Where to begin

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Hi,

I am planning on brewing my own beer in an effort to save money.

A few Christmases ago, my wife bought me a micro-brewery which I wasn't too
impressed with (mix a powder with water and x weeks later you have beer!!!!
Yeah right....)

Anyway, many years ago as a kid, I used to help my Dad out and had fun.

So, what would I need to buy to begin? My plan is to make ale and I would
prefer to use the kits to begin (I remember tins of thick nasty syrup which
my dad would boil with sugar, water and yeast).

I don't have anywhere I can store that would be nice and warm, so storage at
room temperature and below is my ideal situation. Also, don't want to be
bottling stuff up so want it out of a barrel/keg.

I would eventually like to be able to make beer from my own recipe, but that
won't be for a while yet!

All advise that can be given would be greatly appreciated

btw I live in the UK so no American sites for home delivery ;-)

Thanks,
Simon



Re: Where to begin


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It's like universally accepted that this is the best place to start:
http://www.howtobrew.com/


Re: Where to begin


Much appreciated.

I have an evening shift at work tomorrow meaning I have all the time in the
world. Gonna read this and learn all I can.

Many thanks :D

Simon

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Re: Where to begin


Ken Anderson wrote:
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If you prefer to work from a book, I recommend the Complete Joy of Home
Brewing by Charlie Papazian.  I can't recommend any supply houses since
I'm in the States.

Best of Luck


Scott

Re: Where to begin


On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 18:22:19 +0000 (UTC), "PieOPah"

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It won't happen.  You can always buy a cheaper beer than you can brew.
Of course you can brew GOOD beer more cheaply than you can buy it.

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Large pot to boil in - about 8 (US) gallons.
Fermenter - a plastic bucket type is cheap and works well.
Lots of little auxiliary things - thermometer, tubing, air lock, etc.
Most suppliers have brewing kits for sale with everything you'll need.
It's sometimes cheaper to buy individual pieces, but by buying a kit
you know that you have everything.

http://makeashorterlink.com/?D2B2129BA is one UK source.  Google
returns quite a few places in the UK:
http://www.youngshomebrew.co.uk/products_consumer.htm http://www.homebrewshop.co.uk/
http://makeashorterlink.com/?B203239BA is a Yahoo list of some UK
suppliers.

http://www.alpha-byte.demon.co.uk/supplier.htm is a list of suppliers.

These should get you started.

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"Kits" of dry malt extract, hops and yeast will usually yield more of
what you want, unless you want to duplicate some common ales.

Ask your supplier, whoever it turns out to be, if he can supply you
with what you'll need to brew whatever ale you prefer, if they don't
list a kit for it.  They can come pretty close.  (The recipe of most
commercial beers is known to a fair degree of certainty.)

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Room temperature, or slightly below, is ideal for brewing ale.  About
20C.

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Then you'll also need a refrigerator in which to keep the ale, unless
you like drinking it at room temperature.

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That's easy.  It's the step from extract to whole grain that's the
difficult one.  You start with a recipe that's close to what you want,
then you refine it to be *your* perfect beer.

Good luck.

Re: Where to begin


This is perfect.

Many many thanks.

I know that I can buy cheaper than I can make, but there is a limit to what
I will drink! For 20p a can I can buy 'Safeway/Morrisons bitter' This is
nasty nasty stuff!!! However, to buy a nice decent beer, I would pay about
£1.50 - £2.00 a bottle.

Even if I am only saving a small amount of money, the satisfaction of
drinking your own is more than worth the price :D

Again, thanks for the info.

Simon
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Re: Where to begin


On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 18:22:19 +0000 (UTC), "PieOPah"

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You can check a few of the sites that sell kits and then decide what
you want to buy as individual pieces (save a little money).  

I think a hydrometer has limited value and stopped using mine a long
time ago.

I did add a digital thermometer with a probe and alarm.  That has
proven to be a good investment ($20 US).  Good for getting to the
stove before the wort boils over and warming the water for a grain
infusion.

You don't want a warm place.  Room temperature is warm enough - too
warm for lager.  A constant temperature is nice to have.  

