Author Topic: Hello from San Jose, Ca!  (Read 4535 times)

Wiseman

  • Guest
Hello from San Jose, Ca!
« on: January 24, 2008, 02:47:44 PM »
Hello!

I just started this whole homebrewing thing.  I've been interested in it for a while and my brother got me a Mr. Beer kit for christmas.  My first batch is nearly complete and I can't wait to try it!

For a n00b like me, I have a couple of questions I was hoping you all could help me with:

For my first batch I just used some 1 liter soda bottles but I want to use some large swingtop bottles down the road, but they are really expensive!  Like 3-4 bucks a pop and that adds up when you need a bunch of them.  Does anyone know of an inexpensive source of pressure rated ~ 1 liter bottles with swingtops on them?

Also I understand that the mr. Beer system is probably not the best way on earth to make great beer.  If there was ONE thing I was to upgrade to improve quality, what would it be?

lastly, I plan on doing a strong winter brew of some variety to give out as presents in the christmas season.  Maybe an imperial stout or something.  Any reccomendations/cautions I should know before brewing something strong?

Thanks a bunch!

joshwatterson

  • Guest
Re: Hello from San Jose, Ca!
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2008, 11:05:25 PM »
wiseman, I would recommend kegging your beer.  You can get a reconditioned cornelius keg(1/6 barrel), for 30 bucks, and then get a co2 tank, the whole set-up can be as cheap as $100, and you wont have to worry about the hassles of bottling, like poor carbination and exploding bottles.  Swing-top bottles are a fad, the are not the best product to use.  The rubber washer is hard to wash and can be a concern for contaminations and they do not stop the infusion of air into your beer.  And air is your big enemy in brewing.  If you are serious about getting into brewing, try extract brewing first, then if you are still into it, invest in an insulated all-grain system, it is worth it.  There are some good books out there for beginners, so Ii recommend getting ahold of one of those. 

Wiseman

  • Guest
Re: Hello from San Jose, Ca!
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2008, 01:43:21 PM »
Thanks for the information!  Unfortunately a kegging system really isn't an option with my tiny urban apartment.  My first batch (and probably my next several batches) is all extract.  I've been looking at the all grain methods and they look to be rather complicated and need a lot of space, very difficult to do in a 400 square foot studio apartment as well as require more equipment.  I've heard a lot of good things about extract brewing and though I probably wouldn't win any competitions with it, I can still probably make some damn good beer with it.

I'm still waiting for my first batch to finish conditioning.  They've been sitting around for 6 days now and the bottles are kind of hard, but not rock hard like I expected them to be.  The recipe is just a simple canadian draft with an estimated ABV of like 3.7% from Mr. Beer and I wanted to be able to drink it by tomorrow night because I'm having some people over.  Do you think that'll be a problem?

joshwatterson

  • Guest
Re: Hello from San Jose, Ca!
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2008, 09:43:30 PM »
I guess I didnt consider small spaces.  Yes, extract brewing can definetly produce some great beers, you can get some extract packages from like northernbrewer.com, or midwest supplies.com.  I am unfortunatly unfamiliar with the mr. beer system.  I expect it would be fine to drink, but have little to no carbination and it might taste a bit green.  I wish I could have helped you more, but if you ever need any info, let me know.

 

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