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Old 11-18-2011, 03:23 PM   #1
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Default brand new - no equipment, no experience

Home brewing is something that I have heard about and I have always wanted to give it a try.

I rarely do any hobby half way. I usually end up going off the deep end.

I am an engineer, so by nature I have to research way too much. I am trying to pick out a good starter setup. I am on a budget, but I don't want to get a crummy kit. I want to get stuff that I will be able to use over the long term. I don't want to end up replacing a bunch of stuff later.

I live in Houston very close to Defalco's. Here is a kit that I have my eye on.

http://www.defalcos.com/virtuemart.h...category_id=55

They have cheaper kits, but this seems like a good kit with quality stuff.

Opinions on this kit??

Also, I traditionally like wheat beers. Blue Moon is one of my favorites.

Can someone point me to a DIY recipe? I don't think I want to use a "kit" recipe unless there is a "sure thing" out there.

Thanks.

Jarrod

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Old 11-18-2011, 04:46 PM   #2
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I rarely do any hobby half way. I usually end up going off the deep end.

I am an engineer,
Yeah... you're totally fukced. Buckle in.

As for a recipe.... What you are probably going to get in this thread is a dozen people linking to their own recipes because they brewed it and they liked it, and they think you should brew it too. But they are also biased.

I honestly recommend a packaged up kit for a first timer. You have enough variables on your first brew session... no need for the recipe to be one of them. Pick a popular and simple kit from a respected company and focus on the process. Learn the ropes.

When you are comfortable (and I would define that as being able to brew a batch without having to check process instructions a hundred times), then start tinkering with recipes and branching out.
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Old 11-18-2011, 04:57 PM   #3
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i too went off the deep end quickly. i started with this and i was glad it was small. added a long spoon, and bought a 7.5 gallon pot. in retrospect 10 gallon would have been better going forward, but i still use the 7.5 gallon in my all grain setup. to get your process down first i would suggest doing a kit of a beer you know and like.

but thats just me.

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Old 11-18-2011, 05:01 PM   #4
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Agree with Walker's points. If you want to assemble your own Belgian Wit recipe, my Blue Balls has an extract version somewhere in here:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f71/blue...78/index8.html

As for the kit, $300 seems kind of high and probably has some unnecessary items. You can get everything you need to brew for less than $100 (excluding ingredients). Something like this will work great and never be obsolete. No sense in paying as much for empty bottles as you can on decent beer and emptying them yourself.

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Old 11-18-2011, 05:07 PM   #5
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What you are probably going to get in this thread is a dozen people linking to their own recipes because they brewed it and they liked it
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If you want to assemble your own Belgian Wit recipe, my Blue Balls has an extract version somewhere in here:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f71/blue...78/index8.html
See? Told ya.
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:10 PM   #6
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Since you're in Houston, check out Academy Sports for brew kettles and propane burners - can't beat their prices.

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Old 11-18-2011, 05:14 PM   #7
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don't buy that "STUPENDOUS, COLOSSAL BEER BREWING KIT" assemble your own equipment even if it costs more because you won't be saving any money brewing beer anyway so you may as well get the quality gear (you'll later buy anyway) right away.

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Old 11-18-2011, 05:18 PM   #8
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You should be able to get everything you need from brew to bottle including a kit for under $150.00. And yes I agree with Walker....you are so screwed and you don't even realize it yet.

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Old 11-18-2011, 05:19 PM   #9
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I didn't look at the kit but I will say that you can save a TON of money by scouring CRAIGSLIST for equipment. Buy the biggest pot you can afford. and go from there.

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Old 11-18-2011, 05:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jarrodaden View Post
I am an engineer, so by nature I have to research way too much. I am trying to pick out a good starter setup. I am on a budget, but I don't want to get a crummy kit. I want to get stuff that I will be able to use over the long term. I don't want to end up replacing a bunch of stuff later.
If you haven't already done so, I would recommend reading a book or two on home brewing before running out to purchase equipment. How to Brew by John Palmer is a good one.

Try to determine if you're interested in bottling or kegging your brews and this will help you decide if a kit that focuses on bottling (like the one you linked, for example) is really for you or not.

Kettle size is another key decision that you will need to make early on. When I first started out I thought a 10-gallon kettle would be plenty big enough for my needs. I now wish I had instead purchased a 15 or 20 gallon kettle. I'd recommend spending a good amount of time researching kettle sizing and ask lots of questions from more experienced brewers before purchasing.

Welcome to the obsession!
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