Originally Posted by madman960
I currently have:
1) 6 gallon stainless steel pot
2) 7.5 gallon aluminum pot
1) Propane burner assembly
1) candy thermometer
1) 5 gallon water cooler
1) 10 gallon water cooler
1) 2.5 gallon brew keg (Mr. Beer)
Regular household pots pans and cooking utensils.
Other than a hydrometer, air locks, racking cane, and a few bottling buckets, what else should I get? I am currently doing extract brews and will eventually get to all grain. I will only be doing 5 gallon batches and smaller.
Candy Thermometer -- What is the temperature range on this? As an extract brewer you will want to know how cold the wort is for pitching yeast (about 68 - 70 degrees). You might also want to know what temp to steep specialty grains (about 150 degrees). When you get into all grain, you will want to know what temp you are mashing at. This will include knowing grain temps, strike water temp, and initial dough in temp. You will want to be in the 148 to 156 degree range for mashing depending on the recipe and residual sugar needed. My only comment about your candy thermometer is if it is not within these ranges, you might want to get a better thermometer. Bobby of Brewhardware.com has a pretty good CDN Thermo
for a decent price.
Fermenter -- If you will be doing five gallon batches, you will need something to ferment your wort in. Many people use 6.5 gallon buckets; others use 6 or 6.5 gallon carboys. There are other options available, but they also cost much more. I usually do a primary fermentation in a bucket. What I like about this is that is has a big opening and is easy to clean. I have also fermented in a Better Bottle (I don't have any glass carboys because I am afraid of the consequences of breaking one; but many others do use them), and it worked well but was harder to clean. One thing that you will needed to be aware of is that you do not want to use abraisives with plastic as it may scratch (buckets and plastic carboys), and harbor bacteria that could cause infections. But you will need a decent sized container to ferment in that will hold enough for a five gallon batch.
Racking Cane -- You will need some tubing with the cane for it to work.
Bottling Bucket -- You should only need one bottling bucket.
You will need a way to package the beer. I presume that you will have bottles, but you will also need a way to cap the bottles. I have a bench top capper. You will need a bottling wand to fill the bottles. I use a short (1 inch) length of tubing to hold my bottling wand onto the bottling bucket spigot. The wand will stop the flow of beer when you remove the bottle from the setup.
Hydrometer -- I have a test cylinder that I use for the hydrometer. I put the wort or beer in it to float the hydrometer to get my gravity reading.
You will need a cleaner to clean your supplies. Many people use PBW or OxyClean. A word of caution on these -- do not use them on Aluminum as this will cause problems with the oxidation layer on your aluminum pots. You will also need a way to sanitize everything to touches the wort post boil. Two popular sanitizers are Iodophor and Star San. Iodophor works well, but does not store well. Star San works really well, but you it foams. The hardest thing I had was learning to "not fear the foam". I have learned that the foam does not need to be rinsed and that the foam in your carboys, etc will actually act as a nutrient for your bee.
This will be a good start for what you need. I have found that I have added items to make things easier. These include a bottle tree to dry and store my sanitized bottles, a vinitor to use for sanizing my bottles, a jet washer to attach to the kitchen faucet to shoot a jet of water into each bottle to help clean them out, a bench capper for easier capping, etc. Of course, you will have a better idea of what will make your brew/bottling day easier once you have gone through it once or twice. And much of this stuff is available at the LHBS or online.
I hope that this helps. Good Luck! Mark