own stir plate, check out Stir Starters, where you can see plans to make your own or buy one. I have both made and purchased one, but my homemade is aesthetically challenged. It works fine though. Since you are an AG brewer, I'll suggest that you look into getting a stir plate.

If you don't know Mr. Malty yet, I suggest you have a look at Mr. Malty's Pitching Rate Calculator.

I'll bet your beer comes out nicely and you'll surprise yourself. Lastly, if you haven't read How To Brew, by John Pamler, you will find it an immensely useful book to own. You can also read it online.

u/clamflowage · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

My wife got me this book:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Complete-Homebrewing-Third-Edition/dp/0060531053/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1331648779&sr=1-1

And thus our homebrewing journey began. The nice thing about this book is that you only need to read the first 20 pages or so and you can brew a yummy beer. But it also contains a great deal of information on other, more advanced techniques for making some really awesome beer.

u/calgarytab · 4 pointsr/Homebrewing

Not sure about shipping with Canada Post lately (maybe don't buy date sensitive products if shipping with Canada Post) but here's a short breakdown for Canada deals:

https://www.ontariobeerkegs.com/Articles.asp?ID=323 Lots of stuff on sale (free shipping over $100)

https://brewhq.ca/ 20% off equipment (free shipping over $75)

https://www.noblegrape.ca/collections/equipment/ 20% off equipment with coupon code: HAPPYMONDAY

https://www.hopdawgs.ca/ 10% off $100 or 15% off $250

https://www.everwoodavebrewshop.com/ 20% off Coupon Code: Everwood

https://torontobrewing.ca/collections/black-friday-sale Lots of stuff on sale

https://www.amazon.ca/Inkbird-Itc-308-Temperature-Controller-Thermostat/dp/B011296704 Apply $10 Coupon

https://goldsteam.com/ No specific BF sale but everyday low prices and didn't want to leave them out of the party

https://www.topps-hops.ca/collections/t90-pellets Same with Topps, always good pricing

https://www.plaato.io/plaato-airlock-bf Worth noting $99 (USD?) fun tool with free shipping worldwide

Don't forget to support your local Homebrew shop as well!

u/paulshoop · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

Keep the 1 gallon kit and use it for exbeeriments...

Sell the gift card and buy something like this:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/beer-equipment-starter-kits/essential-brewing-starter-kit

Buy this book:

http://www.amazon.com/How-Brew-Everything-Right-First/dp/0937381888/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1451367064&sr=8-1&keywords=how+to+brew

Buy these cleaning supplies:

http://www.amazon.com/Star-San-oz-PBW-lb/dp/B00YVF1RMK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1451367192&sr=8-2&keywords=32+oz+star+san

Then, when you are ready, you can add the below to do all-grain BIAB 5-gallon batches.

10-gal pot w/ lid - $60 (16-gal pot with steamer basket is better but is $110)

BIAB bag - $30

Immersion cooler - ~$50 (25ft)

20" wire whisk - $10

Racking Cane- ~$15 (get the 1/2inch size... not an auto siphon)

Hose for racking - ~$10

Annual membership to BrewersFriend website (it is awesome, trust me) - $10

Propane burner (Bayou Classic SP-10) - $50

Propane Tank - $30

u/Kzang151 · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

In addition to the kit I bought below, I also bought:

Super Efficient 3/8" x 25' Stainless Steel Wort Chiller
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004D4QPQW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

AND how to brew book
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0937381888/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


I bought the Gold Complete Beer Equipment Kit (K6) with 6 Gallon Glass Carboy

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002BU7CVM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The Gold Homebrew Kit has all you need to get brewing and adds a glass carboy for secondary fermentation resulting in a cleaner finished brew. Each Equipment Kit Includes: True Brew Handbook & Kit Instructions, 7.8 Gallon Fermenting Bucket, 1 Lid Drilled & Grommet, True Brew Rack & Fill kit, 6 Gallon Glass Carboy, Fermometer Fermentation Thermometer, Small Buon Vino Drilled Stopper, Hydrometer, Bottling Spigot, Emily Double Lever Capper, 3 Piece Airlock, Bottle Brush, C-Brite Sanitizer 8-Pack.

