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jgoette

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Hey all. I'm looking into getting started in the HB world, but I do not have any equipment as of yet.

I am seeking some advice on a extract kit with the most bang for the buck (funds are limited (college student)).

Also, I am debating going BIAB, since I can get empty kegs fairly inexpensively and it seems that BIAB is a no-frills style of brewing.

Any feedback from the vets will be greatly appreciated!
 

Pappers_

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My advice is to start with an extract beer - biab is for all grain.

Check out any of the good vendors here or do a seach for beginees equipment and you'll get lots of ideas. Check the links at the bottom of this thread, they might help too. Read through the stickies at the top of the begineers subforum.

Good luck and Cheers!
 

RogerMcAllen

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If all you care about is bang for your buck and you don't mind hard cider I'd give apfelwein a shot.

A carboy, bung, airlock, yeast, dextrose, and 5 gallons of apple juice should only set you back ~$50.

If you are set on beer, I'd take Pappers' suggestion and follow some of the links below.
 

kegtoe

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i'd buy a cheap starter kit with plastic bucket. It will have everything you need to make good beer. Buy an extra pail so you have soemthing to transferinto or as a back up. Last buy some bottles - you can get that equipment listed ~$100. I'd suggeting starting with extract just so you get your process and most improtantly CLEANLINESS skills in order.
 

MetallHed

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Having done this meself not long ago I would recommend:

Go with a cheap starter kit like one from Austin Homebrew Supply's website.

I would suggest you also consider (money being the ruler here) that you

1) upgrade to glass if you can and get NOTHING less than 6 gallons. I have a 5 gallon carboy that is pretty well worthless on 5.25 gallon batches.

2) Get a brush to clean the carboys.

3) Buy as much Brewvint or other sanitizer as you can. You go through it so fast I an trying to source large batches.

4) Go to BigLots or somewhere and get a LONG plastic container to dump those huge spoons, thieves, siphon pumps, etc in to sanitize. Long and thin is nice so you don't have to use as much sanitizer.

5) Get the nice plastic thief. You need it. You need a hydrometer that rides in it.
 

Moonpile

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3) Buy as much Brewvint or other sanitizer as you can. You go through it so fast I an trying to source large batches.

4) Go to BigLots or somewhere and get a LONG plastic container to dump those huge spoons, thieves, siphon pumps, etc in to sanitize. Long and thin is nice so you don't have to use as much sanitizer.
I've never used Brewvint, but StarSan can be used with a spray bottle so you don't have to actually immerse everything in it. You'll use a lot less sanitizer that way.
 

logan3825

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I just started a little over a month ago. I went with the Brewing Starter Kit from Midwest supplies. I would have gone with the basic cheapest kit but I wanted the auto siphon and I thought that along with the 5 gallon better bottle made it a pretty good deal in comparison to the basic kit.

I am very inexperienced but all I have been using for sanitization is Star San, a spray bottle and a gallon bucket. I buy a gallon of distilled water and mix up a Star San solution then pour it into the spray bottle and an empty(and cleaned) ice cream bucket. I rack it into the bottling bucket from the ice cream bucket then out through the spigot and bottle filler back into the ice cream bucket. I use the spray bottle to spray the Star San solution into the bottles, dip the top of the bottle into the ice cream bucket then put them on the bottling tree.
 

kegtoe

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I also used starsan as in spray bottle - it works well. +1 to metal head on the plastic vs glass is more opinion. One otehr thing i'd agree with the last post is to get your self an auto siphon. no contamintaion as long as the tube and siphon are clean. Also all my buckets have a spigot on them. I set my primary (fementer) on the table with a clean secondary (clarifier) on the floor. I just hook up a 3-4 foot tube to the spigot and gravit transfer all my liquids. Its super east to transfer and super east to clean/sanitize.
 

MetallHed

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+1 to auto-siphon..forgot about that

+1 to starsan in a spray bottle... i do this too... i REALLY comes in handy when you're just checking the gravity.. no need to waste a small batch of sanitizer just for 30 seconds of checkin.. spray.. check.. spray..spray....hmmm... spray again.. beer.
 
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Agree with what they all said. Not too familiar with other sanitizers, but will do the starsan as well. Glass and the smaller top opening is opinion I guess. I preferred the sterile properties of a harder surface, but cleaning them out is harder and they are heavy and hard to hold on to.

+99 on the autosiphon.
 

DocBrown

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Just thought I'd chime in on the glass vs. plastic thing. I'm using the plastic Better Bottles and am perfectly happy with them. But, if you do go plastic, do not scrub them at all! Plastic will scratch, and that will dramatically increase the chances of problems in your beer.

Instead, I mix up ~3.5gal of oxyclean solution as soon as I bottle my beer. Put that in the carboy with a cap on it nice and tight, and suspend it upside down (mine fits nicely on top of a 3gal stock pot) overnight. Flip it back right-side-up for another 12-24 hours and rinse it out really well. If you do something like that immediately after you're done using it, you should be able to take care of every bit of crud left behind after fermentation. Sometimes I'll also give it a good soak with starsan and then store it capped as well.
 

kegtoe

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a tip if you make up a big batch of star san: you can keep it for long periods of time. You need a sealed container. A check of the pH is a good idea if it is kept for a long period of time. Also, cloudy solution is an indicator you should make a new batch.

I make a big batch in a 5 gal bucket. transfer it to whatever container i will be putting beer in to sanitize. I then put it in and old corny and seal it up.
 
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jgoette

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Got a lot of information about sanitation... :p

I think what I'm going to end up doing is just keep my eye on craigslist, freecycle, and the flea market for the components I need...

I'm going to get a 7.5 - 10 gal kettle, a 6 gal glass carboy, and try and start some BIAB action. That should be sufficient for 5 gal batches, eh?

Also, I can start with a cheap propane burner, but I can always mod the kettle later on for an electric conversion...

What say ye?
 
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