Looking for a Mentor

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fritzfratz

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Hey guys,

Anyone willing to be my mentor for a small setup, what to buy etc? I've been a mentor for a lot of other things in life and always appreciate if you have someone who takes you through all the steps.

Send me a PM if you're happy to help! Based in Oz.
 

Feldon

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I’ve got a “small set up” in an RV.
I know a quiet place in the desert.
I can take you “through all the steps”.
There will be consequences.
Tread lightly.
1659438136124.png

And welcome to the forum :)
 

Hangover68

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It really depends if you want to start small or are you going to throw wads of cash at it right away ?
I always like to start basic then add equipment as experience and cash allows, Vic is a big place so may want to narrow that down a bit.
 

JDW81

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

Theres heaps of different brewing options around, and what you're trying to achieve and how much experience you've got will help to guide what to recommend.

The gear options are much more varied than when I first started brewing about 15 years ago, and range from cheap and cheerful to expensive gear with all the bells and whistles.

Are you hoping to brew all grain? have you brewed all grain before? Do you want a single vessel or multi vessel system (there's advantages/disadvantages to both)? Are you going to keg or bottle.

If you can give us an insight into what your brewing goals are, we can give you a bit more information as to what might be suitable based on this and how much you're willing to spend.

JD
 

fritzfratz

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Hey Mate,

Theres heaps of different brewing options around, and what you're trying to achieve and how much experience you've got will help to guide what to recommend.

The gear options are much more varied than when I first started brewing about 15 years ago, and range from cheap and cheerful to expensive gear with all the bells and whistles.

Are you hoping to brew all grain? have you brewed all grain before? Do you want a single vessel or multi vessel system (there's advantages/disadvantages to both)? Are you going to keg or bottle.

If you can give us an insight into what your brewing goals are, we can give you a bit more information as to what might be suitable based on this and how much you're willing to spend.

JD
Hey JD,

cheers for the replay.

- No experience
- I just know that I would like to brew Pilsner or Lager
- Going to use bottles

I don't mind to spend a bit of money. Doesn't have to be the high end system, but also not the cheapest, otherwise I could just by a Coopers kit haha

I just miss good pilsner from home. And due to not living close to any Dan's I thought would be a nice new hobby to brew my own :)
 

akx

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There's lots of fiddly bits of brewing. None of it is hard (we've been making beer for thousands of years!) But helpful to get your head into some of those details. Especially for pilsener style beers where flaws are apparent because it's a clean style.
John Palmer's "how to brew" is a great starting point, and I think free online. Meeting up with other brewers will speed up your learning. Forums like this one are great to ask ideas.
My 2c: eventually you'll probably want to control fermentation temperature to make clean lagers. I have an old fridge and thermostat. As a start, pick a style + yeast that are more forgiving, and suit your brewing area. Perhaps a kolsch yeast or even lager at this time of year. If you've never fermented or bottled before, I'd buy a fresh wort kit and a plastic fermenter. Minimum investment, let's you focus on just fermenting and bottling for your first go. If you like that, you can invest in a brewing system (and fermentation control and... and ...) for your 2nd batch. It's a fun hobby. Welcome and good luck!
 

MHB

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akx is pretty much right, I would go a little further and say temperature control and the right yeast are vital to Lager brewing!

Starting with a good quality kit or fresh wort kit would be smart, as a lot of Lager brewing is about process.
You will be able to make good Lager/Pilsner style beer with as above just a plastic fermenter and a fridge with a temperature controller. Most suppliers will be able to set you up with a controller, Inkbird (link at top of page) have fully assembled units. You can get a decent controller on eBay for a lot less if you are comfortable wiring it up yourself (search for STC-1000, there are others). That an old fridge and ideally a fan in it (you won’t need a heater with a fan in it).
I'll try to find you a decent guide to brewing Lager beer; I have a PDF of one somewhere.

Just out of curiosity, what sort of beers are you interested in making, I suppose that where was home? Might help with some of your choices if we know where you want to go.

