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Old 10-24-2009, 12:16 AM   #1
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Default good beginners kit

I am sure this has been asked before, but when i do a search I get too many posts that dont match...

I am getting ready to take the plunge and will be brewing my first batch. My question is, what is a good extract kit. I started to type "best beginners kit" but I understand that everyone will have a different point of view. The commercial beers I enjoy is Sam Adam's Octoberfest, Alaskan Amber and just recently discovered Shock Tops Belgian White...

I have looked at several kits and am leaning toward True Brew kits. The directions seem pretty thorough. What does everyone think?

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Old 10-24-2009, 12:30 AM   #2
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I would maybe skip the kit and go to the recipe section and brew one of the many outstanding recipes there, if you have a brew shop close by. Probably couldnt go wrong with something like this..

or this

..just a thought, my 1st and only kit was a Brewers Best that I got with my equipment, no complaints, then I found out how easy it was to adjust recipes with Beersmith (which is free for 20 days or so). Good luck

Primary 1 - Jamils Robust Porter
Primary 2 - empty
Bottled - #1 English Brown Ale, #2 Ordinary Bitter, #3 Irish Red, #4 Edwerts Pale Ale

On Deck: Obsidian Stout Clone
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:44 AM   #3
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Go to your LHBS and get a Coopers kit in your preferred style. Do not follow the instructions. Get a fresh yeast packet if you're not a gambling type.
Ask for input from your LHBS guy on how much Extract you should add to the can.
Take it home, open your copy of How to Brew, or go to the website and follow Palmer's instructions on how to brew an extract batch.
I recommend this approach as a new kid myself because it was easy and mindless and allowed me to focus on the million other things like sanitation.
Other people will tell you other stuff.
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Old 10-24-2009, 01:21 AM   #4
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If you have a local homebrew supply (LBHS as people have mentioned above) then it might be worth it to stop in there if this is your first brew. It's always nice to talk to an experienced person so you can get some additional help. That being said, it certainly isn't a requirement.

If you're looking for quality extract kits there are a number of good places to order online as well. Some of my favorites are Austin Homebrew Supply, Midwest, and Northern Brewer. All of their kits come with quality ingredients, are priced well, and have outstanding instructions to guide you through the process without overwhelming you.

Once you brew from a pre-made kit or two you'll have no problem at all picking up some ingredients in bulk and trying other recipes either from books or online.
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Old 10-24-2009, 01:24 AM   #5
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It really depends on how comfortable you are with the process, because the last thing you really want to be doing is get half way through the boil only to realize you forgot to buy the right hops, yeast, etc or you didn't sanitize your bucket as the wort is getting poured in. Getting a kit is a good way to understand the process and pay attention to the procedural detail before you get into recipes, etc. That being said, the instructions in kits will provide you with very basic details and you'll discover a lot of little tricks can really improve your beer.

In that regard, you should just find a kit that matches the kind of beer you like or is a clone of a commercial beer you like.

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