Advice for a novice home brewer?

General brewing ingredients discussion

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Advice for a novice home brewer?

Postby thobin » Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:44 pm

I'm shopping for a new brew kit this weekend. Something simple since I'm still pretty new to the process. Any suggestions on what to try?

Thanks in advance.
Tanner Hobin
Novice Home Brewer, Professional Drinker.
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Postby JE » Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:13 pm

Depending on which way you are brewing (extract or all-grain), which I will assume for arguements sake is extract, you have lots of choices.

If you already have all of your equipment and just want a kit to purchase, you can always try the Brewer's Best kits...I used one and modified two others with some varying degree of success. There are other kits on the market that you can use as well, but the names escape me currently. The base beers were all pretty good, but I messed up once I tried spicing one of them!

Hope this information helps a little! :D
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Postby thobin » Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:26 pm

Thanks JE!

I'll definitely look into the Brewer's Best kits.

I see your from St. Louis. Is Worm's Ways the place to go? I've typically ordered everything online, but I don't want to wait for shipping anymore.
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Postby scottt » Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:32 pm

There are three local home brew supply shops:

St. Louis Wine & Beer Making in Chesterfield - NW corner of 141 & Clayton

Worm's Way on Warson Rd.

and Dave's Homebrew Supplies in downtown Belleville, IL

I have purchased from all three and don't have anything really negative to say about any of them. Although from what I gather, Worm's Way is lacking in brewing ingredients at the moment (no hops at all).
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Postby HarvInSTL » Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:41 pm

Depending on your location I'd say stop in at STL Wine & Beer and talk to Dave about what kits he has available. He normally has at least one of them on tap and if you ask I'm sure he wouldn't mind letting you taste it.

I recommend the STL Wine & Beer kits over the Brewers Best kits.

The Brewers Best kits come with LME (Liquid Malt Extract) which will have a higher level of unfermentables than DME (Dried Malt Extract). And in my experience the LME is what can cause that "extract twang" some people experience.

Dave is a very knowledgeable beer and wine maker and I remember my first day there like it was yesterday. (Which it almost was considering that I've only been brewing since April 2007)

He spent almost 45mins with me explaining the beer making process to me, and made sure that I understood the fundementals before he even attempted to sell me anything.

In my honest opinon you won't get that experience from Worms Way.
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Postby bacillus » Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:46 pm

Ya, I was over at StL wine and beer on Wednesday and Dave had his vanilla porter on tap - quite tasty. Due to time constraints I was "forced" to do an extract and bought one from Dave - good price and well thought out recipe.

Happy brewing
"Nunc est bibendum!"

On Tap 1:Pliny the Elder Clone
On Tap 2: Coors Light :roll:
On Tap 3: Hefeweizen
On Deck: Corona clone
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Postby JE » Fri Jan 25, 2008 5:49 pm

I'm going to have to agree with everyone else...Dave over at STL Wine & Beer is very accomodating to us brewers!!! He is patient, helpful and a good brewer too! I have sampled one or two of his brews while shopping and they are tasty!

Go there and pick up a kit from him...you won't be sorry! :D
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Postby bmock » Tue Jan 29, 2008 4:15 pm

My two cents.

The Brewer's Best kits I've used had both liquid and dried malts, but you get the definite twang when tasting them. I did the Red Ale and English Brown Ale. Next up for me are two kits from Northern Brewer. After that, I'll follow the advice posted here and get to Dave's.
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