The next step....

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For about a year I have been making homebrew using kits. To begin with
I was excited and loved every pint that I poured. After a couple of
batches, I began to realize that there was absolutely no skill involved
in what I was doing other than the ability to clean my equipment.

I have decided that I would like to move on to the next step. I do not
have the equipment/resources/skill for a full mash so I thought that if
I was to do an extract recipe this would help me out.

I have available to me is a pot which holds about 1.25 gallons which I
would be able to use to boil. I am not in a position to be able to buy
extra kit for this.

To begin with I want to make somthing quite easy so that I can get a
feel for making beer from extract.

Has anybody got any advice on where I should start with extract
brewing.

Many thanks,


Re: The next step....


A 1.5 gallon pot is going to limit you badly, unless you are making 1
gallon batches. I think the easiest thing to do in order to advance on
is to start building your own kits based on the recipes out there. Try
downloading BeerSmith or ProMash and look through the recipes in them.
They will let you scale the recipe to what you can do. Or look up Cat's
Meow 3 and check the recipes in there. Or try the BeerTools.com
website. Just pick a recipe and try it. I would highly recommend doing
a partial mash (soaking the grains in a bag while the water simmers,
then removing it). You can also switch the hops a little - if you make
a batch and think you'd like to try a hoppier version of it, just throw
a few more hops into it. Or for hop flavor, throw some more in at 10
minutes. For aroma, throw in some hops at the every end of the boil.

But I would be looking for a bigger pot - perhaps you can borrow one
from somebody. These need not be expensive pots - I have been using a
cheap aluminum pot that came with a turkey cooker for a couple of years
now. I got the turkey cooker with pot and other stuff for $30.00 when
it was on special at amazon (and got free shipping :).

As long as you care for an aluminum pot, it'll work perfect. Don't use
abrasives on it or abrasive pads. Just clean it up with a cloth and
dish soap and let it darken as it ages. The dark stuff is aluminum
oxide which is harder than the aluminum itself. When I got my second
aluminium pot a while ago, I "seasoned" it before using it for beer by
cleaning it, then boiling about a half-gallon of water in it for a
while with the lid on. Dump, boil another half gallon, dump, let dry.

And when you are able to get into all grain, I'd go with the
batch-sparge method - it's cheap and easy.

--Jeff


Re: The next step....


Most kits are geared towards 5 gallon batches. I have heard people doing
these kits with 2.5g wort boils and filling their carboy with cold preboiled
water, but at 1.25g wort boil i would think the wort would be quite thick
and would release all the off flavors that it otherwise would. Not to
mention that it would be really easy to burn  the wort at that
concentration. If i was in your shoes i would think about thinking about
doing all grain batches, much easier to control to your batch size.


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Re: The next step....


Thanks for the advice.

I am going to be looking into getting a bigger pot :D Just need to find one
that is affordable now (Live in UK)

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Re: The next step....


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I don't know about over there, but I bought a turkey fryer setup with a
7.5 gallon stainless steel pot for US $50.00 from a sporting goods
store. It was a floor model so I got it a little cheaper. It's perfect
for doing full 5 gallon boils and heating up water for all grain
batches. A tad small for boiling all grain batches though (when I do
all grain I typically collect about 6.75 gallons and boil that down to
5.5 or so).

_Randal


Re: The next step....


PieOPah wrote on 2/14/2006 12:43 AM:
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Got a 7 gallon pot at Walmart for $20.

Jim

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