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Old 09-05-2012, 04:08 AM   #1
knope
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Default Planning start up equipment.

First of all I just want to say what a great resource you guys have made this forum. I have been lurking for about a month now and any random question I have, I just seem to be able to find the answer on here no problem. You guys rock

As titled, I'm looking to get a decent first set up to start brewing. I bought this equipment kit from a groupon. (This store is local to me)

http://www.caribbeanbrewing.com/maes...utosiphon.html

The groupon also included 10% off one entire purchase so I plan on getting a 5 gallon carboy, a brew pot thermometer and a scale from there.

Anyway, I'm trying to figure out how exactly I'm going to brew the beer. Starting with something similar process to the Sticky Easy Partial Mash Brewing, I think I'm set on brewing in a bag once I get all the way to all grain brewing. I was thinking of getting two 32 quart aluminum steamer kettles. Aluminum because it's cheap and I'm on electric stoves for now (better heat transfer).

http://www.amazon.com/Imusa-Steamer-...keywords=imusa

I'm thinking of putting a weldless ball valve on one of kettles and using it as a mash tun by mashing the grain in my oven preheated to it's minimum temperature (170F) and turned off to maintain ~150F (exact temperature depends on recipe). With the ball valve and the steamer rack holding up the grain bag, I should be able to do a decent fly sparge into the other pot to boil the mash. If not, I'll just batch sparge but I still have the ball valve for coolness points. Consistent efficiency shouldn't be too hard to maintain once I get a few brews under my belt.

After that it's basic brewing. Boil the mash, cool the mash in an ice bath (sink or swamp cooler), transfer to primary, pitch yeast, place in swamp cooler, wait. Siphon carefully into secondary if it helps the style, wait. Priming sugar, bottle, wait, enjoy! Obviously simplified but you get the point.

Eventually I plan on upgrading everything (wort chiller, better quality pots, more carboys, a keg?) as I get better at brewing but I think this plan should get me a really good start. Any suggestion? Comments?

Edit: I was going to make this shorter but I accidentally hit post

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Old 09-05-2012, 04:22 AM   #2
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Sounds like you've done some reading and have a pretty good idea of what you're in for. My suggestion to anyone starting out is to read a lot. Figure out the basics and then move on from there.

The only other thing I have is that a 5 gallon carboy is worthless unless you're doing some bulk aging or apfelwein or something like that. For beer you need at least 6 gallons and a blow off tube for all the kraussen. Skip the 5 gallon carboy (I never secondary) and get a 6.5 if you can find it. Better yet save a few bucks and get a bucket or 6 gallon better bottle. I have 6 better bottles and would never use anything else.

If you do a lot of reading you'll find there's a lot of opinions on fermentation vessels, but bottom line is you need some headspace and 5 gallons won't give you that.

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Old 09-05-2012, 04:55 AM   #3
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The basic equipment kit I bought has a 6.5 gallon fermenting bucket. The 5 gallon carboy would be used as a secondary. I was thinking of trying out the long primary vs secondary myself to see and taste the difference. If I think it's not worth it I would have only spent $25 or so on a 5 gallon carboy. Oh and the carboys will probably all be Better Bottles. If I say carboy, is it usually assumed to be the glass kind?

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Old 09-05-2012, 04:59 AM   #4
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why not just secondary in a 6 or 6.5 gallon container? That way if you find it doesn't make a difference (and it doesn't) you will still have a viable primary. 1 to 1.5 gallons of headspace won't hurt anything for secondary.

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Old 09-05-2012, 05:27 AM   #5
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That makes sense... 6.5 gallons it is then! Thanks!

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Old 09-05-2012, 05:38 AM   #6
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If I say carboy, is it usually assumed to be the glass kind?


I don't assume that when people say it. I just think of a jug and leave it at that.

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Old 09-06-2012, 03:29 AM   #7
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Boriqua! Esta bueno eso.... :-)

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Old 09-07-2012, 08:23 AM   #8
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Saludos! Lo que va a estar bueno es la cerveza que voy a hacer!

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Old 09-07-2012, 12:02 PM   #9
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Without further qualification, I believe that "carboy" is usually understood to mean a glass carboy. At least, that's what I take from it.

I think it's worth having a 5 gallon fermenter around. They work just fine for beer, even as primary, unless you're unbendingly committed to producing no less than 5 gallons of finished product on every batch. They're useful for secondary when you don't want a lot of headspace, and you can always make a 4.5 gallon batch (or a 5 and accept that you'll have some blowoff).

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Old 09-07-2012, 04:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knope View Post
I bought this equipment kit from a groupon. (This store is local to me)
http://www.caribbeanbrewing.com/maes...utosiphon.html
This is the exact kit I started with. The "True Brew" buckets are the best there are in my opinion. I have some "Ale Pails" but don't like them nearly as much.
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