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Old 12-12-2012, 05:42 AM   #11
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And I thought about the mr beer kit for test batches.

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Old 12-12-2012, 05:49 AM   #12
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The guys from craigslist won't haggle? That sucks. If they are gonna charge store prices then forget it. I'm sure something will break your way tho

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Old 12-12-2012, 05:53 AM   #13
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And it's cool you're looking at mr beer for another option. I'm actually about to get a second mr beer. I've been using one of those, a carboy and a bucket fermenter at the same time. I'd like to actually have another batch in rotation for a total of 4 at any given time. I just recently started making cider also so that burns up one fermenter, so one additional fermenter would get me more beer. And it's nice to be bottling one batch, starting one batch, and have one batch finishing all around the same time. That way I'm not just brewing and then waiting for weeks before I touch my equipment again. I'm just running low on storage space now

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Old 12-12-2012, 06:02 AM   #14
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That's my concern. I'd like a fermenter, a secondary so it can clarify (not sure that's the right term) while I start another batch in the fermenter. The big kit I was looking at could theoretically have two finishing simultaneously with another two on the way and two fermenting with one extra fermenting bucket but I think that's putting the cart way before the horse. I'd like to eventually do kegs and bottles but only when I get to a point that I can start adding my own touches to recipes and make the brew something I actually created. I'm guessing that if I stick with this and really enjoy it like I think I will, I'll be brewing a steady stream of beer by the end of next year. I even see a kegerator or something of the sort in my future!

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On deck: Naught

Fermenter 1: Empty

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Secondary: Empty

In The Botlle:
Nutcase Brown Ale
You'll Be Boch
Cherry Wheat

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TBDIPA

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Old 12-12-2012, 11:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickettj View Post
That's my concern. I'd like a fermenter, a secondary so it can clarify (not sure that's the right term) while I start another batch in the fermenter. The big kit I was looking at could theoretically have two finishing simultaneously with another two on the way and two fermenting with one extra fermenting bucket but I think that's putting the cart way before the horse. I'd like to eventually do kegs and bottles but only when I get to a point that I can start adding my own touches to recipes and make the brew something I actually created. I'm guessing that if I stick with this and really enjoy it like I think I will, I'll be brewing a steady stream of beer by the end of next year. I even see a kegerator or something of the sort in my future!
A better option in my mind to the two carboys and one fermenter is 3 fermenters. You don't have to put your beer in a carboy to clear, it does just fine in the fermenter given the same amount of time and by doing so it lessens the chance of infections or oxidation from transferring. The other plus is that plastic bucket fermenter are quite a bit cheaper than carboys and are lighter so if you have to order the shipping is less too. One more plus to the plastic buckets is if you drop one it won't explode into sharp fragments like a carboy.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:35 PM   #16
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My advice is to go with a starter kit from your local home brew shop. You'll get everything you need to brew a simple beer. The starter kit at my local has this in it:

1. 30 litre barrel & lid
2. Tap & stick-on thermometer
3. Bubbler airlock and grommet
4. Hydrometer
5. Brewer's spoon 39cm
6. Cleaner / Detergent
7. No rinse steriliser
8. Black Rock Lager kit (1.7kg)
9. Lager enhancer pack
10. Beer finings 5gm sachet
11. Carbonation drops (60)

The only think missing for a beginners batch is the bottles.
My advice is that since lagers require better attention to fermentation temperatures, as they need to be lower and dont hide off flavors as much is to start with some sort of ale. Thus I would omit 8 and 9.

All in all, bare minimum equipment you need is:

fermentation bucket with lid and airlock
Thermometer
Brew pot that is a couple gallons larger than what you are boiling
Something to stir it with
Sanitizer
some tubing (though a bottling wand and a bucket with spigot is a nice addition)
Hydrometer

Then you can get a kit to brew which contains all the extracts, specialty grains, yeast, priming sugar, directions you need to make your first batch.

