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Would appreciate recommendations on wort brewing

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mayrog

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Over the years I've had a lot of experience with producing alcoholic beverages - ranging from miscellaneous fruit juice fermented with bread yeast in Saudi Arabia to sugar fermented with turbo yeast in Australia.

I've recently tried my hand with a cider kit with reasonable results but I'm not sure that I want to drink a lot of sweet cider.

I've decided that I'd like to experiment with beer - lower alcohol content than stuff I've been drinking - and would be grateful for all advice.

Should I start with prepared wort? Recommendations on source? Type of yeast and source? Is nutrient needed? What specific gravities to expect , etc?

Thanks
 

MHB

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I suspect you don't know just how long a piece of string you are on one end of.
It will be a very good idea to get a bit of knowledge under your belt before kicking off.
How to Brew is a free online book, it starts with the basics and isn't too bad a place to kick off. Its American and that brings some bias to what it says but in general stick with it to start.

Probably a good idea to go and buy a decent basic "Starter Kit" there are plenty out there, do a search to see what you can find locally.
The basics of good brewing start with Hygiene! There are lots of options but get a good cleaner (I would recommend PBW or similar) and a good sanatiser, the acid based allegedly "No Rinse" are popular and will work, personally I prefer 70% alcohol in a sprayer or a peroxide based sanitiser, but again plenty of options.
Temperature control is very important, if you can get a second hand fridge, buy a temperature controller and put a small fan in the fridge so you have good control of the fermentation temperature you will make better more consistent beer, especially in summer. Australian summers are a difficult time of year to make good beer without temp control.
Water without Chlorine or Chloramines will make better tasting beer, carbon filtered or treated with Metabisulfite the night before (use Campden Tablets if you haven't got really good 0.1g scales), google for doses.

Quality home brew kits, with a couple of extras like better yeast, a bit of steeped grain and some hops can make excellent beer, as can many of the "Fresh Wort" kits on the market. Its going to come down to what you can get locally, without getting murdered on freight. But start with the basics, get those right and build on that basis to get the beer you want.
Its quite difficult to make top notch low alcohol beer from kits, they usually just taste watered down, you might be better off using smaller glasses at first, again get the basics right and build on that.

Mark
 

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