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Welcome, everybody, to the Homebrewing UK Forum. This forum is a free access forum for anybody interested in beer, but particularly making beer. It is free to become a member and to stay a member, so join up and start joining in.
The forum is run by a small group of enthusiasts who make beer at home, mostly from grains, hops and yeast, but also using malt extract and beer kits. There are many routes to great home made beer, and we do not favour one over another. The forum covers all levels of brewing from complete beginners to experienced grain brewers. We all help each other. We have kit brewers, extract brewers and all grain brewers on the forum. People starting out, and people who have been brewing for many years. We love helping new brewers to get started, and seeing them progress, and hearing about how good their beer is! We love beer and talking about it basically! Feel free to ask questions and do not fear looking silly, this is a forum for everyone, free of trolls and general rudeness. We support each other, and we swap ingredients and beers. The BREW DOCTOR forum is a place where you can ask any brewing related question, and get an answer within 24 hours. We have a beginner brewer section with forums dedicated to kit and extract brewing. A section dedicated to beer styles from different regions of the world, with plenty of recipes. And a section for discussion of all the different aspects of brewing, the ingredients, and the equipment. We also have forums for beer chat, and for general chat. Everybody is welcome, we expect everybody to treat everybody else with absolute respect. We also negotiate discounts and offers from home brewing suppliers, and you can take advantage of these through free membership. So don't lurk - JOIN! WAYS TO MAKE BEER: There are basically four ways to make beer, and new brewers often work their way up from kits to all grain brewing, but some go straight to all grain brewing successfully. They are all straight forward, unless you choose to buy or build more sophisticated equipment, which can make handling large amounts of water and grain easier and more precise. The four methods are: 1. Extract kits. Most people start here, with kits from the likes of Coopers, Wilko, Woodfordes, Muntons and lots of others. The quality of kits has improved greatly, you can make very good beer this way. You can also tweak kits, to change them a bit and to add fresh ingredients to perk them up. Steeping small quantities of flavour grains in warm water, and adding it to the fermenter after a short boil, for example, can have a huge impact. Adding hops makes a big difference too, giving them a short boil or adding straight into the fermenter. Using different yeast can also make a big difference. You can get some very nice beer this way. Takes 30 mins to 1.5 hours, depending on what you do. 2. Extract brewing. Use plain unhopped malt extract as your base malt, steep flavour grains, boil with hops. Easy, you can make all sorts of recipes, just limited to grains that can be steeped. Another very good place to start. Takes 2-3 hours. 3. All Grain. Use only grain for your malt, requires 4-6 kg grain for most 5 gallon batches of beer. You need some equipment for this. Takes 5-6 hours. You can make around 10-15 litres on your cooker in a large stockpot, so expensive equipment not necessarily required. Some people mash the grain in a separate vessel called a mash tun, and then transfer the wort to a boiler. Others do it all in one pot, with the grain in a large mesh bag. This is Brewing In A Bag, or BIAB, and has become very popular for its simplicity and small outlay required. You can use any grain you like, make anything you want, and you are using the best possible ingredients. Many people remember their first taste of their own first all grain beer with a ridiculous amount of nostalgia! As if it's a life defining moment... 4. Partial mash. A nifty brewing method that is a cross between extract and all grain. Mash some grain, maybe 2kg, and add extract. You can do this on your cooker. A 1-2kg grain mash can also be added to a kit to make a big improvement, using any ingredient you want. You can make really good partial mash beer, and you have the freedom to use any grains you wish, and make any beer you like - but it takes nearly as long as all grain. Maybe 3 - 4 hours. If you want the best possible beer, in 5 gallon quantities, but don't want equipment for mashing and boiling ingredients for a 5 gallon brew, this is a great option. Malt extract lacks some of the compounds and aromas that fresh grain provides, so partial mashing can put this back whilst keeping the operation small scale and simple.There are lots of members here who can help you choose what to do and help with each step of the way. Thanks The Admin Team: Steve, Clibit, Jeff, Gilly, Justin.