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Build your own brew kits

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by jpneely, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. jpneely

    jpneely [OP] Well-Known Member

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    hey has anyone ever built thier own home brew set up? as in not buying it from northernbrewer and what-not. im just curious if anyone has been able to do it cheaper than buying it from one of these sites.
     
  2. korslite

    korslite Well-Known Member

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    Craigslist. Got killer deals on all our stuff on CL.
     
  3. jpneely

    jpneely [OP] Well-Known Member

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    oh damn cl never even crossed my mind! grassyass
     
  4. jpneely

    jpneely [OP] Well-Known Member

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    well CL doesnt have jack. anymore ideas?
     
  5. Xshark

    Xshark Well-Known Member

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    You can try searching CL for different cities. Try a larger city close to you, there might be more stuff, if you're willing to drive an hour or two. (or three?).

    I use Northernbrewer as well. Love 'em. Their beer kits are very good too.
     
  6. DTFtacoma

    DTFtacoma Dezert Toy Fabrication

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  7. Mtlgrlie

    Mtlgrlie Active Member

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    I first did a spreadsheet of the components I wanted (you can use NB as a starting point) then looked around the Internet and entered those specs and prices. Then was able to decide where to get what. Even TJ Maxx has good kettles sometimes.

    One difference though, I keg my beer vs. bottling now. I used to bottle but found the money I saved doing bottles was not worth the time and aggravation.
    I dreaded bottling....now I love kegging.
    My beer is also the best I've ever brewed now. I only use Northern Brewer kits (but I do tweak them). The ingredients are FRESH. ;) and they give great directions.
    Look on NB website on a kit you like, look below at the info tab and it will give you the PDF for the ingredients and directions! I use this to decide what else I want to add.

    Last night we brewed a hopped up Deadringer IPA and a hopped up Lakefront IBA.

    Now fermenting in Better Bottles......yum.

    I hope I'm not rambling.....;)

    Good luck!
     
  8. Brent5280

    Brent5280 Member

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    What type of brewing are you doing - All-Grain or extract?

    What type of gear are you looking for? carboys, pumps, kettles, etc?

    Do you have a local homebrew shop nearby? Those usually have better deals on some the gear once you figure in shipping.

    With more info I can probably point you in the right direction.
     
  9. 186000mps

    186000mps ..Slingin' up mud and we're scarying off bunnies..

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    What type of brewing are you interested in? All-grain or extract?
    I built my extract brewing system from the ground up. I have started, but put on hold my all-grain project. So far I have three kegs that I will stage with three burners.
    If you are looking for an extract kit I can take pics of what I have, If all-grain, I'll try to look up the plans I found earlier.
     
  10. Fightnfire

    Fightnfire Recklessly tired

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    I got my starter kit from homebrew heaven, it's local shop in Everett, WA. they also have a great website at homebrewheaven.com.

    Most people starting out buy a starter kit of some sort and then end up replacing parts and pieces as they grow.

    I purchased my 10gal bayou pot for full 5 gallon batches, also got my outdoor burner from them.

    Man, I need to brew up something.
     
  11. jpneely

    jpneely [OP] Well-Known Member

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    man i completely didnt know this thread was still going haha sorry guys. im just beggining so im guessing ill be doing extract brews for my first 1 or two. i have been browsing the Northern Brewers website for a while now and am getting their starter kit. i got a turkey fryer for christmas so thats going to be my brewpot and all.

    i wish we had a homebrew store around me because id much rather support a local business than someone else.

    but i like a good heavy beer. and i am super stoked to start this up.

    and if i had the extra cash i would definately love to jump right into kegging because i know in the long run that would be the best way to do things.

    ive been looking around and was going to try and piece my setup together but realized its probly going to be easiest to just invest in a good starter kit.

    thanks guys!
     
  12. 186000mps

    186000mps ..Slingin' up mud and we're scarying off bunnies..

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    In addition to Norther Brewer, check out http://www.morebeer.com
    Thant where I get alot of stuff.
    FYI, this spring I'll be splitting up some Cascade Rhizomes. I'll make a post and send some out to y'all.
     
  13. jpneely

    jpneely [OP] Well-Known Member

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    alright so i started thinking about it and am still unsure which kit i should pull the trigger on.

    ok any of you who have more experience with this than me (which isnt difficult) which kit would you choose?

