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Old 12-26-2010, 07:14 PM   #1
HH60gunner
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Mar 2010
Tucson, AZ
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Well surprisingly my mother sent me 50 bucks for christmas. What would you get?

My current setup:

15.5 Gallon Keg/kettle (no bells & whistles, not even a spout/ball lock) (Boil Kettle)
7.5 Gallon Keg/kettle (I use this for heating my water) (Same no bells/whistles)
1 Turkey burner, that I use for both heating my water, and my boil kettle
52 Qt coleman Extreme mash tun
4 Gallon SS pot used for extra water if needed
6.5 gallon plastic bucket fermenter
5 gallon glass carboy
Chest Freezer (bought to be used as a fermenting chamber or keezer, but still remains a freezer for now as I have no temp controller).

Things on my list I would like to get:

- Ball Valves for my kettles (for now I empty it by hand with a large glass jug)
- Wort chiller (Right now I have a large tub that I fill with water, and put the hot kettle in and leave the hose on so it circulates the water out of the tub cooling it down).
- More carboys (Since I just have 2... more means more beer/apfelwine
- Temp controller for freezer for (fermenting chamber or keezer)


I could also talk the wife into letting me spend another 50 or so on top of what I got as a present. If I went keezer I know that eventually I would upgrade to a 4 tap keezer later. However a keezer now would be nice.

 
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Old 12-26-2010, 07:45 PM   #2
culturejam
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Nov 2010
Hopatcong, NJ
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I'd vote for ball valves first. Those are critical for moving large amounts of liquid.

A close second is chilling. I'd go for one of the small plate chillers from Keg Cowboy, and I think they are sold out right now. Or maybe a cheapie immersion chiller, or you could make your own counterflow chiller for about $50.

Either of those (valve or chiller) is going to make your life measurably better.

 
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:16 PM   #3
bosox
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Mar 2010
Boston, MA
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I'd say chilling, as it will open up your abilities to brew lagers and many great other beers. The ball valves would be my close 2nd haha
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:57 PM   #4
curlyfat
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May 2010
Wyoming
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Temp control, temp control, temp control!!! This the most important factor in improving your beer. Period.

 
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Old 12-26-2010, 09:15 PM   #5
Grizzlybrew
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My first vote was a high quality, instant-read thermometer (I think the importance of a this piece of the system is often overlooked) when I saw the title, but after reading your post, I would say your list looks pretty good. I would buy in this order:

1. Wort Chiller
2. Ball Valves (but for now, why not pick up an autosiphon!)
3. Carboys (especially if you start to lager, you're going to have several at a time out of commision)
4. Temp Controller (I guess I would move this up to #1 if you're currently fermenting at 70°+, even for your ales )
5. Kegs (start building your supply now!!!)
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Old 12-26-2010, 09:59 PM   #6
HH60gunner
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Mar 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grizzlybrew View Post
My first vote was a high quality, instant-read thermometer (I think the importance of a this piece of the system is often overlooked) when I saw the title, but after reading your post, I would say your list looks pretty good. I would buy in this order:

1. Wort Chiller
2. Ball Valves (but for now, why not pick up an autosiphon!)
3. Carboys (especially if you start to lager, you're going to have several at a time out of commision)
4. Temp Controller (I guess I would move this up to #1 if you're currently fermenting at 70°+, even for your ales )
5. Kegs (start building your supply now!!!)
I'm leaning towards the temp controller as well. I don't mind the inconvenience of not having the ball valve just yet, although it would be nice. However since I live in Arizona the temps can get pretty high. I manage to maintain my ales in the mid 60's by placing my fermenters in a tub of water, wrapping it in a t-shirt so it soaks up, and placing a large fan on it. It takes up more space, and the sound of the fan can get annoying. Plus sometimes the noise annoys the wife and she turns the fan off!!!

 
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Old 12-26-2010, 10:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HH60gunner View Post
I'm leaning towards the temp controller as well... ...Plus sometimes the noise annoys the wife and she turns the fan off!!!
No!!!!!!! The nerve of her! Does she not understand the importance of ferm temp control?!?!? I didn't realize what you were up against - go with the controller. It's awesome to not even worry about it. Set it and forget it!
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:26 PM   #8
Dogphish
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Nov 2010
Beach, VA
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1. wort chiller
2. ball valves and weldless bulkheads.

 
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:35 PM   #9
chrislehr
 
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weldless bulkheads and valves are shockingly expensive, but I cannot imagine brewing without them. Get that first IMO.

 
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:52 PM   #10
WrongCoastBrewery
 
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Temp controller all the way.
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