Originally Posted by torontosudz
I'm an enthusiastic beginner. I have a budget of up to $1k USD to get started - how should I spend it? Currently I have a 5g brew pot, an Ale Pail and bottling bucket, a 5g glass carboy and a few odds and ends (basic siphon hose, etc).
For now I'm doing extract brewing but I'm hopeful to graduate to partial or AG brewing at some point, after I have the basics down.
If I were you, hit up this deal right now, to get a couple of more fermenters for a good price.
Get yourself a good 10 gallon or larger brew pot. 12+ gallons would be recommended, since at some point, you may be making a larger stout, or similar, where you may be boiling 8 gallon or so at the start.
Pick yourself up a couple of things of StarSan or Iodopher now, to make sure you don't run out of them.
Buy a refractometer(~$40+).
If you have that much money, you may want to go ahead and pick up a used chest freezer or refridgerator(under $100), get a couple of kegs(~$100), and a 5# or 10# CO2 tank(under $100). I wish I would have done this a long time ago, now that I keg
You could also buy a nice plate chiller or counterflow chiller instead of a wort chiller. Go ahead and buy yourself a 10 gallon igloo, 52 quart or 70 quart coleman extreme cooler, and start making a mashtun out of it, for the future.
I can go on and on and on.
Also, with $1K, get on craigslist, who knows, for only $200 - $400 you may be able to pick up someone's used system that is upgrading for a great deal!! Cheers.