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jimmythehuman

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Hi there, long time lurker here, finally have my first brew bottled, planning to put another down this weekend and like everyone else i have started dreaming about large scale production :)

I am not prepared to expand to all grain and the precision that appears to come with it. However i would love to have 2 or 3 kegs and a home made kegerator.

How many people are kit brewers and use kegs? Or are kegs really only used by genuine craft brewers of al grain specialness?

Also, how far can you take the kit brewing...can you get some pretty good quality, get some good clones of boutiques and end up with lots of really decent beer?
 

robbo5253

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I have been a kits/kits and bits and extract brewer for 5 years and have keyed from the word go. Only ever bottled about 3 brews. I have made some great beers in that time.

The key is keeping the fermenter temp constant around 18-20 and try some better yeasts.
Start with your basic kit and then do the same brew but add a better dry yeast so you can then taste the difference.

Happy Brewing!

Cheers

Robbo
 

DU99

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been using kegs for about 15 months.i use kit's and add steeping grain's and commercial yeast's.also downloaded Ianh's Kit And Extract Beer Spreadsheet which has been a great help.Temp control is also important.hopefully by christmas i will try my first All Grain Brew..
 

Deebo

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Once you get kegs you never look back.. it is probably the best investment a homebrewer can make imho.
I brewed kits for a number of years and was churning out some really nice beers but you do get a lot more control of the final product going ag (at the expense of time).

Like has already been said temp control and also sanitizing are probably the 2 biggest things to get right.
Also try using 1kg of light dry malt extract in place of brew blend/dextrose and a better yeast such as nottingham or us-05 and some hops like cascade or nelson sauvin to get a nice pale ale.
 

black_labb

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You can do a lot with kits if you are happy to play with some grain and hops. All grain is just more fun as you have more control.
 

benno1973

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Personally, I think you'll be happier with your beers if you add in some grain or at least extract and hops, but I think that kegging will mean that you'll enjoy the hobby more and possibly stick with it longer to allow you to try these things. Once you make the post fermentation side as easy as possible, it frees you up to concentrate on the brewing and fermenting aspects.

If the first thing you buy is kegging equipment, then the second thing you should b uy is a temperature controller for your fermentation. You can make quality beer with a kit and temperature control. And it only gets better from there.
 

brettprevans

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Mutualy exclusive issues
Storage v method
megaswill breweries keg and its shit. Why shoyldnt u keg...
 

jimmythehuman

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Thanks, i understand what you are saying, I plan to add steeped grains, dry malt etc (already used steeped hops in first brew). I guess i am limited to this kit, some keg kit and thats it. Mainly because i have lot of hobbies already competing for time and money :) I do have lot of room and an outdoor bar on the to do list so keg is the ideal...just wasnt sure if the limits of kit and partial brewing would make kegs a bit of a waste.
 

brettprevans

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The guy who welded my rig years ago made kits in 50L kegs for his staff. Its a pure storage issue. Bottling blows. Keg baby
 

quadbox

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I'm another guy who went kegs *waaaay* before I went all-grain. Was pretty much the second thing I spent money on apart from a fridge controller.

Do it, you wont regret it. Cleaning a keg is just sooooo much easier than cleaning 30 bottles, you'll find it reduces the procrastination factor significantly and you'll brew more (and thus begin to brew better) as a result
 

stux

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I kegged before all-grain

Basically I stopped brewing because I hated bottling. One day swmbo says "why don't you make Homebrew anymore?" I say "because I hate bottling"

And she said what about kegs? And we pulled over and bought a kegging system from the nearest country Brewer ;)

Kegging is about enjoying the hobby. All grain is about making awesome beer
 

freezkat

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I kegged before all-grain

Basically I stopped brewing because I hated bottling. One day swmbo says "why don't you make Homebrew anymore?" I say "because I hate bottling"

And she said what about kegs? And we pulled over and bought a kegging system from the nearest country Brewer ;)

Kegging is about enjoying the hobby. All grain is about making awesome beer
So much wasted beer and water when you bottle. You have to pour a beer slow, so as to not dump any sediment into the glass, throw the rest out, then rinse the bottle so you don't grow yeast slugs. (They look like slugs to me.)

