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Old 03-31-2008, 02:05 PM   #1
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Default Tax Refund and help spending it

So my old lady and I decided that we would each spend $200 of the money we get back on whatever we want. You know, to stimulate the economy and what have you. So I decided that a grain mill is in order. That will leave me some money left over. Now the question is what should I buy? I was thinking that a 2000 ml flask would be good since up until now I have been using dry yeast since I did not have the ability to make starters, and I would really like to make some big Belgians. I will also build a DIY stirplate. I can' t temperature control my ferments so I thought some nice estery Belgians would be perfect for the summer since I live in Texas and it will get ridiculously hot. So if anyone else has some suggestions I would love to here them.

Also does anyone use the foam stoppers on there erlenmeyer flask?

Thanks
Hell

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Old 03-31-2008, 02:40 PM   #2
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Not sure how much you'll have left after you buy the mill, but I'd invest in some way to control fermentation temp (even if it's just a cooler to do the frozen-water-bottle-bath bit) before the erelenmeyer or stir plate.

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Old 03-31-2008, 02:56 PM   #3
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I already have something set up like that I just don' t have a way to set actual temperature. I manage to keep it consistent, temperature wise. I was looking at the Barley Crusher with the 7 pound hopper. That should leave me at least $40 maybe a little less.

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Old 03-31-2008, 02:57 PM   #4
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First of all I would spend all of it on a mill because if you have a bunch left over you could have gotten a better mill. But if you somehow get a great deal on a mill and do have a bunch left over I would buy pulleys to motorize said mill.

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Old 03-31-2008, 03:05 PM   #5
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Mills are great, as is gear for making good starters. However, temperature control is huge in Houston. You might want to take that $100-150 of that money and shop around for a chest freezer. Shop the outlets and scratch & dent spots. There is a good Conn's outlet right on Stella Link, just down the street from DeFalco's (to the South). With a little luck, you can find a great deal, since you don't give a flip what the thing looks like. Then, use the rest of the money on the thermostat. If you have anything left over after that, go nuts.

If you really want that mill, though, go for it. Use your savings on buying bulk grains to get temperature control ASAP.


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Old 03-31-2008, 03:06 PM   #6
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The barley crusher with 7# hopper is a great mill, don't take that last post the wrong way. I "motorized" it with my makita drill, it runs through big grain bills in a few minutes, no need to complicate it with motors and pulleys.

Spend the rest of the money on an aeration kit (I got the fish tank pump from Northern Brewer at the same time as my barley crusher). It is about $40 and totally worth it

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Old 03-31-2008, 03:11 PM   #7
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Temp control doesn't have to be expensive...I scored a free fridge from freecycle and painted it orange (check my gallery) and bought an analog temp controler on ebay for like $50. Temp control in Texas is increadibly important IMHO.

Have fun stimulating the economy!

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Old 03-31-2008, 04:04 PM   #8
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The problem is I live in a apartment and don' t really have room for a chest freezer, and if I were going to have a fridge it would be a kegerator.

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Old 03-31-2008, 04:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexLaw
There is a good Conn's outlet right on Stella Link, just down the street from DeFalco's (to the South).
Good as in everything in there is crap, lol! Of course, it is a Conn's clearance center.

I agree with TexLaw. It's been a PITA to keep my temps regulated as I'm not in a house yet. So, yeah, +2 on the fermentation chamber.
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hell Brew
The problem is I live in a apartment and don' t really have room for a chest freezer, and if I were going to have a fridge it would be a kegerator.
I think a chamber like this would be ideal for an apartment. I've been looking for a cheap one or some college kid/parent looking to toss out their dorm fridge to build something similar.
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