I've heard it from several guys at the shop. There's no extra money in it for them, so they really have no reason to push it. Also, it makes sense to use the steeping grains for color with the trade-off of less extract used.Is there a reason you apply this advice to the AHS kit?
I think that may be half the fun. The only way to learn about how to make great beer is to make not so great beer so you can determine what differences make a good beer as opposed to a bad beer. Either way, as long as you can get fresh extract and steeping grains you will make good beer. I mean come on, what is cooler then having people over and telling them the beer they are drinking is yours?!?! :rockin:What I would like to see are ratings on the kits themselves - the actual beers.
What is good what is not so good.
I use AHBS and Midwest. I also use Northern Brewer. I have never found them to be that over-priced. They use alot of DME, which is more expensive, smack packs exclusively (cost) and usually alot of hops. I have always liked their kits. But that's just my $0.03.I use kits from Midwest Supplies and I couldn't be happier. I would advise against Northern Brewer extract kits as they are all about $15 overpriced.
since i am new to brewing and do not know the finer points in tasting and clarity and such its hard to rate. but i will say i have tested highgravities blue moon clone and it tastes great. as good if not better then the coors and the fat tire as i said my friends love fat tire. we have to goto kansas to get it and when we do we usualy buy 4 or 5 12 packs and they liked the one i did which was extract with specialty grains better then the bottle. everyone loved it at buffett concert in dallas. havent tried any other kits so cant comment on themWhat I would like to see are ratings on the kits themselves - the actual beers.
What is good what is not so good.
Ha Ha you think $25 is really expensive?Incase the Americans don't know, buying beer in Canada is very expensive ($25 for a case  of decent beer). Taxman loves liquor in Canada.
So for alot of Canadians like myself I started homebrewing with the simple kits (Coopers, BlackRock, etc.). I find Coopers to be the best quality out of them all. So far, the Mexican Cerveza, Canadian Blonde and Brewmaster Pilsner are my favorites. All kits come with their own special dry yeast for their respective kits. The Plisner kit, for example, can be fermented as low as 13c for a real lager beer.
For under $20 I can make 22 litres of pretty good quality beer. If you're looking for ease, cheap, pretty good thirst-quenchers for the summer, this is a nice way to go (especially if you're Canadian!).
I would advise against Northern Brewer extract kits as they are all about $15 overpriced.
Those are two of the finest kit-beers out there. I don't even hesitate to brew them if I am too short on time to do an all grain batch from scratch -- the quality is outstanding (just get them fresh).I've tried Festa-Brew which is a wort-in-a-bag kit, you dont even add water - it came out far better than the 2 extract kits I've done (not a good baseline for comparison - sorry extract faithful). It was a red and it was pretty fantastic.
Just started a BrewHouse Kit (another wort-in-a-bag) because I didnt have time on the weekend to get to Biermunchers Centennial Blonde, but I wanted something in the primary. For $35 I figured I couldnt go wrong. This kit came with a PH balancer, bottling sugar, etc. Within a day I had an amazing krausen - looks like this kit will be a winner also.
Sometimes, I guess. Malt extract is expensive, unless you buy it in bulk. Hops are very expensive, too. So sometimes the kits are a big money saver. I've never seen a $30 difference (usually the entire extract kit is around $35) but I would say that it would depend on what you are making. Often, too, you only need a small amount of a certain grain for your recipe. If you have to buy a whole pound, of course that costs more. Some places will sell you 2 ounces of a specialty grain- some make you buy a whole pound.Kind of off topic question, but as for prices for kits versus buying ingredients, i was wondering why it is so much more expensive to buy separate ingredients than to buy kits? I have gone to the local home brew store and bought the ingredients to brew their recipes and paid about $30 more than the price for the same recipe sold as a kit online. $30 dollars just seems like a huge difference. Are separate ingredients really that much more expensive?
I think I'll try thiers next!I'd have to agree with Forrest. When I was doing kits I tried some from multiple places and the ones from Austinhomebrew.com produced the best beer for me.
I have tried AHS and Morebeer.com kits - I'm surprised nobody's mentioned morebeer.com. You buy $60.00 worth of stuff and you get free shipping. I made their hefeweizen a few months ago and that has been the most popular beer I have made so far - everybody wants me to make more. Plus, its like $23.00! Right now I have a morebeer IPA, and an AHS Imperial Amber in the keggerator, I am very happy with both vendors, and their products. I have decided that I prefer DME over LME, so I am trying to make my own recipes or getting recipes wherever I can that use DME.