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Old 11-17-2011, 10:06 PM   #1
simmonjam1
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I've been thinking of trying my hand at making beer. Does anyone have any recommendations on a starter kit? I'm only aware of Mr. Beer and Coopers (leaning towards Coopers). Any tips would be appreciated.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:39 PM   #2
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I bought a beginner kit last year at this time from Midwest Supplies...actually, it might of been an intermediate kit (which I would recommend)...it has stuff that your going to want to buy fairly soon anyway.

Like many hobbies, it can get expensive quick, or you can keep it simple and still get good results. I'm hoping to get into kegging this winter, which will increase the cost a little bit, but will make it easier to keep a pipeline of good beer on hand!

It's been a fun hobby for me, and all of the beer that I have brewed (partial mash kits) has been very good. I'm also planning on getting away from the kits and just start buying bulk ingredients and following recipes...but recipe kits are great way to get started, and I feel that Midwest Supplies has some pretty good kits.

I'm still fairly new at brewing as well, but feel free to ask any questions and I will answer them if I can.

HomeBrewTalk.com is a pretty good forum for info as well.
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:13 PM   #3
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Check out: http://www.thehomevintner.com/beer

They have a store in Calgary and Airdrie, and although most of it is home brewed wine, they do some beer making classes too. The guy that runs it is really nice to boot.

Last edited by Jayems; 11-17-2011 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:16 PM   #4
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http://www.thebrewhouse.com/

i have used the brew house kits for a long time and have had great success with their kits. what i like is that they come with the wort premixed...you don't have to boil anything to start the fermentation cycle.

plenty of tasty flavours too!
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:21 PM   #5
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Roughly what is the cost and time commitment for a home brew?

And what about bottling?
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:37 PM   #6
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The kits I have been brewing are about $25-$30 USD and take about an hour to brew, about a month fermentation, about another month in the bottle (i've think most beers get better the longer they're in the bottle...say 3-4 months).

If you keg, you can drink the beer much quicker, particularly if you have a co2 system...I think maybe two weeks, maybe sooner, I might be wrong though.

Price can be hard to figure though, because you also have the cost of equipment to factor in, which will eventually break even. I brew five gallon batches...that is another area that I would like to upgrade. I'd like to be brewing 10-15 gallon batches, and that wouldn't cost much more if you buy your ingredients in bulk.

I use a propane burner and a 5 gallon aluminum turkey fryer pot to brew...some say to stay away from aluminum, but it is cheap, and I haven't had any bad taste from it.

Last edited by AvsJerk; 11-17-2011 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 11-18-2011, 12:49 AM   #7
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There used to be a great place in the Beddington shopping center, beside that convenience store. Would HIGHLY recommend them to anyone looking to get into the hobby.
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Old 11-18-2011, 01:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AvsJerk View Post
I use a propane burner and a 5 gallon aluminum turkey fryer pot to brew...some say to stay away from aluminum, but it is cheap, and I haven't had any bad taste from it.

I hear the alzheimers winter ale is top shelf.
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Old 11-18-2011, 08:44 AM   #9
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Home made beer kits have to be up there with home gyms and Espresso makers on the list of things you buy and use once. I don't think I've ever tasted any home brew that didn't make me have a new appreciation for Club.
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:12 AM   #10
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I second the Brewhouse kits. I made the IPA a few months back, which was good beer, and just bottled the Red Ale last night. All the dirty work is already done so they make a good starting point. I'll move up to partial mashes as I get more experienced with home-brews.
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:21 PM   #11
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Just don't become home brew guy. Nothing, says "Hey, I'm an obnoxious dickhead" quite like the guy who gives you a bottle of his homemade wine or homemade beer as a gift and then begins to tell you how he made it. I don't give a ####!
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Old 11-18-2011, 08:20 PM   #12
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Just don't become home brew guy. Nothing, says "Hey, I'm an obnoxious dickhead" quite like the guy who gives you a bottle of his homemade wine or homemade beer as a gift and then begins to tell you how he made it. I don't give a ####!
Worse is the 'this only costs about 6 cents a gallon, don't worry once you get used to the after taste its just as good as that commercial swill'.

It's beer for christs sake, buy a cheap car or a cheap lawnmower but not beer, its to damn important for that.
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:02 PM   #13
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I've been meaning to give this outfit a try.

TheBewersMarket.com

Another extremely simple kit to use is Festa. It's super easy to do and makes excellent beer. You can find it here in town.
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:12 PM   #14
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Hey Gents,

What machine do you use for brewing?
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Old 03-26-2012, 03:52 PM   #15
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Anybody tried the Mr. Beer starter kits? I'm just looking in to starting brewing and I've been told that isn't a bad way to start. I'm just trying to decide what direction I should go for my first attempt.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:07 AM   #16
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I got a home brew kit as a gift for Christmas I have been trying to find time to get at.

How much time does it take roughly to get it to the fermentation stage?

Does it stink up the place when you are brewing? For example, would it be ok to do it in an apartment?

I was also curious about Hops. I got a Pale Ale kit and am a big Hops fan, is it a bad idea to tamper with your first batch by adding in some of your ingredients?
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:21 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Anybody tried the Mr. Beer starter kits? I'm just looking in to starting brewing and I've been told that isn't a bad way to start. I'm just trying to decide what direction I should go for my first attempt.
I wouldn't do Mr. Beer, I'd do a full on kit.

Mr. Beer is pretty much fool proof, but it's not exceptional. If you want to try other recipes and so on, you'll also end up having to buy new equipment because Mr. Beer is half batches.

If you seriously think you'll make more than one batch, avoid the Mr. Beer.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:30 AM   #18
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I got a "beer machine" as a gift, pretty much idiot proof and the final product was good. Check it out: http://beermachine.com/
Finished in ten days too.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:44 PM   #19
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I have a bunch of pop top bottles if anyone wants them (Grolsch). I also have the carboys and siphon hose somewhere (I think), and a book that tells you how to do it. It's not hard, but it takes about a month per batch, and I live beside a liquor store.

Made homebrew for a while, and actually got pretty good at it. You can buy pre-made wort (that way you don't have to worry about burning your house down) and go from there. All in I think I was making about 48 beers for about 40 bucks. Like I said though, it's time intensive. My old man went as far as brewing his own, carbonating with CO2, kegging, and chilled in a kegerator (this cuts about 3 weeks off the process). He even had a tap on the front, plumbed into a CO2 line so no hand pumping. Fast forward 2 months, and I think him and his pals packed on about 40 pounds from standing around all day drinking.

I'd be happy to give all my stuff to someone that wanted to have a go at it. Right now it's all collecting dust in my garage. Don't bother with the kits you find at superstore, they're junk.

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Old 02-02-2015, 10:50 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash Walken View Post
I wouldn't do Mr. Beer, I'd do a full on kit.

Mr. Beer is pretty much fool proof, but it's not exceptional. If you want to try other recipes and so on, you'll also end up having to buy new equipment because Mr. Beer is half batches.

If you seriously think you'll make more than one batch, avoid the Mr. Beer.
When you get a brew kit from mr. beer you're just getting the option of brewing something that is basically fool proof if you don't want to take it any farther than that. There are countless advanced recipes for mr. beer kits beyond the simple hme mixes that are the same as any other set on the market.

If this is your first attempt at home brewing, go simple and work your way up to avoid disappointment.
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