T Nation

I'm makin' brew!

Okay I recently acquired a home brew kit, and now I am going to make myself some home brew. What kind I am not sure of yet, but probably a basic lager then I will venture into the depths of becoming a brew mad scientist. I know that alcohol is bad for training, and I promise not to drink much, but you can’t go wrong with a truly good brew. That said, are there any other home brewers out there and what are some things that you found that have worked?

i bottled a batch of irish stout on 12/23. the most imporrtant thing is to keep everything clean and sterile. i clean everything in a bleach solution and have never had a problem. just rinse it out enough to get the smell out. my wife gave me a party pig for christmas that i used for the first time. its basically a 2.5 gallon keg that saves you a lot of time cleaning bottles. do a search on google and you will find the website. happy brewing.

Here is another question, can any of you could tell me where I can buy hops, malts, and yeasts? The kit that I received had some pre-mixed, I only need to make wort out of it, but I am wanting to extend my creativity past the pre-mixed mixes.

I have been homebrewing for years, have worked up to whole grain beers (no extract) in my three tiered gravity fed, propane fired brewerey. I make ten gallons at the time with a full wort boil. Your question “some things that work” is way too broad. Immediatedly join the American Homebrewers Association. Their monthly magazine, Zymurgy, is a wealth of information, recipes, gadgets and suggestions.

Having said that one tip for your first (and every) batch is to make a yeast starter. The instructions probably say just cool the wort and dump the yeast in. Without getting too technical this allows for too much lag time at a time when your beer is most vulnerable. A little internet searching will give you all the info you need on a yeast starter (don’t be intimidated–easy). Also in the future pay the extra couple of bucks for liquid yeast, no telling how viable, or how old the dry stuff with the kit is.

Supplies are readily available in any city of size or mail order, or net.

Lastly if there are problems with this batch, and you were already too far along to incorporate my suggestions (liquid yeast and starter) dont be discouraged but get to work on the next batch as i suggested and I think you will hve no problems.

I just got my starter kit for my birthday several weeks ago. Haven’t had time to brew my first batch, but I think I’ll be able to sometime later this week. I’ll let you know how things go.

To repeat what others said, keep everything meticulously clean and you will avoid having a sour batch. If you are truely going to do a lager, you will need to keep the wort at about 45 degrees during fermentation–not possible without a modified refrigerator. Start with a basic English bitter which ferments at about 65 degrees. Also, to keep things simple, I would use malt extracts. That will allow you to boil the wort in just a couple of gallons of water and chill the wort quickly by adding cold (clean) bottled water to it. Later on, when you get more proficient, you can do all-grain brews, where you have to boil the entire 5 gallon batch. Then, you will need a wort chiller. Cornelius kegs rock. You just fill it with finished, flat beer, and carbonate it which a CO2 bottle. No more tedious bottling and priming it with corn sugar to carbonate it. Bottling is the only option if you want to transport your beer though. Good luck!

Welcome to the world of homebrewing! I live in Utah and they regulate all grocery store beers to 3.2% alcohol by weight. If you want stronger beer you have to do a road trip and bootleg it from out of state, or pay alot more for it at a state liquor store where it is heavily taxed by the state. I found a much better solution, brew my own! With your basic starter kit you can do extract brewing, it’s simple and fun. You get supplies and ingrediants from local brewing stores (check the yellow pages, ask around) or online. Go to amazon ad do a search for author name Charlie Papazian and buy his “Joy of homebrewing” and the companion books. They are great beginning brewing instruction manuals that are well written and fun to read. That should get you going. Check out Brewery.org it’s a decent info site. The previous posts all had good recomendations, and as Hyok said a lager requires low fermentation temp’s and takes longer to get to a ready to drink state. Start with ales, any kind, pales are easiest because they usually require the least amount of ingrediants and variables. You can have it ready to drink in 3 weeks or less depending on how you do it. As far as sanitation, IT’S VERY IMPORTANT! However, do not get intimidated, it is easy. I like to use iodine, not chlorine because you can dilute it 1oz to 5 gallons of water and it won’t leave stains, bleach will still bleach when diluted and I think bleach has a stronger smell that leaves me worrying about off flavors. Chlorine bleach will also corrode stainless steel, and I love using cornelius kegs like Hyok. Check out rcbequip.com for cheap used cornelius gear that is in good condition. I have a fridge dedicated to my beer at home, it’s great to just go to your fride and have beer on tap. Look in your local thrifty adds, you can usually find old fridges pretty cheap. Ok, sorry for the overload of info, it might seem like alot at first but it is so simple once you get into it that you’ll wonder why you ever drank a can of budwieser in your life. Have fun, I have a honey oatmeal stout and an extra strength pale ale bubbling away as I write this. Happy New Year!

Definitely start with ales, stouts or porters. Lagers are a little tricky, and take longer.

if it’s your first brew i’d suggest a pale ale. you dont want to start off with a lager, it has to be maintained at a very specific tempurture(low 50’s depending on yeast used) range for months at a time. my last one went 3 month then first rack, then another 3 months. i love the skunkyness so i bottled in green bottles, it’s due to the sunlight effecting the yeast.