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Old 11-29-2010, 07:30 PM   #1
creepingcharlie
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Default $1000 available for home brewing setup...

I've been looking at getting into home brewing for a while, and soon the factors that have kept me from doing it will no longer be an issue.

Midwest Supplies is less than 10 miles from home and I have about $1000 I'm willing to spend on equipment. I intend to get into AG as soon as I get a couple batches under my belt and I prefer the idea of kegging over bottling.

Having said that, what would you buy for start up? Keep in mind that I don't feel like I NEED to spend the whole $1000, that's just what I have set aside since I assume it will become an obsession.

Cheers!

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Old 11-29-2010, 07:33 PM   #2
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kegging can be expensive, so explore those costs before you get too far. especially multiple tap systems, plus the cost of a freezer....2-3 tap system could easily eat up half your budget.

otherwise, a big brew pot (10-15 gal) is the major purchase. don't skimp there. remember, it'll last forever.

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Old 11-29-2010, 07:34 PM   #3
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What size batches? How handy are you at DIY?

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Old 11-29-2010, 07:35 PM   #4
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Get yourself a basic 2 bucket kit (one with spigot for bottling). It should come with a hydrometer, thermometer, bottle capper, bottling wand, auto siphon, sanitizer and various other goodies. You'll need most, if not all of these things regardless of going all grain, kegging, etc. Get yourself a pot that's big enough to do a full 5 gallon boil (if you decide you hate brewing in a few months at least you'll have something to make a party size batch of chili). Then do a couple of partial mash batches and make sure that you not only have the desire, but the time, space, and patience to make it happen.

After that you can start piecing together your AG setup, and you'll know everything you need if you keep following along here during that time.

For kegging, find yourself a good cheap (or free) Craig's list fridge/freezer, and take advantage of the holiday deals at one of this site's many supporting vendors to get yourself a basic kit.

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Old 11-29-2010, 07:36 PM   #5
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Buy used.

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Old 11-29-2010, 07:45 PM   #6
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I just had a look at my brewing journal, where I track expenses pretty religiously. With ingredients and equipment, I'm at $1199 and six batches in. That has included:

-Ultimate Starter Kit from Northern Brewer
-7 CF Holiday Freezer
-Temp Controller
-4-pack of used kegs and rebuild supplies
-Star-san and Keg Lube
-extra Glass Carboy
-all ingredients, a fill of CO2, etc.

What I don't have, that I wish I had:
-a big brew pot.
-Tap handles, shanks, CO2 distributor
-A collar on my keezer
-An immersion chiller
-equipment to make starters

If I had it to do over, I might have held off on the extra kegs and gotten a stir plate, flask, stoppers, etc. to make starters. I could have saved about 150 bucks by buying a used freezer, but I couldn't find one after a couple of months and gave up.

My plan is to get starter stuff next, then a big pot and chiller (probably a propane burner, too, since the 5 gallon full boil may be too much for my stove). I'll dip a toe into all-grain by trying BIAB, and at some point I just have to get my keezer sorted out.

If you don't count ingredients and consumables, my total is $872.

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Old 11-29-2010, 07:52 PM   #7
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I'd second a big brew pot (15 gal), which will allow you to do 10 gal batches in the future. For all grain look for an Igloo Ice cube cooler. It will allow huge grain bill for 5 gal batch or 25-30 lb grain bill for 10 gal batches. I quickly went from single 5 gal batches last winter to 10 gal batches when I moved to a 20 gal brewpot. I have my old 10 gal brewpot and two propane burners and was able to do 2-10 gal batches for the first time a month ago (Belgian strong ale and IPA) in just 9 hours, including milling. It use to take 6 hours for 5 gal.

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Old 11-29-2010, 07:53 PM   #8
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Buy slowly. Look forward to every purchase. Buy too much too fast and you are going to end up with a bunch of crap you won't use or of a quality you'll be ashamed of.

Grow little by little and yes, skip that bottling step and go to kegs.

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Old 11-29-2010, 08:16 PM   #9
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I like Midwest supply they seem to have pretty good prices, and since you wont have to pay shipping thats even better. They do have some good start up kits you could look into with some add ons for a little extra, and you wont even scratch the surface of that $1000. I think thats were I would start.

Best of luck to you.

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Old 11-29-2010, 08:33 PM   #10
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If I had that kind of cash I'd probably get the minimal amount of equipment to constitute a "nice" brew setup.

Probably some 15 gallon pots, a nice mash tun, a brew stand, wort chiller, etc. Middle-Class type setup if you get me.

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