Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > advice upgrading equipment
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-29-2012, 08:47 PM   #1
BenAgee
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 13
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default advice upgrading equipment

i've only brewed two batches of beer so far, but i've got an "investor" interested in upgrading my equipment. we'd (obviously) like to go all-grain, so i know i need a mill, but my question is which equipment is most immediately crucial for consistent, quality output. right now we're working with a turkey fryer and buckets and carboys for fermenters. we've got a budget of 2-3k. i'm thinking a 14 gallon conical fermenter, but should i worry more about a boiling system first? it'd be great to have everything integrated, so is a packaged deal the way to go? would the money be more wisely spent scouring for good deals and piecing everything together? i've looked on craigslist and dealers' websites, and so far the prices seem to be consistently similar. even the used stuff on craigslist isn't much cheaper than new stuff seems to be.

so which equipment is immediately vital, and where are the best places to look? thanks!

__________________
BenAgee is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-29-2012, 09:37 PM   #2
chickypad
lupulin shift victim
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
chickypad's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SF Peninsula
Posts: 2,693
Liked 260 Times on 232 Posts
Likes Given: 119

Default

I'd first decide what kind of all grain you want to do and what batch size you want to accomodate. Depending on your current pot size BIAB may mean minimal new equipment. If you don't want to do BIAB then you will need a mash tun and some other vessel for holding hot water. Either way the pot needs to be big enough for full boil, you need a good burner for it, and you need to be able to chill the wort. Also consider how you're going to move the wort (gravity, pump, etc.) or for BIAB how you will lift the bag. Temperature control for fermentation would be not specific to all grain but is probably one of the most crucial things for consistent quality beer.

Once you decide these things you can look at whether you want to piece things together or go with an already integrated system. I'd say a 14 gallon conical would be pretty far down the list though.

__________________
chickypad is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-29-2012, 09:55 PM   #3
HopsMan
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 192
Liked 8 Times on 6 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Yeah, don't blow your wad on a conical yet.

My main question is how much do you know about all-grain brewing? There are a number of ways you can set this up, and each requires a very specific set of pieces to make work. I would encourage you to grab a book and read up on it, and make sure you know the core principals of all-grain before buying equipment, or you'll most likely end up regretting your purchases.

__________________
HopsMan is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-29-2012, 10:50 PM   #4
WileECoyote
Naked Brew !
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
WileECoyote's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Mohave Valley, Az
Posts: 1,446
Liked 152 Times on 123 Posts
Likes Given: 229

Default

A Big Fermentation Chamber First, if you plan on doing lots of batches.

Cheers

__________________

WileECoyote
Naked Brew

Bartender Ill have what the gentleman on the floor is drinking.

I have spent more $ on brewing equipment than my truck cost!

Green beer sucks, let it age/condition/finish and become great before drinking it. WileECoyote

Good/Great beer takes time! if you want a quick beer go to the store or bar!

Things come and go. Good beer will live on for ever ! WileECoyote

WileECoyote is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-29-2012, 11:14 PM   #5
05m50dan
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Atco, NJ
Posts: 208
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

+1 to Fermentation Chamber

__________________
05m50dan is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-29-2012, 11:18 PM   #6
fall-line
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
fall-line's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 433
Liked 49 Times on 35 Posts
Likes Given: 14

Default

The first big investment I made (when still doing extract brewing) was to build a fermentation chamber with heat and cool (converted a fridge). This is still one of the biggest things I did to improve my beer.

After that, start focusing on the core pieces of all grain equipment such as your MLT and Boil kettle (or combine them with BIAB as earlier suggested). I wouldn't suggest going out and spending your $2k yet.. Spend a few hundred and learn to use your new equipment to it's fullest before deciding how to proceed.

I went from extract brewing (stovetop), to BIAB with an 44qt Stainless pot, and then to a 10 gallon cooler MLT before finally building the rig you see in my signature below. It was a great learning experience and allowed me to build exactly the rig I wanted or my style of brewing.

Have fun!!

__________________

"Brewing beer is a fun and rewarding hobby. When you do good, you get beer. When you do bad, you get beer. It's a lot like rec league softball"
(source)


Building a home brewery (and garage) from the ground up
fall-line is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-29-2012, 11:24 PM   #7
Begin2Brew
Searching for the perfect beer one at a time
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Begin2Brew's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Antioch, IL
Posts: 736
Liked 59 Times on 56 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

Here is my opinion:

Invest in items that make you brew day more easier such as pumps and hoses or a gravity system.

Then cleaning and sanitation. A tile floor and nice big sink would be great.

Also look to fermentation control. I have two freezers, one as the kegerator one as the fermentation chamber.

Then go for some of the little things, like a good thermometer, mash paddle and mill.
The last is a big boil kettle. For 5gal I would look for a 10gal pot.

When I set my system up I always asked myself "does this make my brew session easier, more enjoyable or more consistent".

__________________

Bill

Ruffled Feathers Brewery

Begin2Brew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-30-2012, 12:19 AM   #8
BrewerBear
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: !, !
Posts: 1,191
Liked 69 Times on 63 Posts
Likes Given: 21

Default

how much does your "investor" want you to brew?

__________________
BrewerBear is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-30-2012, 12:38 AM   #9
ajf
Senior Member
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
ajf's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Long Island
Posts: 4,643
Liked 99 Times on 93 Posts
Likes Given: 39

Default

Expensive equipment doesn't make good beer. Good procedures and quality ingredients does.
I've been brewing for 38 years, and still haven't spent anything like $2k on my equipment, but as has already been said, fermentation chambers are very much worth while.

-a.

__________________

There are only 10 types of people in this world. Those that understand binary, and those that don't.

ajf is offline
2
People Like This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-30-2012, 01:39 AM   #10
duboman
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Glenview, IL
Posts: 6,127
Liked 470 Times on 436 Posts
Likes Given: 210

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf
Expensive equipment doesn't make good beer. Good procedures and quality ingredients does.
I've been brewing for 38 years, and still haven't spent anything like $2k on my equipment, but as has already been said, fermentation chambers are very much worth while.

-a.
This^^,
Best practice makes the best beer, not best equipment!

Fermentation control should be the first expense and will reward you more than its cost in the improved quality of your beer!

Learn about all grain and evaluate how you want to set up and then design the system. Gravity, pumps, electric, BIAB, plate chillers or IC? Lots of options and if its not how you brew it's a waste of $$$$
__________________
Nothing Left to do but smile and drink beer.....

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the "art" of beer since 2010
duboman is offline
BenAgee Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Upgrading Equipment and Planning Ahead megalomani Equipment/Sanitation 7 01-31-2011 07:54 PM
Advice for upgrading my brewing set up hatfieldenator Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 10-26-2010 03:46 AM
Upgrading Equipment Hastings Equipment/Sanitation 13 08-21-2010 12:09 AM
Upgrading Brewing Equipment mrdonbonjovi Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 34 03-11-2010 06:49 PM
upgrading equipment jnorris Equipment/Sanitation 6 06-14-2007 03:53 PM