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#4641638 - 01/21/18 08:00 AM Any home brewers?
dja4260 Offline


Registered: 05/16/11
Posts: 1017
Loc: Greenville, SC via Chicago, IL
Good morning,

I'm ready to take the plunge into home brewing. I have alot of 5 gallon kit options for under $150 dollars such as this kits below. Any advice would be great!

https://www.northernbrewer.com/brew-share-enjoy-homebrew-starter-kit

https://www.northernbrewer.com/goose-island-starter-kit

https://www.midwestsupplies.com/brewing-...egaAn9hEALw_wcB
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#4641639 - 01/21/18 08:03 AM Re: Any home brewers? [Re: dja4260]
skyactiv Offline


Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 4394
Loc: The Midwest
I have a co-worker that use to brew his own beer. Said cleanliness is imperative.
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#4641661 - 01/21/18 08:32 AM Re: Any home brewers? [Re: dja4260]
Oldtom Offline


Registered: 07/05/14
Posts: 329
Loc: Cecil County Maryland
I got a $90 five gallon kit for Christmas and have used it to brew about 10 gallons of hard cider. Hard cider is about the fastest and easiest drink to brew, and tastes better than beer IMHO. Start with 2 gallons of NO PRESERVATIVE apple cider, 4 cups sugar and a pack of Lalvin EC 1118 yeast. Ferment for 2 weeks or longer if you have patience. Cider gets smoother with a longer fermentation. Store the completed cider in a glass jug kept in the frig. LEAVE THE BOTTLE CAP LOOSE TO AVOID PRESSURE BUILDUP AND BROKEN GLASS EVERYWHERE. The cider is still fermenting in the frig, although slower. A tightly capped glass jug could explode and make a terrible mess, in addition to the eye hazard. Nothing to be scared of, just leave the cap loose. Wash everything well with a bleach solution or a prroduct called Star San.

I am not computer literate. Does this site allow you to PM me if questions?

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#4641697 - 01/21/18 09:00 AM Re: Any home brewers? [Re: dja4260]
dave123 Offline


Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 2313
Loc: wi
Always was going to and as a craft drinker only myself the number of great beers are now endless still be fun but stuck with a ton of beers when now lucky to drink 2 a week. Good luck in venture and as stated above cleanliness is extremely important.

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#4641704 - 01/21/18 09:09 AM Re: Any home brewers? [Re: dja4260]
Rat407 Offline


Registered: 12/13/02
Posts: 1428
Loc: North Carolina
Either of the first two will work just fine. I have brewed about 20 different beers so far and about 5 ciders. Super easy to do. If you want more information go to Home Brew Talk They are a bunch of great individuals that know their stuff. Also go to Beer Smith It is a great source for recipes.
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#4641708 - 01/21/18 09:15 AM Re: Any home brewers? [Re: dja4260]
Leo99 Offline


Registered: 03/30/14
Posts: 3040
Loc: NJ
I used to home brew years ago.

Know when to aerate and when not to. Only aerate the wort before you add yeast. After that, keep it from splashing around.

Follow the directions. The fermentation should go to completion to use up all the fermentable sugars in the wort. Then you'll add some sugar prior to bottling that will be enough fermentable to carbonate in the bottle but not enough to blow up bottles. I've never had flat beer or explosions.

The stronger ales are easier to make well as a beginner. A light lager is for experienced brewers. Stick with extracts. They look like molasses in a can.

Cleanliness! The sugars in the wort are very fermentable and a very happy place for microorganisms. You want the microorganism growing in there to be the yeast you add. If foreign yeasts in your house or bacteria get in there, it could ruin your brew.

But the biggest tip:

Watch the boil!! You'll need to open this can of extract and bring it a boil in a large pot. It takes time for this to come to a boil. You'll be tempted to go do other stuff. Maybe an oil change or something. As a certain temperature, just before boil, the wort will want to bubble up and out of the pot. You need to be ready for this and mix it down. If you don't..... Molasses all over your stove. Trust me, you don't want this. It's a mess! I know...

The kit will probably have you adding the hot wort to cold water in the plastic fermenter. You'll need some way to get the hot wort cooled down and into the fermenter and the yeast added to prevent foreign microorganisms from contaminating it. I had built a heat exchanger out of copper pipe years ago. That might be cost prohibitive today.
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#4641713 - 01/21/18 09:19 AM Re: Any home brewers? [Re: dja4260]
ArtDart Offline


Registered: 07/25/09
Posts: 354
Loc: Missouri
In my opinion, your best option is to find a local homebrew supply store
and shop there. There are at least a couple in Greenville.
Shop local, drink local. Donít send your money to InBev (Northern Brewer).
Disclaimer: I own a homebrew supply store/microbrewery/brew on premises

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#4641720 - 01/21/18 09:22 AM Re: Any home brewers? [Re: dja4260]
BJD78 Offline


