CT Beer Trail

Now that my tax return has come in and I (amazingly enough) have a little extra money, I'm looking to buy into a decent home-brewing kit. I have the essentials priced out, but I'm wondering what you guys would suggest for a turkey cooker (as my apartment is pretty small and I'm sure my wife would appreciate me 'taking it outside') and a pot for the boil. I'm thinking of a nice big stainless steel turkey-pot, but I have no idea what cooker would be sensible.

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One word of advice...go BIG.  You will be surprised at how fast you will out grow a 8 gal pot.  Minimum 10gal will serve you much better for a little more $ upfront but full boils and less hassels with boil overs makes it so worth it. 

I like my banjo burner with low pressure gas verses the standard small high pressure burner,  but not huge deal for starting your kit.

If you want to go on the cheap, why not get a burner and pot combo?  Something like this?  http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=turkey+cooker+with+stainle...

That looked really appealing until I couldn't find any buzz about it anywhere. It makes me nervous that I could only find one review of the thing. Apparently there's an automatic shut-off regulator on the valve that needs to be pressed every 15 minutes or the flame will cut off. That sounds a little annoying... 

 

I have heard good things about the "Bayou Classic" stuff though.

I've heard nothing but bad about the auto-shut off, annoying would be mild to say the least.

Bayou classic burner is a  good standard product.

Here's a decent set up from Northern Brewer( my go to source when not shopping local), for under $200 this would work well.  I'd recommend the Ball-valve option if you can swing a bit more and the Built in thermometer is great to have but you didn't mention  price range so I don't know how high you're willing to go.

 

http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/brew-kettle...

http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/burners/hig...

Mine has the auto shut off... it IS annoying, but less annoying than spending a lot. I'm thinking about breaking that feature, but in fairness it may have saved me from burning the house down. Bill is right, group brewing grants access to buddy's tools. Speaking of which when are we all getting together to brew again?
I would echo the comments on the high pressure burner as being a cheap good initial investment. Beyond that, it really depends on how far/how fast your going with the hobby. The other thing is, I know your friends have a lot of the side gear- so I would say go "wise" as opposed to big. Get what you need to brew alongside them. A burner, a pot, and a standard all in one type kit. I know your friends and you can empty the bottles to recycle- the one other item imho that is an essential is a good sterilizer to begin with. The more I use it, the more I am a fan of Starsan. It just cuts down on time on prep, which means less hassle brewing.
Not fair, you've inside information. How was I supposed to know he has friends with gear?  :-)
That's a good point. I've almost "pulled the trigger" on a few pots, but I'm glad I decided to wait until I hashed out a few more opinions. Hopefully I can make it out to your store sometime in the next few days to buy my first kit!

Don't go without a chiller IC will do fine . Ice is a true pain and costly these days. Coil some copper tubing  use zip ties to hols shape attach hose the best $35-40 bucks you will spend. My first dedicated pot was a keg with the top cut off (keggle). Ebay has them now and then for under $50 just cut the top you will spend MUCH more a pot that you will outgrow in a year. AS for a burner get one with a sturdy base  and the more BTU the faster. I added a 110v heat stick/GFI to save on propane and heat up WAY faster. My outside startup funds were $300.

 

$49 for turkey fryer at Home Cheapo (came with alum pot)

$79 For Trubrew starter kit

$60 for 2 15g kegs ( cut top off one)

$35 for copper chiller also Home Depot

$77 on first batch and misc doodadds that i thought i needed

 

We have a sweet 10 gallon Blichmann BoilerMaker pot looking for a home:) 
Ah the Blichman bling, we just got a shipment in and sold the pot- but have a chiller.

Campchef makes the best burner out there

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