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Tsuyako

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Okay so I hope someone hasn't already asked this. My sister and I are wanted to start soon and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on home brewing kits. This is the one I am looking at

2-Stage, 5-gallon Better Bottle Brewing System - Northwest Brewers Supply

Is it a good kit?

Also I know I'm jumping ahead but how long does a beer stay in the still? and then are you suppossed to put it in keg or straight into bottle?

Thanks so much!
 

PatMac

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Most starter kits are pretty similar. The one you are looking at seems like it has everything you need to begin. Shop around a little bit online and compare the equipment included with the prices. Other places to look are midwestsupplies.com, austinhomebrew.com, and morebeer.com.

I would recommend getting a home brew book to help make your decisions. A few that are easy for the beginner to understand are:
"How to Brew" by John Palmer
"The Complete Joy of Home Brewing" by Charlie Papazian
"Homebrewing for Dummies" by Marty Nachel

All of these books will walk you through the steps of homebrewing and what equipment you need etc. etc.

You can keep your beer in a fermenter for weeks or months depending on what type of beer it is and what type of flavor you want. A longer fermenting time helps clarify the beer, but you can get away with only fermenting your beer for a little over a week. After you are done fermenting the beer you bottle it and let it sit for about 3 weeks to carbonate. After that, you pop the cap and enjoy your beer!
 

llazy_llama

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I will chime in here and say that for $144, you're overpaying. Midwest Supplies has pretty much the same thing for $110(except with PETE Better Bottles instead of glass, do a quick search on the forums for the pros and cons of glass vs. plastic, but I love my Better Bottles) but it also includes an instructional DVD which is kind of handy and a wine thief, which will help you take hydrometer readings safely.

The one thing this kit doesn't come with that the NWB kit does is ingredients for your first batch. IMHO, you'd spend about 25-35 dollars for a Midwest kit, and you'd get your pick of recipe. MW is the way to start in my opinion.
 

Homercidal

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The Better Bottles are plastic and lighter to carry and handle, and won't break when it slips out of your hands (notice I said when, not if!) Sanitizer is slippery stuff! I'd go with one of those if possible. Also remember not to use any kind of cleaning device that can scratch it, even a bottle brush!
 
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Tsuyako

Tsuyako

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The Better Bottles are plastic and lighter to carry and handle, and won't break when it slips out of your hands (notice I said when, not if!) Sanitizer is slippery stuff! I'd go with one of those if possible. Also remember not to use any kind of cleaning device that can scratch it, even a bottle brush!
I've decided to go with the midwest supplies kit.
 

LaurieGator

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I would also pick up a small bottle of Star San and a small bottle of Iodophor and give both of them a try to see which sanitizer you like the best. I use both of them (not at the same time, of course) depending on what I am sanitizing.

I keep a small spray bottle with Star San solution for my daily sanitizing needs for mead. I love the Iodophor for sanitizing my glass carboys and for my bucket that I keep with me at all times while I am brewing my beer. There are way too many times that I end up saying to myself "oh crap, I need to put xxx in the sanitizer" after I have put my starting stuff in there, so the bucket is always there for a few hours before I start brewing.

Remember, if it touches your brew in any way, it NEEDS to be sanitized! I tend to go overboard with my sanitizing but this is one case where you can't do too much sanitizing.
 

SpaghettiMonster

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Not sure if you already orded or not but me and friend both just recently got this kit. Great price, very helpful seller.
 

llazy_llama

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SpaghettiMonster

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OK.Sorry I can't get to midwest or ebay here at my desk (stupid work firewalls!!) . I originally just posted an old link from another site, then when it didn't work I had to run to the kiosk in the breakroom, look up the links, and repost. Any way (I digress) kit has worked great for me. My first batch I only thought was OK, but all my family loved it, so I gave it to a few friends who have all loved it (it was basic british nut brown). The other guy, who bought the same kit, his first batch had some bottle bombs so he threw the whole thing out. I have a German White in the secondary now and which I'll probably bottle on tue/weds.
 
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