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Your Favorite Beer for the Pit?

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Post Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:39 am
CharredGriller User avatar
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Posts: 5823
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
wiseguy wrote:
I have no experience with cooper products so I can't offer much advice on the extract. As for the kit not bad but it is lacking for $15 more you can get this kit from Northern brewer http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/brewing/beer-equipment-starter-kits/essential-brewing-starter-kit
it also comes with an extract kit, how to DVD and things you will need like a bottle filler, auto siphon, sanitizer and cleaner. If you go with this kit choose the Irish Red Ale very good beer. BBQ and brewing are great hobbies my theory when the collapse happens us brewers and smokers will rule the world :D
:cheers: :bbq:


Cooper kits aren't the best in my experience as they tend to sit on the shelf a long time, but they're OK for a starting point. They also turn out a bit weak when you brew them according to the kit directions. Normally I either add a couple pounds of malt extract and some finishing hops, or I use two kits per batch (that's 23L or 5 Imperial gallons, not US). If you're brewing the kit for 5 US gallons (19L) they're not so bad - just add extra extract and hops as desired.

I should point out that I'm a partial-mash brewer most of the time, but I get decent results from kits plus added extract. I've done 68 batches of beer and mead so far since 1995, but I haven't brewed in a few years.

But the Northern Brewer kits, I really like. +1 on the Irish Red Ale, too - I've made a few of these and enjoy it a lot. :D
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:39 am
Trollby well done
well done

Posts: 1299
Location: MadCity, WI

Most Extract kits are designed to mimic the beers you buy in the store, weak and not much flavor. Not like Micro brew or local brew house beers.

These beers are more steps and you can make similar beers with just a few steps (steeping grains, adding more malt and hops, etc)

I do from scratch and kits, I like some kits due to I can knockout a batch in 1 hour not the 3-6 hours a from scratch beer takes.

The BIAB (Brew In A Bag) method is what I use since no mash tun, it makes good beers and a little faster than other AG (All Grain) methods

Post Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:57 am
wiseguy User avatar
medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 226
Location: New Jersey
Griffin wrote:
For a newbie, would you recommend that kit or their one gallon starter kit? I'm a little worried that I'll end up making 5 gallons of beer that I don't like...

Very good question. I think 1 gallon kits are great but there are draw backs. A 1 gallon kit will make you about 8 to 10 bottles of beer compared to 48 bottle average from a 5 gallon batch. I have known people that bought 1 gallon kits used them once then upgraded to a 5 gallon kit. I use my 1 gallon kit to make beer that I am not sure I would like as a test batch. I also plan on using my 1 gallon fermentor to try making mead. If you like beer you will like most of your batches as long as it doesn't get contaminated. If you can boil water you can make beer. The biggest thing to worry about is contamination when I started I worried about this and sanitized everything. Now that I have brewed a few batches I don't worry as much and only sanitize things that will touch the beer after the boil. Anything that touches the beer before and during the boil will not contaminate your beer. Looking at some of the dishes you make on your Big Green brewing beer will be a walk in the park for you. This video is basicly the DVD Northern Brewer will send with their kit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jtCgQOB85E
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Post Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:03 pm
Trollby well done
well done

Posts: 1299
Location: MadCity, WI

I think the 1 gallons are a waste unless your doing Mead or Hard cider \ hard lemonade

The kits by Mr. Beer and Brew Demon are 2-2.5 gallon and make about 1 case beer, perfect to get started.

I sometimes do split batches were I do one Wort (the pre-beer mixture) but split between two Mr. Beer fermentors 2.5 gallons each and use different yeast to make different beers. Example is a American Brown ale or an English Brown ale. You can tell the difference a yeast make since both batches used the same malt and hops

http://www.mrbeer.com

http://www.brewdemon.com

Post Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:26 pm
Wolfpackbbq well done
well done

Posts: 2621
Location: Valley Springs, CA
Start with extract kits. I recommend 5 gallon full boil batches.

Brewing your own beer will open you up to try new varieties you wouldn't normally drink. Stick with Ales. You will become a hop head.
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Post Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:11 am
CharredGriller User avatar
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Posts: 5823
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
We've got a nice alternative to all of the above up here. There's a guy up here who used to be a brewmaster for a great local brewery, and when that place shut down he went into business for himself (he started a company called Grain Crafters). He has a picobrewery setup, and he makes a hundred or so batches of wort a week. You can pick it up, and he also delivers it to your door for an extra $5 and it arrives in a sealed 5 gallon bucket, all pre-mashed and pre-hopped and ready to go, and it also comes with a package of liquid yeast.

He normally does a few different types of beer every week. It's excellent wort and his quality control is really great. All you do is open the bucket (he provides the wrench), add the activated yeast, and go from there. And he's got everything from the blondest lagers to stuff like Russian Imperial Stout. You pay a deposit on the firrt bucket, but after that he exchanges them, too.

But is this really home brewing? It's a reach but I'd say so. At its simplest, home brewing is just opening a can, adding water and yeast, and letting things ferment - though I've found that makes a pretty nasty beer, myself. The Grain Crafters system is for folks who can't or don't want to boil and mash their own wort, and who trust the expertise of the brewmaster.

I'm more of a DIY kind of brewer - to the point that I got the water on my land tested so I could dabble in water chemistry and match it to fit the type of beer I'm brewing. I really like this guy's product but I have more fun putting things together from scratch. I haven't done an all-grain beer in a while but I usually do 5 gallon (Imperial) batches using raw extracts and hops rather than kits.

But my 1 gallon fermenters are reserved for test batches and for odd experiments like mead. Everything else I do is 5-gallon (Imperial) batches, which works out to 60 bottles rather than 48.
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:44 am
Griffin well done
well done

Posts: 3312
Location: Dallas, Texas

That's kind of a cool deal, CharredGriller. A great option for those who are looking to get started, don't have the time to do it themselves, don't want to do it themselves or trust and respect the brewmaster.

I ended up getting a kit from a local place. I liked the one from Northern Brewery, but by the time you throw in shipping and handling, I didn't think it was worth it. Plus now, I've talked to the owner of the local homebrew place and started on developing a relationship which could prove useful. He was very friendly, gave me his number and told me to call him at any time if I had questions.

I did not pick up a hydrometer, but I have to pick up dog food on the way home today and they are right next door, so I might stop in. I guess its not really necessary, but now I kind of want to see what the specific gravity is at the start and finish and so I can get an idea of alcohol content. I'm really excited, but a bit nervous. Hope I don't screw it up.

And to prepare for the first batch, I had to knock back a few beers so I have something to bottle it in. After looking around the beer aisle at my store, I decided on a blonde from a local Ft. Worth brewery called Rahr and Sons. Paired nicecly with some chili cheese dogs. :cheers:

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Rahr's Blonde Lager was the first beer to come out of Rahr & Sons Brewing Company. It is a medium-bodied traditional Munich Helles-style pale lager that features a rounded maltiness without being too heavy. And like every proud Texan, it has a good head, is pleasant – but not overly sweet.

Recipe Information:
Style: Munich Helles
Alcohol By Volume: 4.8%
International Bitterness Units: 22
Color: Pale Gold
Hops: Magnum, Sterling
Malts: 2 Row, Munich, CaraFoam
Tasting Notes: Light Malty Sweetness, Bready, Restrained Bitterness

Serving Suggestions:
Preferred Glass: Pilsner
Preferred Serving Temperature: 40º
Food Pairings: Experts like to pair this beer with seafood and pork. Now, the folks at Rahr & Sons aren’t the kind to argue with experts, but we think our Blonde Lager also tastes pretty darn good with a pile of hot wings after a long day in the brewhouse.
Cheese Pairings: Gouda, Swiss

Post Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:57 am
wiseguy User avatar
medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 226
Location: New Jersey
Griffin wrote:
And to prepare for the first batch, I had to knock back a few beers so I have something to bottle it in. After looking around the beer aisle at my store, I decided on a blonde from a local Ft. Worth brewery called Rahr and Sons. Paired nicecly with some chili cheese dogs. :cheers:


Tough job but someone has to do it. I eventually plan on getting a hydrometer at the moment as long as the beer taste good I am happy. Some day I will start taking readings so I can reproduce the same beer consistantly.
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Post Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:00 am
Griffin well done
well done

Posts: 3312
Location: Dallas, Texas

Probably not paired the best with my pulled beef eggrolls last night, but it was mighty tasty.

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Post Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:49 am
wiseguy User avatar
medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 226
Location: New Jersey
I like Sam Adam's Summer Ale with grilled chicken or bratwurst.
:cheers:
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Post Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:35 pm
Leatherneck well done
well done

Posts: 898
Location: Florida
I like Natural Light. It's natural, and light. All around awesomeness.
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Post Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:25 am
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5823
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
WOW! Great to see you back, Leatherneck! It's been a few years! :cheers:
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:51 am
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7423
Location: Stoughton, WI
I don't know how long it's been out but recently I picked up some Full Thicket, a seasonal(?) double IPA from Furthermore. Nice and hoppy!

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It'd probably been 20 years or more since I last bought Coors but the retro "stubby" bottles reminded me of the '70s and early '80s, although east of the Mississippi it was mostly Old Style and some other brands that used that style. The beer was OK, I guess, but the bottle made it seem like I was back in high school. :wink:

Post Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:25 am
Cactus1 well done
well done

Posts: 741
Location: Indian Head Park, IL.
Old Style was a pretty good beer back in it's day. So was the old PBR. When I was a kid, my Dad and uncles would go to local distributer and buy POC - Pilsner on Call - brewed in Cleveland, OH.
I do not drink a lot, at all, and maybe have 3 or 4 beers a year. Several microbrewries in the Chicago area. Best is Two Brothers in Warrenville/Aurora. I've bought a couple of their brews over the past few years. I like to check the beer sections of local liquor stores and Trader Joe's and will buy whatever "strikes my fancy" at the time. Last bought KBC (Kennebunkport Brewing Co from Portland, MN) IPA from Trader Joe's about 6 weeks ago for beer can chicken. Made the chicken taste good. Still have one bottle in the refrigerator.
Think about home brewing from time to time. Bought Charlie Papazian's "The Complete Joy of Home Brewing" 3rd Edition, a couple years ago in a brew shop in Cedarburg, WI. May be going to Cedarburg on Saturday. Will have to take another look at their kits.
* IHP Cactus Farm & Sauce Shack *
18 1/2 & 22 1/2" WSM
22 1/2" OTS
26 3/4" OTG

Post Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:45 am
Griffin well done
well done

Posts: 3312
Location: Dallas, Texas

You guys may have created a monster with this thread. Racked my first batch of wheat beer into the secondary last night. Will probably let it sit for 2 weeks before I bottle it (mainly because I forgot I'm going out of town next week).

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I can see why you rack to a secondary. Look at all that stuff left on the bottom

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Maybe some of you experts out there could help me. I know its too early and there is still a little fermentation going on, but I was kinda curious to see what kind of alcohol % I was looking at. I understand I need to take a Final reading before I bottle it, but just for grins I took a reading last night before I racked it. So

(Original Gravity - Final Gravity) * 131 = ABV
( 1.050 - 1.010 ) * 131 = 5.24%

Does that sound right? Anyway, took a sip of it last night, and even though it was warm and not yet carbonated, it tasted pretty good. I think I'm gonna be happy with my first batch. Already thinking of what my next one should be. :cheers:

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