Completely beer brewing kit for 600$

Assume I have no equipment at all, and i want to begin a home brew. Excluding the actual material for first batch, how can i best spend 500-600$

kthnxbai
You can get a really good setup for that amount. That’s a lot of money for a beginner. As far as how to spend it, I would go to places like these to check things out:

well, i can spend UP to 600$ on it, then what is a good value kit in that price range? i dont want to "settle" for crap equipment

You can buy an equipment kit for less that $100. Through in a SS pot and you’re pretty much ready to make beer. Of course, you can spend a lot of money on it initially, but you aren’t gonna really know what you’re doing or how to do it properly.

Buy a pot, buy a kit (usually consists of a carboy, a bucket a hydrometer and maybe a couple hoses) and buy an ingredient kit/recipe kit. That’ll get you started. Then once you’re ready, use more of that $600 to make better beer. I’ve been making beer a year now and still do it on my stovetop. But I’ve gotten my process down so that my efficiencies are solid and so is the beer, IMO.

You can buy an equipment kit for less that $100. Through in a SS pot and you’re pretty much ready to make beer. Of course, you can spend a lot of money on it initially, but you aren’t gonna really know what you’re doing or how to do it properly.

Buy a pot, buy a kit (usually consists of a carboy, a bucket a hydrometer and maybe a couple hoses) and buy an ingredient kit/recipe kit. That’ll get you started. Then once you’re ready, use more of that $600 to make better beer. I’ve been making beer a year now and still do it on my stovetop. But I’ve gotten my process down so that my efficiencies are solid and so is the beer, IMO.

I started about six months ago and still havent spent $600 on stuff and I have bought a lot of stuff over the last few months. I would say about $150 would get you a pretty good setup for starters.
ok – so i can save money for ingredients – awesome. can you share what type of equipment you currently use? and if you had to buy new ones, wht would you go for?
I’d get a deluxe kit from Austin Homebrew Supply. I got mine from mountain homebrew, but if I were to do it again, I’d order from AHS.

My current setup is:

1 6 – 1/2 gallon glass carboy
1 6 gallon bottling bucket
1 set of boiling pans – a 4 gallon, 3 gallon, and 2 gallon

Smaller Items –

Measuring Cups
Funnel
Bottle Caps
1 gallon pitcher
Beer thermameter
Hydrometer
Tupperware storage bins
Easy Clean Disinfectant
Carboy Brush
autosiphon
S shaped airlock
hoses
Priming Sugar

I am getting ready to purchase a turkey fryer so that I can brew outside this summer. Brewing stinks up the house and my wife bitches about it.

I know I am forgetting a couple of things but that is most of it. I purchase all my gear from a local store but I have heard nothing but great things from Austin Homebrew.

You can also try . It is a local guy here in KC that is trying to start a brew supply business. His has good prices for carboys.
This is something I’d like to try. Are those Mr Beer $25-50 kits any good?

is it necessary to get a SET of stock pots? (aka boiling pans)?

I need to get one for general cooking anyway, and i think the most practical sizes are 8qt or 12qt (2 or 3 gal)

I suppose larger is better – 3 gal?

Also, im looking between Hard Anodized and cladded Stainless Steel…prob doesnt matter for wort boiling

NO.

is it necessary to get a SET of stock pots? (aka boiling pans)?

I need to get one for general cooking anyway, and i think the most practical sizes are 8qt or 12qt (2 or 3 gal)

I suppose larger is better – 3 gal?

Also, im looking between Hard Anodized and cladded Stainless Steel…prob doesnt matter for wort boiling

I started with a 4 gallon, doing 5 gallon batches. (2 gallons wort, then adding 3 gallons into the primary)

I’ve since moved on to a keggle (keg with the top cut, making it a large kettle = keggle) for full batches.

What about this one:

I started with a 4 gallon, doing 5 gallon batches. (2 gallons wort, then adding 3 gallons into the primary)

I’ve since moved on to a keggle (keg with the top cut, making it a large kettle = keggle) for full batches.

do you bottle or have mini keg? obviously bottling is good for gifting to friends, but i think there is convience++ in sending your stuff right to a small keg
how do you guys like the results that you’re getting using these kits???

What about this one:

Never seen that before.. Seems a little fetched for brewing though.

Get something like this..

I keg now. But I started bottling.
It’s kind of a right of passage. Kegging is a decent size step. Between cost and equipment needed, you really expand your brewing supplies.

With that said, I still bottle, somewhat.. I have friends that constantly ask for beers to be made or request 12 packs.. So I got a beer gun to fill from the keg to bottle.

Kegging was one of the best moves I have made. Its so much easier and hassle free, but im glad I started bottling then moving on to kegging.

Those kits really aren’t too bad.
If you get them from a good place that constantly rotates their stock, you’re fine. If you get an old kit with old yeast, you should probably grab some fresh yeast or start farming yeast from your batches to use.

is it necessary to get a SET of stock pots? (aka boiling pans)?

