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Old 03-01-2012, 03:46 AM   #1
stevodenteufel
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Default How is this for a cheap beginner setup?

Hey everyone, I recently setup some mead in a 1 gal container and it got me interested in making beer. Im presently working on a cheap setup so I can brew beer, here is a list of my stuff let me know what you think :

-3 gal Glass Carboy with airlock (going to be making 3 gal batches)
-3 gallon pot
-5 gal foodsafe bucket, need to drill it for an airlock
-Hygro/Temp combo
-tons of misc vinyl tubing (thanks to my Aquaria hobby lol)
-8 oz Starsan

I have a stove top so I opted not to buy a burner as the pot will easily fit on it. Is this the way to go?

What do you guys think? The idea is to ferment in the bucket, then transfer to the glass carboy, and from there bottle. Am I missing something? Keep in mind this setup is meant to be cheap for now

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Old 03-01-2012, 03:52 AM   #2
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No need for glass carboy. They sure do look awsome but plastic buckets work perfect and are much easier to clean. You can get them free too. I would spring for a bottling wand. Get bottles free. 20 dollar brew pot all wallmart.... grain bag.... you good to go.

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Old 03-01-2012, 04:05 AM   #3
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No need for glass carboy. They sure do look awsome but plastic buckets work perfect and are much easier to clean. You can get them free too. I would spring for a bottling wand. Get bottles free. 20 dollar brew pot all wallmart.... grain bag.... you good to go.
I actually have a brew pot, well its a big black pot. Do the materials matter? I know I see that people say aluminum and SS are the best (Im assuming this one is aluminum), but does it matter? A already got the carboy actually, I feel it'll store better (ie my dad not dumping it one day when he finds a bucket of yeasty brown water haha). If it messes with the flavor Ill go get a new one.

Do I need a bottling wand or will a vinyl tube and some suction work fine? And do I need to buy a grain bag from a homebrewer or would walmart or somebody having something similar I can use? I ask because Im not aware of any homebrew stores near me so everything I get is online.

Thanks for the input though! Really appreciate it
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:12 AM   #4
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You should get yourself a 5 gallon kettle so you can do full boils and not have to worry about boilovers. 3 gallon kettles for 3 gallon batches will result in less final wort or potential messy boils.

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Old 03-01-2012, 04:23 AM   #5
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You should get yourself a 5 gallon kettle so you can do full boils and not have to worry about boilovers. 3 gallon kettles for 3 gallon batches will result in less final wort or potential messy boils.

What are boilovers? And I have a 3 gal carboy for this, so wouldnt a 5 gal be too much? Sorry I dont know too much about all this yet haha
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:47 AM   #6
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What are boilovers? And I have a 3 gal carboy for this, so wouldnt a 5 gal be too much? Sorry I dont know too much about all this yet haha
http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter7-2.html

"A foam will start to rise and form a smooth surface. This is good. If the foam suddenly billows over the side, this is a boil-over (Bad). If it looks like it is going to boil over, either lower the heat or spray the surface with water from a spray bottle. The foam is caused by proteins in the wort that coagulate due to the rolling action of the boil. The wort will continue to foam until the protein clumps get heavy enough to sink back into the pot. You will see particles floating around in the wort. It may look like Egg Drop Soup. This is called the Hot break and may take 5-20 minutes to occur, depending on the amount of protein in your extract. Often the first hop addition triggers a great deal of foaming, especially if hop pellets are used. I recommend waiting until the Hot break occurs before doing your first Hop addition and timing the hour. The extra boiling time won't hurt."

In terms of your kettle size, you want it slightly oversized. During your boil you are going to boil-off some of your wort, so if you have a 3 gallon kettle, you can end up with 2 or less gallons of beer
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:00 AM   #7
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Thanks! That site you linked looks like a pretty good resource. I have another question, I was looking around the forums as Ive been doing for a while and I was wondering how much clearance I should leave in the carboy? Should I use a blow off valve? It looks like a blow off valve is just a modified 3-piece airlock, am I right in assuming this?
Yet again, thanks for all the help everyone, sorry for all the questions guys, Ill try to get them out of my system early on hahaha

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Old 03-01-2012, 05:00 AM   #8
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What are boilovers? And I have a 3 gal carboy for this, so wouldnt a 5 gal be too much? Sorry I dont know too much about all this yet haha
Boil-overs are a gross sticky mess that take a lot of elbow grease to clean-up.

We've all done it!


Since you are so very new to all of this... I highly suggest you get in touch with one of these brew-groups in your area. It is good to have mentors. Since you are still not 21... according to your profile... spend time learning about brewing before investing money. It will be time well-worth spent.

http://clubs.homebrewtalk.com/State/Connecticut/

http://clubs.homebrewtalk.com/DB/Con...Valley_Br_167/
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:08 AM   #9
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Boil-overs are a gross sticky mess that take a lot of elbow grease to clean-up.

We've all done it!


Listen to these guys they know what they are talking about...
Dont worry, Im taking note of what everyone is telling me. Hear to learn not to waste everyones time and then do my own thing haha. I may go take a look at the pot we have down here, if its not over 3 gal I'll just head over to wal mart and fork over the $20 or so for a big pot.
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:24 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by stevodenteufel View Post
Dont worry, Im taking note of what everyone is telling me. Hear to learn not to waste everyones time and then do my own thing haha. I may go take a look at the pot we have down here, if its not over 3 gal I'll just head over to wal mart and fork over the $20 or so for a big pot.
You can also get a spray bottle, fill it with cold water, and then when the foam starts to come up to the top, just spray a few squirts.

OR Get something called fermcap-s which actually eats away at the foam. Generally how I control boilovers.
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