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Not sure what country you’re in, but I’ve used Northern Brewer and Brewer’s Best for most of my recipes. I started the same way you did with a 1 gal kit APA and was hooked instantly.
I upgraded by buying a kit for ~$100 that came with an IPA extract kit, a primary fermenter bucket, a bottling bucket, airlock, etc that I’m still using 9 batches later. I’ve expanded now to three separate 6 gallon fermenters (they’re only like $20 for the bucket, lid, and airlock!). You’ll definitely want a large kettle as well and I’d recommend getting a hydrometer to test OG and FG so you know the ABV of your beer. All said and done, $200 should get you a really really solid base set!!!!
The biggest thing I can recommend is buying a copy of The complete Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papazian, you won’t regret it!
There’s tons of great advice for starters, midrange, and advanced brewers with a lot of good basic recipes. Good luck, and enjoy!
We are short on dedicated homebrew supply shops by me as well. Major city but had none for about a month. Some of the larger liquor stores (Party Mart, Liquor Barn... I know they're chains but not sure if it's just local) have supplies and ingredients. Pretty good selection too. Just don't count on anyone there knowing anything about it. Not sure where you live but there's several in WV according to google.
In the past I've always had good luck with NorthernBrewer.com, but I haven't ordered from them since a LHBS opened near me. And I probably won't since the AB-InBev buyout. But if you don't care about the politics they do a good job.
Stick to extract with at least your first few batches. Do yourself a favor and read a book before you brew. This one was good for me. Opinions vary though. Welcome to the club. Happy brewing.
Buy this book. Read the first chapter, and the first chapter only. Then brew.
I recommend reading the first chapter only because you will get overwhelmed with information that will be intimidating, and much of it isn't necessary for your first batch.
That and right here, asking questions (I strongly believe there is no such thing as a dumb one)
Most of the time, this is a pretty supportive community and I've learned a lot from just browsing the posts every day
I'd highly suggest picking up a book. It also wouldn't hurt to head on down to your local homebrew shop and ask for advice/starter kit recommendations. Most shops are very friendly. If you have any friends or co-workers that brew try and shadow them for a brew or two. Just being there to observe the process helps a ton. Also, welcome to the club! It's a great hobby that can be very rewarding. :D
Hi all, I'm a novice brewer looking to brew a raspberry hefeweizen. I've done some research and have decided that I want to pay for raspberry puree to avoid having to sanitize and mash the berries myself. I have a few questions regarding using fruit:
Thank you all for your help!
Hey, another girl homebrewer here...this is a great idea for your first brew. For my first brew, I got a kit for a pale ale, and it worked out wonderfully. By the way, if you don't already have it...this is a great beginner's guidebook.
Any homebrewing shop will have kits of ingredients you can buy to make all kinds of boring and uninteresting beers. If he's brand new to the scene and just getting into it, one of these kits might make a good gift and they're only about $30 USD.
If he's anything like me though, he'll get bored with those pretty quickly and start wanting to experiment with his own recipes. In that case, I'd recommend a gift certificate to allow him to buy his own ingredients.
Also, this is something that most any good homebrew shop will convince a new brewer to buy, but if he doesn't have it yet, you should get him Charlie Papazian's excellent book The Complete Joy of Homebrewing (Amazon Link). It really is the bible of homebrewing... haven't met a homebrewer yet that doesn't own a dog-eared copy of this book.
A homebrew ��
Joy of Homebrewing. It's not the most 'up to date' but it's usually at your local library for absolutely free and is a great starting point. Provides the fundamentals. : http://www.amazon.com/The-Complete-Homebrewing-Third-Edition/dp/0060531053
i started with this great book RHAHB!
i recommend this book
Treat yourself and splurge a little on this importaint tool that every homebrewer should have, regardless of experience:
I started with the Williams kit and it's been great over the last year. It's for extract, but could be upgraded to all-grain pretty easily.
There are cheaper kits out there somewhere, but this was the only one I could find (at the time) that came with a pot (pre-drilled) and wort chiller.
For your first brew, I would advise to follow a kit, and then make the same kit again for your 2nd brew. It will familiarize yourself with the process, and back-to-back beers are a great way to see how process improvement affects the taste and quality of your beer. It might sound boring, but once you got the basics down, then you can really go buck wild with your own recipes. Makes for a lot less hard lessons.
