June 26, 2015
My girlfriend bohugt me the equipment to brew beer for Christmas one year (yeah, I’m a very lucky guy!).Some try the Mr. Beer route. If you are on a tight budget and not sure if you want to get into the hobby, it might be a good way to go. The problem is that nothing from that kit is going to scale up if you really like the hobby and you’ll end up throwing it all out and starting over. If you have the resources (and $200 would easily cover it), then get a setup from a local homebrew supply store or an online store like Northern Brewer. Don’t bother with a kegging system to start, bottling is cheaper and easier (for the beginner). If you can afford it, a glass carboy (fermenter) is better than a plastic bucket.My tips for getting started:- Get a copy of John Palmer’s “How to Brew”. It explains everything and will walk you through your first batch. It’s a great resource even after you’ve been brewing for a while.- Don’t get crazy on your first few batches. Find an extract (as opposed to all-grain) recipe for a style of Ale (not Lager) that you like. In the beginning you want to develop and learn your brewing process.- The most important thing in making good beer is sanitation. Clean everything that will touch your beer with PBW, rinse it, then sanitize it with StarSan. 2 steps. Always.- The second most important thing is fermentation. After you get a few batches under your belt, start looking into temperature control and yeast pitching rates.- Relax. As long as things are sanitary, then the ingredients want to become beer.Have fun! It’s a great hobby!
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