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Old 05-05-2013, 08:11 PM   #11
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Jacksonville, NC
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Thanks again for the responses!

Ive been reading some more, and like the idea of a plate cooler, but would I then need to get a BK with a valve for draining + a pump and whirlpool re-entry on the kettle to isolate the cold break? Any good recommendations for akettle like that?


also, is the quality of the cold break affected by how fast itcools? Because Iwould imagine thewort making it through the plate breaks hard, while some of the wort is being averaged down slower with the cooler wort circulating back into the pot?

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Old 05-05-2013, 09:33 PM   #12
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Temp control
propane burner
10 gal kettle
kegging setup (you could go with the picnic tap setup to save a little $$)
then find a beginner's kit somewhere with all the gadgets.
O2 kit if you have extra

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Old 05-05-2013, 10:09 PM   #13
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Knoxvegas, Tennessee
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A propane turkey fryer type burner is cheap as is a 44qt pot with a strainer basket. I do biab beers up to 9%abv this way and they come out fantastic. A Rubbermaid tub and some frozen bottles of water along with a aquarium power head and I can maintain temps pretty much where ever I need them to be depending on style. I have yet to play around with lagers however so can't say much about those. I ferment in buckets and have no problems what so ever. The only thing I can see with the glass is that you can be more of a peeping Tom with your beer.

I have maybe 200 in my set up and make great beers. Craigslist is your friend on this

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Old 05-06-2013, 02:09 AM   #14
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This is always a tough question. First, a good kettle, I'd go aluminum, HomeBrewFinds has them often for < $50. A banjo burner of some sort, $50. A good $25 thermometer (Thermoworks waterproof pocket). 2-3 fermenting buckets, airlocks, blowoff tube, 1/2" auto siphon, tubing for siphon $150. Refractometer, $30 (ebay). Brewing books- $100 (Yeast, How to Brew, Brewing Classic Styles, and some on your favorite beer styles). Bench Capper $50. Vinator tree / bottle rinser $60. Funnel, brushes, StarSan, PBW, bottle filler $100. Digital Temp Controller / used Upright Freezer off Craig's List $150. Wort Chiller (DIY) $40. Stir Plate (Stir Starters) / flask $65. O2 stone / cannister $60. You'll find yourself spending at least $100 on misc. stuff at the brew store, always happens. That's $1k, easy. But you'll have a nice PM system. I would strongly recommend extract until you have process down, then go BIAB after a half-dozen batches. Many never go "all grain" BIAB is 80% of the benefit of AG, IMO.

Someday, maybe move up to all-grain with a Seville Classics wire 18" shelf (3-tier) for $100, with two turkey fryers $120 and two ball-valves $80.

Of course, this can be addictive. Pumps, sexy Blichmanns, HERMS, RIMS, SS Conicals, Kegging. None of these things are necessary to make fantastic beer. Many are, practically, a waste of money. But they are very very cool.
Give a man a beer, waste an hour. Teach a man to brew, and waste a lifetime! Bill Owen quote

Why does Happy Hour limit happiness to 1/24 of the day?

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Old 05-16-2013, 04:24 PM   #15
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Jacksonville, NC
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I was thinking of getting the Morebeer Heavy Duty 10 gallon kettle $159, with ball valve and additional spot welded on.

Is this a good option, or would I be better served just getting an economy one off of amazon and putting in weldless fittings?

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Old 05-16-2013, 04:28 PM   #16
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I've got more then $1000 in our setup already, so if I had to start it all over from scratch:

Dedicated fermentation fridge w/controller.
Banjo burner.
BIAB setup
Decent mill.
Immersion chiller (possibly with pre-chiller)

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Old 05-16-2013, 04:48 PM   #17
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The morebeer hd kettles are worth the money IMO. Be advised that if you ever plan to do 10 gal batches, a 10 gal kettle will not be big enough. I got the 15 gal kettle, and I do 5 gal batches in it as well as 10 gal. If you really aren't sure yet, I would spend as little as possible for a kettle and if you decide to upgrade, use it as an HLT. You can get a decent 8 gal SS pot for $80 or so.
Second what everyone said about ferm temp control. The yeast and it's fermentation will make or break the flavor of your beer.
As soon as you add a pump, you're looking at $$$ in related "now I need this" stuff. Gravity is your friend.

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Old 05-16-2013, 04:48 PM   #18
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$500 for fermentation and kegerator setup.
$500 for all grain equipment.

This means cutting costs on brewing equipment, but eliminating fermentation problems and bottling.

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Old 05-16-2013, 05:02 PM   #19
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I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned it but you should set aside $200 for a nice dinner and a pair of shoes for SWMBO!

Although I went the cheap route myself I highly recommend getting quality equipment from the beginning so you don't need to buy more/better/bigger equipment quickly. Just think about how serious you are (or how much the resale value could be if you change your mind) and plan accordingly. If I had ~$1000 at my disposal I'd get:
  • Temperature controlled chest freezer
  • 10+gal SS kettle with two ports
  • SS immersion chiller (25' or 50')
  • decent grain mill
  • 50-70qt cooler for mashing
  • good propane burner
  • SS ball valves and connectors
  • silicone tubing
  • plenty of carboys/buckets for fermentation
  • bottling bucket
  • stir plate and Erlenmeyer for yeast starters
  • The usual suspects for bottling, cleaning etc.

I already have a lot of these items so I'm happy. However, this is an addictive hobby because it combines virtually all aspects of possible hobbies: Gardening (if you're growing your own hops), electronics, welding, wood work, cooking, science, drinking, hanging out etc. You could even include working out if you count running up and down the stairs and lifting heavy kettles/coolers. Again, get as much of the right stuff as you can afford and build a solid equipment base instead of substituting over and over again. I heard a good quote in one of Beersmith's podcasts once: "If you buy good equipment you cry only once" [about the price]

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Old 05-16-2013, 05:35 PM   #20
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Over the last six months, I put together a simple 15 gallon BIAB system with a small kegerator for roughly $1,300.

If I had to do it over again and stick to a max of $1,000, I would (sadly) spend less on kegs (bought 6), buy a kettle without the steamer basket, lose the grain mill and buy a few more fermenters (plastic buckets).

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