Home brew Newbie - My First Setup Recommendations

Help Support The HomeBrew Forum:

Hazelwood Brewery

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
7,098
Reaction score
11,549
Location
Maidstone, Kent
I’d love to see the process of an American IPA. Please me know some dates just to make sure I’d be able to pop round.
The most involved one! 😂

That’s no problem. Is a weekday any good or would you prefer a weekend? It will need most of a day if you want to see everything.
 

Osheac10

New Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2021
Messages
17
Reaction score
3
Weekday would be fine, send me a personal message and we can arrange a day that suits you as your doing me the favour.
 

AlDaviz

Regular.
Joined
Feb 2, 2019
Messages
386
Reaction score
161
Location
Fife
Hi
I started Around 3 years ago making all grain as I liked lots of the brewdog and innes gunn beers. I decided to buy some quality items instead of having to replace if I liked what I was doing.
decided to jump in near the deep end. Bought a grainfather and never looked back. Also a tilt hydrometer, speidel 30L fermenter (I have an extra cheaper with a tap at bottom for bottling). An OMAC bench bottle capper after reading reviews.
these are my main bits of kit, there’s plenty of excellent advice on here and lots help answering any questions you have.
My first couple of brews I used carbonation drops, but then moved onto using sugar, so easy and lots of calculators online to help. good luck with your brewing 👍
 
Last edited:

The magistrate

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2021
Messages
128
Reaction score
59
Beer kits may well put you off going any further. While some folk recommend this as a way to get started, doing a proper mash is not so difficult and the beer you make this way is far superior. It is very difficult to brew an undrinkable beer this way. Make sure everything is clean. I always say if you can cook, you can brew. Spending 2 grand on kit seems way over the top though. Get a converted picnic cool box as a mash tun and investing in a good proper boiler is a sound move. A siphon tube, hydrometer, thermometer, fermentation bins and a King Keg pressure barrel won't break the bank either. I'd also suggest a proper sparging arm which you can connect to a suitable hot water supply is a good move. I kept my old 6 gal mashing bucket from may years ago which connects the sparge arm to the tap with plastic tubing. I suggest you look at The Homebrew Shop website. I have no connection with them whatsoever but they do have a great selection of really good mashing equipment and when i came to upgrade my setup several years ago that's where I went for the mash tun, boiler and new bigger sparge arm than the one I had previously used. I do not regard myself as any sort of expert but in over 40 years of brewing I can honestly say I have only ever had to throw one brew away and that's when I used fresh Batham's brewery yeast for the first time. I used far too much and the brew became yeast-bitten.
 

Stevieboy

Landlord.
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
572
Reaction score
407
Location
Wimborne, Dorset

Cheap AG set up here.
 

GerritT

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2017
Messages
2,813
Reaction score
1,033
Go for the table mounted capper. And think of electrical thermometers, like the Inkbird. Cost a few dozens of pounds more, pays back in sanity.
 

Bombers hoppy ending

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2021
Messages
159
Reaction score
73
I started this journey in February. Did the same as you and spent about 3 weeks reading everything i could find about the process. 3 things kept coming to the fore.
1. Sanitisation
2. Fermentation temp control
3. Oxidation control.
I managed to purchase most of the basics including FV x2, pet bottles cleaning gear, test equipment and syphon from Facebook market place.
I then purchased a larder fridge from the same social media site and also a tube heater and temp control unit.
I spent a few days researching, building and setting up the fermentation fridge in the garage. Also this time was spent acquiring the last few bits I needed and a couple of kits. I had also been drinking commercial beer and washing the bottles and also collected some from friends and has a stock of about 80 ready to go into circulation.

Brew day was easy. Followed the sanitisation process and then the kit instructions. Very easy.
Transferred the FV to the fermentation fridge and pitched the yeast.
Followed the guidance here, regarding the 2x2x2 process, basically 2weeks primary fermentation, 2 weeks warm bottle conditioning and 2 weeks cool conditioning then start drinking.
Straight off the bat the beers have all been as good as that served in a pub.

As I went on I wanted to minimise the opportunity to get oxidation issues.
The first stage to this was stopping transferring to a 2nd FV for priming sugar and bottling. I now use the bottling wand straight on the primary FV and use carbonation drop. This cuts out an unnecessary transfer and potential oxidation issue.
I’m currently on brew 10, and as yet haven’t had a bad beer.
I can also agree that muntons new flagships are great and so are the mangrove jacks kits.
I also agree that the way to go is use premium 2 can kits, or the MJ kits with the extra liquid malt pouch.
My initial cost outlay to produce good beer was £150 including setting up the fermentation fridge. From here you can add to it and improve your set up once you know where you want to go with it.
In my opinion the most important things to control to ensure you get good quality beer is.
Sanitisation
Fermentation temp control
Oxidation control
Sanitisation
 

fgoulding

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2021
Messages
117
Reaction score
107
Location
Dublin
If I had my time again, I would have started with a small stove top pot for boil in a bag and used a sous vide for temp control. Then a small fermenter with an insulation jacket and heat belt. And I would also use Kveik yeast to start with as it’s easier to control the temps. Then I would have learned to use the Brewfather app and scaled the popular recipes down to fit a small batch size and ordered the ingredients via geterbrewed’s recipe builder.

It’s much easier and cheaper to throw a 1 gallon batch down the drain rather than 5 gallons (which happens as part of the learning process).

Because brewing is all about the brewer and not the kit. In fact, I must have changed or upgraded every bit of I kit that I first bought once I had learnt more!

Ironically, the small batch kit that I described is what I now use for recipe creation because I got fed up drinking 5 gallons of mediocre beer ;)
 

johncrobinson

Landlord.
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
Messages
2,098
Reaction score
1,058
Location
Highlands
I know,I know, You have 5 kids all intent ongoing to uni at 50 grand a year plus+++
This and all the other living costs mean you have to charge more.

I surrended when beer passed the £1 a pint mark.

Though only to me a couple of years ago now it feels like ancient history
 
Last edited:
Top