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What is the best home brew starter kit? (not too expensive)

Discussion in 'Gear and Equipment' started by KegLand-com-au, 20/5/19.

 

  1. KegLand-com-au

    www.KegLand.com.au - A Land of Stainless Steel AHB Sponsor

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    Posted 20/5/19
    Hey guys. I know a lot of you pro brewers want stainless steel fermenters, conicals, kegmenters etc.

    We wanted to put the question out to you guys to see what you guys think should be in the ideal starter kit for beginners. So not the expensive SS hardware.

    For instance would you prefer 30 x 750ml PET plastic bottles, or would you prefer the crown seal caps and a bottle capper.

    Would you prefer an HDPE fermenter or would you prefer a clear plastic fermenter like the Fermonster (https://www.morebeer.com/products/fermonster-carboy-7-gal.html).

    I guess this starter kit needs to be good value for new guys who are getting into the hobby.

    Would you prefer a racking cane, or would you prefer a tap through the wall of the fermenter. I think not having a hole in the fermenter wall makes it more sanitary however a tap is more convenient.

    We would really like to hear what you guys think.
     
  2. Mat

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    Posted 20/5/19
    - Capper and caps.
    - Racking cane
    - For the fermenter, perhaps something similar to the coopers one. PET but with the large opening for easy cleaning/access, best of both worlds. That being said, i think the standard HDPE is more versatile as they progress with the hobby, can be used as the sanitiser bucket on brew day, grain storage etc

    Will glass bottles be available for purchase or will they need to be acquired separately?
    You could offer both options and have drop down selection options, similar to the morebeer website linked in the OP
     
  3. Luxo_Aussie

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    Posted 20/5/19
    -Plastic PET bottles since they are more forgiving for beginners (although I don't use them anymore).
    -HDPE Fermenter, I use Speidel's since they are similar to Cooper's with about a 15cm opening at the top but aren't perfect since they don't come with a thermometer or volume label. Definitely with a tap, the ease of bottling & mid-brew tasting makes it better in my opinion.
     
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  4. wide eyed and legless

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    Posted 20/5/19
    Fermenter wise, a new starter should look no further than the Snubby with tap and racking arm, that way if the user wants to get inti pressure fermenting he is good to go. Not a great expense and fits into a standard fridge.
     
  5. Fro-Daddy

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    Posted 20/5/19
    I wouldn't go a PET fermenter for a beginner since they can't handle boiling water.
    Most beginners do a kit and kilo and follow the instructions, which are to add hot/boiling water to dissolve the goo and then top up with cold water.

    PET bottles are great and some comps aren't accepting glass now so I think that is the better solution. Also easier/cheaper to post I assume.

    Taps are so easy, but if they get blocked it can be frustrating.
    I would have preferred a cane in my first kit.
     
  6. mongey

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    Posted 21/5/19
    def tap IMHO. easier to bottle and to test gravity along the way, and its less to sanitize and go wrong

    personally i just don't like PET bottles ,never have .I know its the same and its all in my head , but I just prefer using glass.

    My first set up was a present and it came with a FWK ,which I think is a great option for a first beer choice as an add on . nice and simple and you end up with good beer
     
  7. micka80

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    Posted 21/5/19
    If I were to set up a fresh kit it would definitely be glass bottles with caps (too many flat pet bottles when I started), no tap fermenter, bench capper, racking cane with hose & bottling wand, sodium per carbonate and starsan, and an option to add bottle rinser and draining tree, maybe even a bottling bucket. Instructions included for syphoning, cleaning and bulk priming etc.
     
    Mat likes this.
  8. KegLand-com-au

    www.KegLand.com.au - A Land of Stainless Steel AHB Sponsor

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    Posted 21/5/19
    The racking cane would probably increase the cost a bit. What racking cane do you currently use? We find a lot of the cheap ones from China seem to break really easily and to be honest I don't like using polycarbonate due to the fact that it contains BPA. So we would either have to make a new design like something out of HDPE or stainless steel.

    I would agree. The HDPE buckets are really versatile and they make good storage containers. The main draw back is the carry over with smell and that HDPE is such a porous plastic in general. PET is probably the best option but we would have to make new tooling for this and if we get enough people want this then we will do it.
     
