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Old 05-13-2013, 02:50 PM   #1
Justdrumin
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Default New equipment recomendation.

I'm new to home brewing with two batches under my belt. As far as equipment goes I have what came with my Midwest intermediate kit. I have $10 in rewards points that are gonna expire soon and I would like to use them on something that is a "must have" but is inexpensive. Maybe $50 or less? Any ideas from the gurus here on HBT?

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Old 05-13-2013, 03:23 PM   #2
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first big step in improving your brewing is to do full-volume boils, or as large a boil as your stove/heat source can handle. if you can't boil all 6 gallons, try boiling 5 and topping up that (assuming that you're an extract brewer. if you're already all-grain, nevermind).

next is fermentation temp control. get a cheap fridge on CL and buy yourself a ranco or johnson controller.

if you're looking for something less involved: do you have a bottling wand on your bottling bucket?

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Old 05-13-2013, 05:20 PM   #3
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Helpful $50 or less items:

-Autosiphon
-Bottle tree
-Bottle wand (must have if you don't already have one)
-Extra fermenting buckets so you can have multiple batches (or carboys if you go that way)
-Cleaning supplies, big bottle of star san, large tub of oxy clean (trust me you will use it all eventually)

or

-more ingredients to brew more!

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Old 05-13-2013, 06:54 PM   #4
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I'm using an electric stove right now so it doesn't do as much as I want. I do have a 5 gal pot and right now I've been doing 3 gal boils. I wish I could afford a fridge and temp controller! I've looked at that and not only is it over my budget but I don't have room for it in my apartment. I have the basic setup now. Bucket primary, pet carboy secondary, bottling bucket and wand, auto siphon, 5 gal stainless pot, hydrometer, black beauty capper. I've been using the swamp cooler method with some success but this last batch seems to have an alcohol kinda taste to it and I'm afraid maybe temps got too high. The fermometer on my bucket wasn't workin all that well. There will be a CL fridge and EBay aquarium temp controller in the near future.

Edit: I do have star san. I may go with the second primary bucket. I guess I could transfer to secondary or just use my carboy as another primary though. I dont know if I could do another batch though. I'm not sure if I could balance that without having enough bottles for two batches at the same time.

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Old 05-13-2013, 10:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justdrumin View Post
..........There will be a CL fridge and EBay aquarium temp controller in the near future.........

I think if I were in your shoes, I would try to double the $50 and shoot for the eBay temp controller and a used beer fridge or chest freezer. That might still be achievable with just an extra $20-$30, depending on what you can score on CL.


EDIT: If you have friends that like to drink your brew, put a "tip jar" in your mancave, bar, whatever. Use those funds to help your brewery grow.
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:31 PM   #6
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Extra fermenters are always the way to go. I prefer to use kegs (even for secondary) as opposed to carboys. A soda keg is always a good investment that will reap rewards later.

-Aaron

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Old 05-13-2013, 11:26 PM   #7
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A ferm fridge with eBay temp controller is really what I'd like to do. But the cheapest I could find something that will fit a bucket is around 50-75 bucks. So its quite a bit out of my budget. But its something that I REALLY want. Then I can lager and everything else too. Maybe ill just wait a lil bit until I have the money for it. I just have $10 at Midwest that's gonna expire soon. Unless they sell a reasonably priced temp controller that I can buy. Then I can wait for the right deal on a CL fridge to pop up.

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Old 05-14-2013, 12:19 AM   #8
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If you can wait that's what I would do. Then all the time you're waiting for a deal on CL, that's also time you're banking up more money. You could probably get the eBay controller now if you wanted and spend some time building it.

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Old 05-14-2013, 02:33 PM   #9
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I'd focus on the fermentation side of things. Temp control is a great idea. Another idea is a flask and stirplate for making starters. Improving fermentation will make a huge impact in the quality of your beer.

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Old 05-15-2013, 11:31 AM   #10
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That's what I was thinking. Midwest has a kit with a flask, a stopper, a lb bag of DME and yeast nutrient for pretty cheap. My SWMBO gave me the approval for a small ferm fridge. I'll be ordering my eBay temp controller soon. Any recommendations on fridge size that'll fit a bucket or carboh? I'm very limited on space so a small chest freezer may work but I think a mini fridge would be best. I wish I had room for a decent chest freezer but I don't think ill be able to fit more than a 5cu ft.

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