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Old 04-25-2012, 12:59 AM   #1
whattheschmidt
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Default Need advice on homebrewing kit to go with

I'm willing to spend over $200 if it's worth it, but haven't brewed of course so I don't know exactly what kits may be missing or may have in them that are considered inferior pieces of equipment that would need upgrading further down the line.

I don't want to be limited much with what can be brewed equipment wise and I am not too worried about the brewing being too complicated for a beginner. I plan on starting with malt extract and having the ability to go to grain easily.

I have a propane burner from a turkey deep fryer and the pot(which is definitely cheap quality but perhaps will work fine for the first couple brews or so?).

With that said I am thinking of an intermediate kit with 2 glass carboys:
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/brewi...s-carboys.html

I do like the idea of kegging the beer instead of bottling though, already have a kegerator that fits a 1/2 barrel or 2 slim kegs which I believe would be standard size for homebrewing 5 gallons. What would be needed besides the keg itself to keg the beer? should I just bottle the first time or two instead perhaps?

Is there a different kit I should consider(this one seemed a touch better than northerbrewery)? or perhaps add on parts? Some sort of thermometer or hydrometer? I'm interested in brewing ales, wheat beers, maybe an oatmeal stout or a porter...

Thanks

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Old 04-25-2012, 01:26 AM   #2
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I'm happy with the True brew kit, But I'm sure that there are better out there. I'm fermenting my second batch right now. As for the deep fryer I did some research and read some posts on this site and was told to Boil water in the pot until it oxydizes/ turns dark. Enjoy the brewing and drinking it is the waiting part that sucks.

Mike

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Old 04-25-2012, 01:46 AM   #3
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I got the basic starter kit from Midwest. Good kit - gives you what you need to brew your first batch. You can always add on as you progress. A lot of people on here will tell you secondary fermentation isn't necessary except for dry hopping or adding fruit/spice additions. So of you wanted to save money at first you could forgo buying a secondary. If you watch groupon, Midwest will occassionally offer a great deal on their starter kit. Or you could call them and see if they'd be willing to give you the groupon deal.

Good luck!

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Old 04-25-2012, 01:49 AM   #4
whattheschmidt
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Well I think I found a beer that I want to brew...

http://www.amazon.com/True-Brew-Belg...ref=pd_sim_k_7

this would be a partial grain brewing method? Would the kit from midwest include everything I would need? I feel like the True Brew kit was a bit lacking..

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Old 04-25-2012, 02:02 AM   #5
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That intermediate kit is a good kit, it would do you well. All the gear I have from mine has held up well and helps create some great beers.

As far as kegging vs bottling - it all depends on what you want to do in the long run. I still bottle and it is, in some regards, more work than kegging. The upfront investment in kegging seems to be significantly more but you get great results there also. I will let someone else with kegging experience take it from there.

So, for your first kit that intermediate kit is a good one. You can always fine tune it later.

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Old 04-25-2012, 02:14 AM   #6
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I'm starting to think about the True Brew Kit instead and buying a few pieces seperate..

Probably get a decent 7-8 gallon stainless steel brewing pot as well...

thanks for the input so far

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Old 04-25-2012, 02:20 AM   #7
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Good point... if you can afford it I'd suggest going at least a 10 gallon brew pot, if not 15. Might be overkill at first but you will grow into it. Also, you will stand far less chance of boiling over with at least a 10 gallon. Just my opinion.

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Old 04-25-2012, 02:24 AM   #8
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NOTHING wrong with a turkey fryer.. Well cleaned and conditioned.. thy work very well. Clean the heck out of it and fill it with water.. boil it so that the aluminum gets black on the inside below the water line. That's aluminum oxide.. a good thing. They hold about 7 or so gallons and work quite well for 5 gallon batches.. 6 gals if you are cautious about keeping the foam down during the hot break.

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Old 04-25-2012, 04:19 AM   #9
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I got a couple of Better Bottles instead of glass carboys. They are much lighter, and I'm carrying them down to my cellar to ferment. Plus, I'm scared of broken glass; I keep picturing severed tendons and lots of blood.
One thing that I really like having is an autosiphon.
I wrecked a few of my probe thermometers, so do a search here for recommended thermometers.
I'm sure you'll want a hydrometer and a sample tube, they're pretty cheap.
I got a couple of pin lock kegs for about $35 each from kegconnection. I guess you'd need different connectors if you're currently set up for commercial kegs.
Be careful, it's a slippery slope! I'm already thinking about more kegs, BBottles, etc. And it's only been a couple of months since I started.
HAVE FUN!

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Old 04-25-2012, 04:29 AM   #10
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The link below will take you to what I got for xmas from my wife. Coopers-Brewery-DIY-Beer-Kit
This kit is from Australia, so you get a Celsius thermometer strip and the fermenting vessel has liter marks, but other than that I think it's awesome! It comes with all the ingredients needed to make your first batch and an easy to follow instructional DVD. A hydrometer is included.

Kegs would be great if you can swing it. I know I want to at some point. The Cooper's kit comes with enough bottles for one batch, but then you gotta move onto buying glass bottled beer from the grocery store and get to drinking in order to prepare for brew #2! I found that Kirkland brand beers from Costco are tasty enough and very affordable. Plus they come with a decent cardboard box.

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