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Old 12-21-2008, 04:00 PM   #1
lnb001
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Hello everyone, I want to start home brewing but I am feeling a little overwhelmed with all the equipment kits out there. I was looking at the Mr. Beer kits but I am someone who tends to get hooked on hobbies and would probably want to immediately upgrade. I guess my main question is what is the difference between all the kits out there? What is a good online source you all recommend for supplies? So far I am looking at Beer Making and Home Brewing Supplies | MoreBeer Also, do the recipe kits generally come with all the ingredients needed to brew a batch? Are there any grocery stores that sell the ingredients or is it better to order online? Thanks!

-Lucas

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Old 12-21-2008, 04:14 PM   #2
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Mr. Beer may get folks into brewing but it's very limited. You are wise to skip Mr. Beer and get a kit that you can use for years instead of outgrowing after a couple batches.

Grocery stores generally do not carry homebrew supplies. Where are you located? You may have a local store that you are not aware of that could work for you.

MoreBeer, Midwest Supplies, Austin Homebrew Supply, and Northern Brewer are some of the top online suppliers for equipment and ingredients. Don't discount a local homebrew store for your kit either. Most of the equipment kits are pretty similar on the basic equipment to get you started. As with most hobbies, you can continue to add as many gadgets as the mood and money allow.

Austin Homebrew has an incredible selection with a $6.99 flat shipping rate. Northern Brewer shipping is a flat $7.99 and MoreBeer doesn't charge shipping over a certain dollar amount. Midwest has some great prices but charges actual shipping cost. Midwest has some kick ass equipment kits that are pretty inclusive but they all have good kits. You probably will have to get a brew pot and bottles separately as they are not included in most kits.

Usually the equipment and the ingredient kits are sold separately. What kind of beer do you like? It's best to start with a style of beer you drink.

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Old 12-21-2008, 04:21 PM   #3
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I like all kinds of beer, but lately I've found myself enjoying lighter, crisper, more refreshing beers. Daily I drink Corona, Sam Adams Boston Lager, and more recently have found Pete's Wicked Ale to be absolutely delicious. Thanks for the info!

-Lucas

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Old 12-21-2008, 04:43 PM   #4
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If you have questions on a particular kit (equipment or ingredient), just ask. There is always someone about that has bought and tried it. We also have some very useful stickies in the beginner forum.

Lagers are a bit more difficult for a beginner to make since they require specific temperature control but you can make nice ales that come close with a little homework.

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Old 12-21-2008, 05:02 PM   #5
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I bought a Coopers Micro-Brew kit, has all the equipment needed (including bottles) plus all the ingredients for your first brew. The kit has a 30 litre primary which means you can brew the full 23 litre brews that the ingredient kits are designed for and still have head space for the fermenting process.

Now that I have that kit I don't think I would have been happy with a Mr.Beer kit that would be too small.

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Old 12-21-2008, 05:05 PM   #6
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I'm new at this but I started with an "Ultimate Brewing Kit" from Things Beer. It came with everything I needed except a heat exchanger, which was really easy and cheap to make.

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Old 12-21-2008, 05:07 PM   #7
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wow that's a cool kit

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Old 12-21-2008, 05:07 PM   #8
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One major peice of advice I would like to impart to you is this...don't buy a kit online! I scoured the web for hours price comparing and researching kits. I found that most starter kits with the auto-siphon, bottle capper, bottle caps, hydrometer, and sanitizer will run you on average 100-110 dollars online.
One day I was driving back to college from thanksgiving break and found to my delight a homebrew store. Never knew it was there, I must've driven by a thousand times in my life. I went in and to my surprise found that their starter kits with all of the same materials I listed above were only 60 dollars!!!
60 Bucks!!!
So about a week after my first batch was started I got the itch to make another. I found a great beer supply by my school in Philly. Out of curiosity I looked at the price of their kits and was astonished. For 65 bucks you get the whole package plus a choice of one of five recipes that come with the kit.
Point is, don't buy online. Find a brew supply, support a local business and at the same time develop a network at the store. I've called my supplier with questions many times, and they know me on a first name basis now. Plus alot of suppliers run classes and can get you info on clubs and competitions.
Hope this helps,

Happy Holidays and as always, Cheers.

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Old 12-21-2008, 05:08 PM   #9
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I am considering the Deluxe #2 kit from Morebeer! with the glass carboy. I'm still searching for a good recipe kit. I came across the 20 minute boil kits at Midwest Supplies. I am especially interested in the Mexican Style Cerveza. Has anyone tried these 20 minute boil kits? Are they any good or am I better off with something else? What's a good beginner recipe kit? I am looking for a decent alcohol content (4-5%) with some nice but not too heavy flavor. Thanks!

-Lucas

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Old 12-21-2008, 05:28 PM   #10
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The 20 minutes kits are a good way to get your feet wet with the procedure.

I've had some come out really good but the key is to not rush the time you keep it in the primary. Give it a few weeks so your beer is crisp and clear.

One nice thing about Midwest's 20 minute kits is they have the dry malt included instead of sugar. It makes the beer much better.

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