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Old 11-15-2013, 08:26 PM   #1
wvhillbilly
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So, I have gotten the blessing from the wife to go and spend whatever I need to get started. I have some basics from another hobby of mine(hydrometer, thermometer, burner, etc.) But talking brewing specific, what are some of the better pieces of equipment to get that are necessary, and some others that are not, but would be helpful. I am familiar with mashing, but not as step by step intensive as brewing seems to be. Thanks for your help.

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Old 11-15-2013, 08:34 PM   #2
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There are stickies at the top of this forum that'll be of some help. There's a ton of brewing videos on youtube if you're more visual. An 8 or 10 gallon kettle for full boils would be handy. I do PB/PM BIAB myself (partial boil,partial mash brew in a bag) in a 5 gallon kettle. Something to ferment in of at least 6.5 gallons volume,like carboys,Better Bottles,ale pails,& the like. Bottles (12oz is typical),bottle capper,caps,bottle tree,vinator for sanitizing the bottles 1st. Long handled spoons &/or paddles (I like plastic myself-no scratches). Funnels,dual layer fine mesh strainer,measuring spoons,a digital scale for weighing grains,hops,priming sugar,etc. By the way,where in WV are you from? My family is from Corley.

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Old 11-15-2013, 08:39 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply union. I have BOP's for mashing and such. I'm looking at like these 3 tier systems and what not. A necessity, or a must? I'm used to mashing, and fermenting on grain, so all this multi step, sparge, this and that is new to me. Would BIAB be any easier without sacrificing quality?

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Old 11-15-2013, 08:51 PM   #4
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I think so,yeah. I've done 12 or more that way. It's just an easier,cheaper way to get into partial mash or all grain without all the money lay out for equipment. We basically mash the grains in 1.25-1.5 quarts of water per pound of grain for an hour or more. Then drain the wort off the grains (with biab,pull the grain bag out & put it in a collander on top of the kettle to drain),then sparge (rinse) the drained grains with 170F water. Then proceed to the 1 hour boil for hop additions. In the case of partial mash,your mashing some 4-6lbs of grains for some 50% of the total fermentables & adding maybe 3lbs of extract at flame out to get the total fermentables. It works with full or partial boils. I partial boil,so I strain it into the fermenter after being chilled to 75F or so. Then top off with very cold chilled water from the fridge,say 2 gallons or a little more to 5 gallons recipe volume. This gets the temp down to 64-67F. Stir roughly 3-5 minutes to mix the wort & top off water well. Take hydrometer sample for OG,then pitch yeast & seal'er up. Add sanitizer or cheap vodka to the airlock & it's good to go.

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Old 11-15-2013, 11:16 PM   #5
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Sounds simple, so no need to invest in a three tier system or anything like that then?

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Old 11-16-2013, 12:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wvhillbilly
Sounds simple, so no need to invest in a three tier system or anything like that then?
Need? Absolutely not. Anyone who says you NEED one is probably the guy selling it.

That being said, obviously they have their place or they wouldn't exist in homebrewing. I'm sure they make things faster and easier, but they are a significant outlay of cash and they take up space. If you have the cash, have the space, know you're going to love brewing (so you will get a lot of use out of it), or you are good at fabricating and like DIY, go for it. If you're like me, enjoy BIAB for a few batches (you can do PM as union does or do all grain). If you decide later you want to do things differently, make changes.

This hobby can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it.
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Old 11-16-2013, 12:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wvhillbilly View Post
So, I have gotten the blessing from the wife to go and spend whatever I need to get started.
Oh! Really?

Has she seen the Blichmann website? http://www.blichmannengineering.com/

I bought a Banjo burner and 10 gallon aluminum pot when I went to all-grain, I mash out of an old used Coleman cooler with a DIY CPVC manifold, I chill with a DIY chiller and a spoon attached to my drill motor, I ferment and bottle in a bucket.

There are a lot of helpful DIY videos on youtube that will save you money. If money is no object than see the link above. Cheers!
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Old 11-16-2013, 03:26 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info guys, and thanks for the link. While that equipment looks awesome, I don't think I need to get that high tech with it. I already have mash pots. Burners, etc, probably everything I need. So I'll just use this as a chance to upgrade my equipment.

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