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elnoss

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Howdy everyone, I'm a youngish brewer from Melbourne and a long time lurker. I was introduced to homebrewing by a mate a few years ago, and have been brewing using kits and cans and the like for a while, fairly sporadically however. I'm fairly slack about most things, which leads to inconsistent results, and as such would like to improve my brewing slowly. Living in a share house I have somewhat limited space and funds, so will be taking things slow, although may be stepping up to kegging soon as the aforementioned mate is upgrading his keg fridge and gifting me his old one.

My beer preferences are extremely philistine, so I expect to be shot down constantly. So far my favourite brews have been kits emulating easy to drink pale ales and the like (Stone and Wood clones being especially successful), but my preference is for cleaner lagers and also the mass produced, bottom of the barrel CUB-style tap beers (looking at you Carlton and VB) which I have yet to try to emulate.

I've probably brewed a total of around 25 batches, and am currently in the mood to pump them out before summer arrives and lockdown leaves (hopefully). I can't wait to build my bar and have beer on tap at home! Something to look forward to.

Anyway, maybe too long an introduction but I'm looking forward to growing my skills and engaging with the community!
Cheers
 

kadmium

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Howdy everyone, I'm a youngish brewer from Melbourne and a long time lurker. I was introduced to homebrewing by a mate a few years ago, and have been brewing using kits and cans and the like for a while, fairly sporadically however. I'm fairly slack about most things, which leads to inconsistent results, and as such would like to improve my brewing slowly. Living in a share house I have somewhat limited space and funds, so will be taking things slow, although may be stepping up to kegging soon as the aforementioned mate is upgrading his keg fridge and gifting me his old one.

My beer preferences are extremely philistine, so I expect to be shot down constantly. So far my favourite brews have been kits emulating easy to drink pale ales and the like (Stone and Wood clones being especially successful), but my preference is for cleaner lagers and also the mass produced, bottom of the barrel CUB-style tap beers (looking at you Carlton and VB) which I have yet to try to emulate.

I've probably brewed a total of around 25 batches, and am currently in the mood to pump them out before summer arrives and lockdown leaves (hopefully). I can't wait to build my bar and have beer on tap at home! Something to look forward to.

Anyway, maybe too long an introduction but I'm looking forward to growing my skills and engaging with the community!
Cheers
Welcome mate! And don't fear getting shot down over liking classic Australian beers. I personally still enjoy a VB if I'm out at the pub or at a mates house. I'm by no means a beer snob.

If you're looking to get consistent results, fast turn around and have limited space I would suggest going down the route of Fresh Wort Kits.

Secondly, if you're going to go into kegging, getting a fermenter capable of pressure fermentation will help with shelflife of the beer. A Snub Nose fermentasaurus is in my opinion the best of the lot and can be picked up for around $60 add on a spunding valve and call it $100 all up. It allows you to transfer under pressure using a gas bottle to reduce oxygen.

The other advantage is if you like clean lagers, it will allow you to brew them hotter with little or no off flavours. Lagers brewed at room temp in under a week is possible with pressure.

Fresh Wort Kits are like extract on steroids. There are so many flavours and styles, including classic pacific ale type beers. You just pour them in a fermenter, top them up with a little water, add the yeast and off it goes.

I brew all grain but if I'm in a pinch and looking for a quick beer, I have no issues using them. They are much better than the extract, and allow you to focus on nailing down fermentation etc.

Also, they are repeatable and also reputable! That's just my opinion, I'm sure there will be plenty more!
 

JDW81

I make wort, the yeast make it beer.
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Hey Elnoss,

You’re starting out where most of us did, and learning some important lessons along the way.

Don’t be ashamed for drinking CD/VB, there is a lot of science and skill that goes into creating those beers, and getting them tasting the same from batch to batch takes some serious know how.

There’s 3 things you can do to improve you kit brewing, before worrying about shelling out for more expensive bits of kit.

1: Cleaning and sanitisation: One of the most important aspects IMHO. You can’t sanitise until everything is clean. There’s lots of methods to clean, but if you don’t let your fermenters and bottles stand after use and let stuff dry on them (i.e. rise bottles right away) then you’re half way there. You can wash your fermenter with fragrance free dishwasher detergent and a soft cloth then rinse well and store upside down (you repeat the process before brewing). You can use a sodium percarbonate based cleaner (i.e. fragrance free Aldi napisan, or some other similar product) To soak away the more stubborn stains.

Sanitise with a no rinse solution (available from most brewing stores). I do rise these with boiling water prior to having it contact beer, but the manufacturers state it isn’t necessary.

Get a bottle washer and a bottle tree if you don’t have one.

2: Yeast health: Use good quality yeast, not the stuff that comes under the lid of the tin. US05 is a good place to start, and you can make a pretty good quasi lager with it (lagers can be a bit tricky at a home brew level). Make sure you pitch enough as well. 2 packs of dry yeast is about right for most kit brews.

3: Temperature control: 3rd in my list for a reason. If you don’t nail the first 2, then there’s less point in controlling your temperature as you’re already miles behind. A temp controlled fridge is ideal, however you can make excellent beer without a fridge. Keeping you temperature stable and not letting it get hot is the key. Avoiding temperature fluctuations is also important. If you don’t have a fridge, find a cool dark spot in your house (I used to use a cupboard in the spare room), and wrap a damp towel around it if it looks like it’s going to be warm. Generally avoid trying to ferment when it’s going to blazing hot, unless you’ve got a a fridge.

If you can get these 3 things sorted then you’ll make excellent kit beers every time.

Fresh wort kits are worth a go (the grain and grape ones are excellent), but make sure you follow the principles above and you’ll be sound as a pound. You can experiment with steeping grains and hops if you like as well (The G&G guys will sort you out with what you need)

Pressure fermenting, all grain, liquid yeast, expensive gear will all help down the track if you’re keen, but there’s many a brewer who follows these principles and makes excellent kit beer. I’ve got a good mate who only makes kit/FWK beer and it is just as good as some all grain beer I’ve had (often better).

JD
 
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carrobrew

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This guide really helped me a lot.

Temp control was also a big one.

 

akx

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Welcome! JDW81 covered three main processes you need for good results. As for "next level" - have a think as to what your goals are - if you ask 3 homebrewers you'll get 4 answers!

I wanted big beers (7%+), big volume (40 litre batches) and love of a full day brew session. That led me to all grain brewing on a three vessel system. A mate of mine is space constrained, so an all-in-one was a better solution. And if you just want to make beer as easily as possible, fresh wort kits are hard to beat, but it's not really a brew day experience. Others have mentioned the benefits of pressure fermenting (I haven't made that leap yet). Have a think on what type of brew day you want, what type of beer you want, what your budget is and that will steer you to a process. Good luck!
 

Nickedoff

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I've just started out too, using the G3 fermenter King. Pressure fermenting is the best.

I've just been using FWKs so far and getting excellent results.

Check out Dr Hans YouTube videos, and Geoff Heath Homebrew. I found they helped a lot to understand the concepts and some tricks with pressure fermenting, although Dr Hans is a bit extreme in some of the things he does.

I fined my first lager with gelatine under pressure, and it turned out clear as a bell. Although do the gelatine before you chill, as my dip tube got clogged with gelatine which I then had to flush out with co2 and then got my gas disconnect stuck on the liquid post and then....
 

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