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Old 08-28-2013, 06:24 PM   #1
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Default Ordering Online as a newb

I have scrolled through several different sites (most sponsors) trying to find the best 'deal'. And that really is to be determined, I've read that some are higher quality than others etc etc. Is there any general guideline when ordering online as to what is actually needed / not needed.

Being a novice the selection of the yeasts is kind of confusing, even after reading several different articles in regards to yeast. Some beers use different varients etc etc.

Then you run into the 'enhancer' which seems appealing for only an extra buck or two get more bang out of the batch.

Is there ever any 'discount' offers with some of our sponsors etc that try to entice you their direction?

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Old 08-28-2013, 06:31 PM   #2
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What exactly are you looking for, ingredients, kits, equipment?

If you go to the manufacturer's website for yeast, they give you a lot of details about the types of yeast and appropriate beer styles

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Old 08-28-2013, 07:05 PM   #3
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Yes primarily Kit brewing, right now I dont have enough experience to do much outside of that. Of course the last one I did was a partial extract kit with some steeping. Not a novice to following instructions by no means. Just dont have a mash cooler or any of that jaz.

Dad used to use a lot of brewers best kits and they are obviously still around. However the local home brew shop wants about 35 dollars on average for these.

Local home brew shop also has some of the coopers, and a couple others in the tin that you just mix up. I guess i'll snag a package or two of these and be ready for the current semester in case I dont have free time! I can see that there is much more variety online in regards to kits to purchase vs what he can stock on his shelves(why im looking online).

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Old 08-28-2013, 07:23 PM   #4
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I haven't personally worked with the cooper's, but having used grain and extract, I can't imagine using the premixed ones. Most of the extract/steeping grain kits run right around $30, but there is a ton more variety.

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Old 08-28-2013, 07:25 PM   #5
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My answer is over-simplified by my satisfaction. Austin Homebrew Supply, and don't worry about who's the cheapest.

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Old 08-28-2013, 07:57 PM   #6
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As far as quality is concerned, what you have to be on the lookout for is freshness. Most of the bigger outfits that seem to do a lot of business (Austin Homebrew, Northern Brewer, Morebeer, Midwest) all should do enough business where they don't have extract, grains, hops, and yeast sitting on the shelves for extended periods of time. Small stores that do not see a lot of business may have extract and canned kits that sit for longer than they should and your final outcome will not be as good as it could be with fresher ingredients.

I usually buy from Austin Homebrew. Right now they are shipping their kits for free. I've always had good quality ingredients and they have a huge selection of kits to choose from. In my mind since you are starting out, keep it simple. You don't really need the extras like yeast fuels/nutrients or alcohol boost. Sure, they work for their intended purposes, but they are certainly not necessary to brew a great beer.

You are right, there are a lot of yeast choices out there. Most kits will have a liquid and dry option. If its your first time brewing, I'd go for a dry yeast, though there is nothing wrong with liquid yeasts either. I personally prefer dry yeast as its simple to use, easy to store, and has never failed me yet. As another poster stated, you can find more detailed information about the yeast profile on the yeast manufacture website so you get an idea of the best fermenting temperatures and what if any flavors the yeast will give to your beer and how well it attenuates (makes alcohol).

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Old 08-28-2013, 08:13 PM   #7
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It all makes a lot of sense.. I'm not trying to be a cheap arse.. I'm not a young college student returning as an adult learner.

Just trying to comprehend the major difference between online distributors. My cousin works for a local home brew shop and his boss will often throw me some discounts here and there. In the end he is in it to make money like the rest of the industry! (And it is difficult to tell what has been on his shelf the longest) - The biggest thing that I am noticing from online retailers is the increased variety at around the same price range.

I brewed a few batches in the past with my dad.. and recently decided it was something i wanted to get into on my own. Since he can no longer drink... he just doesnt home brew anymore

I currently have 1 batch of pumpkin in the fermenter and about 30 bottles of honey amber left.

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Old 08-28-2013, 09:32 PM   #8
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If you listen to the Brewing Network podcasts, many of their vendors offer at least a first order discount if you use a code like BNARMY or something else.

Austin Homebrew doesn't give a BN discount, but they still get two thumbs up from me. Good prices, good service, good ingredients and fast shipping. As mentioned earlier, free shipping on their kits makes up for other discounts from other vendors.

Stick with the big vendors and you'll do ok....

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Old 08-28-2013, 09:37 PM   #9
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The most important thing to keep in mind is the freshest of ingredients. The retailers that move a LOT of kits are usually guaranteed to be the freshest. The reason they move a lot of kits is because their prices are competitive and the recipes are proven to be good

You do not want pre-hopped kits or canned kits as they are inferior products and the beer they produce is average at best.

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Old 08-28-2013, 10:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duboman View Post
The most important thing to keep in mind is the freshest of ingredients. The retailers that move a LOT of kits are usually guaranteed to be the freshest. The reason they move a lot of kits is because their prices are competitive and the recipes are proven to be good

You do not want pre-hopped kits or canned kits as they are inferior products and the beer they produce is average at best.
Makes a lot of sense - I know the local shop goes through more ingredients than he does kits. He will gladly order aything in that I'm looking for as well. I found a reasonable priced kit from Austin that I'm going to give a try - looks like several thumbs up from them!
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