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Old 11-06-2011, 04:47 PM   #21
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Another thing I would have done, is look into going electric earlier. I still use propane but am planning an electric herms build this winter.

The cost, over around 40 batches - some 10 gallon, of beer for refilling propane tanks would have easily been offset by setting up a simple electric rig.

plus, electric elements don't drop in pressure when I am brewing with them on a 5 degree F day.

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Old 11-06-2011, 04:55 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madman960
Wow. Thanks for all the replies. Rev, I am trying to find out what you would purchase to start out knowing what you know now. I do not want to buy stuff I do not need or will never use.

Just got the go ahead from the wife to build a brew shed in the backyard. The less I spend on stuff I do not need, the more elaborate my shed can be.

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So you're telling me you've never even brewed, and are already planning a shed? You're an animal...
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:57 PM   #23
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Lowtones, I am talking about the 5 or 10 gallon gatorade water coolers. Not water bottles. The coolers are food grade. I am thinking about using those because of the spigot. Having a spigot means I will not need siphoning gear.

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Old 11-06-2011, 05:01 PM   #24
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Bottlebomber,

That is correct. I am certain I will be hooked. A good friend of mine brews. I have tried a few of his and they are great. He lives in CA and I now live in SC, so I will have to brew my own. I will just have to borrow his recipies until I establish my own. LOL

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Old 11-06-2011, 05:02 PM   #25
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i can see a few issues with using gatorade coolers:

1. they may be more expensive than buckets.
2. racking out of primary and leaving the yest behind might be impossible
3. they are not designed to be air tight. this would be a problem if using them for secondary. you would also have to be able to attach an airlock to release the pressure.

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Old 11-06-2011, 05:55 PM   #26
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I would have bought a different kind of large fermenter: one or two of these nice things, with their handles and heat tolerance. Plus one or two 1-gallon minis for test batches.

I would have gone no-chill right off the bat and saved the money and water I used for my immersion chiller. It always bugged me to fuss about sterilizing the chiller and then letting gallons of water go to waste--especially when all you need is a heat-safe fermenter with a cap and a cool place out of the way.

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Old 11-06-2011, 07:13 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABrewingApe
these nice things
How are those different/better than a standard fermenting bucket for half the price?
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:48 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madman960 View Post
Bottlebomber,

That is correct. I am certain I will be hooked. A good friend of mine brews. I have tried a few of his and they are great. He lives in CA and I now live in SC, so I will have to brew my own. I will just have to borrow his recipies until I establish my own. LOL
I wouldn't change my purchases to any great extent, as was said before the journey and finding your technique is half the fun. One thing to start with is a good brewing book, Palmer puts his online at http://www.howtobrew.com/intro.html , other than that something like beersmith is a good tool as well, saves on all the manual calculations and lets you focus on the real details.

That said, to go from zero to full brewshed is truly awesome and applauded. I know I went from a Mr. Beer to a few $K in my basement of equipment in less than a year. If you like real beer it's near impossible not to fall headlong into brewing once it's tried.
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Old 11-06-2011, 10:29 PM   #29
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1 5 ga. kettle (for heating water)
1 7.5 or larger kettle
patio burner
a couple of flasks (for making starters)
a good hydrometer
a good hang-on thermometer with a big dial
several 6 gallon plastic carboys
at least 3 airlock/stoppers
big bottle of starsan
copper chiller w/garden hose fittings
and equipment to build my own MLT

wine thief
auto siphon
bottle filler
plastic tubing in varying sizes (to make all the stuff work)

the airation setup I have is nice, and didn't cost a lot of money so I'll include that as well. (aquarium pump + metal airation stone)

I experimented with extract, partial mash, and BIAB and nothing has given me the satisfaction that brewing AG has. When I move next Spring, I am going to try my best to find a place that will let me set up my burner outside - and if not I'm going to schlep the setup to my sister's place and camp out on HER patio on brew days (I'll do this in exchange for babysitting or something)

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Old 11-06-2011, 10:53 PM   #30
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If I knew then what I know now, I would have done the following.

- get a boil pot big enough to do full volume boils
- get a jet burner or something similar (stove brews seriously suck)
- get a stir plate and make starters from the first batch on
- use oxygen to enrich wort prior to pitching yeast
- control fermentation temperature
- leave my beer in the primary instead of racking to a secondary (occasionally I'll rack to a secondary so a couple carboys do come in handy)
- start with fresh kits from a LHBS and use good, healthy yeast.

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