Where to start

Just getting started out in the world of homebrewing? Ask your questions here!
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Oilguy
Posts: 11
Joined: |25 Oct 2014|, 11:12
Favourite Beer: Jolson Canadian

Where to start

Post by Oilguy »

Good morning,
Excited to start my first brew,The only beer I've ever drank was Molson Canadian , Luck Lager ,etc
what would be a good first brew to try along these lines , for tates wise?
thanks.

Doc_Drive
Posts: 1039
Joined: |12 Feb 2013|, 14:55
Favourite Beer: German wheat
Location: Calgary

Re: Where to start

Post by Doc_Drive »

Try an ale, not a lager. You can ferment ales at a lot higher temperatures and they're done much quicker... I'd probably try something like an ESB...

Dee Envy
Posts: 66
Joined: |02 Dec 2013|, 23:22
Favourite Beer: HomeBrew
Location: Parry Sound District

Re: Where to start

Post by Dee Envy »

What kind of grains and hops do you have?
I find the easiest to make would be a SMaSH ale. (Single Malt and Single Hops)
Beer Beer Beer Beer
Beer Beer Beer Beer

Goulaigan
Posts: 456
Joined: |14 Jan 2014|, 23:05
Favourite Beer: Mine
Location: Goulais River, ON

Re: Where to start

Post by Goulaigan »

You could try one of the extract kits, many of the popular ones are close to canadian or other macro swill I think? Do you have a local homebrew shop? If so its worth a trip, tell them what you are looking for and they should help you with all the stuff you need to get started...

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Beer Grains Supply Co
Posts: 48
Joined: |20 Mar 2012|, 22:00
Favourite Beer: Hefeweizen
Location: Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
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Re: Where to start

Post by Beer Grains Supply Co »

If you don't already have an equipment starter kit I would start with a 1 gallon starter kit. Many vendors have them including us (1 Gallon Homebrew Kit) and they will come with an ingredient kit to get you started. 1 Gallon Starter kits are great because the investment is minimal, they're geared towards the absolute beginner with complete instructions, and it allows you to try all-grain brewing and hone the basic skills before stepping up to the next level. Most vendors have excellent quality kits available.

Do a Google search for Homebrew Supplies Canada and lots of good vendors will pop up including (shameless promotion) Beer Grains Supply Co., OBK, Toronto Brewing, Brewers Pantry, Everwood Ave Brew Shop, Innovation Homebrew, etc.

Cheers,
Jason
Beer Grains Supply Co./La Chope A Malt Inc.
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https://beergrains.com

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Warthaug
Posts: 845
Joined: |09 Apr 2011|, 19:50
Favourite Beer: The wet kind
Location: SW Ontario
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Re: Where to start

Post by Warthaug »

Oilguy, it would help if you gave us a bit more info.

Are you planning on starting with kits? If so I'd recommend a non-canned kit like the brewhouse series. Here's a link to a few of these kits on one of Canada's many mail-order supply stores - your local homebrew/winemaking shop likely has them as well. These kits are a good entry point - dirt easy to make (you literally dump the beer into a fermenter, top-up with water, and add the yeast) and make some of the best kit beers out there. Many beers styles are available in this type of kit, so pick what you like (I'd echo those who recommended avoiding lagers - without a dedicated brewing fridge its hard to get them to turn out right). Avoid the canned kits - they tend to not make as nice a beer, and can be pretty horrendous if you don't tweak the instructions.

If you're thinking about getting in at the "next level" (e.g. brewing with malt extract, hops and speciality grains) there are a lot of great guides and recipes out there. A fellow Canadian brewer, Craig, has an excellent youtube channel which includes (amoung many other things) how to extract brew. This is a playlist of the relevant videos; they're a great place to start. Again, when selecting a recipe I'd recommend you go with a style of ale that you enjoy. People here can furnish you with a recipe if you can narrow down the style, or you can look at many of the recipe databases out there - such as this one over at home brew talk (look for ones marked "extract").

Some people go all-in on their first brew and do an all-grain brew session. Personally, I'd recommend against that unless you are brewing with someone else who has previous all-grain experience. If you do decide to go that route for your first beer (or choose to go down that road later), I'd recommend starting with brew-in-a-bag style brewing. Its the cheapest and easiest way to get into all-grain, and makes beers as good as any other all-grain method. From there you can upgrade (if you want) to bigger & badder all-grain systems. I'm not a BIABer, but this blog post goes into the method in some detail, and the guys over at Basic Brewing have a number of videos where they brew using the brew-in-a-bag method.

If you don't mind, a few other pointers:
  1. As a new brewer the most important thing you need to concentrate on is proper sanitary techniques. Most of the issues new brewers tend to run into typically are a result of poor sanitation, leading to infections that create off-flavours.
  2. When learning to brew focus on the basics first - hitting your desired volumes, temperatures and times accurately are the next more important part of good brewing after sanitation.
  3. Build your brewing technique at a rate you are comfortable with. You'll get a lot of advice on this and other forums on how to improve your brews - temperature controlling your ferment, water additions, pH measurements, etc, etc, etc. There is no need to include those until you a) feel comfortable doing so, and b) you think that they are necessary. Heck, some of us win contests without doing those things, so its not like they are mandatory or anything...
  4. You're all but guaranteed to run into brewers on these forums who may try to sell you on their particular way or philosophy of brewing. They will tell you the way you brew is wrong, or will state that you're not a "real brewer" unless you subscribe to their way of doing things. Ignore them - there are ways to do things wrong, but there is no singular way to do things right. Find what works for you (and by extension, you should take what I wrote above with a grain of salt, as obviously it reflects my opinions/philosophy).
I'll crawl off my soapbox now...

Good luck!

Bryan
Visit my blog at suigenerisbrewing.com. Homebrewing, yeast wrangling, wild yeast and more!

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Warthaug
Posts: 845
Joined: |09 Apr 2011|, 19:50
Favourite Beer: The wet kind
Location: SW Ontario
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Re: Where to start

Post by Warthaug »

Missed a key thing...
Warthaug wrote:Are you planning on starting with kits? ... These kits are a good entry point - dirt easy to make (you literally dump the beer into a well-sanitized fermenter, top-up with water, and add the yeast) and make some of the best kit beers out there...
Visit my blog at suigenerisbrewing.com. Homebrewing, yeast wrangling, wild yeast and more!

Doc_Drive
Posts: 1039
Joined: |12 Feb 2013|, 14:55
Favourite Beer: German wheat
Location: Calgary

Re: Where to start

Post by Doc_Drive »

Whoa some strong words in your point 5 there, Bryan! ;)

Winger
Posts: 384
Joined: |10 Nov 2012|, 14:55
Favourite Beer: BEER
Location: Creston, BC

Re: Where to start

Post by Winger »

Everyone has given great advise here as far as I'm concerned. The only thing you need to decide is where to start. Good luck. :popcorn: :cheers:
Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.

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JimmehBrew
Posts: 803
Joined: |13 May 2012|, 11:36
Favourite Beer: Bass Pale Ales
Location: Barrie Ont CA
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Re: Where to start

Post by JimmehBrew »

if you enjoy Lagers like molson try using a German Kolsch yeast, it is an Ale yeast that can be fermented at higher temps than lager, but still give Lager like results. I've used quite often in many of my beers and is one of my favourites.

Just thought I would throw that out there :cheers:
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