Is my old stuff still good?

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Nexus555

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Back in 2007, I got into the hobby of homebrewing. I opened up a Home Brew Talk forum account, did hours of research, and ordered a starter kit from Midwest Supplies. I brewed two batches of beer and started on a Cider until I became disinterested and abandoned the hobby.

Lately, I have been thinking about delving back into this hobby. I still have all of my gear. Unfortunately, many of my items have been either stored in an attic or my garage. Also, my 6.5 glass primary carboy has become a penny jar. Here is a list of things I have:

- Kettle

- Spoon

- 6.5 g carboy

- Carboy brush

- Airlocks/stopper

- Hydrometer

- Siphon, tubing and bottle filler

- Capper

- Carboy funnel

- Bottling bucket

- Thermostat for a fermenting fridge

I am wondering if any of this stuff is still good? My tubing for the siphons look kind of yellow. My glass carboy has loose change in it. Bottling bucket smells a bit oily? Obviously things like the capper/spoon/kettle should be okay. I need to test the functionality of everything before I even begin a brew, but will all of this stuff still be okay if I wash, clean and sanitize it? I'm especially worried about the tubing, bottling bucket and the carboy. Also, any tips for deep cleaning or sanitizing this old gear would be useful.

Also, could you guys help me remember other things I may need to buy? Things I can think of off hand are:

- Ingredients/priming sugar/yeast, etc.

- Sanitizer. What is the most popular today? Back then I used One Step I believe.

- New fermenting chamber. I used to use an old refrigerator with a thermostat. I may use a deep freezer or something of the like with a thermostat.

- Secondary carboy. My old 5 gallon broke years ago.

- Bottles/caps

I can't really think of anything else off the top of my head. I only did two batches so I likely have forgotten a lot.

Thanks!
 

Zambezi Special

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I think I would buy new tubing as it is not that expensive anyway.
Bottling bucket: first of all, check for scratches. If none, then clean with dishwasher. If still oily, use for something else.
You don't really need a bottling bucket. I bottle with an auto-syphon straigh from fermenter.
Carboy: don't know.

Other stuff:
Are you going extract or all grain?
If all grain, I would start with biab, so get a biab bag and thermometer and something to maintain mash temperature.
I've never done extract ;), so no comments
 

hotbeer

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Till you know if you are going to stick with it I wouldn't buy much. Tubing will probably be a good thing to buy though. Empty out your coin jar and clean it up, or just get a big bucket. Though the six gallon buckets you can get from brew house supplies, both local and online are probably better if you are doing a full five gallon recipe.

You might also consider smaller batches if the size and handling the stuff for 5 and 10 gallon batches may have been part of what put you off.

I find smaller 1-2½ gallon batches easy to do and I can do them in my kitchen on the stove instead of outside in the more than 95°F 90% humidity days we have recently had and will be seeing more of here for the next 4 months or so.

I can also do them more often and learn faster. Doesn't hurt as much to drink up or throw away a not so great batch.
- New fermenting chamber. I used to use an old refrigerator with a thermostat. I may use a deep freezer or something of the like with a thermostat.
Are you brewing lagers or some other brew that really needs it? I've been happy with Ales, IPAs and various other beers that don't really need the refrigeration for fermenting.

Maybe my smaller batches don't put as much smell in the house as a bigger batch. My wife has only complained a couple times about it and I don't think that it was the beer she was smelling those times.
 

NickTheGreat

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Agree on the tubing. Sometimes I'll throw mine out instead of cleaning it!
 

Singletrack

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Remove pennies before fermentation. I think copper in the fermenter = poison.
 

hotbeer

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Copper is actually good for yeast. However pennies are only a copper wash over zinc or some other cheap metal. Not so sure if zinc is good.

Of course with most everything its the amount that makes it toxic. Even water is toxic when a large amount is consumed in a short period of time.
 

Homebrew Harry

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@Nexus555 When I saw your name and avatar I knew it looked familiar. Sometimes I read real old stuff on here when killing time, haha. Welcome back !
 

InspectorJon

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I am using a glass carboy that sat in my garage for ... 20 years with no use and nothing covering the opening. I always knew I would get back to it someday. Been using it for a few years now with no issues. I just filled it with 10% bleach solution and let it sit for a couple days and then rinsed real good. There is a long doomsday thread about why you should not use glass.
 

FromZwolle

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buy a cheap kit and have at it!

only upgrade non-plastic stuff when you know you're going to keep brewing consistently.
 

hout17

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I would go get new tubing and proceed to clean up everything else. Your equipment should work just as good as the last time you used it if you get it cleaned up nice.

Assuming you are doing an extract batch just go pick up an ingredient kit from your local lhbs or somewhere like morebeer as they have some good kits and you can get dme which is preferred over lme. Otherwise sounds like you are on the right track.

Also get a new bottling bucket if you can't get the smell/oil out of it.

Also don't worry about using a secondary keeping your beer in the primary fermenter until fermentation is complete is best practice these days.

Brew on!
 

davidabcd

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As mentioned, and which you basically answered, ditch the tubing and plastic bucket.
You can get by with a 7.9 gallon fermenter w/lid and airlock. a four gallon pot would be nice. A sieve to deal with grain is nice too. A long-handled stirring device. A hydrometer. A thermometer. I'm sure I'm being repetitive.
Can't go wrong with Starsan.
 

Singletrack

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Copper is actually good for yeast. However pennies are only a copper wash over zinc or some other cheap metal. Not so sure if zinc is good.

Of course with most everything its the amount that makes it toxic. Even water is toxic when a large amount is consumed in a short period of time.
You are right! And I'm sure the OP will remove the pennies from the fermenter, but since this is the beginner forum, it is important to be clear about this. You should NOT have copper in the fermenter. A bit of copper in the BK (not fermenter) is okay, because exposure time is very short, and yeast like to munch on some copper. But the low pH and extended time in the fermenter can cause leaching of copper into your beer to levels that are toxic. Don't do that.

Yeast like zinc too. So if you want to put a few of those pennies in the BK, have at. Remove prior to fermentation.
 
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Nexus555

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You are right! And I'm sure the OP will remove the pennies from the fermenter, but since this is the beginner forum, it is important to be clear about this. You should NOT have copper in the fermenter. A bit of copper in the BK (not fermenter) is okay, because exposure time is very short, and yeast like to munch on some copper. But the low pH and extended time in the fermenter can cause leaching of copper into your beer to levels that are toxic. Don't do that.

Yeast like zinc too. So if you want to put a few of those pennies in the BK, have at. Remove prior to fermentation.
I've cleaned it twice with hot water and Dawn. I also scrubbed it good both times. I smell no coin smells anymore (even after the first wash.) I have some PBW on order. Do you think a PBW bath + my other efforts will suffice?
 

RWurster

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I only brew 2 gallon batches and I think that is why I havent burned out on brewing. As stated above, I can also do 2 gallon batches more frequently and you learn from successes / failures faster plus it is less beer to toss out if something goes sideways on your fermentation.
 
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