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Old 10-18-2006, 03:42 PM   #1
Oct 2006
Posts: 14

First, allow me to take a moment to introduce myself.

I'm a happy Canuck who has been wanting to take on a home brew setup for quite some time, but have never had room for it. SWMBO and I have recently moved into a new house, and we're in the process of finishing our basement, in which I'll have room for a Wet Bar/Brew Station including Refrigerator/Sink/Slate Work Surface and storage that resides at a comfy and reasonably stable 69 degrees.

The Wet Bar/ Brew Station will be an against the wall affair, kind of like a mini kitchen, and we'll have about 8' of counter run (including the sink) with some uppers including a custom Carboy Rack I’ll hand-build for fermenting/gravity-siphoning – with some special safety features such as a heavy-duty lever operated swing-up holder to eliminate lifting and pushing heavy/full carboys onto a high shelf. We'll have a slate or stone countertop and backsplash, so we can use a burner to boil wort right on the counter (if desired - and with some safety precautions).

We'll have the capacity to store up to 4 5g carboys or demijohns for fermenting and plan to have a 6.5g primary with several 5g secondary’s on the go in light controlled conditions at any one time. (I like a variety of beers, so the ability to have some pale/reds/fruity/unusual beer on the go at any one time will be a nice side benefit.)

I've been looking at "Kits" and starters and whatnot, but think I want to personalize my setup with equipment chosen by me.
Based on the very good information on these forums, I've decided to start with extract brews and work toward partial mash or all grain at some future point.
To these ends, I think the following shopping list will allow me to begin my brew odyssey and really experience the joys of creating my own.

I'd be happy to listen to any feedback on my parts-list and/or tips from the community here. Everyone seems like good folks, and there's never a bad time to talk about beer, or help others enjoy their own beer, IMHO.

From morebeer.com:

BE300 Boiling Kettle 5g ~$34.95
FE330 Glass Carboy 6.5g ~$22.00
2x FE505 Carboy Hood (6.5 G) ~$2.50ea
2x FE510 Carboy Handle (6.5g) ~5.50ea
2x FE320 Glass Carboy 5g ~$18.50ea
2x FE500 Rubber Carboy Hood (5gallon) ~$2.50ea
2x FE510 Carboy Handle ~4.50ez
2xBE450 Carboy Drainer ~$6.75ea
2x R375 :Racking Cane, Stainless 3/8" x 26" ~$10.95 ea
~10-15' of 3/8" ID tubing ~$5.00
R410 Plastic Ball Valve (3/8" ID) x2 ~$2.25 ea
2xFE370 3 Piece Airlock ~$1.00 ea
Y410 500 ML Erlinmeyer Flask ~$5.95
MT380 Thermometer ~$7.95

For 1 6.5g and 1 5g carboy ~$144.00
For Complete List ~$185.00

Upgrade Wishlist:

FE550 Fermentap (Turn a carboy upside down into a pseudo-conical) ~$24.50
A burner/Stand to use with the kettle (May go to a camp equipment store for this) ?

Subtotal with wishlist ~$210+

Now to make it go:

KIT05: Light Ale Extract $18.00
KIT115: MId Brown Extract $18.00
KIT118 Berry Beer - Extract $24.00
KIT 145: Irish Red Ale - Extract $24.00
KIT605 Thanksgiving Ale - Extract (pumpkin) $21.00

For $~325 get All brewing equipment, ability to brew ~10 gallons at one time, and 25 gal worth of a variety of beers.

Note: I’ll get bottling supplies as I go along so as to alleviate the initial expense, and so as to possibly alternate bottle colours for different beer types. I may also look at some sort of 1 g solution as a mini keg or beer-pig sorta deal for in the fridge, on-tap.

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Old 10-18-2006, 03:56 PM   #2
Nov 2005
I'm gone!
Posts: 666
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Where in canajunland are you located? Importing stuff from the US will kill you with shipping and brokerage fees.

If you're serious about building a homebrew set up and wet bar, why not plan to go to all grain/keg and incoporate the plans and space now?

Most bewers get fed up with bottling in short order and go to kegs. Kits are OK to start off with, but you'll soon want to upgrade to partial/full mash.

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Old 10-18-2006, 04:35 PM   #3
Oct 2006
Posts: 14

Calgary AB.

Yah, the Betterbeer.com pricing were just estimates for my local shopping trips.
We have a wealth of home brew stores around, so I'm going to be checking some out 'tween now and the holidays to find one that I like, who has a reasonably good selection of extract/grain supplies for me to choose from, and who's prices I like.

I'm ahead of you on the keg situation.
Its already been planned for space.....just that I'm in no particular hurry in that regard.

For me, I want to relax into the hobby and not get stressed out about equipment right away. I want to brew a few in carboys, and enjoy em, then expand my serving/brewing options in a methodical, leisurely fashion.

Thanks for the thought though. It was appreciated!

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Old 10-18-2006, 04:43 PM   #4
Chairman Cheyco
Chairman Cheyco's Avatar
Dec 2005
Posts: 3,246
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Yeah, where are you? You should be able to get most of that stuff, even in Canada I have been able to get most of my setup locally. Safeway and Co-op carry a ton of homebrew stuff at good prices (even including carboys.)
A couple observations. You have three carboys and only two airlocks, even if you're thinking you'll use a blow-off for primary, it's always best to have an extra, they're cheap. If that erlenmyer flask is for starters, 500ml will be too small. Even the smallest starter is about 500ml and you still need to have room in there for fermentation, get at least the 2l version.

Welcome to the board!

Edit: Calgary! I'm from Calgary! Finally someone to brew with!!!! In that case, you can get most, if not all that stuff around town. Go to Safeway and Co-op first, then go to The Vineyard for the tough to find stuff.
Once the wind has been broken, it cannot be fixed.

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Old 10-18-2006, 05:46 PM   #5
Aug 2006
Boerne, Texas
Posts: 432

One word...KEGS

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Old 10-18-2006, 05:59 PM   #6
Ol' Grog
Sep 2006
Chickasha, OK.
Posts: 1,035
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I'm here to TELL YOU, as a first time brewer early last month and have bottled 4 cases of brew, I already ordered and received my KEG setup. Do your self a favor and save the money from bottling by investing it in kegging. TRUST ME, you will absolutely thank me numerous times. Kegging, IMO, is easiest to learn and by way far the easiest to condition.
I'd go with the following if I had to do it all over:
1 plastic 6.5 gal fermenter
1 glass 6.5 gal secondary
plastic racking cane
5 feet of 3/8ths hose
10 pound bottle of CO2
2 rebuilt kegs
1 dual regulator
all the hoses used for kegging
5-8 cu.ft. chest freezer
freezer temperature controller
digital thermometer, get a good one.
Most of all that I suggested here have been argued back and forth on this forum. To me, this would be the best of both worlds. Just remember, when you start your first brew session, it will be at least 2 to 3 weeks, depending on the conditioning, before your able to drink it. That wait will drive you NUT-SO.

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Old 10-21-2006, 03:54 AM   #7
Jason Halter
Sep 2006
Posts: 33

welcome to the homebrew scene. Nice to see a few canadians. I'm from Petawawa, ON. I'm sure most of you fellow canucks out there have heard of this place recently...Back to to topic now.

Anyway I see you have no mention for a burner(turkey deep frier stand)

If your Gonna brew beer you need one of those baby's. And Probably a good idea to have an extra Propane tank around. Cause you don't ever want to unexpextedly run out of gas in the middle of a boil.

Price.. $50.00-$75.00 @ crappy-tire. Or just watch the flyers in the mail, some times on sale at all different places.

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Old 10-21-2006, 04:01 AM   #8
Chairman Cheyco
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Dec 2005
Posts: 3,246
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Originally Posted by Jason Halter

Ah yes, the mark of the true Canuck!

Once the wind has been broken, it cannot be fixed.

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Old 10-21-2006, 04:38 AM   #9
Jun 2006
Ajax, Upper Canada (Toronto)
Posts: 470
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Welcome aboard!

I recommend going for a simpler set up to start. You can always add more as needed.
Brew pot: go with something bigger, 7.5-8 gallon range it will save u $ in the long run when you switch to full boils of 5.5+ gallons.
I would avoid the US stores because of brokerage fess for the border.
www.paddockwood.com has excellent service, variety and shipping times.

Carboys, airlocks and bungs are needed. A hydrometer and thermometer would also be handy. A milk crate also works in place of carboy handles.
I would also look into a bottle washer and auto-syphon (as seen on the review part of this site).

As far as getting a bunch of kits at once...I would get one or two at a time so that they arent sitting around for months...and it will give you a chance to experiment
with variations on the same recipe.

Good luck and let us know if you need any info on specific items.

P.S. www.howtobrew.com is a great source on beer making.

Primary :
On Order: nothing at all..for a few months
Thinking about: Plisner malt and saaz hops

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Old 10-21-2006, 05:03 AM   #10
Denny's Evil Concoctions
Grande Megalomaniac
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Oct 2005
West Kelowna BC, Canada
Posts: 7,733
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Yep Kegging will save you a lot of time and is less annoying. That said I think you should bottle a few brews so you know what that is like. Besides you aren't really a true homebrewer if you haven't bottled at least once!

Before long you'll be installing 3 burners and be doing AG brewing... I suggest hooking up with Cheyco some time and seeing what that is all about.

Ubrews can be good sources for bulk liquid malt. Many out west use "Canadian United Malting" malt which has diastatic enzymes (amylase) added so you can convert adjuncts. Out here it's about $6/ Liter ( 3 lbs). And hops can be found there for cheap, at least they are here.

Good luck, welcome to the board. And post pics of your project.

So how many of us northerners does that make now..eh?
I may not be an expert, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express........ 6 months ago.



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