(See post below? and this. I'm not sure the best way to respond to post. Super new to reddit! lol)

So a Fermtech plastic bottle filler, fermtech large (0.5-inch) auto siphon, and 7/16 vinyl tubing would set me up? (Minus the kettle pot?)

u/lordfili · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

I've done a bunch of 1 gallon all-grain batches (and a few 5 gallon extract batches) and want to try my luck with 2.5 gallon all-grain. I bought a 5 gal cooler and a ball valve kit, but would kind of like to swap out the barb on the ball valve for cam lock fittings to make it easier to clean.

What cam lock fittings are best for this type of setup? I'm guessing the "D Style" from looking here but it's a complete guess.

u/Karoth · 3 pointsr/Homebrewing

If you haven't already, pick up How to Brew by John Palmer. Its probably the best collection of techniques, as well as tips and tricks in one single place.

Though it's not as practical, particularly if you one of the first of your friends to start the hobby; one of the most helpful things I did when I started brewing was to brew my first batch with an experienced friend. It helps smooth out a lot of kinks.

Heres a link to the book
http://www.amazon.com/How-Brew-Everything-Right-First/dp/0937381888/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_pap?ie=UTF8&qid=1368381468&sr=8-1&keywords=how+to+brew

u/skitzo2000 · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

I have two of the sp10's /u/TheGremlyn mentioned, and they are good burners, but can take quite a while depending on the batch size. I've since upgraded to the KAB4
and I wish I had bought this one sooner. I easily save 30-40 minutes on a brew day with the KAB4. You could also consider the KAB6 its a similar price, but the stand is a little bigger which is good for keggels.

u/Piffles · 5 pointsr/Homebrewing

I'll give you my amazon build. It's $10 less than a comparable one from StirStarters, and only requires you to have a wall-outlet to USB adapter (Or for you to plug it into a computer when running.)

Box

Fan

Magnets

Stir Bar

The fan has a speed controller, you just need an adhesive to secure the magnets to the fan, and some way to shim the fan up in the box so the magnets are closer to the top of the stir plate. I just used cardboard.

If you have a powerful enough magnet, that cuts off about $5 in costs. Or if you can create your own enclosure you may be able to save.

u/UnsungSavior16 · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

Ha I will when it's built! It's actually all planned out now, just buying the pieces up. I think I can still help though.

Here is an image of brianj's kettle, from a post he did on BrewUnited. Those are two 1500W ULWD heating elements, exactly the same as my build.

I'm going to be using a 16 gallon bayou kettle with a custom brew bag, and use the associated false bottom.

That false bottom will keep the grains off of the heating elements, and there will still be enough space for high gravity BIAB batches (4.5 gallon average batch size).

I use an Auberin PID controller with two 40A SSRs and a 25A SSVR (also from auberin) that will regulate the intensity of one of the elements. You probably already have this all set up already, so it's more of an informational thing.

The re-circulation is probably the part you're worried about:

  • Use a chugger pump, and you can attach a SS ball valve if you'd like to regulate the flow. I do.

  • Camlock Disconnects are your friend.

  • Use a loc line in the keggle, and it'll float on top of the mash. You can also just set up a fly sparge type system.


    I would head over to /u/mchrispen's blog, he has some great pictures of his system and it sounds similar to what you're hoping to do (purely from a re circulation standpoint). It uses keggles.
u/TheGremlyn · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

Happy to answer any questions people may have!

I'll start with a link to my build post: http://beer.thegremlyn.com/2015/07/02/fermentation-chamber-build-circa-2011/

Temperature Control

The chamber was built to use the cooling system from an old mini fridge, the kind with the coils on the back instead of integrated into the walls. I started with a Ranco controller for cooling only. I lived in a climate where it didn't really get cold, so heating was not required. I now live in a climate where not only does it get cold, but the fermentation chamber lives in the garage so it has to be heated.

