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Old 12-04-2010, 08:15 PM   #11
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I would dodge the recipe kit unless he uses kits on a regular basis. I know I wouldn't want a kit. Go with the gift card to his favorite homebrew shop.

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Old 12-04-2010, 08:21 PM   #12
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The only reason I suggested a recipe kit was because he knows what he has brewed in the past and could pick one based on those. I for one wouldn't mind getting a random kit as a gift. Especially if it was a kit I might not normally pick up my self, but that's just me.

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Old 12-04-2010, 08:54 PM   #13
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An exra fermentation bucket would be on the low end of the range and expand his capacity by a whole batch. If he's not absolutely loaded down with equipment this could be a good option.

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Old 12-04-2010, 09:00 PM   #14
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I would vote for a recipe kit. gift cards are nice, but some people think they take less thought and are less fun when it comes to xmas shopping. my inlaws and wife have banned them from gift options at our annula xmas with them

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Old 12-04-2010, 09:23 PM   #15
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On the off chance that your homebrewing cousin doesn't already have one, a digital kitchen scale is a great thing. They are in your price range, and are widely available. Homebrewers weigh hops, grain, priming sugar, malt extract, and I can't think of what else. A max capacity of about ten pounds would be adequate. Make sure it can weigh small amounts also, like quarter ounces.

Beyond that, a trip to the homebrew store might be in order. A glass hydrometer jar is a nice step up from the junky plastic ones that most of us have. For a few dollars more, stick an annealed glass hydrometer in it. Sure, he already has a hydrometer, but they break easily, speaking from experience. See if he has an auto-siphon; if not, that would earn you at least a hug if not eternal gratitude. And a 1000 ml Erlenmeyer flask is great for making yeast starters, whether he has a stirplate or not.

Gift certificate? C'mon. You're not a gift certificate person, otherwise you wouldn't have gone to the trouble of consulting this forum.

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Old 12-04-2010, 09:25 PM   #16
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My wife banned gift cards too but I always loved them. Who knows better what I want then me. The reason I said not the kit is because some people, like me, think that formulating and perfecting the recipe is fun. Being handed a kit just takes half the fun out of the brewing for me. I only brewed 2 kits before moving on to making my own recipes. Maybe I am in the minority though, a lot of people do like kits.

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Old 12-04-2010, 09:42 PM   #17
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Get him a 6 gallon Better Bottle. I'm sure he will put it to good use.

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Old 12-04-2010, 10:54 PM   #18
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I vote for a kit. Not just any kit though. Get one for a brew YOU like and then he might want to modify it to make it HIS recipe. All you are giving is a set of ingredients and I bet he will share a few bottles, if they turn out nice.

I told SWMBO if the kids ask, that a kit would be good, .

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Old 12-05-2010, 07:51 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beer_Guy View Post
I vote for a kit. Not just any kit though. Get one for a brew YOU like and then he might want to modify it to make it HIS recipe. All you are giving is a set of ingredients and I bet he will share a few bottles, if they turn out nice.

I told SWMBO if the kids ask, that a kit would be good, .
Your signature implies a different response...


I personally would not be crazy about a kit, I enjoy the creation aspect of brewing as much as the brewing itself. And judging by the list of beers he's already brewed, he's far from a beginner.

I'm sure gift cards are not the #1 option, as a physical gift is always more welcome. Personally I would think the best option would be a custom gift basket. Go to a local homebrew supply store, and put together a collection of different malts, hops, yeasts etc. Much like a food basket with different jams and cheeses. Every brewer can use a selection of specialty malts and hops and would welcome the creativity of putting them to use.

Equipment is tough, because every brewer does things differently and you don't know what they need or want. Ingredients would be the best option, especially since this guy seems to enjoy brewing a diverse selection of beers.

Good luck.
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:13 AM   #20
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if your cousin has brewed that much beer, it is hard for us to guess what equipment he does and doesn't have. there is plenty of stuff that falls in that price range, but he might already have an extra ____________.

it's hops season right now. you could order one or two different types of whole hops from hopsdirect.com, but you don't know what kind he would need, and he might not like whole hops. plus, that's enough hops to make 15 to 75 gallons of beer, maybe more.

the "beer kit" is a good idea, because you always use up the ingredients you buy. but if he brews all grain, he might not want an extract kit.

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