Customer Reviews


14 Reviews
5 star:
 (8)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
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2 star:
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A few bugs, but nothing insurmountable
Are you just starting out, like I am? I would give this kit a pass. For one thing, it turns out that this kit has more things in it than the beginning brewer needs. It also leaves out a couple of essentials.

Starting with the containers, you need a fermenter and possibly a bottling container. You can get away without the bottling container, but the final...
Published on July 8, 2012 by D.R. Hawn

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good kit but broke part
just got the kit last night and the bottleing bucket spicket is broke and the peice is not in the box so i think it shipped that way... sent an email to them and we will see if they do anything about it. so if they send me a new one ill give 4 stars also in the picture its has caps in it and if you read what comes in the kit if dont say anything about caps so a little...
Published 14 months ago by grant marcinkowski


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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A few bugs, but nothing insurmountable, July 8, 2012
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This review is from: Brewing Starter Kit
Are you just starting out, like I am? I would give this kit a pass. For one thing, it turns out that this kit has more things in it than the beginning brewer needs. It also leaves out a couple of essentials.

Starting with the containers, you need a fermenter and possibly a bottling container. You can get away without the bottling container, but the final beer won't be as clear. The glass carboy, while it did come in handy for me , is not required and I would recommend waiting until you have a bit more experience before considering purchasing one. The containers contained in this kit are of adequate size for brewing a standard 5 gallon batch. They are reasonably easy to assemble, with one glaring exception - the holes in both of the buckets I received were too small. When I tried to install the air lock, the gasket tore in half and the half inside the bucket fell in my new batch of beer. Yes, I know in retrospect that I should have made sure that everything fit BEFORE getting to a point of no return. But hey, I was excited to try brewing my first batch. That lead me to test installing the spigot in the bottling bucket. The hole for that was too small, as well. Since I had not gotten to the point of bottling, this was not a big deal. The failure of the air lock gasket in the primary fermenter lead me to having to use the carboy. For that reason only, it was a good thing to have.

Having to use the carboy as a primary fermenter meant that I had to use the siphon to get the wort transferred. This unit is not too bad, I suppose. It worked as expected, but the tube that came with it is a bit short for my liking. This is a personal taste, and not a true problem with the equipment. It is a plastic outer and inner tube. I do think it could have been better designed, but not quite sure how. It had a tendency to pull in air when trying to get it started. Once the flow was started, it worked well.

The kit also comes with a hydrometer. This really isn't needed for a beginning brewer. The kit does not come with a thief, which may or may not make it easier to get a good read on the gravity should you choose to use the hydrometer. Either way, I would pass on this until you have a bit more experience with brewing.

The temperature strip that comes with the kit is laughable. Get an instant read thermometer and remember to sterilize it before you take your readings.

What the kit DOESN'T supply is a good brew pot. You will need a sturdy 5 gallon stainless steel pot to boil the wort in. It would have been nice to have that included rather than the carboy.

Overall, the individual components supplied were of satisfactory quality, except for the problems noted above. It is simply not the right mix of components. Save yourself a bit of money and get a kit without the carboy.

***** UPDATE ******

After brewing many batches, I have added a couple of stars to my original assessment. Not only is the carboy helpful for clarifying the beer, it gives me a place to continue to condition the young beer while starting a new batch. It is also great for dry hopping, flavoring, oaking, etc. I have graduated to all grain brewing, and have even found it helpful to add a 2nd carboy to my equipment roster.

The auto-siphon has become more reliable with repeated use, and all parts (except the temperature tape) are being used on a regular basis.

I still think a different mix of equipment for a beginning brewer is in order (e.g. the aforementioned boil pot), but this kit will work well for the intermediate brewer.

***** UPDATE 2 *****

Having now advanced to the point of considering myself an advanced intermediate brewer, I will offer the following advice to new brewers: This kit will work as stated above. To get the most out of it, though, be very methodical in your process. First and foremost, clean everything as if your beer depended on it, because it does. Second, make sure you make a log of everything you do so that you can remember how to make that great beer or figure out what went wrong with that terrible one. As you enter the wonderful world of brewing, information is your friend, and there is a lot of it out there. Get to know your suppliers, as they have lots of knowledge that they will readily share with you.

