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jacobq

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Hi. I've been brewing wines and ciders for a while with some really basic equipment and had a lot of fun with it and made my first batch of beer (all grain) a few months ago and I decided to get serious with it. It's difficult trying to figure out who has the best price when you account for shipping but heres what I got so far, please let me know if you think I need anything else and Im curious how much everyone paid for their setups.
I budgeted $1200 for the whole enchilada but I wanted to get all the major pieces under $1000 and I'm at $765 right now. I'm currently overseas right now, so I'm waiting to buy a cooler, fridge and propane and I'm trying to find a good price on a CO2 tank now.

All from Northern Brewer Total-$138
Auto Siphon 1/2" -$14Auto Siphon Clamp-$3.50
1/2" Siphon Hose 6 ft -$3.30
Brass 1/2" FPT x 1/2" Barb-$3.25
2x 6 G PET Carboy-$50
2x No. 10 Drilled Stopper-$5.00
2 x Three-Piece Airlock $5
2x 6.5G Fermenting Bucket w/Airlocks-$34.50
Hydrometer-$7
Test Jar-$4

All from AIH Total- $280
4x5 Gallon Pin Lock Kegs Used-$140
12" Bazooka Screen with 1/2" NPT fitting-$10
4 ft High Temp Tubing 1/2"' $10
Grain mill-$100

http://www.brucefoods.com/
30qt fryer/burner-$69

http://www.kegoutlet.com
4 tap set/regulator/distributor-$180


I'm trying to get these.
Used 5lb CO2 filled-$70
Cooler-$40
Used Fridge-$75
Propane tank filled-$40

My plan is to just connect the screen to the barb, run the tubing out of the cooler, maybe seal it with some epoxy and put a clamp on the tubing. Instead of using a immersion cooler, I'm just going to put the pot in a rubbermaid with the garden hose running water around it. I was going to just use a rubbermaid swamp chiller and use the fridge for storing ingredients and keg dispensing. I wanted a freezer with a A419 to ferment in but its just too much money.
 

RM-MN

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Hi. I've been brewing wines and ciders for a while with some really basic equipment and had a lot of fun with it and made my first batch of beer (all grain) a few months ago and I decided to get serious with it. It's difficult trying to figure out who has the best price when you account for shipping but heres what I got so far, please let me know if you think I need anything else and Im curious how much everyone paid for their setups.
I budgeted $1200 for the whole enchilada but I wanted to get all the major pieces under $1000 and I'm at $765 right now. I'm currently overseas right now, so I'm waiting to buy a cooler, fridge and propane and I'm trying to find a good price on a CO2 tank now.

All from Northern Brewer Total-$138
Auto Siphon 1/2" -$14Auto Siphon Clamp-$3.50
1/2" Siphon Hose 6 ft -$3.30

Brass 1/2" FPT x 1/2" Barb-$3.25
2x 6 G PET Carboy-$50
2x No. 10 Drilled Stopper-$5.00
2 x Three-Piece Airlock $5

2x 6.5G Fermenting Bucket w/Airlocks-$34.50
Hydrometer-$7
Test Jar-$4

All from AIH Total- $280
4x5 Gallon Pin Lock Kegs Used-$140
12" Bazooka Screen with 1/2" NPT fitting-$10
4 ft High Temp Tubing 1/2"' $10
Grain mill-$100

http://www.brucefoods.com/
30qt fryer/burner-$69

http://www.kegoutlet.com
4 tap set/regulator/distributor-$180


I'm trying to get these.
Used 5lb CO2 filled-$70
Cooler-$40
Used Fridge-$75
Propane tank filled-$40

My plan is to just connect the screen to the barb, run the tubing out of the cooler, maybe seal it with some epoxy and put a clamp on the tubing. Instead of using a immersion cooler, I'm just going to put the pot in a rubbermaid with the garden hose running water around it. I was going to just use a rubbermaid swamp chiller and use the fridge for storing ingredients and keg dispensing. I wanted a freezer with a A419 to ferment in but its just too much money.
I only have a 3/8 autosiphon. Maybe I'm just more patient than you. I don't have a clamp on mine either and I have a hard time getting the hose off to clean it.

Do you have plans to make beers that require a secondary? Most do not. My carboy sits empty unless I need it for a primary fermenter. It makes a poor primary too because it's too small. Instead of the carboys, I'd add another bucket fermenter or 2 so you can leave your beer in one of them longer while you fill the others.

Don't buy a single hydrometer. If you do you will break it within the first month. Buy 2 or 3 so you will have one to use when you break the first one. Instead of a test jar I use the tube the hydrometer came. I'll set it in a beer mug so it doesn't fall over and spill my sample and break the hydrometer.

