First brew

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Coronajax, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. Coronajax

    Coronajax New Member

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    So I assume there may be some less than novice brewers here that can provide their experience. I'm pretty much ready to pull the trigger on my first brew, the question is what will it be and what is a realistic starting point. the options are limitless really but eventually, I will have to narrow it down. so help me out brewersfriend and throw out your suggestions and why you chose that recipe. I was looking at a vanilla ale but could take some flak for it being a bit "girly'. I just don't want to get into something too complex for my first run.
     
  2. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I guess the first question is what kind of beer do you like to drink? Might as well start there...

    Whether you are brewing all grain, or extract you could purchase a kit from a home brew shop, either bricks and morter or online. It will come with instructions.
     
    Mase likes this.
  3. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    I'd definitely go with a kit or established recipe for the first few batches. One less thing to worry about during brew day
     
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  4. Coronajax

    Coronajax New Member

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    ale, blonde ale etc etc. Not sure I need to try lagering right away, just looking for something basic in terms of grains, hops etc, not looking to secondary just yet. Want to try to keep it simple so I have less opportunity to make a mistake.
     
  5. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Secondary! Whaaaa?
    I have never done a secondary, and as modestly as I can express this, I make some damn good beer! Damn good I say!
     
    716Brewer, Steve SPF and Blues like this.
  6. Coronajax

    Coronajax New Member

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    Well... I guess that dispells another myth for me! I'm going to have to try some of that beer Craig!
     
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  7. Coronajax

    Coronajax New Member

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  8. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Do yourself a huge favor... as recommended, start with an easy Ale Kit. Lagers need more equipment and dare I say, more experience. We don’t want to see you frustrate yourself away from a great hobby that if started correctly, will yield a lifetime of returns. Watch a lot of You Tube videos and online research. There are plenty of great kit suppliers... Austin Homebrew Supply, Northern Brewer, Midwest Supply... not to mention, you prolly have a LHBS near you.
     
  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'd go with a blonde or a pale ale. Both are simple to brew and mild enough to tell you if you've done anything wrong. I usually advise to brew it until it comes out the same every time but you won't do it. Brew it a couple times then move on to something more complex.
     
  10. beer1965

    beer1965 Member

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    I am doing my second brew this morning - an Irish Stout. My first brew in the spring was a honey blonde ale - you can find the recipe if you look up my recipes. It was a blend of grains and malt extract liquid. Your recipe has more ingredients than mine did but as I'm starting to see, the process is almost identical between these two brews. The stout will be different in that it's an all grain brew. I think the key is to organize your equipment and learning how to sanitize everything. Then to write out a timeline of your brew. In the spring I had it mostly figured out but because I didn't write it out step by step and write times beside each step I was scrambling and forgot to take my OG. In the end it all worked out and I enjoyed a very fine beer with friends. I'm sure you will as well. Just make something you know you'll enjoy drinking. At 5 gallons it's almost 50 bottles so no point drinking something you won't like! Good luck and let us know how it turned out!
     
  11. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Active Member

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    I would start with an uncomplicated style based on your tastes. A pale ale, nut brown ale, or a porter are all pretty straightforward and somewhat forgiving.

    I also concur with ditching the secondary. I quit about 15 years ago.
     
  12. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I looked at that recipe, looks kind of complicated to me. As has been noted, definitely start with something simple.

    I seem to recall that you bought my 10.5g BK, and my Mash King 11g mash tun, so I assume that you are going all grain? Correct?
     
  13. Coronajax

    Coronajax New Member

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    Yes, I have done a couple of extract brews with the cheesy mr beer kits with the usual results but that inspired me to up the game and get all grain equipment.
     
  14. Coronajax

    Coronajax New Member

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  15. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    All I can tell you is that it looks like a pretty simple recipe, and from the views and comments from other brewers who have brewed it, I would say it is, as Trialben would say, a goer.

    Have you worked out your equipment profile? This is important so that you use the right amount of water.
     
  16. Coronajax

    Coronajax New Member

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    When you say equipment profile you mean capacities of the various vessels?
     
  17. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Kettle losses. How much volume you lose throughout your process, including dead spaces, etc.
     
  18. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    What Mase said, plus grain and hops absorption, boil off rate. When you set up a profile, there are suggestions for these, go with those. For your actual equipment losses, put a measured amount of water in your mash tun, drain it into your kettle, then measure how much water got left behind. Do the same with your boil kettle. Do the same with your HLT if you have one.

    When brewing, what you want to be able to do is start with your measured amount of water, and end up with the batch size you planned on. With each brew make adjustments to your equipment profile to dine tune.

    I am working on a new system, and have been working on dialing in my system.

    Brewing is cooking, water is one of the ingredients and you want to add the right amount of each ingredient so that it always turns out the same.
     
  19. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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  20. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    You know I actually brewed this early on in my brewing days turned out a good beer too. I could taste the vodka a but much that I soaked me vanilla pods in. If i brewed it again I'd use off the shelf extract the good stuff though. That is a pretty complicated grain bill on that one no need be on such a simple gristed beer style.
    If you wanna brew a cream ale I'd ask @ Thunderwagon for some pointer his cream ale he's drinking atm looks pretty fine to me:)!
    Either way enjoy the brewing process.
     

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