Looking to buy this kit - what do you think?

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JMcManaway

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Hey all...

I know this is a good kit, but I want to see if anyone sees any major gaps in this kit's components. I've looked over the list a few times and it seems ideal (other than not having a glass carboy, but I can add that later), but I'm afraid I'm being caught in by all the bells and whistles that I might forget something obvious. At any rate, for this price, would you buy this kit?

EVERYTHING - Complete Brewing Package Equipment Kit w/ Irish Red Ale :: Midwest Supplies Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies

and the PDF listing of components:

http://www.brew-winemaking.com/ProductPDF/7585.pdf


Thanks so much!
 

Parker36

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Ya that has pretty much everything you need. Didn't see a long SS or plastic (but not wood) spoon listed, but you probably have something like that already
 
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If i was you, I would get the same kit but without the bottles. You will have ~2 weeks from when you brew to when you need to bottle, and if you just tell all of your friends and family that you need bottles, you should have plenty. My first batch, I just told 3 friends I needed 60 bottles in 2 weeks... I ended up with enough for my first 4 brews.
 
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JMcManaway

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Unfortunately, most of my friends drink the domestic swill that passes for beer - so all of the bottles they've collected are twist-off tops. They're alcoholics, but they're drinking the wrong stuff (I'm hoping to open them up to a wide world of delicious beer).
 

HBHoss

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If i was you, I would get the same kit but without the bottles. You will have ~2 weeks from when you brew to when you need to bottle, and if you just tell all of your friends and family that you need bottles, you should have plenty. My first batch, I just told 3 friends I needed 60 bottles in 2 weeks... I ended up with enough for my first 4 brews.
You'll save a lot on shipping if you buy the kettle and bottles locally or look for a kit with P.E.T. plastic bottles. Very light and work fine.
 
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JMcManaway

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American Brewmaster is right up the road from me, so I was going to go there tomorrow and see if they could put together a similar package for me at a similar price.
 

Tankard

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Midwestsupplies is a good site though. I've had nothing but good experiences with them.

The shipping can be a bit of a pain, but their prices are lower than other, similar brew sites so it comes out about even.
 

AllHoppedUp

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Midwestsupplies is a good site though. I've had nothing but good experiences with them.

The shipping can be a bit of a pain, but their prices are lower than other, similar brew sites so it comes out about even.
Yeah, I've actually put together identical shopping carts at two or three supply sites before (done it three times actually - I was bored) and Midwest has always worked out to be the least expensive. Some sites offer free shipping but they make it up plus some on the price of the goods.

The kit looks complete to me. I agree that I wouldn't pay for shipping all those bottles. If you were dedicated you could damn near drink enough bottles yourself by the time you were ready to bottle.:cross:
 

jpuf

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I like midwest as well. The one thing I see missing is a wort chiller. You really should have one.
 
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JMcManaway

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I checked out American Brewmaster but their prices were sky high comparatively. I could've spent the same amount of money there and come out without the pot, an extra bucket, and a slew of other goodies. I placed my order with Midwest tonight, so I should be brewing by this Sunday!

I brewed over the Labor Day weekend with a buddy who does all-grain and we did a chocolate porter - it was amazing. What a cool obsession...er, hobby. I'll let you know in about 6 weeks how that porter turned out. Until then, wish me luck (and pray to the gods of academia that I continue to go to class, despite delicious beers needing to be brewed).
 

Tankard

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I think you made an excellent choice. That's a quality kit.

Did you get the kit that came with the 4 gallon pot or the 5 gallon pot + 5 gallon glass carboy? The latter was only $20 extra bucks (plus more shipping). 4 gallons is big enough to do a partial boil for a 5 gallon batch though. My friend, who has been a homebrewer for years, has a 4 gallon pot and he never has boilovers, but he does keep an eye on the brew once it initially gets boiling.

Are you planning on doing secondary fermentation? If so, pick up a 5 gallon better bottle or a 5 gallon glass carboy, whichever is cheaper. I'd go for the better bottle, personally. If you're just doing primary fermentation, then you really do have everything you will need.

Congrats on your purchase. I'm sure you'll have tons of fun with it.
 
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JMcManaway

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Actually, I was fortunate enough to have a 6 gal carboy sitting out in the garage. We've had it for years (I can remember it being around when I was like 5) and I've never really known what it was until I started reading about brewing. I drove home last weekend and got it out of the garage, so I'm going to use that as one of my fermenters.
 

Tankard

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Cool! Sounds like you're all ready to brew some beer.

Just make sure you clean and sanitize thoroughly and try to control your fermentation temperatures the best you can. That's always been my problem (until I bought my chest freezer, that is).
 

BadKarma

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And another one gets shoved over the edge of the slippery slope!!!!!!

Congrats and welcome to Homebrewing.

Here's my advice, start drinking Grolsch now. After your first bout of bottling 5 gallons with the wing capper, you'll start looking at an easier way to bottle. Your choices are to move to kegging or get a bunch of swing tops. I went with the swing tops, E-Z Caps. They are a bit expensive, but so much easier to live with in the long run. Now 3 years later, I'm moving on to kegging.

Another bit of advice, get a good brewing program. There are several out there, try them and get the one you like. I use Beersmith and can't figure out how I ever lived without it.

You don't have to do this all at once, get a couple batches under your belt and you'll see what we're talking about.

Have fun,

Karma
 

GreenwoodRover

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You'll need a drilled bung for the glass carboy. A 2nd air lock wont hurt (if you want to do 2 batches 1 in primary 1 in secondary)
Some other items you might want to get prior to the brew session:
Autosiphon so you dont have to start your siphon with your mouth
Wine thief for taking hydrometer samples
Starsan for sanitizing
A small spray bottle to fill with starsan for spraying sampling equipment
An instant read thermomoter or a floating thermomoter
a spring loaded bottle filler
 
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JMcManaway

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I've actually got all those things (or something that will function in its place). Thanks so much for the advice, though.
 
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