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Homebrew Beer?

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Old 09-22-05, 12:49 PM
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InfamousG
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Homebrew Beer?

I'm interested in purchasing a Home Brew kit for my dad's birthday and am running into the following questions:


1) Where to buy?
I have never paid attention to any stores in my general vicinity that may sell homebrew kits/accessories/ingredients
I'm leery of purchasing it online because then I can't ask specific questions

2) Do I have to be 21 to buy a brewer?
I'm 20, but when I was browsing online I didn't see anything about them asking for age verification when ordering. Is it legal to purchase the ingrediants to make beer without being of legal age to consume it?

Any help would be appreciated, thanks!
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Old 09-22-05, 01:03 PM
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I order from William's Brewing quite a bit. Good quality, variety, & decent prices. They have pretty nice starter kits too.

I don't think you need to be 21 to order supplies or kits.

If you're looking for local retailers, try checking your yellow pages for beer & wine making supplies, or maybe do a google search.
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Old 09-22-05, 01:23 PM
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1) try a local google search
http://local.google.com/local?sc=1&h...le+Search&rl=1

2) depends on your state. Though I really don't see how you could be legally restricted from buying hops, malt extract, water or yeast. Likewise for a bucket & airlock (though I prefer using glass for primary & secondary fermentation). Possibly your 'dad' will have to acquire his own bottles in which to store the homebrew between final fermentation & consumption. Though kegging is an alternative (a somewhat expesive one though).
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Old 09-22-05, 01:31 PM
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I second Nick's recommendation for Williams Brewing. I purchased supplies and the India Pale Ale kit from them and had no problems at all. After that, I went to a store locally to purchase the malt, yeast, etc. One thing to keep in mind, one of the most time consuming duties when brewing is to clean/sterilize the bottles. If your dad plans to drink most of the beer at home (as opposed to giving bottles away as gifts), consider getting the reusable kegs. It will make the whole procedure much easier.

One more thing - go to a commercial supply kitchen to get certain supplies such as the large pot, plastic ladles and bottle brushes. You'll probably find stuff a lot cheaper there than you would if you order online or at your local brewing store.

Your dad will really appreciate this gift. And homebrewed beer tastes really good!
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Old 09-22-05, 01:44 PM
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Well, I found one that looks like it's right on the way home from work. Crappy website but oh well.


They have two starter kits, normal ($50) and deluxe ($74).
Deluxe item additions in bold:
6.5 Gallon Primary Fermenter With Lid
6.5 Gallon Bottling Bucket With Bottling Spigot
5 Gallon Glass Carboy
8 Oz One Step Cleanser
Three Piece Airlock
Home Beermaking Book
Hydrometer
Racking Cane With Sediment Tip
4' of Tubing
Bottle Brush
Bottle Filler
Fermtech Auto Syphon

Twin Lever Capper
Liquid Crystal Thermometer
Equipment Instructions
Bucket Clip


Sound like a good deal? I really would have a hard time buying things seperate since I really don't know what is what.
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Old 09-22-05, 01:50 PM
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Seems pretty reasonable, though I don't recall what I paid for my kit - it was a long time ago. I'm heavily biased towards using the glass carboy, at least for 2nd ferment. Its easy & makes better beer. An auto siphon will help too, as thats normally a process with a high risk of contaminating the brew. A bottle filler is a 'nice to have' - not mandatory, but you'll (he'll) waste less beer when bottling.
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Old 09-22-05, 01:51 PM
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Now that I read into it a bit more, I see things saying I need to buy a Stainless Steel pot on top of all of this? Hmm..

What is the typical "First Batch" cost?
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Old 09-22-05, 02:20 PM
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Stainless is nice, but other pots work. My brother used aluminum. Bigger pots are nicer, but you can get by with anything larger than about 12 quarts.
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Old 09-22-05, 02:27 PM
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I highly recommend getting your father a copy of Charlie Papazian's "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing"

It's the gospel for brewers.
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Old 09-22-05, 02:55 PM
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Anyone have a "First Batch" cost estimate?

($ Basic Necessities + $ Ingrediants) = $ First Batch
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Old 09-22-05, 04:17 PM
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Well if you buy the $75.00 starter kit & tack on approx. $30.00 for ingredients you're looking at a bit over $100. Tack on some extra if you need a big pot.

If you want my two cents, you can probably save a few bucks by just buying components rather than a kit.

My shopping list would be:

2 - 5 gallon carboys (get 7 gal if you find them)

1 - 5 gallon food grade plastic bucket

A couple one hole stoppers to fit the carboys

1 - airlock

at least 4 feet of plastic hose

racking cane & bottling wand (sometimes sold together)

capper & bag of caps

bottle brush and/or jet washer that screws onto a faucet

Thermometer

enough 22 oz bottles to hold 5 gallons

Papazian's book

That ought to get your father started on the right foot and he can always (& probably will) add to it later.

Cheers!

Last edited by nick burns; 09-22-05 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 09-22-05, 07:04 PM
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Figure on about $150 for your first batch including all the "necessary" supplies and a couple of extras. I strongly recommend one (or two) glass carboys. Thereafter it should run you about $30-$35 a batch including consumbables (idophor, bottles/caps, etc.). Typical batches are 5 gallons each. As with most hobbies you can stop there or spend much more on deluxe all-grain setups, CO2 kegging systems, etc.

Good luck - homebrewing is a blast once you get into it. . . Well, the drinking part anyway!

Remember to keep everything sterile! That's the most important advice anyone can give you.
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Old 09-22-05, 07:06 PM
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Old 09-23-05, 11:44 AM
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What are your thoughts on the MrBeer kit? http://store.mrbeer.com/brewkitsmain.html
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Old 09-23-05, 12:44 PM
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Is that the all-in-one kit where you ferment it in the same vessel it is eventually dispensed from? (I'm not gonna click the link at work) If so, it will produce a low-quality beer, at best.
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