Cheap equipment? Planning to move on from Mr. Beer

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Kegstand

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Hey guys...just bottled my last batch of Mr. Beer, the Weizenbier which I'm looking forward to trying in 3-4 weeks. However I don't plan to stay with Mr Beer as I want to make some bigger batches...the 2.5 gallon just isn't cutting it.

Was wondering where I can get the cheapest and best equipment for a 5 gallon brewing system.
 

JonK331

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A google search shows this place in your area: http://www.docscellar.com/

I have no idea of the quality but I'm sure you could get started there. Morebeer would also be a cheap ship for you as it's just a couple hours north. I started with Mr. Beer long ago as well. For my third batch, I doubled a Weizen kit and put it in a 5 gallon carboy. I would urge you to move into unhopped extract with steeping grain and actual hops though. Much better than Mr. Beer and no corn sugar. A 5 gallon SS pot, food grade bucket with lid and hole for airlock, grain bag, and some other odds and ends will get you going quite nicely for pretty cheap.
 

Skarekrough

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The thing to always keep in mind is that beer has been made successfully with some of the most rudimentary devices for a span of time far longer than the word "Sanitize" has been around.

Additionally brewing is a sport that lends itself extremely well to people making what they need out of other things, cobbling, rigging, MacGyvering and hacking whatever they can get their hands on.

For every $100 "must have" device there seems to be someone on here that can make it for $33 and two trips to The Home Depot.

Best bet is just to read. Check out the DIY forum. Search for things and see what folks have come up with. Some of it may be beyond your abilities as a electrician/carpenter/welder or craftsman as well as brewer. But for every thread like that there's always a few right up your alley.

Brewpots can be had on the cheap from turkey fryers.
Fermenters can be made from the food-grade storage buckets you're likely to find in bakeries and other places.
Worth chillers can be made from SS or copper tubing.

Get a feel for what you really "need" to get started. And when you've decided that you "need" it then do research for making one or finding one cheap locally.

best of luck
 

geer537

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Agreed Skarekrough!

Keep an eye on Craig's List. If you just search all for sale and type the word beer- you'll narrow your search. I found a 5 gallon stainless brew pot in Monterey for 20 bucks!

Don't know if 400 is out of your range (honestly didn't look closely enough to see if it was worth 400) but here is a recent example in your area:

http://slo.craigslist.org/for/2015829773.html
 

VTBrewer

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+1 on CL. I check every few days. I have no problem buying a "new in box kit i got for my birthday" that is worth $120 for $50, and split it up with my brew friends. Carboy for you, auto siphon for me, anybody need a hydrometer....
 

petey_c

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+2 on CL. I got 80 Grolsch bottles, 2 fermenters, a 3 gal ss pot, capper, caps, 3 - 1 gal re-usable kegs, CO2 cartridges, etc., for $50. My last batch of Mr. Beer (Fire in the Hole Chile beer) is fermenting now. The taste isn't as good as my partial mash mixes, and you're right, 2/2.5 gals. isn't cutting it. I'm expecting some more brews in the mail soon. Brewer's Best PSA IPA and 2 Coopers Heritage Lagers (hey, they were 50% off...).
 

Pommy

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my advice is to do your research and find what you need, then buy it. Its as simple as that and if you enjoy brewing you will get your moneys worth back in a couple of months, thats nothing out of a lifetime ;)
 

Synovia

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A 5 gallon SS pot, food grade bucket with lid and hole for airlock, grain bag, and some other odds and ends will get you going quite nicely for pretty cheap.
Do not waste your money on a 5g pot. You WILL shortly replace it with an 8g or so pot. Its just not big enough to do a full boil of a 5g batch.
 

Cityscape

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Groupon has a side deal today for Basic Equipment Kit + Ingredient Kit from Midwest Supply. $42 for a $85 value. Not bad at all for stepping up from Mr. Beer. In the discussion section someone from Midwest said you can upgrade to a Better Bottle for +$20 or Glass Carboy for +$30, just need to call them to place the order.

http://www.groupon.com/deals/midwest-homebrewing-chicago?c=dnb&p=5

I think you can still get the deal even if you are not in the chicago groupon area.
 

Skarekrough

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Do not waste your money on a 5g pot. You WILL shortly replace it with an 8g or so pot. Its just not big enough to do a full boil of a 5g batch.
That I would agree with. Getting started out and doing extract and some kits you'll want more headroom than a 5 gallon can afford you.

Might also consider checking yard sales; grab the paper on Friday and check the classifieds or listings on CL, map them out on a GPS and take a ride. Huge stock pots are the kind of item that folks always are on the verge of unloading because they may only use them once or twice a year.....unless of course you're a brewer.

