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Topic # 132240 14-Oct-2013 16:15 Send private message quote this post

So, I'm a pretty avid lover of beer, especially a good craft beer, and as far as I can see there isn't a thread for learning to home brew, so like my fellow geeks, I thought a thread was in order!

I was hoping that there was some pretty seasoned brewers on here that would be able to help out, so here goes nothing, if one was to start to brew his own beer, where would one start when they have no experience in brewing?

Ingredients, materials, what's needed?

Cheers guys




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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 914893 14-Oct-2013 16:19 Send private message quote this post

We are getting into it with the help of a Williamswarn Home Brewery. To date we have made Belgian Ale, Dutch Pilsner then we broke out a bit and added hops to an APA and pretty much came up with something similar to to Tuatara APA. Last brew was a Belgian Dubbel which has all the flavour but lacks a little carbonation, but perfectly drinkable.

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  Reply # 914895 14-Oct-2013 16:22 Send private message quote this post

Hit me up bro, I have the contacts who can get you started :)

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  Reply # 914907 14-Oct-2013 16:31 Send private message quote this post

I started brewing my own back in January, I'm up to batch six now and haven't had a bad batch yet. I got a Brewtec kit for xmas with more bits than I actually need. The basics you'll need are a brew barrel, an airlock and a stack of bottles. I went with plastic screw-top bottles, they cost about a buck each new, but are really simple to reuse, so the $30 cost gets spread over many reuses. I have three full sets of bottles, and once I get over 30 empties, I put another brew down.

I have been very pleased with how simple it all is - about 20 minutes to put a brew down, and 45 minutes a week later later to bottle it up, then its drinkable a fortnight later.

My first brew was the Brewtec Draft that came with the kit, and it was very drinkable, similar colour and body to a Lion Red, with a bit more flavour.
Since then I've done a couple of ciders to keep the wife on-side, an ale, a stout, and I've got a pilsener nearly ready to drink.

In Hamilton, the home brew shop on Te Rapa straight is a must-visit, they have everything you could ever need, plus no matter who is behind the counter, they all know what they are talking about and will give good advice.


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  Reply # 914942 14-Oct-2013 17:18 Send private message quote this post

I've also done 5-6 brews this year with great success. Also if you do happen to drink too much, it doesn't give you anywhere near the hangover that commercial beer does.

Personally I buy from the BrewShop.co.nz
I started with this -> http://www.brewshop.co.nz/brewing-equipment/copper-tun-starter-brewery.html

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  Reply # 915150 15-Oct-2013 07:34 One person supports this post Send private message quote this post

Welcome to the club!

Once you get you basic kit of fermenter and bottles you have a choice to make even before you look at style of beer - extract or grain

Extract combines malts and powders with your yeast and water in the fermenter and is a great place to start, you can get to grips with cleaning, carrying for and bottling your brew

Grain on the other hand has you steeping crushed grain in a large pot, and after some other steps cooling this wort down to add your yeast to. Harder, can take all day to get it done, but if you do it right way tastier than extract!


How to brew by John Palmer is my brewing bible, and is available for free online as well as in print

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  Reply # 915157 15-Oct-2013 07:53 Send private message quote this post

will be watching this tread with interest. I am up to my sixth "brew". I say brew but really it's mixing a packet with water but it's fun all the same. I have only had one failure with was a cider and have no idea what went wrong. will do a few more brews and then maybe over xmas try to make my own extract but I need to find some more gear for that first.

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  Reply # 915194 15-Oct-2013 08:46 Send private message quote this post

I too will be watching this thread. I have a brewkit sitting at home ready to go.
Just haven't got round to putting down my first brew yet, but this thread may be the kick starter I needed to get into action and try my hands at brewing.

Any westies (auck) have any good brewing shops to visit to get the ingredients for a first batch ?



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  Reply # 915196 15-Oct-2013 08:47 Send private message quote this post

I work with ubergeeknz an we're both quite keen to start brewing xD I do like the sound of doing some grain brews but I might have to wait until my skill set is a bit higher first.




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  Reply # 915202 15-Oct-2013 08:49 Send private message quote this post

Johnk: I too will be watching this thread. I have a brewkit sitting at home ready to go.
Just haven't got round to putting down my first brew yet, but this thread may be the kick starter I needed to get into action and try my hands at brewing.

Any westies (auck) have any good brewing shops to visit to get the ingredients for a first batch ?


