New Brewer in Austin Area
Well, not quite new yet, but I plan on it.
My long term plan is to brew, keg, and serve out of a two tap kegerator conversion.
So far my progress is such.
1. I have a CO2 tank. I think it's a 5# tank, the guy who sold it to me thought it was a 20# tank. It has an inspection sticker that has a date but the only part that is legible is 2013.
2. Just purchased an Igloo FR465. However, I plan on returning it because I don't trust its reliability and don't want to convert it just to lose it to it being junk. I plan on purchasing the 4.4 cu ft frigidaire from lowes for my conversion, and I also want it for this weekend.
On to brewing.
I plan on starting with extracts. From my research on here I think I am going to stick with only primary fermentation. So my way ahead.
1. Purchase turkey fryer from academy sports they have a 30 quart aluminum(i know, i know but after reading up on it I am comfortable with this decision)
2. Purchase Primary fermeter(plastic bucket style) from Austin Homebrew supply, along with an airlock, star san, and a hydrometer(any recomendations?)
3. Also purchase a kit from AHBS, I am leaning towards a hefe and in particular their gold label german hefe.
4. My next purchases will be ball lock kegs, I am leaning toward used because I don't mind putting the elbow grease into cleaning them to be able to get two for the price of one new keg. I will also need the equipment for racking my beer into the kegs at this point.
5. Carbonating beer and kegerator: I will need the regulator valve, lines, and disconnects to carbonate so I might as well get my kegerator kit at this point. I am looking at getting a two tap fridge kit from Birdman since their prices seem to be the best at this time. I will go with perlicks.
6. The final step will be the kegerator conversion, I plan on using a homemade draft tower with the fridge conversion kit. I enjoy working with wood, i'm not an expert or even in apprentice woodworker but I have made furniture in the past and can get by. I'm undecided if it will be a coffin style or more of the T style. For two taps I may just go Coffin style since it seems easier.
I am not "cheap" but more over I prefer to do things myself where I can because I am invested in the project and on a whole I feel like I will put a better effort into it.
What say my fellow Texans? Any thoughts about my plan? In particular any places I can source used ball lock kegs locally? I'm working craigslist and Ebay but I haven't found anything quite worth the risk of not purchasing from a supplier.
Have you tried brewing at all yet? Maybe you should start with a simple extract kit and see if you like it before you invest so much money into all that equipment.
Other than that it seems like a pretty solid plan.
I see what you're saying. I plan on starting with extract brewing. I have "home" brewed before, except it was at a place in New Hampshire where you go to do the brew, then go back to do the bottling. I don't want to bottle hence my desire for kegs. I also really like the idea of a kegerator in my media room. The way I am approaching it the equipment will be purchased in phases because the brewing/carbonating process allow such due to the time to ferment and carb.
Good plan - homebrewing is pretty big here in Texas (I'm outside of Houston). You might want to look up the club Austin Zealots - they have several really good home brewers that might be able to give you advice.
Got my Fridge over the weekend. For $130(Includes TX sales Tax) I am very happy.
Today I picked up a propane burner and 30 Quart pot from Academy.
This Friday( I have a four day) I am heading to AHBS and this weekend will be my first brew. I am pumped!
Also i plan on making some of the simple rice wine, and after this first batch of Beer i will make Edwort's Apfelwine. Lots of plans now I need to just jump in feet first.
Visited austin homebrew supply today. They were Awesome. Approaching the end of my 60 min boil. This has been fun.
So I have my first homebrew day in the books.
I started the day by heading to Austin Homebrew Supply. I feel like a jerk because I never got the employee's name who helped me, but he was awesome. I had a good idea of what I wanted and he filled in the holes.
This is my haul from AHS. Everything I needed to brew an extract and start my Apfelwine. I went with AHS's Bavarian Hefe, I am pumped to try that out.
It took me roughly 4 hours from start to finish. However, I know I can dramatically cut that down next brew. I did not do a full boil because the kit instructions were done for a partial and I did not want to deviate. I do believe that I can do a full boil in my 30 Quart pot next time.
I was crazy about being sanitary. StarSan on everything that did not get boiled and I kept a spray bottle with starsan handy and gave everything a good coating before it came in contact with the wort.
I may also use bottled water next time because boiling my water prior to use was a pain.
This is what made it all worth it.
I also ordered two ball lock kegs today. I think in the beginning I am going with picnic taps, if I spend more money I may end up single.
Lots of airlock activity. No sulfur smell from the aplefwine.
Took out the tools and made some modifications to the Igloo mini fridge I purchased. Both kegs fit inside and the door closes, it is tight.
Ordered a keg dispensing kit from Birdman. Very excited for that.
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