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Thread: Beer-making supplies?

  1. Default Beer-making supplies?

    Looking for a store that sells equipment for home-brewing (not a u-brew type of place, but equipment for brewing at home). Preferably something in the West End, downtown, etc...but I'm flexible.

    Any suggestions? Seems really easy to find everything for winemaking, but brewing beer is a whole other story.

    Thanks,
    Vic


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    Do you have previous experience with that?

    I'll check my bookmarks and will post few links later today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by victor View Post
    Do you have previous experience with that?

    I'll check my bookmarks and will post few links later today.
    Thanks Victor.

    No experience...total newbie. Hoping to get a basic kit and ingredients.

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    The MUST HAVE thing to read for everyone starting to brew beer is a "How to Brew" book by John Palmer.
    The book is available online for free here.

    Useful forums:
    HomeBrewTalk
    RealBeer

    Where to buy ingredients:
    HomebrewersRetail GTA
    The Brew Kettle GTA
    The Brew Factory GTA
    Clickabrew Online
    Homebrew Supplies GTA
    Mashing Heads Online
    The Grape and Granary US Online

    Where to buy equipment:
    Clickabrew Online
    Homebrew Supplies GTA
    Mashing Heads GTA
    The Grape and Granary US Online


    Generally the beer brewing process consists of several steps (malting and filtering are not used in home-brewing):
    malting, milling, mashing, lautering, boiling/chilling, fermenting, conditioning, filtering, and packaging.
    All steps are important and failing any one you fail everything.

    The steps which require most complicated equipment, strict technology and skills are mashing, lautering and boiling/chillling.
    That's what you do when you brew all-grain recipes.

    There is a simplified process for beginners - extract (or kit) brewing - where you start the process directly from the boiling step.
    Advantages of this approach: you don't need special equipment for mashing, lautering; you don't need to have skills to do that.
    Disadvantages: extracts tend to be not so fresh and a final product could lack taste and aroma; chilling a wort require some skills and some equipment.
    Anyway this approach is very, very good for beginners.

    And beginners in the GTA have the third way! It doesn't have disadvantages of extract brewing. And it's even simpler - you don't need to boil and chill wort.
    For us in the GTA Magnotta sells already boiled and chilled wort (and equipment as well). You can start the brewing process directly from the fermenting step.
    Magnotta sells the basic equipment for about $50 (it contains primary plastic fermentor, secondary glass carboy, racking cane, tube, thermometer, probably some other stuff). The wort is selling in boxes of 23L for about $35 and you can choose from about 10 styles of beer - they have most major styles of lagers and ales: pilsner, bock, IPA, stout, wheat, pale, cream etc.

    I strongly recommend for beginners from the GTA starting from Magnotta's Festa Brew wort - it's easy, it's cheap and it's of high quality.

    After making few batches and mastering yourself in fermenting, conditioning, and packaging you can go further - buy a big boiling pot and try to make an extract brewing. And after that you can start all grain brewing with mashing and lautering.
    This staged approach is very convenient, you decide when you are ready to make next step, and you are always can quit if you are not interesting in brewing.

    Few tips - it's nice to have a cool basement for fermenting and conditioning; consider to make ales as a few first brewings, it's easier 'cause lagers require more cold conditions and more time to ripen.

  5. Default

    Thanks for all the details and links, Victor! I agree with your staged approach, and was pretty much planning on doing that.

    Cheers,
    Vic

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    You're welcome. I'll try to answer any related questions if you have them.

    One more hint. If you have a backyard you can grow your own hops. Like I do. Late April is a good time to put hops' rhizomes into the ground.

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    Sometime interesting offers appear on craigslist/ebay. Sent you a PM.

    PS. My hops already shot sprouts, hooray! Have a nice beer!

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    New online store for brewing supplies out of Ontario, www.homebrewgearcanada.com

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    New Toronto-based online homebrew supplies store: www.torontobrewing.ca

  10. Default

    Sorry to revive an old thread, but I can't say enough good things about www.ihomebrewing.ca.

    It's not in Toronto (it's in Windsor I think) so you have to get everything shipped, but shipping prices are reasonable (especially on big orders) so it's not a big deal. There's two main reasons I like it; the first is because they have a "build a beer" ordering system that lets you order the exact amount from your recipes and he'll mill and combine it for you. A lot easier than ordering everything in bulk and measuring it out yourself. Also, I really like the guy that runs the site; he's always available to answer questions and I've asked him a number of times to stock new items, and he's actually done it! He also ordered a particular hop variety for a friend of mine from the US and didn't actually charge him any markup at all on it. The only downside to the site is that the selection is somewhat limited for some items, but as I mentioned he will often look into sourcing new ingredients if you want them so this isn't as big of a deal.

    If you've ever dealt with Randy at Canadian Homebrew Supplies out in Brampton you'll know that poor customer service can really put a damper on a customer's experience (and it's too bad too, since Randy's place has a great selection...it's just not worth it having to deal with him, though).

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