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RoBBo71

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Hi All,

I'm new to home brew and I'd like to impart a little wisdom in the hope that my peers don't fall into a trap that I almost fell victim to.

I have just 2 batches under my belt, 1 mild and 1 lager (I followed the kit instructions to the letter for both). When I first sampled them I was really disappointed and I very nearly jacked it all in having barely gotten started.

My big mistake was that I got just a little carried away. I got stuck in with gusto, bags of enthusiasm and fully expected my beer to be the best I'd ever tasted. So given my unrealistic and rather foolish expectations I was setting myself up for a fall and a fall is what I got. Of course it didn't help that what you brew yourself is likely to differ somewhat from commercially available fare and so may initially offend your pallet somewhat.

Anyway the point is that after getting so excited about my new hobby and then being so thoroughly deflated I almost gave it all up. If you find yourself in a similar situation . . . STOP . . . don't throw away a potentially enjoyable and rewarding past-time.

Firstly, those first 2 batches aren't nearly as bad as I first thought. I'm not sure what's different now but after drinking them for about a month I'm starting to enjoy them. I don't know whether I've become accustomed to the taste or if an extra few weeks conditioning has made the difference. Who cares right, thing is they're not great but they're OK for a first attempt and quite drinkable.

Secondly, there's bags of information regarding what you can do to improve a beer kit. You must understand that the kit instructions are not the brewing bible for the kit they come with, don't be afraid to experiment. This site alone has a wealth of experience that you can utilise to improve any kit. I found the support here invaluable in re-energising my enthusiasm and now I'm ready to crack on and try some of the suggestions offered. I think the biggest decision is whether to try everything at once and risk not knowing why improvements occur. Or be a little more scientific, using previous attempts as controls and make small changes to see what results they net. I've chosen the second way, hoping that subsequent batches will each display slight improvements until my method and ingredients are right for me.

I think the most important thing to realise is that this is square 1. Where we go from here is up to us and as with everything, what we get out of it is largely dependent on what we are willing to put into it. Despite a wobbly start there is great potential for improvement and ultimately fulfilling results.

I hope this is of use to someone and that I'm not just blowing smoke up my own arse.

Anyway, good luck to all of us.

HAPPY BREWING !!
 

kelbygreen

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good to hear you didnt give up. I was so close at the start. Had read on the forum before diving in, Any way I went to LHBS and asked them can I brew in this weather (was 36-40 deg) without temp control. They said yeah sure! it will ferment a bit quicker. So figuring a home brew shop owner or staff told me this it must be true. Now people pay out VB but I had to mix VB with this to make it well a bit less revolting lol

I gave up for 3 months. I got a fridge and a temp controll and never looked back. Advise one forget kit instructions they are useless.

You will notice a big difference in taste if you let it age. I never liked kits or extracts as it always had the green taste (I cant wait I figure if I brew why would I buy beer till its done). I can brew and drink quicker now and it tastes great from going AG and kegging also filtering helps.

I know you can make a kit beer that is great I have once, you say once??? why once??? I put the time and effort into it. It fermented for 3 weeks and CC at 1deg for 4 weeks then bottled and carbed for 3 weeks it was so clear and bloody nice it was the best lager I have done even out of AG ones but I am going to trump it I got a AG lager in the fridge ATM that is going to get my love and care (well more like forgot about) and we will see if I can beat a kit beer lol
 

yum beer

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CALL THE FIREES.......Robbo's arse is on fire,,,,,,,



its all good, mate. Take your time and learn as you go, your beers will get better( well most of them will ) as you get a grip on process and temp control.

My first 2 batches were shiite and went down the dunny, or the crapper, or the loo...whatever you wanna call it in pommy land,
but now with experience most brews are better than the bulk of shit you buy at the local.
 

RoBBo71

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I got a AG lager in the fridge ATM that is going to get my love and care (well more like forgot about) and we will see if I can beat a kit beer lol
That's the ultimate goal, to progress to AG and brew a beer that is entirely of my own making, that can stack up against my favourite commercial brews and that I'm proud to share with my family and friends.

I think it's a long road ahead though and for the moment I'm happy experimenting with kits and learning about the multitude of variables that contribute to a tasty beverage.
 

RoBBo71

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Take your time and learn as you go, your beers will get better( well most of them will ) as you get a grip on process and temp control.
Temperature control is an important item on my 'THINGS I CAN DO TO IMPROVE MY BREW' list.

Course it's not as much of an issue here as in Oz given our relative climates.

Still, as soon I can get the reddies together, I'm investing in a heat belt for my fermenter and a cooler for my finished product.
 

WSC

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That's the ultimate goal, to progress to AG and brew a beer that is entirely of my own making, that can stack up against my favourite commercial brews and that I'm proud to share with my family and friends.

I think it's a long road ahead though and for the moment I'm happy experimenting with kits and learning about the multitude of variables that contribute to a tasty beverage.
Go on...ditch the kit and play around with extract, steeped grains and a small boil.....once you taste that you will move quickly to BIAB/AG.
 

RoBBo71

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Go on...ditch the kit and play around with extract, steeped grains and a small boil.....once you taste that you will move quickly to BIAB/AG.
Soon as my knowledge is extensive enough and my wallet is fat enough . . . IT WILL BE DONE !!
 

WSC

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Soon as my knowledge is extensive enough and my wallet is fat enough . . . IT WILL BE DONE !!
If you have a 9l or so pot and a cheap stainless colindar (sp?) you are in business. Winter is coming, perfect time. Will take you 1.5hrs longer than a kit.....so worth it.

edit...just realised you are in the UK.........summer is coming...which is like our winter in QLD!
 

kelbygreen

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AG is not as hard as it seems. Wether you start AG today or in a year you will still be in the same spot as its totally different then kits and extract. So ether way you do it its still going to be a challange. My way of thinking is do kits and get the gear to make AG, skip extracts its not the great step up you think it will be. Save your money instead of buying gear to extract invest in AG gear and dive in, TBH it will be just as hard if you do it tomorrow then if you do it in a few years so if thats what you aim for then aim for it dont go inbetween.
 

WSC

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AG is not as hard as it seems. Wether you start AG today or in a year you will still be in the same spot as its totally different then kits and extract. So ether way you do it its still going to be a challange. My way of thinking is do kits and get the gear to make AG, skip extracts its not the great step up you think it will be. Save your money instead of buying gear to extract invest in AG gear and dive in, TBH it will be just as hard if you do it tomorrow then if you do it in a few years so if thats what you aim for then aim for it dont go inbetween.
Good point and true but (from my experience) I had everything I needed for extract/steep/partial boil in the kitchen so it cost me nothing....horses for courses I guess.
 

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