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Brew Kits, Let's Talk About 'Em.
get back the ska
post Oct 18 2010, 06:53 PM
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I'm gonna cop a beer brewing kit soon, was wondering if anyones got any experience/advice to offer. I'm leaning toward the Mr. Beer brand right now 'cause it seems to be a good starting off kit, though I'm aware it's not a premium set.


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SkankinLibrarian
post Oct 18 2010, 08:10 PM
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Terrible. Just terrible.


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dont fuck up


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zam man
post Oct 18 2010, 08:47 PM
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i got a mr beer kit a few years ago and made a few batches, it was a lot of fun and was very easy, a good place to start. that being said, the kit was pretty cheesy, just a big plastic jug, some packets of mix, and some plastic bottles. if you are going to spend money, you might as well spend money on a decent kit. the fact that your ingredients come in packets takes away a lot of the fun, too. my second batch i went to this place in san diego called home brew mart, where they have a book full of recipes, you go and pick out all your ingredients by hand, boil the wort, etc. it's a lot more fun doing it this way. mr. beer kits are ok for this, but it is the bare minimum. either way though, it's a lot of fun, and once you get a kit you can make like 2 gallons of beer for 30 dollars worth of ingredients. it isn't very difficult, the biggest issue is keeping everything sterilized. good luck!
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penguindude
post Oct 19 2010, 05:15 PM
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My brother started with a mr beer. Now he's assistant brewer at the Cambridge Brewing Company and starting his own microbrewery. Also won beer of the year at the American Craft Beer festival 2 years ago.

Go for it!


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?Rorshach?
post Oct 19 2010, 05:32 PM
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Penguindudes story is definitely a solid sell for a mr.beer, but I'm going to say you should just buy a real brew kit. Why? Well because brewing beer is about the easiest thing in the whole world to do and its also wicked amounts of fun so god knows after your first batch you'll be hooked. From there it won't be long before you want to do the real thing, so save yourself some cash and just dive right in.

I buy all my stuff from austin homebrew. Check them out. Also be sure to pick up the joy of homebrewing...that book will become your bible.


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get back the ska
post Oct 19 2010, 05:58 PM
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Solid advice, maybe I'm underestimating the simplicity of home brewing. Also, that's awesome penguindude. I will report back with what route I'm gonna go, looking into austin homebrew now.


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the reason why I curse
is cause my Mommy and my Daddy
they grew up cursin
so please respect my style
please
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penguindude
post Oct 19 2010, 06:13 PM
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QUOTE (?Rorshach? @ Oct 19 2010, 06:32 PM) *
Penguindudes story is definitely a solid sell for a mr.beer, but I'm going to say you should just buy a real brew kit. Why? Well because brewing beer is about the easiest thing in the whole world to do and its also wicked amounts of fun so god knows after your first batch you'll be hooked. From there it won't be long before you want to do the real thing, so save yourself some cash and just dive right in.

I buy all my stuff from austin homebrew. Check them out. Also be sure to pick up the joy of homebrewing...that book will become your bible.



I should add, my brother soon got a real kit and really got going from there. But it all did start with a mr beer.

His award winning beer:



http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/14/45878


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Mallow
post Oct 20 2010, 12:42 PM
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My stepfather has a Mr. Beer kit tucked away somewhere at our old house, and has advised me that it's free for the taking whenever I want it.

I figure it'll be a good place to start brewing for the first time.

I was thinking about going with this kit first, and if it goes well I'll either buy another kit or get a legit system going. Also this is a good party treat.

This post has been edited by Mallow: Oct 20 2010, 12:44 PM


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Jesus Christ
post Oct 20 2010, 02:06 PM
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I would recommend bypassing the Mr. beer kit and just buying a very basic brewing kit (under 100 bucks). Mr. Beers make very mediocre beers and you don't get to enjoy adding ingredients in the same way, its just a can filled with Malt and Hop extract. There is something so much more satisfying about being able to steep in your own specialty grain in, adding in your own fresh hops, and even creating your own recipes once you get good at it. The equipment won't go out of use, I think you will get hooked once you do it (pretty much everyone does). I run my colleges home brewing club and I make a lot of beer, its probably one of my favorite things ever.

Btw, Jon they are gonna have the 2009 Audacity of Hops on tap at Belgian Beer Fest. Its sold out and I'm working it, pretty pumped.


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It's Jesus, lol
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Mallow
post Oct 20 2010, 02:47 PM
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QUOTE (Jesus Christ @ Oct 20 2010, 03:06 PM) *
I would recommend bypassing the Mr. beer kit and just buying a very basic brewing kit (under 100 bucks). Mr. Beers make very mediocre beers and you don't get to enjoy adding ingredients in the same way, its just a can filled with Malt and Hop extract. There is something so much more satisfying about being able to steep in your own specialty grain in, adding in your own fresh hops, and even creating your own recipes once you get good at it. The equipment won't go out of use, I think you will get hooked once you do it (pretty much everyone does). I run my colleges home brewing club and I make a lot of beer, its probably one of my favorite things ever.


