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shdybrady

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I have been wanting to brew my own beer even before I was even able to drink it lol. But Is there a list of equiptment a newbie needs to get started? I dont want to choose the mr beer kits. Not tring to look down upon it, Im just looking for a kit I can grow with.
 

iron_city_ap

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There are PLENTY of kit options you can go with that are much better than a Mr. Beer, especially if you are going to stick with it. Just run a simple 'Basic Beer Brewing Kit' search and watch how many options pop up. To recomend a specific one.... that really would be up to you and what you are looking for. Most basic kits seem to be ABOUT the same with some minor differences. Some might come with a good book but poor capper. Others may have a better hydrometer but cheap buckets....

AHS would be the best place to start your search. Best of luck to you (in brewing, not picking a kit)
 

BeerWomb

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Tip. If you live close to Austin, Texas then I would strongly recommend you looking at their website http://www.austinhomebrew.com/. They have great starter kits.

However, if you live in the Midwest, then I would advise you to look at this website http://www.midwestsupplies.com/. If you order from there, they include a great catalog that you can use and request additional stuff.

Don't worry if the starting stuff is getting expensive because you need the proper equipments to brew a 5 gallon. After getting what you need, brewing is a great and cheap way to make beer compared to those domestic beers.
 
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shdybrady

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Well I live in georgia. But As of right now my taste is a guiness style. I will check out all the links so thank you. I see that ahs has plastic primaries. Isnt it better to use glass because its not porous?
 

iron_city_ap

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Plastic is fine, but you have to be careful not to scratch it when cleaning. No scouring pads or anything rough. Otherwise its not an issue.
 

likwidbliss

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I use plastic and glass. I do not notice any difference. I use the plastic buckets mostly for beer because my glass is committed to wine, about 75 gallons of wine.

I had a turkey fryer and wanted to use it. I only bought 12 oz bottles, capper and copper tubing for an immersion chiller I made. I had just about everything else.

Good luck brewing!
 

shanecb

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Most homebrew shops (at least in my experience) have pretty good basic starter kits for brewing. Here is what they offer:
"This Brewer's Best starter kit includes 6.5 gallon fermenter, 6.5 gallon bottling bucket, capper, hydrometer, thermometer, bottle filler, bottle brush, siphon hose, racking cane, sanitizer, and book. "

That's pretty much all you'll need for a basic beginner's kit. You'll also need a kettle to do a boil in, and bottles and caps for when you bottle.
 

BeerWomb

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Well from what I read, Glass carboys are the best for secondary fermentations because it does not allow much of oxygen to pass through. Many of us use plastic buckets/carboy for our primary fermentation because they come in basic kits or readily available at our local homebrewer stores.

I do have a glass carboy but that is limited only for my secondary fermentations since it is a pain in the ass to move 5 gallon of beer IN A GLASS. For glass carboy, you have to either cover it with something or put it in an extremely dark place. Fermentation doesn't react very well with sunlight.
 
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shdybrady

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might be a dumb question. But could you use one of those 30 qt turkey fryers to cook in?
 

likwidbliss

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My fryer is about 7 gallons. I got it for christmas, used it twice for turkey. I had to clean it with soapy water to get the oil film out of it. I then filled it with water and boiled it. Then put it in the dish washer on the sanitize setting and it is squeaky clean and free of oil. I have made nearly 50 batches in the turkey fryer set up. I need to get a better burner, mine is getting beat.

I recently went to all grain, only had to make a mash tun. I'm using my wife's canner as another kettle, it is only 5 gallons though. I need to get another large kettle.

Yes you can use a 30 quart kettle to brew in.
 

beerman1957

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might be a dumb question. But could you use one of those 30 qt turkey fryers to cook in?
I have used one before and never had an issue. Some people claim aluminum can leach out into the beer. I didn't notice that. However, I feel MUCH safer using stainless as far as taste goes.

On the use of Plastic, the plastic used in brewing buckets is safe. I use a HDPE fermenter from Hobby Beverage Company. Going conical was the best thing I ever did. The HDPE is almost impervious to oxygen and I have the fermenter in a controlled freezer anyway. Not having to do secondary to another vessel has been the best thing I have done in a long time. While initially expensive, the HDPE is MUCH cheaper than a SS vessel. I have NEVER had a brew go bad in my fermentation stage. I highly recommend the HDPE plastic if you want a conical setup or want to eliminate a step and a lot of time transferring to another vessel.
 