I built a dual stage controller using an STC-1000 in a tool box: http://imgur.com/a/rDe8P and bought the Lasko Personal Space Heater, which I view as excellent because it not only heats but has a built in fan.

I also added two fans to the system to make sure the temperature is even in the chamber. One is always on, the other only when the cooling system kicks in. That means that when heating or cooling there are two fans runnings.

Build Design

I needed two things in a fermentation chamber: 1) space for two sanke kegs, which I use to ferment my 11 gal batches, and 2) front loading because I refuse to try to lift 11 gal of beer in a sanke keg up and over the rim of a chest freezer.

I plan to rework the door to be a single door for better sealing, but it holds temps well enough right now that I don't worry much and it is a low priority change. I originally did two doors as it wasn't going to be feasible to have one where it was designed to live.

u/psarsama · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

How to Brew.

Yeast

For the Love of Hops

Water

I haven't read the book in the water-hops-yeast-malt series on malt yet, but I'm sure it's good. Also, the Brewers Publications books on specific styles are great. My boss has most of them and I borrow them frequently.



u/aossey · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

I know you'll probably still want an answer from the Hangout, but if they don't get to it, or you're looking for another opinion, Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels is an awesome book for learning how to create recipes.

u/Waxmaker · 3 pointsr/Homebrewing

I can't recommend Radical Brewing enough. This was the book that really kickstarted me into not only designing my own recipes but getting adventurous with them as well.

Brewing Better Beer is also awesome.

u/Amf08d · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

If you havent already checked out the Brewing Elements series I would highly recommend doing so. They are fantastic for geeking out about brewing. I havent read Hops yet but Yeast was fascinating and Water is pretty advanced but really informative.

u/HelloSluggo · 3 pointsr/Homebrewing

For that much money, I'd look for something with a better stand to support the weight.

Also, you can get something in the "banjo-style" burner range for just a few dollars more. Much better stand as well.

And the new Anvil burner, at just a very few dollars more, looks really nice. I like the idea of having the regulator on the front of the burner stand, not at the tank.

u/pm2501 · 1 pointr/Homebrewing
  • Bought "Brewing Classic Styles ..." at the suggestion of many of you fine folks here. I've only had it for a couple of days, but I'm glad I listened to you. Straightforward, cuts to the chase and does a pretty darn good job of pointing you in the right direction if you want to nail a BJCP style.
  • Bought and received an actual SS faucet which will sit alongside the picnic tap that's been serving my beer for months.
  • Received other brew gear that had been lacking in my setup (Why did I go without an autosiphon for so long?!)
  • Brewed up a simple APA (that's, according to the aforementioned book borders on an ARA) as my second of two "brew and brew and brew it till it's badass" beers (the other's a porter).
u/BrewsterC · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

More of an electrical engineering question, but I feel like you guys would provide me with a better answer.

After doing a lot of research the past week, I found many guides on how to assemble a Freezer-Chest-Fermenter. I am using this temperature controller, and I just want to make sure I set it up correctly.

From what I can understand (PLEASE CORRECT ME IF IM WRONG), this tool lets me set a temperature and a range, and will heat or cool if necessary to reach that destination temperature.

If that's the case, what my plan is, is to plug the Chest Freezer into the "Cooling" out, and a small space heater into the "Heating" outlet.

So my two questions... Is my idea on how this works correct? And would my plan work? Or should I get something other than a space heater?

u/bifftradwell · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

Looks like the last piece of the puzzle is the mash tun - you need to convert a large cooler (10 gallons is a good size). If you have one with a drinking spout, you can unscrew the spout and install a ball valve. The inside end of the ball valve then attaches to something you use for lautering (filtering the wort out of the mash).

Ball valves are maybe $5 at Lowe's/Home Despot. You need some PTFE tape to seal the threads, and maybe a neoprene washer or two (although you can probably steal those from the existing spout you unscrewed from the cooler).