Use the search bar first, but don't be afraid to post questions, this sub is pretty helpful to new guys.
Other helpful tidbits
The other Bible
Edit: Many edits...
Ah.... to be young and drink shitty beer for the sake of being drunk. Can't say I miss it.
ISOBeers and Good Karma are waiting for you my friend when you are ready to place quality over quantity.
Home Brewing is also an excellent hobby to get into. You can easily yield 5-10 gallon batches of beer over a few weeks, assuming you have the space. Once your set up, the cost is relatively cheap and everybody is your friend!
This is kind of the classic text on how to brew http://www.amazon.com/The-Complete-Homebrewing-Third-Edition/dp/0060531053
It's a fun hobby, it's not really that hard. Expect to spend about $100 in equipment to get your first batch going.
> I am now looking for the seminal book on the science of brewing
I don't have a must-have book on mead, but the absolute must-read for brewing in general is Papazian's Joy of Home Brewing. Charlie is credited with reviving homebrewing in the 70s when laws against it were finally reversed.
>I timed my bubbles again this morning; I'm down to two BPM
It becomes a question of where you want your mead to be. You have something like 11% now, and you could get to something like 12%. If you're going to bottle, you either need to stop fermentation or you need to wait. If you're not going to bottle - then you can really do what you want. Concensus on this sub seems to be that mead is terrible for drinking right out of the primary (the first fermentation which takes a couple of weeks), and should basically always age to mellow. This makes sense - at 12% or more, the "heat" from the alcohol will obscure every other flavor. Letting it age will allow the flavors to mellow.
The gravity isn't an exact measurement of what sugars remain - it's an exact measurement of the density of the liquid. Sounds like I'm using weasel words, but it's important to keep in mind. If you had a big pile of lactose in there, it would be above 1.000, but you'd be out of fermentable sugar. If you had a big bucket of proteins in there, likewise. This is the reason we use calculators and predict the FG - that way when the measurement matches what we predicted, we can be reasonably confident about what has happened. An experienced mazer here will need to help with when it's safe to bottle. My thinking would be: if you can count bubbles per minute, it's not done.
Keep in mind, even that isn't ultra-precise. Using Florida honey vs. New Zealand honey, vs. Star Thistle honey, vs. Fireweed honey all have different sugar contents.
I don't think it matters if you age in secondary vs. aging in bottles. You'll need to make sure you maintain the airlocks - the liquid in there can evaporate over time.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that humans have been fermenting sugary water into alcoholic beverages for thousands upon thousands of years - essentially as long as we have been recognizable as a species. Mead is pretty hard to fuck up. You're doing fine.
Congrats! I would recommend doing some reading before you dive in. The Complete Joy of Homebrewing Third Edition is a good read as well as How to Brew which is available online and free.
Edit: I read The Complete Joy of Homebrewing cover to cover before I bought any equipment. I started with extract brews bought as a recipe kit, my first few were strictly extract then I got into using specialty grains. I did around 12 batches this way before I put together a DIY mash tun and stepped into all-grain. There's a good learning curve involved, be patient and don't get too far ahead of yourself. I've had buddies try to do that and their equipment ended up on Craig's List.
You have some time to plan. Do you know what kinds of beers he likes? Something that would be more personal than just a gift card to a beer store would be getting him a good couple of beers that you can't get in your area.
Does he like Stouts? Porters? IPAs? Belgian-styles? The list goes on... you could ask us here for advice and look on beeradvocate.com.
I really like the idea of a "beercation". My (ex)girlfriend and I went on a great trip to a brewery with friends and it was a blast! We split a limo and everything. Good times.
Homebrewing would also be a great option. Starter packs aren't crazy-expensive and he can learn a lot about what he loves! If you go this route I highly suggest The Complete Joy of Home Brewing by Charlie Papazian
Good luck! Let us know what you go with.
Check out /r/homebrewing there are resources for everything including guides for people starting out. The Complete Joy of Homebrewing is every homebrewer's bible.
Do it! It's really hard to make an undrinkable beer :) The book of homebrewing says, "Relax! Don't worry, have a homebrew."
Midwest Supplies is a great start to get some beer kits. I regularly get equipment and supplies from there. Also MoreBeer is another good site.
I'd recommend picking up The Complete Joy of Homebrewing for a good book to get you started.
this book is a great place to start
you will need some hardware, i recommend starting with extract brewing and then if you still like it move on the all grain.