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Old 11-07-2011, 08:17 PM   #11
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Welcome to the Art! Make no mistake, you're in Brew Sorcery land, now. It'll hook you fast, and make an addict out of you in no time. Soon you'll be walking through the store buying random crap because it will connect to Y to help facilitate X in your brew setup.

Case in point, I bought this outrageously expensive organic apple juice (R.W.Knudsen's Organic Apple Juice @ 7.95 for 96 ounces), because it came in a FREE GROWLER. This is what you have to look forward to.

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Old 11-07-2011, 09:21 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by GAbrewlover View Post
You guys really rock! We only really decided on glass due to the fact that wine was also an interest and that it was supposed to be able to let you "see" what's going on in the fermentation process. We will look into the Better Bottles. Since wine is still an interest with our budget, maybe two glass and two better bottles are in order. We will also look at the DIY counter chiller.

Seems like our first hardware purchase should be the equipment needed to outfit the keg and get our carboys in order.
I highly recommend the BB's.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:49 PM   #13
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The things I found the most important were, in order of importance:

1. hydrometer. Cant tell what is going on with fermentation otherwise, can't figure out a.b.v.

2. Autosiphon. My first kit didn't come with one of these, and after trying to bottle my first batch without one (and my bucket doesn't have a spigot), went and bought one the next day.

3. bottling wand. See number 2. I would never ever try to bottle without one again.

4. Immersion chiller. I made one for about 20$. Bought 25' of copper, and a couple clamps, and some re-purposed rubber hose.

Those are my only essentials, which I would make sure I had from day 1 if I could go back.

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Old 11-07-2011, 10:03 PM   #14
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What's not to love about a "free" Growler lol. I can't wait to get started guys, it's something I've talked and talked and talked about and now it's time for action.

Can you guys point me in the right direction for the cheapest/best better bottle? seems there are many options of material and ports. There are a few retailers new Atlanta and I saw a few offerings on Amazon.

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Old 11-07-2011, 11:15 PM   #15
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There is a guy in Savannah with a small homebrew shop on Skidaway drive, tough to find but he might have better bottles to save shipping them ..

http://www.savannahbrewers.com/index...meBrewShop.htm
tel912) 201-9880

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Old 11-07-2011, 11:47 PM   #16
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whatever you decide to get, the number one most important thing that is almost always overlooked by people starting out is.....

how you treat your yeast and water.

You can ruin a brew by using chlorinated water, it is imperative you filter your water if you have chlorine in it (maybe 40 dollars for a filter and fittings to a garden spigot at Lowes)

As for the yeast, before you brew look up how to make a starter. Use the pitching calculator on www.mrmalty.com and most importantly figure out how you are going to keep those fermentation temperatures in check. Not ambient room temperature, but fermentation temperature which could be as high as 10 degrees!! over ambient. (look up low cost swamp coolers for your first brew, if you find you love brewing, make one of your first major investments a fermentation chamber)

I (and i know many people would agree) would rather drink a beer made from a cheap kit where the brewer treated the yeast and water correctly than the best all grain recipe that was under pitched, fermented in the high 70's, low 80's, and brewed from a chlorinated water supply.

But, have fun you are about to open a door (and a wallet) you will never be able to close.

EDIT: And make sure you update us on how that first brew goes and eventually tastes! All of us will be looking forward to it

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Old 11-07-2011, 11:58 PM   #17
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All the intricacies makes this whole process seem very foreboding lol. Through the Better Bottles website, we found a homebrew store in Tallahassee which is close to us. We plan on going next week and coming back with some goodies. You guys have already steered us out of glass carboys, which we thought was the easiest and most solid decision made. So a trip to Tally and the local welder and we should be in the start of business.

What do you guys so for your water? We joked about having one of those ultra violet water systems- but maybe that is a good idea? And that beer software I see on Amazon?

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Old 11-08-2011, 03:13 AM   #18
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what i do for my water is run it through a charcoal filter and then add about half a campden tablet to my total water volume (5.5 gallons) to rid all chlorine and chloramines (yeah, im really paranoid after that first (and only) chlorinated batch. Like drinking liquid plastic/band-aids. You can never forget it.).

And that's all that is necessary really. Once you get further along you can worry about adjusting your water parameters if you'd like, but just making sure the chlorine and chloramines are out is what is crucial.

For the charcoal filter, i bought it at Lowe's. It is one of the inline filters that are meant to be put under your kitchen sink. However, i just attached a garden spigot adapter on one end and just connect it there when i want to collect my water for brew day. One filter is good for about 3000 gallons i think, so i mean, its well worth it. It is inexpensive and you don't have to worry about building up a water profile like you would if you used an R/O (reverse osmosis) system.

I should also note that i live in a place where the tap water is awful. Your city should have a breakdown available of what exactly is in your water supply. That is the best place to check to see what you need to do. Not everyone needs water adjustment.

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Old 11-08-2011, 12:49 PM   #19
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With the Better Bottles, it's important to know that the bottom flexes when you lift it with liquid inside. Not a big deal except that causes suction at the top, which can suck whatever is in your airlock into your beer. Not a big deal if you use vodka or Star San in your airlock.

My advice is to keep the airlock off when picking up. You'll get some air, but the chances of getting anything bad is very minute. The better way might be to place your BB in a milk crate and carry it around by that. That will keep the bottom from flexing.

They also sell a strap call a brewhauler, which was designed for glass carboys. Very handy, but I don't know if one of those would keep the bottom from flexing.

A turkey fryer setup is probably the cheapest way to get a burner and a kettle, but if you KNOW you are going to be in this for the long haul, I recommend also buying a large kettle in addition. The turkey fryers are too close to the full boil volume, but could make nice HLTs.

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Old 11-08-2011, 01:34 PM   #20
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If you are doing wine, you need to remember that wine kits comes in larger volume kits (i want to say 7 gallons?) than beer (5 gallons). You are going to need a bigger fermenter for wine.

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