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Old 10-27-2011, 05:30 PM   #1
coryfrey14
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Default Prioritizing Equiptment Purchases

I am painfully trying to put together a brewing system that can both make good brew and make the process easier. Right now I've only done two batches (23L batch and 5 gallon batch) both extract brews. I currently own a 23L Coopers Fermentor and the equipment that comes with. I am trying to compose a list of essentials to expand my inventory. I live in central PA so dues to the up and down temperatures I wanted to develope a temperature control system to ease my mind on the long weeks of ferementation. I've discovered the brewing temperature controllers and i think this is one of the next things i will purchase as I have a college mini fridge and a space heater than would work wonders if put into an insulated chest. I would also like to purchase 2 5 gallon bucket fermenters to use as primaries and use my coopers fermenter as a secondary as i believe after filtering both 5 gallon fermented batches could fit into. Also i would love to purchase a approx. 7 gallon SS brew pot (which seems to be the most expensive thing on my list here). I wanted to post my plans on here because in the starting of this hobby these forums have been golden for advise and ideas. I'd love to hear feedback and ideas on getting my hobby from the tinkering around period to actually producing good beer time and time again.

Thanks...

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Old 10-27-2011, 05:53 PM   #2
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Temp control should be your first purchase

After that, a larger pot to accommodate full boils, then if you're inclined building a mash tun.

Most people jump right into all grain when, IMO, the priority should be temp control. Well done!

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Old 10-27-2011, 06:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by coryfrey14 View Post
I am painfully trying to put together a brewing system that can both make good brew and make the process easier. Right now I've only done two batches (23L batch and 5 gallon batch) both extract brews. I currently own a 23L Coopers Fermentor and the equipment that comes with. I am trying to compose a list of essentials to expand my inventory. I live in central PA so dues to the up and down temperatures I wanted to develope a temperature control system to ease my mind on the long weeks of ferementation. I've discovered the brewing temperature controllers and i think this is one of the next things i will purchase as I have a college mini fridge and a space heater than would work wonders if put into an insulated chest. I would also like to purchase 2 5 gallon bucket fermenters to use as primaries and use my coopers fermenter as a secondary as i believe after filtering both 5 gallon fermented batches could fit into. Also i would love to purchase a approx. 7 gallon SS brew pot (which seems to be the most expensive thing on my list here). I wanted to post my plans on here because in the starting of this hobby these forums have been golden for advise and ideas. I'd love to hear feedback and ideas on getting my hobby from the tinkering around period to actually producing good beer time and time again.

Thanks...
In my opinion, go all grain. You'll appreciate having the equipment right from the beginning.

1. (3) Better Bottles and fermentation caps. This way you can almost always have 2 brews going at the same time

2. (1) 7.5+ Gallon Turkey Fryer

3. (1) 10 Gallon Mash/Lauter Tun. Use the build on here to make your own. EASY.

4. (1) Auto-Siphon. Just makes life way easier.

5. CO2 System. Honestly I almost got out of this hobby because I HATED dealing with bottles. Unless you plan to brew HIGH gravity beers that you want to age for a year or years, I'd stay away from bottles.
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:22 PM   #4
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Things that made me wish I had them much earlier in no particular order:

  • Refractometer
  • Pump
  • Spigot on boil kettle
  • Auto-siphon
  • CO2 system
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:27 PM   #5
coryfrey14
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Not sure if im ready to jump into all grain brews. I've been reading some books and although im not an idiot, im not a chemistry master. I like to do things right and I think I need to research some more before jumping into the all grain brews. As for the bottles, I've already gone through the pains of stripping labels (I cannot bring myself to purchse empty bottles) Unfortunately, I live in a apartment and the option to have a kegerator just is not there. I've glanced over some of the "breweries" in the DIY threads and I only dream of having something like that. The turkey fryer is a good idea that I hadnt thought of. When Im ready for all grain I do have a 10 gallon sports cooler that I've seen people convert.....im sure i can save a good deal of money by going this route.

Thanks for the input fellas...

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Old 10-27-2011, 06:32 PM   #6
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All-grain is easier than you think. If you can boil water and read a thermometer, you can do it.

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Old 10-27-2011, 06:32 PM   #7
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Temperature control is huge, but can be done cheaply depending on your ambient temperature and your space availability. You can ferment coolly using a swamp cooler that will cost about 5 bucks to build - but the footprint is a decent size.

A turkey fryer kit with 30qt. pot is a must - even if you continue brewing extract for a while, being able to handle a full boil will up the quality of your beers significantly.

As for the better bottles mentioned, they are awesome but I have been using buckets since I started and have never had an issue with them. Something to consider.

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Old 10-27-2011, 06:45 PM   #8
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I agree with the above. A swamp cooler is cheap and effective. I use a small igloo cooler I had lying around and also my spare bathtub. Both work wonderfully. I'll probably eventually upgrade to a chest freezer with temp. controller, but right now this works amazingly well with little effort and zero cost. You can get a nice size aluminum brew pot for cheaper than the same sized SS. I picked up an 8 gallon aluminum from a restaraunt supply store for under $75. Works great.

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Old 10-27-2011, 06:46 PM   #9
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Also kegerators can be converted dorm fridges. The one I use is very small and fits 2 kegs (snugly) with the taps out the front door. Its a 4.5cu ft haier i got at lowes for $150 and takes up less than 2x2 feet of floor space.

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Old 10-27-2011, 06:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modernlifeisANDY View Post
Temperature control is huge, but can be done cheaply depending on your ambient temperature and your space availability. You can ferment coolly using a swamp cooler that will cost about 5 bucks to build - but the footprint is a decent size.

A turkey fryer kit with 30qt. pot is a must - even if you continue brewing extract for a while, being able to handle a full boil will up the quality of your beers significantly.

As for the better bottles mentioned, they are awesome but I have been using buckets since I started and have never had an issue with them. Something to consider.
^This, plus an immersion cooler if you go full boil.

Temp control is so easy with a swamp cooler, save the bucks to get the few really helpful items.

That's what I think.

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