Freshman from Norway

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Freshman from Norway

Unread postby Toivo » Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:11 pm

Hello beerfriends

Quick facts:
Status: Male 44 with two children
Localization: Ski Norway
Experience: Zero
Enthusiasm: Significantly higher :)
Brewery plan: Home in basement, smal gentelemans brew club
Equipment: BM 50-2015 mod. Received today :D :beer: :beer: :D
Shopping tomorrow: EVERYTHING else I need for our fist brew ever.

- Recommendations in the jungle of possible alternatives for an «advanced starter kit» will be appreciated. Maybe someone got a good list of well functioning kit. Planning to start with bottling for now.

I have already read a little on the forum a few weeks as well as a couple books, beyond that I have no experience other than being a fan of good beer.

Thanks to everyone who contributes here I have understood that there are many out there who have lots of experience and tips, expects to spend some time here in the future.
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Re: Freshman from Norway

Unread postby niels » Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:39 pm

Welcome Toivo!

Do you have a homebrew shop nearby or do you do your shopping online?

- Niels
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Re: Freshman from Norway

Unread postby Toivo » Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:04 pm

Yes to both, I ordered the Speidel online and picked it up at the main warehouse (15 km) of Bryggeland.no. But have also visited their shop in Oslo briefly, I live around 25 km away. So for further shopping is just dependent on warehouse situation.
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Re: Freshman from Norway

Unread postby Nesto » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:35 am

This is a good thread to read on what you might want to get started: viewtopic.php?t=501. What will you use for a fermenter? If you're going to bottle regularly, I highly recommend the Blichmann Beer Gun - it's very nice to use, but you do need a keg with CO2 regulator to use it. I'm sure you'll have some fun putting together your brewery!
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Re: Freshman from Norway

Unread postby dinnerstick » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:24 am

Hopefully your books cover this, but I have seen some beginner's brewing instructions that don't. There can be a bit too much focus on making wort, which, once you get the hang of your new BM, is actually pretty easy. Then, some instructions will have you tear open any old packet of yeast, throw it in a bucket with your wort, and wait a specified amount of time. Since the fermentation is the most important bit of brewing, it's really for the best to take care with it. A slightly sub-par recipe, or a mash that is off by a few degrees, a bit too bitter, these problems pale in comparison to a poorly fermented beer, like one that finishes too sweet as the yeast crap out early (old yeast, not enough oxygen, not enough yeast), or too hot/boozy from too high a temperature, heavy with diacetyl or green apple flavors. These beers tend to be undrinkable. I suggest to start simple both on the hot side and the cold side; pick a recipe that isn't too extreme in any direction; not too big, not too malty, not too hoppy, and uses a yeast that you can get as fresh packets of dry yeast. Some examples are, american pale ale (s05 yeast; the easiest one out there), english pale/mild/bitter (nottingham, for example). belgian style pale (t58) for a slightly more advanced fermentation. Make sure you pitch enough yeast, look up an online yeast calculator like yeastcalc or mrmalty to confirm. Rehydrate the yeast (boil some water, pour into a cup or bowl, with a thermometer, cover with foil and let it cool to 37-40, sprinkle dry yeast on water, after a few minutes mix it in well, let it cool until it is close to wort temperature, or cool it gradually by adding a little bit of wort at t time, add it to the wort). If you have a temp controlled fermentation chamber, great, you're laughing. If not, try your best to keep the fermentor near the temperature you want for that yeast, and avoid swings of temperature. Sudden drops can put your yeast to sleep and they might not wake up. Ignore ANY instructions that tell you to ferment for a set amount of time. Like a beer jedi you will learn to understand when things are done, until then give it more than enough time. Gravity readings, taste tests, aroma, clarity, these will help you know how your brew is coming along. Finally, wort doesn't taste like fermenting beer, which doesn't taste like the final, clear beer, but in time you will learn how to relate these tastes to each other, if you know what I mean.

Wow I'm long winded...
starter kit... let's see...Jacket for the BM, some ventilation in your brew room, speidel plastic fermenters are nice, an autosiphon is great, a good quality capper as the cheap ones always break, a good hydrometer, the larger ones are easier to read, and a graduated cylinder that is tall enough for your hydrometer (very important!), something to stir the mash (a big wooden spoon or whatever), sanitizer- starsan or iodophor, cleaner- PBW or oxyclean. yeast nutrient irish moss are useful but not essential.
also non-essential for now: an old fridge to ferment in, a temp controller for said fridge, a good digital thermometer is useful, eventually something (strips or meter) to check and adjust (phosphoic or lactic acid) mash pH, a flask stir plate and magnetic stirrer for when you make yeast starters, some malt extract for starters and last minute gravity corrections, hop strainer hop bags hop sleeve- some people use them to keep the hops back in the kettle. essential: a nice beer glass.
Good luck!
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Re: Freshman from Norway

Unread postby Toivo » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:50 am

Thanks Dinnerstick.
I will try to pick up on your guiding as i go shopping today. Any opinion regarding the best cooling system/mod. for a BM50? As for the fermenting i have a TLC 1000 in transport, hope to get that base covered soon :)
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Re: Freshman from Norway

Unread postby dinnerstick » Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:23 am

I assume you mean wort cooling? Not sure, other BM50 users can comment on what they have used. I have the speidel SS immersion chiller for my BM 20L, and it works fine. Copper of course is better than steel for heat transfer, but I assume you have pretty cold tap water like we do here, so I can get wort chilled in reasonable time, and the SS is durable and very easy to clean. If you have a keg, pot, strong bucket, you can save your hot water from cooling and use it for cleaning, whatever means of chilling you employ. I like the look of the blichmann plate chiller, and how you can just boil the whole thing in a pot to sanitize, but I have never used one. (and like nesto i am a big fan of the beergun, but that's for another day)
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