The components in this kit have served me for over a year with very few issues, except as noted when I first started brewing. The only replacement I have had to make is the fermentor, because I tend to make large beers that need a lot of head space during fermenting. All other components are still working well, and I use them every brew and bottling day. I brew at least once a month if not more. I will be replacing the auto-siphon soon, as it is nearing the end of life and starting to develop fissures in the plastic. While it still works, it is getting to the point of being difficult to properly sanitize. I still think the stick-on thermometer is reasonably useless, though many people would disagree. The tape tells you what the fermentor exterior temperature is, not what the beer temperature is. I personally use a permanently mounted thermowell to get a true reading of the beer as it ferments. That is a personal preference, and many people make wonderful beer with the stick on indicator.

My last thought is this - If you are thinking of getting into brewing, take the plunge. It only sounds intimidating to the beginner. This kit, along with an ingredients kit from a reputable supplier, will show you that there is nothing incredibly difficult about it. Time, attention to sanitation, and a love for good beer are all you need. Brewing can be as easy or involved as you want it to be. Above all, it can be a quite enjoyable and fulfilling hobby.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lot of equipment brews great, September 28, 2013
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This review is from: Brewing Starter Kit
This kit paired with any home brew 5 gallon kit works very well. Make sure to buy a big enough pot to boil your wort when you buy these as that is not in this kit. This kit has everything you need for primary/secondary fermentation and bottling except the bottles. The cleaner/sanitizer included in this kit is a small 4 ounce package which will only last for a couple of brews. 5 gallons brewed in this kit will get you between 46 and 52 12 ounce bottles which need to be purchased separately.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really, really nice kit, February 2, 2013
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This review is from: Brewing Starter Kit
This kit really does have everything you need to brew (except the pot and the ingredients, as noted). The components are very good quality. Brewed my first batch today, and wasn't lacking for anything. Beer is now starting its primary fermentation in the basement. If you want to get ALL the things you need to brew, minus the pot, I would HIGHLY recommend this kit. As others noted, this does not include a DVD, but there are plenty of videos on Youtube (I had seen there was no DVD before ordering). Also, it shows bottle caps in the picture, but does not come with any. If you buy an ingredient kit (like I did) check to see if that kit comes with caps; the one I bought did have caps.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good kit but broke part, October 24, 2013
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This review is from: Brewing Starter Kit
just got the kit last night and the bottleing bucket spicket is broke and the peice is not in the box so i think it shipped that way... sent an email to them and we will see if they do anything about it. so if they send me a new one ill give 4 stars also in the picture its has caps in it and if you read what comes in the kit if dont say anything about caps so a little misleading other then tthat all looks good
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best value for getting started., May 21, 2014
By 
Alfred D. Wallace (Del Norte, Colorado) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Brewing Starter Kit
This was the best value around for getting started brewing. Bear in mind that you'll also want a brew kettle, and it's nice to have a wort chiller and a bottle tree. Get it all at the same time. Midwest does a great job, their beer kits are good too.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Just Got It, March 21, 2014
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This review is from: Brewing Starter Kit
I just received this kit, everything was in there except for one thing. When I purchased this I thought based off the picture that I would get two covers not one for the plastic buckets, this was very disappointing when I found out. However aside from that, all the items were in pretty good shape considering how badly packaged it was since it had no padding. I will update my review after I have brewed some beer with this stuff.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great starter kit, February 27, 2014
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This review is from: Brewing Starter Kit
this was my first brew kit and it has everything you need to start cracking out beers. As stated in other reviews there is no DVD that comes with the kit.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great starter kit!!, February 6, 2014
By 
nick (Arizona, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brewing Starter Kit
This is a really great starter. A lot of equipment for a decent price. I bought a carboy handle from another seller and it did not fit this carboy. I'm convinced that the handle was mislabeled though. This carboy is excellent. The beer turned out great. I got a lot of good feedback from friends on it. I would highly recommend this to a beginning home brewer.
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2.0 out of 5 stars The box was in great condition when it arrived so I have a hard ..., November 5, 2014
This review is from: Brewing Starter Kit
Things arrived broken, auto syphon and the air-lock. Even though everything was checked. The box was in great condition when it arrived so I have a hard time believing it was during shipping. I had purchased better better replacements because of it but everything else was alright.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great starters kit, May 26, 2012
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This review is from: Brewing Starter Kit
Great company, excellent starters kit. Strongly reccomend this for beginning brewers. This is my third purchase from Midwest, and I have never been disappointed.
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Brewing Starter Kit
Brewing Starter Kit by Strange Brew
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