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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > What should I buy with $400?
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Old 10-16-2009, 01:50 PM   #1
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Default What should I buy with $400?

I've got $400 wife-approved to blow on homebrew stuff.

I'm slowly making the switch to all-grain - here's my current inventory:

Couple fermentors
5 gal MLT with false bottom
22 qt boil pot
mini fridge, but no temp control
Bottling equipment

Part of me wants to get a turkey fryer, big kettle, and a temp controller for the fridge.

Part of me wants to get a kegging set up.

Your thoughts?

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Old 10-16-2009, 02:04 PM   #2
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IMO I'd go for the turkey fryer/big kettle/ temp controller. I'd go for a 10 gallon brew kettle if I were you... When I went all grain I got an 8 gallon kettle and I definitely regret not going with something bigger.

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Old 10-16-2009, 02:05 PM   #3
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Yes to the big kettle - 10 gallons is great for 5 gallon batches. Instead of the turkey fryer, you might consider a Bayou SQ-14, a great burner.

Did you mention an immersion chiller? If not, you'll need one. Cheers!

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Old 10-16-2009, 02:05 PM   #4
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I would spend it on a quality 40qt pot, a propane burner and a nice big chiller.

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Old 10-16-2009, 02:08 PM   #5
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Well your current boil kettle is definitely undersized for full batches where you would typically be bringing 6-7 gallons up to boil. I think that would be a worthwhile upgrade to do full boils.

As to the temp controller it depends what you want to use the mini fridge for. If you are thinking lagering or fermentation chamber then that will be something you will need eventually.

I'd highly recommend a kegging setup. It just makes everything so much easier, but you know your priorities better than I do.

Whatever you decide, the money never quite stretches as far as you'd like.

Enjoy your upgrades.

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Old 10-16-2009, 02:12 PM   #6
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One $400 hooker-bot? Or four hundred $1 hooker-bots?

You should be able to go all-grain for well under $400. Turkey fryer's what, $50 or so? You'll need a wort chiller, figure a basic immersion chiller for $50 - $60. Build a cooler mashtun, probably about that same amount again between the cooler, a SS braid for filtering, a weldless bulkhead and a ball value. Figure you've got the main gear to do all-grain full boils for $200.

The remaining $200 will go a long ways towards a kegging setup. Couple kegs and a Co2 tank ought to cost you $100, regulator, depending on whether you buy new or used is $30 - $40. If the mini fridge is large enough to hold the kegs, you could start just using picnic taps.

But, I you ought to be able to do a simple full-boil AG setup and have enough left over for a simple kegging setup, given that you already have the fridge. You can always add external taps or a tower later on.

EDIT: I missed that you already had a mash tun. Spend those dollars on a big pot, or try and get your hands on a (legal) keg to convert into a keggle.

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Old 10-16-2009, 02:18 PM   #7
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Put $100 of it towards a good pot. 40 Qt Minimum, 60 qt is better if you ever decide to go bigger!! (Changing from a 5 gal mash tun to a larger one shouldnt be a huge expense if you ever want to do 10 gallon batches, depending on what your MLT setup is.)

Put the other $300 towards kegging. I started kegging before I went all grain, best decision of my brewing career.

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Old 10-16-2009, 02:28 PM   #8
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or......

You can go on a full out ASSAULT on Craigslist. Stalking every town nearby, until you find a motherload score for $400.

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Old 10-16-2009, 02:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyd3r View Post
or......

You can go on a full out ASSAULT on Craigslist. Stalking every town nearby, until you find a motherload score for $400.
Yeah...those are generally a result of the subsequent divorce that he would then endure...
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Old 10-16-2009, 02:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyd3r View Post
or......

You can go on a full out ASSAULT on Craigslist. Stalking every town nearby, until you find a motherload score for $400.
+1 on this if you are not in a hurry to spend.

I stumbled on my complete B3 3 tier structure for $350! I agree kegging is also a decent idea (after a good sized brew pot, burner, and chiller). Depending on your patience and bargain finding, a grain mill would also be a consideration.
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