I'm also right out west close to Halensville so that would be good to know of any close by




4th gen i7 Haswell 4770k, G.SKILL RipjawsX 16GB (4x4 Gb) DDR3 2400MHz, x1 GTS 460, Intel 180Gb 530 Series SSD, x1 Seagate 1Tb HDD, x1 Seagate 2Tb HDD, Modular 850w PSU, R.O.G. Maximus VII Formula mobo, Cooler Master Storm Trooper Chassis, Cooler Master V8 CPU cooler

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  Reply # 915233 15-Oct-2013 09:26 Send private message quote this post

BlueShift: I went with plastic screw-top bottles, they cost about a buck each new, but are really simple to reuse, so the $30 cost gets spread over many reuses.




I tried a few brews in plastic bottles, but found the taste wasnt as good as glass. They also have problems holding the carbonation. I found many would be flat when opened even though the lids were put on really tight. I gave them away to another brewer and he found the same thing. If you want to use glass, head down to a bottle store that sells beer in crates. They will usually sell you empty crates for $4.50. Get yourself some caps and a capper and your good to go.

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  Reply # 915247 15-Oct-2013 09:48 One person supports this post quote this post

There is actually quite a good forum here:
http://www.forum.realbeer.co.nz/
Its probably worthy of a whole forum on its own to be honest so not sure if you want to re-invent the wheel by starting a forum here...... Though a beer brew thread on geekzone has a nice feel to it...

But I would have to say that if you want to start somewhere just buy a coopers homebrew kit from your supermarket ($100ish) - includes everything for the first batch. Even has a DVD to watch to help you.
Coopers kits are pretty bullet proof and makes a nice beer.

If you want to go into doing something more from scratch the above forum is probably the place to go.

If you are in Auckland the Brewers Co-op in penrose is a good place to check out.




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Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it it himself - A. H. Weiler

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  Reply # 915289 15-Oct-2013 11:06 Send private message quote this post

@FlameBeard I am up in Riverhead and have a friend from Kaukapakapa who I brew with but there don't seem to be a lot of open to the public brewing clubs in Auckland


I have tried plastic bottles, swap-a-crate bottles and grolsch bottles (swing top) - I have always had a dud or two with any of those types.

Plastic bottles shouldn't be reused too much as they get progressively scratched inside and become harder to sterilize - you buy new lids each time and some brands seem better than others

Swap-a-crate bottles are easy to clean and sterilize but you need a capper to put the metal lids on, I have only had one go dud on me with those though (it cracked under carbonation)

Grolsch bottles are great as the lid is reusable and the bottle is glass, I have had to modify a few with my pliers to make them seal tighter after getting some dud bottles but they are working well now

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  Reply # 915299 15-Oct-2013 11:34 Send private message quote this post

Dav4122: @FlameBeard I am up in Riverhead and have a friend from Kaukapakapa who I brew with but there don't seem to be a lot of open to the public brewing clubs in Auckland


I have tried plastic bottles, swap-a-crate bottles and grolsch bottles (swing top) - I have always had a dud or two with any of those types.

Plastic bottles shouldn't be reused too much as they get progressively scratched inside and become harder to sterilize - you buy new lids each time and some brands seem better than others

Swap-a-crate bottles are easy to clean and sterilize but you need a capper to put the metal lids on, I have only had one go dud on me with those though (it cracked under carbonation)

Grolsch bottles are great as the lid is reusable and the bottle is glass, I have had to modify a few with my pliers to make them seal tighter after getting some dud bottles but they are working well now


What are you doing to scratch up the inside of your plastic bottles?
And, where do you source the Grolsch bottles, do you have to buy them full, then empty them?

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  Reply # 915303 15-Oct-2013 11:36 Send private message quote this post

Brew supply places sell the swingtop bottles, also if you are in Wellington Moore Wilsons and Williamswarn.co.nz

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  Reply # 915328 15-Oct-2013 12:24 Send private message quote this post

FlameBeard:
Johnk: I too will be watching this thread. I have a brewkit sitting at home ready to go.
Just haven't got round to putting down my first brew yet, but this thread may be the kick starter I needed to get into action and try my hands at brewing.

Any westies (auck) have any good brewing shops to visit to get the ingredients for a first batch ?


I'm also right out west close to Halensville so that would be good to know of any close by


Hauraki Home Brew (http://www.haurakihomebrew.co.nz) are a great place to visit.  They have everything from kits to raw ingredients.  If you want they will also sell you distilling gear for spirits and have kits for wine too.

It does mean you have to venture out to Albany but they also do on line ordering if you prefer.

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