    Kit 1: $109
    Bottle of Star San Sanitizer (4oz)
    3/8” Plastic Bottle Filler
    Bag of Bottle Caps (1/4lb)
    Bottle Capper
    Reusable Mesh Steeping Bag
    Reusable Mesh Hop Bags
    Plastic Spoon
    Funnel
    Home Beermaking Book
    Bottle Brush
    Plastic Carboy
    Package of Powdered Brewery Wash (PBW)
    Plastic Bottling/Sanitation Bucket with Spigot
    Airlock
    Rubber Stopper with Hole
    Hydrometer
    Hydrometer Jar
    5ft Vinyl Transfer Tubing
    Sterile Siphon Starter (Contains Racking Cane with Tubing, Air Filter and Carboy Hood)
    5 inch long dial thermometer


    Kit 2: $150

    • Homebrewing 101: Getting Started DVD
    • Six gallon carboy (your choice of glass or plastic)
    • Five gallon carboy (your choice of glass or plastic)
    • Six gallon bottling bucket with spigot
    • Funnel
    • Blowoff hose
    • 2x fermentation locks and bungs
    • Siphon tubing
    • AutoSiphon
    • Bottle filler
    • Bottle brush
    • Carboy brush (with glass carboys only)
    • Carboy dryer
    • Red Baron Bottle capper
    • 60 bottle caps
    • Beer thief
    • Thermometer
    • 2 x Fermometer adhesive thermometers
    • Hydrometer
    • Test jar
    • 4 oz Star San Sanitizer
    • 2 oz PBW Cleaner
    • Complete instructions
     
  14. Mtlgrlie

    Mtlgrlie Active Member

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    Kit 2.....with Better Bottles. Light and they don't shatter. And light....and light!

    Some around my way think it's not the "true" way, but it's a breeze to lift, aerate, drain, and clean! And a bigger Star San sanitizer bottle will eventually be needed. Might as well get it now. I use a big Rubbermaid bin to sanitize in. And a spray bottle filled with sanitizer to re-spray randomly. (Don't fear the foam!). ;)

    Also don't forget a way to cool your Wort. You could use an ice bath, but that can take a while to get to temp. We looked at the copper ones on NB and then went to Home Depot. Got copper tubing to bend, the thingy to go on your faucet with the vinyl tubing....tubing out needs no connector...the plumbing guy helped us know what to get with a picture...done. Easy. Crazy cheaper. By the way, that tubing doesn't need to be food grade. It's just cold water going through it, not touching your beer, or it shouldn't.

    And it was easy, really. Probably like a lot of mods here. Scary to start, but not hard.

    Hopefully not too much info....I get excited talking about this stuff.

    Goooood luck!

    I'll try to find pics too.
     
  15. Mtlgrlie

    Mtlgrlie Active Member

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    Here's a pic off the DeadRinger IPA (with extra hops) on the left, and Lakefront's IBA (with extra hops on the right). About to transfer to secondary today or tomorrow. Will then simply add regular airlocks to both (instead of blow-off tubes). These are both ales with the same yeast, so the same fermentation temps. which means i can keep them both equally toasty (relatively speaking) just taking temp from one carboy with one analog thermostat to two heat wraps.

    yes, it seems overkill to some, but I live in an 1800's house in the Northeast. I was tired of guessing and cheaply trying keeping my beer warm. Now it's easy again.


    [​IMG]
    Primary with blowoff and heaters by Mtlgrlie, on Flickr
     
  16. Stubbs95tacoma

    Stubbs95tacoma Well-Known Member

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    I make my own! dont bother putting it in bottles just go to a restraunt and ask if there is any half kegs they are getting rid of! You know the ones that you can take the tops off of? I have two of those and fill them both up when I brew.
     
  17. Mtlgrlie

    Mtlgrlie Active Member

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    Very correct. There are SOOOOO many ways to brew. And cheap is good! I didn't have anyone around me who had kegs to give. I chose to put my building energy into a kreezer instead.


    I normally drink very high gravity, finicky-type beers. A 7% beer is a LIGHT beer to me. ;) My next will be a Flemish Red (or to some, a Flemish sour).

    Plus I live with a chemical engineer (not a chemist), who by trade is interested in process, procedure, and data.

    BUT.......I am an artist and production assistant, so I'm interested in building things etc. so I do everything but boil up the wort.

    oh, i also use a Brewmaster App. i can log my changes, change ingredients, time every step, and make sure my recipe is correct. But that's just for fun.

    Yes, I'm as anal about my beer making as some are about their mods, so don't give me too much hell.

    This pic show 2 yeasts on the left (one for each beer) in a smack pack. friggin love them. then the hop additions just for one beer. (about 7 oz)

    my second to last beer had over a pound of hops. A hop bomb, but a very balanced hop bomb!

    [​IMG]
    In process by Mtlgrlie, on Flickr
     
  18. Mtlgrlie

    Mtlgrlie Active Member

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    wait....do you mean kegging, and not using beer bottles? old corny kegs? or do you mean re-purposing industrial larger kegs by using them as a kettle?

    i think perhaps i misunderstood what you were saying. :)

    i do use old soda kegs (cornelius, not pin-lock). about 30 bucks each. Getting harder and harder to find used ones, so they're getting more expensive every time i look.

    the soda industry went to plastic/paper. Boon for us, bad for the environment.
     
  19. 186000mps

    186000mps ..Slingin' up mud and we're scarying off bunnies..

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    You'll also need a kettle. Something like this:
    A built in thermometer is very handy.

    100_3587.jpg
     
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