I need to get one for general cooking anyway, and i think the most practical sizes are 8qt or 12qt (2 or 3 gal)

I suppose larger is better – 3 gal?

Also, im looking between Hard Anodized and cladded Stainless Steel…prob doesnt matter for wort boiling

You need to be able to boil 5 – 6 gallons of water. It can be done in one large boiling pan or several smaller ones. I got my set because it was on clearance at Wal-Mart for $20. I usually boil my Wort with 3 gallons in my 4 gallon pot and then an additional 2 gallons of water to top it off in my 3 gallon pan.

I plan on getting a turkey fryer with an 8 gallon pan this summer so I can do full boils outside versus my kitchen.

You need to be able to boil 5 – 6 gallons of water. It can be done in one large boiling pan or several smaller ones. I got my set because it was on clearance at Wal-Mart for $20. I usually boil my Wort with 3 gallons in my 4 gallon pot and then an additional 2 gallons of water to top it off in my 3 gallon pan.

I plan on getting a turkey fryer with an 8 gallon pan this summer so I can do full boils outside versus my kitchen.

You don’t need to boil 5-6 gallons unless you’re doing full batches. And from the sound of it, he isn’t doing full batches.

Like you said, most kits and extract recipes call for 2 or 3 gallons at boil and then an add in of 2-3 into the primary.

You can get a 4 gallon at KMart/Walmart/Meijer at a decent price. When you start getting into 5 gallon +, they get expensive. Save the loot, buy a 4 gallon for now, then move up to a keggle.
Kegging is supposed to be a lot easier. I bottled when I used to make beer but it just took so long and there’s so much good beer available all over the place, it didn’t seem to be worth the effort.
Boiling all of your water is not necessary. I’ve been using water in gallon jugs from the grocery store to do the top-off on my batches. I find it much easier to do things that way. It cools the wort down quicker as well, because I put the jugs in the freezer when I start my boil.

Canned malt extract is pretty iffy. I’d order a recipe kit from a place like Austin Homebrew that has high turnover. They come with very simple directions. I’d suggest the American Red ale. It’s VERY good, easy to make, and simple. You’re going to want a scale that weighs in fractions of ounces though, to make your hop additions properly.

Boiling all of your water is not necessary. I’ve been using water in gallon jugs from the grocery store to do the top-off on my batches. I find it much easier to do things that way. It cools the wort down quicker as well, because I put the jugs in the freezer when I start my boil.

Canned malt extract is pretty iffy. I’d order a recipe kit from a place like Austin Homebrew that has high turnover. They come with very simple directions. I’d suggest the American Red ale. It’s VERY good, easy to make, and simple. You’re going to want a scale that weighs in fractions of ounces though, to make your hop additions properly.

I have heard bad things about using the gallon spring water from the stores. I have heard about peoples batches being spoiled because the water was contiminated.

I see no reason to take the risk. Boiling water only takes 15 minutes and isnt difficult.
Many of the people on the homebrew board don’t even do that, they just use water straight from the tap(providing they’re not chlorinated heavily), but I see no point in taking the risk. I’ve had 5 batches with absolutely no problems, and don’t see the point in spending all of the extra time and effort to boil then cool an extra 3 gallons of water.

How do you know the batches were contaminated by the water? There are quite a few variables that could have caused contamination.
I’ve used store spring water and tap water with no issues really.

If one is really worried about the water you can always test it. For all grain you should make sure the Ph is right anyways.

Many of the people on the homebrew board don’t even do that, they just use water straight from the tap(providing they’re not chlorinated heavily), but I see no point in taking the risk. I’ve had 5 batches with absolutely no problems, and don’t see the point in spending all of the extra time and effort to boil then cool an extra 3 gallons of water.

How do you know the batches were contaminated by the water? There are quite a few variables that could have caused contamination.

You make a good point with that last statement I still dont want to take the risk though.

I usually will boil my top off water the day before and then seal it up and let it sit.

My first batch I ever did was contiminated and since then I am extra cautious becuase that was a lot of work for nothing but pooring 50 bottles down the sink.

Boiling all of your water is not necessary. I’ve been using water in gallon jugs from the grocery store to do the top-off on my batches. I find it much easier to do things that way. It cools the wort down quicker as well, because I put the jugs in the freezer when I start my boil.

Canned malt extract is pretty iffy. I’d order a recipe kit from a place like Austin Homebrew that has high turnover. They come with very simple directions. I’d suggest the American Red ale. It’s VERY good, easy to make, and simple. You’re going to want a scale that weighs in fractions of ounces though, to make your hop additions properly.

When you do full batches, you boil your whole load.

I have heard bad things about using the gallon spring water from the stores. I have heard about peoples batches being spoiled because the water was contiminated.

I see no reason to take the risk. Boiling water only takes 15 minutes and isnt difficult.

I’ve used spring, distilled and tap… Never had a problem.