One warning, there is an old saying, "if you ask three brewers you will get four opinions" point being there are lots of different ways to brew, some are good, some not so for some styles, a bit of study and a clear plan on what you want to make will help.
Mark
 

The Mack

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I guess I'll add into the mix of opinions, make sure you have temp control under wraps- look on eBay for a Inkbird wifi temp controller- plug and play plus you can keep tabs on your phone and adjust temps accordingly. You will need a fermenting fridge.
Sanitation- actually should be number 1 on the list... It is EVERYTHING. Be anal about everything related to the cold side of brewing.
Lagers/Pilsners- Yeast management is your friend. Make sure you have enough yeast for the job, if anything pitch more than you think you'll need. Maintain that cold temperature that the lager/cold species like.
Fermenter can be HDPE or stainless, buy once cry once with stainless imo. Also be aware as you bring down to lagering temps you will invariably have some level of suck back from the air lock/ blow off tube (depending which way you go).

There are some good dry yeast lager options (personally like fermentis 34/70 or S-189) and even more options for liquid yeast- that does require some additional steps.

And read. Read a lot. There's a bunch of info out there and if you focus on lager brewing you'll notice a trend in techniques, recipes, and approaches. Keep detailed brew day/ fermentation notes and you'll be knocking out great beers in no time.
 

elmoMakesBeer

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Many people will say lagers (including pilsners) are hard. They're not really if:
a) you can control temperature during fermentation - lager yeasts should be fermented cold at a steady temperature (different yeasts have different recommended temperature ranges, but most lagers should be somewhere between 8 to 14 deg)
b) you allow for lagering - i.e. storing the fermented beer at 1-5 deg (fridge temperature) for a month or so as it clarifies before you start to drink it
Sanitation is critical too - but that goes for all beer styles.

Temperature control is easy with an old fridge large enough to hold your fermenter (allow height for the air lock) and temperature controller. Or find yourself a cave or cellar that just happens to stay in the right temperature range, then you can have a lager-brewing season (just find an old fridge).

Lagering with bottles is a little bit fiddly because you need the beer to carbonate, but the yeast isn't going to do much at lagering temperatures. You can:
- bottle with priming sugar once fermentation is complete (as you do with an ale), store the bottled beer warmish for a couple of weeks to carbonate, then refrigerate for a month or so to lager - I've done this in the past and it worked well
- once fermentation is complete transfer to a secondary fermenter (to get the beer off the yeast) and store cold for a month or so to lager before bottling. The yeast will probably survive ok, but it might not and you could be left with beer that stays flat. To be safe many people will add new yeast when bottling.

Lagering is easier with kegs than bottles - as with any beer style, the beer is kegged and hooked up to CO2 in a kegerator, but rather than waiting just 1-2 weeks to carbonate you need to leave it for a month or so to lager before drinking.

You'll probably hear or read about pressure fermenting at higher temperatures if you're interested in lagers. I do not suggest you start your brewing career with pressure fermenting, it adds complexity and can be dangerous if done wrong. It is unnecessary unless you're trying to produce as much lager as quickly as possible. CUB might ferment VB under pressure but that is not how an old Czech or German brewery will make a traditional pilsner or helles lager.

As for fermenters - yes, stainless is nice and shiny but it's also nice to know what's going on inside the fermenter, especially when you're new to brewing. I'd suggest starting with a PET fermenter (same stuff soft drink bottles are made from) - they are clear and similar price to HDPE fermenters. The downside is they don't like high temperature - try pouring boiling water into a soft drink bottle if you want to see why. You can use boiling water when cleaning stainless or HDPE but not PET. Warm/hot water is fine (but not so hot you'd need gloves).
 

wide eyed and legless

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Youtube is your friend,

Great advice and knowledge

Homebrew network - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC012YcFv3JKRun57ftzIWdQ

Great award winning recipe's
Mean Brews - https://www.youtube.com/c/MeanBrews
Not quite, there are a lot of questions which need to be addressed. Can't get all of that from a video. Reading, listening to podcasts, I think reading is the top of the list of learning. I am a 'why' kind of person, when you know the reason why learning is easy. If you don't know the reason 'why' you haven't learned anything.
 

Dave70

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Not quite, there are a lot of questions which need to be addressed. Can't get all of that from a video. Reading, listening to podcasts, I think reading is the top of the list of learning. I am a 'why' kind of person, when you know the reason why learning is easy. If you don't know the reason 'why' you haven't learned anything.

So I'm I. But I understand 'why' sound advice for a fledgling brewer might be to just cover the basics.
But... why?
Cos..

 

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