Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Lagering setup and more equipment questions

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 04-11-2009, 05:37 PM   #1
Scrow
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 103
Default Lagering setup and more equipment questions

I have become smitten with brewing, and wanted to start the long process of improving my setup. Here is what I am working with right now:

2x Buckets - Food grade plastic, drilled lid for airlock, both have spigots in the sides at the bottom for racking / bottling.
2x PET Carboys - Stoppers and airlocks for both
1x 5-gallon stainless steel brewpot with lid

Miscellaneous gear (hydrometer, thermometer, autosiphon, bottling wand)

Right now I am just doing extract brews, since I have limited equipment.

Where would you go next for upgrades? Better fermenters? A burner and bigger brewpot?

The main question I have is this: What is a cheap, reliable way to lager beer? Is there a cheap cooler I can buy that has the thermostat and everything, or would it be cheaper to buy a small fridge and modify it? Is this modification difficult?

Thanks!

__________________

Primary - Kolsch - Started 04/30/09
Primary - Brown Ale - Started 04/30/09

Bottle Conditioning - India Pale Ale - Started 04/01/09
Bottle Conditioning - Dead Guy Ale clone - Started 04/08/09

Drinking - German Altbier - Started 03/11/09
Drinking - Wheat Beer - Started 03/25/09

Carboy - EdWort's Apfelwine Round 3

Scrow is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-11-2009, 05:41 PM   #2
Tonedef131
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Fort Wayne
Posts: 1,906
Liked 21 Times on 11 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

People have a million different ways to control temp, but most of them end up costing more than just buying a small used fridge or freezer and plugging in a temp controller. In my mind this is really the only way to do lagers, you have total control 100% of the time. I have about $150 into my upright freezer/temp controller setup and it's probably the most important part of my brewery.

__________________
Tonedef131 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-11-2009, 05:45 PM   #3
menschmaschine
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Delaware
Posts: 3,278
Liked 31 Times on 26 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonedef131 View Post
In my mind this is really the only way to do lagers, you have total control 100% of the time.
I agree with this. I have a chest freezer with temp. control that I used for lagers, but then I switched to kegging and used it as a keg freezer. I didn't bother brewing lagers until I could buy another chest freezer and temp. controller.

At any rate, temperature control is probably one of the most important aspects of brewing. If you're going to upgrade, anything to do with temp. control is the way to go.
__________________

END TRANSMISSION

menschmaschine is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-11-2009, 05:48 PM   #4
Scrow
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 103
Default

So what is the best method for doing this then? Just buying a fridge and then google "temp controller"? You don't leave the thing running all the time do you? Just when you need it?

__________________

Primary - Kolsch - Started 04/30/09
Primary - Brown Ale - Started 04/30/09

Bottle Conditioning - India Pale Ale - Started 04/01/09
Bottle Conditioning - Dead Guy Ale clone - Started 04/08/09

Drinking - German Altbier - Started 03/11/09
Drinking - Wheat Beer - Started 03/25/09

Carboy - EdWort's Apfelwine Round 3

Scrow is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-11-2009, 06:14 PM   #5
Catt22
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,998
Liked 57 Times on 55 Posts
Likes Given: 51

Default

+1 on the temp control importance. Yes, a temp controller and either a used fridge or freezer. Soundsl like you are in this hobby for the long haul. You might as well know from the git go that you will probably want more than one refrigerator or freezer. I have five refrigerators and two freezers! Keep your eyes open and frequently you can get the used freezers and fridges for little or no cost. Lagering will occupy a fridge or freezer for up to three months sometimes and it won't be available for anything else during that time unless it has room for multiple fermenters like a large freezer would. The fridges and freezers are operated intermittently and that is what the controller does. Sometimes they run very little or not at all when fermenting ales at near room temperatures like 64 F or so. A lagering freezer will run more often to maintain the lower temps, but no where near all the time.

__________________
Catt22 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-12-2009, 09:06 PM   #6
G-E-R-M-A-N
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 266
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Yup I am running a johnson a419 on my fridge. I am going to keg my recent ale and connect to my tap, meanwhile brew a lager and put next to ale on tap. I can serve ale a little cold, and just let it warm up slightly while fermenting in the same fridge. I dont have room for a chest freezer for the moment.

