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BadBoyBucky

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Bucky was taken so I thought I'd build in an homage to a terrifyingly iconic aussie film in my username šŸ˜‰.

I've had the idea if getting into this hobby clanking around in the back of my head for a while, so thought I'd get around to joining a forum to delve a bit deeper.

I've only really tried bucket beer home brew, and wasn't very impressed tbh. I've read that it can come out much better, so although that will probably be where I start, knowing there's potential to get craft beer-esque is very exciting!

Look forward to learning lots from you all, and thanks for putting up with all my stupid questions in advance!

Cheers!
Bucky
 

An AnkoĆ¹

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G'day @BadBoyBucky .
Don't get sucked into the idea that you need to spend a fortune on shiny stainless steel kit in order to make good beer. Plastic fermenters, an esky for a mash tun and a collection of decent-thickness bottles is all you need apart from a something in stainless to boil the beer in.
I've got both and there's no difference in the quality of the beer. It's good beer, as it should be with 50 years brewing under my belt.
Of course, don't let me put you off buying nice, shiny kit if you want to.
What's the film, by the way? Is it Bucky Larson?
 

JDW81

I make wort, the yeast make it beer.
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Hey Bucky, Welcome aboard.

Lots to be learnt from this forum, and chances are if you've got a question it's been asked before so have a search to see if you can find the answer.

Like An Ankou said, you don't need heaps of fancy gear to make great beer, you just need to focus of a few important steps and you'll make great kit beer all the way through to all grain.

Some things to focus on:
1: Sanitisation: I'd argue to most important step. If you're gear isn't clean and sanitised, then you can't make good beer as you'll be plagued by infections. Clean it well after use (I use washing up liquid and a soft cloth) and then rinse well to make sure no residue. Clean again before use and use a good quality no rinse sanitiser (like starsan) for ease.

2: Yeast health: Good quality yeast (dry or liquid) pitched in an appropriate amount will make sure you get a good strong fermentation. 2 packs of quality dry yeast is usually enough for a standard brew. Avoid using the stuff that comes with the kits, as its usually old and hasn't been stored correctly. US05 is a good place to start. You can try liquid yeasts once you've got a few brews under you belt. Ask your LHBS for yeast recommendations for each brew, and if it isn't stored in the fridge I'd be a little dubious on the quality.

3: Temperature control. Most beers like a constant fermentation temperature, and controlling this helps prevent those typical "home-brew" flavours. Ales ideally ferment at 18-20C and lagers at 12-14C. Lagers are a tricky beast, and a lot of home brewers don't bother. You can control your temp in a few different ways. First, you can just brew when the weather is mild and keep you fermenter in a spot that doesn't have too great temperature fluctuations. The other option is a temp controlled fridge, which you run off an external temp controller (they are pretty cheap and easy to find - I used a keg king one for ages and it never skipped a beat).

If you can nail these few things, you'll make great beer.

Start simple and get the basics down pat, then you can look at things like all grain/mini mash, water and pH manipulation and incorporating some more fancy gear into your rig.

Good luck.

JD
 

BadBoyBucky

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G'day @BadBoyBucky .
Don't get sucked into the idea that you need to spend a fortune on shiny stainless steel kit in order to make good beer. Plastic fermenters, an esky for a mash tun and a collection of decent-thickness bottles is all you need apart from a something in stainless to boil the beer in.
I've got both and there's no difference in the quality of the beer. It's good beer, as it should be with 50 years brewing under my belt.
Of course, don't let me put you off buying nice, shiny kit if you want to.
What's the film, by the way? Is it Bucky Larson?
Greetings Mr Ankou,

Thanks very much for the reply! I'll probably start out with a plastic kit and build up slowly over time.... So if you have plastic and stainless, do you still use the plastic? I had read that if you're not careful with plastic you can create scratches that allow bacteria to grow in, which made me reflect on how good my dishwashing skills are... and they're not great lol.

The movie is Bad Boy Bubby. Bad Boy Bubby - Wikipedia Filmed in Adelaide (where I'm living at the moment). I haven't seen Bucky Larson, but Bad Boy Bubby is a pretty messed up film.
 

BadBoyBucky

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Hey Bucky, Welcome aboard.

Lots to be learnt from this forum, and chances are if you've got a question it's been asked before so have a search to see if you can find the answer.

Like An Ankou said, you don't need heaps of fancy gear to make great beer, you just need to focus of a few important steps and you'll make great kit beer all the way through to all grain.

