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Thread: Home Brew Gurus

  1. #1
    Female Masturbatory Aid
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    Home Brew Gurus

    So, santa (satan?) delivered a brew kit. Aside from reading what came with it, then reading a little more elsehwere, what advice/tips does anyone have?


    Besides making meth or LSD.

  2. #2
    反重力 Rikadyn's Avatar
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    buy star-san, and dip everything that will even remotely touch the beer in it

  3. #3
    Senior Member G'day Mate's Avatar
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    Try to keep the temperature at 20C (68F?) and give it two weeks to ferment.

    Great hobby, home brewing. You can keep it simple and make decent, cheap beer or take it as far as you want and make awesome, complex (yet still cheap) brews.

  4. #4
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    Seconding the star san recommendation, I also hear that Powdered Brewery Wash (PBW) is great for cleaning your gear between brews.

    I also highly recommend a wort chiller, it's a pain in the ass to get boiling wort down to a low enough temp to put into the fermenter and pitch the yeast into.

    Lessee, what else have we learned so far since we started doing it...

    Make sure you have good yeast. We had a few of our first batches go bad, and I think it was due to crappy dry yeast. One of the beers didn't appear to ferment at all, and it was stored under pretty reasonable temperatures. Since we started going with liquid yeast bought from a local shop (it's especially easy to tell if the yeast are good with the Wyeast smack packs - if it doesn't inflate after smacking, then the yeast sucks), we haven't had the same issue.

    I'd recommend getting a beer thief and a hydrometer for checking gravity. Helps to let you know when fermentation is done, though you don't want to do it too often because every time you drop that beer thief into your beer, it's another chance for contamination. Also, buy two hydrometers, it's really easy to break them so you want to have a spare on hand.

    An auto-siphon will make your life easier.

    Get something to carry any carboy in (there are straps that you can use to carry it). It'll be heavy when it's full of beer and prone to breaking if carried wrong.

    Practice a few times with the bottle capper before you start bottling your beer, just so you're not practicing on full bottles.

    Be very careful of boilovers when adding hops or late LME additions. We nearly had a boilover last time we added the hops, and previously we did have a full boilover after adding a late batch of LME (we had ambitiously/foolishly decided to try to grill outside while brewing inside and had left the pot unattended after adding the LME). If it starts to boil up, lower the temp and stir like a madman until it stabilizes. If it boils over, you will not have a fun time cleaning up the mess.

    Put any containers of LME that you have in hot water prior to brewing. That stuff is thick and will be a pain in the ass to pour out unless you warm it.

    Finally, there are videos on Youtube of just about every phase of the brewing process. I find them invaluable, just bring one up on my phone when I'm about to do the next step.

    All that said, we still haven't had a single beer out of our "real" kit, we've only drank stuff we made with a 2-gallon "Mr. Beer" starter kit. We're brewing up two batches from Northern Brewer currently. The first was the official W00tstout 1.0 kit (Stone/Wil Wheaton/Drew Curtis of Fark.com's collaboration). It's been through primary fermentation and definitely passed the taste test as it was good enough to drink already, now it's sitting in secondary with oak chips that have been soaked in Knob Creek bourbon to simulate barrel aging and will be bottled in about a month. The second batch is due to be bottled next weekend, it's Northern Brewer's coffee stout, only with some extra liquid malt extract and yeast in an attempt to bump the ABV. We ended up with a gravity of about 1.092 to start, so that's a good sign that we'll be able to get it to a reasonably high ABV. You may want to wait a few weeks until we get a chance to drink some of what we've made, just to see if we have any idea of what the hell we're talking about.
    Last edited by Tom Servo; December 29th, 2014 at 11:04 AM.

  5. #5
    Female Masturbatory Aid
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    The kit came with a thief/hydrometer, just about everything (she got the mega-deluxe bells/whistle kit).

    I'm still in the stage of setting it up (rather, finding a suitable place for it, being in an apartment, it's a little limited).

    It came from Northern Brewer as well with thee two 6 gal bottles and bucket (and the biggest spoon I've seen in a house).

  6. #6
    Metal Detector pl8ster's Avatar
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    Hells yeah. I'm brewing my first batch on 1/1/15, also have a Northern Brewer kit. Looking forward to it.
    Your license plates. GIVE THEM TO ME

  7. #7
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    We've been extremely happy with the Northern Brewer stuff. Do not hesitate to hit up their online chat support, Michele has done that numerous times and they've been happy to guide us through modifications to existing recipes as well as just making sure everything is shaping up as we expect.

    I may have to hit up Austin Brewing Supply though, they have a Jester King Black Metal kit that I'm itching to brew.

  8. #8
    Female Masturbatory Aid
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    I'm planning on starting with the Irish Ale kit she got me (they told her it's their most popular). After I (hopefully) get the hang of it, I may start Macguvering shit.

  9. #9
    Senior Member G'day Mate's Avatar
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    There's a guy on YouTube called ... CraigTube I think? He has tonnes of great beginner videos, albeit with a lot of waffling aboot.

  10. #10
    反重力 Rikadyn's Avatar
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    PBW is great but if you don't follow the directions, you can get rings/film that will never come off

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