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Old 01-19-2010, 07:59 AM   #1
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Default Best equipment purchase -- $50 or less

So my budget allows me about $50 per month for beer brewing equipment (and another $30-40 for ingredients). So far I have a basic kit (2 buckets, hoses, capper, etc.), 6 gallon and 4 gallon kettles, brewing bag, and a heating belt. I'm torn between building a mash tun (rubbermaid + conversion), a wort chiller, or an extra secondary fermenter. Which would you buy if you were me? I'm primarily doing partial grain, and probably won't be moving to full grain any time soon.

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Old 01-19-2010, 08:05 AM   #2
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If you don't plan on going all-grain any time soon I'd hold off on the mash tun build and go with the extra secondary fermenter so you can have multiple batches fermenting to build up the pipeline.

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Old 01-19-2010, 08:07 AM   #3
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Is there any reason for not wanting to go to all-grain ?
If its just a shortage of equipment I'd get the mash tun. Then you can go AG asap. Its an easy project as well. In fact, you may be able to build the chiller and mash tun within your budget.

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Old 01-19-2010, 08:18 AM   #4
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Is there any reason for not wanting to go to all-grain ?
If its just a shortage of equipment I'd get the mash tun. Then you can go AG asap. Its an easy project as well. In fact, you may be able to build the chiller and mash tun within your budget.
It's mainly the fact that I have an electric stove.. Also, the water quality here isn't very good, so an all grain batch means extra cost of distilled water and chemicals. I plan to move to all grain eventually, but not for a while.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:50 AM   #5
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I'm totally new, but I'd think the wort chiller would be great for your next purchase.

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Old 01-19-2010, 11:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
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It's mainly the fact that I have an electric stove.. Also, the water quality here isn't very good, so an all grain batch means extra cost of distilled water and chemicals. I plan to move to all grain eventually, but not for a while.
So maybe you should get some sort of water filter with the first month's equipment money...?
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:30 AM   #7
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I would eliminate the mash tun if you're not going AG anytime soon. A wort chiller will cut down on your brewday which is nice. A second secondary would only be necessary if you're planning on doing some longer aging (like oaking or other adjuncts).

Also, whether you go AG or not, you're still using 5 gallons of the same water. I'm not saying you should go AG, but I am saying that if you think water is holding your beer back then dooblie may be right.

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Old 01-19-2010, 12:33 PM   #8
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I personally would get:

1 - tub to make a swamp chiller
2 - second fermenter or carboy
3 - more ingredients

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Old 01-19-2010, 12:35 PM   #9
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Save up for a couple of months & get something nice; maybe a kegging setup.

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Old 01-19-2010, 01:00 PM   #10
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Partial boils or full boil? If full, I'd do the wort chiller first.

Otherwise, if you bottle condition, I'd get a vinator and bottling tree - one of the best purchases I ever made

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