  9. KegLand-com-au

    www.KegLand.com.au - A Land of Stainless Steel AHB Sponsor

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    Posted 21/5/19
    Yes from a risk perspective plastic bottles are better. As long as you drink the beer within a couple months the oxygen transmission through the PET bottle wall should not be so great that it's noticeable. This is probably the cheapest option too because we don't need to include the bench capper device.
     
  10. KegLand-com-au

    www.KegLand.com.au - A Land of Stainless Steel AHB Sponsor

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    Posted 21/5/19
    Thanks for that feedback. If the starter kit was $50 with the tap through the fermenter wall and then with a stainless racking cane it was $70. Do you think you would prefer the racking cane option taking into account the additional $20
     
  11. KegLand-com-au

    www.KegLand.com.au - A Land of Stainless Steel AHB Sponsor

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    Posted 21/5/19
    Yes we should probably make a better design of a pressure fermenter. The snubby shape could do with some improvements and it's probably a good idea for us to make a pressure rated fermenter that doesn't have the cumbersome shape of a cone on the underside. Also the lid opening is still a bit on the small side and this could be increased too. So if these improvements were made this could make another good option. The only issue is the price would start to creep up a bit and if we include all the other starter kit gear a pressure fermenter kit could end up costing $100 which is a bit on the high side for a starter kit right?
     
  12. Nullnvoid

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    Posted 21/5/19
    In my opinion you want to keep it easy.

    When I have gotten my friends into brewing I've gone straight for pet bottles. So much easier than capping and glass. And also the safety aspect.

    And definitely a tap over a racking cane. Much easier to get hydro samples. Again the safety aspect of making sure the brew is finished before Bottling.

    Good on you guys for asking the question!
     
  13. Luxo_Aussie

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    Posted 21/5/19
    If you did want to go down the capping route, my local shop has their own capper which is cheaper than a bench capper, seems to work in a pincer motion and comes with their kits. Haven't used it as I opted for a bench capper, but could be a cheaper, intermediary capping solution.
     
  14. wide eyed and legless

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    Posted 21/5/19
    Unless the new starter was lacking in the logic dept he would have the cold water in the fermenter to add the boiled wort too.
    I pressure tested the bog standard hdpe fermenter to 40 psi, admittedly the lid wouldn't come off again but 15 psi would be more than manageable, problem is still needs a pressure kit, the snubby comes with the kit included so a good affordable option. Taps are more convenient as are glass bottles last for years, common sense with bottling and over carbing will be avoided.
     
  15. Dozer71

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    Posted 21/5/19
    Most start with K&K, so add DME, then boiling water to dissolve, swirl, add kit then cool water to required level. Boiling water is often added to fermenter when starting.
     
  16. Fro-Daddy

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    Posted 21/5/19
    Have you read the posts on FB in the home brewing groups?
    People will just follow instructions.

    I would have but I never bottled, I went straight in to kegs.
    If bottling, it seems like a tap might be better.

    Also, my first Morgan's kit was $80 for reference, they all seemed similarly priced at the time.
     
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  17. kortum11

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    Posted 17/6/19 at 3:51 AM
    I am just getting back into brewing and have been looking into the starter kits just to get a bit of equipment before i slowly build up to AG brewing. I'm planning on using FWK's to begin with but the basic equipment is the same. This is what i want as a base;

    Fermenter with tap, thermometer & airlock
    Long Handled Spoon
    Bottle Filler
    Tube to connect bottle filler to tap
    Bottle Brush
    Cleaning & sanitizing products
    Hydrometer
    Carbonation drops
    PET Bottles & Caps
    Heating Pad/Belt (depending on price)
    FWK & Yeast or Extract Kit & Dextrose


    If you're buying a beginners kit you want to be able to brew without getting anything else for your first brew. Keep it basic, you can always offer additional kits that include a bottle tree, capper (hand & bench) with caps or any other combination. At the end of the day the first batch will determine if the brewer continues or not. If they want to continue they will upgrade their equipment over time, this is just to get them started
     
  18. mrkurt

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    Posted 17/6/19 at 9:50 PM
    The coopers kits are great. Usually about $100 at big w. Or even Dan Murphy. The fermenter has been specifically designed for home brewing, so that's always good.
     

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