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shdybrady

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awesome great bit of information. I'm going to keep doing research and try to get more supplies
 
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shdybrady

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i checked out the mini brew fermenter and man those are pricey. How does it eliminate the secondary?
 

BeerWomb

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Damn. Good find on that mini brew fermenter. Defintely going to add that in my wish list.
 

BeerWomb

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Great kit for serious beginner. Meaning that this kit is an excellent startup if you are committed to brewing beer in the long run.
 
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shdybrady

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I feel like I am. I'll make the commitment this friday (payday)
 

BeerWomb

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Another tip. If you want to buy some extra books. I recommend going to abebooks.com

DIRT CHEAP prices on books.
 

SumnerH

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John Palmer's "How To Brew" website helped me get started. It's got all the information you need to get started. He covers equipment, sanitation and the functions of your tools, ingredients and yeast fermentation.

http://www.howtobrew.com/intro.html
+1 on this, much more up to date than Papazian (which is historically important but not as good for a modern beginner, IMO). I'd spring for the new version, both to support JP and because it's more up to date in some areas (e.g. it realizes that you really don't need to secondary most beers).
 

BeerWomb

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Well, the upside of the Papazian has some really interesting recipes for us to try out. I think his selection of stouts and porters offers shdy lot of options.
 

carnevoodoo

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Palmer's book > Papazian's book at this point. If you want a recipe, there's a few thousand online. I think people should have both books, but if you're choosing one, Palmer wins. Papa Charlie is a pioneer and an amazing guy, but he's a little behind the times these days.

As for that AHS kit, it looks great. A secondary is really unnecessary unless you're using oak, dry hopping, or adding fruit, but it'll be nice to have. I also prefer my 6.5 gallon glass carboys, but I'm a big dude and I can lift a full one easily with one hand. I don't, but I could. I use brew haulers now, as they are the best invention I've found for carrying them around and not taking up too much space.
 

carnevoodoo

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Oh! And I'm not sure I like the chiller that comes with that kit. I'd get a kit without one and build the chiller yourself or get a better one.
 

BeerWomb

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How about printing out Palmer's stuff offline at a library or at home and order Pap's book off abebooks just for one dollar. Everybody wins.
 

BeerWomb

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I mean. Palmer doesn't charge anybody to read his materials on his website so I call fair game to print those out.
 

Shooter

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To the OP, I wouldn't get into this hobby if I were you. You'll probably find that you won't like it. I mean how much fun is it to think up recipes, obtain and use brew gadgets or to kick back next to your very own kegerator with a pint of cool homebrew and look around thinking how it really couldn't get much better and it's so beautiful that you almost want to cry and then your family sees you getting all emotional and...oh who the heck am I kidding it's frickin AWESOME!!!! :rockin:
 
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shdybrady

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To the OP, I wouldn't get into this hobby if I were you. You'll probably find that you won't like it. I mean how much fun is it to think up recipes, obtain and use brew gadgets or to kick back next to your very own kegerator with a pint of cool homebrew and look around thinking how it really couldn't get much better and it's so beautiful that you almost want to cry and then your family sees you getting all emotional and...oh who the heck am I kidding it's frickin AWESOME!!!! :rockin:
lol my thoughts exactly lol. But Ill get both books. Id much rather make my own kit and build my own set up. Its what I do in every other hobby. But I know when to get a starter and build up
 

beerman1957

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i checked out the mini brew fermenter and man those are pricey. How does it eliminate the secondary?
I am sorry this took so long to reply. I had moved my email address and forgot to update the Forum...

First off, I must admit that I was not clear about secondary. What I meant was you don't have to transfer the beer because the trub is eliminated out the bottom of the fermenter. Just like the Big Boy Brewers do it. This also almost (99%) eliminates cross-contamination, spills, extra work, extra cleaning... I could go on and on.

While the Hobby Beverage product may SEEM pricey, take a look at SS conicals for price. I got my 8 gallon fermenting vessel for $225 at my LBS when I bought an entire system from them. I just checked a few on-line stores and see it goes for about $250 with shipping. You may be able to get it cheaper (a little) at the LBS.

A SS Conical of about the same size is close to $600. I can not deny that the SS would be the absolute best thing you could get. But I have had my HB fermenter for well over 7 years now with no issues AT ALL. I replaced one gasket and one valve handle.

I think it has made my life easier and I actually think it is better way to brew versus Carboys. Certainly maintenance is a breeze and it is very rugged, durable and almost 100% impermeable to O2 when inside my custom (cough) fermentation chiller.

So, ya, save some money and get one.
 
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