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Beer difficulty vs wine

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gawine

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I'm underway with my first wine kit and am thinking about doing a beer next. My take is that it is more difficult as you have the boiling and such involved. Is that true?

and what ale's are easier than others? I'd like to do an IPA as I love those. I hear stout/porter's are easier. I'm open to a pale ale as well. Anything else recommended?

oh, and are there any beer forums or are there plenty of beer folks here?
 

Julie

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Hi gawine,

I do not make beer but my husband does. I don't see where it is all that hard. It is just an all afternoon process but after that it is not much different than making wine.
 

Runningwolf

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Hi gawine,

I do not make beer but my husband does. I don't see where it is all that hard.

LOL..sounds just like my wife. No its not all that hard my husband does it!! :):):):)
 

Wade E

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It all depends on what you want to use. There are no boil kits that come out fair to decent. there are extract kits that really do come out very good, and then there is all garin where you need a lot of equipment and lots of time to brew a 5 or 10 or even more gallon batch but you have great control of what you want to make. partial boil extract kits are where most people stay as they make a good beer and dont require a lot of time or equipment and if you get a big pot you can do a full boil exctract kit and even improve on that. I make extract kits and do all grain but soon will do just all grain as mt set up is almost complete but it costs money or you will struggle to do it. Try a TrueBrew kit or Brwers Best kit.
 

smurfe

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A stout isn't any easier to make than an IPA. Same process. I think you might be confusing lagers and ales. Lagers are fermented in a cooler atmosphere such as in a temperature controlled refrigerator. Ales are fermented at room temp, hopefully aroung 68F.

Extract kits with steeping grains are a great way to start. I do all grain so can't give you a whole lot of input on brands but I have to say the store made kits like Midwest, Norther Brewer, More Beer etc make better beers in my opinion than the pre-packaged commercial kits like Tru-Brew etc. They use the correct hops and yeast for the particular style. I really scratch my head on some of the hops in those commercial kits. They also normally all use the exact same yeast for all of the kits.

If you have a local home brew shop worth anything you can easily make up your own extract/steeping grain kit from any all grain recipe.
 

Greenman

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I make beer, but from kits. The home brew kits of today are miles ahead of where they were 10 years ago. To date, the Festa Brew Dry is the best, it takes 11 days, and if you have a kegging system, it's truely amazing.

The only big difference between wine and beer is that with beer, you are on it's time. With wine, if you are a couple days late racking, then no big deal. With beer, it could make a huge difference.
 

TheTooth

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I make beer all-grain. The process of making wine is easier than the process of making beer, but neither is all that hard. Once you get either of them in the fermenter, it's about the same process. Bottling/kegging is a bit different because of carbonation... you don't need to degass beer because you want it carbonated, and you have to prime it in the bottles to get enough CO2 in solution to have carbonation.

Right now I'm a bit more intimidated by winemaking because I've been making beer so long. I've never had to worry about PH in homebrewing and I am ready to taste your results almost immediately. LOL

As far as Smurfe's comment, a stout isn't any easier to MAKE than an IPA, but a stout will help hide mistakes better than a paler beer. Paler beers have less roasted flavors and thus will show mistakes in your process more clearly. That's why people tend to recommend making a stout or porter as a first try so the inevitable little mistakes you'll make won't discourage you.
 

TheTooth

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oh, and are there any beer forums or are there plenty of beer folks here?
There seem to be a few beer folks here. There are plenty here if you just want to try a no-boil kit.

I hate to direct traffic from one forum to another, but I also frequent the MoreBeer forum for my beer making. You can find it at http://forums.morebeer.com. There a a lot of helpful posts to search through and knowledgeable folks to help you if you want to get into homebrewing more.
 
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smurfe

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Uhh, probably the biggest beer forum on the net is the sister site to this place. Homebrew Talk. Check it out.

www.homebrewtalk.com

I am working on a blog with a few others as well that is wine and beer brewing based. It will have a discussion area as well. I am still trying to figure out the software. The forum area is up but needs some tweeking. It will be much more "newbie" friendly than the big forums.

http://www.letstalkbrewing.com
 

Wade E

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I agree that www.homebrewtalk.com is by far the biggest beer forum on the net and they are very fast to help you out and they can help you out in any extreme you go to. I am building a pretty extensive brewing system and they are helping me all the way. there are even many people on that forum that can sell you the parts you need to do so as there are many vendors on that forum which is great. I am a lifetime member of that forum and must say its been a big help to me.
Tooth, that link doesnt work by the way!
http://forums.morebeer.com/
 

TheTooth

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Thanks for letting me know about the link. That's what I get for using the link button rather than just using the [ url ] tags. LOL

Anyway... it's fixed now. I'll have to check out the homebrewtalk forum sometime.
 

smurfe

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There are quite a few good IPA kits out there. Where do you shop? Local or online? If local get a recipe and go to the local shop and make up your recipe. If online, check out places like More Beer, Northern Brewer, Midwest Brewing, Austin Home Brew etc that make up their own kits with fresh extract, steeping grains, proper hops and yeast. These will come out much better than the pre-packaged canned extract kits.
 

gawine

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Yeah, spent an equal amount of time on the homebrewtalk site lately. Went ahead and dove into a B.Best HopNOgg kit from my LHBS. Just went to secondary tonight! can't wait to try it and thinking about what to do next.:ib
 

Omerta

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My best friend brews. He started with kits and moved to all grain. He gets me a few samples of each of his brews.... I HATE IT :: Ever since trying his home made brew I can't drink store bought beer. Its down right delicious. Oh and it does seem to be a bit more involved than wine. But, that's coming from some one who hasn't made wine from whole grapes.
 

gawine

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Well, I've bottled my beer and will bottle my first batch of wine next weekend.. so after having done both I'm leaning towards beer being more work! Now, I'll have to see how the end product comes out as I've heard you can make great beer but it can be harder to make great wine.
 

TheTooth

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My best friend brews. He started with kits and moved to all grain. He gets me a few samples of each of his brews.... I HATE IT :: Ever since trying his home made brew I can't drink store bought beer. Its down right delicious. Oh and it does seem to be a bit more involved than wine. But, that's coming from some one who hasn't made wine from whole grapes.
I agree. All-grain brewing is definitely more difficult than making wine from a kit. But I haven't had the equipment or chance yet to make wine from fresh grapes or fruit. That would up the difficulty level quite a bit since you'd need to check ph and alter the must accordingly, not to mention the crushing/pressing process.

All said, I think each has it's challenges, depending on how far you want to go with each. If you make wine from whole fruit or grapes, it would definitely be harder than doing an all-extract no-boil beer kit.
 

Wade E

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It all depends on what you have as far as making beer vs. wine. Like said above it really depends on how you are making it. If from grapes then there is some work ahead of you a few times, the first being the crushing destemming day and the next being the pressing.
 

valdelocc

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I do beer part mash only and making beer is a bit easy than wine, it takes around 3 hours to brew 5 gallons of beer (part mash) then it goes to the primary,secondary and down it goes, wine most be punch 2 or 3 times a day,press and rack it many times, its more involving. by the way does anyone knows if pot meta can be used to preserve beer? or Irish moss to clarify wine? :slp
 

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