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New Homebrewer

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:31 am
by CTbeerguy
After years...and I’m talking like 10 years of hemming and hawing, I’m finally ready to start proper homebrewing, not “just add water” kits that don’t really teach me anything. So that being said, after having a look online, there are a few different “starter” kits available and I was hoping for someone’s expertise in leading me in the right direction. Thanks for any help.

Re: New Homebrewer

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:57 am
by TheBeerNut
They're much of a muchness, IIRC. Do get a proper spirit thermometer and you don't need the heat belt. It's up to you whether you go all-grain straight away, or begin with extract brewing, and whether you want to do full-size batches with a boiler or chiller or stove-top in a stockpot. There are lots of options depending on the money and space resources you have.

Re: New Homebrewer

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:08 am
by CTbeerguy
Is all grain a bit difficult to start with? Or a better question I suppose is which is better to get off the ground? Budget would be modest, but I also don’t want to get to a certain stage in the process and think, “this would be much easier with {X} product or piece of equipment”.

Re: New Homebrewer

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:24 am
by TheBeerNut
CTbeerguy wrote:Is all grain a bit difficult to start with?
It's more complex, certainly. It depends on how steep a learning curve you want. Extract lets you learn hygiene and fermentation without also having to learn about enzymes, mash temperatures, pH and so on.

CTbeerguy wrote:which is better to get off the ground? Budget would be modest, but I also don’t want to get to a certain stage in the process and think, “this would be much easier with {X} product or piece of equipment”.
Everything is scaleable: the equipment you use for kits is the same as for extract and the same for all-grain, you just add new bits as you go. I'd recommend a starter kit plus a boiler and chiller, and brew extract. That way you're pretty much guaranteed to get beer out at the end of the process and you have the personal satisfaction of having at least shaped the recipe to be something of your own, which you don't get with kits. You can then add a mash tun to this at a later stage and you're set for all-grain.

Re: New Homebrewer

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:19 pm
by CTbeerguy
That’s exactly what I needed to hear, thanks John!

Re: New Homebrewer

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:32 pm
by nigel_c
An option for all grain is a brew in the bag setup. It gives you the quality of all grain without having to invest in a mash tun. You’d still need a boiler but these are reasonable enough or you can build your own out of a fermenter and a few kettle elements.
Jumping into all grain isn’t that bad as long as you do your research and stay off the beer till the the wort is in the fermenter.