As for buckets, check the local grocery stores that have bakeries and get the ones they're going to chuck for frosting. Clean it up, drill out a hole in the lid, slip in the rubber gasket and top it off with an airlock. All set!
 

KurtB

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Groupon has a side deal today for Basic Equipment Kit + Ingredient Kit from Midwest Supply. $42 for a $85 value. Not bad at all for stepping up from Mr. Beer. In the discussion section someone from Midwest said you can upgrade to a Better Bottle for +$20 or Glass Carboy for +$30, just need to call them to place the order.

http://www.groupon.com/deals/midwest-homebrewing-chicago?c=dnb&p=5

I think you can still get the deal even if you are not in the chicago groupon area.
I wish I would have waited to place my order until today, instead of 10 days ago...$42 is a real good deal.
 

Cityscape

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Yeah, it really is for someone that wants to get into brewing, which I have been wanting to do for a while. I ended up pulling the trigger on it and I think I am going to go with with Autumn Amber Ale recipe kit. You get to choose between that, Irish Red Ale or Midwest Irish Stout.
 

JonK331

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Do not waste your money on a 5g pot. You WILL shortly replace it with an 8g or so pot. Its just not big enough to do a full boil of a 5g batch.
I have two 8 gallon pots now but still use my 5 gallon for various tasks all the time. A light 5 gallon pot for under $30 is a fine way to get started doing partial boils with steeping grain without having to worry about buying the "right" full boil pot. While larger pots for doing full boils are better in the long run, an inexpensive 5 gallon makes a nice transition from Mr. Beer.
 

ratfarmer

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I signed up for Groupon and went to buy it and it kept asking for a "groupon code?"
Where does this code come from?
 

Homercidal

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A turkey fryer setup is the only way to start. You may actually want or need bigger eventually, but for the amount of money you are going to spend buying one on sale or off CL, it's easily one of the best bargains out there.

I'd also get a nice, NEW, plastic fermenting bucket, and a nice, NEW bottling bucket (used would work, but I think they are harder to find).

Build an IC from copper tubing or keep your eyes open. They are not much $$ to build though.

There are many, many useful little gadgets to add to this, but it's a good base. You'll need a capper too. I'd hunt them on ebay and see if you can find a bench top model. Much less likely to break bottles or have a problem capping them.
 

Cityscape

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I signed up for Groupon and went to buy it and it kept asking for a "groupon code?"
Where does this code come from?
Did you purchase the groupon from groupon.com? If so go to your account information and you should have it under the My Groupons pull down. Just print it out and you'll see the groupon number in the upper right hand corner. Then just go to the midwest link and plug in the number and add it to your cart. Easy, Done, Brew.
 

ScrewyBrewer

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I decided the 2.13 gallon Mr. Beer batch sizes were too small as well and I opted to pickup 5 more kegs so now I can brew 13 gallons of beer using 6 different recipes....

 

Synovia

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I have two 8 gallon pots now but still use my 5 gallon for various tasks all the time. A light 5 gallon pot for under $30 is a fine way to get started doing partial boils with steeping grain without having to worry about buying the "right" full boil pot. While larger pots for doing full boils are better in the long run, an inexpensive 5 gallon makes a nice transition from Mr. Beer.
Not when you can get a light 8g pot for less than $25 at pretty much every walmart or Target.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/TAMALE-SEAFOOD-STMR/13370045


I still use my 5g pot occasionally, but it would be a whole lot more usefull if it was a 2nd 8g pot.
 

therealrsr

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Not when you can get a light 8g pot for less than $25 at pretty much every walmart or Target.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/TAMALE-SEAFOOD-STMR/13370045


I still use my 5g pot occasionally, but it would be a whole lot more usefull if it was a 2nd 8g pot.
Or, spend $15 more to get a 58000 BTU burner and stand thrown in...
http://www.basspro.com/Bass-Pro-Shops-30Quart-Propane-Turkey-Fryer/product/10211271/-1530748

Then go here to kill the timer...
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/looking-outdoor-brewing-setup-203717/
 

crazyseany

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we bought a turkey fryer to do chicken for our wedding 8 years ago... Haven't used it since... It's an 8 gallon all stainless pot... Can't wait to do my first batch....

check out craigs list... Especially after the end of Nov. When people relize it sucks to buy 30 bucks in oil to fry a turkey!


sean
 

ratfarmer

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Did you purchase the groupon from groupon.com? If so go to your account information and you should have it under the My Groupons pull down. Just print it out and you'll see the groupon number in the upper right hand corner. Then just go to the midwest link and plug in the number and add it to your cart. Easy, Done, Brew.
Thanks for the response!
I ended up figuring it out and forgot to update my post here.
Wooo hooo I have a kit on the way to me and on the way to my brother in law!
 
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