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Old 06-27-2008, 04:42 AM   #1
schristian619
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Default fermentation cabinet or all-grain equip?

Hello all,

I am planning on purchasing some new stuff very soon and just wanted a "second" opinion. Should I buy a chest freezer to ferment in, or equipment to switch to all-grain? Right now, I ferment in a bath tub and have been able to keep my temp below 70(well now I have to use the ice bottles technique). I was thinking I would all-grain now, then in a few months get the freezer(after I move). Do I have my priorities backwards? I have not noticed any tempurature related off flavors thus far, although its been all extract.

As always...Thanks
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Old 06-27-2008, 04:57 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schristian619 View Post
Hello all,

I am planning on purchasing some new stuff very soon and just wanted a "second" opinion. Should I buy a chest freezer to ferment in, or equipment to switch to all-grain? Right now, I ferment in a bath tub and have been able to keep my temp below 70(well now I have to use the ice bottles technique). I was thinking I would all-grain now, then in a few months get the freezer(after I move). Do I have my priorities backwards? I have not noticed any tempurature related off flavors thus far, although its been all extract.

As always...Thanks
It is all up to you, Just do it on the spur of a moment. When you want to brew beer next just think.....Do I want to make better beer? or Do I want to Lager my Extract Brew? Thats what I did. I ended up going AG and buying the Freezer 4 monthes later when I found one on sale.
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:30 AM   #3
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Fermentation control will improve all of your beers. I have both, an AG set up and fermentation control. The fermentation control will make your extract beer just as good as any AG. In fact no one will be able to tell besides you. Fermentation control baby!! That is my vote. S.
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:47 AM   #4
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I'd vote to make a son-of-a-ferm chiller and go AG. That will allow you to ferment ales at correct temps. The two together (if you go with a cooler and turkey fryer) should cost under $100 if you find what you needs at Lowes.
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:11 PM   #5
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Depends, do you really want to be a brewer or just someone who can boil water.

If the answer is you want to be a brewer, Go AG first!

All you need for tight temp control is an Igloo Ice Cube cooler and a few soda bottles of frozen water. Have a couple in the cooler and a couple of spares in the freezer to swap out.
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:17 PM   #6
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I vote for the temp control if you don't have an area for your fermentors that holds a steady temp in the range you want to ferment. I don't have a basement and I found the biggest improvement in my beers was from my chest freezer with temp control, even bigger than switching to all grain.
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:40 PM   #7
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I vote fermentation control - that was the missing link in my setup for far too long...
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abracadabra View Post
Depends, do you really want to be a brewer or just someone who can boil water.

If the answer is you want to be a brewer, Go AG first!

All you need for tight temp control is an Igloo Ice Cube cooler and a few soda bottles of frozen water. Have a couple in the cooler and a couple of spares in the freezer to swap out.
+1 for about $24 you can get a Igloo Ice Cube cooler for fermenting. I can fit my 6 1/2gal carboy in mine. I made a new lid out of styrofoam so the carboy neck sticks out with the airlock. I accidently got a batch down to 40F once by dumping a bag of ice in it.

GO AG now and get a few brews under your belt while saving for the freezer and you could have your AG setup dialed in by the time you get the freezer.
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:55 PM   #9
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I am looking into fermentation temp conrtolling now and have thought about just doing the cooler with ice temporarily. I just can't believe that you can really hold a steady temp because of the ambient temp still fluctuating or am I wrong? And do you guys use water in the cooler with the ice bottles or just stick the bottles in and how many? Maybe after I get my porter done this weekend, I'll dissasemble my mash tun and use it a fermentation chiller...would it work ok with the lid open/ don't wanna canabilize it since it will go back to being a mashtun
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Old 06-27-2008, 03:01 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the replies. I figured they'd be mixed, but I still wanted some opinions. I think I'll try the igloo cooler for now, since it's getting a little warmer out, and wait til I move and know for sure what will fit in my new place before shelling out for a chest freezer. Looks like I'll be making my first all-grain batch pretty soon! I still have ingredients for 1 or 2 extract batches that I'll knock out in the next week or so. Thanks again!
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