Equipment for a Beginner?

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boldness

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Greetings all!

I have done ONE batch of beer and that was a week and a half ago. I did it inside on a stovetop and it was really hard to keep the temperatures anywhere near constant and even harder to get to boiling point.

What should I do? And where can I get the things for what I need to do? (hopefully all one stop)

In terms of hardware, I have:

Two Six Gallon Carboys
One Large metal pot (5 gallons puts it close to the top)
One large Metal spoon
Two Hoses
One Easy Siphon
One strainer
One Hydrometer and liquid holding tube (real technical.)
One Thermometer
One 5 gallon food grade plastic Bucket and lid


Also, cooling it was equally hard. I had to plug my sink and constantly fill it with ice, then wait 30 minutes [still filling with ice all the time].

What do I need to do for this to be outdoors and whats the best way to do it? Could I even do it in my driveway?

Thanks!!
 

brewmedic43

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I brew outside with a turkey fryer that was acquired from academy, it is a propane burner. Also I would suggest asap to get a bigger kettle, if you enjoy the hobby, it will be so much easier in the long run. Also, an immersion coil will cool your wort rapidly which may help with preventing infection. (Just place in kettle during the boil with approx 15 minutes left in the boil). If you are handy, you can make your own, just do a search or look around in the DIY area. Those are the things I started with and am always looking to expand. Good luck and happy brewing.
 

uxo

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Go on youtube and look at all the homebrew videos you can. This is forum and youtube helped me a ton. I went from 1 extract to all grain and it was so easy.

Buy a turkey fryer that comes with a 30-32 OT pot so you can do 6 gallon boils.
Homemade wort chiller is a must. I was doing water/ice baths and it sucks.

Are you going to stay making extract kit beer? If so, You can top off with cool water before pitching yeast and boil only 3 gallons. If you go extract full boil or All grain wort chiller is nice to have.


Errr, You didn't mention bottling supplies. I'm sure you have them right? You want to use a bottle filler. I've been using a cheap one that gets stuck all the time. I plan on buying a spring loaded bottle filling wand net week.
 

Amff

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brewmedic43 said:
I brew outside with a turkey fryer that was acquired from academy, it is a propane burner. Also I would suggest asap to get a bigger kettle, if you enjoy the hobby, it will be so much easier in the long run. Also, an immersion coil will cool your wort rapidly which may help with preventing infection. (Just place in kettle during the boil with approx 15 minutes left in the boil). If you are handy, you can make your own, just do a search or look around in the DIY area. Those are the things I started with and am always looking to expand. Good luck and happy brewing.
+1. Look on amazon. They have some great deals. Need to take into consideration the shipping cost but a burner and immersion chiller can be purchased for under $100 for each. I started out with partial boils on my stove and an ice bath to cool but the bug caught me and I moved to AG. You will eventually head in that direction might as well start preparing with a burner and chiller. If money allows I would get a pot as well. I bought an 8 gallon pot but wished I got a 10.
 

JeffD1

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I completely agree with what was previously mentioned. If you are serious about this hobby, the first thing you should get is a larger pot and an outdoor burner. Boil overs are awful inside. Wort does not come off a stove. I have a 6.75 gal pot that I find to be just a little bit too small. Start big so you don't regret it when you really get into it. However, if you commit to a larger pot, you have to get, or make, an immersion cooler. Cooling down 6+ galons with an ice bath does not work very well. Immersion coolers are easy to make, just look it up on this site or youtube. I think mine cost me something like $25 or $30 in copper tubing.

A thermometer that goes on the outside of the fermenter is also important. They sell aquarium like thermometers that adhere to the sides of the carboy. Its really important to know and control the temp during fermentation. One of my favorite pieces of equipment is an indoor outdoor thermometer that I sanitize and put right into the fermenter.

As for where to get all of this, i'm lucky enough to have a homebrew store 15 min from my house. Check where your the closest one to you is. Otherwise there are websites like northernbrewer.com.
 

Rbeckett

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Wally Worlds Turkey fryer with the 33 Qt pot is what I started with. I eventually found a 50 Qt pot for cheap and it is my boil kettle now. I still use the 33 as a hot liquid tank so I can heat water while mashing, and boiling at the same time. Little by little you can locate and repurpose industrial kitchen stuff and save a ton of coin. Just be patient and check out Feebay, Craigslist, Estate Auctions and junk like that. I like to go to auctions anyway, so I have picked up some cool stuff over the years. Guns, lathes, machine tools, Auto tools, all kinds of stuff I just could not live another day without...Last acquisition was a Keezer (Upright freezer) for 50 bones, already had an STC-1000, so I got a tap and shank kit for another 30 and BAM, Keezer in about 30 minutes. I think outside burner first, bigger pot, then temp management like a chiller and a kegerator in that order and you will be bangin.

Wheelchair Bob
 

DerCribben

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I found stainless steel stockpots for SUPER cheap on the Sam's Club site. The 100qt (25 gallon) one I was looking at is $111 or something like that. Comes with a lid, thermometer, and SS boiling basket. They also have more reasonable sizes too btw, I think the 80qt one was $89 and I'm not sure about the other sizes but they were all super inexpensive. Make sure you get at least a 30qt/7.5 gal and I would say a 40qt/10 gal would take the grain bill for any OG all grain batch you care to try (5-6 gallon batch that is).
 
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You can hold out for quite awhile with a 5 gallon pot, if you stick with extract brews. I would definitely get a wort chiller, I made one in about an hour from stuff I got at the hardware store and I chill five gallons from 200 to around 70 in twenty minutes. It's a LOT easier than futzing around with ice in the sink. I got a turkey fryer on Craigslist, but the pot it came with was totally filthy, so if I had to do it over again I'd just buy a new one. FWIW, I wound up getting a larger burner when I went to a bigger (10 gallon) pot, and it cut a good fifteen minutes off my brew time.
 

newbies13

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Here is the pot I just bought, cheapest for the size I could find:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009JXYUA/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

I would buy the material to make a wort chiller as well, anywhere online is going to charge you around $100 for $35 worth of material. Go to your local hardware store and get 3/8th inch coiled copper tubing, get as much as you are willing to pay for but a minimum of 20'. Grab some food grade tubing, clamps to clamp them on, and a nozzle attachment for either a sink or hose.

Here is a great video showing you how to do it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vipL11vq_g8
 
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gr8shandini

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Making your own wort chiller is definitely a good way to go. I haven't looked at copper prices lately, but I built a 50' chiller for about $70 total. Everything online was about $100 for a 25 footer. Not sure why you'd need food grade tubing, though. If you're doing it right, the water in the chiller should never touch the beer.

The turkey fryer works great for a burner, but they're usually fairly thin aluminum. You have to be careful about scorching the wort, especially if you're doing extract. Restaurant supply stores are a good place to get large stockpots for cheap. My boil kettle is 60 qt heavy gauge aluminum model (about 4mm thick). Cost me $80. The turkey fryer pot works great for a HLT, though.

Also, I didn't see it listed, but you'll probably want to get an autosiphon. They're only about 10 bucks, and they make your life a whole lot easier when it comes time to rack the beer.

And finally, if you have the space and a few extra bucks, a temperature controller and an old fridge or freezer are probably the number 1 thing you can buy to make better beer.
 

uxo

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Target has some stock pots for about 20 to 25 $.

I know because I have the 20qt pot for heating sparge water. I think the 32qt is $25.
 
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