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jaymzica

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G'day all,

Ive been a massive craft beer lover and have been for some time. I get to as many brewerys and craft beer events as i can and cant get enough!
Anyhow I decided it was about time i started my own homebrew. Just purchased a kit last night from my local Greensborough Home brew shop. Nice chap down there indeed! Im going to start it this fri night and see how i go.

Im a massive IPA fan and cant wait to learn all about it and then actually make some nice beers.

This looks like the best place to start and to get help from!

Cheers,

Jimmy
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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Welcome Jimmy. You will learn so much from this place. The best brewing resource on the web.

If you're doing a kit IPA - a few key things to remember:

1. Don't use the kit yeast (or if you have to, have double the 4-7g they give you). This applies for all kit beers.
2. If it says "ferment at 25-30 degrees", it's wrong. 18-20 degrees is ideal. The only time you should ever ferment that hot is with a saison yeast.
3. If you love the hoppiness of IPA, you'll need to bulk it out with hops. A kit IPA will give you the bitterness, but you lose hop aroma in the dehydration process (it goes from wort to goo). Search: "hop tea" or the "argon method" for using a coffee plunger. Hops to choose - basically anything American that has "fruit","pine" or "citrus" in the descriptor. Use sponsors' sites for help with the descriptors.

Goomba
 

jaymzica

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thanks heaps Goomba. You hit the nail on the head in regards to what i want to acheive in the long run.
Im going to do my first batch just to learn about the whole process. Its in my laundry at the moment and my biggest worry is temp. It gets cold at night down to just under 10deg but will heat up this time of the year to 25 deg during the day.

Boiling hops and stuff is what im getting my head around too.

I hope this is ok for the first batch but after that i might have to look into a heat mat or what ever.

I have been reading this forum all arvo my god there is soooo much to take in its scary. The main thing is i know heaps more than I did yesterday when I purchased my kit and thats why i joined :)
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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If you're worried about temp - STC1000 is your friend. No matter what you brew (kits, extract, grain) or where (tropics, cities, country, Tassie) - it is essential.

I come from Brisbane, but now live in Tassie. So I'll not ever likely need one to deal with the heat (but I did in Brisbane - helped my summer brews out immensely with a $30 freezer on the other end), but I will for the cold (I have a heat belt). It has an 'in' on the heat and cold side, so if you're subject to major fluctuations, it'll do both.

The other thing is - try US05 or BRY97 (assuming you are just sticking to dry yeasts) for an IPA.
 

Yob

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BRY-97 over us05 for the yeast gets my vote, but get whatever we is convenient for you mate, I'm sure the HBS has one if not both of these.

Good luck with it, I'm a mad IPA fiend myself... nom nom nom
 

wbosher

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Baby steps mate. Personally, before you start worrying about adding hops and all that, I'd concentrate on fermenting temps. Get a stc-1000 and an old fridge. I've been brewing now for about 8 months and only just got one myself, I wish I'd done it months ago. It's made a huge difference, no more messing around with heat belts and ice bottles...just set and forget. :)
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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wbosher said:
Baby steps mate. Personally, before you start worrying about adding hops and all that, I'd concentrate on fermenting temps. Get a stc-1000 and an old fridge. I've been brewing now for about 8 months and only just got one myself, I wish I'd done it months ago. It's made a huge difference, no more messing around with heat belts and ice bottles...just set and forget. :)
My only issue (and you're right about temp control - good yeast management and good sanitisation are the first two things any brewer needs downpat) with your comment is that @OP was requesting (sort of) info about IPA.

You are going to need to play with hops, to get an IPA. It's part of the style. That's not an 'experience' thing, it's just a factual thing. If he was a newb and wanted to brew an English Bitter from a Can/Kit, you're right. But you can't brew an IPA kit, extract, AG or anything without lots of hoppage.

My other (not related to @wbosher's comment) comment. Don't be afraid of jumping to AG. There are lots here who have pretty well gone straight in and found their way. Some take baby steps and work their way through. Horses, courses and all that.

Personally - I spent 10 years doing can, K&K and extract. If the Stovetop AG BIAB thread had been around, I'd have jumped straight in and skipped all those baby steps after I did my first kit. The info is here, you have the resources. It wasn't when I started out. How you use it is your decision, but if I had this back then, I know what my decision would be and I've had almost 15 years hindsight to see why.
 

wbosher

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My last K&K brew before moving to AG was the Coopers IPA, the 20L "Authentic" one on their website not the 23L on the can. While perhaps not being quite "Authentic" it was still a very nice drop. May be worth a try doing that one with no additions first?

I do agree that in order to do a real IPA you are going to have to add hops, I just think that it may be worth getting a couple brews (at least one anyway) under the belt first to get the basics down.
 

jaypes

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Do a few kits and get your processes down pat - cleaning, sanitation, temp control, yeast handling, fermentation etc.

Once you have the fundamentals you can then explore to more advanced areas of brewing with your knowledge.

Oh yeah and welcome! You will find a lot of your questions answered here
 

jaymzica

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cheers for the warm welcome people!


Im going to start the kit on fri night.
The kit is in my laundry. During the day and evening till about 10pm its average is around 20deg (ive got the empty fermenter in there with the temp strip on it)
I checked this morn and its cold in melb and was around 14 deg.

Is this ok for my first brew? its going to be a warmer weekend and week so i dont think it will be that bad for the next 7 days.
 

wbosher

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If you've got some us-05 yeast you should be ok. I've had that get as low as 12 degrees ambient (very briefly) before rising back up to 20, and it was fine. The beer itself probably never got that low though. This yeast can go as low as 15 degrees, not sure how how well kit yeast will handle that sort of drop though.

Definately start looking into the stc-100 and fridge though, you won't regret it.

Edit: Spelling/grammar
 

jaypes

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The temp fluctuation is not ideal but it is better than 20-27 (which was my very first brew)

You can still make a good beer at your temps but having it controlled to the degree will make a vast improvement.

If you have the space you can pickup a bar fridge off ebay for less than $30 (mine cost $10) and a STC-1000 controller for around $20 (also from ebay)

Once you have those 2 its pretty much set and forget
 

jaymzica

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ive been doing some reading on the old fridge and stc 1000. buying is easy but wiring it up seems to be the hard part :/
 

wbosher

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If you're not confident in wiring it youself, get a sparky to do it. It shouldn't cost too much for a five minute job.

You can also buy pre-made ones if you're willing to pay a little more $$$, but even those aren't too expensive.
 

jaymzica

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i might give the copper ton beer mat a go at first.
 

angus_grant

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See what happens if you put a warm puffy jacket or sleeping bag over your fermenter overnight. It may help the temp stay as high as possible. Fermentation creates warmth so you may be lucky enough to keep the temp up at 18-20 which is a nice temp range for fermenting normal ales.

Maybe use an old sleeping bag or jacket in case you get some overflow from the fermenter. Or if you spill somehow. Both unlikely but always good to plan ahead.
 

wbosher

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I did this too when I first started as it was Autumn, and it worked well. Maybe not so much in the Winter. If you're going to dress your fermenter in a jacket, you have to make him wear a hat too though.
 

jaymzica

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i love this forum and i havnt even brewed a beer yet lol
 
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angus_grant said:
See what happens if you put a warm puffy jacket or sleeping bag over your fermenter overnight.
That's what I'm doing right now. I'm a big noob, this is my first brew, but so far it's stayed a stable 20°, sometimes slipping down to 18° when it's particularly cold. Then again it's inside, in my kitchen area, which presumably doesn't vary wildly. But the goose feather doonah is definitely doing the job.
 

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