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Old 08-07-2008, 01:18 AM   #1
Sportsfann
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Hello everyone, just joined in. Want to start some home brewing but not sure where to start? I want to purchase a starter kit but one that is simple and will last a long time. I do not want to upgrade in a few months. Not really concerned about the cost as I love BEER.

Never even looked into doing this so any help would be great.

Any help?

Thanks Sports

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Old 08-07-2008, 01:20 AM   #2
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Best advice would be to look at the new posts as well as old. There are lots of good posts on this board by just using the search function.

I would go to austinhomebrew.com start with one of their kits and get a extract kit. Once you get the process down you can eventually go to All Grain. You could go to all grain right away but make sure you do lots of reading and maybe see if there is anyone in your area that you could watch.

Where u from anyways?

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Old 08-07-2008, 01:22 AM   #3
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I have been very pleased with the kit I bought here:


http://www.monsterbrew.com/Prod_NewB...HombrewKit.cfm


Check Austin Homebrew Supply- Great shop, very, very well respected member of this community..

Bob

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Old 08-07-2008, 01:23 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info, Charleston SC. Sounds like some good advice.

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Old 08-07-2008, 01:35 AM   #5
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Sorry you regs are probably sick of these kinds of question, I will just read through the post.

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Old 08-07-2008, 02:18 AM   #6
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To get started, you can look at these sites (among others) for a beginner's kit of equipment:

MoreBeer
Austin Homebrew Supply
HopTech
Midwest Homebrew

Normally the equipment kits do not come with a brew pot. For partial boil extract with grains, five gallons is nice but you can easily do it in as small as a three gallon (12 quart) pot as well. Just boil water and extract to equal about 2.5 gallons of water and top off. You don't need a secondary fermenter but they are nice to have; personally I prefer the plastic Better Bottle carboys over the glass and I think most of the suppliers will substitute (may affect price, I don't know). But others will (correctly) tell you that with care you can use glass for years without any problems . . . I just worry about the high consequences that might occur should there be a slip with a full glass carboy. You will also need a grain bag for steeping the specialty grains, though you can "brew your own" (pun intended) with a large piece of cheesecloth.


As to what to brew first, I would start with an "extract with grains" ale kit from a homebrew supply house that puts together tried and true recipe ingredients for you. The links below are to the index of recipe kits from some online suppliers:

MoreBeer
Austin Homebrew Supply
HopTech
Midwest Homebrew

Pick an ale that sounds like what you would want to drink and order the recipe kit. You will need a yeast to go with it -- for starting out, order a dry yeast and get a couple of spare packages.

I would also take a look at the site where John Palmer has the first edition of his book How to Brew available online. The first of the links below is for brewing a very simple extract, a Cincinnati Pale Ale. The second link talks about adding specialty grains. You can use whatever ingredients kit you buy and follow the process Palmer outlines.

Extract Recipe
Specialty Grains

The above sections will get you started, but the more of the book you read the more you will understand what you are doing. I would suggest ordering the book as well. It gets you the latest edition and it is handy to have around. The one thing I would ignore in the Palmer specialty grain section is the line on removing the steeped grains: " Remove the grain bag from the pot, giving it a squeeze to drain the excess wort and avoid dripping on the stove." Don't squeeze it; I think doing so can cause harsh tannins to be released into the wort. What I (now) do is to put the grain bag in a strainer that I sit over the brew kettle and let drain for about a minute.

There is also a Homebrewing Wiki here at homebrewtalk.com: Wiki

Lots of information there. And, of course, these forums are great for asking questions.

Last, as well as the above links to online retailers, if you are fortunate enough to have a local home brew supply store you should definitely check it out.

Good luck!

Rick

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Old 08-07-2008, 03:28 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forum.
I wouldn't start out thinking that you want a starter kit that won't need upgrading. I'd start with something that can get you started, but which you can add to later to increase capacity or brew different beers without making your starter kit redundant.
I think that http://www.austinhomebrew.com/produc...ducts_id=11356 would be a good starting point, possibly with a few upgrades and a few additions.
You should be able to make good beer with that, and there's very little in it that will become redundant as you progress.
The 7.9g primary fermenter is a good size, and even if you switch to carboys later on, you can still use the bucket to have 2 or more brews in progress at a time. Besides which, buckets are incredibly useful for storing things in.
The bottling bucket is essential if you are going to bottle your beer, and if you later go to kegging, you will still need to bottle some brews (at least I do).
Airlocks are cheap, and I'd get a few extras.
Rather than getting a racking cane, I'd get an auto-siphon. It cost a bit more, but is much easier to use.
The bottle filler is also wonderful for bottling.
You don't need a thermometer at all for extract brewing, and the floating ones are useless for me because I can't read them without my glasses, and I can't read them with my glasses because they steam up.
I'd try to get a bench mounted bottle capper rather than the wing capper, and you'll need to get more bottle caps, cleaner, sanitizer etc.
In addition to what is in the kit, you will need a bunch of other stuff.
You will need some accurate scales for weighing hops, priming sugar etc.
Postal scales work well for this, but if you are going to do partial mash or all grain, then a good digital scale with a capacity of at least 10 lbs, and a resolution of 0.1 oz makes life much easier.
Then, you'll need a kettle to boil in. I can't remember what size you need for extract brews, but if you are going to go for full boils, or all grain, you'll need a kettle of about 9g or greater. As the normal kitchen stove can't handle a full boil, it may be worth while looking into propane powered turkey fryers which include a pot and a propane burner.

Just noticed, the kit does not include a hydrometer. You really should get this.

Hope this helps.

-a.

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