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Old 11-26-2009, 04:36 AM   #1
ihavezippers
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I look over these posts and see discussions about kits and other fancy equipment. And the few people I know personally who homebrew have these very expensive kits they purchased to home brew. But I read a book which (brewing better beers by ken shales) which states that i only need the following:
5 gallon dustbin (for 1st fermentation)
3 gallon dixie (boiling)
colander-straining
6 feet of 1/4 inch diameter plastic tubing
several glass jars (1 or 2 gallons each) w/ corks & fermentation locks for 2nd fermentation
sanitization chemicals (I probably would purchase commercial chemicals intended for homebrewing)

Can I make a decent beer with this kind of equipment? Granted, I'm sure the kit allows for more precise brewing. If there is already a thread on this, please post a link---I looked around a little and didn't see anything.

Thanks

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Old 11-26-2009, 08:00 AM   #2
Mista_Sparkle
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Well, I have been brewing all of a month and a half. I started out with a bucket and airlock for a batch of apfelwein but when it came to bottling time, I dropped $60 on a Brewers Best basic hombrew kit with the following:

6 gallon fermenting bucket
6 gallon bottling bucket with spigot
vinyl hose
airlock
hydrometer
bottle filler wand thing
hard siphon tube thing
capper
sanitizer
some book on hombrewing (which is an interesting read)
stick on thermometer

I figured it was just a better deal than buying the components separately and you know its all food grade. My first batch of beer I brewed in 3.5 gallons worth of pots (it was a mess, we actually transferred the wort between 2) so having a large enough pot is nice. I picked up a 20 quart stainless pot at hobby lobby for $15

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Primary #3: EdWorts Apfelwein #4
Conditioning/Drinking:Brewers Best Belgian Tripel, Apfelwein #3, EdWorts Apfelwein #2, Cranapple Wine, Routers Share Network Closet Strong Scotch Ale, McCormack's Old Malt Oatmeal Stout
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Old 11-26-2009, 08:16 AM   #3
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I'm not a fan of secondaries like many on the forum. skip the "glass jars" unless you're making tiny 1 gal batches and if you insist on secondary go with a carboy/better bottle. Racking into multiple containers needlessly will inevitably lead to oxidization.

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Old 11-26-2009, 08:23 AM   #4
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The dust bin is probably ok. Got a lid for it? How about sufficient headspace for fermentation? What are you boiling in?

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Old 11-26-2009, 10:34 AM   #5
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Well, it depends on what is meant by "expensive.". What I have cost chicken feed compared to some people in this forum, with their RIMS, HERMS, and whatnot. Compared to a few other hobbies I've had, the capital investment is pretty cheap.

I look at it from the standpoint of what I'm doing. I'm spending a minimum of $25 - 30 on ingredients to brew a 5 gallon batch, and I want to make the best beer possible.
While most of the homebrewing "authorities" I've read say that great beer can be made with simple equipment, I wanted to buy equipment that was dedicated to that purpose.

My original brewing kit was Midwest's Intermediate kit, bought two years ago for $80. My brewpot is a 30qt. SS unit, bought on sale for $40. I found it would help my process if I added some accessories not in the original kit. I found that costs for that stuff mounts up, especially when I made the switch to AG, converted a cooler for an MLT, got a grain mill, propane burner, more primary and secondary fermenters, etc.

So- right now my best estimate is that I've got around $700 invested in non-consumable equipment for this pastime, currently amortized over about 50 x 5 gallon batches of beer, and that cost per gallon (less than $3, only about 10% of my ingredient cost per batch) gets lower for every batch I brew. I'm happy with the beer I'm brewing, so I feel that's very acceptable.

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Old 11-26-2009, 01:48 PM   #6
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I started out very cheap with a brewers best basic kit and then a canning pot from Wal Mart for 15$. I think my total spend was less than 70$ for all of that. My first ingredient kit( Brewer's best ) and came with everything. I had started collecting bottles so my first few batches really were not expensive. I think you could get by with the basics, but giving your beer (and your learning curve) the best shot from the get go is my best advice.

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