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I'm looking to put together a home brewing setup on the cheap. I've see those pre-fab kits, but I'd rather a true brewing setup where I can do all the necessary steps without spending a ton of money. I'm looking for suggestions on how I can brew decent size batches (a few gallons at a time) without having to buy $100 buckets or $30 strainers. Anyone have a good lead on food quality buckets? I've read I can use paint strainer bags as grain bags.

I have a turkey fryer that will probably be my boiler but will need to find/salvage everything else.

http://www.hayneedle.com/sale/bayouclassicheavy25mmthickaluminumturkeyfryerstockpot26qt.cfm?source=placpc&adtype=pla&kw={keyword}&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=BH165-1&gclid=CKOe_d-fyK0CFdKR7QodFEVTgQ
 

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http://www.arborwine.com/

These folks in Islip have real deal starter kits. I went the Mr Beer kit route, and my cousin went with these guys' kit... Needless to say, his brewing operation in far ahead of mine!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the link.. I'm looking for second hand glass carboys, DIY wort chillers etc..
 

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AkunaMatata said:
http://www.arborwine.com/

These folks in Islip have real deal starter kits. I went the Mr Beer kit route, and my cousin went with these guys' kit... Needless to say, his brewing operation in far ahead of mine!
I am using mr. beer right now as the first step, and a friend of mine also recommended arborwine, his batches come out great
 

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How to make a home made mash tun, hope this helps. I wanted to do home brew for a while, bought a Mr. Beer kit recently. I know its not like actual home brew but its a start at least lol. If you get it up and running let me know I will be more than willing to try some out for you ;D
 

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homebrewing is a fantastic hobby. congrats on taking the plunge.

I will say that before you begin you should read though "The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing" by mike papazain.

This will give you a better idea of how to put together your kit. It sounds like you are set on doing "all grain" brews from the get-go. Have you considered doing a part extract brew first? It will keep the initial expense lower, and ease you into the process of brewing. You can always add stuff like a lauter tun and a wort chiller later when you decide to do an all grain brew!!!

Best of luck and HAVE A BLAST!!!!
 

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Itgoesbang said:
I am using mr. beer right now as the first step, and a friend of mine also recommended arborwine, his batches come out great
The Mr Beer kit is pretty good... But the primary fermenter is sort of cheapo. No bubbler-valve thingy so you can't tell if your brew is actually brewing. Even still, I had a pretty good batch turn out for the holidays. I just doubled all the wait times and used 1/2 brown sugar for the carbonation.
 

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Oh, pete, maybe use old wine jugs for a glass carboy? You can get 1 gallon of table wine for ~$8, so you get the glass jug, and wine to boot!
 

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peteinsuffolk said:
I'm looking to put together a home brewing setup on the cheap. I've see those pre-fab kits, but I'd rather a true brewing setup where I can do all the necessary steps without spending a ton of money. I'm looking for suggestions on how I can brew decent size batches (a few gallons at a time) without having to buy $100 buckets or $30 strainers. Anyone have a good lead on food quality buckets? I've read I can use paint strainer bags as grain bags.

I have a turkey fryer that will probably be my boiler but will need to find/salvage everything else.

http://www.hayneedle.com/sale/bayouclassicheavy25mmthickaluminumturkeyfryerstockpot26qt.cfm?source=placpc&adtype=pla&kw={keyword}&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=BH165-1&gclid=CKOe_d-fyK0CFdKR7QodFEVTgQ
Let me know if you need a taster... :)
 

