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Old 03-07-2010, 12:09 PM   #1
Goatey
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I was given a True Brew Brewing Kit for xmas. It's just your basic, run of the mill kit. I've added a thermometer, a 21 quart pot, and a carboy. I've made five batches thus far and I feel they've all come out pretty well.

However, if there was one piece of equipment that you picked up that greatly improved your brewing process, what would it be?

Right now my two big issues are temperature control during fermentation and my stove is barely big enough to boil 2.5 gallons of water. Oh, and I've been plagued with a high FG (even after I let it sit for a few more days). I think that's somehow connected to my temp control.

Another random thing is I'm going to be good effort forth to rack all of my brews to a secondary for 2-3 weeks to see if that helps with FG and clarity. Oh, and I'm trying to move on to mini mash.

With what I wrote above in mind, what do you think would be a good next step? I'd appreciate anyone's input.

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Old 03-07-2010, 12:37 PM   #2
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To me, my biggest improvement was getting a full boil. I went the propane burner/outside route, but going electric is an option too. Getting a full boil on your stove just ain't gonna happen....unless you have a commercial stove top of some sort. Number two would have to be fermentation temp control. Consistency is a wonderful thing. Find an old fridge and a temperature controller. I use mine to keep temps down in the summer and using a heat pad I can keep temps up in the winter. Of course, my top two are the same as yours. I think your on the right track.

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Old 03-07-2010, 12:54 PM   #3
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If you have or can get a 240V outlet installed near your brewing area, a pot with a 5500 watt water heating element works fantastic. Kicks arse over propane, faster AND cheaper.
I've been running mine on my 7500 watt generator, which isn't much louder than the propane burner going full tilt. $2.75 a gallon for gas vs $5 propane and runs about a third of the time, considering an AG brew.

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Old 03-07-2010, 01:13 PM   #4
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Try putting your fermenter or carboy in a water bath. I use a large storage bin filled with water. If the temps get too high you can add a couple frozen two litter bottles. Even without adding the ice bottles I think you will find your temps will be a lot more consistent. As far as equipment, I recommend a good heating system, be it electric or propane. Personally, I use propane since I only brew outside and it is what all the gas systems in my house and the generator runs on so I have plenty on hand.

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Old 03-08-2010, 11:34 AM   #5
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Got ya... so my intuitions are correct. I'm not too sure about the full boil just yet (since I just bought a 21 quart pot that I need to get some good use out of). However, I might invest in a turkey frier to get a better boil + I can eventually upgrade to a full boil.

I appreciate the ideas for temperature control. My apartment gets pretty warm in the summer so I might have to take advantage of either purchasing equipment or using some of the ideas posted here.

Thanks everyone for their input!

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Old 03-08-2010, 11:40 AM   #6
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I'm not sure of your stores in the CT area, but Sport Academy down south here has the turkey fryer stuff parted out....so you can get a 7.5 gallon pot for 20 bucks or better...A burner and stand same price etc. You get the point so you don't have to buy a 100 dollar turkey fryer set when you don't need all that stuff.

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