Beginner equipment purchase review (Canada)

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Brew Matt

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I will be purchasing some brewing/wine making equipment soon and wanted to run my idea by those more experienced before dropping some coin. I am in Winnipeg, Canada and am interested in making a mix of country wines and beers. Since I am a beginner with space limitations (apartment), I will be only doing no-boil beer kits (Coopers, Festa Brew, etc) for the time being.

Without further adieu, here is what I am looking at purchasing:
  1. Coopers DIY beer kit ($120): fermenter with spigot (not air-tight), PET bottles, mixing spoon, hydrometer, thermometer, ingredients for a first brew, and
  2. 23L PET carboy, bung + airlock ($30)
The reason I was thinking of basing my equipment around the Coopers kit is because it seems to offer good value in the Canadian market. My intention is to use the fermenter from the Coopers kit as a primary fermenter and possibly as a bottling bucket and the one in #2 for secondary fermentation for dealing with wines. The fact the Coopers fermenter is not 100% airtight apparently causes no issues when brewing beer, so I would just use that single stage fermenter when making beer.

Does this seem like a reasonable plan? Is there anything I am overlooking?
 

Jeremy W

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My initial batches were all no-boil kits, I think from Magnotta stores here in Ontario and that quickly escalated to extract, partial mash and all grain over a few years. I think $120 for that starter kit is a decent deal, although I've never used the Coopers product line. The only thing that gives me pause is the fact that the fermenter isn't air tight (opens the possibility for unwanted bacteria or yeast to get in). That being said, purely as a jumping off point, I'd go for it and see if you like it.
 
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