Author Topic: New member, go easy on me! I have questions.  (Read 3634 times)

Offline TacticalGarand44

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New member, go easy on me! I have questions.
« on: June 05, 2017, 06:47:54 PM »
Hi folks, I'm new around here. As you can probably guess, I am new to brewing, but I am excited to get started in this hobby. I want to get started with an economical 5 gallon brew kit, and I have some questions regarding the Beer, Simply Beer kit from Midwest Suppliers. https://www.midwestsupplies.com/simply-beer-brewing-starter-kit This is the kit. Now the description states that the kit contains everything needed to produce beer except a large kettle, bottles, and caps. Can anyone tell me if there is a better, more complete kit out there? Or if this kit is missing anything I would want for the near future in my brewing career?

Also, which beer recipe among the options in that kit do you think would be the most forgiving to a newcomer?

Thank you!
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Re: New member, go easy on me! I have questions.
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2017, 06:58:18 PM »
Do you have a kettle? If not, I'd opt for this kit instead. https://www.midwestsupplies.com/platinum-pro-beer-brewing-starter-kit

Don't put too much stock into advice on equipment just yet. Go basic and inexpensive to see if you enjoy brewing first. After you've been bit by the bug, come back for advice on where to send all of your spending cash.

Offline TacticalGarand44

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Re: New member, go easy on me! I have questions.
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2017, 07:18:14 PM »
Do you have a kettle? If not, I'd opt for this kit instead. https://www.midwestsupplies.com/platinum-pro-beer-brewing-starter-kit

Don't put too much stock into advice on equipment just yet. Go basic and inexpensive to see if you enjoy brewing first. After you've been bit by the bug, come back for advice on where to send all of your spending cash.
It seems that kit does not include a hydrometer, whereas the 50 dollar kit does. Is this a necessary component?
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Offline alestateyall

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Re: New member, go easy on me! I have questions.
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2017, 07:23:56 PM »
The hydrometer is useful to know for sure that fermentation is complete. Also, if you measure the specific gravity before and after fermentation you can calculate the alcohol content in your beer (nice to know since all your friends will ask).

Online Stevie

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New member, go easy on me! I have questions.
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2017, 07:36:07 PM »
Hydrometer is a necessity IMO. Very odd to see that kit without one. It also doesn't include sanitizer. You will need some of that. Grab a small bottle of iodophor for now.

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Re: New member, go easy on me! I have questions.
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2017, 08:37:33 PM »
Are you set on doing 5 gallong batches?  If you are just starting out I would recommend trying 3 gallon, 5 gallon kettles from adventures in homebrewing are pretty cheap (20-30), then get your auto siphon ($10), sanatizer (depends on size, either Iodaphor or star san, both work well) and capper ($15) #10 bung and airlock ($2) hydrometer ($6) and a 5 gallon water jug from walmart (should run about $5) bottle filler ($3) pick up a food grade bucket and misellanious tubing from the hardware store. You are in business.  3 gallons are quicker to boil (can do it on your stove top) and quicker to cool and you are only bottling about 24(ish) bottles instead of 48(ish).  For about 10 bucks more that the kits, you have a more complete brew setup that is easier to wrangle. One downside is it us tough to find premade recipe kits in that size so you either have to bootstrap it or come to the forums  :D for guideance.  Welcome to the hobby!

Offline TacticalGarand44

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Re: New member, go easy on me! I have questions.
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2017, 06:35:52 AM »
Are you set on doing 5 gallong batches?  If you are just starting out I would recommend trying 3 gallon, 5 gallon kettles from adventures in homebrewing are pretty cheap (20-30), then get your auto siphon ($10), sanatizer (depends on size, either Iodaphor or star san, both work well) and capper ($15) #10 bung and airlock ($2) hydrometer ($6) and a 5 gallon water jug from walmart (should run about $5) bottle filler ($3) pick up a food grade bucket and misellanious tubing from the hardware store. You are in business.  3 gallons are quicker to boil (can do it on your stove top) and quicker to cool and you are only bottling about 24(ish) bottles instead of 48(ish).  For about 10 bucks more that the kits, you have a more complete brew setup that is easier to wrangle. One downside is it us tough to find premade recipe kits in that size so you either have to bootstrap it or come to the forums  :D for guideance.  Welcome to the hobby!
I hear what you are saying, but I think I do want to do 5 gallon batches. Most of the recipe packs are for 5 gallons, as are all the youtube instruction videos. I think I will buy the smaller, 50 dollar kit, and add a 5 gallon pot. In addition, I will buy bottles and caps, and I think I should be right around 100 dollars for my initial investment, including a 20 dollar beer recipe. Now it seems to me that my per batch costs will be right around 25 dollars: 20 for a recipe, 1.50 for caps, about a dollar for sanitizer, and a few extra bucks for electricity. Does this seem right to you? Am I underestimating the power bill, or missing any other expenses?
God is great. Beer is good. People are crazy.

