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Old 08-14-2009, 10:04 PM   #1
Nova5
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Default Time to step up from Mr Beer.

What are you folks recommended places to buy gear from? the Mr Beer bits will stay around and finish off the last half dozen mixes I have. But i'd like to get some real gear in time. with 440 coming to me for computer repairs i've got some funds to play with.

I fix PC's on the side for fun money.



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Old 08-14-2009, 10:26 PM   #2
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I'd comparison shop your local homebrew store if you have one, as well as Brewmasters Warehouse, Austin Homebrew, Midwest Supplies and Northern Brewer.

You'll want, for a reasonably complete brewery:

1 6-gal Better Bottle
1 5-gal Better Bottle
2 medium Universal Carboy Bungs
1 Fermtech Auto-Siphon
5/16" Siphon Hose (5 feet or so)
Thermometers, hydrometer, a funnel, a large enough stockpot, 1-gal jugs for trial batches and yeast starters, three-piece and bubble airlocks
Fermtech Wine Thief
Some 5-gal paint strainer bags (from Home Depot/Lowes)
Oxyclean or PBW for cleaning
StarSan for sanitizing
Whirlfloc, finings, yeast nutrients, gypsum, calcium chloride, maybe some calcium carbonate
Some sort of wort chiller

If you bottle:
1 bottling bucket with spigot
Red Baron bottle capper (or a bench capper)
Vinator/Sulphiter
Bottle Tree
Bottling Wand (springless is better)
I also like the Fermtech bottle washer that sits in the bottom of the sink (it has two nozzles)

If you do partial mashes or all-grain, you'll want to build a mashtun sooner rather than later. Also pick up some 5.2 mash pH stabilizer

If you don't have a spare fridge, converting a picnic cooler into a fermentation chiller is also a good idea.



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Old 08-14-2009, 10:50 PM   #3
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I have several "favorite" online brew shops but I think the intermediate kit at Midwest Supplies is hard to beat.

Brewing Intermediate Kit w/ Two 5 Gallon Better Bottles :: Midwest Supplies Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies

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Old 08-14-2009, 10:56 PM   #4
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No locals.

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Old 08-15-2009, 01:11 AM   #5
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Ebay and craigslist. Glass fermenters and stainless pots. The rest is hoses and misc stuff you probably already have. Buy some copper make a wort cooler. Use the MrBeer barrels for Apfelwine. Or build a system like JKarp has http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/countertop-brutus-20-a-131411/#post1476569.


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Old 08-15-2009, 01:35 AM   #6
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99% of my brewing stuff came from Craigslist.

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Old 08-15-2009, 04:07 AM   #7
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You might consider ale pails instead of the carboy's/better bottles as well (basically, they're 6 gallon paint buckets). Everyone else posted pretty complete lists.

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Old 08-15-2009, 05:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogyman View Post
You might consider ale pails instead of the carboy's/better bottles as well (basically, they're 6 gallon paint buckets). Everyone else posted pretty complete lists.
Or check with a local bakery. I hear tell they may have 6 gallon food-safe buckets that frosting comes in.
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:19 AM   #9
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Another option is to continue to ferment in Mr. Beer kegs, but with better quality ingredients from an HBS. You can brew a 2 gallon extract batch with DME or LME, hops, good yeast and maybe steeping grains for half the cost of the MB stuff. Not to mention better tasting beer. Brewing in both 2 and 5 gallon batches offers added versatility.

BTW, a good word for the 6 gallon ported BetterBottle--It's a great product.

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Old 08-15-2009, 09:05 PM   #10
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Thanks folks, I'll look into all of it.



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