Registered: 08/05/17
Posts: 493
Loc: Nebraska
I received a kit a few years back for Father day gift,about 10 years ago. liked it and made a batch or 2 of pilsner and a Kolsh from the kit. http://www.kirksbrew.com/store/recipe-kits/extract-beer-kits/ Over time I just sort of lost interest and it stayed tucked away in the basement utility room and since I had nt used it or years and my wife sold the starter equipment set at a garage sale for about $20.00. It was probably about $50.00 back when I received it years ago. Looks like now a kit is about $110.00 to get started.
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#4641758 - 01/21/18 09:55 AM Re: Any home brewers? [Re: dja4260]
andyd Offline


Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 7139
Loc: Marshfield , MA
SIL is selling brewery equip on the side. Fed Ex dropped 6 boxes of nozzles off the other day. In his off time at sea, he builds brewing parts. During his ashore time he interned at a few local micro-brews to learn the art of larger sale brewing
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#4641925 - 01/21/18 01:10 PM Re: Any home brewers? [Re: dja4260]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX
Making homemade wine is far easier than making homemade beer.
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#4641968 - 01/21/18 01:56 PM Re: Any home brewers? [Re: dja4260]
sleddriver Offline


Registered: 02/06/10
Posts: 4600
Loc: Central Texas
I began brewing beer during the mid-80's. Rough start. Had to make lots of phone calls & travel to malt shops in larger cities for supplies and catalogs. Much easier today via 'net.

Keep excellent time, weight, temp. records.
Steralize everything! I used idophor. Don't use soap only detergent.
I used glass carboys.
Watch use/brand of hops...unless you're a hophead and like BITTER beer. Not me.
Don't use dried yeast. Too unpredictable.
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#4642019 - 01/21/18 03:04 PM Re: Any home brewers? [Re: dja4260]
Tom NJ Offline


Registered: 07/27/06
Posts: 2094
Loc: Virginia
I have been home brewing beer for over a year and love it. The kits you link are fine, except that the first two include a stainless 5 gal pot, which you may already have, and the third includes a plastic or glass 5 gal carboy, which you don't need (used for secondary fermentation which is rarely done anymore). I bought a Brewer's Best kit for $69 without the 5 gal pot or carboy. Keep in mind that these kits often do not include a digital thermometer, bottles, bottle caps, or ingredients (grains or extract, hops and yeast).

Consider all grain brewing in a mesh bag (BIAB). Much easier and simpler process, and you can design your own recipes. You will need a bag, the best being a Wilserbrewer bag. And I agree Homebrewtalk.com is a great site for learning, and there are many videos on Youtube.

Tom NJ/VA

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#4642160 - 01/21/18 05:47 PM Re: Any home brewers? [Re: Tom NJ]
dja4260 Offline


Registered: 05/16/11
Posts: 1017
Loc: Greenville, SC via Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By: Tom NJ
I have been home brewing beer for over a year and love it. The kits you link are fine, except that the first two include a stainless 5 gal pot, which you may already have, and the third includes a plastic or glass 5 gal carboy, which you don't need (used for secondary fermentation which is rarely done anymore). I bought a Brewer's Best kit for $69 without the 5 gal pot or carboy. Keep in mind that these kits often do not include a digital thermometer, bottles, bottle caps, or ingredients (grains or extract, hops and yeast).

Consider all grain brewing in a mesh bag (BIAB). Much easier and simpler process, and you can design your own recipes. You will need a bag, the best being a Wilserbrewer bag. And I agree Homebrewtalk.com is a great site for learning, and there are many videos on Youtube.

Tom NJ/VA


Thank you for the insight. The majority of beer styles that I like require all grain brewing. I'll look into a mesh bag.
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#4642245 - 01/21/18 06:47 PM Re: Any home brewers? [Re: dja4260]
Dave Sherman Offline


Registered: 01/03/06
Posts: 1075
Loc: Ohio
Welcome! It's been a while since I've brewed, but it is fun and there's something rewarding about drinking one that you made yourself. Leo99 had good suggestions; cleanliness is important and watch temperatures when boiling. Cooling the wort quickly before pitching the yeast was tricky for me as a newbie; what I found that works well for me is to have a few trays of ice cubes in the freezer. Fill the kitchen sink with cold water, and put the stock pot in there. Slosh the water around the pot until it's warm and the wort has cooled a bit. Drain the sink, fill it up with cold water again, then add the ice to the sink. I made the mistake of using the ice initially and it all melted quicklyy while the wort was still hot. Once it's below 80 degrees you should be able to pitch the yeast.

Some fellow homebrewers advised against a glass carboy for fermenting; they are slippery when wet and they can break; a friend got to pick up a broken carboy and 5 gallons of beer when he had little accident. Not fun. The equipment I started with just had the plastic buckets for a primary fermenter and bottling bucket. I added a plastic carboy for doing a secondary fermentation. I prefer doing a secondary fermentation; not as much leftover yeast in the bottles and I think it doesn't taste as harsh.
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