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Old 01-27-2010, 04:02 PM   #1
kmicks
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Well, I recently got the urge to look into my own brewing after getting sick of the poor selection of beer where I live. I intended to do some research and pick up supplies over the summer when I came back to the states to visit home…problem is that I’ve been glued to this site ever since finding it and I really don’t think that I can wait until the summer to get started.

Here is my question, I know there is no HBS around here…I have been thinking that perhaps I can order a starter kit online and have it shipped to a US address, which could then send along the kit to me, excluding the buckets and better bottle (these would take a very long time to arrive, if ever, and cost a lot)…in any event, I figured I could find some buckets at the hardware store and a kettle and burner from elsewhere. Seeing as this would just be a temporary setup, how big of a deal would if instead of a better bottle I just used the ones that I get my water in for a few months?

Any other necessities that you might suggest I order, besides plenty of beer ingredient kits, since I won’t have any other access to such things? I just want the necessities for now so that I can get a feel for it. I’ll just use a large barrel of ice as a wort chiller? I live in a pretty warm and consistent climate. (ambient 75-85*) Will I need to rig a way to keep the fermenting bucket cooler?

Any particular equipment that I might consider ordering a backup for? Perhaps something that is easily broken? Should I order a couple spigots to install on the buckets that I buy or are they not really necessary?
I am sure that this is a common question and I have looked into the necessary supplies, but can’t shake the feeling that I will leave something out since I can’t run out and pick something up or order it without it taking over a month to arrive.
Thanks a million!!
-kevin

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Old 01-27-2010, 06:57 PM   #2
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If you get buckets with water, they'll work for brewing. If the lids seal air-tight, drill a hole and put in an o-ring with an airlock. If they're not air-tight, they'll still work, just without an airlock, and with these lids, avoid opening the fermenter until you're ready to rack/bottle/keg to keep incoming air from spoiling the beer.

You'll probably need some temperature control since 75-85 is quite warm to ferment at. Whether or not a swamp cooler (Tshirt over the fermenter that is in a pool of water- evaporation) will work or not due to the relative humidity of your area could be investigated.

If you need to haul some stuff back from the US, I would recommend the harder-to-find stuff. Hops, yeast, sanitizer, a couple thermometers that are reliable, a couple of hydrometers in case one breaks...

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Old 01-27-2010, 07:20 PM   #3
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Any particular equipment that I might consider ordering a backup for? Perhaps something that is easily broken?
+1 on hydrometer, they seem fairly fragile, my first one arrived broken. Reasonably cheap, too, so that seems like a good candidate for a backup.
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
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If you get buckets with water, they'll work for brewing. If the lids seal air-tight, drill a hole and put in an o-ring with an airlock. If they're not air-tight, they'll still work, just without an airlock, and with these lids, avoid opening the fermenter until you're ready to rack/bottle/keg to keep incoming air from spoiling the beer.


Not all water buckets/jugs can/should be used for home brewing. The standard water jugs will leech chemicals and are semi-permeable for oxygen. Check the recycling # on the jug/bucket if it is any number other than a 1 or a 2 DO NOT USE it to brew in!
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:22 PM   #5
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Excellent. Thanks for your replies. I will definately use your tip to keep it cooler during fermentation. What about throwing some ice into that water here and there, necessary?

I will add an extra hydrometer and I checked the plastic bottle and it is #1, so hopefully that will work out fine. These water jugs look just like the better bottles, so do you think the airtight cap will fit?

I should probably get a spigot to put on a bucket for bottling right?

Any other tips are surely welcome. Thanks again.

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Old 01-28-2010, 01:15 PM   #6
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I should probably get a spigot to put on a bucket for bottling right?
I hesitate to give advice since I haven't even gotten as far as bottling yet, but as I understand it, you can get by with siphoning and pinching the hose. But there's lots of good info on streamlining the bottling process here.

Once you choose a starter kit, let us know which one and I'm sure folks can suggest what add-ons they would find most useful.
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:43 PM   #7
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this info will come into good use when i start brewing

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Old 01-28-2010, 05:22 PM   #8
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Should I order a couple spigots to install on the buckets that I buy or are they not really necessary?
Just order a starter kit that comes with both a primary bucket and a bottling bucket. I run into an issue with my spigot dripping just a bit, so I wouldn't want to use it for fermenting.

I don't know how much of an issue it would be, but shipping ingredients like hops and grains MAY cause a small hiccup. I don't know how fussy they are with shipping certain ingredients internationally. By they I mean honduran customs. I would hope it would be fine though. Might be something to look into a little.
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Old 01-28-2010, 05:48 PM   #9
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Excellent. Thanks for your replies. I will definately use your tip to keep it cooler during fermentation. What about throwing some ice into that water here and there, necessary?
Often people will fill plastic water bottle with water, freeze them, and throw them in their swamp cooler (not in the beer). Fill one of your water jugs with 5 gallons of water, put it in a bin, and fill the bin with water. See if you can get the temperature of the water in the jug down to 64 or so. If you can, that's all the temperature control you'll need to make an ale. It seems like people rarely take an ale below 64 aside from cold crashing.
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:57 PM   #10
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"I don't know how much of an issue it would be, but shipping ingredients like hops and grains MAY cause a small hiccup. I don't know how fussy they are with shipping certain ingredients internationally."

Good point. I thought about this as well, so I'll get it delivered to a US address who can then ship it. I doubt they would screw around with packages sent through a private courier service...hey, we'll see.

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