New to Brewing

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I've been making wine for a few years and would like to try brewing
mainly because a nice cold beer really hits the spot after a long hard
day or mowing my one acre yard in mid summer.

 My LHBS is far away, but will be having a demonstration on all grain
brewing this weekend. I went in last year to buy some wine yeast and
caught part of the AGB demonstration for National Home Brew Day. I
tried to sign up this year, but the guy said "The class is a advanced
Brewing class and I really don't think you will get anything out of
it. Most people that want to learn to brew start out with extracts and
go from there".

I know most would recomend the same thing, but I'd like to try a small
batch (1 to 3 gallond) of all grain first. I do have several 6.5gal
carboys, so if the first batch is decent, I'll make a bigger batch.

Several reasons I'd like to start/jump to all grain is A) I live in
the country where a lot of grain is grown. Mostly wheat, but some
barley and oats. B) the LHBS is far way, and I never seem to get every
thing I need, and his stuff is way over priced. C) I have all the
equipment except for a Mash/Lauter Tun and chilling coil, but can make

I've read a lot of post in this group, and a lot of the links, like The only things I want to buy on my next trip to the
LHBS is Hops, yeast, and maybe some Irish Moss.

Any recipes for the things I can buy locally, ( Eden's Organic Barley
Malt Syrup, Barley, Wheat, honey), what I can grow (Yarrow, Basil,
other herbs I may not know about ), or things I can make ( roasted
Steam rolled barley, rosted wheat, or stuff I may not know about).


Re: New to Brewing

Welcome to the forum Stu.  Sounds like you have a grasp on the basics
enough to
try AG.  Other than your LHBS, have you tried any online
stores?  Their prices
might be more to your liking.  With all that
land, you might also have the
ability to grow hops.  Yeast can be
harvested and washed also.  There are a
couple of guys that do pod
casts and really live for the small beers (1-gallon
batches).  Their
URL is

Good luck and let us know about your progress.



On Tap - Obsidian Stout Clone & a Mirror Pond Pale Ale Clone
Secondary - Oak Aged Bourbon Porter
Crashing - Celebration Red Ale
It is my
design to die in the brew-house; let ale be placed to my mouth
when I am
expiring, that when the choirs of angels come, they may say,
"Be God propitious
to this drinker." -- Saint Columbanus, A.D. 612
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Re: New to Brewing

On Thu, 3 May 2007 01:39:02 -0400, wild

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I have bought some 3gal carboys online, some airlocks (since they were
half the price as LHBS), and some odd bungs they don't carry.

I would like to grow some hops, 3 or 4 different kinds, but it seems
there is no way to know or calculate the Alpha Acid of homegrown hops.
More of a trial and error thing, is that right?

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Thanks Denny, I like the Batch Sparging, wasn't real sure what type
method to use. I also liked your Mashtun. Didn't occur to me to use a
braided hose when I was looking at other designs.

I do preheat and  doughing-in right?  I'm a bit anal about details.

I was planning to use SS for my homemade chilling coil (have a cheap
source), but it seems everyone likes to use copper. Is that mainly for
cleaning and to avoid pitting of the SS?

On Thu, 03 May 2007 18:51:44 -0000, Derric

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I was thinking more of my own roasted barley and wheat. Just for
flavor/coloring and because I can get it for less than $10/60lbs.

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Still... I might give it a try. I don't grow my own grapes yet, but I
do have apple trees and hope to make at least 80 gallons of wine this
year. Only made 5gals of apple 2 years ago when I only had 1 carboy.
The next year, I had 2-3gal, 5-5gal, and 1-6.5gal, but had a killing
frost and didn't get any fruit. This year the trees are loaded. A
local suprplus store, the next town over has pallettes full of 6.5
carboys for $15 each. Have already bought 3, and plan to get more.

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It's about $6.50 for 20 oz.gar, which is more expensive than other
bulk extracts I've seen online. It doesn't say it has preservatives,
but it doesn't say it has doesn't have any either. Should be about
right for a 1 gal batch, with maybe some roasted barley and/or roasted
wheat steeped first.

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What about corn? Should it be sweet corn or feed/field corn? Malted?
Or is it too strachy?

As for all grains for the mash, should they be crushed/smashed with
minimal dust and flour if I mill them myself (freezer bag w/ rolling
pin style)?

Or, say, I buy 10lbs of Pale Malt 2row, and 2lbs of Crystal 80 (or
2lbs of Caramunich) my LHBS would mill both for me, and I add both to
the mashtun for batch sparging?

I'm still a little confused about what grains are what (sugar or
flavor or color), and when they are added to the mash.

Forgive for asking so much. I've been reading a lot lately and my
thoughts are sort of jumbled.

Re: New to Brewing

StuPedaso;13618 Wrote:
> I would like to grow some hops, 3 or 4 different
kinds, but it seems
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Most folks I know that grow hops only use them for flavor and aroma.
The trial
and error bit would only work for the single harvest.  The
Alpha Acid of
homegrown hops changes from season to season.



