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staRang
12-02-2003, 11:28 AM
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

Mr.hops
12-02-2003, 11:59 AM
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!

staRang
12-02-2003, 12:57 PM
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.

Mr.hops
12-02-2003, 02:13 PM
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.

prAna
12-02-2003, 03:31 PM
Also, you might want to check out some of these homebrew websites for more information.

Homebrew Adventures (http://forums.homebrew.com)

HBD (http://hbd.org/forums)

BeerAdvocate (http://www.beeradvocate.com)

NorthernBrewer (http://forum.northernbrewer.com)

staRang
12-02-2003, 03:54 PM
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.

Mr.hops
12-02-2003, 05:38 PM
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.

jrdamas
12-02-2003, 10:09 PM
Check out www.morebeer.com best prices, service, and free shipping
-J.Boy

Chip Tate
12-03-2003, 07:16 AM
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.

tarmadilo
12-03-2003, 10:05 AM
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

rudge75
12-03-2003, 10:38 AM
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 :)

Mr.hops
12-03-2003, 12:26 PM
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,:D

staRang
12-03-2003, 01:47 PM
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... :D 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!!

tarmadilo
12-03-2003, 02:46 PM
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

staRang
12-03-2003, 05:29 PM
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.

Mr.hops
12-03-2003, 05:49 PM
:D Your one lucky new homebrewer....
I too and impressed (but not suprised) at the support here for you.
Brewers are usally pretty friendly folks and some here that posted, I know are Proffessional Brewers.

By the way,...Too bad about Stoddard's (Campbell) eh?
I"m told thier in chapter 11 in Sunnyvale too.
Damn shame.
Did you get to try thier beers?

brewmonkey
12-03-2003, 05:55 PM
I would also suggest heading over to www.realbeer.com and checking out their forums..

staRang
12-04-2003, 10:58 AM
Yeah man... Awesome info. Thanks again everyone. :thumbup:

I've only been to Stoddards once before. Couldn't really tell you how it went, because we started the night at Khartum's --> Stoddards --> Katie Blooms --> Outback --> Boswell's --> Then ended the night at Rock Bottom. Boy, was that a long night. :)

Again, thanks for taking the time to point a newb in the right direction. Once I get the hang of things, I'll have to hit you guys up for some secrects. :D

Cheers,

-staRang


Originally posted by Mr.hops
:D Your one lucky new homebrewer....
I too and impressed (but not suprised) at the support here for you.
Brewers are usally pretty friendly folks and some here that posted, I know are Proffessional Brewers.

By the way,...Too bad about Stoddard's (Campbell) eh?
I"m told thier in chapter 11 in Sunnyvale too.
Damn shame.
Did you get to try thier beers?