Best beer/way to start with?

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Re: Best beer/way to start with?

Post  dkwandt on Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:13 am

ussually i will compare the higher prices plus shipping to the lower prices with shipping from midwest, and midwest still comes out less expensive. i use both though just prefer midwest because they cost me less.

actually if WWnH has it or can get it, i will purchase it from him 99% of the time.
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Re: Best beer/way to start with?

Post  r@fink on Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:53 pm

NB's $7.99 shipping rocks! Pretty much everything short of sacks has the one flat rate.
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Re: Best beer/way to start with?

Post  dkwandt on Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:26 pm

i agree with all of the below, except using northerbrewer. they are one on the mostexpensive. if you get to bismarck or mandan buy from Jeff (beer dealer) other wise midwest tends to be less expensive. you will notice a difference when you start your full boil brews if you start with the half boil as a start up (i started the same way then jumped to a 15.5 gallon keg as my brew kettle) jeff can set one of those up for you and it is worth every penny!

if you go with norther brewer, i would get this pot, it has the thick bottom jeff was discribing. (picture is lying though they are charging an extra $100 for a $20 thermometer, and $5-10 valve)
http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/brew-kettles/megapots/8-gallon-megapot.html

go with this one for less, add the valve and thmometer latter your self.

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/stainless-steel-kettle-with-handles-and-lid-7-5-gallon.html

i am excited for you! contact the companions, see if you can't get a brew buddy! (he my have a pot to use and see if it is worht it!

anyway have a blast! and try the hot scotchy they talk about on the lastest brewing tv!

good luck bro!
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Re: Best beer/way to start with?

Post  ryanjilek on Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:11 pm

Tyler, you have the idea. You will want to basically follow the instructions that come with the NB Furioso kit that are posted on their site: Shirley Furioso I've not seen their video and what they suggest there...

They give the 2.5 gallon boil + malt and top off with cold water. They are telling you to chill the wort after the boil with a chiller but if you let it cool slightly and add to your fermenter with cold water you are effectively cooling it at the same time. One word of caution is that your carboy is not Pyrex so huge temp changes could be bad. If you have the better bottles then you should be OK but I'm not sure what those are rated for as far as temp goes.. most likely not boiling either. My advice would be to finish your boil and put the lid on your kettle. Move it to the sink filled with cold water and all the ice from your ice trays/icemaker and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Take and swirl the kettle every once and a while during that time to keep the wort moving because if it just sits still it will chill just the wort on the outsize of the kettle. Conversely it will also heat the cold water around the pot and will get to a point where not a whole lot is going on. So a little agitation is good.

You are basically just trying to take the extreme heat out of the kettle. From here if you are still concerned add your cold water to your kettle if it will hold more and chill it that way too before dumping into the carboy. I've done it both ways starting out and didn't have troubles with glass carboys but the potential is there. Just make sure you don't over fill or your starting gravity will be affected. If you still need some temp correction put your carboy with the airlock on into the ice water bath until it is in the acceptable range for pitching your yeast.

Just keep in mind that anything that touches the wort after the boil needs to be sanitized. Spoon, funnel, tubing, test jar (graduated cylinder), etc., etc.

Sounds like fun... I would come and help if I wasn't 300 miles away!

Ryan


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Re: Best beer/way to start with?

Post  Beer Dealer on Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:43 pm

like Ryan was saying with the pots if your gonna spend that benny just get one wiht the 5mm bottom ...or use what you have till you can as the thin bottoms are not worth buying...ya mine are usually $99 here..so have at 'er and enjoy..Jeff
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Re: Best beer/way to start with?

Post  TylerS on Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:36 pm

Beer Dealer: I'd love to get an 8-gallon pot. Heck, I'd go with a 10 if I could. But it all comes down to what I can afford. In fact, I might just try our canning pot for the first brew and see how it goes. No sense burning a Benjamin if I don't have to right away. Northern Brewer always is having deals, so I'll just keep my eyes peeled and wait for a coupon in the future.

ryanjilek: That's a really good idea! I didn't even know that was possible. So you're saying, instead of adding all my water at once, I can do half that, boil, put it in my fermenter, and top it off with cold water? That would take care of several problems all at once! Am I following you right, or not? I'm just getting into this stuff and I'm having a tough time remember all the terminology...
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Re: Best beer/way to start with?

Post  ryanjilek on Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:17 pm

Tyler congratulations on the acquisition and welcome to the addiction! That will be a very good start and will make a lot of really good beer! I'm sure if you are like me when you finally pulled the trigger on something that you've been pining after for such a long time you will be seriously affected by the 'waiting' game. I'd suggest possibly picking up a couple of kits while you are at it. The Deluxe starter looks like it comes with a couple of fermenters so you should be good to go there.

I'm not sure which kettle you are looking at but if you are going to spend some money on one I would buy something that will be with you for a long time. Depending on your resources a large stock pot will certainly get you through your first few brews until you get a better understanding of what a good kettle can do for you. As Dennis stated you have to be careful with scorching with some kettles, etc.

When I started brewing I did use a enamel canner for my first several brews and had very good results. I did about a half wort boil rather than full wort boil which can get you going with a smaller kettle. You still have to be very cautious of boil-overs but it is doable. Doing a half wort boil will have some affect on your hop utilization, slightly darker color, caramelization, etc. so it will not make an exact clone....but what exactly is an exact clone anyway! Wink It will make good possibly great beer!

