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Apr 21, 2008 05:43 AM

Beer brewing kits?

My bets friend and I want to try our hands at brewing our own beers. Any recommendations on starter kits? I found this on Amazon:

Thanks-- Jen

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  1. I would be very circumspect about that kit. Brewing beer from these types of kits just might turn you off the hobby.

    Go to your nearest homebrew shop and ask them if there is a local homebrew club. You can get every thing you need to get a start making decent extract brews for $100-150. Then, join the homebrew club and learn from the experienced brewers. In my experience, they will be very generous with their time and knowledge.

    1. For a no-boil kit this is expensive. The Northern Brewer starter kit is only $74 ( You do have to get bottles and ingredients separately, however. You can save your beer bottles (no screw tops) or buy a case of clean ones for $14. An extract ingredient kit can range from $20-35. Finally, you'll need a stock pot which can hold at least 3 gallons, preferably 5. Also, read through
      Your final product will be much better tasting and your budget won't be much more than $100.

      1 Reply
      1. Another suggestion would be to see if their are any brew-on-premise type places in your area and schedule a brewday to see if it is something you want to continue to do before shelling out the money for your own equipment.

        1 Reply
        1. re: LStaff

          We have one local brewery- Ithaca Beer (in NY). I can check. I know they sell equipment.

        2. No don't buy this kit. It looks like a rip-off. Hard to really see what you are getting for your money. First, beer bottles are free. Fermenting in plastic won't cut it over the long haul. It seems to me that if you went to a decent homebrew store and bought decent equipment and bought bulk extract syrup and a basic intro book (which I am guessing would have to be better than their limited video tape) you would come out ahead in both the long term and the short. I have found homebrewers to be a very helpful lot. If you went to a good store (not on a weekend) they would probably be generous with their time.

          1 Reply
          1. re: portpig

            Amen, portpig! Invest in a decent bottle capper too.
            Both my son and I began brewing overseas and it gave us an in to a local segment of society; home brewers are a great group, worldwide. I started thirty years ago in Norway because beer was so expensive; David began 2 years ago in S. Korea because the beer is so bad (think Coors Light).
            Welcome to the fold and and after the first batch, keep experimenting! It'll taste great after the 3rd one. My first batch was out of desperation. The early, 70's, my cousin, my brother and me were young single and broke and I mean broke teachers in New Mexico. We had no money for beer, so in a flash of genius(insanity?), from the kitchen cupboard I decided to make beer. With no research, I combined rice, brown sugar, and baking yeast, let it ferment, bottled it and.... after the third one it wasn't half bad. Funny how fond memories can improve events over time. Musta killed a lot brain cells. Our oldest 2 boys are named after my 2 cohorts in 70's beer crime.
            Remember that in 1970, microbrewery was not yet a word.
            Just watch your waistline!

          2. I haven't brewed my own beer in several years. I would stay away from the kits, as they don't supply you with all the knowledge. They may give you a step by step process, but they don't impart why you are taking the steps and what you should avoid. My humble suggestion would be to buy "Homebrewing for Dummies" off of Amazon instead. It is an excellent read and supplies you with the information you need. It also gives you links where you can buy equiptment and ingredients online. Google "home brew supplies" and your local area. You might be suprised how many local brew shops there may be within a 50 mile radius. Good luck and happy brewing!