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Old 06-23-2011, 01:02 PM   #1
BigTerp
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Default How does my starting list look??

Well I've been researching the crap out of homebrewing for quite a while now. Was finally able to free up some money (and sweet talk SWMBO) to be able to purchase my brewing equipment. I've learned a ton just by reading on here and everywhere else on the web, and I've helped my buddy brew a few batches this summer. I wanted to post my list of supplies to see what you guys think. I plan to stick with extract and will eventually be kegging, but for now it will be all bottling. Let me know if there is anything obvious I'm missing or anything that would be helpful for a new brewer to get right off the bat.

Starter kit from Midwest: http://www.midwestsupplies.com/brewing-starter-kit.html

In addition to the starter kit I plan to purchase the following to make things a bit easier.

Wine Thief
Star San
Carboy Handle
Bottle Tree
Bottle Filler (Spring shutoff)
Jet Bottle Washer
Faucet Adapter (Garden Hose)
Sulfiter
Stirring Paddle
Homemade Immersion Wort Chiller (50ft. copper)

I have a turkey fryer and will borrow my buddies 10 gal. SS kettle until I can buy a quality one myself. Let me know what you all think. THANKS!!!

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Old 06-23-2011, 01:18 PM   #2
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Thats the kit that I started out with. Its nice except I wish the bottling bucket was another fermenter (without the faucet), since it is 7 gallons. I still ferment in it anyways just make sure the spigot is clean and sanitized. A regular 5 gallon bucket would be perfect to turn into a bottling bucket. Its nice to have the option to brew more than one batch at a time. Keeps you from drinking all your beer before it is good.

I also think that the kit comes with a Bottle Filler (spring shutoff) unless I am mistaken.

Good call on the turkey fryer and 10 gal pot. If you are handy and trust yourself with an angle grinder you may want to look into 'keggles'. Do a search here you'll like it.

Only other thing I have to mention is fermentation control. Primary fermentation temperature plays a HUGE role on the success of brewing brew, you really need to have a place that stays at least in the low 60's for ales. If you don't thats fine, you can look into 'swamp coolers' or 'fermentation chambers' as well.

Sorry to bombard you with information but these are all things I wish I was told before starting my first batch.

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Old 06-23-2011, 01:22 PM   #3
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Carboy Handle
This is the only thing I'd replace. I suggest using a Brew Hauler instead.
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:27 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply. I've already got my swamp cooler planned out. I just need to get my equipment to see how everything fits into my closet. I have 2 closets in the house that would work for fermentation (I don't have a basement). I've taken various temperature readings in each closet and they both are at a rock solid 72*. I'm hoping a simple swamp cooler setup with some frozen water bottles would get my fermentation temps into the high 60's at least.

I plan to order the spring bottle filler to replace the gravity stop bottle filler that comes with the kit. The reviews for the gravity filler seem pretty poor and for like $3 I figured it would save me some headaches come bottling time.

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Old 06-23-2011, 01:28 PM   #5
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I'll second the Brew Hauler, and suggest that you put off the wort chiller and prioritize some sort of fermentation temperature control instead.

Ice baths are a bit of a pain in the ass, but I timed myself this weekend: I let the wort stand just a few minutes after flameout (while I prepped a couple things), then started my timer as soon as the brew pot hit my utility sink. Stirring the wort the whole time, I filled up the sink with cold water and drained it twice, then filled up the sink again as an ice bath. Wort dropped from just over 200F to pitching temp in just a hair over 15 minutes - the wort chiller is definitely a great convenience, but not nearly the necessity that fermentation temp control is.

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Old 06-23-2011, 01:41 PM   #6
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I'll second the Brew Hauler, and suggest that you put off the wort chiller and prioritize some sort of fermentation temperature control instead.

Ice baths are a bit of a pain in the ass, but I timed myself this weekend: I let the wort stand just a few minutes after flameout (while I prepped a couple things), then started my timer as soon as the brew pot hit my utility sink. Stirring the wort the whole time, I filled up the sink with cold water and drained it twice, then filled up the sink again as an ice bath. Wort dropped from just over 200F to pitching temp in just a hair over 15 minutes - the wort chiller is definitely a great convenience, but not nearly the necessity that fermentation temp control is.
With my house temp at 72* you don't think a simple swamp cooler setup would be sufficient to get my fermentation temps down into the mid/high 60's??
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:56 PM   #7
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I think it comes with a spring shutoff aswell? You will want some type of temp control! If you do a larger you will have to bring the temp down forsure! I would agree Ice baths would be a pain! I have the opposite problem with the temp in my house cuz I can only brew in the basement! So what ever you do Good luck and enjoy the beer!
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:19 PM   #8
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I'll second the Brew Hauler, and suggest that you put off the wort chiller and prioritize some sort of fermentation temperature control instead.

Ice baths are a bit of a pain in the ass, but I timed myself this weekend: I let the wort stand just a few minutes after flameout (while I prepped a couple things), then started my timer as soon as the brew pot hit my utility sink. Stirring the wort the whole time, I filled up the sink with cold water and drained it twice, then filled up the sink again as an ice bath. Wort dropped from just over 200F to pitching temp in just a hair over 15 minutes - the wort chiller is definitely a great convenience, but not nearly the necessity that fermentation temp control is.
Not to sound confrontational, but I respectfully call bullsh*t if you are talking 5 gallon full boils.

With respect to fermentation control, if your closets are consistently 72 you should definitely be able to get to high 60s by using evaporative cooling itself. If you add frozen water bottles a couple times a day you could easily get down to the low 60s. Yes if you plan on lagers you will need a dedicated fridge or cooling unit.
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:22 PM   #9
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Thats the kit that I started out with. Its nice except I wish the bottling bucket was another fermenter (without the faucet), since it is 7 gallons.
i'm the opposite. i wish my fermenter had a spigot. i've been using my bottling bucket to ferment instead of the bucket with no faucet. i actually bought another bottling bucket for this reason (and i don't bottle very often anymore). i like it because i don't have to siphon anything, the tubing from the siphon fits right onto the faucet for my and i transfer that way. (someone please correct me if this is a bad way to do it, but its been good so far)
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by kpr121 View Post
Not to sound confrontational, but I respectfully call bullsh*t if you are talking 5 gallon full boils.

With respect to fermentation control, if your closets are consistently 72 you should definitely be able to get to high 60s by using evaporative cooling itself. If you add frozen water bottles a couple times a day you could easily get down to the low 60s. Yes if you plan on lagers you will need a dedicated fridge or cooling unit.
Thanks, this makes me feel better. Everything I've been reading suggests that if you have a consistent ambient air temp that a swamp cooler with just water can reduce the fermentation temps by a decent amount and with ice added can drop the temps by a good 10* or so.
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