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Thread: A little help please...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    San Jose, Ca. USA
    Posts
    6

    A little help please...

    I'm new to home brewing, so, please excuse my ignorance. Also, mods, if this thread is in the wrong place, please forgive me.

    Anyhow, can any of you point me in the right direction. Looking to pick up a "starter's kit" of some sort. Something under $200, that'll include everything I need to get going. Not looking to make any money, obviously, just something to experiement with.

    Any info, will be greatly appreciated...

    Thanks in advance.

    -staRang

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    64

    Homebrewing

    There are at least three excellent homebrewing shops in the Santa Clara valley.
    Brewers of America....on n.4th st. San Jose
    Fermentation Settlement....on Winchester blvd. in Campbell
    Fermentation Frenzy....San Antonio rd. in Los Altos

    Any of these shops will happily put you on the right path to good homebrewing.

    good luck,...enjoy!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    San Jose, Ca. USA
    Posts
    6
    Thanks man... I appreciate it. Fortunately, I live about 100 yards away, from the shop in Campbell. I just wasn't sure if that was a good place or not. Figured I'd find most of my answers on the web. I'll be sure to check it out later today.

    Also...

    I really like Bass and Newcastle. Can anyone of you suggest some ingredients? Or, will the shop be able to provide me w/ all the info?

    Again, thanks in advance.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    64
    Fermentation Settlement has gone more into the wine making direction as most, if not all homebrew shops are on very hard times since the popularity of homebrewing has dropped significantly.
    I suggest you also visit the other shops as well before spending money.

    Brewers of America has a good book selection, but odd hours. Call first.

    Fermentation Frenzy in Los Altos used to have an extensive small scale yeast bank of slants from commercial type brews.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    5

    Homebrew websites/ forums

    Also, you might want to check out some of these homebrew websites for more information.

    Homebrew Adventures

    HBD

    BeerAdvocate

    NorthernBrewer

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    San Jose, Ca. USA
    Posts
    6
    Thanks, for the links!!


    So, I've been checkin' out websites all day, doing research. So, I'm the kind of person that likes to do things right.

    I've been looking at Complete Draft Systems, like so...
    http://www.homebrewery.com/catalog/advanced_equip.html

    Or... Even a complete kit, like so...
    http://www.homebrewmart.com/starter_kit_4_store.html

    Would you guys recommend this? Or am I getting ahead of myself?

    Thanks again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    64
    Good Idea,...
    I reccomend you brew in stainless....ferment in glass....and put in a soda style cylinders and serve draft .

    screw bottles...thier an emmense hassle.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Durango
    Posts
    83
    Check out www.morebeer.com best prices, service, and free shipping
    -J.Boy
    Bottoms Up!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    32

    Bass and Newcastle

    I don't think anybody mentioned www.beertown.org which is the AOB's web site--also a good resource for lots of things.

    If you're looking to copy commercial styles, a good beginners recipe book is Clone Brews. It will help you going in the right direction for recipe formulation especially before you get a sense of it on your own.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Berlin, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    351

    more good recipes...

    I'd also highly recommend Charlie Papazian's "Complete Joy of Brewing" and "Brewer's Companion". Lots of excellent info and good recipes. Also, the books published by Brewers Publications (part of the Association of Brewers) on the various beer styles have some good recipe and ingredient info.

    Are you going to do all-grain brewing or use extract and specialty grains (or have you gotten far enough to ask that?)? If you do go with extract initially, I highly recommend using Alexander's Sun Country extracts, I believe made by California Concentrates. Real high quality stuff, no off-flavors.

    Cheers, Tim

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada!
    Posts
    281
    tarmadilo said:
    "I'd also highly recommend Charlie Papazian's "Complete Joy of Brewing" and "Brewer's Companion"."
    -which is excellent advice - but make sure you get the new & updated versions of these two gems. They'll get you out of some tough jams!

    Happy Brewing
    Dave

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    64
    I'd like to also reccomend Ray Daniels's "Designing Great Beers".
    Gives you the nuts & bolts of formulation in easy to read terms.
    It may be a bit ahead of where you are, but I think every brewer should read it....eventually.

    Cheers,

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    San Jose, Ca. USA
    Posts
    6

    Re: more good recipes...

    Originally posted by tarmadilo
    Are you going to do all-grain brewing or use extract and specialty grains (or have you gotten far enough to ask that?)? If you do go with extract initially, I highly recommend using Alexander's Sun Country extracts, I believe made by California Concentrates. Real high quality stuff, no off-flavors.

    Cheers, Tim
    I have no clue... Haven't got that far... But, do you recommend that I start off with extracts?

    Also, if I get a Brewing System (Keg + CO2 cylinder), I'm assuming that it comes w/ everything I'll need to fill the keg up, right?

    Didn't think I'd get this many responses. Thanks for all the info!!
    Keep it coming!!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Berlin, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    351
    Well, beer wort (unfermented beer) comes from malted barley, crushed and mixed with hot water to make the mash, which sits for an hour or so while enzymes present in the husks convert the starches to sugars, which are then rinsed out (in a process much like how a Mr. Coffee makes coffee) and collected in your brew kettle.

    Or, you can buy malt extract, which is a concentrated wort in either syrup form or powder form that you mix with water to get to the same point.

    The advantages of using a high-quality malt extract for your homebrew: 1) You don't need to buy or build a mash vessel; 2) Your brewing day is more like two hours rather than six hours (which means if you mess up, you have less time lost!); 3)with good ingredients you can usually brew beer just as good as with all grain.

    The advantages of using all grain: 1) You have more options for recipes, interesting malts, conversion temperatures (to adjust mouthfeel, amount of unfermentable sugars, etc). 2) Your beer is absolutely, totally YOUR beer, for better or worse. 3) It's just plain cooler...

    For what it's worth, probably 85% of the beers I made as a homebrewer were with malt extract, and I found it quite satisfying. I don't mind spending six hours brewing at work, but when I'm brewing in my spare time, I kinda prefer to get it done more quickly!

    Oh, and with your keg system, you'd just syphon the beer from your fermenter into the keg and chill it down and carbonate it. Easy as pie!

    Cheers, Tim
    Last edited by tarmadilo; 12-03-2003 at 02:48 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    San Jose, Ca. USA
    Posts
    6
    Sweet!! Thanks again for all the info... I'm going to drop by the shop near my place, and buy a few books. Doesn't look like I'll have this rig until Christmas time. Until then, I'll be reading up and visiting my local watering hole frequently (Rock Bottom).

    Again, thanks for all your help/info... I'm sure I'll have more questions later.

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