For filtration, you have a couple options --

  1. Just get the kettle screen - $20 shipped.

  2. Braided steel toilet supply line, with one end snipped off, the hose removed, and the braid closed at that end. This is probably more than $20 worth of work.

  3. Get some copper piping, some elbows/couplings/tees and make a manifold. Cut slits in the pipes with a hack saw (cut them about halfway through the pipe) to allow the wort in; the grain will stay out. You do not need to solder this -- just dry fit in the bottom of the cooler. In fact, dry-fitting is preferable because it makes clean-up much, much easier. This is probably $10 of copper + more than $20 of work.

    I also recommend a thermometer, but honestly I think putting one into the cooler is pointless. Get a digital insta-read version like the thermapen, worth every penny of $100, and you can use it in the mash, on the wort, and while cooking. With a hand-held unit you can take temperature readings at different locations in the mash, and the thermapen probe is about 8 inches long.
u/Wigglyscuds · 3 pointsr/Homebrewing

Also recommend Designing Great Beers.

Hear great things about it all the time. As soonami said, can't go wrong with buying him some beer. :)

u/muzakx · 3 pointsr/Homebrewing

Mine was super easy to build and has served me for about 4+ years now.

  • 10 gallon Home Depot Cooler

  • Weldless Ball Valve kit.

  • Bazooka Screen with 1/2" NPT adapter

    The cooler requires no modification. Simply remove the plastic spigot, and install the new ball valve.

    The bazooka screen is a bit longer than the diameter of the cooler. Simply bend the end up slightly and it should fit. The new nipple on the ball valve fits 1/2" ID hoses.

    Brew days go pretty smoothly, haven't had a stuck mash yet. Filters well as long as you vorlauf and set the grain bed. My efficiency is around 75% currently, using the Batch sparge method.
u/Jtoad · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

10 gal anvil kettle $250, BrewBag $30-40, Keg $75, Regulator $45, Co2 tank $85

I'm sure you can find some of this cheaper, but this gets you brewing 5gal batch's and kegging them. I'd add in an Inkbird temp controller $35, a used fridge off Craig's list and a fermenter.

I read you wanted to do 10gal so you could keg half and bottle half. I'd keg it all and bottle off as needed with The Bru Bottler. Super simple to build and works fantastic. I find it to be better then my blichmann beer gun.

u/773-998-1110 · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

Just have to have a strong arm, the feezer is at about waist height so the buckets can be heavy but nothing too bad. I can fit one on the floor and then have wood at the same level as the hump filling up the rest of the space. With that there I can fit in two more buckets. I had to build a collar on the freezer in order to get enough clearance for an airlock though.

I have this temperature controller and just tape a sponge to my fermentation bucket with the probe pressed against the bucket under the sponge. Seems to work fine! I also have a muffin fan in there blowing air around to try and normalize the temp everywhere.

u/Z-and-I · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

I would stay away from that starter kit. Not because its bad per se but its not worth 180 bucks. And I prefer plastic buckets over glass carboys. If you want you can convert a cooler to a mash tun but I would start with BIAB and you then can increase the complexity of your system as you see fit.


Here is my recommendation of equipment. I am function over form driven when selecting my gear. I find that these items serve their purpose at a reasonable price and are of good quality and unless you want to start doing 15 gallon batches they should serve you well.

Starter Kit

KAB4 Burner

44qt Pot with basket

Ball Valve for Kettle

Thermometer

Bag for BIAB

u/Drumlin · 2 pointsr/Homebrewing

Midwest Supplies and Austin Homebrew both have good prices on equipment. Austin's flat rate shipping usually puts it under most other on-line suppliers.