I can’t remember ever hearing a problem with water, unless its really shitty water.
$600 is a lot of money for a new brewer, I’d try to not blow it all at once and then improve where you think you need improving. Personally I wasn’t really happy with my brewing until I went all grain and started kegging. You could probably start with some partial mashes and extract and see what you think. The two things I’d splurge on if I were you would be a propane burner and big pot, and a good wort chiller. They make a better beer and your brew day easier. Also read about making yeast starters and oxygenating your wort. They’re easy to do and help your beer for little money. Past that ferment in a bucket, use a 5 gallon carboy to secondary, bottle from a bottling bucket…you shouldn’t need to spend a ton, at least yet.

My favorite supplier

My website has several calculators that brewers might find handy.

Agreed. Nice site, I will definately have that bookmarked.
Thanks, I haven’t added to it much lately but if anyone needs any specific calulators or math for brewing let me know. I’ve made a pretty large library of functions that can be put together.
Seriously, your calculators are awesome. I’m really happy you posted that.

I’d prost the thread if we had that here

I’ve used spring, distilled and tap… Never had a problem.

I can’t remember ever hearing a problem with water, unless its really shitty water.

Well, I used bottled spring water on my batch I started last night. So, hopefully there will be no issues.

But, I would never use tap water. I live in Kansas City which has the cleanest water in the nation and I still wouldnt use it for anything. That is taking a tremendous risk. Even the cleaniest tap water has bacteria in it that could destroy a batch of brew.
Luckily, no serious human pathogens can survive in beer. Just stuff that might give you the runs, but nothing that will kill you.

It may not hurt you but it can ruin a batch or beer that you worked awfully hard on!
I need to get some kegging equipment soon. I’m tired of bottling.

Well, I used bottled spring water on my batch I started last night. So, hopefully there will be no issues.

But, I would never use tap water. I live in Kansas City which has the cleanest water in the nation and I still wouldnt use it for anything. That is taking a tremendous risk. Even the cleaniest tap water has bacteria in it that could destroy a batch of brew.

If you sanitize well, you should be fine.

Like I said, i’ve used it without any issues.

It’s one of the greatest things i’ve ever done (homebrewing wise)…
It makes life so much easier.

The bitch of it is that as soon as I started kegging, I needed bottles of beer.

So just when I think im out of bottling, I need it.
I thought I was done buying kegging crap, then came a beer gun.

Its never ending!

It’s one of the greatest things i’ve ever done (homebrewing wise)…
It makes life so much easier.

The bitch of it is that as soon as I started kegging, I needed bottles of beer.

So just when I think im out of bottling, I need it.
I thought I was done buying kegging crap, then came a beer gun.

Its never ending!

Very true.
It can be an expensive hobby, that’s for sure.

We do majority beer and a wine maybe twice a year.
I’ve done soda, but never had a batch turn out right.

So, we have all the normal brewing shit.. Wort chiller, jockey box, mash cooler, kegerator, 6 cornies, funnels, strainers, misc. crap, corkers, cappers, thermometers, etc etc etc
Its ridiculous.

With that said, I love it. I’ll keep spending my money on it.
Wife supports it, so im good!

pfft. Be a man, drink it anyway!

It can be an expensive hobby, that’s for sure.

We do majority beer and a wine maybe twice a year.
I’ve done soda, but never had a batch turn out right.

So, we have all the normal brewing shit.. Wort chiller, jockey box, mash cooler, kegerator, 6 cornies, funnels, strainers, misc. crap, corkers, cappers, thermometers, etc etc etc
Its ridiculous.

With that said, I love it. I’ll keep spending my money on it.
Wife supports it, so im good!

I want to try to make soda sometime.

I’ve had a terribly bad batch and made myself drink a bottle as punishment! Never again!

I tried making a Blue Moon clone, but lightly crushed the coriander before adding to the boil, then left it in carboy for fermentation. The flavor is overpoweringly coriander. It’s terrible and nearly undrinkable. I tried to let it mellow for a few months, but it just got worse! Now I just use it to cook, like when I make chili and beer brats.
In the fall look for a turkey Fryer, one of the gas ones, and use that to heat your brew pot, for several years I brewed on my stove and it took for ever to get 3 gallons of water to a boil. With a larger burner you can boil you water much faster.

Just get a couple of these

64 ounce grolsh top bottles, 15 bucks and the beer they come with which is 7.5 ABV isn’t too bad.

TOO bad they’re sold out at my local bevmo

I saw the turkey fryer and 8 gallon pot at Wal-Mart the other day for $40. I dont know about the quality of the pot though.

On my stove it takes 13 minutes to get 3 gallons to boil every single time.
My stove takes about 30 minutes to bring 3 gallons of water to a boil. I’ll be buying a turkey fryer as soon as I have room to use it.

Stupid fucking soda.

I’ve made 15 gallons of toilet flush.

Stupid fucking soda.

I’ve made 15 gallons of toilet flush.

Ouch