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Old 04-11-2011, 11:25 PM   #1
Magaroni
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Default Trouble picking a starter kit...plz help! :)

Alright, so I apologize if you guy's have answered these numerous times but I couldn't find a thread on it. I am very new to brewing and am looking at buying my boyfriend a brew kit for his upcoming birthday I want to make sure that I start him off with something worth while and am looking at spending probably around $200 give or take.

Currently Ive been looking at the Northwest Brewer Delux starter kit as well as the home brewer outpost beer making plus kit...

Any suggestions?

Thanks!!

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Old 04-11-2011, 11:34 PM   #2
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http://www.midwestsupplies.com/every...pment-kit.html

I've been looking at buying this one as I'm getting into brewing currently. This is a complete kit (i.e. don't need anything else) as far as I know (except maybe some StarSan).
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:36 PM   #3
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I recently got this one... I didn't need the bottles since I had started saving ones I was drinking. Has almost everything I needed besides a Pot and a couple little things here and there that I thought I should get. (None of which are in any kits... Big spoon, wine thief, bottle rack, starsan etc)

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/brewi...e-carboys.html

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Old 04-11-2011, 11:55 PM   #4
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Out of the three mentioned I'd go with Suited Up's suggestion but call about upgrading those 5 gal better bottles to 6 gallon ones, they need room or the krausen will make a mess of the airlock and eventually your ceiling. The money saved with this kit as compared to other kits will buy a larger brew kettle than the 4 gal one included in the other midwest kit and boil overs are worse than krausen on the ceiling. A 5 gal pot is perfect for the 2.5-3 gal boils for most extract brews. The package, a pot, an extract kit, and some star san will likely put you around your $200 mark.

Also, you have automatically been entered for best gf of the month.

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Old 04-12-2011, 12:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dome555
Out of the three mentioned I'd go with Suited Up's suggestion but call about upgrading those 5 gal better bottles to 6 gallon ones, they need room or the krausen will make a mess of the airlock and eventually your ceiling. The money saved with this kit as compared to other kits will buy a larger brew kettle than the 4 gal one included in the other midwest kit and boil overs are worse than krausen on the ceiling. A 5 gal pot is perfect for the 2.5-3 gal boils for most extract brews. The package, a pot, an extract kit, and some star san will likely put you around your $200 mark.

Also, you have automatically been entered for best gf of the month.
I agree with the gf lol!
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:18 AM   #6
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I initially had a similar thought about the size of the better bottles, but I think they're meant to be secondaries, and using the bucket for primary. So I'm ok with it at the moment.

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Old 04-12-2011, 12:29 AM   #7
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Hmmm... I'm new to the hobby so I may be missing something. Why would you want two 5 gallon Better Bottles? Unless the idea is to ferment in the primary, transfer to secondary and (if you're leaving it in the secondary for a long time), being able to ferment and transfer to the other secondary so you can have two brews aging (?).

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Old 04-12-2011, 12:33 AM   #8
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I just did my first brew with the NB Deluxe kit.. Had everything I needed (minus a big pot, and bottles)

Everything seems to be of good quality, I'm not a huge fan of the thief, but it is at least easy to clean since it breaks down.

The second carboy would be useful to dry hop (add stuff to the brew after its done fermenting and before bottling) or to start pipelining brews.. I have a second carboy and don't see myself using it, but I figured why not since I was buying the equipment.

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Old 04-12-2011, 01:12 AM   #9
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I hadn't even noticed that you also get the 6.5 gal bucket. That's a really nice little kit there, especially at the price. I'd still see about getting the larger BB's but I've been known to be a little voyeuristic of my yeast. Didn't really think about the bottles as secondaries as I fall into the secondary schmecendary school of thought. Whatever you get him I'm sure he'll love it and he'll also enjoy expanding on the kit as he goes along. I'd really recommend adding some star san to whatever you decide to order though. It makes sanitizing really really easy, and for goodness sake, do not fear the foam.

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Old 04-12-2011, 02:55 AM   #10
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+1 on the Midwest Intermediate Kit. This is what I started out with and I thought it was a great kit for a great price. Two primaries and two secondaries is nice especially since I like to dry hop in the secondary for IPAs or transfer to secondary to free up a new primary.
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/brewi...e-carboys.html

In my opinion, with the hundy that you have left, get a good 10 gallon (40 quart) stainless pot. Full boils contribute greatly to quality and an 8 gallon pot is minimum for making a full boil 5 gallon batch. A 10 gallon pot lets you relax during the boil and not be overly concerned with boil overs during your extract or hop additions. If he gets into more advanced stuff later, he can then use this for a mash tun or HLT later. I really think the 10 gal is the way to go. Search around on here for other opinions. He can also upgrade to a ball valve and thermometer later as well. If you're shopping Midwest, this one looks like a solid choice for the money.

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/heavy...-40-quart.html

Since these two would run to about $250 once you add in shipping and I realize it might be tight you could easily get the Basic kit instead. He can always get an extra fermenter bucket ($12), carboy ($20), and funnel later if wanted / needed. I've only had a need for my second carboy once and never used the funnel, but he'll likely want another fermenter later. They're cheap though. You'll have got him a GREAT kit to start without wasting money on things you won't use as well as getting a kettle that he won't need to replace / toss later when he wants to upgrade to more advanced brewing.

Also, +1 on Star San! Get the 4oz bottle if you're looking to save money on the order. Should be plenty for at least 4 batches. IMO, it's the easiest, cleanest way to sanitize and purpose-built for brewing. The foam is your friend!

Outside of this the next thing I got was a hydrometer test jar. Super cheap and much better / safer for your hydrometer than using the tube it came in.
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/hydro...2-plastic.html

For bottles, if your boyfriend likes beer (odds are good here) he can save up the non-screwtop bottles he's already drinking, de-label them by soaking in hot OxyClean for a few hours (or overnight) and rinsing / sanitizing them. It can be a PITA at first, but after you get your bottles done the first time, you're all set. Providing bottles is a nice touch, but if you do, I'd recommend making sure you can get flat-rate shipping for them since it'll be heavy!

Good luck and yes - you win the best girlfriend prize.

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