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thomaso827

Beer Brewing Noob

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Greetings! I just got a deluxe kit as a late Christmas gift, and while waiting to get the bottles and accessories, I've been busy reading instructions and forum threads on brewing, and took the time to view all the videos, so I think I'm as ready as I can be to start my first batch. I learned to enjoy beer while stationed in Germany, so my tastes are a bit more for those European brews and I hope to replicate some of them. A bit early (or late, depending on how you look at it), but I was wondering if there are any ideas out there for something like the Christmas Beers that many German breweries make. I have only found 1 American beer that I considered close, and haven't seen it but once or twice in the last 10 years. The authentic Christmas beer is a bit sweeter and has a bit higher alcohol content. Perhaps some of you know what I'm talking about and can point me in the right direction. We have a bit of time for now. :) Thanks to everyone for your help in making this a positive experience.

Tom

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Welcome to the obsession Tom! Keep brewing, posting and asking questions. Lots of great people on here with tons of experience, so I'm sure someone will be along shortly with Christmas beer experience. I'm just not one of them! :whistle:

Cheers!

:chug:

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Welcome aboard!

Not an expert here but I am curious, what is the the 1 beer you found that was close?

:cheers:

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Micalobe made a Christmas beer, or Weinachtsbier, a couple of times that I found it anyway. Not exact but pretty close from my memory. The old monastic tradition was that a high calory beer was brewed using up the last of the grain and helped keep the monks fed in the winter months when there wasn't much grain available. The Class VI (Beverage) store on the nearby AF base used to get some of the German brew in but that stopped 10-12 years ago.

Tom Oxley

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What branch of service were/are you in? I have been in the Air Force for going on 18 years now. I too learned to appreciate beer a lot more while traveling the world. Anyway I am a fairly new brewer myself but there are many guys on here who know their stuff so I am sure you will get the help you need.

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I was Army for 21 years. Retired 16 years ago. Gads, makes me feel old. :) I'm in Dayton, OH, so just outside of Wright Patt AFB. My baby boy is a Chief Petty Officer in submarines. No idea what got into him to do something like that. :blink:

I have been thinking about doing home brewing for a year or two, but the extra cash just hadnt been available until I had some Christmas cash this year. So many of the 'kits' listed for Mr Beer sound like they will be very much what I am hoping for. My wife is after me to make some Mead as well, so I'll have to tinker with that after I get some brewing experience in.

Tom Oxley

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Are you looking to do this with Mr. Beer products? Under the recipes section there are a couple of holiday beers and a dark winter lager that, while not to style, are in the vein.

The style you referenced is not one I know a lot about, but it sounds similar to a doppelbock, and in both of those cases to replicate properly you'll need to be able to brew a lager (whereas nearly all MB beers are ales).

Cheers!

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I'm going to work with Mr Beer exclusivly at least until I get some experience built up. After that, I find there are a few "party" stores around Dayton that carry brewing supplies that I can tinker with. I'll have to try the winter lager recipes. Even if not exactly to my memory, I will enjoy them for themselves. Since I left Germany in '91, I have to trust an aging memory of the taste, so may never be sure I get it exactly right, but half the fun is in the trying, the other half in the proper disposal of the finished product. :lol:

Tom Oxley

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thomaso827 wrote:

I was Army for 21 years. Retired 16 years ago. Gads, makes me feel old. :) I'm in Dayton, OH, so just outside of Wright Patt AFB. My baby boy is a Chief Petty Officer in submarines. No idea what got into him to do something like that. :blink:

I have been thinking about doing home brewing for a year or two, but the extra cash just hadnt been available until I had some Christmas cash this year. So many of the 'kits' listed for Mr Beer sound like they will be very much what I am hoping for. My wife is after me to make some Mead as well, so I'll have to tinker with that after I get some brewing experience in.

Tom Oxley

Holy Crap man I live in Fairborn and have been stationed at Wright-Patterson for damn near 12 years now. WOW small world.

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Dustin wrote:

thomaso827 wrote:

I was Army for 21 years. Retired 16 years ago. Gads, makes me feel old. :) I'm in Dayton, OH, so just outside of Wright Patt AFB. My baby boy is a Chief Petty Officer in submarines. No idea what got into him to do something like that. :blink:

I have been thinking about doing home brewing for a year or two, but the extra cash just hadnt been available until I had some Christmas cash this year. So many of the 'kits' listed for Mr Beer sound like they will be very much what I am hoping for. My wife is after me to make some Mead as well, so I'll have to tinker with that after I get some brewing experience in.

Tom Oxley

Holy Crap man I live in Fairborn and have been stationed at Wright-Patterson for damn near 12 years now. WOW small world.

Was just there yesterday in West Carrollton/Kettering area visiting my mom (who just had surgery) and dad (technically step dad). Step dad was in Marines in WWII on the USS Hornet (aircraft carrier), then worked forever at "The Mound" in Dayton. 'Tis a small world indeed!

