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Old 09-15-2010, 09:07 PM   #1
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Default Buying first home brew kit

So I am looking to by my first home brew kit. Should I just go with a basic extract brewing kit or go straight to all grain brewing? I hope to some day open my own brewery so my thought is to just jump straight into all grain. Are there benefits to starting your learning process with extract brewing? If I were to get a good kit for extract brewing, how hard is it to upgrade it to be able to move to all grain?

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Old 09-15-2010, 09:15 PM   #2
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All the items I bought in my first kit (extract), I still use years later....and I'm all-grain exclusively.

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Old 09-15-2010, 09:59 PM   #3
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For all grain you will need a kettle capable of full boils (7gallons +) and a mash tun to mash in obviously that is all I can think of that is necessary to do all-grain as opposed to extract!
(LHBS/supplier can mill the grains for you usually)

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Old 09-15-2010, 10:33 PM   #4
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I would start with cans - kit brewing - its easier, will give you enough stress as it is, in a good way, without having to panic about AG problems - has huge margin of error and is forgiving and, besides, all the equipment is usable in AG later anyway.
You will get the basic experience you need and understanding how things are done etc, few panics like "OMG, airlock not bubbling" and stuff as it is :-)

You can check premade kits, kinda "all in one" - coopers have decent box with everything you need to start brewing at home.

Important thing is, its still tasty beer and lots of fun! I bet you will be hooked with it as I am, and welcome to HBT!

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Old 09-15-2010, 11:27 PM   #5
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Extract Brewing


PROS

It's easy! Not as much equipment needed! Everything is available ready to go!

CONS

It's expensive! (can's of extract cos 10 dollars or more compared to 2.05 for a pound of grain)

It can get boring compared to AG (all you do is play with powder and syrup! C'mon man!)


All Grain Brewing

PROS

It's cheaper than extract! Grains cost 2 bucks or less per pound. It's better to buy in bulk.

It's more fun!

You can really get creative with mixtures (think of cooking).

CONS

The only con I can think of is that it's costly as far as equipment goes.

You need a Boil Kettle, Mash Tun, Wort Chiller,False bottom, etc.



TRUST ME

Once you go All Grain you will never consider extract ever again.
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:46 PM   #6
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i started with extract, then went mini-mash.. now im AG... im glad i did it this way.. i was able to slowly learn more and more as i went along..

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Old 09-15-2010, 11:50 PM   #7
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I bought this kit from midwest: http://www.midwestsupplies.com/brewing-starter-kit.html

In addition i purchase a turkey fryer off amazon. Other than that, the only other piece of equipment i've had to purchase to do AG is a cooler to convert to a MLT and an immersion chiller I made.

My suggestion is to buy a starter kit with all the equipment that can be used for any type of brewing. This lets you be much more flexible - you can brew an extract one night after work, or brew up an AG on a day off. I've got 4 AG under my belt, but i still enjoy doing an extract because i can do it in half the time of AG. But again, if you buy the equipment to do AG, you'll be in better shape since you can do any brew.

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Old 09-15-2010, 11:53 PM   #8
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I forgot to mention that it is BEST to get a large brew kettle to start.

Also, start extract to understand the fundamentals of brewing.

Look into reading Charlie Papazian's book "The Joy of Homebrewing" or John Palmer's book on beer.

This site is another resource for info. PRetty much every section has sticky notes that list important tips for beginners and veterans (some of us brewers need reminders that we should be patient when brewing and to NOT dump out a beer when we start to panic).

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Old 09-15-2010, 11:55 PM   #9
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I started out extract brewing and I am glad I did. It allowed me time to learn the process and begin to acquire the equipment to go all grain.

One thing you will have many people tell you - and it is true - even if you decide to start with extract BUY A BIG BOIL POT! Like "KevinW" said, at least 7 gal, larger if you can afford it. Spend the money now so you won't have to when you start AG brewing.

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Old 09-16-2010, 12:16 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the input, I'm thinking of going with this kit: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B000E5ZJ2A

Then buying a large brew kettle when more funds are available.

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