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bearkluttz

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What is the best brand out there? Muntons Coopers Ironmaster? ETC... Not beer style but Brand. Thanks
 

Austinhomebrew

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I like Austin Homebrew Supply's kits. But I am a little biased.

Forrest
 

Revvy

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I don't think there's any ratings....Austin Homebrew has great kits. as does Northern Brewer, and most LHBS's carry Brewer's Best Kits, which are excellent as well.

A lot of people like coopers kits for their ease of use, but since they use pre-hopped extract it's really one step of from a mr beer kit...

It's best to use an extract with steeping grains kit, like those I mentioned above, they come with seperate yeast and usually 2 packets of hops...the brewer's best kits, also come with hopsacks and grainbags, and bottle caps.
 

Coastarine

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I much prefer the kits put together by shops over the canned ones that get mass produced and are possibly mishandled. I've bought several from northern brewer and austin homebrew. I also like the selection at adventures in homebrewing but have not ordered from them.

edit: I got started using brewers best and enjoyed them for sure and the quality of the kit was great but I found their recipes to be a little bare-bones ie when I ran the numbers on it the OG and the IBU's were usually barely in style if not below.
 

duker

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So far I have only used Midwest Supplies, and have been very pleased....:mug:
4 brews complete, 4 waiting in the wings
 

EricCSU

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I like Austin Homebrew Supply's kits. But I am a little biased.

Forrest
If you are going to use an AHS kit, go Mini Mash. It only adds an hour to the process and is supposed to produce better beer than extract only (I haven't tasted mine yet).

Eric
 

EricCSU

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Is there a reason you apply this advice to the AHS kit?
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.

Forrest, feel free to chime in.

Eric
 

Jaeger48

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I've wanted to order a few kits from northern and austin but I've gone to the LBHS for all my supplies so far. When I order the other kits I'm planning on staying with dry yeast so shipping doesn't become a problem.
 

jay672

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Ive used Austin alot. They have great kits . I also use the mini mash and i like Austins because you can play with the recipes if you want a little. DIfferent grains yeasts etc.
 

Grinder12000

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What I would like to see are ratings on the kits themselves - the actual beers.

What is good what is not so good.
 

Choguy03

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What I would like to see are ratings on the kits themselves - the actual beers.

What is good what is not so good.
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:
 

paul_h

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As far as international brands, Muntons is best if you are trying to make an english style beer, coopers is best if you are trying to make an australian style beer like coopers pale ale or stout. ie. they're all designed around local styles and ingredients, so there's no "best brand" and fresher is normally best.
If in the U.S. , local kits will have the edge for freshness for most styles, but sometimes you'll want a brew from the country of origin for a certain style because they use different ingredients.
edit: As far as reviews:
http://www.hbkitreviews.com/ is an australian based site so thy should review at least coopers and muntons as well as the brands not available where ever you are.
edit2: well I thought there was a good kit review site, but I can't find it right now.
 

Fordprefect

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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.
 

HomerT

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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.
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.

-Todd
 

aekdbbop

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I have used ahbs before.. but recently have used Northern Brewer more. They seem to be a little more cost effective.
 

pen25

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What I would like to see are ratings on the kits themselves - the actual beers.

What is good what is not so good.
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 them
 

ohiobrewtus

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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.
 

DrinksWellWithOthers

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I've only bought 3 kits. One from The Home Brewery when I bought my equipment and I got 2 from Homebrew Heaven. The one from the Home Brewery was average at best. The two from HH, Diamond Knot IPA and Shamrock Stout, were really good. The stout was so good that I decided to enter it into my first competition and scored a 39 and 40. If I were still buying kits then I'd definitely still be getting them from HH.
 

conpewter

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The kits I got from AHS were great. I did my first all-grain on an all-grain kit of theirs since I was nervous and wanted step by step directions, turned out a great porter.
 

Zackb911

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AHS is having a 10% off sale this weekend and also have some free shipping kits too... My last ones were from them and I was very pleased. I'll be ordering a couple more this weekend.
 

brewNdrink

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Incase the Americans don't know, buying beer in Canada is very expensive ($25 for a case [12] 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!).

Cheers.
Tony.
 

paul_h

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Incase the Americans don't know, buying beer in Canada is very expensive ($25 for a case [12] 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!).