My wife got my starter kit for me for Christmas at my LHBS. It is a Brewer's Best kit...but what makes it a really good deal is that it comes with Papazian's book: The Complete Joy of Homebrewing.

u/hoptarts · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

Correct the one you linked or http://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-Itc-308-Temperature-Controller-Thermostat/dp/B011296704/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1463775409&sr=8-1&keywords=itc+308 will be what you want, you basically plug the fridge into this and plug this into the wall, like a surge protector. It has a temp probe you can stick in the fridge, it stops supplying power once fridge is at a certain temp. These work great for fermentation control as well because they are 2 stage meaning the can controll the fridge as well as a heater so if its too cold they can heat and if too warm they can chill. The one you linked will require some DIY (Wires an outlet and a box) where as the 308, is prebuilt and ready to roll right out of the box.

u/snoopwire · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

If you want to do something for the fermenter that's fine. You can get by with some water and ice baths, or go full on glycol setup (what I have for my two conicals), but by far the easiest and cheapest is a fridge/freezer and something like http://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-Itc-308-Temperature-Controller-Thermostat/dp/B011296704 . Mini-fridges work, but they can be tough to find ones that will fit a carboy/bucket. Also then you can only ferment one at a time. Craigslist in most towns has good used chest freezers and fridges / stand-up freezers (without coils in shelf) for sub $100.

u/McJames · 3 pointsr/Homebrewing

I used turkey fryers like the ones you linked for a while, but I got tired of the long times to get to a boil, especially when there was any wind or it was very cold outside. I switched to a banjo burner (Blichmann Top Tier), and never looked back. I LOVE that burner. It heats really fast, and seems to use less propane. Banjo burners aren't more efficient than the burner you have from a combustion standpoint, but I swear that the design ensures more of the heat gets to the kettle rather than into the surrounding air. Plus, I can easily convert it to natural gas if there is a connection nearby.

The Top Tier is a little overkill for most applications, honestly. If I had to do it over again, I'd probably get KAB4. It has the same burner as the Blichmann, and can also be converted to natural gas, if you desire. It's pricey compared to your burner, though.

u/ProfessorHeartcraft · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

I would strongly caution against a 35 quart pot. The Bayou Classic 44 quart (11 gallon) pot is only a little more, and it's of dimensions more ameniable to brewing (tall, rather than squat). If you plan to migrate to BiaB, the version with the basket is quite useful; you'll be able to fire your heat source without worrying about scorching the bag.

For ingredients, I would recommend looking around for a LHBS (local homebrew shop). You'll likely not save much money ordering those online, due to their weight/cost ratio, and a LHBS is often the centre of your local community of homebrewers.

With regard to literature, my bible is John Palmer's How To Brew. You can also read the first edition online, but much has been learnt since that was published and the latest edition has current best practices.

That equipment kit is decent, but there are a lot of things in it you'll probably wish you hadn't bought.

You will want:

u/anibeav · 3 pointsr/Homebrewing

I picked up a book which really got me excited about brewing again, I mean really really excited. I would think it would go a ways to answer some of your questions, and if you are trying to make your own recipes it gives a great starting point for each style that you can build off of, it's called Designing Great Beers

u/LocalAmazonBot · 1 pointr/Homebrewing

Here are some links for the product in the above comment for different countries:

Amazon Smile Link: The Complete Joy of Home Brewing


|Country|Link|
|:-----------|:------------|
|UK|amazon.co.uk|
|Spain|amazon.es|
|France|amazon.fr|
|Germany|amazon.de|
|Japan|amazon.co.jp|
|Canada|amazon.ca|
|Italy|amazon.it|
|China|amazon.cn|




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u/Kegstarter · 7 pointsr/Homebrewing

I've read Designing Great Beers and it's a great resource as a style guide, but it leans much more towards the empirical side when it comes to explaining things. If you're looking for something a little more scientific and data-driven there are some other really good options.

Suggestions:

  • The Brewing Elements series: Water
    / Yeast
    / Malt
    / Hops - Very specific and science driven focus on each element.
  • American Sour Beers - Mostly focused on sour beers, but gets really deep into the scientific aspects of it all (bonus: written by /u/oldsock).
  • Vintage Beer - Data-driven resource on the science behind long-term aging.