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Old 02-02-2013, 03:29 AM   #1
Spuds
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Default Beginner questions

I'm a college student who has been interested in trying to home brew for awhile. I'm limited in money though and live in an apartment. I was thinking about investing it a cheap mr beer kit but then starting thinking why couldn't I just use a cooler? It seems almost the same as the mr beer setup. Then I seen this http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/chea...version-23008/ and thought about giving it a try. I was wondering why I would even need to modify the cooler though? It seems the same as the mr beer kit? Another problem I have is that the closest homebrew store to me is over an hour away. So can anyone recommend some good sites for ordering all the ingredients ill need?

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Old 02-02-2013, 03:41 AM   #2
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Mlt is not for fermentation. It is a piece of equipment used in all grain brewing. Look into either mr beer or just go ahead and do extract brewing if you are tight on space and set up money. For around 200$ you can get a brewers best kit, 20qt pot with lid and spoon, auto siphon, meat thermometer, and an ingredient kit.

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Old 02-02-2013, 03:46 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moscoeb View Post
Mlt is not for fermentation. It is a piece of equipment used in all grain brewing. Look into either mr beer or just go ahead and do extract brewing if you are tight on space and set up money. For around 200$ you can get a brewers best kit, 20qt pot with lid and spoon, auto siphon, meat thermometer, and an ingredient kit.
This. Look around for beginners kits most of the bigger web stores have a kit I know williamsbrewing.com does. I'd recommend going this route and doing 5 gallon batches because they will go quick.
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:54 AM   #4
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extract is a good place to start, you can also check out partial mash. Some good websites to get ingredients are northern brewer, austinhomebrew, and farmhouse brewing supplies.

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Old 02-02-2013, 03:57 AM   #5
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The Mash Lauter Tun you are looking at (the converted cooler) is actually quite different from a Mr. Beer kit. With the Mr Beer, you are making an extract beer in a pot that will then ferment in the the Mr. Beer container. With the Mash Lauter Tun you are taking crushed grain in certain proportions, mixing at a specific thickness, holding at a set temperature to convert (through the enzymatic action) starch into sugar. The cooler conversion allows you to remove the sugary liquid efficiently. This is then boiled, cooled and placed into a fermentation container to turn into beer through the action of yeast.

With an extract kit, the work of converting starch to sugar is done for you so all you have to do is boil, cool and ferment. A Mr. Beer Kit is as similar to all grain brewing with a MLT as a Vespa is to a Harley Davidson. The only thing they have in common is that beer comes out at the end of each process.

Start with a nice starter extract kit from an online store. It doesn't cost much and the stuff--including ingredients can come right to your door. Come back here often with questions and read everything you can on the subject. It will give you a nice break away from studying--and if you can make beer you will be very popular in school.

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Old 02-02-2013, 04:15 AM   #6
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If you really gotta be cheap, I would buy a glass carboy (or a plastic food grade fermenter) and make cider. You can get enough apple juice at Sam's Club for 5 gallons and some yeast for under $25 for 2 cases. It's really easy to do. Then you just need caps, and some bottles, and you can get really cheap there. Save twist caps and twist bottles, clean them out (do buy star san, don't cheap out there, you don't want to get sick). And just make a really dry cider.

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Old 02-02-2013, 07:35 AM   #7
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If you want small batches made easy in an apt follow thru on this link. I boil outside on propane just because I can, but I use to do it inside on a hot plate.

It's called brew in a bag and you won't be spending anywhere near $200. Cooler should cost about $30, 2 paint strainer bags from H. Depot about $5 and they are reuseable, a 4 gallon SS pot maybe $30 at Target. Then there are the little thing you see in the film. I get about 16 bottles from a 1.75 gallon finished batch.

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Old 02-02-2013, 12:05 PM   #8
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I think the OP is having a bit of trouble understanding terminology and the process and options. The best thing is to start by reading "How to Brew" by John Palmer. He's been gracious enough to put the first edition online for free and it's a really good way to get started in brewing. www.howtobrew.com

It is worthwhile to buy the second edition because he has updated some of the information but if money is too tight for that the online version will give you a good base. Once you read and understand the first part of the book, read here on HomeBrewTalk some more. There is a ton and a half of information here that is current, cutting edge if you will.

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Old 02-02-2013, 08:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C-Rider
If you want small batches made easy in an apt follow thru on this link. I boil outside on propane just because I can, but I use to do it inside on a hot plate.

It's called brew in a bag and you won't be spending anywhere near $200. Cooler should cost about $30, 2 paint strainer bags from H. Depot about $5 and they are reuseable, a 4 gallon SS pot maybe $30 at Target. Then there are the little thing you see in the film. I get about 16 bottles from a 1.75 gallon finished batch.

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nYwf86unc4
To brew, yes. But still need fermenter, tubing, airlock, hydrometer, bottling wand, bottling bucket, ect ect ect. That 200 was everything including the first ingredient kit.
Anyways, I agree OP needs to read and research a little more to become familiar with ideas and terminology. Then decide which route best suits his needs. All grain, biab, extract, small batch, or wine/cider.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:52 PM   #10
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MoreBeer.com has some of the best online prices I've seen with free shipping on larger orders.

You can often find free food grade buckets at your local grocery store's bakery department.

You may also find good local deals on Craigslist or something.

I've heard of guys getting free beer bottles from local restaurants and bars too.

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