Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Hall-Of-Famer
    Points: 38,340, Level: 60
    Level completed: 41%, Points required for next Level: 710
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    Veteran25000 Experience Points

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Altoona
    Posts
    3,780
    Points
    38,340
    Level
    60
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 3
    Given: 0

    Brew Masters out there

    I know there are a few brew masters out there, so I'd like some advice. I really want to try my hand in brewing but really don't know much about it at all. I've just started looking at brew kits, but was wondering what you guys recommend? Should I go cheap and basic, like a $35 Mr. Brew or go all out with something else? I'm afraid the starter kits don't allow much flexibility or creativity with their brews.

    Someone help me get started. Thanks.



  2. #2
    Addict
    Points: 119,458, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 3.0%
    Achievements:
    SocialVeteran50000 Experience Points
    jsmith86's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Tulsa
    Posts
    6,193
    Points
    119,458
    Level
    100
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 0
    Given: 0

    Re: Brew Masters out there

    Have you read this yet?

    The Complete Joy of HomeBrewing by Charles Papazian

    It has just about everything you need to know about anything related to brewing.


    ____________________________________

    You can't die. That would upset the equilibrium in the Cave.
    Warning: Posts contain 98% post-sarcastic content.
    Hoiball

  3. #3
    Hall-Of-Famer
    Points: 38,340, Level: 60
    Level completed: 41%, Points required for next Level: 710
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    Veteran25000 Experience Points

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Altoona
    Posts
    3,780
    Points
    38,340
    Level
    60
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 3
    Given: 0

    Re: Brew Masters out there

    Appreciate it. I know there are more brewers out there.



  4. #4
    Addict
    Points: 136,735, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    Veteran50000 Experience Points
    herbicide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ankeny, IA
    Posts
    8,639
    Points
    136,735
    Level
    100
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 0
    Given: 0

    Re: Brew Masters out there

    I wouldn't waste your $ on a mr. beer kit, go to Heartland Homebrew supply in Valley Junction or New City Market on University by Waveland, and get a better (5 gallon) kit. Brewer's Best is an example of a good kit.

    The Mr. Beer kit limits what you can brew because of its size, there are literally thousands of pre-mixes and different recipes available for the better kits.

    The other thing you will need is a stainless steel stock pot to boil everything, get at least a 20 quart. You can use an aluminum one, but some report an off-taste when aluminum is used. I just had to buy a new one, Target in Altoona had one for $45. Sam's Club reportedly has some good ones as well.

    There are a ton of forums out there about home brewing if you want more information.

    Whatever you get, the key thing to remember is sanitize, sanitize, sanitize!



  5. #5
    All-Star
    Points: 16,471, Level: 39
    Level completed: 3%, Points required for next Level: 779
    Overall activity: 1.0%
    Achievements:
    Veteran10000 Experience Points
    cdekovic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ames
    Posts
    1,016
    Points
    16,471
    Level
    39
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 4
    Given: 1

    Re: Brew Masters out there

    Quote Originally Posted by herbicide View Post
    I wouldn't waste your $ on a mr. beer kit, go to Heartland Homebrew supply in Valley Junction or New City Market on University by Waveland, and get a better (5 gallon) kit. Brewer's Best is an example of a good kit.

    The Mr. Beer kit limits what you can brew because of its size, there are literally thousands of pre-mixes and different recipes available for the better kits.

    The other thing you will need is a stainless steel stock pot to boil everything, get at least a 20 quart. You can use an aluminum one, but some report an off-taste when aluminum is used. I just had to buy a new one, Target in Altoona had one for $45. Sam's Club reportedly has some good ones as well.

    There are a ton of forums out there about home brewing if you want more information.

    Whatever you get, the key thing to remember is sanitize, sanitize, sanitize!
    My advise it to be realistic about getting started. You can start with a Mr. Beer for about $40-$60 and there are hundreds of recipes. It's not like you're going to be making thousands of beers. How much for a stainless steel stock pot? $80-$100? Although you can use it to cook lobsters too I guess. With Mr. Beer you use pretty much everything in your kitchen. You will get plenty of decent home brews for little investment. If you like what your results are, then expand to the stainless stock pot versions.