The plus side to the smaller wort boil is that you obviously do not need the larger kettle as well as you can get by without the chiller. What I did is start with roughly 2.5 gallons and then when you add your extract etc. you will have 3-3.5 gallons boiling. You will boil off some as you go as well as loose some to hop trub and the bottom of the kettle. So you end up with about 2.5 gallons of hot wort going into the primary fermenter. It is advantageous to put gallon marks on your primary before you start and then you can just fill it up with a gallon or two of cold water. Add your hot wort, mix and top off again with cold water to 5 gallons and you'll end up with a primary fermenter that is pretty close to yeast pitching temp. Make sure you error on the short side of your cold water addition at the beginning to make sure you get all of your hot wort in and do not over fill.

From there you mix and shake to aerate, take your OG reading and record it, pitch your yeast, add air-lock and watch the action! Possible before the first bubble through the fermentation lock you will be wishing you had another kit handy to try the whole process again! Wink

Oh and by the way, taste a little bit of everything that goes in. That is the best part of my brew day!

Anyway, that is my $0.02 which might be overpriced. Good luck and keep us posted!

Ryan

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Re: Best beer/way to start with?

Post  Beer Dealer on Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:00 pm

TylerS wrote:Well, got an early Christmas present over the weekend: The Northern Brewer Deluxe Starter Kit!!! I was pretty darn surprised and now I'm rarin' to make some beer.

The wife and I are planning to buy a stainless steel pot. I think we'll go with the 7.5 gallon per this forum's advice.

Anything else we will need? Should I delay getting a wort chiller until the temps warm up, since I can just cool the wort outside in a snowbank?

Thanks for all the help! I can not WAIT to brew!!!

I would go with 32 qt pot at least...as i've not seen as many 7.5's with the 5 mm bottom and you really want that...
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Re: Best beer/way to start with?

Post  dkwandt on Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:53 pm

if you choose to cool it out side, make sure you sanitize a lid and cover it, no telling what might blow in there.

you can set the pot in your kitchen sink if it large enough, fill it with water and ice.

congrats look forward to hearing how your furious turns out!
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Re: Best beer/way to start with?

Post  TylerS on Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:06 pm

Well, got an early Christmas present over the weekend: The Northern Brewer Deluxe Starter Kit!!! I was pretty darn surprised and now I'm rarin' to make some beer.

The wife and I are planning to buy a stainless steel pot. I think we'll go with the 7.5 gallon per this forum's advice.

Anything else we will need? Should I delay getting a wort chiller until the temps warm up, since I can just cool the wort outside in a snowbank?

Thanks for all the help! I can not WAIT to brew!!!
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Re: Best beer/way to start with?

Post  dkwandt on Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:40 am

i agree 100% with randi.

but brewing the ND Brewers alt wouldn't be a bad idea, you have the Companions, hook up with dean, tom, shaggy one of those guys for the all grain version of the ALT.

if you can follow a recipe you can brew that kit, if you like that beer then brew that beer. if the kit has a 7.5 gallon pot you will be making great beer right of the bat, and starting a head of where i started. as for a canning vessle for brewing beer, the #1 problem i have with that is they tend to be very thin, which means it might be more prone to scorching your extract (i scorched my first batch, just use a screen to keep the big flakes out)

a chiller is great, i would come vistit jeff at WWnH he can set you up with a great set up, can get you most kits (not the surley furious one because it is thiers) also can provide you with any info you need. we could maybe brew that day, (my set up is at his shop too) you will have to bring some furious though! you will be fine do not worry!

remember worst case you have an IPA that is close to your favorite.
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Re: Best beer/way to start with?

Post  randi philleo on Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:13 am

Cool! Congratulations on the new addition!

You're looking at this one then: Shirley Furioso Extract w/Specialty Grains Kit


What exactly concerns you about the Furioso kit? In my opinion, it's best to brew what you want, especially as a first brew. If it doesn't turn quite like you wanted to at least you went for what you love. If it does turn out, it'll blow you away.

As for purchases beyond the Deluxe kit, if you plan on brewing a lot and have the extra cash get a chiller. They make life a lot easier. For cleaners you'll want some OneStep for sanitizing. PBW is a great cleaner for fermenters and utensils. If you're reusing bottles, those bottle brushes are handy for getting gunk off the bottom. After you're first brew you'll think of all sorts of things that would be nice to have :bartender:

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Best beer/way to start with?

Post  TylerS on Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:27 am

So the little woman and I have decided to purchase a beer kit from Northern Brewer after the holidays. We'll actually be buying the Deluxe Beer Starter Kit since it looks like it comes with just about everything we'll need (sans the boiler pot, which I believe we'll just use our canning pot, though it's not stainless steel).

I told her about the "Shirly Furioso" kit we could try, but that might be a bit "advanced" from our standpoint. So, as expert brewers yourselves who likely once started in my position, what do you think would be the best "first" beer to brew? Would trying the Surly clone be within our grasp, or would we be better of trying something simpler, and then, what would simpler be (lager, IPA, porter, etc).

Also, looking at the kit from Northern Brewer, any suggestions as to what else we should purchase? I'm figuring we'll need some more sanitizer, but anything else?
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