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Old 11-04-2008, 04:21 AM   #1
rossrainey
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Oct 2008
Athens, GA
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So I've been trying to figure out which beginners kit will be the best to purchase. I just need the basics since it is my first kit. My LHBS carries the true brew buckets with autosiphon upgrade. I've also looked into the midwest supplies basic kit and austin homebrew. The main question is are there any benefits to one kit over another? The midwest supplies has a 3 piece air lock where as my LHBS has the s curve but that's only a buck difference. Any help would be appreciated as I am planning on purchasing the kit tomorrow afternoon.

 
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Old 11-04-2008, 04:27 AM   #2
kaptk2
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Sep 2008
Billings MT
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Go with the LHBS kit, you will be able to ask them questions and they will know exactly what you are talking about because they sold you the kit. Plus you are going to end up buying more and more stuff as you go along.

 
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:42 AM   #3
Kauai_Kahuna
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rossrainey - I agree with kaptk2, having a good Local Homebrew store (LHBS) is a fantastic thing. If the price difference is not too much you should support it, and they will support you. If they are a bunch of stuck up ... then go with online.
Differences in airlocks is not a big thing, you will also want a tube for a blowoff line, and then go forth and brew beer.
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:50 AM   #4
BigKahuna
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaptk2 View Post
you will be able to ask them questions and they will know exactly what you are talking about because they sold you the kit.
That may be the single funniest (or most naive) thing I've heard all day.

True that the lhbs is your front line...good, bad, or indifferent. The sad thing is, you are not guaranteed good advice there, no matter how much **** you buy from them.

That said...look at it this way...you can drive home with your stuff tomorrow! And like shopping for a car...the LHBS is somewhat of an assault on the senses, and should not be ignored.
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Old 11-04-2008, 06:09 AM   #5
billtzk
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Apr 2007
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I think the "intermediate" or "deluxe" kits make a better starting place than the basic kits if you can afford it. They don't cost that much more. However, the basic kit is definitely serviceable.

The Midwest Intermediate kit with Better Bottles is a nice one. Austin Homebrew and Northern Brewer have some nice deluxe kits too. AHS and Midwest kits are pretty comparable. Be sure to factor in shipping costs.

I like the three-piece airlocks better for primary fermentation, and the S-curve locks for conditioning (aka "secondary").

I suggest you spring for an autosiphon if the kit you buy doesn't include one.

If given a choice between glass carboys and plastic (PET) Better Bottles, I'd opt for the latter. There are pros and cons, but now that the glass carboy factory in Mexico has shut down, the glass carboys imported from Italy cost more than the Better Bottles, so you'll save with the PET BBs. And glass is prone to breakage if you are not very careful, and sometimes even if you are.

You are also going to need a minimum of a 16 quart pot, but 20 quart is much better, for extract brewing. Long term if you stick with brewing, you're going to want an 8 to 10 gallon pot so you can do full boils, but that tends to be an expensive item and there are a number of important items to consider before you take that step, so just go with an inexpensive 20 qt pot to start.

Other than that, all the basic and intermediate or deluxe kits from the major vendors are pretty comparable, so go with your total cost including shipping (and an autosiphon).
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Old 11-04-2008, 06:31 AM   #6
SourHopHead
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigKahuna View Post
That said...look at it this way...you can drive home with your stuff tomorrow! And like shopping for a car...the LHBS is somewhat of an assault on the senses, and should not be ignored.
When I plan my brews out i'll usually go online, but when it is a spur of the moment thing I will hit the LHBS.

My LHBS prices have gone up considerably recently tho.
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