Electric Brewing Supply 30A BCS Giveaway - Last Weekend to Enter!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Fermentation Temp Control or All-Grain
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-02-2009, 05:51 PM   #1
jasonh
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 63
Default Fermentation Temp Control or All-Grain

So I've been doing extract brewing on the stove, and I'm trying to plan out an upgrade path to take, and there seem to be two basic paths for improvement / convenience, etc.

1) Fermentation temp control / kegging / serving
2) All-Grain / Full boil

I've priced out entries into both paths with room to expand later, and it seems like the first step in either comes out very similar in price
For 1)
a) Chest freezer (Big enough to expand to a dual-chambered fermentation / serving setup w/different temps in each chamber)
b) Dual-stage temp controller

($200-300, depending on the freezer and whether I do wiring myself...so call it $250 unless I find a steal on a chest freezer via craigslist)

(Kegging upgrade available later for ~$200)

For 2)

a) basic 10gal stainless brewpot
b) 10gal water cooler mash tun w/false bottom and fittings
c) Propane burner
d) Wort chiller

($270)


It seems like the all-grain route is probably the best bang for the buck, but I do also really want to get to the point of kegging and better temp control (it's going to get tough to keep temps come summer, and I'll probably be pulling the trigger on most of this stuff in Feb/March once I get tax returns, etc). I also like the whole secondary in corny keg + oxygen-less transfer for clearing/serving, etc...so I'm torn.

What would you guys do? Any other ideas/comments?

__________________
jasonh is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-02-2009, 06:05 PM   #2
TwoHeadsBrewing
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Chico, CA
Posts: 3,930
Liked 28 Times on 25 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

I would say fermentation temperature control would have the biggest impact on the quality of your brew. And a simple Johnson analong controller, plus a small fridge with some DIY would only run a bit over $100. Check out the link below. It's not pretty, but it works great for fermenting one batch...and now I use it to hold 2 corny kegs. I got the fridge for free from a friend and the rest including the temperature controller cost about $80.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/mini...project-62517/

And if you really want to get into all grain, you could go a cheaper route and pick up a turkey fryer kit which includes a 7.5 gallon aluminum pot and a propane burner. These run anywhere from $50-80, which leaves a bit of money left over for a wort chiller.

If it were me, I'd try to do both the fermentation temp control box, AND full boil/AG setup. However, if you'd rather buy more expensive components and upgrade one step at a time I would choose the freezer with temp controller for fermentation and kegging.

__________________

Fermenting: ESB
Kegged: Extra IPA, Brown Ale, American Wheat, Blackheart Stout
Coming Up: Dunkleweizen, 3C Pale Ale


DIY Fermentation Chamber
More Brew Stuff
TwoHeadsBrewing is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-02-2009, 09:00 PM   #3
mattmcl
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
mattmcl's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Erie, CO
Posts: 727
Liked 8 Times on 7 Posts

Default

Well, I'm doing my first AG batch tomorrow, using the Brew in a Bag method. With that, you don't need a mash/lauter tun, but you DO need a 10 gal. pot. That drops about $50.

__________________
mattmcl is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-03-2009, 07:08 AM   #4
yeoldebrewer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: American Southwest
Posts: 446
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

I'm still somewhere between Noobie and dangerous Noob. But I'm guessing temperature control comes first. Look at it this way: If you master AG, you will probably want better control of fermentation temps anyway.

__________________

My airlock passes gas.

yeoldebrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-03-2009, 07:54 AM   #5
KopyKat
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
KopyKat's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Round Rock Texas
Posts: 471
Liked 2 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Temperature control, temperature control, temperature control, temperature control, temperature control, temperature control!!!!!!!!!!!

As an all grain brewer with over 40 brews under my belt I can tell you unequivocally that if you start all grain brewing without temperature control and I go back to extract with specialty grains with temperature control that I will make far better beer than you.

An extract brewer has all kinds of options to improve without going all grain. Late extract addition, mini-mash steeping, and rapid chilling. Then upgrade to temp control and you have a winning combination.

__________________
Jerry Pritchett
KopyKat Brewery


Primary: Belgian Blonde (for cask)
Drinking: Robust Porter
Up Next: Christmas Ale, SNPA, Simcoe IPA

AustinZealots.com
Home of the Austin Zealot's Inquisition
KopyKat is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-03-2009, 11:55 AM   #6
fratermus
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: 75081
Posts: 1,189
Liked 2 Times on 1 Posts

Default

+1 to temp control

__________________
Adequate Mousetrap brewhouse

Batch history | yeast slants | Suspending yeast
fratermus is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-03-2009, 12:29 PM   #7
Tonedef131
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Fort Wayne
Posts: 1,906
Liked 22 Times on 12 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KopyKat View Post
Temperature control, temperature control, temperature control, temperature control, temperature control, temperature control!!!!!!!!!!!
This, a thousand times.
__________________
Tonedef131 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-03-2009, 05:48 PM   #8
jasonh
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 63
Default

Hmm...so it sounds like everyone is recommending going all-grain first. ;-)

J/K

Temp control it is!

*Starts scouring craigslist for chest freezers*

Thanks guys.

__________________
jasonh is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-13-2009, 07:54 PM   #9
SnakesOnTheGrains
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1
Default A simple set-up

I have been using this set-up for a little while now and it seems to do the job quite well. I only do 5 gallon batches so it probably wouldn't work for your bigger quantities, but it a good stand alone unit for carboy brewers. Plus I don't have worry about checking on the temp of my brew 5 times a day. I just set it and forget it.

__________________
SnakesOnTheGrains 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
Temp control during fermentation Fenster Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 14 02-27-2010 01:26 PM
Fermentation temp control sdbrew1024 Equipment/Sanitation 12 06-26-2009 04:35 AM
How do I control Fermentation Temp? jlk126 General Techniques 8 10-31-2007 01:41 PM
Fermentation temp control? Jeepsn beer General Techniques 8 03-18-2007 03:39 PM
Fermentation temp control ARV9673 General Techniques 3 10-16-2006 01:07 AM