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Old 03-22-2013, 11:34 PM   #11
SavoryChef
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-Don't start drinking until the boil starts.
-A pump is worth it's weight in gold.
-Have a buddy come over on brew day and let him drink your beer, so he can clean your mash tun.
-A brew stand is awesome, no need to lift anything heavy or hot water.

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Old 03-23-2013, 01:19 AM   #12
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^^^

A and C

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Old 03-23-2013, 01:52 AM   #13
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Go with a 10 gallon pot to begin with. The worst mistake I made was going with an 8 especially if you want to do some bigger beers.

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Old 03-23-2013, 02:25 AM   #14
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Good 10 gallon pot. Good Burner! DIY wort chiller. If you batch sparge a rectangular cooler with a bazooka screen (not sure where the false bottom comments come from overpriced IMO, and never had a problem with my bazooka tube). Get your process down over a dozen batches or so. Then move into water treatment, I use Bru'n Water and it is fantastic!! it seems like a headache at the beginning but stick with it and it will make sense. Start saving yeast (washing if you like) in mason jars, and plan on buying hops in bulk in the fall harvest.

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Old 03-23-2013, 02:56 AM   #15
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Are you going to be brewing kits or assembling your own recipes at the start?
I strongly recommend using Beersmith 2. If you have the ability to crush your own grain and have a 5 gallon brew pot you can do 2.5 gallon brews using the brew in a bag method (BIAB). The bags can be paint strainer bags you buy at menards for $1 apiece. You can buy a white food grade bucket (5 gallon size) from Walmrt for $3. These buckets can be used for 2-3.5 gallon size brews and use the same lid as the 6.5 gallon fermentors. This size batch can be easily done on your stove top and will give you some of the basic starts of the all grain process without much initial investment. The software Beersmith 2 has a brew in a bag option. You can get a free trial version for 30 days.

If you decide to skip the smaller biab process you might have to get some other method of heating the wort other than a conventional stove top burner.

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Old 03-24-2013, 02:25 AM   #16
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I certainly think having a crazy friend to follow you down the long, drunken, dark road of brewing is one of the most important steps. And hey, sometimes you make beer that you're in a hurry to get out of a keg, and someone needs to help.

My AG gear wasn't crazy. My brew buddy already have everything, and I just bought another burner (banjo burner), another 9 gallon pot, another $20 coleman rectangular cooler with a 30" hosebraid and a ball valve on the front. And that was really it. I think having your own grain mill can be really beneficial. We increased our crush a bit, and we finally got our mash efficiency dialed in, and double-milling doesn't seem to hurt.

-Take good notes, ALWAYS!
-Buy grain (and anything, really) in BULK!
-Get your burner dialed in. When I got my banjo burner, I blew through a propane tank in x2 5gallon brews. My buddy gets 6+ brew out of one tank. Yeah, you can hit a boil really quick, but you will waste fuel like crazy. Pay close attention to these things.
-Get a nice thermometer. Nailing your temps really minimizes extra work for you. I have a nice digital thermometer from william sonoma or something. Using a refractometer has proved to be more pain than it's worth. Then again, I also never measure anything pre-boil.
-Get into kegging as quick as possible! I bottled with some friends before I ever got into homebrewing. It totally put me off. So much work. Kegging is so much easier and enjoyable. Granted, you'll end up buying a fridge, but that's another conversation.

I never brewed anything before AG. After getting the basics down with a couple of brews, it's way less intimidating. Good luck, this resource is here for you!

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Old 03-25-2013, 03:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inthesound View Post
I certainly think having a crazy friend to follow you down the long, drunken, dark road of brewing is one of the most important steps. And hey, sometimes you make beer that you're in a hurry to get out of a keg, and someone needs to help.
Quoted for truth. I've brewed more and better in the year since acquiring a solid brew buddy than I did in any previous five years put together.

-Rich
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