I just had to post a quick note to thank all the great folks who share so much on HomeBrewTalk.com. I started brewing back in 1995 after getting a homebrewing kit from my dad from Liberty Brewing (it was a Seattle based company), and my first batch sucked - infected, and got more and more sour over time. I had a book from Randy Mosher, bought Charlie's book, and eventually found Home Brew Digest and rec.craft.brewing. I eventually moved into all-grain in a gravity-based Gott cooler & converted keg system. Got into kegging, used Promash, a johnson controller and fermentation fridge, made some great beers, and enjoyed everything I was doing. Then life got in the way, and I stopped brewing in 2006, went through a divorce, sold off most of my bulky equipment, kept the stuff that was easy to store, and didn't brew again until 2011. As I eased back into it, I found homebrewtalk.com, the brewing network, John Palmer & Jamil, my local homebrew club Homebrewers of Puget Sound, and just started absorbing as much as I could while I slowly built my brewing system back up, in a much smaller space, with more limited funds. As I learned, read and thought, I added little by little, and with a lot of input from a lot of people, I got to brew my first all-grain batch in 7 YEARS last weekend, and it went off with only one hitch - a sparge that went faster than I planned (but somehow hit my expected numbers EXACTLY) It was in a two-tier, pump assisted triple keggle stand with direct fire and recirculation capability on the mash/lauter tun, and a whirlpool port on the boil kettle. Stir plates made from computer fans, agar slants for yeast banking, dual stage controller for fermentation control and better idea about post-process package control to keep my beer fresh all have added to the enjoyment I get from this great hobby.
There are so many folks whose comments and threads have inspired me, but I have to give special props to BobbyM and brewhardware.com, for great fittings & parts, videos, and hours wasted polishing keggles, and to Yooper whose easy-to-take advice on so many things brewing make it easy to trust (most recently: .032 seems to be a great gap to crush at). But so many others have helped, from insulating the mash tun (velvet shield welding blanket) to newly made carboy straps to help avoid hospitalization from exploding carboys.
If I can ever give back even double of what I've gained from you all, it would not be enough.
Thanks for the great time!