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Old 12-24-2009, 03:37 PM   #1
carndog
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Default Buying a (Extract) Beer Starter Kit

I have made a few Mr. Beer brews, and now I think it is time to upgrade to a 5 gallon setup. I was looking at the Northern Brewer Deluxe Beer Starter Kit (http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewin...arter-kit.html). I noticed that is says "Note: This starter kit is designed to work with our extract ale kits, brewing lagers or all-grain will require additional equipment." I understand it can't do all-grain, but what else would I need to do an extract lager kit. My basement is 50 degrees until March, and by the bulkhead doors it is consistently 43. I taught it would be a good time of year to brew the lager since I have the right temps.
Is there another kit I should consider? I would like a secondary fermentor, in the kit.

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Old 12-24-2009, 03:48 PM   #2
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No, that kit will work just fine. They should have been more clear in stating that you'll need some way of keeping a consistant temp in order to lager. I don't like doing lagers without a fridge because I feel like the temp swings during the day (even 5-10 degrees) can effect the end product. If you wanted to, though, it's possible.

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Old 12-24-2009, 03:50 PM   #3
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The lager does require additional equipment b/c you need colder fermentation temps. That being said, if you could keep it between 50-55 during fermentation and then lager it for 6 weeks as close to 32 as you can get it, thats fine.

A secondary is a nice thing to have, but it is not a necessity. There are hundreds of thread on here on whether or not you need one. I wont start the debate again

I use one and do find it handy in certain situations.

Good luck!

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Old 12-24-2009, 03:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suthrncomfrt1884 View Post
No, that kit will work just fine. They should have been more clear in stating that you'll need some way of keeping a consistant temp in order to lager. I don't like doing lagers without a fridge because I feel like the temp swings during the day (even 5-10 degrees) can effect the end product. If you wanted to, though, it's possible.
I got a digital thermometer in the basement for the last week, and monitored the high and low temps each day. For the week the high was 51.2 and the low 49.6. I guess I am lucky with the constant temps.
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Old 12-24-2009, 03:52 PM   #5
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That's a nicer kit than I started with. And I've made some good brews even from the begining. I am sure it will serve you well.

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Old 12-24-2009, 07:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chode720 View Post
The lager does require additional equipment b/c you need colder fermentation temps. That being said, if you could keep it between 50-55 during fermentation and then lager it for 6 weeks as close to 32 as you can get it, thats fine.

A secondary is a nice thing to have, but it is not a necessity. There are hundreds of thread on here on whether or not you need one. I wont start the debate again

I use one and do find it handy in certain situations.

Good luck!
He could always use the secondary for a second batch... I didnt look at the kit, but I'm assuming it comes with a 5 gallon carboy. He could easily do 4 gallons in that or 5 if he wanted to deal with the mess/blow off tube.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:26 PM   #7
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I finally pulled the trigger and bought the Better Basic Starter Kit w/ plastic carboy and an additional Better Bottle Plain 5 Gallon carboy as a secondary.
While I was at it I got 3 extract kits, Honey Brown Ale, Sierra Madre Pale Ale and the Irish Red Ale. I am going to do my first batch this weekend. Probably going to try the Honey Brown Ale.

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Old 02-24-2010, 06:50 PM   #8
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I finally pulled the trigger and bought the Better Basic Starter Kit w/ plastic carboy and an additional Better Bottle Plain 5 Gallon carboy as a secondary.
That's exactly what I started with. Loving it so far.

I've also got that Sierra Madre fermenting right now. I'm loving the smell of it so far. During the brewing process I found myself saying "this is exactly how I'd imagine Sierra Nevada smells when being brewed". I'm looking forward to taking a sample in about a week to see how it's coming along.
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