Some things to focus on:
1: Sanitisation: I'd argue to most important step. If you're gear isn't clean and sanitised, then you can't make good beer as you'll be plagued by infections. Clean it well after use (I use washing up liquid and a soft cloth) and then rinse well to make sure no residue. Clean again before use and use a good quality no rinse sanitiser (like starsan) for ease.

2: Yeast health: Good quality yeast (dry or liquid) pitched in an appropriate amount will make sure you get a good strong fermentation. 2 packs of quality dry yeast is usually enough for a standard brew. Avoid using the stuff that comes with the kits, as its usually old and hasn't been stored correctly. US05 is a good place to start. You can try liquid yeasts once you've got a few brews under you belt. Ask your LHBS for yeast recommendations for each brew, and if it isn't stored in the fridge I'd be a little dubious on the quality.

3: Temperature control. Most beers like a constant fermentation temperature, and controlling this helps prevent those typical "home-brew" flavours. Ales ideally ferment at 18-20C and lagers at 12-14C. Lagers are a tricky beast, and a lot of home brewers don't bother. You can control your temp in a few different ways. First, you can just brew when the weather is mild and keep you fermenter in a spot that doesn't have too great temperature fluctuations. The other option is a temp controlled fridge, which you run off an external temp controller (they are pretty cheap and easy to find - I used a keg king one for ages and it never skipped a beat).

If you can nail these few things, you'll make great beer.

Start simple and get the basics down pat, then you can look at things like all grain/mini mash, water and pH manipulation and incorporating some more fancy gear into your rig.

Good luck.

JD
G'day JD, and thanks for the reply!

This seems like excellent advice mate, and I appreciate the time you took to write it!

I was planning to brew in the garage, but as the weather is cooling down a bit, I'll probably start out simple (plastic tub kit of some sort), and along the way build up to a temperature controlled fridge.

I'll definitely keep these three tips in the back of my mind as I embark on the journey, so thanks again mate. Can't wait to get started!
 

An AnkoĆ¹

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Greetings Mr Ankou,

Thanks very much for the reply! I'll probably start out with a plastic kit and build up slowly over time.... So if you have plastic and stainless, do you still use the plastic? I had read that if you're not careful with plastic you can create scratches that allow bacteria to grow in, which made me reflect on how good my dishwashing skills are... and they're not great lol.

The movie is Bad Boy Bubby. Bad Boy Bubby - Wikipedia Filmed in Adelaide (where I'm living at the moment). I haven't seen Bucky Larson, but Bad Boy Bubby is a pretty messed up film.
I'll look out for the film, thanks. I use plastic as often as not. My cleaning regime is to hose everything out and then give it a bit of a seeing to with one of those plastic scourers as used in the kitchen. A quick scrub around the tap threads and in the tap with an old toothbrush. Dilute solution of bleach swirled round and left overnight. Emptied, rinsed and rinsed again with solution of sodium metabisulphite (Campden tablet or powder) this is to kill all the chlorine from the bleach. Ready to go. Never had a bad'n.
 

JDW81

I make wort, the yeast make it beer.
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I had read that if you're not careful with plastic you can create scratches that allow bacteria to grow in, which made me reflect on how good my dishwashing skills are... and they're not great lol.
Yes you can get scratches with plastic, which can be a source for infection, however if you're careful and don't use anything abrasive on your fermenter then it won't be an issue. I used the same plastic fermenter for many years without an issue. I just cleaned as soon as I'd finished with it, and only ever used a soft cloth to prevent said scratches.

JD
 

yankinoz

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Same plastic fermenter for >200 brews, never had an infection. I rinse well after use, clean with percarb and let dry at some point thereafter. Before filiing I sanitise with iodophor, which is fiddly because light and solutes in water can degrade it, but very broad spectrum..
 

An AnkoĆ¹

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Same plastic fermenter for >200 brews, never had an infection. I rinse well after use, clean with percarb and let dry at some point thereafter. Before filiing I sanitise with iodophor, which is fiddly because light and solutes in water can degrade it, but very broad spectrum..
I've got three plastic fermenters: 30 litre buckets with lids. They're scratched to bugggrey and have a deposit of limestone or beerstone that I've been unable to remove. I've been using them for about 20 years and never had a bad batch. I've replaced them, but still keep going back to the old familiar fermenters. I really can't get worked up over a few scratches when there are still brewers in the UK (not many and all in Yorkshire, I think) using stone squares made of slate.
 

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