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Husband, Father, Chef, Gun Guy
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Hey Pete,
I have been brewing for quite some time and have been perfectly content brewing mini-mash recipes (5-8#'s dried malt extract & 4-6#'s Cracked malted barley). As for Grain bags, they are essentially cheesecloth tubes that are sewn on one end, I use regular cheesecloth and tie some butchers twin (or any all-cotton string) at the top and make little bags for my boil. I believe my home-made wort chiller was done for about $40 or so dollars, using mostly the refrigeration aisle in Home depot (copper tubing, compression fittings, female hose adapters and vinyl intake/outtake tubes). I have not seen the need for a lauter tun as of yet, and I do secondary fermentation in a glass carboy which also helps with clarity, alcohol percentage but reduces yield by a around a half gallon. Bottling can be easily done with a clamp, a vinyl tube and the ability to siphon, so long as you take care in keeping the end of your tube about an inch from the bottom of the bucket. Please let me know if you need anything...I love talking beer!
-Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks all for the input. I may do a recipe kit at first, but I'm trying to keep my cost low. I got started reloading ammo in the hopes of saving money, but I'm faaar from breaking even. (I still love it though..) I'm trying not to make that same mistake with a brew setup and start as cheap as possible. Plus.. there is something about making your own gear that I enjoy.

So.. DIY wort chiller. Any advice Paul? I'm curious to see what approach you used. Does it connect to a faucet? garden hose?
 

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As far as a wort chiller goes. I tried making one myself and it came out ok, but it was very sloppy looking. I searched online and was able to find a 50' for under $50 which was done way better. I also think there are a lot of Stainless Steel ones out there now because of the cost of copper. Not sure of the difference cooling wise.

I found that 25' took about 30 minutes to cool my 5 gallons. 50' brought that down to 15-20 min.

Get yourself a nice pale ale kit and dive in. They're the easiest to do and not much can go wrong. I would suggest making a yeast starter though

And while it's brewing... Sit back, relax and have a homebrew (or someone elses in your case)

Here is a great interactive community that offers advice and other resources

http://www.reddit.com/r/homebrewing
 

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I started Homebrewing about six months ago I think it was. In that time I've made somewhere in the neighborhood of six batches. Some from extract kits and some All-Grain. Success has varied as extract kits are coming out better than AG but we're still trying to perfect the process a bit.

I have purchased most of my stuff online. IMHO, I think Arbor Wine in Islip is the best around here when you need something in a pinch.

I'm currently in the process of building a "keezer", which will have the ability to store/serve 4 kegs at a time. I'll post some pics once it's done.

Based on all the responses here, is it time we start an LIF Homebrew Club? Just thinkin' out loud, could be very useful........
 

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Isnt there shop by the serivce rd by exit 48 which has all supplies you might need as well?
 

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The Architect said:
Isnt there shop by the serivce rd by exit 48 which has all supplies you might need as well?
there are the "brews brothers" in farmingdale off of 110... nice guys, they are in the back of a wine accoutrement store called kedco. youre probably better off at arbor
 

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peteinsuffolk said:
So.. DIY wort chiller. Any advice Paul? I'm curious to see what approach you used. Does it connect to a faucet? garden hose?
I used 50' of 1/4" copper tubing, the stuff they use for refrigerators and air conditioners. I coiled it using a gallon jug of Carlo Rossi Wine or something similar in diameter...enough to fit in my brew pot. On each end I put a 1/4" to3/8" compression fittings with the 3/8" tubing adapters (available at Home Depot) and attached my 3/8" vinyl tubing. I put a female hose adapter on the end of the intake tube which I actually did reversed going from bottom to top as the bottom usually remains the hottest for the longest amount of time. I have found this bottom to top cooling cuts down on time as well. I hook mine up in the sink as my brew pot is not huge, and if you're doing a mini-mash or kit batch with a 5 gallon yield, you should need anything larger than an 6 quart pot. HOWEVER...if you are really going on an extreme budget, I used to save 2 Liter soda bottles and remove the labels, fill them with water and freeze them. When it was time to cool my 1 gallon wort, I would fill the sink half way with ice water and stir the wort with the frozen soda bottle...brought it down in under a half hour no problem. I usually make a 1 1/4 gallon wort for a 4 1/2 gallon final yield after primary and secondary fermentation with dry-hopping in the secondary fermentor. I usually bottle in 22oz. brown bottles, as they block the most light and preserve flavor and clarity,however a Brew Hog is worth the investment, it's a 1 gallon mini keg that you don't need to carbonate, you just bottle it regularly and condition for the two to three weeks.
 

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p.s. Karps Hardware on Larkfield Ave. in E. Northport, right by the railroad tracks has a huge selection of homebrew supplies.
 
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