Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > $500 to spend 60th birthday gift
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 07-27-2014, 01:04 PM   #11
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 673
Liked 108 Times on 80 Posts
Likes Given: 44


The number one thing someone can do to better their beer is fermentation control. That being said Im not sure it is something to invest in until you know you want to brew beer. The same can be said for kegging as well.

I would not buy a 15g pot to start out personally. If you are brewing once every few months I can see doing 10g batches but I would be willing to brew every other week if I could and I don't know nearly enough savage alcoholics to consume that much beer. I have a 15g pot and would prefer something smaller with better thermometer placement.


Fermenter 1: Wolaver's Pumpkin Clone
Fermenter 2:
Fermenter 3:
Fermenter 4:

On Deck:

American Amber
Dark "Cherry" Tower Graf
Brandon O's Graff
Rye Bourbon Oak Porter
Good Measure(Raspberry Jalapeño Wheat)

jekeane is offline
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-27-2014, 01:38 PM   #12
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Green Mountains, Vermont
Posts: 557
Liked 92 Times on 70 Posts
Likes Given: 19


^^^I agree. A 10 gallon pot and a bayou classic burner will save you $75-100 off the otherwise excellent list above.

Peruvian802 is offline
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-27-2014, 01:56 PM   #13
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Concord, MA
Posts: 141
Liked 18 Times on 9 Posts


Are you sure you are getting him what he may want or what you want him to have? I wouldn't blow $500 on brewing stuff for someone who has never brewed before.

tj218 is offline
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-27-2014, 02:26 PM   #14
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 732
Liked 107 Times on 82 Posts
Likes Given: 79


The bayou burner and a 10g pot are both reasonable suggestions, especially for someone just starting out who doesn't know if they'll like the hobby or not. The reason I suggested a 15g pot is because there's a rather negligible (imho) price difference ($42) between the 10g and 15g stainless steel pots, and a 15g is something that will have the recipient not feel constrained and needing to upgrade later should they get into the hobby with reasonable enthusiasm. However, the recipient is turning 60, and probably doesn't want to be lugging around heavy equipment, so perhaps the 10g is indeed more appropriate in this case, and many-a-brewers are well satisfied with a 10g pot. So this one's a trade-off and (imho) the OP has two very reasonable suggestions to choose between. Sticking with 10 gallons and using the cost savings towards a wort-chiller is probably the better option.

I also chose to list the blichmann burner over the bayou burner, as the OP suggested that the recipient admires quality over most other considerations. I've never used anything but the blichmann so I can't adequately compare. However, I did do quite a bit of research on the two before buying myself a blichhmann burner, and everything other than cost pointed to it being a better burner: quieter, more efficient on gas, upgradeable (stands of various sorts) and good customer service reviews from other users. By all means though, most reports on here suggest that people are satisfied with the bayou burner with the exception that I've heard of poor customer service if there are problems (which I have no experience of myself). Personally, whenever I'm shopping between two items like this, if I go with the cheaper option then I'm often wondering how much it'd have been better had I gone with the 'better' item. Given the OPs description of the recipient, I would still recommend the blichmann over the bayou, but it's a reasonable suggestion to go with the bayou. The cost savings by going with the bayou would ensure the recipient a wort chiller without going over budget. If it were me though and the budget needed to be stretched a wee bit, then I'd choose the blichmann over the bayou as originally suggested.

I did not recommend a fermentation chamber for several reasons: First, from what I gather the recipient lives in WA state and from what I guess, it's very few months of the year that he's likely to be battling higher than desirable fermentation temps. A simple and cheaply assembled swamp cooler will likely suffice for his needs in those instances. Any brewers from WA can give the OP a more accurate indication of brewing climate though. If he has a basement, then I imagine it's a no-brainer to avoid getting one at this time unless he really wants to do lagers. If he later does find he wants to dedicate money (and space) to a fermentation chamber, then it's an option for an upgrade that doesn't mean money was wasted in the initial purchase.

All in all, it's probably wise to go with the 10 gallon pot, as others have suggested, and with the savings, get a wort chiller. It's the one item when I was making the list that I was regretting being unable to include for cost considerations. I recommend a 25 foot, 3/8" OD (outside diameter) copper immersion wort chiller. Midwestern (the site quoted for the other equipment) has them for about $70, but someone posted a link on here the other day of one for about $45. That would keep you close to your budget, but I suspect with shipping (and taxes?) you'll be a little over. Sacrifice the blichmann for a bayou and you should probably be well within budget.

andy6026 is offline
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-27-2014, 02:33 PM   #15
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
YNOT2K's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Granite Falls, WA
Posts: 198
Liked 31 Times on 23 Posts
Likes Given: 14


Wow, thanks for the suggestions so far.

