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Where to start where to start, what style, what beer

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Thefatdoghead

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When I first started brewing I wanted to do every style. Granted I've almost done half, although in the end I really should have gone down a different road. I say this for the new comers to the game. Not that I regret brewing so many styles, I just think sticking to 5 or 8 styles would have been better because ingredients would have become more familiar to me.
In saying that I have thoughry enjoyed brewing most styles.
I got a iipa first go. It took me 3 goes (150 litters) to do a Belgian Tripel and I'm still working on the perfect English beer to serv on the pump.
Ill keep going in this direction but in the end I'm going to stick to 3 or 4 styles and perfect them. Ill open a brewery when I get older and ill let fate take it from there.
One thing I learnt about brewing..... Follow your instinct and listen to Tony on recipe making :) Gav
 

ticinglese

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Many things to consider:
- Start with someone else's recipe, ideally a clone you can compare with the real thing
- Suit your environment - my attic is 5°c at the moment, great for lagering lagers! When it warms up to 20° in late spring I'll do ales, stouts and wheats (heaters/fridges can overcome these things but may as well make use of free temperature extremes)
- Availability of ingredients - maybe not so much a problem these days but some countries shops cater for certain styles more than others (I live in Switzerland but need (prefer) to get base malt for pale ales from the uk)
- Start with something forgiving like a stout or wheat

Most important of all, make something you like drinking!
 

mosto

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I'll be attempting my first AG (BIAB) as soon as the finances allow me to purchase the remaining equipment. I've given a bit of thought to what recipe(s) I'll try first up and I've settled on trying a few SMaSH recipes. I've got an idea of what a few different hops and specialty grains bring to the table, from doing my kits and bits, so just really want to get my head around different base malts and what hops are suited to bittering.
 

Nick JD

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Before the brewer has their process under control, using tried and tru recipes is the best idea. If something goes wrong for the new brewer ... and they've concocted their own recipe ... then it's near impossible to tell if the faults are recipe-based or process-based.

Once you know your gear and process well enough, then fo shizzle make a Sour Black IIPA.
 

Dars183

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Sorry for the slight topic derail but I think its relevant :)
Nick JD said:
<snip>

Once you know your gear and process well enough, then fo shizzle make a Sour Black IIPA. <snip>
Any tips on helping to 'dial in' a new system or what to watch out for (apart from leaky seals :icon_cheers: ). I just got the last of my 3V set up and am planning 1st brew very soon so any help is appreciated

Cheers
 

Nick JD

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Dars183 said:
Sorry for the slight topic derail but I think its relevant :)
Any tips on helping to 'dial in' a new system or what to watch out for (apart from leaky seals :icon_cheers: ). I just got the last of my 3V set up and am planning 1st brew very soon so any help is appreciated

Cheers
Brew simple, or well-used recipes through it. Keep detailed records - write everything down. And read your recipes when you drink the beer.

Use BrewMate or if you are a beergeek, BeerSmith to calculate your efficiency and your IBUs and your... and use this info to determine where you're going right, and when you';re going wrong.

Yeast management and health is more important than wort production.
 

manticle

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Dars183 said:
Sorry for the slight topic derail but I think its relevant :) Any tips on helping to 'dial in' a new system or what to watch out for (apart from leaky seals :icon_cheers: ). I just got the last of my 3V set up and am planning 1st brew very soon so any help is appreciated Cheers
Work out your volume losses with a water run (factoring in grain/water absorption at around 1-1.2 L per kg) or a test brew. I'd go test brew myself as it's more realistic and you will get wort at the end.
Keep good records of your recipes, ingredients, mill settings, temps, losses and eventually mash and wort pH, ferment schedule and fermentability/attenuation. Otherwise just brew a lot and get to know it through experience and memory and understanding the basic principles (which is more how I tend to work)
 

mje1980

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I agree with manticle, brew a lot and take notes. The more you brew, the more you understand your equipment, which is important. Don't stress at early failures, they help you learn a lot.
 

rotten

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Otherwise just brew a lot and get to know it through experience and memory and understanding the basic principles (which is more how I tend to work)

Do that so you still get beer at the end. Why spend hrs boiling water?
 

manticle

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I agree but some people sweat over the numbers.
Personally I learn through brewing, drinking and reading and linking up all 3 together at the end.
Life's too short to boil water but the option is always there.
 

Dars183

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Thanks for the tips :) I'll be going the test batch method, Ive work out the probable losses just using water but until it gets grain in there its just going to be a guesstimate.

Looks like I'm ready to go :icon_cheers:

Cheers
 

Thefatdoghead

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manticle said:
I agree but some people sweat over the numbers.
Personally I learn through brewing, drinking and reading and linking up all 3 together at the end.
Life's too short to boil water but the option is always there.
I boiled water for my first run with my eski and 50L pot. Just made my first all grain batch hit all its numbers and I learnt a lot about the program I was using. You can easily brew great beer without sweating over numbers, simply because nature does all the work for us. Is it a coincidence that mash PH fall's within 5.4-5.6?? Nope.
So all we really have to get right is the salts and the yeast, right? Well you could just leave the salt and focus on the yeast.
 

Kudzu

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I'm looking at getting into BIAB soonish, I've got most of the gear I need. I did a water boil on the weekend, mainly because I had all this shiny new gear I wanted to try out but no grain to put in it.
 

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