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Old 01-12-2008, 05:48 PM   #1
Jesse Seymour
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Default Fed up with Mr. Beer, moving to real equipment

Hello everyone.

I am fed up with the cheap Mr. Beer equipment. As I was bottling my Blue Lightning the tap on the Mr. Beer keg kept getting clogged with chunks of blueberries. This would force me to push harder to the tap handle and now the tap has a perpetual leak.

My wife (not sure what SWMBO means, can someone explain that?) said that this could be the "catalyst that moves me to get real equipment and start brewing like a man". I think she has ulterior motives here because I promised to brew her a good cherry beer.

Anyway to make a long story short (too late) I did some browsing online at Midwest Supplies and decided to acquire the following equipment:

  • 2x 3 Gallon Glass Carboys - I thought about using pails but I like to be able to see what is going on in there.
  • 1x Thermohydrometer - Just a hydrometer with a built-in thermometer
  • 2x #7stoppers, drilled

I am not sure if I should use blow-off tubes or airlocks. I want to stick with microbatches (around 2 gallons) for now but will be moving to five gallon batches hopefully by Christmas. I have two Mr. Beer cans of extract and Booster left so I will continue to brew those in this equipment.

Does anyone see anything that I am missing or could offer any additional advice?

I want more and less with this hobby so I need to get on real equipment but budget is a very limiting factor.
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:05 PM   #2
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If you feel like taking a drive, there are homebrew shops relatively close to you. There is one in Appleton and one in Stevens Point. Each would be able to provide you with whatever you need and you wouldn't have to pay shipping.

Appleton: http://www.homebrewmarket.com/

Stevens Point: http://www.pointbrewsupply.com/

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Old 01-12-2008, 06:22 PM   #3
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Personally I would not get 3 gallon carboys....I would go straight to 5....It doesnt cost that much more to brew 5 gal, instead of 2-3 with the same amount of work..I started with Mr. Beer and went to 5 gal and am VERY happy I did...The beer is better, and you go through more of it when you have people over. I now have 1 fermenting bucket(5 gal) and 3 better bottle 5 gal carboys(which are all full)...If you go with 3 gal stuff I think you will be sorry in the long run and when you do go to 5 gal batches you will be stuck with the small stuff. Also the cost between 3 and 5 gal stuff isnt much different...

Here is a link to my LHBS for $70 bucks...Add shipping, so probably 85 bucks total for a good starter 5 gal kit....

Good Luck....

http://www.brewbeer.cc/index.php?Cus...ID=72&Detail=1

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Old 01-12-2008, 06:25 PM   #4
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And the guys in Appleton know their stuff and can be very helpful. That's where I go when I get the chance. I'm sure the one in Stevens Point is too, but I've never been there.

I use airlocks and have only used a blow off tube one time. And airlocks are cheap, so get several. Stock up on some dry yeast to keep in the fridge just in case you ever get a stuck fermentation- Nottingham is a good one. Also, get more than two #7 stoppers. Trust me on that. You also need siphoning equipment, and an autosiphon is a good bet. You need a bottling bucket and a bottling wand, too.

Keep in mind that you can buy kits at many places, but they all make 5 gallons. You can half them, but it's just as easy to make 5 gallons as it is 2.5 gallons. So, I'd recommend an ale pail and/or a 6.5 gallon carboy.

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Old 01-12-2008, 06:26 PM   #5
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if you are going to get five gallon carboys, you'll need a 6 or 6.5 gallon carboy to ferment in. you can condition in the five gallon jugs, but you will want some head space for the fist stage of fermentation.

read that palmer's how to brew website that's stickied as well. good luck and have fun!

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Old 01-12-2008, 06:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uglygoat
if you are going to get five gallon carboys, you'll need a 6 or 6.5 gallon carboy to ferment in. you can condition in the five gallon jugs, but you will want some head space for the fist stage of fermentation.

read that palmer's how to brew website that's stickied as well. good luck and have fun!
+1 on the bigger carboy to ferment in...6.5 would be better....I have a 6.5 gal bucket and the last batch was still foaming out the airlock till I installed a blowoff tube....

+1 on the auto siphon...TOTALLY worth the $9.99 it costs... wish I would have bought one sooner....
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Seymour
My wife (not sure what SWMBO means, can someone explain that?) said that this could be the "catalyst that moves me to get real equipment and start brewing like a man".
I think in this case we absolutely need to define the acronym SWMBO for this guy. It's so appropo.

SWMBO = She Who Must Be Obeyed


Make it so.
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:58 PM   #8
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There is also a HB shop in Green Bay. I forget the name of the place.

My advice is to take deep breath. Read more, learn more and define where you want to go with this hobby. Then, begin to plan a strategy on how to get there.

Don't buy equipment twice. Buy what you need, but don't short yourself to the point you will have to replace a perfectly good piece of equipment soon.

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Old 01-12-2008, 07:29 PM   #9
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I thought SWMBO was Someone Who Mister Beer Owns?

Glad to see you making the switch Jesse. I'm sure you'll really enjoy the next level.

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Old 01-12-2008, 11:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Seymour
My wife (not sure what SWMBO means, can someone explain that?) said that this could be the "catalyst that moves me to get real equipment and start brewing like a man".

This is the ONLY time you will ever hear these words. Buy ALL of the equipment your credit card can support RIGHT NOW!



Once she see's all of the equipment piling up and the time you spend brewing, it will be more like "you need to buy MORE beer equipment, AGAIN?!!?? All you think about is brewing BEER! If I knew when I bought you the Mr. Beer Kit it would lead to this...etc, etc..."



And Fingers...BOO!!!

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