best start up kit?

Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:26 pm

recently got back home from iraq, been interested into brewing beer for long time, would like to know if anyone could give me some info on whats the best way to start, i seen some on sites with keg options, interested in that, but would like some guidance on choice starter kit, looking ot spend 300 to 400 to start off. thanks for the help

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Re: best start up kit?

Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:41 am

Just go online to Midwest, MoreBeer, NorthernBrewer and look at there starting kits. I bought mine for $100 and had 1 bucket and carboy. It has everything you need to make beer. The thing with this hobby is you will either love it or hate it. If you end up loving it, you can always add on need to spend all that tax-free cash you saved up from deployment on something you may not enjoy.

Good luck,

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Re: best start up kit?

Fri Aug 14, 2009 4:58 am

welcome and back and thanks for serving.

+1 on the starter kits. $ 100.00 kits or so will do the trick.
Also keep in mind how and where you will do your boils.
If you have a powerfull enough stove or can brew outdoors on a butane set up then you can do full wort boils, which would be awesome. If so, then you will need an 8 gallon or larger brew pot and a wort chiller.
If not, partial boils and a 3 or 4 gallon pot chilled via ice bath will work.
Keep asking questions, play the archives for great information, especially the sanitatin show with Charlie Talley of 5 Star and beware of the obsession.
Beer makes you smart, drinking is art.

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Re: best start up kit?

Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:30 am

one thing i would suggest is if you are purchasing a kettle, get a 10 gallon one. i think i only did 2 partial boil batches before i upgraded my kettle, so $50 on my first pot was basically a waste.

i'd say go a little bit better than the cheapest startup kits and get a 10 gallon kettle and a 25' immersion chiller. those two things took so much frustration out of my brew day that i wish i'd gotten them from the start. you should be able to find turkey fryer kits with big kettles, like 44 qts or something, and a burner that can do your full volume boil. check craigslist, but i believe a turkey fryer that's been used for frying is pretty much useless cause you'll always have that grease residue.
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Re: best start up kit?

Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:04 am

I agree about getting a 10 gallon boil pot (aluminum is just fine), but get that in addition to a turkey fryer setup. The 7 gallon pot that comes with that makes a great hot liquor tank. I actually have 5 pots that range from one gallon to 10 gallons and I use them all at one time or another in my brewing (not all for the same brew).

An immersion chiller and an autosiphon are two more items you won't want to be without. Any of the decent equipment kits mentioned above will work just fine with these additions.

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Re: best start up kit?

Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:29 am

I echo the recommendations of the others. Bite the bullet and get a good kettle and a propane burner. I can't emphasize how important a rolling full-wort boil is. An immersion chiller and auto siphon would be a good idea too. Also, screw the chlorox, use Star-San. Embrace the foam. I think you're going to be off to a great brewing start.
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