I have 12 beers I am entering in our State Fair homebrew contest. All but 2 are extract only. We'll see about how great beers are only all-grain.

(My raw rye all-grain was fantastic though...I may prove myself wrong)
 

pcmfisher

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Not to mention, it doesn't matter how you make your beer, it will always taste better from a tap. :)
 

DU99

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:icon_offtopic: freezkat let us know how you go in the contest :icon_cheers:
 

QldKev

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I think you've heard it by now, KEGGING ROCKS!
Doesn't matter if you kit or AG, KEGGING ROCKS!
Compared to bottles, KEGGING ROCKS!

Many years back I was still kits n bits and bottles. I was ready to pull the pin and as a last resort I started kegging. I suddenly started enjoying being a home-brewer, it was no longer a chore. I enjoyed it soo much I even made the jump to AG.

In your post I read that you want to go AG, but are overwhelmed by about a lot about it. It is easy to make good beer without worrying about the specifics. BIAB is an excellent and easy way to make beer. Full sized BIAB can be done blindfolded (ok don't try it blindfolded) Forget all the technical things you can do,

here is how simple a AG can be made.

Get yourself a recipe for a beer you want. (start with a simple ale).
Get a pot and a heat source. (lpg or elec)

Heat 32L of water to 69c
Dump brew bag into pot
Dump grain into bag, in the pot, and stir until you are comfortable there are no lumps in it. (mash in)
Take temp reading, hope it is 66c. (Record what you got so you can adjust initial temp next time)
Cover it and drink beer for 1 hour, telling your mates your now a brewer on the dark side.
After 1 hr, lift bag out and let drain, pour shit that drained back into pot.
Turn on heating element and bring to boil,
Once at good boil, start timer for 60mins
Add hops at correct times as per recipe
After 60min turn heat off and cover.
Wait 10min,
stir heaps (whirlpool)
Lid back on and wait another 10min.
Dump into sanatised cube.
Drink more beer.

Ferment when your ready.


QldKev
 

manticle

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Jesus, all the bottling hatred.

I reckon you guys are just lazy. AG for close to 3 years now, bottling every step of the wa,y brewing on average once a week and still cracking the grain with a hand cranked mill.

I have one keg that has not yet been put to use but I'd much rather learn about the ins and outs of actually brewing good beer than making beer brewing easy.

Not to say you can't use kegs with kits - as CMII said, it's too different things but I'd hate to see any of you if you had to hand churn butter you milked yourself from a cow. Might have to have a lie down.

Where's the DIY spirit gone?
 

Flewy

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I have one keg that has not yet been put to use but I'd much rather learn about the ins and outs of actually brewing good beer than making beer brewing easy.
I see what you're saying but how much do you learn about brewing good beer by spending time washing 30 bottles? Week after week?
 

mattyra

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I brew kits, where I occasionally add hops and grains. Usually I just add the kit and some malt to make beer to satisfy the friends (Don't like that hoppy taste).

I keg most of my beer, but even when the kegs are full (like at the moment) I will keep brewing as I have a lot of bottles as well. I find the kegs good to use for the generic beers (still taste better then mega-swill) as they are quick to carb and serve the beer.

I love kegging but that doesn't mean I am going to give the bottles away. Plus my normal batch makes 23L and my kegs hold 19L. I'm not wasting any beer.
 

JaseH

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I've gone from Extract to AG and still bottle. I like the portability of bottling, I hand my beer around a lot to family and friends, you just cant do that if you keg it all.

I'm also liking that I can have some big beers stashed away in bottles to age. Having said that, cleaning bottles and hand bottling 27L batches sucks. I'll probably move to a kegging set-up soon for drinking at home but will still bottle some from each batch.

I find AG isnt any more complicated than extract, hop boil and steeping grains - just takes longer and a requires little more equipment to make it easier.
 

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