I went with BIAB so I saved quite a bit on the cost of a mash tun. Paint strainer bags work pretty well for that and if you mill your grain very fine, which you can do with BIAB, you can expect an extra 10% efficeincy which will pay off quite well when you can cut your grain bill by 10% for each batch. I use a Corona style grain mill and hand crank it and those mills are available for less than $30. Since I don't have to transfer the hot wort from one vessel to another, I don't need any high temperature tubing either. :ban:
 
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jacobq

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I only have a 3/8 autosiphon. Maybe I'm just more patient than you. I don't have a clamp on mine either and I have a hard time getting the hose off to clean it.

Do you have plans to make beers that require a secondary? Most do not. My carboy sits empty unless I need it for a primary fermenter. It makes a poor primary too because it's too small. Instead of the carboys, I'd add another bucket fermenter or 2 so you can leave your beer in one of them longer while you fill the others.

Don't buy a single hydrometer. If you do you will break it within the first month. Buy 2 or 3 so you will have one to use when you break the first one. Instead of a test jar I use the tube the hydrometer came. I'll set it in a beer mug so it doesn't fall over and spill my sample and break the hydrometer.

I went with BIAB so I saved quite a bit on the cost of a mash tun. Paint strainer bags work pretty well for that and if you mill your grain very fine, which you can do with BIAB, you can expect an extra 10% efficeincy which will pay off quite well when you can cut your grain bill by 10% for each batch. I use a Corona style grain mill and hand crank it and those mills are available for less than $30. Since I don't have to transfer the hot wort from one vessel to another, I don't need any high temperature tubing either. :ban:
I tried to do the BIAB i guess but it seemed like a lot more effort to keep the temps constant, I experimented with 2 2.5g batches, one i did BIAB on the stove and the other i used a small cooler. I got two buckets, I figured I would use those two as a primary and then move them to the Better bottles as a secondary. I just got the hydrometer to get it, whenever I did wine/cider i used a calculator/taste test to estimate ABV. When I did my first batch I did a taste test on the Wort for sweetness. I also added in some amylase enzyme. I don't if my mash was great but I feel like the AE made a huge difference and I'm going to continue to use it.
 

RM-MN

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I tried to do the BIAB i guess but it seemed like a lot more effort to keep the temps constant, I experimented with 2 2.5g batches, one i did BIAB on the stove and the other i used a small cooler. I got two buckets, I figured I would use those two as a primary and then move them to the Better bottles as a secondary. I just got the hydrometer to get it, whenever I did wine/cider i used a calculator/taste test to estimate ABV. When I did my first batch I did a taste test on the Wort for sweetness. I also added in some amylase enzyme. I don't if my mash was great but I feel like the AE made a huge difference and I'm going to continue to use it.
Perhaps you tried too hard to keep the temps constant. I bring the water to my strike temp, stir in the grains, cover the pot with a bath towel, and walk away. If your grains were milled fine for BIAB, you could have mashed for less time and still got your conversion. I've been doing a 30 minute mash with great success.

Do you have a reason to use the secondaries or are you doing it because the kit instructions all say you have to? Valid reasons for secondaries are adding fruit, long term aging a high gravity beer, or oaking. The rest don't really benefit from going to secondary. Many of us dry hop right in the primary too.
 
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jacobq

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Do you have a reason to use the secondaries or are you doing it because the kit instructions all say you have to? Valid reasons for secondaries are adding fruit, long term aging a high gravity beer, or oaking. The rest don't really benefit from going to secondary. Many of us dry hop right in the primary too.
When I did wines I used a secondary to get it off some of the sediment and to agitate it. I know its good for it to sit on the yeast for a while, but I figure after only a week, most of the yeast will be dead and there will be a lot hops, proteins, break and other stuff settled. this would also be a good time to degas it and add some finings. My timeline was 1 week in primary, 1.5 week in secondary, then .5 week cold crash. I was going to keep it in the bucket for a week and then move to the better bottle then from the better bottle to a keg after 3 weeks.
 

RM-MN

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At a week a bunch of the yeast will be dormant but it still is a good idea to leave the beer on the yeast cake longer. Removing it from the yeast cake that soon can stall a ferment and it can be difficult to get it to start again without sufficient yeast. I leave my beers on the yeast for 3 to 4 weeks and once I left it for 9 weeks with no off flavors. In fact, the 9 week was a very tasty beer. I wish I was patient enough to leave more of them that long.
 
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