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-   -   what is a good starter kit? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/what-good-starter-kit-3711/)

thorberry 11-21-2005 12:38 AM

what is a good starter kit?
Hey everyone, I am looking into buying a starter beer brewing kit. I have looked at several kits, but to be honest I don't really know what I'm looking for. I would appreciate it if somebody could give me some feedback on a good starter kit. I am willing to spend upto about $200. Any other general tips would also be awesome. Thanks!


david_42 11-21-2005 01:03 AM

Either of the beginner's kits would be good for the fermentation/bottling part: kits Make certain it includes a hydrometer and a good thermometer.

You'll need a good pot, get a 30 quart pot that is heavy enough to avoid burning the wort. Spigots are nice but not necessary, you can add a no-weld later. (this will become your mash tun when you buy the 10/15 gallon kettle :D )

A long handled spoon. A couple mesh bags for steeping & hops. 5.2 pH buffer, if you plan on mini-mashes. Sanitizer.

Palmer's book "How to brew", bottles.

drengel 11-21-2005 01:52 AM

if youre willing to spend that much then youre gonna be set. just get a 7-10 gallon stainless steel pot to begin with, in the end when you want to brew with straight grains you'll be happy. most the kits come with everything else you need to get started. if you can get a kit with glass carboys instead of plastic buckets, then get that. also make youre first recipe something like a amber or brown ale and figure in 25-35 dollars for the recipe kit.

barleypopmaker 11-21-2005 02:23 PM

If you have that much to spend on start up equipment, you might want to think about getting or making a wort chiller, and for sure buy an outdoor propane burner, like what they use to fry turkeys. I picked one up for $25. You don't need the aluminum pot if your buying a 30qt stainless pot, but the burner will be great. It will save you a lot of wear and tear on your stove. I would suggest if your just getting started and have never brewed with anyone before, buy the intermediate kit. Most places sell a beginners, intermediate, and deluxe kit. The intermediate usually gives you a plastic bucket for your primary and bottling, and a glass carboy for secondary fermentation, a bottle capper, hydrometer, thermometer, carboy brush, auto-siphon, tubing, and a book. All you need then is your ingredients and bottles. You can check your local liquor store to see if they have returnable bottles and if they do you can usually buy a case for the cost of the deposit, usually around $1.20-$1.60/case. Then all you need to do is remove the labels.

DeRoux's Broux 11-21-2005 08:09 PM

this is a good starter kit from Northern Brewer http://www.northernbrewer.com/starterkits.html preferable the deluxe kit. that'll get you moving for $139 plus shipping. i'm sure some other sits have good starter kits. Ausitn Homebrew (www.austinhomebrew.com) has free shipping over $60 and www.morebeer.com does good too.
a nice stainless pot (at least 6-7 gallons) is good to start off with too.

JOHN51277 11-21-2005 08:48 PM

I Personally Started Out With The Mr Beer Kit. After 2 Brews I Went And Bought A Deluxe All Glass Kit. It Was 139.00 It Allows Me To Expand My Brewing And Try Just About Anything. The Mr Beer Kit Reminds Me Of That Ramen Noodles Just Add Water And Cook. There Are Unlimited Things You Can Do With The 5 Or 6 Gallon Kits. And There Is Twice As Much Beer(which Is A No Brainer). Good Luck And Happy Brewing.

FrewBrew 11-22-2005 01:12 AM

my local HBS had a True Brew kit that cost me ~$70.00 at my local HBS. Included primary, bottling bucket, hydrometer, sanitizing chemicals, bottling tip, and auto-siphon.

With this kit, you'll need to have a ~3 gallon kettle to boil your wort. You can get away without doing a 2ndary, however I suggest using one... for clarity.

I got lucky in that I had an unlimited amount of fermenters (practically) thanks to my father (former vinter). So, in addition to this kit, you'd need to buy a 5 gallon fermenter (primary should be larger than the 2ndary... 2ndary you only need 5 gallons, primary I suggest going at least 6.5 gallons)

Now, that said, you can go with kits that are larger... most sites offer a variety of options, I suggest getting one with a wort chiller, and 2 fermenters.

Try some of the HBS sites found on this site: http://homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=701&highlight=suppliers

most of these sites have starter kits, some of them include everything you need, others have just the bare bones basics, you can decide what you like/need.

Good luck, and happy brewing!

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