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Old 01-03-2007, 08:54 PM   #1
Schmitts
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Default Buying a brew kit

Due to some good fortune and wise decision making (involving fantasy football but we won't get into that) I have recently come into about $350 or so of expendable income. I spent several weeks toying with dozens of ideas of what to basically blow this money on (Ipod, TV, gadgets, strippers, etc..) until I had quite an enigma that I have not been able to stop thinking about since. I love beer. I need a hobby. I got some cash to spend. Did I mention I love beer? The only solution here is obvious.....I need to brew my own beer!

For Christmas my in-laws got me one of those "Mr. Beer" brew kits. If you are familiar with these then, well, I'm sure you would agree that it is rather limited. Though I do think its simplicity and affordablity might help some people tap into the home brewing hobby, which is good. Of course, this Mr. Beer has only left me yearning for more.

I've been searching around looking for the perfect beginner's kit type thing. I've found many similar kits out there and am having trouble really narrowing down exactly what all kind of equipment I should get. Obviously I am only beginning at this, so I don't need anything too fancy (no lauter tun yet!) but I would like something that maybe I can't fully utilize now, but maybe down the road. And as silly as it sounds, I would really like to spend at least $200 - $350 or so (that way the wife can't find other uses for the money!).

So, I'll copy and paste some links to kits I've found out there below. Any advice on these kits or general equipment that I should look to attain would be greatly appreciated!!!

http://morebeer.com/browse.html?category_id=1006&keyword=&x=1&y=1&PHPS ESSID=da975108f750df30d48187cf17dd84b1
(BRKIT 3 or 4)

http://thebeveragepeople.com/bb_eqkit.htm (super brewer equipment kit)



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Old 01-03-2007, 09:03 PM   #2
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I think Midwest has the best deals in starter kits.

If you want to spend more money, get a min 8 gal pot, a chiller, a propane burner. Either that or a kegging set up. You sound like the kind of guy that's already got a beer fridge - the rest isn't that expensive.



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Old 01-03-2007, 09:04 PM   #3
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What do we know about fantasy football?

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=12869&highlight=football

Looks like a nice kit. Might be a bit of overkill, depending on whether you have some of the gear already. So others don't need to link, here's the equiptment lists:

Quote:
BREWKIT 3
1 Bottles - 22 oz (12)
1 Bottle Filler with Removable Spring (3/8")
1 Bottle Caps (1/4 lb)
1 Bottle Capper - Brev
1 Bag - 8'' x 15'' Medium
1 Kettle (5 Gallon)
1 Spoon - Plastic (19'')
1 BE490 Funnel (8'' diam)
1 BK400 Book - Home Beermaking
1 Brush - Beer Bottle
1 Brush - Carboy
1 StarSan Sanitizer (4oz)
1 Yeast (Dry) - Nottingham Ale (11g)
1 Glass Carboy (6.5 Gallon)
1 Plastic Bucket With Spigot (6 Gallon)
1 Airlock - 3 Piece
1 Universal Stopper With Hole
1 Universal Stopper Solid
1 Kit - Light Ale
1 Hydrometer
1 Foam Donut
1 Thermometer - Floating
1 Sterile Siphon Starter
4 Feet of Vinyl Transfer Tubing
Quote:
BREWKIT 4
2 Bottles - 22 oz (12)
1 Bottle Filler with Removable Spring
1 Bottle Caps (1/4 lb)
1 Bottle Capper - Brev
2 Bag - 9'' x 12'' Fine Mesh
1 Bag - 8'' x 15'' Medium
1 Polarware Modified Brew Kettle (10 gallon)
1 Spoon - Plastic (19'')
1 Funnel (8'' diam)
1 Book - Home Beermaking
1 Brush - Beer Bottle
1 Brush - Carboy
1 StarSan (4oz)
1 Yeast (Dry) - Nottingham Ale (11g)
1 Glass Carboy (6.5 Gallon)
1 Plastic Bucket With Spigot (6 Gallon)
1 Airlock - 3 Piece
1 Universal Stopper With Hole
1 Universal Stopper Solid
1 Kit - Light Ale
1 Hydrometer
1 Foam Donut
1 Thermometer - Floating
1 B3 Sterile Siphon Starter
1 Tubing - Vinyl (3/8'' ID) - By the Foot
1 Polarware Wort Chiller - 1 (25' x 3/8'' With Tubing)
With kit 1, you'll still need more bottles. Kit 2, you will only need the huge brew kettle if you go all-grain. You probably don't want to do that right off the bat. Personally, I like the first kit, plus some more bottles (or make sure that you save all your crown-top bottles), plus a copy of John Palmer's "How To Brew". I think the second kit is probably overkill. Unless you have a propane burner, you may not be able to do full wort boils, anyway.
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmitts
Due to some good fortune and wise decision making (involving fantasy football but we won't get into that) I have recently come into about $350 or so of expendable income. I spent several weeks toying with dozens of ideas of what to basically blow this money on (Ipod, TV, gadgets, strippers, etc..) until I had quite an enigma that I have not been able to stop thinking about since. I love beer. I need a hobby. I got some cash to spend. Did I mention I love beer? The only solution here is obvious.....I need to brew my own beer!