    Hit it hard, every yard

  6. #6
    Pro
    Points: 45,793, Level: 66
    Level completed: 18%, Points required for next Level: 1,157
    Overall activity: 1.0%
    Achievements:
    Veteran25000 Experience Points
    Rods79's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Des Moines
    Posts
    2,520
    Points
    45,793
    Level
    66
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 7
    Given: 8

    Re: Brew Masters out there

    Do not waste your money on Mr. Beer. It does not allow for expansion like a starter kit from Northern Brewer or anywhere else. NB had their kits on sale, and everything you order from them has a standard $7.99 shipping fee, which is nice. Go with the one that is about $60 and includes a plastic fermentation bucket and bottling bucket. You can always expand on that and it includes a lot of necessary pieces.

    Need at least a 20q SS pot ($45 at Target). Pick up some StarSan from NB as well. The smallest one will be fine. It is a no-rinse sanitizer that doesn't leave any off flavors (which means you could get it in your beer without ruining it and still keep things sanitized, which is key. Yeast actually likes it!).

    Check out Homebrew Talk Forum. Great message board. Might want to read a starter book to pick up on the process first. "How to Brew" by John Palmer is completely free and online, just google it.

    Just say no to Mr. Beer. Too limited.


    Last edited by Rods79; 11-29-2009 at 11:11 AM.

  7. #7
    Addict
    Points: 136,735, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    Veteran50000 Experience Points
    herbicide's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ankeny, IA
    Posts
    8,639
    Points
    136,735
    Level
    100
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 0
    Given: 0

    Re: Brew Masters out there

    Quote Originally Posted by cdekovic View Post
    My advise it to be realistic about getting started. You can start with a Mr. Beer for about $40-$60 and there are hundreds of recipes. It's not like you're going to be making thousands of beers. How much for a stainless steel stock pot? $80-$100? Although you can use it to cook lobsters too I guess. With Mr. Beer you use pretty much everything in your kitchen. You will get plenty of decent home brews for little investment. If you like what your results are, then expand to the stainless stock pot versions.
    $45 dollars for that stock pot. You can get the rest of the kit for about $60-70, so you are talking around $115 to get started. Then you are not tied down to what Mr. beer will sell you for recipes. With a real kit, your choices are unlimited, you can clone your favorite beers or create one of a kind beers.

    The Mr. Beer kit is what it is, cheap. A few years back me and some friends bought and used it once, then we proceeded to buy a better kit. We had all used the better kit before, the 2 gallons didn't make it through the first night we opened the bottles.


    Last edited by herbicide; 11-29-2009 at 11:05 AM.

  8. #8
    Starter
    Points: 9,976, Level: 30
    Level completed: 5%, Points required for next Level: 574
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    Veteran5000 Experience Points
    Cyfan322's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ames
    Posts
    609
    Points
    9,976
    Level
    30
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 0
    Given: 0

    Re: Brew Masters out there

    Don't do the Mr. Beer thing. Like others have said there are some great homebrew shops around here, including Beer Crazy in Urbandale. There are also plenty of resources on the web. If you want a DVD to get started I would go with Basic Brewing? : Home Brewing Beer Podcast and DVD - Welcome

    I've found brewing to be a fantastic hobby because not only do I get a ton of beer high quality beer, but I also get to give away great beer to my friends and it is such a conversation starter to talk about brewing.


    Last edited by Cyfan322; 11-29-2009 at 11:41 AM.

