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LazySumo 01-30-2013 10:34 PM

And Diving Back In.
So I've been homebrewing since the early 90's but after a nasty divorce (is there any other kind?) several years back I'm finally getting back into it. I do all grain and am literally starting over from zero equipment, zero materials, zero ingredients. Schaweet!

I'm posting this b/c I would love feedback on anything I'm missing in my preps/builds/etc as I work back up to brewing. I know that this is going to take several other mini-projects to get the full monty of brewing hardware up and going.

Goal is to perform all-grain brew of a vanilla wit recipe. I'll be using a dual keggle setup w/ direct fire, infusion mashing and full wort boil. After pitching a starter the wort will ferment in a plastic fermenter (Better Bottle or Beer Cube, not sure which yet) inside of a temp controlled fridge. Then condition in corny's. So here's the projects list...

1) Locate, cut, shine two keggles. Mount thermometer/site glass and spigots on both and get/build lids.
2) Locate small second-hand fridge and build controller from digital aquarium controller.
3) Get kegging gear (CO2 tank, regulator, etc) and setup in time for wit to come out of secondary.
4) Locate and setup beer fridge or use fermentation fridge if applicable, also in time for beer to be ready.

At this point I'm not worrying about a brewing stand, that's a summer project. Most/all of the base hardware listed above will come from good old Craigslist (how did we ever manage back in the day??) and won't be hard to source.

The wit is the BeerSmith Wit and I'm adding one whole vanilla bean (sliced and scraped) to the secondary for additional flavoring. Expected to pull this brew session off at the end of Feb and have the Wit ready to drink by April.

I think its a pretty solid battle plan. Any holes in it? :confused:

Gartywood 01-31-2013 02:03 AM

Only the ones you'll be cutting into the kegs.

Beernip 01-31-2013 02:38 PM

I'm thinking that diving sumo's should be the latest reality show. Cannonballs, etc....

Anyway, I digress. What kind of setup will you need that requires two keggles?

LazySumo 01-31-2013 05:06 PM

Diving sumo's into a kiddie pool like they used to do on Saturday sports shows, remember? LoL.

I'll be setting up a MLT and a boil pot. Each one with its own converted keg with all the fittings, etc.

Mcbobs 01-31-2013 09:15 PM

Are you gonna build a mash tun or will you using one of the kegs to mash in?

gstrawn 01-31-2013 09:54 PM

I realize you're wanting to do all grain but I recently posted a thread in the beginners brewing section featuring a great deal on a beginners kit from midway for $64. It has everything on would need except a kettle to do extract batches and therefore a bunch of stuff you could use (ie fermentation bucket, hydrometer, $25 midway gift cert) if you're interested. May help you get established. Your plan looks great to me and good luck!

LazySumo 01-31-2013 10:52 PM

McBobs - One of the kegs will be the MLT. Going to look into some insulation wrapping to help it hold its temp. Pretty sure that there won't be much issue there, but ya never know.

gstrawn - I'll look. Yes, that would include most basic gear that I need. Will look at one of our lovely LHBS first though. Like to give them the biz if possible first.

Echoloc8 01-31-2013 11:17 PM

I got started home brewing in the wake of my own divorce back in 2000, so I definitely know a bit about where you're coming from. Projects are good. Projects ex-wifey might have disapproved of are better!

Your planned setup looks good to me! I personally prefer buckets for primary fermenters because of their better head space, but BetterBottles rock too, so as long as you're good with blowoff tubes, you look golden.


Mcbobs 02-02-2013 03:09 PM


Originally Posted by LazySumo
McBobs - One of the kegs will be the MLT. Going to look into some insulation wrapping to help it hold its temp. Pretty sure that there won't be much issue there, but ya never know.

Ah gotcha. What kind of insulating material are you planning on using? Any pictures of your mash tun would be awesome as well!

LazySumo 02-02-2013 04:41 PM

Rich I think I'm going to be going with Vittle Vaults instead. I like that they are square, so better use of the space. Just need to find them around here. Petco has a decent price on them.

McBobs as soon as I get said gear and get it setup I'll post.

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