Thank you Jesus


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Jesus Christ
post Oct 20 2010, 03:59 PM
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http://www.midwestsupplies.com/brewing-bas...ipment-kit.html

Here's a cheap kit. All you would need is ingredients, bottles (You can reuse the ones you drink as long as they aren't screw tops, you need about 50 for a five gallon batch), and a kettle (3 Gallons minimum).

Best of luck


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penguindude
post Oct 20 2010, 05:18 PM
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QUOTE (Jesus Christ @ Oct 20 2010, 03:06 PM) *
Btw, Jon they are gonna have the 2009 Audacity of Hops on tap at Belgian Beer Fest. Its sold out and I'm working it, pretty pumped.



Baracktoberfest, Ben's new place, November 20th. Be there for the enhanced new Audacity, and 4 other patriotic beers.


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?Rorshach?
post Oct 21 2010, 12:34 AM
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QUOTE (Jesus Christ @ Oct 20 2010, 03:59 PM) *
...and a kettle (3 Gallons minimum).

Best of luck


I'm going to add that you probably don't want a pot larger than 3 gallons until you start brewing batches. If your pots way bigger than the liquid you're trying to boil, its just going to take longer.

Also, make sure that you're measuring the total volume of the liquid in your fermenter and not just the amount of liquid you SHOULD have in there. By this I mean that even though your recipe might say you SHOULD end up with 2 1/2 gallons of wort to which you're adding 2 1/2 gallons of water, you may have messed up just a little and cooked off more liquid than you intended to. This is a pretty minor and insignificant mistake, but it can turn into a huge one if you don't balance it out by adding more water after the fact.

This is probably weird and overly specific advice to give...but its literally the only mistake I've ever made that's totally fucked a whole batch of beer.

Otherwise, just be sure to be super ocd about sanitizing (think "jack nicholson in as good as it gets"). I've never had a problem, but I hada homebrew that fell victim to a bottle infection once...and it tasted like a ham sandwich.


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oscar77
post Oct 22 2010, 11:07 PM
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a few tips...

- cleaning and sanitation is probably the most important part. if the yeast gets infected the beer will suffer greatly.
- seek out local homebrew shops. they always have helpful advice and can get you pointed in the right direction. I've never run into a pretentious homebrewer. everyone wants to help and make sure you brew good shit and have fun. They sometimes even let you drink in the store. The kit I bought was like $70 and it had pretty much everything... True Brew K3
- read 'How to Brew' by John J. Palmer. It's a very informative book to make sure you do it right the first time. He gives you a crash course in the beginning then goes back over it in more detail to explain what exactly your doing. There's recipes, techniques, and a helpful section called 'Is My Beer Ruined?' to calm you down from when you will inevitably freak out thinking you screwed up (honestly if you follow directions is difficult to make an undrinkable beer.)
- Austin Home Brew is awesome, too. they have everything you could ever need. the recipe kits are awesome, they have their versions of commercial and microbrew beers as well as their own recipes. and they have a flat rate on shipping, $7.99
- if you save old bottles make sure you rinse them out after use. if you leave beer in there and then mold starts to grow, forget it.
- online homebrew forums are a good place for advice, recipes and troubleshooting. Home Brew Talk is a good one.

there's all sorts of other little tips you'll learn along the way. the book is really helpful and I always have it handy when brewing to be sure I don't skip something. once you get into you'll want to get more stuff like a wort chiller (so worth it), carboys, etc. I recently bought a used fridge off of craigslist and converted it to a fermenting fridge. you don't need that in the beginning though, don't waste your money unless you know you'll be doing it for real. hope that helps


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soccerpres123
post Oct 24 2010, 01:31 PM
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We have a store here in Indy called Great Fermentations that I really want to check out.


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QUOTE (RidingDownstream @ May 31 2009, 01:37 AM) *
I would have committed suicyde if not for brokencyde.


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forgotten marine
post Oct 24 2010, 01:58 PM
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if this actually gets off the ground for anyone this thread needs to be stickied and brews discussed.
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Freeze Time
post Oct 24 2010, 02:04 PM
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I've never done homebrew, but at the moment I'm working at the biggest brewery in Australia. Its pretty amazing seeing so much beer being made. Its so efficient.

I've always wanted to do homebrew, but the few people I've known that have done it have made really gross beer. Has anyone ever homebrewed stout? I'd be keen on that.


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I love Life and I Love SKA. That's why I live to Skank!!!
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LolWutsAManifest...
post Oct 24 2010, 08:43 PM
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Oh my God,

YOU

ARE

NERDS


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QUOTE (SkankinLibertarian)
it is sad that you can not find a singanature worthy quote from me, it is even sadder that you feel like you have to make one up


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adsfkahsdf
post Oct 24 2010, 10:24 PM
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One Year Awesome


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Is homebrew that nerdy??
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LolWutsAManifest...
post Oct 24 2010, 11:43 PM
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Being a highly credentialed nerd (i.e. engineering student and member of a forum of a practically defunct quasi-ska-punk band), I can say with absolute certainty that yes, brewing beer is nerdy and bordering on retarded. If beer weren't a mainstream consumer product, DIY beer brewers would be fringe lunatics akin to libertarians.


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QUOTE (SkankinLibertarian)
it is sad that you can not find a singanature worthy quote from me, it is even sadder that you feel like you have to make one up


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