  9. #9
    Walk On
    Points: 7,872, Level: 26
    Level completed: 54%, Points required for next Level: 278
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    Veteran5000 Experience Points
    BEACHBUM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Des Moines
    Posts
    198
    Points
    7,872
    Level
    26
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 1
    Given: 0

    Re: Brew Masters out there

    got the perfect web site for you www.williamsbrewing.com I got online and ordered their free catalog. They sent it to me for 3 years before I bought. Kits that have almost everything you need to brew your first batch are sold there. Will cost $115 and does not include the SS pot needed but I bought mine for $15! Not sure where others are getting theirs at. It will come with a dvd on how to and all equipment to do the whole process. Then you can brew whatever you want or keep buying their brew kits for about $35. I did it 3 years ago and now am brewing all the time. It was a very very good kit to get started with. Check out the site



  10. #10
    Hall-Of-Famer
    Points: 71,881, Level: 83
    Level completed: 26%, Points required for next Level: 1,269
    Overall activity: 3.0%
    Achievements:
    Veteran50000 Experience Points
    cyfan964's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    4 blocks from the Jack
    Posts
    4,543
    Points
    71,881
    Level
    83
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 65
    Given: 156

    Re: Brew Masters out there

    Make sure you get glass carboys for primary and secondary fermentation. Buckets are crap.. they scratch easy and can cause infections because you can't clean out the scratches properly. I would recommend kits to start out with. www.northernbrewer.com offers a wide variety. I've tried most of them and they are all good. The brewers up there really know what they are doing. Beer Crazy, www.gobeercrazy.com, in Urbandale offers anything you would want to get started. Best brew store in the Iowa.


    Last edited by cyfan964; 11-29-2009 at 08:32 PM.
    Now that MBB is back, do we still have to pretend that WBB matters?

    -acgclone

  11. #11
    Pro
    Points: 45,793, Level: 66
    Level completed: 18%, Points required for next Level: 1,157
    Overall activity: 1.0%
    Achievements:
    Veteran25000 Experience Points
    Rods79's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Des Moines
    Posts
    2,520
    Points
    45,793
    Level
    66
    Thumbs Up
    Received: 7
    Given: 8

    Re: Brew Masters out there

    Quote Originally Posted by cyfan964 View Post
    Make sure you get glass carboys for primary and secondary fermentation. Buckets are crap.. they scratch easy and can cause infections because you can't clean out the scratches properly. I would recommend kits to start out with. www.northernbrewer.com offers a wide variety. I've tried most of them and they are all good. The brewers up there really know what they are doing. Beer Crazy, { Beer Crazy ? Open for Business! }, in Urbandale offers anything you would want to get started. Best brew store in the Iowa.
    I have had no trouble with plastic fermentation buckets, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to a new brewer. Unless you are cleaning them with steel wool, a knife, and elbow grease then I wouldn't worry about scratching. Treat them like a non-stick pan and you'll be good. Plus, damaging sunlight won't get through the bucket like a glass carboy and potentially skunk your beer.

    The kits from Williams Brewing seem a little too expensive for what you get. Your best bet is to get the starter kit from Northern Brewer, they are 10% off until Nov. 30th:
    Starter Kits

    I have no idea where the previous poster bought a SS pot for $15...unless it wasn't anywhere near 20q capacity. For An economy pot you are looking at least $40.

    Might want to check out Midwestern Brewer online also. The kits and prices between the two stores are comparable. You'll be able to expand on any of these once you get going and if you need to.

    You'll most likely be doing extract brewing to start (and then you'll get into Partial Mash, and possibly All-Grain if you are ambitious and have the space). Pick up an extract recipe kit from wherever you order. Look at the user reviews for the style you like, and go from there. I would recommend you spring for the Wyeast smack pack yeast for your first couple of beers, but you definitely don't have to if you are on a tight budget...they are just pre-packaged yeast starters that are easy to use and proof.

    Beer Crazy in Urbandale is a good store, but it helps to know a little about brewing before you go. I always stop in there on my trips up from KC.

    Also...start saving (and washing) your beer bottles. Make sure they aren't the screw top kind though. A 5 gallon batch of beer usually fills about 48 bottles give or take. You'll have plenty of time to stockpile bottles during your 2+ week wait for beer.


    Last edited by Rods79; 11-30-2009 at 12:04 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • TV: FOX
  • Iowa State vs. Baylor
  • September 27, 2014
  • 07:20 PM