First Time Brewer, Which Kit to Buy? - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > First Time Brewer, Which Kit to Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-02-2010, 03:32 PM   #1
Raider21
Recipes 
 
Sep 2010
VA
Posts: 4


Good morning fellas,

I am looking for some suggestions on picking a brewing kit. Planning to spend between $150 and $300. I have found several kits, shown below, but don’t know about the quality or the advantages of one over the other. Any feedback on the following kits, or recommendations of another manufacturer would be greatly appreciated.
Oscar

Here's what I've found in my price range:
Austin Homebrew Supply Deluxe Brewing Kit - $240.49
The kit includes:
• 7.9 gallon plastic primary fermenter
• Your choice of a 5 gallon glass or plastic carboy secondary fermenter. See menu below.
• 3-piece airlock
• 3/8" standard auto-siphon
• 6 feet of 3/8" siphon hose
• Spring-loaded bottle filler
• Nylon grain bag
• 21" stainless steel spoon
• Triple scale hydrometer
• Fermtech Thief
• Floating thermometer
• 7 gallon bottling bucket w/spigot
• Bottle capper
• Bottle caps
• Cleaner/Sanitizer
• 33' wort chiller
• Faucet adapter
• Advanced Homebrewing Book
Toll-Free Technical Support

Brewers Best Advanced Home brewing system $169.95
Beer Making Plus Kit with Secondary Fermenter and Ingredients
Includes:
• 6.5 gallon fermenter with lid
• 6.5 gallon bottling bucket with spigot
• Two 3 piece air-locks
• One-step sanitizer
• Siphon unit (racking cane, 4 ft. hose & springless bottle filler)
• Crystal thermometer
• Triple scale hydrometer
• Bucket clip
• Quality bottle capper
• 50 Bottle Caps
• Bottle brush
• "Home Beer Making" book
• 21" Stainless steel spoon
• Fermtech Auto-Siphon
• John Palmer's "How to Brew"
• 5-gallon Better-Bottle plastic carboy
• Rubber stopper
• Your choice of one Alpine Brew Kit
• Step-by-step instructions


Midwest Homebrewing Supplies - $169.
The Complete Brewing Package Equipment Kit #2 with Irish Red Ale Includes:
• Instructional Homebrewing Video or DVD
• 71 page instructional book
• 5 Gallon Glass Carboy
• 6.5 Gallon Plastic Fermenter with Lid
• 6.5 Gallon Bottling Bucket with Spigot
• 8 Oz. of Easy Clean No-Rinse Cleanser
• Drilled Universal Carboy Bung
• Airlock (Keeps air out of the fermenter)
• Hydrometer (Determines alcohol content)
• Bottle Brush
• Carboy Brush
• Twin Lever Red Baron Bottle Capper
• Bottle Caps
• Liquid Crystal Thermometer
• Bottle Filler
• Fermtech AutoSiphon upgrade
• Siphon Tubing
• Shutoff clamp
• A 5-gallon Stainless Steel Brew Kettle
• Irish Red Ale Recipe Kit
• And 2 cases of 12 ounce bottles

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2010, 03:52 PM   #2
Germelli1
Recipes 
 
Jul 2010
Blacksburg/Herndon, VA
Posts: 2,156
Liked 36 Times on 36 Posts


The brewers best is WAAAAAAAAAAY overpriced. I got a similar one for about $70. The other two look good though.

The main things you need are:
1) Aluminum or stainless brew pot
Size is up to you but if you have any trouble deciding or want to use it as you get more advanced I would get at least 8 gallon
2) Plastic or glass fermenter with airlock-6.5 gallons or more
3) Bottling bucket with spigot
Not required but a huge help
4) SANATIZER (you can use bleach and vinegar safely diluted in water)
4) Siphon tubing and bottle filler
5) Capper and caps
6) Utensils and measuring devices-thermometers, HYDROMETER, stirring spoon, etc


Everything else is just toys that make the process easier or more fun. You can collect your own bottles or ask a bar/resturant/party venue for their empties.