Kegging takes some investment in gear.  I have korny kegs (at no small
cost - kegs, CO2 tank and regulators hoses etc. and a chilled water
circulator to keep the keg in) and quit using them.  Bottles work
better for me.  I tried a few of the early (12 years ago) small
refrigerator kegs and was unsatisfied with those, but the technology
may have improved in that time.  Bottles are a little more work, but
offer portability and I'm not committed to drinking one style beer
until it is finished.

Ditto that about cost.  You can always buy that swill they sell with
the word "beer" on the can, but real beer costs.

Re: Where to begin


in alt.beer.home-brewing:

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About the only things it can tell you are 1) whether you have your
wort set up for the style you're brewing and 2) whether it's stopped
fermenting.

Re: Where to begin


Al Klein wrote:
 
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It will also let you figure the efficiency of your mashing system.

    ------->Denny
--
Life begins at 60 - 1.060, that is.

Reply to denny_at_projectoneaudio_dot_com

Re: Where to begin


in alt.beer.home-brewing:

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Good reasons to not use one, then, I guess.

Re: Where to begin


Denny Conn a écrit :
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Hello, After 10 brewing experiences, the only thing I still wanna know
from it is the amount of alcohol (OG/FG). But when you begin, it is a
good tool to avoid uncertainty... Cheers!

Re: Where to begin


"N. Falcimaigne" wrote:

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Well, after 225 brewing experiences, I wanna know a LOT more.

    ------->Denny
--
Life begins at 60 - 1.060, that is.

Reply to denny_at_projectoneaudio_dot_com

Re: Where to begin


PieOPah a écrit :

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Move to Medford Or! (see next thread) ;0) Santé!

Re: Where to begin


Could be a little difficult.....


Re: Where to begin


On Wed, 23 Mar 2005 16:19:32 -0500, "N. Falcimaigne"

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Not all news readers thread in the same order.

Re: Where to begin


I saw the next thread anyway... Guy in Medford is selling his kit!


Re: Where to begin


not all comments, need a reply
some look for inspiration.
"gimme more" , is often the case.
unfortuately my saystem provides i get all messages.
i sift quite a bit.
170 plus newsgroups. 2 days off. likely not see me again.

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Re: Where to begin


On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 18:22:19 +0000 (UTC), "PieOPah"

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Ha!  And I bought my first computer so I could save money on
typewriter ribbons... fool, I!  Then I saw a shiny new modem... then
there was a mouse thingy... oh! more memory! bigger hard drive! On
Dancer! On Prancer!  :-)

If my humour is a little too obtuse, the point I'm trying to make is,
that as a hobby that you grow into, there will always be an outlay of
cash as you get deeper and deeper into the hobby.

As other have posted and you, yourself have said, you can brew better
beers more cheaply than you can buy them in most cases.  The economics
is dependant largely upon the local authority's tax regime.  In the US
you can buy American swill for, say, $2 per six "pints".  In Canada,
Canadian swill will set you back at least $8 (I'm unsure, since I
haven't graced the insides of a Canadian beer outlet in ages.).  I
confess that "cheaper" good beer was a factor in my decision to
embrace the hobby but I remain because it is fun, conversational and
even sometimes tasty. :-)

Steve


Re: Where to begin


If you want to get started with relatively mistake free results, then get
yourself a Brew House kit from Spagnols. I've referred to this a couple
times on this newsgroup(no, I don't have shares in the company and I'm not a
dealer). It's as simple as you can get and makes a very good beer. I still
use it when I run out of time to make a malt brew.
From there you can go to extracts(if you want, Coopers and Munton aren't
bad) or try a simple malt brew(once you convince yourself to invest in the
equipment). The Brew House only needs a simple wine making kit to get
started, so investment is low. These kits can vary greatly in price
depending on where you purchase them. Try
http://www.thebrewhouse.com/where/index.htm for retailers in your area. Good on-line support and advice if you want to
blend kits for specific brew. As I said before, good kits make for lazy
brewers, so you can become complacent!
Tom
<freebeer-at-rogers-dot-com> wrote in message
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Re: Where to begin


Thanks for the link however being from the UK this isn't going to give
me any places I can get kits :-(

Both my parents and my In-Laws have Home Brew shops fairly close to
them so I will be asking them to purchase a few kits and bring them to
me the next time they come to visit (within the next month!). This will
save me paying the astronomical P&P costs.

Currently waiting to see how my first batch turns out......


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