Happy HolidaySs Giveaway - Winners Re-Re-Re-Re-Drawn - 24 hours to Claim!

Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Questions on buying gear
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-28-2012, 04:02 PM   #1
ICWiener
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Northern Cali
Posts: 836
Liked 105 Times on 91 Posts
Likes Given: 18

Default Questions on buying gear

I want to bump up to AG soon...or at least BIAB, but it's a little intimidating.

I'm looking at equipment on craigslist and I just wanted to get the opinions of some of the more seasoned brewers here. Should I just dive in and buy a converted 15.5 gal keg? Also, I don't want to rush out and spend a ton of money on stuff that I may or may not need. There's a difference between equipment that's necessary and equipment that's convenient, or cool.

I found a guy selling quite a bit of gear. Any of this look like a steal?

Faucet/shank/tailpiece/handle (3 complete sets ready for the kegorator or keezer build) - $35 each
1000ml flask for making starters (x2) - $7 ea
Keggle mash tun (15 gallon) with false bottom and SS ball lock - $125
Sanke keg - straight sided - $45 (great cheap SS fermentor)
Hoff-Stevens Keg 15 Gallon - $25
Golden Gate keg and the taps/valves for cask ale - $100
Phils Rotating Sparge Arm - $10
Bottle Capper x2 - $6 each
Hoshizaki Water Filter System (0.5 micron) - $130
Mechanical Scale 10# max - $10
Triple beam scale - $15
5 gallon cornie keg shell - $10 - needs lid and gas/bev fittings
Sanke Keg Coupler - $20

The false bottom on the keggle is cool, but I know I don't need one with it.

I found another listing selling a converted keg with a drain/sparge valve, sight glass, and mounted thermometer for $150 (negotiable). Have you guys found that there are features that you'd rather have? i.e. a false bottom vs. a mounted therm?

Just don't want to waste too much money up front.

__________________
Everyone's always in favor of saving Hitler's brain but when you put it in the body of a great white shark, oooooh, suddenly you've gone too far.

ICWiener is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-28-2012, 05:45 PM   #2
LKABrewer
Senior Member
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
LKABrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Mineral, VA
Posts: 492
Liked 24 Times on 20 Posts
Likes Given: 8

Default

There are lots of different types of mash tuns (not to mention BiaB). Whether you use a cooler, keggle, manifold or false bottom depends a lot on YOUR processes and system. I can tell you that my keggle & manifold work great for me, but that does not mean it will be what you want.
That said, the keggle w/ false bottom & ball valve for $125 is not a bad deal.

__________________

For homebrew supplies and equipment in Fredericksburg, VA go to thebrewshop.biz.

LKABrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-28-2012, 05:50 PM   #3
wildwest450
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 9,099
Liked 166 Times on 151 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ICWiener View Post
There's a difference between equipment that's necessary and equipment that's convenient, or cool.
What language is this in?
__________________
wildwest450 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-28-2012, 06:29 PM   #4
ICWiener
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Northern Cali
Posts: 836
Liked 105 Times on 91 Posts
Likes Given: 18

Default

Quote:
Whether you use a cooler, keggle, manifold or false bottom depends a lot on YOUR processes and system.
Yeah. I figured as much. I just want to see what more experienced brewers have to say. I'm trying to estimate whether or not it's worth it to jump right into the more expensive gear up front.

Quote:
What language is this in?
Thanks pal. Super helpful.
__________________
Everyone's always in favor of saving Hitler's brain but when you put it in the body of a great white shark, oooooh, suddenly you've gone too far.
ICWiener is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-28-2012, 07:09 PM   #5
coroboto
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 33
Default

I am making a keggle soon. I am working on the same change, extract to all grain, you are. It's about 135$ for all the components to take a keg (+30$) to a keggle (weldless at bargainfittings.com includes brewmometer, sightglass, ball valve to cam-lock with all connectors and five feet of high temp hose). I am gonna make a keggle then see where that takes me (BIAB?). But atleast then I can do full boils. I already have an immersion chiller, aerator and propane camp stove so the choice was pretty simple. I will have to make a mash tun (cooler) and a HLT (keggle #2) get a March pump and then I can go all grain making about ten gallon batches.

My two cents/experience. Good luck making choices...one guy had a real good idea though: determine what you want the outcome to be of purchases then determine criteria that qualifies "good" "ok" and "meh" in terms of that outcome. Assign a value to quantify that quality. Determine a few key to outcome characteristics and judge each product against them. Sum or multiply all values for each product and the highest ranking products should be purchased first. But if you are not sure of choices then that is a different problem.

__________________
coroboto is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-29-2012, 01:07 AM   #6
mdpolakow
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: colchester, Connecticut
Posts: 13
Default

Coroboto has it right, just go for it.