I'm meeting with my friend (Gail) today to discuss this. Her husband (Bruno) is one of those guys who has pretty much everything he wants already. He is close to retirement and Gail wants to make sure he's able to stay busy.

She did buy him a brew day at this place for a previous birthday - and I think he must have enjoyed it. Now she wants to give him all the equipment to brew at home.

Size of the system seems to be my biggest question. Well, size and fermentation temp control. I'm going to ask Gail what she thinks about this as well. I'm thinking a smaller system might be more fun for a retired person, but I very well may be wrong.

I appreciate all comments so far.

YNOT2K is offline
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-27-2014, 03:02 PM   #16
Wannabe author
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
unionrdr's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Sheffield, Ohio
Posts: 31,166
Liked 2304 Times on 2005 Posts
Likes Given: 1717


I went from kit-n-kilo beers to partial boil, partial mash brew in a bag with the same 5 gallon (20qt) stock pot I started with. A 5 gallon medium mesh paint strainer bag & the 5 gallon kettle would save a lot more money. Since he may likely start on the stove top. Otherwise an 8 gallon with a quality burner would be better.
Here's some pics of my brewery corner for ideas;

The 4' x 2' bottling table is from Walmart. 45 bottle tree & avinator for sanitizing bottles can be had from Midwest, Nb, or any decent lhbs. That's my SS 5 gallon stockpot at the bottom of the old printer stand now fermentation stand/storage unit. There are a lot of DIY things for brewing that can be re-purposed. The Lowe's blue bucket is used with the Barley Crusher grain mill sitting on top of it for crushing grains for pm beers as well as E/SG beers. The 7 lb hopper is plenty for these brewing styles. The midwest bucket is 7.9 gallon shorty pail that HAS a seal in the lid. The taller 6.5 gallon Ale Pailes that they also sell with their logo on it, do not. The bottling bucket on the black bottling table is the same size/type as the Midwest one. That's a 6 gallon better bottle in the back for the occasional secondary for oaking,etc.
A digital scale can be had from Walmart for $20 to measure priming sugar, hops, grains,etc. I use the box from the vinator to store zip lock bags full of spare parts for fermenters, airlocks, grain & hop bags & the like. A dollar store spray bottle for Starsan can also be seen. I use Starsan sanitizer & PBW cleaner, both from 5-star chemical & easy to find. I use Arizona ice tea 1 gallon jugs to store my mixed Starsan & PBW solutions in. A cheap rubber mallet & lid prying tool can also save hands & fingers from being sore from hammering ale pail lids on & prying them off with finger tips. The dollar store is also good for measuring spoons, cup measures, spray bottles & funnels that he'll also need. The bottling wand uses 3/8" tubing you can get at Home Depot, Lowe's & elsewhere. Floating thermometers, hydrometers, stick on thermometers should be obtained as well. I use the large bag that the Super Agata bench capper came in as a dust cover. I do this wi the shipping bags for the larger items to keep'em clean. Cheap insurance, certainly.

Everything works if ya let it-Roady(meatloaf)
NEW, REVISED EDITION of book one of Time Lords 2034 series now on Amazon Kindle!
My homebrewing book "Tippy Tippy Tappy" on Kindle!
unionrdr is online now
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-27-2014, 03:12 PM   #17
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: , North Carolina
Posts: 67
Liked 7 Times on 6 Posts
Likes Given: 4


I'd do a basic kit, like the deluxe from Northern Brewer for $170, then add in a pot. That gets him started, and if he really likes it and wants to move to all grain, well there are future birthdays there as well!

Also, absolutely should include How to Brew by Palmer!

ittybittykittycommittee is offline
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Quick Reply
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My 60th Birthday Party beerguy52 General Beer Discussion 7 05-23-2012 04:08 AM
What to spend gift card on? collinsDPT Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 27 09-07-2011 10:54 PM
Fathers 60th Birthday Orfy General Chit Chat 5 03-15-2008 12:45 PM
Help me spend my birthday money! sphericalcamel Equipment/Sanitation 10 04-23-2007 06:55 PM
Help me spend my Birthday money!! :) waskelton4 Equipment/Sanitation 12 05-23-2006 10:53 PM

Newest Threads