Cheers.
Tony.
Ha Ha you think $25 is really expensive? ;)
The taxman loves the beer down here, drinkable wine is taxed less, and spirits can be bought for $25 while a case of any beer is over $30.
I started brewing with coopers for the same reason, decent beer (ie. coopers) costs $45 here, and that's one of the cheapest good beers.
Using a coopers kit and recultured coopers yeast, it's not hard to make it myself and get 2.5 cases for $30
 

Ben25

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I would advise against Northern Brewer extract kits as they are all about $15 overpriced.
:confused::confused::confused:

I bought a Northern Brewer kit that was $21. It was an Irish Red and I could not be happier. The ales range from $19-35 which is amazing, and sure you're going to pay more for the high gravity ales, but thats just the way it is.
 

ruppe

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I may be going off on a tangent here, but my wife bought me the equipment to homebrew 6 years ago, because she said I needed a hobby. I read a book (can you believe it, an actual book?). I made 2 kits, and bought a magazine (Brew Your Own). I was hooked. I took the information from the book (The Complete Guide To Homebrewing), subscribed to the magazine, and started making my own extract based, partial mashed, brews based on the info culled from these resources. I could have continued to make kit brews, and said I made them, but I wanted to make beers that I could call my own. And I did. If you want to make great beers from kits, fine, but I bet you can make your own great beers by tweeking the ingredients from kits and calling them your own.
 

Jilaman

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In Canada it doesn't even have to be good beer. 12-pack of Rickard's White which is made by Molson Coors, comes in at $21.95 BEFORE TAX. They are seriously screwing the Canadian people.

I can get a case of 24 of Blue Moon for $18-20 and only 8% tax not 15% like canada.
 

edb

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My only complaint about Williams is the LME comes in bags. When I brewed with their extract it was a cold day outside and I felt that I left behind at least a 1/4 # of extract stuck to the bag inside and out. Really messy.

Northern Brewers LME comes in a plastic jug which you can pour hot water into put the cap on and shake it up to get the last bit of extract out.
 

ArcaneXor

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+1 on AHBS's mini-mash kits. I've made four now (well, three mini-mash and one extract), and they are all very good. I already have three more on my wishlist, ready to order when my self-imposed summer brew break is over late next month.
 

Hurricane09

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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.

http://www.magnotta.com/Festabrew/

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.

http://www.thebrewhouse.com/what_is/index.htm

All in all I would have to say these are an excellent choice if you are short on time but need something in the primary. All-Grain taste that comes really easy - both ready to go in under 30 mins.

I sound like an advertisement.
 

cheeseshark

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+1 on experimenting with a few different places. Trying new things (i.e. beer) is half the fun of homebrewing.

I think most sites mentioned frequently on the forum (Austin Homebrew Supply, Midwest, etc.) make quality kits. Personally, I have had very good luck with the kits from morebeer.com. All of their extract kits I have used have been awesome. But, like I said, I don't think you are going to go wrong if you try kits from reputable sites frequently mentioned here.
 

HomerT

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In thinking back and reviewing my online kit orders, I would rankthem like this:

1) Austin Home Brew - Unmatched selection, fresh ingredients, good prices, great shipping rates and simply some of the best beers I have made:rockin:

2) Northern Brewer - Fresh ingredients, alot of kits use DME, great results, fastest service on the web (order processing and shipping), great prices:mug:

3) Midwest - Great selection...and fantastic customer service....but, each of the kits I have made had a pronounced extract twang....old LME perhaps? Bad luck perhaps? I don't know.:eek:

-Todd
 

migratingmind

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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?
 

FlyGuy

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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.
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).

My brother-in-law has won all sorts of medals with Brewhouse kits, including a medal at MCAB this past year in the most competitive category -- American Ale. Hard to argue that kind of success.
 

Yooper

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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?
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.
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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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 think I'll try thiers next!

I've done 8 or 9 kits from Midwest through force of habit I guess. I'm happy enough with them, but my first ever extract brew was from a recipe, so I had to get the ingredients together myself. Looking back, it was quite a lot better than anything I've had through Midwest. Until I can go AG I think Iwill look around at other kits or go back to the recipe thing.

It's impossible for me to rate Midwest as it's almost all I've done. Time for me to gain some new knowledge I reckon. :)
 

surfingpl

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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.
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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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.

They sound a fair bit cheaper than Midwest then. I'll keep a lookout there too in future!
 
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