For Christmas my in-laws got me one of those "Mr. Beer" brew kits. If you are familiar with these then, well, I'm sure you would agree that it is rather limited. Though I do think its simplicity and affordablity might help some people tap into the home brewing hobby, which is good. Of course, this Mr. Beer has only left me yearning for more.

I've been searching around looking for the perfect beginner's kit type thing. I've found many similar kits out there and am having trouble really narrowing down exactly what all kind of equipment I should get. Obviously I am only beginning at this, so I don't need anything too fancy (no lauter tun yet!) but I would like something that maybe I can't fully utilize now, but maybe down the road. And as silly as it sounds, I would really like to spend at least $200 - $350 or so (that way the wife can't find other uses for the money!).

So, I'll copy and paste some links to kits I've found out there below. Any advice on these kits or general equipment that I should look to attain would be greatly appreciated!!!

http://morebeer.com/browse.html?category_id=1006&keyword=&x=1&y=1&PHPS ESSID=da975108f750df30d48187cf17dd84b1
(BRKIT 3 or 4)

http://thebeveragepeople.com/bb_eqkit.htm (super brewer equipment kit)



"A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it's better to be thoroughly sure."
$80 for 4 kegs
$40 for a regulator
$100 for a CO2 tank
$51 for a 4-way distibutor
$40 for 4 Gas In's
$40 for 4 beverage out's (with cobra taps)
$32 for 4 buckets
$12 for 4 lids
$5 for 4 airlocks
$9 for an autosiphon
$80 for a turkey fryer from Costco
$16 for a propane tank
$10 for a long spoon
$2 for a grain bag

$30-40 for your first extract+ kit.

Right around $600 with shipping, but includes just about everything you'll need for a system that'll be good to grow with.
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:25 PM   #5
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I'd start with something along these lines:

Brewing Intermediate Kit from MidwestSupplies:
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/ProdByID.aspx?ProdID=6875

It's only $110, but has everything you'll need and more to get started.

The additional $200, you can easily blow on other items you will need to get going and get your first batch bottled or kegged. You'll need:

stainless brew pot (which can get pricey),
strainers are a good idea
bottles (or corny kegs and C02 if you go that route)
a turkey frier/burner (if you cant boil on your stovetop)
wort chiller (isn't necessary and I don't own one yet; i use an icebath; but a good investment)
and of course ingredients (guesstimate $30 for a 5 gallon extract 'kit' with steeping grains, good yeast, etc).

I'd also recommend a few great books: Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Papazian, Homebrewers Companion by Papazian, and some recipe books (I already have 6-7 books in my homebrew library and I started 3 months ago).

Trust me, you'll easily spend $300+ if you get into the hobby and enjoy it. However, I wouldn't go spend all $350 on a "master brewers kit" with all grain capabilities, kegs, etc. Just in case you don't enjoy the hobby... I know many beer fanatics that just can't get into the hobby because its too much "like work" for them to spend 4-8 hours brewing. They'd rather me brew it and dish to them the samples or they will just go buy Microbrew cases for 30-40 bucks whenever they need some beer...

Plus like I said, you'll have unforseen expenses arise as you start to brew with even the intermediate kit. That kit posted above though is very nice and has everything you'll really need to run a batch a beer a week or so if you choose to be that vigilent.

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Old 01-03-2007, 09:35 PM   #6
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Forgot to add the most imporant expense!

A membership to this board.



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