And, because you asked for my $.02. I personally would not pay $100+ for someone else to convert a keg for me. I am middle of the road as far as DIY goes. That said you should be able to pick up a keg for less than $40. Around here our local distributor sells dated and dented kegs (most people use them for docks in the lake and so on). You can buy your own angle grinder with cutting wheels at harbor freight for about $20 with coupon. Save the keg lid and make a false bottom. Add a weldless bulkhead and valve for $30. For $90 you have a great entry keggle with valve and false bottom. Plus you have the grinder for your future projects.

I picked up two fry stands around the holidays for $29 each at Cabellas. Get some bricks from Home Depot/ Lowes and put them on some old tables. You'll find a way to get the gravity feed you need.

All that said, just jump in. Get a brew buddy for your first batch and it is game on from there. I have won and placed in several competitions with my no frills set up.

Worst thing that could happen is your decide that keggles aren't for you and you sell them for $100, recovering all of your costs.

__________________
mdpolakow is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-29-2012, 01:17 AM   #7
Copperpots_Brewing
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 239
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

I just finished my keggle builds a few weeks ago, and tried mashing on a direct-fired MLT for the first time. Honestly, i can say it was quite a bit different, and took a little more attention than I anticipated. I had used a cooler with a braided hose MLT for about 2 years prior to making the switch to a keggle. $130 or so is a pretty fair price for the keggle with a false bottom. I think you DEFINITELY need a false bottom if you plan to do just straight all-grain not BIAB, so if you are going to mash in a keggle, go for that. You'll need some sort of manifold.
My 2 cents is, if you have the funds, why the hell not? I would say, if you have to scrounge for the money, or convince your SWMBO to get it, i'd just go out and get the pieces parts to make a cooler MLT. It will be much easier for you to start with and learn/control the process. Then down the road, if you want to make the jump to a single tier system, per se, or a 10 gal system, take a look for a keggle again.

__________________
Copperpots_Brewing is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-29-2012, 01:42 AM   #8
lpdjshaw
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: North County, San Diego, California
Posts: 361
Liked 15 Times on 14 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

My AG system is slowly evolving. If you start with a propane burner and a keggle with a spigot (a lot cheaper if you can DIY) you can add a thermometer and/or sight gauge at any time later - no reason for a false bottom on this. If money's tight you can start BIAB with this setup until you can afford a cooler MLT. With an MLT and Keggle BK you can boil larger pots of water on your stovetop for your HLT until you can get another keggle....Don't get in a hurry and have fun

__________________
TIKI Brew
lpdjshaw is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-29-2012, 03:57 AM   #9
Chesterbelloc
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USU Aggie Extension, Utah
Posts: 121
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Yep... as the other guy said start with the basics when moving into grain-brewing.


If you do not already have a 10 to 15-gallon pot to boil start there. If you have the space or have the place, get yourself a decent propane burner to put underneath the pot.

It makes things a million times easier to have a pot with a spigot on it. It also makes it a million times more easier to have a pot with a sight-glass. I might also recommend a decent stainless-steel immersion chiller. They are not quite as good as conducting heat as copper but they are pretty-much care-free. Second thought, get two stainless-steel imersion chillers because you live in Sacramento and you might want to put one in a bucket of ice-water to pre-chill your not-so-chill chill-water... unlike my 38-degree tap water.

Going with BIAB for a while is the way to go... that is how I and many of the others started grain brewing.

__________________
Chesterbelloc is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-29-2012, 03:29 PM   #10
ICWiener
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Northern Cali
Posts: 836
Liked 105 Times on 91 Posts
Likes Given: 18

Default

Quote:
Second thought, get two stainless-steel imersion chillers because you live in Sacramento and you might want to put one in a bucket of ice-water to pre-chill your not-so-chill chill-water... unlike my 38-degree tap water.
Haha...Hey man, we get cold tap water...in winter. I do have a copper chiller, I can get my wort cooled down in about 20-25 min on average. But yeah, summers are brutal around here.

Thanks for the advice, everyone. I think I might just wait. I had an epiphany last night: I did this exact same thing way back when I was a DJ. I wasn't great at it, just decent. So in order to get better I went out and bought and bought and bought until I had a world class set-up. So then I was an average DJ with an amazing rig. I didn't get better with great equipment, only with hours and hours of practice.

I think at this point I'm just gonna practice my brewing techniques, learn to BIAB (since I can do that without significant upgrades), focus on fermentation temp control (I think that's my weakest link), and then move up to the big leagues later on down the road.
__________________
Everyone's always in favor of saving Hitler's brain but when you put it in the body of a great white shark, oooooh, suddenly you've gone too far.
ICWiener 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
To gear or not to gear? zazbnf Equipment/Sanitation 4 02-28-2012 12:25 AM
buying burners-questions Firebat138 Equipment/Sanitation 5 12-21-2011 05:16 PM
Buying a used co2 tank.. Questions.. Schaefer4152 Equipment/Sanitation 9 04-18-2011 02:16 PM
Help buying gear needed Yorg Equipment/Sanitation 1 07-01-2008 07:42 PM
Thinking of buying Better Bottle -- a few questions CallMeZoot Equipment/Sanitation 15 12-07-2007 06:54 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS