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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Best "bang" for the buck
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:02 AM   #1
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Default Best "bang" for the buck

I am looking into a couple options to improve my brews and just wanted to get some opinions on those options.

I am thinking about buying a thermapen or a water filter.

I was thinking about a thermapen for the durability, speed and accuracy. I can't tell you how many cheap digitals I've ruined due to getting wet. Right now I have a CDN digital and a Accurite thermometer and it's scary how far off they are. Ice water they read 31.7/32.2 boiling 209.3/211.6. When I am mashing they've been as far a 6 degrees off from one another! Not sure which one to trust, I use them both and aim for somewhere in the middle of the 2 readings. I'm thinking a thermapen will give me some true readings that I can trust and feel comfortable with.

Now I was also thinking about adding a water filter to treat my brew water. I had my water tested by Ward Labs, and honestly it looks good. But I figured getting a filter will help remove some of the clorine/undesirables in the water.

I unforunatly do not have unlimited funds so right now it's one or the other. Which do you think is more crucial? Or do you think something else is a better purchase?

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Old 09-23-2012, 02:10 AM   #2
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I would get the thermometer issue solved first.

Also filtering the water will change it's makeup compared the what you had tested. If you plan any additions you will need to get a new test done with the filtered water.

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Old 09-23-2012, 02:28 AM   #3
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I would get the thermometer issue solved first.

Also filtering the water will change it's makeup compared the what you had tested. If you plan any additions you will need to get a new test done with the filtered water.
Very true, didn't even think of needed to get my water retested but that makes complete sense.
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:49 AM   #4
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Thermometer and get a pack of Camden tablets to get rid of chlorine $2

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Old 09-23-2012, 03:35 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Newbeerguy View Post
I am looking into a couple options to improve my brews and just wanted to get some opinions on those options.

I am thinking about buying a thermapen or a water filter.

I was thinking about a thermapen for the durability, speed and accuracy. I can't tell you how many cheap digitals I've ruined due to getting wet. Right now I have a CDN digital and a Accurite thermometer and it's scary how far off they are. Ice water they read 31.7/32.2 boiling 209.3/211.6. When I am mashing they've been as far a 6 degrees off from one another! Not sure which one to trust, I use them both and aim for somewhere in the middle of the 2 readings. I'm thinking a thermapen will give me some true readings that I can trust and feel comfortable with.

Now I was also thinking about adding a water filter to treat my brew water. I had my water tested by Ward Labs, and honestly it looks good. But I figured getting a filter will help remove some of the clorine/undesirables in the water.

I unforunatly do not have unlimited funds so right now it's one or the other. Which do you think is more crucial? Or do you think something else is a better purchase?
Chlorine is ridiculously easy to get rid of; chloramines not as much... an expensive filter to remove chloramine isn't really worth it and other filters only remove about 15% of it. RO processes can be cheap but strip water of minerals, so it's worthless (IMHO). Therefore, get campden tabs to treat chloramine.

You're asking advice about what to get next but I don't know what you have now. WHen you sayd "improve my brews" what is wrong with them now that would you like to improve first?

Edit: you can also boil your water for 20 minutes to get rid of chloramine. Chlorine boils off in seconds.
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:51 AM   #6
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Chlorine is ridiculously easy to get rid of; chloramines not as much... an expensive filter to remove chloramine isn't really worth it and other filters only remove about 15% of it. RO processes can be cheap but strip water of minerals, so it's worthless (IMHO). Therefore, get campden tabs to treat chloramine.

You're asking advice about what to get next but I don't know what you have now. WHen you sayd "improve my brews" what is wrong with them now that would you like to improve first?

Edit: you can also boil your water for 20 minutes to get rid of chloramine. Chlorine boils off in seconds.
Thats a good question. I personally don't feel alot is wrong with them. I suppose there is always room for improvement and I'd like to do just that. I don't notice any off-flavors from the beer and all competitions I've entered I've gotten good scores. Maybe I'm looking into the consistency aspect of it? I just don't want to drop some money for something useless or insignificant. I'd rather tackle the big issues and work down from there.
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