I would personally reccomend piecing together your own kit with a brewpot add-on or buy your own from a resturant supply store, or like many of us, get a used or new turkey fryer. I personally prefer aluminum brewpots so I am going to upgrade with one from a resturant/food service supplyer. A secondary is not typically necesary and I am glad I spent money initial buying more fermenters and waiting for a carboy to pop up on craigslist for $10
__________________
If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I would spend 6 sharpening my axe. ~Abe Lincoln

baystatebrew Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2010, 04:14 PM   #3
Strangebird
Recipes 
 
Aug 2010
Arlington, MA
Posts: 147
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts


The Austin kit looks WAY overpriced as well. The midwest one looks by far the best considering the price and that it also comes with a brew pot which the others don't. I'd go with that one or put one together yourself.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2010, 04:19 PM   #4
Austinhomebrew
Recipes 
 
Mar 2007
Posts: 3,588
Liked 121 Times on 100 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Strangebird View Post
The Austin kit looks WAY overpriced as well. The midwest one looks by far the best considering the price and that it also comes with a brew pot which the others don't. I'd go with that one or put one together yourself.
Our kit ships for FREE. You have to add the fact that Midwest will charge you $40 to ship the kit to you. If you still think you will get a better deal at Midwest let me know. Send me a PM.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2010, 04:51 PM   #5
superjunior
Recipes 
 
Mar 2010
ohio
Posts: 1,252
Liked 11 Times on 11 Posts


besides free shipping the austin kit also comes with a wort chiller unlike the others. only other thing you'll need is a kettle and I'd get at least an 8 gallon

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2010, 12:20 AM   #6
Raider21
Recipes 
 
Sep 2010
VA
Posts: 4

Gents,
Thanks for all the feedback. I'd like to build my own kit, but can't seem to find a homebrew store in northern Virginia area. Where do the experts shop near Fredericksburg, VA?
r,
Oscar

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2010, 12:45 AM   #7
baystatebrew
Recipes 
 
Jan 2009
Boston, MA
Posts: 116
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts


+1 on germelli's first response to this post. keep it simple. you do not need to spend anywhere near 300 for equipment for your first batch. people do, but to me, it seems like you get a better feel for the basics by keeping it simple. for your first brew, personally, i'd stay away from anything called "deluxe." that is a word the marketing people of the world just love but means nothing. kettle (aluminum or steel). water. dry yeast. malt extract. hops (pellet or whole). long spoon. primary fermenter. priming container with spigot. basic kitchen strainer. siphon hose. that is ALL you need to be successful on your first try. there is a lot more that you will want on batch 2 but it's better to start with the bare minimum and then figure out for yourself what stuff will help next time. $100-$125 is all you need to brew a great 1st batch, equipment and ingredients included.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2010, 12:46 AM   #8
likwidbliss
Recipes 
 
Jan 2009
Hamlin, NY
Posts: 450
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts


I am not pushing Austin but they have some good items in there. I built my own, but for a one-fits-all kit I would go with Austin.
.
__________________
_______________________

spence

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2010, 12:48 AM   #9
baystatebrew
Recipes 
 
Jan 2009
Boston, MA
Posts: 116
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts


austin is a great site to order from IMHO though. very competitive prices.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2010, 12:50 AM   #10
baystatebrew
Recipes 
 
Jan 2009
Boston, MA
Posts: 116
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts


also...you don't need a friggin wort chiller. if you've got a tub, water, and 2 bags of ice, that is fine. worry about the chiller in a few years after you've brewed a few batches.

 
Reply With Quote


Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
first time brewer KeithMoonsLiver Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 07-25-2010 02:34 AM
Long time drinker, first time brewer... chuke Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 4 10-14-2009 01:46 AM
Recipe advice for long time lurker, first time brewer... aristocrat Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 11 03-08-2009 04:35 AM
First Time Brewer Needs Help . . . DaytonFlyer Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 14 01-29-2008 09:18 PM
First Time Brewer voodoochild7 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 10-14-2005 03:53 PM


Forum Jump