__________________
G-E-R-M-A-N is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-12-2009, 09:44 PM   #7
SumnerH
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Alexandria, VA, USA
Posts: 2,058
Liked 25 Times on 22 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrow View Post
I have become smitten with brewing, and wanted to start the long process of improving my setup. Here is what I am working with right now:

2x Buckets - Food grade plastic, drilled lid for airlock, both have spigots in the sides at the bottom for racking / bottling.
2x PET Carboys - Stoppers and airlocks for both
1x 5-gallon stainless steel brewpot with lid

Miscellaneous gear (hydrometer, thermometer, autosiphon, bottling wand)

Right now I am just doing extract brews, since I have limited equipment.

Where would you go next for upgrades? Better fermenters? A burner and bigger brewpot?

The main question I have is this: What is a cheap, reliable way to lager beer? Is there a cheap cooler I can buy that has the thermostat and everything, or would it be cheaper to buy a small fridge and modify it? Is this modification difficult?

Thanks!
The lagering q has been answered.

I'd go with a bigger brew pot (15 gals) and unless you have a killer stovetop a propane burner. That'll allow full boils, brew in a bag all-grain, etc.
__________________

On deck: Little Bo Pils, Bretta Off Dead (Brett pale)
Secondary: Oude Bruin, Red Sky at Morning (Sour brown ale)
On tap: Saison Duphunk (sour), Amarillo Slim (IPA), Earl White (ginger/bergamot wit)
Bottled: Number 8 (Belgian Strong Dark Ale), Eternale (Barleywine), Ancho Villa (Ancho/pasilla/chocolate/cinnamon RIS), Oak smoked porter (1/2 maple bourbon oaked, 1/2 apple brandy oaked)

SumnerH is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-13-2009, 01:48 AM   #8
Boerderij_Kabouter
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Boerderij_Kabouter's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Posts: 8,461
Liked 116 Times on 101 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

In my opinion, the two biggest factors for good beer are, full boils and temperature control. If you want to do lagers, you have to have fermentation temperature control. There is a ton of information here for constructing a fermentation chamber. I have one example in my sig. That will tell you all you need to know about how to use LOVE controllers (along with the linked thread in my build thread). Ranco, Johnson, et al. are some other options for temp control.

Good luck!

__________________
2P-Twent-E Simple Brew DITCHES 1 DITCHES 2 Fermentolagertaporator side-by-side ferm Twelve Hopostles Labels
Boerderij_Kabouter is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-22-2009, 10:19 PM   #9
NicotineRush
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: N Charleston SC
Posts: 46
Default

I'm returning to brewing after an 18 year hiatus. Back then, we didn't worry much about fermentation temps. I live in Florida so maintaining a good fermentation temp is paramount. I have a used refrigerator and have a temp controller coming. I have heard that there may be issues using these controllers and the refrigerators compressor. Any advice/knowledge on this issue would be appreciated.
Thanks
Tom

__________________
NicotineRush is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-22-2009, 10:26 PM   #10
menschmaschine
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Delaware
Posts: 3,278
Liked 31 Times on 26 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NicotineRush View Post
I'm returning to brewing after an 18 year hiatus. Back then, we didn't worry much about fermentation temps. I live in Florida so maintaining a good fermentation temp is paramount. I have a used refrigerator and have a temp controller coming. I have heard that there may be issues using these controllers and the refrigerators compressor. Any advice/knowledge on this issue would be appreciated.
Thanks
Tom
What kind of temp controller did you order?
__________________

END TRANSMISSION

menschmaschine is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Just getting setup for partial mash and have some equipment questions Jesse Seymour All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 10 05-22-2009 05:42 PM
Beginner Equipment Setup Questions. (I have X, What else do I need?) Jeff_From_VA Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 8 09-10-2008 09:41 PM
Explain Your Lagering Setup... RLinNH General Techniques 13 09-27-2007 08:11 PM
What is the cheapest way to make a lagering setup? Evan! Equipment/Sanitation 4 10-21-2006 02:39 AM
10 Gallon Lagering Setup digdan Equipment/Sanitation 4 05-11-2006 01:55 AM



Newest Threads