Home brew. Where to start!

I'm completely new to this, I'm wondering where to start. Is it very time consuming, where do I get the supplies, how should I begin? Please post your tips for beginners in this thread!


Thanks


James

I've done lots of kit brewing but want to start with all-grain. I've found it easier to buy stuff from the UK online than use any French suppliers. I'm currently trying to find vessels to use as a mash tun and boiler, but again, I find it easier to source those things in the UK. The French seem to have an over-inflated view of what second-hand things are worth too (see cars!).

Picomousse is at Allée Denis Papin, 69200 Vénissieux (http://www.picomousse.fr/picomousse/about_us.php)

It's just the other side of the southern ring road. Owner is a bit of a character. Only time I bought stuff from him, he insisted that I entered an order on line from his office PC.

Hello David,

I am an avid American homebrewer, but I will be moving to Lyon in September to pursue a PhD at the Ecole (ENS). Can you provide me with the location of this store you are referencing? I am not sure where in Lyon I will be living, but hopefully close to the Ecole.

Thanks!

Kevin

I have started buying some bits from here http://www.lebonplan.fr/

I went on a half day brewing course in Lyon about 18 months ago and brewed 20 litres from scratch but for the time being I am using kits that I buy from the UK (From the Happy Brewer in Bedford and shipped over by Parcels Please that I came across on here).

I tend to use a King Keg to brew it in rather than bottles as I prefer draught beer to bottled and I hate cleaning/styerilising the bottles.

We have 4 or 5 micro breweries around us so don't have to drink Kronenbuirg all the time

Thanks David,

Sounds like fun, I think I'll give it a go. I'll start with preparing empties first! I helped a friend with some bottling a while back, he runs a microbrewery and if I remember rightly we bottled nigh on a 1000 that day!

You can read more about that if your interested here

Cheers for the info, I'm going to look for a kit now.

James

Hello James and others curious about brewing!

Home brewing is a wonderful hobby, and there is no simple way to answer your simple questions! Brewing can be as simple or as complex as you'd like it.

The simplest thing to do is to buy a homebrew kit. The basic kit consists of two food-grade plastic buckets with the right covers, stoppers etc., some tubes for transferring your beer at various stages, and of course a bottle-capper. You'll also need a fairly large metal cooking pot.

This will get you going on the two simplest forms of brewing: extract and partial mash.

Extract brewing is very simple, as had been described in the original thread. You can buy cans of hopped malt extract to which you add water, boil for a bit, pitch yeast, and let ferment.

Partial mash brewing is a bit more complicated, but allows for more flexibility and personalization of your beer. You use malt extract, as well "specialty grains" and hops to modify mostly color and taste of your beer, and a little bit of the alcohol content. This is what I do.

As far as time consuming... The yeast does most of the work. The first day of brewing takes a few hours - mostly watching your water heat up and then watching it cool down - Once you pitch your yeast, it is a few minutes every few days to "rack" your beer (move it from one container to another to limit the contact with spent yeast and other solids that fall out of suspension during the fermentation process). Finally bottling takes a few hours as well and is, bluntly, a pain. I switched to kegging (5L mini kegs that are compatible with home draft systems are widely available).

Being in Lyon, I can get most of my ingredients directly from a store around the corner. They also ship from www.picomousse.fr.

That is a decent start... Busy week, but I'll find time to post more as I gear up to brew some White House Ale!

Happy brewing (oh, and if you want to bottle your beer, you can start buying beer in non-screw cap preferably long-neck bottles now so you can drink while you brew and then reuse the bottles :) )!