I bought the First-Time Brewer's Starter Kit from Midwest Supply and enjoyed the process quite a bit. While the kit has the essentials for extract brewing, I know there are lots of things I can get to make the process (and product) better. Since I'm not independently wealthy, though, I need to pick just one or two pieces of equipment now and build up my arsenal slowly. What are some of the best next equipment purchases that will give me the most improvement in my brewing? A few of the items I'm considering are:
- Glass carboy for 2-stage fermentation (the kit only came with a plastic fermenter and a bottling bucket)
- Wort chiller - because I'd hate to lose a batch to infection if I can help it
- Auto-siphon - just seems like a good idea overall
And a few other cheap miscellaneous things that I'll probably get right away anyway (funnel with strainer, nicer thermometer, nylon boiling bag so I don't have to use that sock thing they send with the kit). Any other suggestions or reasons I should/shouldn't get any of the above items right away?