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Old 07-22-2007, 01:55 AM   #1
matt0369
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Hello, I have been surfing these forums for about a year now, and have some specific questions that may have been answered but, I can’t find them. Right now I am in the Marines and currently deployed. When I get back to the states I plan on getting a kit and starting to brew. From recommendations here I have been looking at Midwest and debating which kit to buy. I am cheap but, I also only believe in buying something only once. My question to you all is, is the intermediate kit too much to start with? How much of this kits will be upgraded soon enough not to get it first? I see that chillers aren’t necessary but a lot of posters here recommend them, should I start with one or grow into one? I am also limited by space in the house and an electric stove. Can I get 5 gallons boiling in a 7.5 on an electric stove? I want to do full boils if possible. In the future I want to brew and keg lagers, but currently I don’t have the space for SWBMO to let me get another fridge. Any help in getting me started would be nice. Also, anyone in the Jacksonville area mind if come watch one of their brew day’s?

Matt

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Old 07-22-2007, 02:09 AM   #2
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If I had it to do over again, I would go with either the starter-kit or intermediate kit, not the basic. Hold off on the wort-chiller and the full boils. They are a step up, but are not required and for beginning just complicate matters. The recipie kit I got from midwest only required 1.5 gallon boils, but since I had already sprung for a pot I did a 3 gallon boil, and getting that up to heat on an electric stove took a long fracken time. As for cooling the wort, I love the ice method. Get 2 gallons of spring water from your store and freeze them. Then pour your hot wort over them and you will be down to temp in no time. The one thing I did spring for that I am not sorry about is a bench capper. I think that makes bottling much easier. Hold off on the fancy toys until you start getting a feel for the process.

Keep in mind this all from the perspective of a noob myself, and I my second batch is in the fermentor.

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Old 07-22-2007, 02:26 AM   #3
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Hey Matt, thanks for serving and hope you get home soon.
The intermediate kit isn't too much, it's all stuff you will need. Regardless of the kit you get, once you start brewing you'll probably start adding equipment. My first kit was the starter from Midwest, looks like the intermediate has an extra carboy and a funnel, both good things to have.
I can't do a full boil on my electric stove, but some brewers do full boils inside, so it depends on the stove. You can make great beer with partial boils. If you can do full boils you'll want a chiller, but a partial boil can be cooled in an ice bath.

Brewing's easy and it's fun, cheers

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Old 07-22-2007, 02:48 AM   #4
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I agree, I would probably stick with the partial boils for now if you're mainly going to be doing extract brewing. The only big difference between full and partial boils in that sense is hop utilization, and that way you don't have to worry about a wort chiller for right now. If you move up to all-grain, then you may have to get a bigger kettle, but you'd still make use of the smaller one anyway. As far as the kit goes, I would go with the intermediate from Midwest, it's a very good starter kit. You'll find that as soon you start brewing, you'll be adding things pretty quickly. I remember ended up picking up 2 carboys in the first month. Welcome to the most addicting hobby, stay safe over there!

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Old 07-22-2007, 03:32 AM   #5
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i am a newbie and i went with a FULL boil and invested in a wort chiller, they are only 40 bucks.

I just use a turkey fryer to do the boils. I decided NOT to go with partial boils because i heard the beer is better if u boil the whole thing!

Just my $.02

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Old 07-22-2007, 03:40 AM   #6
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I'd recommend the intermediate kit as well. The price is pretty good - especially if you go with the Better Bottles (highly recommended - they're light, they don't break, and you can install a spigot in them).

Boiling 5 gallons on the stove could be tough - depends on your stove. I could get 6 gallons to a rolling boil over my gas stove, but I chose to start brewing outside after only two batches like that - the kettle didn't fit very well under the range hood. Besides, a turkey fryer burner is way faster.

Best of luck, stay safe, and I'm sure you can't wait to start spending some of that "tax-free" cash on brew supplies!

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Old 07-22-2007, 05:32 AM   #7
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im in the raleigh area and you can see us brew whenever. we're about to go all-grain soon. we're going to use a keggle (cut keg) as our brew pot and we cut it yesterday, and a turkey frier burner.

but if we dont get into that in the next few months, we're still doing malt-kit brews, like the muntons. we bottle into grolsch bottles.

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Old 07-22-2007, 03:33 PM   #8
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This is the Brew Kit I started with.

It has been pretty good for me. It even comes with a little DVD you can watch. And you can always buy a couple more carboys later when you want to have more than one batch fermenting at a time!
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Old 07-22-2007, 05:38 PM   #9
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I'm in the Raleigh area too marosell, maybe we can get a bunch of people for an all-grain brew. Are you a member of Trub by any chance? I was thinking of going to a meeting sometime soon.

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Old 07-22-2007, 05:43 PM   #10
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Also regarding the boiling on electric stove question... I have a ceramic-top electric stove, purchased only 2 years ago. I can't even get 2 gallons to boil on that thing. The closest I got was 191*F. I'm sure if your electric stove is the coil type, you could probably transfer more heat from the coils to the pot than through ceramic. But yeah it's a little tough.

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