Author Topic: First kit questions  (Read 1492 times)

Offline FLbrewer

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First kit questions
« on: April 17, 2013, 05:56:09 PM »
Hello everyone! I ordered the below kit today and had a couple of questions...
-I'll need a 5 gallon boil kettle. Any suggestions on material?
-Can I get away with my first batches without a wort chiller? I'm in Florida so temps aren't too cool out right now (normally between 65-75 in the house).
-Finally, they suggest having 2 cases of 12 oz. bottles on hand (576 ounces of beer). Is this always the case with this size brewing kit? Thanks everyone!

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/brewing/beer-equipment-starter-kits/deluxe-brewing-starter-kit.html

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First kit questions
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2013, 06:32:51 PM »
Welcome to an awesome hobby. There are many many things you CAN do and few that you shouldn't. At first its all about budget.

You will need something to boil in. I would suggest an 8 gallon stainless pot. But a five would certainly do the job.

I highly suggest a wort cooler and depending on skills you can build one yourself.

Two cases of 12 s will hold a 5 gallon batch

I recommend reading john palmers how to brew, which is available free on line.

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Offline denny

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First kit questions
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2013, 07:00:37 PM »
If you're short on cash, get an AL kettle.  Works great, less expensive than SS.
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Offline garc_mall

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Re: First kit questions
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2013, 07:31:14 PM »
If I were doing it again, I would do the same thing for boiling that I did when I got my original kit. Buy a propane turkey fryer. Something like this. It has gotten me through my first 18 months of brewing, including the jump to all grain. 7.5 gallons can get a bit close when you are doing full volume boils (sometimes I use a small second pot on the stove), but it is certainly cheap and easy.

I highly agree with Jim on everything else he said.

Welcome to the hobby, feel free to ask any questions you have. It will be easier on your taste buds if you learn it the easy way from the smart people on here.

And remember: Relax, Don't Worry, and Have a Homebrew.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: First kit questions
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2013, 10:02:22 PM »
The best advice for homebrew gear purchases is to buy the best you can afford. An el-cheapo aluminum pot from the local thrift store will suit you just fine, and you can always upgrade later. But if you can afford something better, then go for it. Here's the pot I use and I am very happy with it (was a much better deal when I bought it for $50, though):

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0017WPY1A/ref=oh_details_o06_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

You can absolutely make do without a wort chiller. An ice bath will work just fine, especially for partial boils. If you chill your topoff water, then that will help get you down to pitching temps even more quickly.

For a 5-gallon batch, expect to get about 2 cases plus another 6-pack or so. Always have a few extra bottles on hand at bottling time just in case.

Welcome to the hobby. Have fun and enjoy your beer!
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 05:51:38 AM by erockrph »
Eric B.

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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First kit questions
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2013, 10:19:51 PM »
Well put.  Better than a pile of stuff you out grew or only used once.

"Freedom is temporary unless you are also Brave!" - Patriot


Offline leejoreilly

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Re: First kit questions
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2013, 04:55:08 AM »
Look for a restaurant supply store in your area. There are two near me that have lots of neat stuff that can be applied to brewing, like good stock pots in lots of larger sizes, and their prices are usually very good.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: First kit questions
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2013, 05:29:30 AM »
Welcome to the hobby !  When I started brewing (way back), I was on a budget and used an enamel coated 8 gallon canning pot which I got from a hardware store. It allowed me to full wort boil which improved my beer. I replaced it eventually with a SS pot, but I got a lot of batches from it. They're an affordable option as a start up.
Jon H.

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: First kit questions
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2013, 05:38:31 AM »
Welcome to the hobby !  When I started brewing (way back), I was on a budget and used an enamel coated 8 gallon canning pot which I got from a hardware store. It allowed me to full wort boil which improved my beer. I replaced it eventually with a SS pot, but I got a lot of batches from it. They're an affordable option as a start up.

Just be careful not to chip the enamel.  They can corrode pretty quickly.

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: First kit questions
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2013, 05:43:17 AM »
Exactly.  I always used only a plastic spoon.  If you're careful, you can make it last awhile. I even placed a wash cloth under the IC to avoid scratches.  Nice not to worry about it now.
Jon H.

Offline factory

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Re: First kit questions
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2013, 11:49:31 AM »
Welcome to the hobby !  When I started brewing (way back), I was on a budget and used an enamel coated 8 gallon canning pot which I got from a hardware store. It allowed me to full wort boil which improved my beer. I replaced it eventually with a SS pot, but I got a lot of batches from it. They're an affordable option as a start up.

+1

The enamel canning pot is what I started with as well.  Since I switched to all grain, I still use it to heat up sparge water while I'm getting my first runnings into the new boil kettle, so I still have use for it.

You don't need an immersion chiller if you are on a budget (I think we all are), but you can use a large plastic tub filled with ice water to cool the wort down.  It's easier than using the sink IMO.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: First kit questions
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2013, 11:52:43 AM »
+1.  It's now my sparge water vessel as well.
Jon H.

Offline FLbrewer

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Re: First kit questions
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2013, 12:56:52 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions everyone, great advice.

Offline FLbrewer

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Re: First kit questions
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2013, 05:08:36 PM »
One other question related to the boil kettle size...the kit I purchased states you can use a 3.5 gallon kettle or larger. Can I get away with that size for now versus a 5 gallon? I'm just thinking about chilling the wort using ice baths at this point, and the smaller the kettle the more manageable. Thanks again to everyone!

Offline gmac

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Re: First kit questions
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2013, 06:41:37 PM »
One other question related to the boil kettle size...the kit I purchased states you can use a 3.5 gallon kettle or larger. Can I get away with that size for now versus a 5 gallon? I'm just thinking about chilling the wort using ice baths at this point, and the smaller the kettle the more manageable. Thanks again to everyone!
You can get away with smaller but full boil gives better hop utilization.  I was doing 5 gal boils and ice baths and once I went to an immersion chiller I never went back.

I use an aluminum kettle and I love it.  It's cheaper and if you're worried about using A and alzheimersl, I've never had...what was I saying again?  Seriously though, don't scrub it and Al is just fine.  Let it oxidize and it's as good as anything out there.