How I plan on blowing a holiday bonus check. - Home Brew Forums

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Old 11-30-2009, 11:38 PM   #1
BrewRI
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Sep 2009
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Alright so I've been thinking about what to do with extra cash that might float my way during the holidays and all I really feel like doing is spending it on brewing equip. So what I'm hoping for is just getting the most bang for my buck. Here's what I was thinking.

1) Fermentometer (Sp?) for being 100% sure about the temperature.
2) Immersion Wort Chiller, I don't really feel like building my own
3) Another bucket or two so I can cycle batches instead of making one at a time
4) Another boiling pot

What are some gadgets you guys acquired that you feel were 100% worth buying. I want to move to AG over the next couple of months but I want to be comfortable and confident in doing so.

 
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:44 PM   #2
Oscbert
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Oct 2009
Sacramento CA
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This is what I want for XMAS Turkey fryer, brew balls,and a stir starter.

http://www.brewballstore.com/
http://www.stirstarters.com/

 
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:52 PM   #3
rico567
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Apr 2008
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I'm not recognizing "Fermentometer." For a thermometer, I use the Thermapen (about $100) and I love it.

I got Midwest's entry level 25' copper immersion chiller for $50 (probably more now), and it works great for me. Of course, we do have 55F well water to run through it, which helps. I also switched it over this summer to compression fittings for the hose connections, which is an improvement, but it's a good solid chiller.

I definitely recommend more buckets. I got three 7 gal. white plastic buckets and lids from US Plastics this summer for $32 delivered, and they help a great deal with keeping my beer pipeline full.

Hard to recommend another boiling pot, unless I would know: 1. What you're using now, and/or 2. What do you want two for? My brewpot isn't anything special, just a Proctor-Silex 30 gal. SS stockpot with lid that I got on special at Cooking.com for $40 delivered. No matter what anyone may tell you, even though it's only 7.5 gallons, you can do 6.5 gallon AG boils in it. The secret is 10 drops of Fermcap-S, which kills boilovers dead. Since switching to AG, I do it every time, and nothing has boiled over yet.
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:01 AM   #4
A4J
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscbert View Post
Brewballs sound interesting. I wonder how effective it is tho.

The wort chiller is probably the best purchase I made.

I've done 6.5 gallon brews on my 7.5-gallon pot by spraying down boilovers with a water bottle. No problem, but I'm glad I made the switch over to a 10-gallon pot.
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:05 AM   #5
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Definitely go for the extra fermenters. I generally have 3 batches going at once, and can do 5 if I use the bottling bucket.
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:36 AM   #6
carnevoodoo
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Are the weight of the brewballs thrown off by crud building up on them? Cute idea, but I am not sure they're all that effective.
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:40 AM   #7
DrinkNoH2O
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The brewballs seem kinda worthless to me.

For most ales you'd never get down to 1.005 so it might as well not have the white ball. Same thing almost applies to the 1.010 green ball. Unless you're brewing a very high gravity beer the black ball is going to sink right after fermentation starts, which is evident by krausen anyways. For lower gravity beers the black ball won't float in the first place.

That leaves you with the yellow and red balls basically. You should ferment past yellow, 1.035 fairly quickly. Red is a good value at 1.020, but it would be nice to have 1.025 and 1.015 balls as well.

 
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:42 AM   #8
Yuri_Rage
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If you're planning on AG brewing, a kettle (or another kettle) about 5 gallons greater than your planned batch size is a wise investment. Consider a cooler of similar size for later conversion to a mash tun. Also, if you don't already have a kegerator, now's a great time to start.

...and be careful when blowing a check. You might get a paper cut on your tongue.
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage View Post
...and be careful when blowing a check. You
might get a paper cut on your tongue.
LOL!

+1 on Kegging system!


 
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:12 PM   #10
smmcdermott
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage View Post
If you're planning on AG brewing, a kettle (or another kettle) about 5 gallons greater than your planned batch size is a wise investment. Consider a cooler of similar size for later conversion to a mash tun. Also, if you don't already have a kegerator, now's a great time to start.

...and be careful when blowing a check. You might get a paper cut on your tongue.
I agree....I, unfortunately, am still doing extract and will need three items to do AG, Turkey fryer and pot, Immersion chiller and Cooler for MLT. If you are doing extract that is how I would spend my bonus. I didn't get one b/c of "the economy" or b/c the partners want to keep it all.

I also like the refractometer....might get one of those soon.

 
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