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remacca

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Hey all,

This is probably a typical hello as its my first post on a new forum however its as good a place as any to start.

I am a drinker and brewer from Melbourne who loves trying different beers and new flavours. I like all sorts of beer and will try anything at least once.

About the middle of last year a group of us got together and started brewing on a regular basis. To start with it was one of those conversations "We could do this..." that turned into "...why aren't we doing this." To start with we were brewing from packs, however on the weekend we created our first partial mash, an Irish Red Ale which while it took a little longer than what we were used to with the packs I found the whole experience a whole lot more interesting and fulfilling to the point where a couple of us are trying again this weekend creating an extra special bitter.

Our previous brews have worked, but still have that "home brew twang" which I really want to work on getting rid of as I feel that is a real hurdle in going from "thats a nice beer" to "Really? You made this?". Fortunately our last brew, an American Pale Ale, that we bottled was a bit of a disaster in a couple of areas, it was left a little long in the fermenter so there was a speckling on the surface from the start of an infection when we started, then some of the bottles weren't properly cleaned and had some mould in them which we only noticed after bottling, and we used raw sugar in the bottles as it was late and we ran out of carbon drops (which I know is ok, it was just different to what we normally use). I say fortunately here because it reinforced several aspects of the brewing process that needed reinforcing and while it was drinkable we are very aware of a couple of things now, particularly being prepared and cleaning. For those wondering the bottles that were ok were drinkable, but we were only able to bottle about 2/3 of what we normally do after everything that happened.

I suppose what I am hoping to achieve now is a better understanding of what is happening and to get to the point of being ready to explore with the brewing process to be able to choose the ingredients and understand how everything is affected. Currently I am ok with the steps but I want to know more from there.

I am been reading John Palmer's book How to Brew at the moment and probably should have read that before his other book Brewing Classic Styles, however I have found that both have helped a lot with the steps helping to merge the kit process to the mash process and have found them very useful to help with the transition.

Anyway, thanks to everyone for sharing their wealth of knowledge here and I am sure to find it very useful.
 

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