On Tap - Obsidian Stout Clone & a Mirror Pond Pale Ale Clone
Secondary - Oak Aged Bourbon Porter
Crashing - Celebration Red Ale
It is my
design to die in the brew-house; let ale be placed to my mouth
when I am
expiring, that when the choirs of angels come, they may say,
"Be God propitious
to this drinker." -- Saint Columbanus, A.D. 612
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Re: New to Brewing

StuPedaso wrote:
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For ideas about inexpensive equipment and easy AG techniques, see my
site at

Life begins at 60...1.060, that is.

Re: New to Brewing

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I second Denny's site for a very good way to go for AG.  There's no real
reason NOT to go AG first, if you have the equipment.  It is only slightly
more involved than extract (you only have to make a mash and rinse it).

NOTE - you can NOT just get the barley locally and brew beer from it,
as your post "sorta" implies.  Raw barley has to be "malted" first.
While it is possible to home malt barley, and some posters here have
done it, nobody does it as a normal part of their routine.  It seems
that it is very difficult to get a consistent product from home malting.

On the other hand, it sounds like the "Eden's Organic Barley Malt Syrup"
is simply "liquid malt extract" to me.  You can use that directly for
extract brewing.  I wonder if the "Organic" version isn't much more
expensive than the LME you can order online, tho'.

I don't remember if anyone posted any online sites for you, but here are
some stores (just as they come to mind, I have no affiliation):     (and tons more)...
Lots of people use on-line stores due to non-local HBSs.

Regarding some of the things you mentioned:
You can use "roasted barley" (unmalted) in stouts.  You can use wheat,
malted and unmalted, in different styles of beer.  It is possible to
malt wheat and make 100% wheat beers, I understand, but I think you need
to add rice hulls for a filter in your mash tun.  Honey can be added to
any beer - it will boost the alcohol level like any pure sugar would.
Honey will add a very slight flavor/aroma... personally it was never
enough for me to notice.

You don't mention them, but you can malt most any grain ... a popular
one for people who can't have gluten is "grain sorghum" (not "sweet"
sorghum).  Again, you have to home malt the raw grain.


Re: New to Brewing

On Thu, 03 May 2007 18:51:44 -0000, Derric

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I agree. I've been brewing for a decade and a half and made the
transition into all grain about 6 years ago. It wasn't hard, though
you should know a few things.

1.) Making beer from malt extract is a way to "test the waters" with
less equipment needed than all grain brewing requires. That said,
there's no reason you couldn't do your boil in two or three pots on a
kitchen range top (unless it's a flat top type--sugars will attack the
ceramic material and you will no doubt spill some or have a
boil-over). That would save you from buying a 10 gallon pot.

2.) Making beer from extract is the way to go if your time is
precious. Figure a long day of it if you make an all grain brew, maybe
several hours, so start early in the day. Extract takes a bit more
than the hour you need to boil your wort, and some methods take less
time than that.

3.) Starting with extract costs less initially. It does cost more in
the long run to make it from extract, though, once your equipment for
all grain brewing is paid for.

Making beer from all grain is not difficult to do. Read this page and
see what you get from it. It's what started me on the all grain trail.

I do make an extract batch every now and then, maybe 1/2 of the time,
due to time considerations. It's convenient to have a kit with
everything I need. Several places sell these kits which are based on a
particular style of beer. Here's one I deal with:
and their monthly kit specials:
If you like the idea of all grain but would like the convenience of a
kit with all of the ingredients, try looking here:
the grains are not cracked, and you will either have to order them
pre-cracked (at this place it's 15 cents per pound), or get a grain

My suggestions on a mill:

A used Valley mill is great--if you can find one (they're out of
production). They have a 6 lb. hopper as part of the unit. Try ebay or
A Schmidling mill is probably your next best bet--it has a lifetime
warranty. You can get the adjustable one at extra cost but Jack
Schmidling claims that it really isn't necessary. He sells them
because some people think it is a needed option and won't buy one that
isn't adjustable.
On the "cheap" side (it's relative what you consider cheap) is the
Corona grain mill (or the similar Victoria mill). It's not intended to
crack grains but is for making flour, so it requires careful
adjustment. You can "motorize" it with a hand drill and a suitable
cut-off bolt to fit in the place where the handle bolt would go (take
the handle off, of course!). It's around $50 or less, and you might
find these used also.

In between cheap and over $100 is the Phil's grain mill at (also a source of malt extract kits and free
shipping east of the Mississippi for orders over $35). Dan Listermann
can also put together an all grain kit for you but I don't think it is
in his online catalog. It would be something customized for you from
your recipe or his.
There are other mills people love, like the Crankandstein and others.
Look around before you settle on which one to buy.

Some advice on using one of these:

Re: New to Brewing

On Sun, 06 May 2007 20:41:39 -0400,
t2000kw@nospam.invalid wrote:

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Sorry, was looking over the posts here and realized
that I forgot the link for the above:
This is an easy to follow set of instructions on doing
a simple mash session to get one started in all grain

Use it as a guide only for the process. It doesn't have
a "recipe" for any particular beer, but you can find a
simple recipe for a basic beer and follow this
procedure, add your hops at boil time according to the
recipe, and be on your way to your first all grain

Be ready to spend the better part of the day on your
first one, and since you'll be doing a full boil, you
may want to invest in an immersion chiller, which you
can use in your extract brews also. You must cool the
wort quickly (to avoid bacterial infection) and you
won't have the option of blending with cold water like
you would with an extract brew to get the temp down to
fermentation temp quickly.


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