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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Just looking into setting up
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:07 AM   #21
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I'd suggest getting a good thermometer too. Don't go cheap on some junk, that is one thing I think people should invest in.

Oh, and I keg. I bottled 2 batches and said to hell with it.
recommendation on a good thermometer? I used what my LHBS had on the shelf, wondering if i need to upgrade. it works fine for me, just curious if there is something new i don't even know about.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:19 AM   #22
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As someone who started on my own recently I'd recommend dropping about 200 bucks on your initial setup to get a good startup kit (where you get a carboy even if you won't need it for some time and an autosiphon) and a good kettle.

This is the kit I got so you have an idea what I'm talking about

http://www.love2brew.com/Complete-Be...-p/bbek002.htm

If you have the money already stashed up as well I'd stash the "sanitizer" that came with your kit and buy Star-San instead.

If you want you can buy kegging equipment but that's one more thing to learn, so I'd probably not start out with that but if you want to more power to you.

I always suggest when you're starting a hobby start small and if it's something you'll love you'll grow into it. That's what happened with me and guitar, I started out with a cheap squire guitar and tiny Marshall amp, now I have about 2 grand worth of equipment in my current setup.

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Old 01-11-2013, 02:23 AM   #23
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recommendation on a good thermometer? I used what my LHBS had on the shelf, wondering if i need to upgrade. it works fine for me, just curious if there is something new i don't even know about.

You CAN use a cheap digital one (I use a pocket digital in addition to the long-type that sits on the pot). Just make sure before you use one to put it in a glass of ice water as well as a pot of boiling water and calibrate as needed if it's off any.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:29 AM   #24
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anyone have experince using the digital laser ones?

http://www.amazon.com/Kintrex-IRT042...er+thermometer

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Old 01-11-2013, 02:39 AM   #25
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I've never used a laser thermometer but I'd be concerned with it picking up the heat on the bottom of the pot rather than the temperature of the beer which can be an issue whenever the fire is on.

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Old 01-11-2013, 02:48 AM   #26
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I've never used a laser thermometer but I'd be concerned with it picking up the heat on the bottom of the pot rather than the temperature of the beer which can be an issue whenever the fire is on.
That is what i was afraid of. I love gadgets and looking for feedback before i dropped the cash.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:03 AM   #27
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I to want an infrared thermometer for my steaks though, Since I cook my steaks and burgers on a cast iron skillet I can get it to the perfect temperature to get a great seer and have it be perfectly rare/medium rare

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Old 01-11-2013, 03:14 AM   #28
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I to want an infrared thermometer for my steaks though, Since I cook my steaks and burgers on a cast iron skillet I can get it to the perfect temperature to get a great seer and have it be perfectly rare/medium rare
Great idea. Now i'm hungry for a good steak.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:11 PM   #29
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recommendation on a good thermometer? I used what my LHBS had on the shelf, wondering if i need to upgrade. it works fine for me, just curious if there is something new i don't even know about.
Do you calibrate it with something accurate? Some suggest checking ice water, and then boiling water. Thats not a bad idea, but doesn't mean it's accurate at all points. I'd suggest having two, and checking those against each other as well.

I have a Thermapen, and I have a spirit filled, lab grade glass thermometer to check each with. I use the Thermapen mostly, but will randomly do a check to make sure they both read the same, and they always have luckily. The lab grade one was roughly $60, but I had an extra from work, so I lucked out there. You can find them for pretty cheap online if you shop around.

I have 3 other thermometers, and none of them read the same as these two. Some are closer than others, but calibrating them makes a difference. Makes aiming for a temp, and reproducing a recipe hard if you aren't mashing where you "think" you are.

Be warned, Thermapens aren't cheap, but they aren't ultra expensive. I used mine for more than just brewing too!
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Old 03-01-2014, 02:42 AM   #30
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Default my opinion...

I brewed in college and left the hobby with other activites. once beers started to get too "over priced" with gas prices I started again.
I restarted with a kit in oct of 2012 of irish red on a stove top, chilled with ice. took like 45 minutes to get to 80 degrees. didn't taste very good...I stuck with it and after about 2.5 years here are my suggestions:
1. go all grain immediately, if you're serious you will get here eventually, beers are better tasting, any color you can imagine, and any other control you wish)
2. I choose to do 10 gallon batches, takes same amount of time to do 5 as 10 so...
3. get a wort chiller, saves a lot of time, I DIYed mine, it was a piece of cake
4. think about kegging, I converted a small fridge to kegerator for about 20 bucks on ebay. if not kegging, think abut flip cap 1 liter bottles, they are awesome for Belgians!!
4. find a good spot in the nouse/apartment that has consistent temps for fermenting. my basement floor has 55degrees, basement table top has 62, bedroom floor 68, etc. as long as significant other can stand the beautiful odor of yeast!

good luck!

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