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Old 11-03-2012, 05:30 PM   #1
madman960
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Default List of equipment on hand. What else should I get?

I currently have:

1) 6 gallon stainless steel pot
2) 7.5 gallon aluminum pot
1) Propane burner assembly
1) candy thermometer
1) 5 gallon water cooler
1) 10 gallon water cooler
1) 2.5 gallon brew keg (Mr. Beer)

Regular household pots pans and cooking utensils.

Other than a hydrometer, air locks, racking cane, and a few bottling buckets, what else should I get? I am currently doing extract brews and will eventually get to all grain. I will only be doing 5 gallon batches and smaller.

Thanks;

Bill



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Old 11-03-2012, 06:31 PM   #2
LuiInIdaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madman960 View Post
I currently have:

1) 6 gallon stainless steel pot
2) 7.5 gallon aluminum pot
1) Propane burner assembly
1) candy thermometer
1) 5 gallon water cooler
1) 10 gallon water cooler
1) 2.5 gallon brew keg (Mr. Beer)

Regular household pots pans and cooking utensils.

Other than a hydrometer, air locks, racking cane, and a few bottling buckets, what else should I get? I am currently doing extract brews and will eventually get to all grain. I will only be doing 5 gallon batches and smaller.

Thanks;

Bill
Candy Thermometer -- What is the temperature range on this? As an extract brewer you will want to know how cold the wort is for pitching yeast (about 68 - 70 degrees). You might also want to know what temp to steep specialty grains (about 150 degrees). When you get into all grain, you will want to know what temp you are mashing at. This will include knowing grain temps, strike water temp, and initial dough in temp. You will want to be in the 148 to 156 degree range for mashing depending on the recipe and residual sugar needed. My only comment about your candy thermometer is if it is not within these ranges, you might want to get a better thermometer. Bobby of Brewhardware.com has a pretty good CDN Thermo for a decent price.

Fermenter -- If you will be doing five gallon batches, you will need something to ferment your wort in. Many people use 6.5 gallon buckets; others use 6 or 6.5 gallon carboys. There are other options available, but they also cost much more. I usually do a primary fermentation in a bucket. What I like about this is that is has a big opening and is easy to clean. I have also fermented in a Better Bottle (I don't have any glass carboys because I am afraid of the consequences of breaking one; but many others do use them), and it worked well but was harder to clean. One thing that you will needed to be aware of is that you do not want to use abraisives with plastic as it may scratch (buckets and plastic carboys), and harbor bacteria that could cause infections. But you will need a decent sized container to ferment in that will hold enough for a five gallon batch.

Racking Cane -- You will need some tubing with the cane for it to work.

Bottling Bucket -- You should only need one bottling bucket.

You will need a way to package the beer. I presume that you will have bottles, but you will also need a way to cap the bottles. I have a bench top capper. You will need a bottling wand to fill the bottles. I use a short (1 inch) length of tubing to hold my bottling wand onto the bottling bucket spigot. The wand will stop the flow of beer when you remove the bottle from the setup.

Hydrometer -- I have a test cylinder that I use for the hydrometer. I put the wort or beer in it to float the hydrometer to get my gravity reading.

You will need a cleaner to clean your supplies. Many people use PBW or OxyClean. A word of caution on these -- do not use them on Aluminum as this will cause problems with the oxidation layer on your aluminum pots. You will also need a way to sanitize everything to touches the wort post boil. Two popular sanitizers are Iodophor and Star San. Iodophor works well, but does not store well. Star San works really well, but you it foams. The hardest thing I had was learning to "not fear the foam". I have learned that the foam does not need to be rinsed and that the foam in your carboys, etc will actually act as a nutrient for your bee.

This will be a good start for what you need. I have found that I have added items to make things easier. These include a bottle tree to dry and store my sanitized bottles, a vinitor to use for sanizing my bottles, a jet washer to attach to the kitchen faucet to shoot a jet of water into each bottle to help clean them out, a bench capper for easier capping, etc. Of course, you will have a better idea of what will make your brew/bottling day easier once you have gone through it once or twice. And much of this stuff is available at the LHBS or online.

I hope that this helps. Good Luck! Mark


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Old 11-03-2012, 06:35 PM   #3
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Bottling wand really does help quite a lot.

A vinator as mentioned is really a fantastically useful tool for bottling, that only really becomes apparent after you've done it the hard way for a few batches.


Also, not equipment per se, but you will want a good cleaner (PBW, or oxyclean free as a good substitute) and sanitizer (I use starsan; iodophor is another popular one) as well as various CLEAN sponges, etc.

Also very useful is a spray bottle. Fill that up with a starsan solution made with distilled water and keep it around whenever you are doing brewing stuff. Starsan is a contact sanitizer, so you can just spritz stuff (including your hands) before using it, presuming that you have already cleaned it thoroughly. Extremely handy to keep around.

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Old 11-03-2012, 06:52 PM   #4
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I also have bottles, oxi free, spray bottles. I do not plan to make anything that requires secondary fermentation. So instead of buying fermentation buckets or ale pails, I will just ferment in bottling buckets. I am getting a racking cane just in case I make something that requires secondary fermentation, so I can transfer to another bottling bucket.

Bill

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Old 11-10-2012, 02:45 PM   #5
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I forgot to mention I have a 6 gal pressure cooker as well. I found a place local that sells 5 gal food grade buckets with lids for $1 each. They use soy sauce in their manufacturing plant and clean the buckets before selling them.

Bill

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Old 11-10-2012, 07:16 PM   #6
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Id just like to make a suggestion on the racking cane. I have one and its never been used. Reason being, I bought an auto-siphon. Trust me, it's worth the $9.

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Old 11-10-2012, 09:18 PM   #7
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This is what I plan to get.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/auto-siphon-5-16.html

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Old 11-11-2012, 12:53 PM   #8
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wort chiller



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