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Old 04-23-2007, 01:03 AM   #1
sphericalcamel
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Default Help me spend my birthday money!

Hey everyone,

I just had my birthday and now I’ve got some money to spend. I need some help figuring out what would be best to spend my money on. It isn’t much ($75-$100) and I’m in general trying to keep the homebrewing cost low so I don’t get in too much trouble with SWMBO (although her parents got me a gift card to an online brewing store).

What should I get to help my brewing the most?

Here is what I have now:
Turkey fryer burner
6 gal aluminum pot
giant spoon
Plastic bucket fermenter
Thermometer
Hydrometer
Bottling bucket
Raking cane/siphon tube/bottle filler
Butterfly capper
tubs for ice and access to free ice at work (for chilling wort)


I’ve been thinking of getting:
Autosiphon
Secondary fermenter
Bottle drying rack
Sanitizer bottle injector
Party pig setup
Wort chiller

Any advice on what to get (on or off the list) would be great!

Thanks

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Old 04-23-2007, 01:16 AM   #2
BierMuncher
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1) Move out of your house and into your in-laws house....

IF you can't do that, I'd say it's time to slowly move to keg draft system. A couple of cornies will set you back around $50. An economy regulator around $40 and a small CO2 cylinder around $60-$80 (plus gas).

That, along with $20-$30 worth of hose, connectors and picnic taps and you can be enjoying cold draft beer in no time.

You have free ice and a tub?

For my money it would be the next generation of brewing....keg city...

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Old 04-23-2007, 01:16 AM   #3
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Of those things the wort chiller and sanitizer bottle injector and a secondary can all be bought for less than $100. Those would be what I would buy.

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Old 04-23-2007, 01:18 AM   #4
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From your list of equipment it sounds like you are doing extract brewing, if you were up for it I would upgrade to all-grain. I just did my first ag brew about a month ago and i'm about to do my second. All I did to do that is make a mash tun(http://homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=23008) and I would get a secondary fermenter.

o and I made a immersion chiller after wandering around home depot for like a half hour with a friend making it up as we went along.

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Old 04-23-2007, 01:22 AM   #5
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I think it would be best if you bought me some forward sealing faucets. ;-)

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Old 04-23-2007, 04:09 PM   #6
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I would swear against auto siphons... Try one of these, and you will probably never use your auto siphon again. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=25774

Bottling racks are kinda useless also, just run your dishwasher WITHOUT soap or rinsing agent, then just use it to hold the bottles while they dry.

Secondaries are never in danger of being useless, but you may find another primary is better for you if you do not rack to secondaries, or do a lot of dry hopping.

All Grain gear is not as expensive, or hard to make as you may think.

Keep an eye out for a larger Stainless Steel pot though.. you will be very hard pressed to do a full boil with less than an 8 gal pot. If you watch the turkey friers, you can normally find a SS pot with a burner for cheap. Just make sure it IS SS not aluminum.

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Old 04-23-2007, 04:57 PM   #7
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I echo BierMuncher with easing into kegging. Huge difference in the way I enjoy my beer.

Aside from that go for a secondary. Even if you aren't racking from primary it's nice to have an additional carboy for simultaneous brews.

Personally, unless you are doing 5 gal plus boils, I wouldn't bother with a chiller. But that's me.

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Old 04-23-2007, 05:16 PM   #8
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I'd get a bigger boiling pot... maybe 8 or 9 gal.

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Old 04-23-2007, 05:21 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the advice (I'm going to build my own auto siphon replacement tonight!)

Why is aluminum bad for a kettle (since that's what I'm using now)?

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Old 04-23-2007, 05:50 PM   #10
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It isn't "bad" just depends on who you talk to. If you search this forum, you will prolly find 4 million diff. opinions on which to use. I personally prefer SS because it is easier to clean (less reactive to a broader range of chemicals) is will not rust (99.9% of the time) and it will NOT leave any off flavors. If you really watch, you can find SS pots for almost the same as Aluminum pots. I got my 12 gal. pot about 6 months ago for 49.00 at Academy Sports.

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