How to Brew Beer with Midwest’s David Kidd and Nick Stephan – BeerSmith Podcast 47

by Brad Smith on October 14, 2012 · 1 comment

This week my guests are David Kidd and Nick Stephan from Midwest Homebrewing. Beginning home brewing for new beer brewers is the topic of this week’s show, and David and Nick give you some great tips on getting started with Extract and also answer some of the most common questions they get from beginning and intermediate home brewers.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (41:09)

  • David Kidd is the President and CEO of Midwest Supplies at and is an avid home brewer and wine maker. Nick Stephan has been at Midwest since 2009 since graduating from the University of Minnesota, Duluth. He runs Midwest’s social media, customer service and marketing arms including twitter and facebook.
  • In the intro, I discuss our BeerSmith Lite mobile app which is now available for Android and Kindle Fire. The iPad/iPhone version is coming shortly.
  • Nick starts with a description of the equipment and rough costs needed to get started home brewing.
  • David explains the extract brewing process used by beginning homebrewers, and roughly how long it takes to make a beer.
  • Nick discusses selecting your first home brewing ingredient kit and also what kind of kit might be best to make.
  • David talks in detail about steeping whole grains
  • Nick talks about how to go from extract kits to designing your own beer, and some of the resources that can help you do that. He recommends John Palmer’s book “How to Brew” as well as Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer’s book “Brewing Classic Styles”
  • David explains what a wort chiller is for, what some of your options are and how to select one
  • Nick explains what some of the advantages of a large kettle and full boil volume is
  • David talks about what advantages and disadvantages are for using liquid yeast and yeast starters
  • Nick talks about temperature control and how important fermentation temperature control is for brewing lagers
  • David discusses the risk of scorching extract and why late extract additions can help
  • Nick talks about the use of clarifying agents to reduce haze in the finished beer
  • David talks about intermediate brewing using partial mash or all grain brewing and which might be the best choice for a beginner who wants to take the next step
  • David discusses MidwestSupplies and what they offer for the homebrewer

Thanks to David Kidd and Nick Stephan for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!

Thoughts on the Podcast?

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

John October 16, 2012 at 9:36 am

Thanks for a very enjoyable episode of the podcast! I’m an advanced beginner and got a lot of tips from it.

One thing not mentioned in the show is brew in a bag (BIAB). Home brewing’s usually presented as an inevitable progression towards all grain, with the equipment list increasing as you go. But if that’s your target, BIAB gets you going a lot sooner.

To open up this option I’d say it’s worth getting a large brew pot from the start. Other than that, you don’t need any more kit than extract brewing with speciality grains.

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