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Old 11-18-2011, 05:21 PM   #11
Hernando's Avatar
May 2011
Denver, CO
Posts: 491
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I agree with Walker, do a kit but I wouldn't start with a extract only kit. I would start with An extract that includes steeping grains. As for the type. I would do a wheat or a pale ale as these tend to condition faster and taste better with a faster turn around time. This will help you with the impatience you are about to go through. Cheers and make sure you update us on your first brew and welcome to the forums.
"Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, it is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver." --Jack Handey
O'tega Labrewtories

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Old 11-18-2011, 05:37 PM   #12
Nov 2011
Posts: 11
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Get a kit, learn the process of beer making first. Some extract brews, such as nut brown our IPA's have steeping, so that you can get a semi-bridge to all grain. From there you can come up with your own recipes. Think thats more logical and you know what you like. Welcome to the hobby and enjoy!

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Old 11-18-2011, 05:58 PM   #13
Nov 2010
Solway, MN
Posts: 10,036
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An engineer. eh? What kind of engineer? The kind that drives the train or the kind that designs the train?

I started with a very basic equipment kit and an extract ingredient kit and was brewing for under $100. I learned from that and bought the equipment that fit my kind of brewing, not some hopped up kit that someone else thought was a great idea. I've now gotten a few more things like extra fermenters (why do the kit makers assume you only need one, I have 5 now and 4 of them are full) and a bigger pot to boil in but still not a lot invested and I can add as I see fit. I'd suggest you spend the difference between the basic kit and the deluxe kit on ingredients and start practicing. You'll know better what suits you in a few months.

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Old 11-18-2011, 06:12 PM   #14
...My Junk is Ugly...
BierMuncher's Avatar
Jan 2007
St. Louis, MO
Posts: 12,417
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Originally Posted by Walker View Post
See? Told ya.
Here's another pretty good recipe for the winter months.

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Old 11-18-2011, 06:28 PM   #15
JohnTheBrewist's Avatar
Nov 2010
Posts: 617
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Since you say you don't want to be upgrading later, I wouldn't buy that equipment kit.

Brew pot: That kit only has a five gallon pot, you'll be wanting at least an 8 gallon pot later

Fermentor: Buckets are fine as fermentors. I like like these 6.5 gallon buckets with a screw on lid and drip free pouring. Just drill a hole in the top for a rubber stopper to hold your airlock. They're kinda pricey for a bucket, but I like how well they seal and the lid just twists off. At this stage, there really isn't a need for a secondary fermentor. You can add that later, if you decide you want to add fruit or dry hop.

If you're going to bottle, you'll want a bottling bucket with spigot and a bottle filler. (they don't list a bottling bucket).

Really no need to buy bottles. Just start asking around. Bars will often let you have their throw aways.

The rest of the items they list should be good to go though.
Somewhere between
your liver and spleen
its always clear
for one more beer!

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Old 11-18-2011, 08:27 PM   #16
daksin's Avatar
Aug 2011
San Diego, CA
Posts: 4,617
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Stuff you won't want to upgrade:

GET A HUGE KETTLE. The largest you can possibly afford. There is no such thing as too large a boil kettle. Once you start extracts with partial boils, you're going to want to do PM with full boils. Then you're going to want to AG with huge boils. Then you're going to want to do 10 gallon batches, and then 15.

This will be the majority of your initial investment, I suspect. IMO, there's no need for fancy hardware like the Blichman pots- go for volume.

Get a good immersion chiller, or make one. No need to get a huge 50 footer- seriously diminishing returns on anything longer than 25 feet.

Some fermentors: I like the better bottles myself, but there is absolutely no reason to not use buckets. None. I really like that they have handles, and wish my BBs did.

A turkey fryer or banjo burner is great for full boils, and you'll never regret having one.

A vinator and bottle tree will make bottling easier, but I've never used one and don't mind. I suspect you'll move to kegging before too long anyway.

I would start with a very few things (kettle, chiller, fermentor, and autosiphon), and THEN add things as you need them. That keeps your initial investment to a minimum, and allows you to get exactly what you want, when you want it in the future.
I can't be arsed to keep up this list of what's in the fermenters, but hey, check out the cool brewery I own! .. ..

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Old 11-18-2011, 08:29 PM   #17
Licensed Sensual Massage Therapist.
Homercidal's Avatar
Feb 2008
Reed City, MI
Posts: 31,681
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The Electric Brewery

There are others who tend to go all out...

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Old 11-18-2011, 08:46 PM   #18
I use secondaries. :p
Walker's Avatar
Sep 2005
Cary, NC
Posts: 10,987
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Originally Posted by BierMuncher View Post
Here's another pretty good recipe for the winter months.

doesn't count. I didn't link to it. But I'll accept the compliment.
Ground Fault Brewing Co.

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Old 11-18-2011, 09:06 PM   #19
Darwin18's Avatar
Nov 2008
Garner, NC
Posts: 5,339
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Shiny kettles and other expensive toys won't necessarily make your beer better. If you can afford to spend some money on temperature control and yeast starters you will quickly produce high quality beers.

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Old 11-18-2011, 09:20 PM   #20
Tyrone's Avatar
Nov 2011
RDU, North Carolina
Posts: 165
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

First of all, condolences for your family and/or significant other are in order.

Secondly, I too am an Engineer (Agri and Biological) and I started Brewing in 1996 with a couple of buckets and a carboy. Way past that now.

I second buying the best kettle you can. I have a great MegaPot Kettle with ss ball valve and brewmometer and it is the keystone of my brew days...


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