Just wanted to say I "joined the ranks" today.
Started around 5:30 - 6:00 and just finished cleaning up; 5.5 or 6 hours start to finish. Tired, but feeling pretty good.
Did all the set up countdown items the past two weeks:
-Hours of reading up/researching others questions & answers and posts here on HBT-Thanks to all.
-Got my pre-crushed kit from AustinHomebrew (Shiner Bock clone)-I wanted something simple for the first batch (also took advantage of the 10% sale two weeks ago-Thanks Forrest!).
-I finished building my counter flow chiller last week (I've got 20 - 22 feet of 3/8 copper left may just post that in classifieds).
-Assembled the turkey fryer Thursday night.
Here's how things went:
My Rubbermaid rectanglular cooler with CPVC piping did great- it kept 150 degrees for the full hour, and the grains were still about 145 degrees two hours later (post sparging).
The turkey fryer from Lowes worked good, kept a solid rolling boil for 60-70 minutes.
The CFC also worked great-about 190-200 degrees in, 60 degrees out, the hose water was on only a trickle...My syphon was also a trickle, it took almost 30 minutes to drain the kettle (I'll have to get it higher next time and see if that will help).
I did not measure efficiency, but it had to be pretty good-the target OG is 1.045, I had 1.044 (it might have even been 1.045). Tasted pretty good also.
Again, keeping it simple, I used dry yeast-I just checked it after cleanup (about 2 hours after pitching), and it is already blowing and occasional bubble from the blow off tube.
Tired, but phsyched , I 've got a couple of weeks to empty a keg and get this brew aging/conditioning...
Thinking ahead, I've made Papazian's Rocky Raccoon Honey Lager several times (always enjoyable), so I will probably make a double batch next-one extract, one all-grain, and see how they compare.
Thanks again for a great helpful community here at HBT, it is a great resource.
When I started homebrewing in 1990, all I had was Papazian's book and a couple of friends that were only a few batches ahead of me....
-Those that know dont close the door on those that dont know (The Gourds, "Education Song")...
-The brewer's yeast ferments, and forgives, all that you did...(The Gourds, "Right in the Head")...