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sigwafsus

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I'm currently fermenting my first batch of beer and already thinking about the next one. SWMBO got me a 1 gallon kit for Christmas, and it worked out fine (so far) but I soon realized that I'd like to make a little more than what amounts to 10 bottles of beer for half a day plus worth of time. Logistically I would probably be fine with 3 gallon batches without needing additional storage space. Also, I would like to get a hydrometer and wort chiller etc. but looking online at all the different types of gear is a little intimidating.:confused: Anyone have any advice on taking my next step as a home brewer?
 

RM-MN

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Lets start with what you have. How big of a pot do you have for boiling the wort in? How would you boil a larger amount of wort, on the kitchen stove or outside on a propane fired burner? Do you have a large plastic tub? How about a hose that you can couple to an outside faucet. Are you in a town or out in the country? How cold does it get there?

Lots of questions without answering one of yours but to make good suggestions, we need to have good information.
 

Woody1911a1

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I'm currently fermenting my first batch of beer and already thinking about the next one. SWMBO got me a 1 gallon kit for Christmas, and it worked out fine (so far) but I soon realized that I'd like to make a little more than what amounts to 10 bottles of beer for half a day plus worth of time.
ditto me too , so what i did was found this forum and a couple others and read ,read and read some more . then i found about 20 suppliers and studied their catalogs , prices and shipping costs .

read http://www.howtobrew.com/ my hard copy (which has a lot more than the online) was here before my first fermentation was 3 days in . amazon prime:)

my 8 gal bayou classic ss brew pot and @ $300 of everything else will hopefully be here by weeks end :)

in the mean time i'm reading and reading more :)
 

Dawgs47

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As RM-MN said there are many factors that can influence your decision. However, I will say that 5 gallons has been a standard size point. It gets you about 4 twelve packs per batch and there is lots of entry level equipment available for this size level. I also think it is a good beginner level size, since it gives you enough that it is worth the work, but not so much that if things go wrong you are stuck with a large batch of bad beer.
 

amie

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My husband and I started with a Brewers Best kit and the largest pot we already owned (a 4 gallon SS pot my family used for seafood boils). We're still making 5 gallon batches using the partial boil, top off with water method. For our next addition to the brewery, I'm working on building our wort chiller this week -- but because we're still doing smaller volume boils (3.5 gallons), we've made over a dozen batches without having any trouble cooling the wort in a cold water bath.

When I looked at the cost for the equipment we would need to make full-boil, all-grain batches, I wrote this article to try and prioritize our purchases and make sure we didn't buy equipment that would only need to be upgraded a year or two down the road: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/moving-extract-all-grain-four-easy-steps-401507/ So far, this has worked well for us. We're making delicious beer and learning a lot with every brew.
 

Rockn_M

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Starting here is a great start. I don't think there is a question I had that wasn't answered here. Also doing three gallons is difficult most recipes are for 5 gallons. I've really enjoyed doing kits. They have all the ingredients plus detailed instructions. My favorite place to order from is Austin homebrew supply.

The next few things to consider getting is star-san, hydrometer, a way to keep fermentation temps at the right temperature, a pot big enough to boil the wort and a thermometer while boiling.

Good luck!
 

bajaedition

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After years of doing this hobby I think there are 2 steps that help out the most

extract, all grain or partial,

a way to do full wort boils and a wort chiller is one step

and the other is a place you can put your fermetator to keep the temperature where you want it to be.

those 2 things are about the best 2 things you can do to improve your beer
 

RM-MN

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Starting here is a great start. I don't think there is a question I had that wasn't answered here. Also doing three gallons is difficult most recipes are for 5 gallons. I've really enjoyed doing kits. They have all the ingredients plus detailed instructions. My favorite place to order from is Austin homebrew supply.

The next few things to consider getting is star-san, hydrometer, a way to keep fermentation temps at the right temperature, a pot big enough to boil the wort and a thermometer while boiling.

Good luck!
I agree, doing the math on brew day just complicates things. But wait, if I only do 2 1/2 gallon batches, all I need to do is take half of everything in the recipe. I can do that very easily. I make a lot of 2 1/2 gallon batches. :D
 
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sigwafsus

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Lets start with what you have. How big of a pot do you have for boiling the wort in? How would you boil a larger amount of wort, on the kitchen stove or outside on a propane fired burner? Do you have a large plastic tub? How about a hose that you can couple to an outside faucet. Are you in a town or out in the country? How cold does it get there?

