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Old 12-12-2011, 04:33 PM   #1
sing66
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Default Seeking Advice for starter kit

Hello Brew Masters,

I would like to buy my brother a nice starter kit for Christmas and have no idea where to start. I have a feeling he would enjoy this new hobby and get hooked very quickly.

My budget is $100-$150. Is there a particular kit you would recommend that would include all necessary parts to get started?

Thanks in advance,

Merrie, Mike's big sis


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Old 12-12-2011, 05:17 PM   #2
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Take a look at Midwestsupplies.com. They have starter kits for as little as some $65. A little more if you want a beer kit with it,or other extras. But best of all,they have Fed-Ex home delivery which is really fast. Not to mention,their 2nd cheapest delivery option!


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Old 12-12-2011, 05:20 PM   #3
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this is a hard question for someone that is brewing themselves, let alone a gift for someone else. in my opinion, you should go to the local home brew supply shop and get their most basic kit. Then give the rest in a gift certificate to the same place, and he can customize the rest based on his wants, and brewing space.
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Old 12-12-2011, 05:40 PM   #4
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I got the midwest kit that's around $90, and I would recommend getting a wine thief and/or hydrometer test jar with it. I had to use the packaging of the hydrometer the first few times, and it's not made for that. I ended up getting the fermtech thief and can drop the hydrometer right in. I'm happy with it. I'd also buy some ingredients and extra caps--the starter kits only come with enough caps for one batch (and a few extra). You'll also need to budget for a kettle. That might put you over budget with a couple batches of ingredients, but some people have big stock pots sitting around.
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Old 12-12-2011, 06:01 PM   #5
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I've used the tube the hydrometer came in all along. Never 1 problem with it,& it's accurate so far. Just make sure he gets the basic parts needed.
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:47 PM   #6
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I think it is safe to say that he will be starting off doing extract batches so here is, at minimum, what I can think of off the top of my head for what to look for in a basic kit!

A 6.5 gallon bucket w/lid, airlock and stopper for lid, 3-5 gallon boil kettle (5 is nice but not necessary), hydrometer, decent thermometer (I like digital), a 2-8 cup measuring cup or digital scale, measuring spoons (tsp/tbsp), a long (24"-36") stirring spoon, Palmer's book "How to Brew", either Star-San or Iodophor sanitizer.

There are many, many more items that could be purchased but I think this is the makings of a pretty good (very basic) starter kit so if you find one with this stuff in it you should be on the right track. Of course if there is more stuff in the kit than that is OK too!

(bonus stuff could be a wort chiller, brewsmith software, a stirplate and flask for yeast starters, and of course gift certificates for kits/ingredients for making beer)

This is just my opinion so please research thoroughly and good luck!
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:50 PM   #7
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I got the deluxe Brewers Best Kit. The only thing i have added to it was a thief. I also got mine from my local shop. Consider a gift card to the local brew shop (if you have one in your location). Building a relationship with the local brew shop can be useful and is just fun shopping in a brew shop!
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:55 PM   #8
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For $150 the Northern Brewer Deluxe kit has absolutely everything he'll need, minus an ingredients kit. It's really the best deal, I think, as far as having absolutely everything plus some really nice luxury extras for the money.
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:21 PM   #9
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My advice would be to just get one fermenter. Most kits have a primary and secondary, but, most people here only use a primary.

Northern Brewer Deluxe comes with 2.

There is one advantage to having 2 fermenters; you can have two batches fermenting at once. I never do that though so I have a 5 gallon secondary which never gets used.
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:00 PM   #10
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You'll get a lot of opinions - I'm partial to the Cooper's DIY kit. You get everything to brew your first batch; beer kit, bottles and caps, priming tabs, hydrometer, spoon, fermenter, etc. All you need is to do is be able to heat up a couple of liters of water and off you go. $99 and i think $8 flat rate to ship.

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Whatever you end up with, welcome to the obsession and happy brewing.

Cheers!


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