Collect your empty pry cap bottles/soak in oxyclean or warm water to remove labels. A lot of kits come with caps, though you will need a capper. You can use screwcap PET bottles though if you want to go that route.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrunkleJon

My advice is that since lagers require better attention to fermentation temperatures, as they need to be lower and dont hide off flavors as much is to start with some sort of ale. Thus I would omit 8 and 9.

All in all, bare minimum equipment you need is:

fermentation bucket with lid and airlock
Thermometer
Brew pot that is a couple gallons larger than what you are boiling
Something to stir it with
Sanitizer
some tubing (though a bottling wand and a bucket with spigot is a nice addition)
Hydrometer

Then you can get a kit to brew which contains all the extracts, specialty grains, yeast, priming sugar, directions you need to make your first batch.

Collect your empty pry cap bottles/soak in oxyclean or warm water to remove labels. A lot of kits come with caps, though you will need a capper. You can use screwcap PET bottles though if you want to go that route.
I had already considered the ale vs lager and settled on an Amber ale for my first batch. Its one of three that I can choose from in the kits I'm looking at. There's the Amber ale, an Irish red and an Irish stout. I'm looking at the kits on midwestsupplies.com because it seems like I'm getting the most bang for my buck. It comes with bottles, a brew kettle (5 gallon so the size of it worries me) and various other things for $130+ shipping. They have a cheaper kit for. $65 but by the time I add a brew kettle, recipe kit and bottles I'm well over $130.

Another question, you say a brew kettle that's a couple of gallons bigger than my brew. I'm assuming then that you mean a 7 gallon brew kettle since I'm looking at a 5 gallon kit. My question is in the videos I always see them brew with about three gallons and then pour two gallons of water in the pail when they transfer it. I've also seen one add 7# of ice to the fermenter to cool the wort quickly. This seems like a bad idea to me but if its something worth doing I'd like to know.
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On deck: Naught

Fermenter 1: Empty

Fermenter 2: Empty

Secondary: Empty

In The Botlle:
Nutcase Brown Ale
You'll Be Boch
Cherry Wheat

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Alpha King Clone
TBDIPA

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Old 12-12-2012, 03:04 PM   #18
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And I still didn't ask a question but I think you can see where I'm going with it. Do I need a 7 gallon brew kettle? Can I get by with a 5 gallon? And I think I asked earlier with no response, but can I use the turkey fryer setups that you can buy? You get an LP burner and a7.5 gallon pot for a fraction of the price of a brew kettle alone.

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On deck: Naught

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You'll Be Boch
Cherry Wheat

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TBDIPA

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Old 12-12-2012, 03:26 PM   #19
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Define need. Can you do great beer with a 5 gallon setup? Sure. Can you do great beer with a 7 gallon setup? Sure. Can you do a full volume boil 5 gallon batch in a 5 gallon kettle? No. Can you brew in a turkey fryer? Sure, that's what I've been using and I can do a 5 gallon extract kit or BIAB all grain (with a limit to how much grain I can mash). I think the bigger pot gives you more options for brewing but I brewed extract kits for 3 years with the 5 gallon pot because I had it on hand when I started brewing, not as a separate purchase.

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Old 12-12-2012, 03:32 PM   #20
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Well considering I can get a 5 gallon for $40 and a 7 gallon for $80, need is defined as absolutely necessary to fork over twice the dough to get the job done. If I don't absolutely HAVE to buy it, I don't really want to. I am seriously considering the turkey fryer option because it will allow me to brew outside in warm weather or in the garage in cooler weather. That way if I make a mess, cleanup is a LOT easier than trying to clean up an overflow in the kitchen. Plus, as I said, the fryer is 7 gallons WITH burner for the price of a 5 gallon brew kettle. If the brew kettle is a non-negotiable thing then I'll just go that route but it seems that since the "kettle" is nothing more than a stock pot, surely it wouldn't be a problem...

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