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Old 05-22-2012, 03:12 AM   #1
adamjackson
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Default "Ultimate True Brew Ingredient Pack" Worth It?

I found this - http://www.monsterbrew.com/Prod_Ulti...edientPack.cfm

Created with the most enthusiastic home-brewer in mind, the Ultimate True Brew Ingedient Pack comes with every True Brew ingredient kit available! With 21 included ingredient kits, this pack will make over 100 gallons of beer. Now that's what we call brewing!

You will have a choice every time you brew of which beer style you want to enjoy. Prepare for summer with a hefeweizen or start filling up on stouts for winter. Or make what you love whatever time of year it is. Stored in normal pantry temperatures between 70-80F, these kits will keep for at least 1 year.

Contains:
Oktoberfest
Amber Ale
Bavarian Hefeweizen
American Wheat
Pilsner
Red Ale
California Common
Pale Ale
India Pale Ale
Belgian Ale
Bock
Canadian Ale
Double IPA
German Style (Continental Lite)
Irish Stout
Brown Al
Black Lager
Nut Brown Ale
Porter
Oaked Imperial Stout
Continental Dark
Price is $679 which is $32 per kit. Individually, these cost much more. If I were commited to staying with kits for my first year of home brewing, is this a deal I should take on?
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:23 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamjackson View Post
I found this - http://www.monsterbrew.com/Prod_Ulti...edientPack.cfm

Created with the most enthusiastic home-brewer in mind, the Ultimate True Brew Ingedient Pack comes with every True Brew ingredient kit available! With 21 included ingredient kits, this pack will make over 100 gallons of beer. Now that's what we call brewing!

You will have a choice every time you brew of which beer style you want to enjoy. Prepare for summer with a hefeweizen or start filling up on stouts for winter. Or make what you love whatever time of year it is. Stored in normal pantry temperatures between 70-80F, these kits will keep for at least 1 year.

Contains:
Oktoberfest
Amber Ale
Bavarian Hefeweizen
American Wheat
Pilsner
Red Ale
California Common
Pale Ale
India Pale Ale
Belgian Ale
Bock
Canadian Ale
Double IPA
German Style (Continental Lite)
Irish Stout
Brown Al
Black Lager
Nut Brown Ale
Porter
Oaked Imperial Stout
Continental Dark
Price is $679 which is $32 per kit. Individually, these cost much more. If I were commited to staying with kits for my first year of home brewing, is this a deal I should take on?
Off of the top of my head, I'd say no. A couple of reasons- one, $32 is kinda high, if you compare it to other kits, plus are you really going to want to brew a "continental dark" and a "black lager"? Maybe yes, but probably not all of them.

You can buy really nice kits for $25-$35 from other sources, and get exactly what you want, plus keep them fresher (or get them fresher with $6.99 shipping if your order them individually or a couple at a time).
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:25 AM   #3
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If your plan is to make all those different styles, MAYBE.

The issue is that unless you are storing the hops in a vacuum sealed bag in the freezer, they are not going to last a long time. So by the time you get around to brew #21 those hops aren't going to give you a very good beer. Especially if that is the IPA or other beers where hops are showcased.

You'd almost assuredly be better off financially speaking by buying some base ingredients in bulk and then picking up the "specialty" stuff at your local homebrew shop on an as-needed basis. Again, if you have the capacity to vacuum seal your hops and stick them in the freezer (AT LEAST keep them in the freezer) you can get by with buying maybe 3 different varieties of hops from hopsdirect in bulk, which will run maybe $10-$15/lb each. Say you get Hallertauer, Kent Goldings, and Columbus. Then you'd have enough hops to make, for example, all of the German styles listed, all the English styles listed, and you'd have a good baseline for the American styles too. And then you'd have enough hops leftover to make a lot more batches in the future.

You can do the same thing with your malts. If you are an extract brewer, getting a bulk supply of light DME can set you up to make most of those beers.

Not having brewed a True Brew kit before, I am not sure what kind of yeast they use, but there are ways to reuse yeast that can make that quite cheap when stretched over several batches.

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Old 05-22-2012, 03:25 AM   #4
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I personally brewed 3 kits and then moved on. I would not pay that much for something I may end up feeling "stuck with".

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Old 05-22-2012, 03:33 AM   #5
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I guess it depends on whether you want to drink each of those kind of beers.

Personally I find those kits to be massively overpriced, even at $32. Comparable kits at somewhere like northern brewer will run from around $15-$40, depending on how complex of a recipe you want. Most of those styles available from True Brew would run around $20 (plus yeast) at Northern Brewer. You'll probably get fresher ingredients from them as well. You can also buy a generic yeast strain and repitch on the cake a few times and reduce your yeasts costs. So you could spend less and get kits for beers you actually want to brew. NB also has some clone kits if that interests you.

You may not want to buy that many kits. You may get ambitious in a few months and decide to follow recipes you find here or elsewhere. You may also decide to go all grain.

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Old 05-22-2012, 05:04 AM   #6
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No, it's not worth it. You can build a partial-mash kit yourself for $32-ish, give or take a buck or two, including online shipping and tax.

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Old 05-22-2012, 10:52 PM   #7
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I did 7 kits, I think. Most from online. Once I went AG, I started making my own recipes. I also did one mini mash as ingredients bought at LHBS. That one was a recipe from HBT (Pumpkin Ale).

So, no, do not buy it. You'll get the itch to build your own brews before 21 kits run out.

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Old 05-22-2012, 10:55 PM   #8
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