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Old 11-06-2009, 04:43 AM   #1
Nov 2009
Posts: 17

hey guys,
i'm basically just trying to figure out if there's much of a different in all the beginner set ups out there. any recommendations? we're brand new to this and starting off small, but the ability to expand somewhat quickly would be a big plus.

thanks in advance.

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Old 11-06-2009, 04:59 AM   #2
Nov 2008
Posts: 697
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Originally Posted by dirtyfrank557 View Post
hey guys,
i'm basically just trying to figure out if there's much of a different in all the beginner set ups out there. any recommendations? we're brand new to this and starting off small, but the ability to expand somewhat quickly would be a big plus.

thanks in advance.
Just start big. You'll thank me later. I'm on my 5th revision of equipment.
Just got my $80 GFCI appliance cord in the mail, and can start building my control box. Sure, you're thinking you'll never get that crazy. pfft....


Due to recent economic crisis, stock market crash, budget cuts, and the rising cost of everything including taxes: "The Light at the End of The Tunnel" has been turned off.

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Old 11-06-2009, 05:00 AM   #3
Parker36's Avatar
Sep 2007
Posts: 4,742
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The kits from AustinHomeBrew or MidwestSupply are all very good.

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Old 11-06-2009, 05:09 AM   #4
Aug 2009
Posts: 10

They are all just buckets, siphons, carboys, yada, yada, yada. The real decision you have is your first kettle. You can go cheap or you can spend a TON on a brew kettle.

You also want to make sure this is for you before you sink a bunch into it. My advice, get the starter kit from Midwest supplies and look for a very recent thread in this forum about a turkey fryer from Bass Pro for $39(32 qt AL pot and propane burner). You'll be in for around $170 and have stuff you can use if you expand.

Turkey fryer link here

Reason: Added link

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Old 11-06-2009, 05:15 AM   #5
pdbreen's Avatar
Oct 2009
Mad River Valley, VT
Posts: 352
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I got my starter kit close to 20 years ago at my LHBS and they really haven't changed much over the years. A couple of buckets, a capper, some caps, a racking can, some tubing, etc. I still use the 2 buckets that came in the kit - though one is now a grain bucket and the other is for sanitizer on brew day.

If you stick with it, the major upgrades are:
- adding more/larger carboys so you can have a couple brews going at once (my new carboys are Better Bottles that I'm really liking)
- switching to kegging (washing bottles gets old fast)
- moving on to all grain
Atomic Dog Brewery

On Deck: Centennial IPA, Dry Irish Stout
P: Cascade Pale Ale
S: (nothing!)
K: (nothing!)
T: Carbed Crystal Light, Root Beer, Vanilla Cream Soda, Tripel IPA, Apfelwein

e^(pi*i) + 1 = 0

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Old 11-06-2009, 07:07 AM   #6
Registered User
May 2008
Westside..... CenCal - the country that'll never take away my guns or money !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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yesterday at walfart i saw a 7 or 8 gallon alumi turkey frier with burner $50.

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Old 11-06-2009, 01:31 PM   #7
Dog House Brew
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Jun 2008
Posts: 1,068
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Rather than buying a kit, I would build my system with what you want. I bought a beginner kit and wish I had built mine. Spend you money up front on a good kettle and burner. Buy something that is larger than you think you need. You can convert a keg or buy a nice Mega-pot. You will want fittings in your kettle for sure. The picking up and dumping is dangerous and hard on the back. Remember easy to clean is good. I started on the stove with a small pot. I wish I had skipped the stove and bought a quality burner and stand. I bought a cheap stand and pot. Had I started with the correct things in the beginning I would have save a ton of cash. Once you begin, it progresses into an awesome hobby. You can get started reasonably. Look up and it is a good read. Look at his equipment and that's how I would start. Simple process, simple equipment, great beer! Good luck
Are You Going to Drink all That?

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Old 11-06-2009, 02:18 PM   #8
Boerderij_Kabouter's Avatar
Dec 2007
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
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Old 11-06-2009, 04:20 PM   #9
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Dec 2006
Newnan, Georgia
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Yes there is a difference you basically get what you pay for. Take a look at Basic, Better Basic, Deluxe and Ultimate for example.

Having the ability to expand is an excellent concept around which to start building your brewery.

My advise is to educate yourself first. How to brew by John Palmer 1st edition is free online. Ask questions online, consider DIY as much as possible. Don't be to quick about jumping in with small cheap equiment you'll quckly outgrow. Brew Ware was a good book that helped me understand the array of equiment and gave me some ideas about what I might build myself, find cheap or free rather than pay retail prices for.

After just a little bit of reading I decided that extract brewing wouldn't be interesting or hold my attention so I started out doing All Grain and built a lot of my own equipment. But you may feel differently that's why I say educate yourself first. Then buy the biggest and best equipment you can afford. Watch this site when bargains pop up people often post them here. Also ebay, craigslist you may find good deals from people getting out of the hobby.

Last but not least stay out of the kitchen and brew outside, in the garage or carport, on the balcony it can be messy and it's easier to hose off the carport or balcony than the kitchen
Do what you like!
Brew what you like!

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