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Old 11-30-2009, 12:50 PM   #1
lisamush1
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Default Direct me to a good newbie kit for husband?

Hi all,

Looking for a starter kit for my husband who knows nothing about brewing beer, but wants to try it. I want something basic to start with, and free shipping would be GREAT and would like to spend less than $100- as I should probably buy a book to go with it, right? (or can he get enough info from online? If so then I could spend more $ on the kit.) Can someone direct me to a good kit? I am overwhelmed by all the options/parts. TIA!!

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Old 11-30-2009, 01:08 PM   #2
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Assuming you have a large enough pot to boil a few gallons of water, and you want something more than Mr Beer a kit such as the one here is a good one. Personally, I have a local home brew store that has starter kits for cheaper, but is a bit more bare bones (i.e. no thermometer), so that might be an option. Most kits come with some sort of book/booklet that will give you the basics on how to do everything, go for a more detailed book after a couple batches are made.

But you'd still have to buy the ingredients, which can run you $30+ for a recipe kit. Personally, I spent near $200 on my first batch of beer including equipment and ingredients.

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Old 11-30-2009, 01:16 PM   #3
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I think I spent $70 on my first equipment kit (had a 5 gallon pot already) and $40 on my first ingredient kit. They made great beer, but I quickly upgraded after learning more about the hobby.

Check your local yellow pages and see if you have a nearby brewshop. It's going to cost you less buying it locally than paying for shipping. Plus, you'll get some real advice from the employees. I'd suggest he read www.howtobrew.com before he gets started. At least the first section about extract beers. I read the entire thing before even buying a kit and it helped me tremendously.

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Old 11-30-2009, 01:23 PM   #4
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True brew kits are the way to go IMHO. They have an equipment kit of varying levels (just go with the basic one - it will be plenty enough to start with. And then they have true brew kits (can be bought online or at some smaller homebrew shops that don't do many recipes) these kits are a good starting point - the info is usally a little off but it will give you beer. I say with one of those kits and the knowledge from How to brew (online or paper version) or any other book that shares how to brew will be a good step.

Also don't try to start with anything fancy for a style. A brown ale or amber ale would be plenty simple and yet different enough to get him into brewing (don't start with anything like a smoked porter or rauchbier)

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Old 11-30-2009, 01:38 PM   #5
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All of the advice above is very good. If you want something specific (without going to the homebrew store), here's my recommendation:

1) Buy this kit
http://www.austinhomebrew.com/produc...ducts_id=11356

2) This Book
http://www.austinhomebrew.com/produc...oducts_id=1528

3) And an ingredient kit, something he likes.
http://www.austinhomebrew.com/index.php?cPath=178_452
For the ingredient kit, I would recommend the dry yeast option.

4) Lastly, a pot that can boil at least 4 gallons or so unless you already have one. You can get it at Austin Homebrew also or Target/Wal-Mart.

Eventually, he will need bottles and bottle caps. For the bottles, he can reuse commercial beer bottles as long as they are not twist off or he can buy them. Caps and bottles (if you decide to buy them), can be had here:

Caps:
http://www.austinhomebrew.com/produc...roducts_id=982
Bottles:
http://www.austinhomebrew.com/produc...roducts_id=992

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Old 11-30-2009, 08:32 PM   #6
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Mr. Beer is the cheapest option, but I would say only go with this if he wants to see if he likes the process of making beer, rather than getting something drinkable out of it.

I went with a $25 Mr. Beer kit to see if I would like it. Once I saw that it was something I enjoyed doing I went with a full kit from Austin Homebrew.

If you want to go over a $100 and get everything you will need to get a first brew done, Midwest offers this kit with a choice of Irish Red, Irish Stout, or Autumn Amber ale for $135 + shipping.

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Old 11-30-2009, 08:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patd View Post
Mr. Beer is the cheapest option, but I would say only go with this if he wants to see if he likes the process of making beer, rather than getting something drinkable out of it.

I went with a $25 Mr. Beer kit to see if I would like it. Once I saw that it was something I enjoyed doing I went with a full kit from Austin Homebrew.

If you want to go over a $100 and get everything you will need to get a first brew done, Midwest offers this kit with a choice of Irish Red, Irish Stout, or Autumn Amber ale for $135 + shipping.
That is an excellent three-tiered choice of options right there! I would thoroughly recommend any of these based on how well you know your hubby's conviction to beer (And cooking), and what equipment you might already have that can be used for beer making.
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patd View Post
If you want to go over a $100 and get everything you will need to get a first brew done, Midwest offers this kit with a choice of Irish Red, Irish Stout, or Autumn Amber ale for $135 + shipping.
Hmm, that looks like a nice, easy kit. I still recommend The Complete Joy of Homebrewing. It's a great book. He can read the first chapter before he brews, then the rest of them while he's waiting for it to finish.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:01 PM   #9
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Hi Lisa - your husband is going to love this holiday present!

I want to reiterate the above links for the kits - they're good options!

In addition to books, many new brewers find videos useful - you can actually see what someone is doing, which can be tremendously helpful. There's a youtube outfit called Homebrewing Video which makes an excellent, if slow-paced, tutorial for the beginning brewer. Its a series of videos, something like 12 or 13, I think, but lays it all out and gives folks generally accepted methods. You can find them on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/HomebrewingVideo

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Old 11-30-2009, 09:13 PM   #10
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http://midwestsupplies.com/products/...ubCat=510&fd=1

With thss kit all you need is an ingedients kit, and some bottles, that can be collected as you drink beers that you have bought, then reuse them. The website for information posted by Suthrncomfrt1884, is very good w/o spending money on a book. You will also want to buy a sanitizer as well. And bottle caps. So that should easily come to below $100 with shipping.
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