another new homebrewer

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I just started my first batch of home brew.  I have fermented several
batches of Wine, but I am
finding out that there is about as much similarity between wine and beer
making as there is
between a pit bull dog and a kitten. My  first comment is to the "experts"
who suggest that I
start with a Kit.  If I wanted easy I would buy a case of Bud, put it into a
refrigerator overnight,
open by placing a cloth over the lid and twisting (wouldn't want to hurt my
hand" and gently
pour into a prechilled beer mug. Well I did buy a MrBeer Kit, because it was
on sale 1/2 off for
20 bucks.  I also went to the wine supply store and bought a True Brew Amber
beer kit (27
bucks?  I could buy 2 cases of beer for that so you sure don't do this for
the economics)  and
"Joy of Home Brewing" . My first batch is  neither.  While at the wine
supply store I picked up
a pound of 2 row Barley Malt (If I would have know about the enzyme thing I
would have
gotten 6 row Barley) and an ounce of Cascade Hop pellets (the store cracked
the barley for
me).  Just in case the guy at the store who was making Pumpkin beer is on
this news group,
Thanks,  the 2 minutes you talked to me was more informative than the owners
half an hour.
Just in case the owner is on this news group, no offence, you are a "by the
book" person, I am
an experimenter.  My ultimate goal is to grow and malt my own grain. Maybe
sill a little alcohol
for my car :').  or start a whole alternative fuel company with switchgrass,
but that's getting off
subject for this news group.
After selectively reading sections of "Joy of Home Brewing" I came to the
conclusion that there
was no "directions" for how to make beer, just a lot of guidelines, so I
wrote up my own. If this
first gallon even taste like beer I'll be surprised.  I peeled and shredded
two small potatoes
rinsed in 1 qt cold water, and boiled the liquid starch mixture (Used the
shreaded potatoes for
hash browns).  (I know potato starch is not recommended but I wanted to give
the enzymes
extra starch to work on). brought the temp back to 130 F and added most of
the 1 lb of malted
Barley final temp 123 F.  in a 1/2 gal cooler.  added small amounts of
boiling water to maintain
123 F for 1/2 hour.  Gradually raised the temp to 150 F with boiling water
stirring vigorously to
prevent hot spots from over heating the enzymes.  By now I had to transfer
the entire contents
to a 2 gal cooler. I maintained the 150 F for about 15 min. I couldn't get
the temp up to the next
level of 158 F by adding additional boiling water so I tried a couple of
other method, added a
heating element into the liquid was somewhat successful, but I finally
poured the contents into a
crock pot and set the temp on warm. After several hours now midnight the
starch test was still
strongly positive, so I just let it go overnight. The temp did creep up to
about 163 F by the next
morning the starch test was still positive so I just went to the next steep.
Poured the contents
into a pan and brought to boiling.  added 1/3 ounce of the Hop pellets and
remaining Barley and
boiled for 45 minutes. the last few minutes I added a few more hop pellets
(total 1/2 oz).  I
filtered the hot wort with a household sieve, dipping the sieve into a bowl
of hot water
occasionally to rinse the nectar from the trub. I brought the temp to below
75 F with Ice cubes
and pitched the yeast.  Since I already had several batches of wine going
and didn't want to
waste either kit's beer yeast I just added some of the fermenting wine.  By
now I imagine that
some of you beer loving experts are really cringing and ready to let me have
it. so go ahead

Re: another new homebrewer

OK I couldn't make it much past your "Mr.Beer" comment.
I started homebrewing about 4 years ago using a "kit", but better.
Look for a LHBS (Local Home Brew Supply), if one is not available there
are a number of internet supply houses.
I get much of what I don't get locally from either Northern Brewer or
Midwest Supplies.
Depending on where you live there should be one "close" to you (about
1-2 days UPS/Fed Ex).
I started with a "starter" equipment kit: plastic 6.5 gal primary
bucket, 5 gal glass carboy, plastic bottling bucket, capper, hydrometer,
caps, racking cane, hose, bottle filer, 1 lbs "one step" sanitizer,
airlock, carboy stopper, video tape, small "how to" book, and bottle
brush. (I think there were a few other things but I don't remember
exactly right now)
I also got a grain/extract recipe "kit" (Amber Ale I believe) with
liquid yeast.
All together, with bottled water, (which I don't use any more) and about
a case of bottles, (I already had saved up a case or so of regular and
flip top "Grolsch" bottles) I think everything, equipment and all, came
out to about $1.00 per bottle or so, about what you pay for a 6 pack of
"good" beer (Sam Adams, New Glarus, etc.)
I have moved on since then, equipment wise anyhow.
I now have a few kegs and also a 6.5 gal glass primary, if I choose to
use it.
I still use the "kit" recipies, even won first place in a competition
with an IPA.
I have also formulated my own "signature" ginger beer, that scores
better every year I enter it, have even tried a few partial mash
batches, grown hops, and even made quite a few batches of mead and cider.
I would say get some "real" equipment, which you probably already have
since you make wine, and a good grain/extract recipe.
You should be making good beer in no time.

Michael Herrenbruck
Dragon Tail Ale
Drunken Bee Mead

Re: another new homebrewer

Palmer's "How to Brew" is just about all you really need to know to get
feet wet. Most of his book is available online at:

BierNewbie's Profile: View this

Re: another new homebrewer

Try this forum page. It's great for newbies, alot of people will help
you too.

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