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Old 01-29-2013, 07:11 PM   #1
res313
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Default 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.
Stage I
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.
Stage II
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.
Stage III
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.

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Old 01-30-2013, 05:37 PM   #2
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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.

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Old 01-30-2013, 09:23 PM   #3
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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.

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Old 01-30-2013, 11:14 PM   #4
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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.

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Old 01-31-2013, 01:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelitore View Post
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.
Will do. I will check out the austin zealots. I'm looking forward to getting into this hobby. I'm a huge DIY guy, and as an engineer this is right up my alley. Don't think I'm going to be able to get started this weekend since we're hosting Sunday. However hopefully next weekend will be my first brew (I wanted to say cook but that felt like Walter white)
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:38 PM   #6
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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.

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Old 02-15-2013, 08:31 PM   #7
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Visited austin homebrew supply today. They were Awesome. Approaching the end of my 60 min boil. This has been fun.

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Old 02-15-2013, 10:00 PM   #8
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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.

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Old 02-17-2013, 08:30 PM   #9
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Lots of airlock activity. No sulfur smell from the aplefwine.

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Old 02-24-2013, 04:23 PM   #10
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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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