Shopping List from 12/26/2002:
from Midwest Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies
– 1 glass Carboy, 3 gallon ($13.95) [Catalog #6023]
– 1 case (qty 12) EZ Swing Caps and bottles, clear ($16.95) [Not listed in catalog, very similar to #6714-C] (Works out to $1.42 per bottle)
– 1 Jet Bottle Washer ($10.50) [Catalog #6500]
– 1 Bottle Brush ($2.24) [Catalog #6520]
– 1 8oz bag ONE Step Sanitizer ($2.00) [Catalog #7820]
– 1 Permanent Carboy Handle ($10.50) [Catalog #6047]
from Present Moment Herbs & Books
– 3oz dried Sassafras root bark (@$2.44/oz = $7.32) [Catalog]
from Northern Brewer
– 2 Red Star Champagne Yeast packets (@$0.59ea = $1.18) [Catalog #Y151]
Total: $64.64 (plus tax)
Comments: Well, I knew it wasn’t going to be a really cheap hobby, and I’m pretty happy with how it went the first night. I have _just_ about everything that I need to put my first batch down. Things I have yet to get:
– Sanitizing Bucket (5gal bucket should be pretty cheap at Home Depot this afternoon)
– Carboy Bung
– Stainless Steel Funnel (I’ve got a plastic funnel I’ll use in the meantime, but I’ll need a different one to do non-root beers)
– Stainless Steel mesh strainer (Think I’ve got something that will work okay until I can find something better)
As far as the shops, I had driven by Midwest Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies a few times on my way to MicroCenter so I figured I’d give them a try. The first guy that was “helping” me was a complete jackass, but he handed me off to someone else (thankfully) who was so much better it was amazing. Still, dunno if I’ll go back necessarily.
Midwest had sarsparilla, but not sassafras so I went across the highway to Byerly’s to see if they had any, but was out of luck. I was racking my brain trying to think of a place that would handle good quality raw herbs that are somewhat controversial (I’ll post about that later) as I was driving across South Minneapolis and eventually thought of Present Moment Herbs & Books. They did in fact have plenty on hand for what seems to be a fairly decent price. The guy at the counter (the owner, I think) was very interested in what I was going to do with it, actually had some tips I might want to think about since he used to make tea with it, suggested that I might actually find it somewhat cheaper at some of the local co-ops, and was generally incredibly helpful. I’ll check around for prices at some other shops, but if it’s not a huge difference, I think I’ll be buying most of my herbs from these guys.
After I came out of Present Moment, I realized that I had forgotten to get yeast! Doh! I had some decent bread yeast at home but I wanted to get something a bit more specific to brewing so I went over to Northern Brewer, which a friend had recomended (Thanks Kyle!). This time the guy was fairly helpful, though very forceful about recomending used plastic 2-liter bottles instead of glass. My big problem with that is that I have tried reusing all sorts of those for various other projects and tend to find that they wear out very quickly and tend to retain the flavor of whatever was put in them last. Since root beer is already well known for contaminating plastic, and homebrew root beer even more so, I politely listened to him and I might give it a try in the future. However, he did know exactly what kind of yeast to suggest and had a few other tips that should come in handy. I also thought it was a good sign that they carry the book that I’m using in stock.
Still, overall it feels a bit like homebrew people seem to be a bit snobbish when it comes to non-alcoholic drinks. Or possibly it’s just the couple of people in the shops that I have run into that are just generally snobbish about newbies. I suppose I’ll find out in the long run.
Shopping List from 12/26/2002: