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Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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Hi folks, This may well be an unreasonable post, but I am a bit rushed for time. I have made a couple of kit brews, and I am intending in the near future to try AG.... I liked the kit stuff well enough, but it just made me even more thirst for a pint of real bitter.

Now, I realise that at this moment I am far from ready, I need to do more research etc. However, Tomorrow, my wife has decided that we will be going shopping in a town that has a store that sells brewing equipment and ingredients. (I am not accustomed to seeing civilisation) I have decided to go take a look at this store, but at this moment I don't even know what I should really be looking at! I realise that I will be overwhelmed with a lot of stuff that I don't understand.

When I finally get my act together (based on info gained from lurking this great site) I intend to go AG 10 gal batches. I am not daft enough to go on a buying spree just yet, but I would greatly appreciate on any advice on anything I should look out for when I visit this store. Will it prove cheaper to buy online? Are these people likely to know what they are talking about? If everything seems reasonable enough, is there a basic package of equipment/ingredients that maybe I should buy while I have the chance?

As I said, This is not a well considered post due to time limitations. However, I would be gratefull for any advice on what I should be looking for.
thanks.

PS Does anyone use the grain mill for a kitchen aid mixer? will that work?
 

Joker

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From what I read I would suggest more reading. You can go AG fairly cheap if you follow what has been posted here for mills, using a cooler to an MLT, and converting kegs to brew pots.

To advance your knowledge and get away from kits I would research some extract brews with steeping grains. While at the store get yourself some muslin bags, grains, and advance to the next level of none kit brewing with grains for extra flavor and color.

Personally Im not in favor of impulse buying since you will usually not get what you would have with a little more research.
 

CBBaron

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What store are you heading to?

As for AG equipment, most of it is not available in your average HBS.
Equipment you may find:
False bottom
Bulkheads
Tubing
wort chiller
thermometer
scales

Equipment usually found at other sources:
Burner (turkey fryer)
Large Brew kettle (large pot or Keggle)
Mash Tun (kooler or large pot)

Make yourself:
brew stand
Add bulkheads and false bottoms to brew kettle and mashtun

Somethings you can use now that will be use for AG:
wort chiller
thermometer
scales
turkey fryer/burner
large brew pot

You can make excellent beers using malt extract and grains. However I do enjoy the process of AG. My setup is currently a 7.5gal turkey fryer from HomeDepot, a 5gal cooler with KewlerKits and SS braid off a toilet supply line and an immersion wort chiller.

Craig
 

abracadabra

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Will it prove cheaper to buy online?

in my experience not only cheaper but much cheaper

Are these people likely to know what they are talking about?

Yes, But they may also be more interested in selling you stuff with the higher profit margin. And are likely to try and talk you out of going AG and or 10 gal. in order to get you to spend money with them now.

If everything seems reasonable enough, is there a basic package of equipment/ingredients that maybe I should buy while I have the chance?

You should hold off on your ingredients until you are ready to brew. Unless you are knowledgable on prices and type of equipment it's gonna be tough to know if it's reasonable or not.

John Palmer's "How to Brew" is a good book the 1st edition is free online at www.howtobrew.com. The book "Brew Ware" helped me understand some of the equipment and gave me ideas on stuff I could build myself and stuff I could find for free or get cheap. BYO magazine also has primer of brewing and wine making and some of the back issues may be of interest to you.

I think you are making a wise choice to try to build your home brewery with the ability to do 10 gal. brews from the start.

All that being said if you like the people or owner of the LHBS it's good to try to support them as long as you aren't being taken advantage of.
I buy grain for mine and little things but he's just not competive price wise and I don't see where growing his bank acct. and diminishing mine is the smart thing to do. Others on this forum disagree with that way of thinking.
 
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Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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Thanks guys, you have already been more helpful than you would realise!

As I said in my inititial post, I am a tad rushed and not well thought out for this store visit, but you seem to have caught my drift. I am planning for the future, but trying to not make the mistake of making stupid purchases at such an early stage. I am a compulsive buyer and will immediately go for anything that is bright or shiny (This is the reason that I own a remote controlled helicopter)

Your posts have helped me keep my feet on the ground while I carry on reading and researchng. I have decided not to look too seriously at what I see, and just try to take in what information I can while I am there. (Deep breaths)
 

TexLaw

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I recommend taking it a bit easy, too. Like you, I am bad about impulse buying, and even worse when it's not so much an impulse but a quest. Here's what you ought to do:

Look at the recipes in the recipe database (or somewhere else) and find an extract one (with steeping grains) that sounds good to you. Write out a shopping list for that recipe, go to the store, check out the folks and the quality of the ingredients there. If you like them all, talk to the guys some more, maybe get to know them a bit, talk about switching to AG, and then buy your shopping list of ingredients. Maybe also get Palmer's book or something else that sounds interesting.

Go home, and brew that beer. While you sitting there with your boil, read the book and this forum and whatever other resources you find interesting about AG brewing. Think about what you want to brew, how you want to brew, and what you need to do that. Write out a list of equipment you want in your brewhouse (e.g., mash tun at least X gallon size, mash paddle; HLT of at least Y gallon size, etc.). Then, go through that list and think about how you want to get each piece of equipment (i.e., do you want your MLT to be a converted cooler, a stainless steel pot, or a converted keg?). Write it all down. Then, think about how you will get everything you need, and write it all down. Shop around, and get what you need. While you are in the middle of all this stuff, keep up with the literature and this forum to see if you change your mind.

If you take it step by step, you probably won't waste money on a bunch of stuff that you use for one batch and discard. Also, once you have your plan, don't rush it. It might take you a while to shop around or even just to get it all. For instance, if you want a three keg setup, it might take you a while to get all three kegs at a reasonable price.


TL
 
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