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Old 11-17-2012, 10:56 PM   #1
rscottlow
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Nov 2012
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I'm planning on starting to brew sometime after Christmas, but I'm not entirely sure where to start. There's a pretty nice home brew shop about 45 mins away, and I'll probably go there to buy supplies. How much should I spend on equipment? I know they have kits ranging between $60-100. Is it worth it to get the more expensive one?

 
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:05 PM   #2
Doctor_Wily
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It all depends on what you are planning to do. Extract kits or all grain? I started (and still do) extract kits because I don't have enough space for all grain (yet) to store the equipment when not in use. I used a groupon from Midwest for my kit which ran me around 76 and included an ingredient kit. Their brewing kit came with a bottling wand, tubing, fermenter, bottling bucket, capper, hydrometer, bottle brush, and probably something else I'm forgetting. They also run their groupon fairly frequently so maybe keep an eye out for it.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:31 AM   #3
C-Rider
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You CAN do all grain if you do smaller batches. What size is your boil pot?

I do 1.75 gallon BIAB batches all the time and enjoy having a big choise as to what I'm gonna drink. I get about 16 bottles a brew and don't have to drink 50 bottles of the same stuff as I did when doing 5 gallon batches.

I have a 5 gallon cooler to mash in and a 4 gallon pot to boil in. This way if I want to go a little bigger I can easly do 2 gallon batches which yeald about 20 bottles.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:36 AM   #4
Doctor_Wily
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doing all grain is on my to do list for sure. I plan to get equipment this summer for it once I organize some room. Extract is fine for what I'm doing at this time. I don't really want to do anything less than a 5 gallon batch. I've been debating getting into partial mash at some point here soon as a "stepping stone" if you will.
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:27 AM   #5
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I tend to try and get the biggest bang for the buck. Compare the different kits and go with the one that has the best supply of neccessaries like hydrometers, thermometers and siphon tubes. You will find that you use the frequently and as such you should probably get the kit that includes as many of them as you can. There is also a school of thought that supports the PET Betterbottles over the glass ones, but I tend to think that is just a personal choice. While you are planning dont forget to get a bottle washer for your sinks and plenty of cleaning and sanitizing chemicals too. You can never clean enough, once you get an infected batch you will understand why I say that. It is truly an addiction for me at this point, but I started out last christmas and did esentially the same thing you are thinking about and have been building a three tier and controller when I am well enough to go outside and play. So jump in, get a good deal on a well equiped started kit and have at it. You will be amazed how easy it really is and how much fun you can have doing it.
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:40 AM   #6
Calder
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Try asking what folks think is the most important things for a beginner (doing extract with steeping grains) needs to get. That will give you an idea what you need to get.

 
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:49 AM   #7
jCOSbrew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calder
Try asking what folks think is the most important things for a beginner (doing extract with steeping grains) needs to get. That will give you an idea what you need to get.
All the basic kits should include the following

Fermentation bucket
Air lock
Bottling bucket
Bottle capper
Bottle wand
Auto siphon or racking cane and tubing
Hydrometer
Thermometer

I would make a batch or 2 and decide what extras you want/need. Also pick up Palmer's How To Brew.

I haven't seen the Midwest groupon in a while but it is a steal.

 
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:05 AM   #8
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Whatever kit you order, it will probably come with no rinse cleaner.
Order starsan!
The cleaner that comes with the kit is pretty much oxyclean. Great cleaner, but you need Sanitizer.
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:06 AM   #9
Doctor_Wily
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yea that was something mine came with was the powdered no rinse cleaner. it worked alright but I got star san after my 1st batch.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:29 AM   #10
lgilmore
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I started with their most basic kit at midwest. Then added a wort chiller, auto siphon, bottle washer, extra cleaner, extra muslin socks. From the grocery stores a lid opener 1.98, secondary fermentor 5.98, collander 3bucks, strainer 5 bucks. Home depot turkey fryer with burner 50 bucks.

This has worked very well for the 20 batches I have made so far. The other things purchased are just for the beer making and single use stuff from internet shops and my local homebrew supplier.

I think you should decide if you're going to brew inside or outside as well. I brew outside, for a lot of reasons, clean up is easier, boil overs are easier to deal with and my wife is happier. A happy wife means happy brewing. Flooding the stove with hot sticky wort can really P O the misses.

 
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