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Old 01-21-2013, 11:50 PM   #1
wlssox524
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Default Next upgrade help

First off--would be absolutely nowhere without all the help on this forum. I've have a few AG batches under my belt and feel like I'm starting to get my process down. I'm hoping to get some suggestions from the more experienced on here as to what I should be focusing on in terms of where to upgrade.

My current setup:
-10 g aluminum HLT
-15 g aluminum kettle (neither pot has any modifications)
-Bayou propane burner
-48 qt chest cooler mash/lauter tun with SS braid
-copper immersion chiller
-little things: instant read digital thermometer, mash paddle, pH strips, plastic pitcher, standard hydrometer

I've been using dry yeast under the assumption that for basic brews it's just as good as liquid with a starter but I may be wrong there. I ferment in a bucket in my basement which is relatively stable but obviously somewhat out of my control.

Would love anyone's input or general thoughts! My guess would be that a fermentation chamber would be the best next step but as that's a relatively big step I'm curious to see if people agree



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Old 01-21-2013, 11:57 PM   #2
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Controlling fermentation temperatures made the most difference in my beers and all I did was move to a cooler room (62 to 64 degrees) for my ales. A fermentation chamber would be nice but somewhat expensive. If you have a cooler place to work with how about a tub of water and an aquarium heater to control the temperature?



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Old 01-22-2013, 01:27 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
Controlling fermentation temperatures made the most difference in my beers and all I did was move to a cooler room (62 to 64 degrees) for my ales. A fermentation chamber would be nice but somewhat expensive. If you have a cooler place to work with how about a tub of water and an aquarium heater to control the temperature?
This is good advice. It drives me nuts when someone tries to tell a relatively new brewer they need precise temp control. Ferm temp is important but precise control is not.

My suggestion is to look into starters and use liquid yeast. There are just so many options with liquid yeast.

The best thing you could probably do is find the thing you like the least about brewing and buy something to make that step easier. You seem to have a pretty decent equipment profile. There are other things that may seem more expensive but they are actually cheaper in the end. I spent way to much money replacing broken hydrometers. I should have bought a refractometer long before I did.

One of the simplest and cheapest things I've done to make my day easier is buy a $10 tool box and put some basic tools in it. It's great to have what I need on hand without having to run to the basement. Off the top of my head I keep a screwdriver, a couple adjustable wrenches, hose clamps, lighter, muslin bags, and some other random things I can't think of right now.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:16 PM   #4
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As mentioned by itsme6582, buy quality stuff. I spent (wasted) SO much money just buying the cheap stuff to get to the next level than I would have just buying quality at first.

Also, don't be afraid to modify things yourself. My BK has a valve, thermometer and sight glass that I installed myself. Just do a little research in tools needed.

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