Welcome to the borg, thomas827! As others have said, check out the MB recipes. Also, as a general tip, many here (self included) recommend brewing a basic batch without any tweeking at least once or twice to get used to the steps.

:charlie:

Tin Man

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Welcome!

Mead can be done one of two ways: regular mead or short mead. Regular mead needs a decent amount of time to mellow out and be drinkable. Think 6 to 12 months or more. Short mead can be drinkable in 4 weeks, but you refrigerate or risk bottle bombs. Me, I'll be going for the short mead, in part because I like sweet mead, not dry mead. I plan on doing short mead in one gallon jugs (glass jugs eventually, possibly just plastic in the meantime). Doing a regular/long mead, you'll want to get a spare fermenter or two so it doesn't bring your beer production to a complete halt. I plan on keeping more than one LBK going so I can have beer running in one or two and hard cider or mead running in one. There's a lot of info on mead if you know where to look. There seems to be a decent amount of information on http://www.gotmead.com/index.php

Good luck!

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Thanks for all the welcomes, helps and suggestions. I'll scan through the recipes and see what all I find.

Dustin, we will have to try to get together for some sampling or something. Share some old war stories. I was a volunteer at the AF Museum for 8 years, and spend way too much time at the base hospital with my wife's ailments so perhaps we have walked past each other at one time or another. Small world, indeed. :lol:

I have some Pagan friends and found a book called The Witches Brew (by Patricia Telesco) that has a bunch of recipes for beers, wines, meads, and a lot of related and non-alcohol beverages as well. Probably find it in the "New Age" department in most book stores. That was part of what helped me decide to try my hand at this a few years back. Just took me this long to actually do it.

Tin Man, yep, I plan the first 2 to be exactly by the book. Reading up on everything is a good start, but nothing beats experience, so this will be great. Hope all went well with the surgery.

I saw a photo either on this forum or on the MB fan forum of a person who has 6-8 Mr Beer fermenters going, and I'm already starting to think of a second one so I can have multiple batches going. That will help keep the refrigerator stocked between batches, too.

Tom

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I just bought my first LBK when the premium kit was on sale on Woot!, and I JUST put my first batch together last week. I will tell you its addicting. Reading the forums makes you want to try EVERYTHING! I went out and bought 4 more LBKs, the Brewtensils kit, new taps, and like 10 kits. I can't wait to try making my Cranberry Maibock this weekend (after I buy a large cooler to store it in that is!).

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thomaso827 wrote:

Thanks for all the welcomes, helps and suggestions. I'll scan through the recipes and see what all I find.

Dustin, we will have to try to get together for some sampling or something. Share some old war stories. I was a volunteer at the AF Museum for 8 years, and spend way too much time at the base hospital with my wife's ailments so perhaps we have walked past each other at one time or another. Small world, indeed. :lol:

I have some Pagan friends and found a book called The Witches Brew (by Patricia Telesco) that has a bunch of recipes for beers, wines, meads, and a lot of related and non-alcohol beverages as well. Probably find it in the "New Age" department in most book stores. That was part of what helped me decide to try my hand at this a few years back. Just took me this long to actually do it.

Tin Man, yep, I plan the first 2 to be exactly by the book. Reading up on everything is a good start, but nothing beats experience, so this will be great. Hope all went well with the surgery.

I saw a photo either on this forum or on the MB fan forum of a person who has 6-8 Mr Beer fermenters going, and I'm already starting to think of a second one so I can have multiple batches going. That will help keep the refrigerator stocked between batches, too.

Tom

Thomas,

Have you checked out our local brew store yet? If not check it out. The namei s Brew Tinsels and they are on www.brewtensils.com

They offer free brewing classes and they teach you some pretty cool stuff. Pluse they have all the hopps, yeast, grain, and extracts you could ask for.

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Oh, my. That's not far from home and work. I'll have to stop by Brewtensils this weekend. I live in the 800 block of South Smithville and work in the 1500 block. That sounds like a new name for what had been a party supply store that I had been referred to by another brewing supplier a few years ago when I first looked into it. I'm also looking into picking up brewing gear that a friend is giving away after he left the hobby a few years ago. No idea what all he has, but flip-top bottles was one of the few things he actually mentioned when he offered it to me.

Tom

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thomaso827 wrote:

Oh, my. That's not far from home and work. I'll have to stop by Brewtensils this weekend. I live in the 800 block of South Smithville and work in the 1500 block. That sounds like a new name for what had been a party supply store that I had been referred to by another brewing supplier a few years ago when I first looked into it. I'm also looking into picking up brewing gear that a friend is giving away after he left the hobby a few years ago. No idea what all he has, but flip-top bottles was one of the few things he actually mentioned when he offered it to me.

Tom

Yes it is right next to Belmont Party Supply and is owned by the same person. They do have about every type of bottle you want to include the Golsch flip top bottles.

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