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Newbie - Getting started & Need Equipments

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codsmith:
Hey guys,

I am new here, but certainly not to beer. I have been looking to start home brewing and have come up with some possibilities of what I want to start with, but not exactly sure which package would be better to get me started. I do know that I want to start out with a keg system.

Please let me know which on of the 5 options I should choose and why or if there is another site with a better set up feel free to let post it.

Much appreciated!!!

Homebrewers.com - Option #1 - Starter Plus w/ Secondary Fermenter and Deluxe Kegging Package $499.99
http://www.homebrewers.com/product/STARTERDLXKEG

Morebeer.com - Option #2 - Personal Home Brewery #5 - Kegging Super Deluxe $479.95
http://morebeer.com/view_product/15915/102142/Personal_Home_Brewery_%235_-_Kegging_Super_Deluxe
 
Midwestsupplies.com - Option #3 -  Ultimate Starter Kit $429.99
http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/starter-kits/ultimate-starter-kit.html

Homebrew-supplies.com - Option #4 - Starter Kit #4 $428.95
http://homebrew-supplies.homebrewmart.com/shared/StoreFront/default.asp?CS=hbm&StoreType=BtoC&Count1=691234767&Count2=608375191&CategoryID=30&Target=products.asp
 
Midwestsupplies.com - Option #5 - Master Brewers Kit with Kegging Setup $319.95
http://new.midwestsupplies.com/master-brewers-kit-with-kegging-setup.html

a10t2:
Kegging is a serious investment, so I would be sure you'll want to get serious about the hobby before going down that road. When you do decide to start kegging, you can invest in a setup that will match your fridge/freezer and how you want to serve some beer, and probably save money over a prepared kit too.

I would also think seriously about whether or not you want a setup that comes with glass carboys for fermenters. Glass vs plastic is a perpetual debate among homebrewers, but plastic is safer and cheaper.

jasoncap:

--- Quote from: a10t2 on February 18, 2010, 10:15:39 PM ---Kegging is a serious investment, so I would be sure you'll want to get serious about the hobby before going down that road. When you do decide to start kegging, you can invest in a setup that will match your fridge/freezer and how you want to serve some beer, and probably save money over a prepared kit too.

I would also think seriously about whether or not you want a setup that comes with glass carboys for fermenters. Glass vs plastic is a perpetual debate among homebrewers, but plastic is safer and cheaper.

--- End quote ---

+1 to the kegging comment, and the plastic vs. glass comment.  When I started homebrewing a few years back I did everything budget minded because I wasn't sure I would enjoy the hobby.  Turns out I loved it, but it isn't for everyone.  Not everyone enjoys burning the better part of a day cleaning and boiling and cleaning some more and sanitizing and did I mention the cleaning part?

If you have the money and you don't mind the risk of not enjoying the hobby, I say go for it.  I would definitely suggest better bottles over glass carboys, though, simply because they are easier to handle.  I have dropped mine several times and was very thankful I went with plastic vs. glass.  Plus the ported models make life easier - no need to mess with a siphon.

Hope that helps.

beerocd:
Take note of everything in the kit and buy separately. Or buy a small kit, then add on. The pot in the big kit, for example, is too small. Glass is fine - stainless is great!

Thirsty_Monk:

--- Quote from: beerocd on February 19, 2010, 06:58:14 AM ---Take note of everything in the kit and buy separately.

--- End quote ---

Once I made a list what you need to start homebrewing:

1) Boiling pot (usually not provided in kits)
2) Wort Chiller (very nice to have not provided in kits)
3) Hydrometer
4) Fermenter with air lock (plastic bucket with lid is fine)
5) bottling bucket
6) tubing and bottle filler wand.
7) bottles (does not come with kits)
8) bottle caper (bench model is nice)
9) bottle caps
10) cleaner and sanitizer (not in kits) like OxiClean/PBW and StarSan

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