Flipping through the homebrew supply catalog I just got in the mail from Northern Brewer, it’s clear I’m going to have to do some homework before making my first purchase of homebrewing equipment. I could get the basic setup for under $100, but I know I want to do all-grain brewing – so I would most likely “outgrow” that equipment after one batch.
My homebrewing brother-in-law, John Hannan, said the biggest mistake he made when getting started in homebrewing was to purchase equipment that was too basic for his long-term needs. He has spent far more money replacing pieces of equipment than he would have if he had just bought the more serious stuff up front.
The two questions that all new crafters face are… “How serious am I about this?” and “How will I know how much I’ll like it until I try it?” Clearly an investment in good equipment is only worthwhile if you plan to brew fairly regularly for several years, but I guess there’s risk involved in everything. Sometimes you have to just make your best guess and dive in.
I’m leaning towards the “Deluxe Starter Kit”, but I’ll need a brewing kettle as well. The one thing John told me not to skimp on was the brew kettle. I’ll need one that holds at least 7 or 8 gallons. There are some pretty cool ones in this catalog that have spigots and temperature gauges, which I understand would be quite useful when it comes to sparging.
I could get a really cool setup of equipment if money wasn’t an issue. But… it is. Darn reality! So decisions will have to be made. I have a few more homebrew catalogs on their way and I’ll need to make another visit to our local homebrew shop, Doc’s Cellar, before I commit to anything and start laying down the cash.
The other key question I’ve got to deal with is where to store all this gear between brewing days. Our little condo is already quite full, but I’m sure I’ll find a place to stash it… as long as it doesn’t mean getting rid of any of my yarn or fiber stash! 🙂