Hello from the Dallas Texas area!

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James Cross

New Member
Feb 2, 2020
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I have been considering a move to make my own brew... and frankly my wife was surprised I didn't consider it sooner.. I need some ideas on where I should start. I have seen some begginer kits available on the internet but I have a friend that makes his own whiskey and he seems to use generic stuff that you can get from Lowe's plus a few fancy extras. My first question is.. is it worth it to buy a kit or can i gather beter supplies with a little knowledge?
All depends what you want and your budget.

Check Craigslist for someone selling a kettle or even in the sell section on HBT.

I started 5 years ago with a 1 gallon kit i bought from Northern Brewer. That lasted about 5 brews then ordered a 10 gal kettle from Colorado Brewing Systems.

You can find some inexpensive kettles with a valve (10 gal) for $150 or so, maybe less if you shop around. The 10 gallon pots are good for 5 gal batches.

If you are not sure about the hobby, just start with a 1 gal kit from Northern Brewer and if you like it and want to continue then you can always upgrade. Ebay has some inexpensive kettles with a valve. You will get about 9 bottles of beer off of a gallon. There are some other online retailers that probably have kits you can buy, or search out a local home brew store in your area.

I brew BIAB, which is a single kettle, full volume and use a bag that goes inside of the kettle where the grains are mashed. Just google BIAB or brew in a bag or go to YouTube.

Good Luck!
I bought a starter kit yrs ago and basically don’t use anything in it any more except maybe the spoon that came with it. If you do a bit of research you can skip that step and move to a more permanent solution which is only limited by budget. The big question is what kinda mash do you wanna do and the batch size. BIAB, RIMS, HERMS, two vessel, three vessel, etc are all options.

As far as where you get equipment is entirely up to you. Hardware stores have a lot of piece parts. Walmart does, too. Those items are usually intended for another purpose and therefore require some modifications to turn them into brewery equipment. Purpose built equipment is usually turn key but comes at a price for that convenience. Of course, quality comes at a premium as well.

You can find folks here and elsewhere selling out and as long as you’re interested system matches the equipment for sale you can get set up reasonably easy.

FWIW: I grew up in Garland.
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I can definitely point you into a direction of 3gal batches, all grain, very inexpensive. It depends on your goal. Brewing a beer is easy. The quality is about fermentation control like enough yeast and temp control. With smaller batches this is very easy to achieve and can lead you into 5gal batches at a later date. Be happy to discuss if you want to personal message me. Happy Brewing!

P-Man (Austin)
Good advice above. I'll throw in MTCW. I started with one gallon extract, moved to five gallon extract, to BIAB. There's plenty of one gallon extract kits that will get you started for $50-60. I still use mine to test a new recipe.

I'll also plug a couple books that will be useful.
The Complete Joy of Homebrewing. By Charlie Papazian
How to Brew. By John Palmer.
An older revision of Palmer's book is available on line for free.

Good luck, and keep us posted on your progress.

BTW, welcome to HBT. Cheers!
Welcome! I've done partial mash to all-grain 3 vessel systems, and the easiest I've encountered is BIAB. Less equipment, less storage, much simpler! Good luck and enjoy.
With such drastically different ways to go about brewing, the hardest thing is deciding which method you will use. The main categories are extract, all-grain, and partial mash. There are multiple options within these categories. The selection will depend on budget, available space and utilities, whether indoor or outdoor is preferred, and your available time (for set-up and brewing). If you're not sure, you could start with stove-top extract and see if you want to stay with it or move to all-grain. Stove-top extract with partial boil allows you to easily brew five gallon batches.