Lots of questions without answering one of yours but to make good suggestions, we need to have good information.
I currently have an 18qt stock pot, I would likely do the boil on my stove. I have a large sink that can hold that pot and enough ice to cool it. I don't know why I would need to bring a hose inside my house from an outside faucet, plus I'd rather use spring water as my town water tastes very chlorinated. I live in New England so we get incredibly varied weather.
I think I get your overall point, there is probably not a specific solution that can be offered, so I'll keep on researching.

ditto me too , so what i did was found this forum and a couple others and read ,read and read some more . then i found about 20 suppliers and studied their catalogs , prices and shipping costs .

read http://www.howtobrew.com/ my hard copy (which has a lot more than the online) was here before my first fermentation was 3 days in . amazon prime
I've read that site over the past few days. Definitely seems like good info, I may end up getting the full copy based on recommendations I've seen.

Thank you all for pointing me in the right direction.
 

Devilsnight

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You could buy a couple 3 gallon carboys/buckets and do half batches as I do. I usually buy the standard 5 gallon kits and just brew twice. You can use different strains of yeast each time, or switch up the recipe, since your learning. It's not the cheapest way to go but you won't have to spend much money out right.
If you get a 4 gallon pot you can do full boils. I'm messin around with a 2gal cooler right now for doing partial mash too. Just throwing it out there, my first number of beers were not all that great, One I actually dumped after 2 months of bottle conditioning, Was that bad. As I see it, I'd rather learn from a 20ish bottle mistake than 40+.
Mostly, Keep good records of everything you do! You'll learn fast
 

RM-MN

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I currently have an 18qt stock pot, I would likely do the boil on my stove. I have a large sink that can hold that pot and enough ice to cool it. I don't know why I would need to bring a hose inside my house from an outside faucet, plus I'd rather use spring water as my town water tastes very chlorinated. I live in New England so we get incredibly varied weather.
I think I get your overall point, there is probably not a specific solution that can be offered, so I'll keep on researching.



I've read that site over the past few days. Definitely seems like good info, I may end up getting the full copy based on recommendations I've seen.

Thank you all for pointing me in the right direction.
I'm sort of sorry for asking so many of what seem like unrelated questions but the suggestions are so different depending on some of the answers. You sure don't need to bring that hose in from outdoors but if you were brewing outdoors on a propane burner where it stays warmer, you would have used that setup for chilling the wort outside too instead of bringing it in to put it in the sink.

If you think you have varied weather where you live, come visit my area. I won't be brewing outdoors today. I won't even be going outdoors as the wind chill is approaching -60. Next summer? Who knows? It might get over 100. Not really likely but neither is -60 wind chill.
 

BlindPidgeon

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Logistically I would probably be fine with 3 gallon batches without needing additional storage space. Also, I would like to get a hydrometer and wort chiller etc... Anyone have any advice on taking my next step as a home brewer?
Sig',

Like some of the others, I would recommend a 5 gallon setup. You can buy them as a starter kit and typically they come with a 6.5 gallon fermenting bucket, a bottling bucket, hoses, hydrometer, sanitizing agent, caps, capper, some cleaning brushes, and an extract kit to make a five gallon batch. For slightly more $$$ you can get kits that include a glass carboy, for secondary fermentation, and some other whistles and bells. Here's a pretty good set-up: http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/essential-brewing-starter-kit.html

I found that this amount of gear is not too space-intensive. Additionally, I only needed to procure a few items to help with brewing and bottling.
-I already had a large stock-pot for cooking stews and chili.
-About 50 12-ounce brown bottles.
-A siphon system makes racking a whole lot easier.
-After a year or so I made my own wort chiller, but those can be bought.

Good luck!
 

RM-MN

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One of the most basic starter kits for doing 5 gallon batches is probably the most practical since it will include all the equipment you will need to do a 5 gallon batch and works pretty well for 2 1/2 to 3 gallon batches too. If you decide to do a few 5 gallon batches later you will already have the equipment for it and won't need to buy all new stuff. This kit has nearly everything you need except for the pot and bottles and you already have the pot. http://www.midwestsupplies.com/brewing-basics-equipment-kit.html You don't have to buy from Midwest but that was the easiest place for me to find that kit. Other online stores or your local store will have one that is similar.
 
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