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Old 12-22-2011, 08:11 PM   #11
BigTerp
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Jun 2011
Falling Waters, West Virginia
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How big of a batch do you eventually plan to brew? If your only sticking with 5 gallon batches you don't need a 15 gallon kettle. 8-10 gallon would suffice and be much cheaper. Weither you go as big as 15 gallons with your kettle or not an IC is indispensible IMO.

For fermentation control I use my bathtub in our second bathroom. Fill with water and add frozen 2 liter bottles as needed, or use an aquarium temp. controller to warm the water if needed. Works great for ales. And I can fit up to 4 plastic fermenters in there at a time. If you plan to lager a freezer with temp. controller would be almost a necessity.

 
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:07 PM   #12
daksin
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Aug 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoundrel View Post
Although daksin makes a good point and I agree with him (as I pretty much always do) that maintaining temps is important, I still think the kettle should be first, then maybe temp control before the the chiller. You're going to get the double benefit of taking the evolutionary step of full boils and preparing for the future (all-grain/10gal batches).
I'd respectfully disagree. In my opinion, you can make some fantastic beers with partial boils, but you can't make a fantastic beer without good temperature control. It's as simple as a wet towel and a fan or a muckbucket and ice bottles.
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:31 PM   #13
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Apr 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daksin View Post
I'd respectfully disagree. In my opinion, you can make some fantastic beers with partial boils, but you can't make a fantastic beer without good temperature control. It's as simple as a wet towel and a fan or a muckbucket and ice bottles.
I agree. Temp control makes the best beer. Maybe the way I should have spun it is there are several cost effective options for temp control, as you mentioned, but in order to go full boil and at a minimum BIAB, you would need to step up your kettle.

I think the bottom line is we are discussing the biggest dilemma that all new brewers face. Although I suggested the kettle route where daskin suggested temp control, if you buy either one you're well ahead of where I was when I started.
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:04 PM   #14
BOBrob
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Oct 2010
escanaba, michigan
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+1 on the larger kettle. I prefer the buckets over glass myself. So another ail pail, an additional bucket comes in handy when you transfer from the MLT to kettle. Cool glass and hot wort do not mix well. A swamp cooler set up and a heating pad for cooler temps. controlling fermentation temps. is a big plus. I assume you have an extra hydrometer? I broke one the other day, but had an extra. So many things needed for every idea, but all grain is a step before ya take the really big leap. Cheers

 
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:00 PM   #15
BloodSweatandBeers
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Feb 2011
Rota, Spain
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The two best things I did was stepping up to full boils and controlling temperature. I picked up a used freezer for 50 bucks. Just look around for a deal. Most other methods are a pain in the ass.

 
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:43 AM   #16
price2bc
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Dec 2011
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Thank you for all the reccomendations. here's my newest additions:

Keggle (I had an old keg so I'm in the process of converting)
Any suggestions on conversion kits?

Stirstarter Stir plate

Chest freezer (still need temp regulator)

Next additions:
Grain mill (looking at monster mills?)
Plate chiller or DIY immersion chiller

 
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:19 PM   #17
price2bc
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Dec 2011
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Okay I bottled today and it was a nightmare.

I will now be purchasing a bottle bucket and auto siphon to avoid these problems.

 
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