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-   -   What to buy for a beginner? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/what-buy-beginner-379095/)

HoboBrewing 01-06-2013 04:34 PM

What to buy for a beginner?
Hello. I have played around with making ciders and finally want to get into beer making. I currently have 6 gallon bb carboy, 5 gallon bb carboy, a bottling bucket, hydrometer, wine thief, auto siphon, airlocks and other basic tools.

Here are the first few recipes I would like to get started with:




I am currently further researching the process, but I was hoping that I could get a little help compiling a list of the equipment needed to get started brewing. I would like to buy quality equipment, but my current max budget is 250$. Do you think this amount will be enough to help me buy the equipment at my LHBS? Should I buy some equipment online?


philly224 01-06-2013 04:42 PM

It looks like you have most of what you need there, If I were you I'd look into getting a nice big brew pot and maybe some kind of turkey fryer or something depending on where you plan on brewing.

You could always go look at your LHBS and then if its out of your budget range go look online.

fermentinginpa 01-06-2013 04:44 PM

Are you going to be starting out as an extract brewer? You didn't list a kettle in the list of things you already own so that's a fairly obvious choice and depending on what your plans are for the future, kettles can be pricey. If you just want a basic kettle to start out with extract the cost will be well under your budget, if you want something that will be ready to go for all grain brewing it could be more than the $250 you are allocating.

Other than the kettle, a wort chiller is pretty important. Getting your wort down to fermenting temperature after the boil quickly will help make sure your beer doesn't get infected and that you don't have off flavors.

Hope that helps, there are a ton of things you could buy and that is part of the fun but you can make some great beer with some fairly basic equipment.

unionrdr 01-06-2013 04:45 PM

Yes,a good SS brew kettle (ie stock pot) would be a good thing to get at this point.

ThatGeekGuy 01-06-2013 07:27 PM

If you're going to start with extracts or mini-mash brews, then possibly move on to all grain, get an 8-10 gallon pot now. This will allow you to do full boils for extract, and be easily repurposed for all grain later down the road. A thermometer for monitoring your steeping and boils temps, one that clips to the side of the pot makes it easy to see at all times.

Boiling 3 - 6 gallons of water on any stove is a chore and takes a lot longer than a propane cooker. Brinkmann makes one with 120K BTUs that's about $50, and then a propane tank to go with it.

An immersion chiller will definitely make your life easier, a 50' stainless steel one will last you forever and is easier to keep clean. Maybe a few 6.5 gallon fermentation buckets, easier to clean than carboys and beer makes a bigger fermentation mess than wine. A bottle capper, unless your wine capper is dual purpose.

That should still leave a little money to pick up or put together a few kits to brew, along with the other odds n' ends we're currently overlooking.

Welcome to your new obsession.... :D

Polboy 01-06-2013 07:50 PM

all 3 recipes you stated are all grain so im guessing you want to do all grain brewing, in this case you for sure need pot (decide on the batch size you want to brew to buy correct size pot) and the cheapest version would be brew in the bag so you need a bag then you ready for brewing. You should still have some $ left so get yourself a chiller and if you dont want to work out with the bag full of grain when brewing look in to converting cooler in to mash tun, kettle, mash tun and chiller should be below $250 total. O i forgot about heat source, if stove is not an option then you need a burner, as other stated turkey fryer is the cheapest option

HoboBrewing 01-06-2013 10:41 PM

Thanks for all of the in depth replies. It does look like I will be starting off all grain.

Based off the replies I would like to have the following:


2.Mash tun

3.Immersion Chiller

4. Possibly a few more fermentation buckets (Might be able to get some free from costco/local bakery, but I'm not sure if there will be any greater than 5 gallons).

Does anyone know of any good deals on the above listed items online? I am starting to wish I took advantage of some of the deals on cybeer monday :(.

I will be heading up to the LHBS in a couple days to pick up the materials for the first recipe and anything I havn't purchased online. Thanks again!

HoboBrewing 01-14-2013 04:04 PM

I think I'm going to hunt all the equipment down slowly as see sales online or find it locally. I saw this kettle on sale for 40$ shipped. Do you think that is a good deal?


HoboBrewing 01-16-2013 09:39 PM


BigFloyd 01-16-2013 09:58 PM


Originally Posted by HoboBrewing (Post 4783807)
I think I'm going to hunt all the equipment down slowly as see sales online or find it locally. I saw this kettle on sale for 40$ shipped. Do you think that is a good deal?


I've been considering that one as well. Check out this thread discussion about it - http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/best...kettle-381940/

I'm also looking at these two:



Still not sure. I've been getting familiar with the basic process by doing some smaller (2-2.5 gallon) batches using a couple of Mr. Beer fermenters (one a Christmas present, the other someone else's present who didn't want to brew).

I've now got everything I need to step up to 5-gallon batches and hopefully BIAB, but still need a decent brew pot.

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