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Old 03-26-2009, 05:19 PM   #1
daveooph131
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Default NEW - Starting out equipment

I am just getting into this hobby and wanted some advice on equipment selection.

I found a local shop selling 6.5 gallon glass carboy for $25. I "think" this is a good deal and plan on putting together my own starter kit. Please add to my list of things needed.

Already have an aluminum pot

I plan on buying:
-2 6.5 glass carboy
-1 bottling bucket with spout
-auto siphon
-Funnel with strainer
-Thermometers / hydrometer

Would this be a decent startup? Thanks.

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Old 03-26-2009, 05:26 PM   #2
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You might want to look into a start-up kit, they're usually a real good deal for what you get. Not sure who's got the best deals, just look around the on-line shops that people talk about all the time on here. I think there's a list of them in a FAQ or sticky somewhere. I'd definitely grab up a couple of those carboys too, that's a great deal.

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Old 03-26-2009, 05:31 PM   #3
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that looks pretty good to me!

you'll also need

ingredient for a first batch!
sanitizer
a capper/caps (assuming you're bottling)
tubing for racking
some airlocks
(bottles eventually, but it's certainly cheaper to save commercial beer bottles and clean and sanitize those)

maybe a little further down the line:
a wort chiller
something for fermentation temp control

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Old 03-26-2009, 05:35 PM   #4
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I payed 50$ per 6.5g glass carboy, so that's a good price. About a average price going by what most post about a year or 3 ago.

Racking Cane
Hosing (siphon/blowoff)
Airlocks
Universal drilled stoppers (my first rubber stopper is at the bottom of my Apfelwein atm)
Bottle Capper
Sanitizer (some kits come with, most don't)
Stirring spoon (I got a dedicated one, just for brewing)
Hop bag (trust me, get one - even if 30% of the pellet hops is still escaping to the pot it's much better)
Grain Bag (again some kits come with a 1 use grain bag, others don't - Nylon = reusable)
Carboy brush
Bottle Brush


Optional:
Carboy Dryer (I just use them wet)
Bottle Drying Rack (not really needed other than convenience)
Bottles (If you can get them free from friends or Recycling center/bar, or use pop bottles)


With Carboys that cheap it may not be so great a deal to get a kit.

2 6.5s: 50$ (instead of 1 15$ bucket)
///Items in a starter kit////
Capper: 15-18$
Hose: 2$
airlocks: 3$
Racking Cane:6-10$
Hydrometer: 6.50$
Stoppers: 2$
Bottling Bucket: 15$
Bottle Brush: 3$
////end items in start kit////
Total on the high end 110$ + tax with NO shipping and he's getting 2 carboys instead of 1 bucket

Or drop 1 carboy, and add a kit of your choice. 115-130$ (lowest end BB kit, to highest end)

I payed 99$ for a starter with the above items, and chose a 45$ Irish stout kit. But I had to pay 100$ later when I wanted to go to Carboys and not the ****ty bucket (I'm up to about 6-8 suck backs now in my first batch, first was stale water then slowly more and more vodka over water lol)

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Old 03-26-2009, 07:32 PM   #5
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I paid $80 for Midwest's intermediate kit two years ago...still regard it as a great bargain. Also scored a very nice Proctor-Silex 30 qt SS lidded brewpot for $40 on a Cooking.com Christmas special. That lets you brew......but unless you are immune to the blandishments of gadgetry promising to make your brew life more efficient & convenient, you'll spend more.
Since then, I've accumulated about 450 12 oz. bottles (all reused commercial pry-offs), at no cost. But: I've also bought two more carboys (5 gal Better Bottles), a wine thief (very nice to have for hydrometer readings), a vinator / sulfiter pump to inject sanitizer into my bottles (very nice) 8 10-gal plastic totes that serve as "beer cases" to move bottles around. I also recovered Grandpa's old Prohibition-era bench capper from a brother-in-law who'd had it for 25 years and used it at one point to cap beer bottles full of......ketchup.

I've been brewing extracts so far, but am reading up on all-grain, and anticipate making the jump later this year. As Dante wrote in the Inferno, Canto 8: "Lasciate ogne speranza voi ch'intrate."

{Written over the gates of Hell: "Abandon every hope ye who enter here."}

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Old 03-26-2009, 07:44 PM   #6
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FYI, you can get grain/hop bags at home depot/lowes for real cheap. except for some reason, they call them paint strainer bags. to each his own i suppose.

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Old 03-27-2009, 12:14 AM   #7
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Not the most experienced BUT... ...
Get a funnel and a hydrometer thief also. On the same note I sterilized my equipment with a bleach / water solution one time to "save some cash" and it was such a PITA that I will always use commercial sanitizers that do not require rinsing for now on.

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Old 03-27-2009, 12:16 AM   #8
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What exactly does the hydrometer thief work?

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Old 03-27-2009, 12:40 AM   #9
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I'm pro better bottles instead of glass. Glass is heavy, hard to handle and breaks easily. Just my 2 cent.

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Old 03-27-2009, 12:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveooph131 View Post
What exactly does the hydrometer thief work?
The thief is a long tube with a one way valve on the end. You stick it down into the beer, and the pressure created by you pulling it back out should seal the beer in. Think of it like sticking a tube into liquid, then sealing one end of the tube with your thumb. Same basic thing, except no thumbs required with a thief.

You then use the thief to transfer this sample into a sample container (which can be purchased specially, or you can just use a narrow glass, cup, jar, whatever you have handy) and let your hydrometer float in that container. Whatever line on the hydrometer matches up with the top of the beer will tell you what your specific gravity is.
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