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New Brewer Guidance

Tmiller91

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Hi Guys,

So I want to start brewing at home, I've been to my local supply shop and I'm somewhat overwhelmed.
I definitely don't want a 'just add water' type kit.
What equipment do I need? At first I was thinking of a fermentation bucket and using a pan as a kettle but now I'm thinking that's maybe not practical.
I saw a Mash Tun in the home brew shop, from what I can see it's a freezer box with a SS filter (could be made for £15, not £75).
I'd appreciate some practical advice? or am I better just giving my local store £200 for the full kit out and start experimenting.

Cheers,
Tom
 

Oginme

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My first advice would be to get hold of 'How To Brew' by John Palmer.  That book is a comprehensive guide to brewing from very beginning to learning more advanced techniques.  You can view the first edition of the book on line at howtobrew.com, but I really, really recommend getting the latest version in hard copy.  After over 115 brews, I still reference sections of that book more than I use any other from my vast library.
 

Mofo

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I second Oginme's suggestion to check out (and get a hard copy of) How to Brew. It starts with a "quick start" section that'll get you brewing a first batch of beer. And you'll reference it again and again.

Trust your instincts; don't brew a just-add-water kit. The kits are easier than mixing brownies, but brownies taste better. I suggest trying partial mash for your first brew. You still use extract, but avoid the expense of a mash tun and grain mill (and a lot of homework regarding mashing). Soaking your specialty grains gives you a bit of a feel for what mashing is like, and taste-wise is a huge improvement over straight extract brewing. For the extract, go with LMT if possible, not DMT. LMT has a shorter shelf life but makes, I think, a much better wort.

The first piece of equipment to concern yourself with is your copper. Buy a bigger kettle than you think you'll initially need, and put a ball valve spigot on it. In later brews you can decide if you want to go all grain and get a mash tun. But if your kettle is big enough, you'll have the option of trying BIAB, too.
 
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