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Re: New member, go easy on me! I have questions.
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2017, 06:46:36 AM »
Working with those basic extract kits, you should be right around $24-25. Sanitizer won't cost pu that much, and you don't need to make 5 gallons like the label says. You just need enough to get all your equipment wet. Spray bottles are nice for this.

Offline TacticalGarand44

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Re: New member, go easy on me! I have questions.
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2017, 06:54:47 AM »
Working with those basic extract kits, you should be right around $24-25. Sanitizer won't cost pu that much, and you don't need to make 5 gallons like the label says. You just need enough to get all your equipment wet. Spray bottles are nice for this.

Thank you. There is a debate on another forum right now, saying that homebrewing does not save you money. But if I am able to brew a drinkable beer for 50 cents per bottle, it would be cheaper even than Keystone Light! Hopefully my beer tastes better than that, however. I expect that as I get further into the hobby, I will try to make beer directly from grain (I am a farmer) and homegrown hops.
God is great. Beer is good. People are crazy.

jrdatta

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Re: New member, go easy on me! I have questions.
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2017, 07:07:46 AM »

I hear what you are saying, but I think I do want to do 5 gallon batches. Most of the recipe packs are for 5 gallons, as are all the youtube instruction videos. I think I will buy the smaller, 50 dollar kit, and add a 5 gallon pot. In addition, I will buy bottles and caps, and I think I should be right around 100 dollars for my initial investment, including a 20 dollar beer recipe. Now it seems to me that my per batch costs will be right around 25 dollars: 20 for a recipe, 1.50 for caps, about a dollar for sanitizer, and a few extra bucks for electricity. Does this seem right to you? Am I underestimating the power bill, or missing any other expenses?
[/quote]

Underestimating the cost of the 5 gallon recipe kits. Most are going to run you between $35-50 with yeast.  Extract is not really all that cheap.  You don't need to buy your bottles, just save them and soak them in oxyclean free to get the labels off and all of the gunk inside out. Sanatizer will be way les than a dollar per batch and electricity will be nothing.  A word of warning, with a 5 gallon kettle for a five gallon batch, it means that you will need to do a concentrated boil and dilute in the fermentor. 

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Re: New member, go easy on me! I have questions.
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2017, 07:12:26 AM »
The kits he's looking at are $20 each, with yeast. NB/MWS came out with they a couple of years back.

https://www.midwestsupplies.com/recipe-kits/beer-simply-beer

Offline TacticalGarand44

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Re: New member, go easy on me! I have questions.
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2017, 07:18:24 AM »
Is there a larger kettle I should buy?
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jrdatta

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Re: New member, go easy on me! I have questions.
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2017, 07:18:59 AM »
I avoid NB/MW like the plague now, so I guess I didn't even know they had them.

jrdatta

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Re: New member, go easy on me! I have questions.
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2017, 07:20:55 AM »
Is there a larger kettle I should buy?

Nah, you will be fine doing partial boils to start.  Lots of good homebrew made that way.  And you can do all grain via a brew bag if you ever want to try that out (that would have to be a 3 gallon batch though).

Offline salcedo

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Re: New member, go easy on me! I have questions.
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2017, 07:21:30 AM »
I would recommend getting an auto-siphon and a large strainer. The strainer helps remove the trub so it does not end up in the fermenter. large enough to fit over the bucket without falling in. It sounds like the kit comes with a racking cane which is fine, but hard to get a siphon started without contamination. Auto siphon is a must have in my opinion

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