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daveooph131

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I am just getting into this hobby and wanted some advice on equipment selection.

I found a local shop selling 6.5 gallon glass carboy for $25. I "think" this is a good deal and plan on putting together my own starter kit. Please add to my list of things needed.

Already have an aluminum pot

I plan on buying:
-2 6.5 glass carboy
-1 bottling bucket with spout
-auto siphon
-Funnel with strainer

Would this be a decent startup? Thanks.
 

SumnerH

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I'd prefer a plastic bucket for the primary fermentor, and I think they're what most people use; easier to work with and cheaper. But you can't see what's happening inside, which is kind of neat.

Personally I prefer plastic (PET only) carboys for secondary, but people go both ways on PET vs. glass. Just be very careful with the glass.

You need a hydrometer. I've never used or needed a funnel.
 

madcapstudios

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If you're going to use carboys (I prefer buckets) then a carboy brush will save you a lot of cleanup headaches. Add a carboy bung and airlock for each carboy you have (the little things start to really add up don't they?).

Then there's the question of what you're going to do with your finished product. You can get free bottles from recycling, but you'll still have to get a bottle capper and caps.
 
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daveooph131

daveooph131

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What is wrong with the glass carboys? I've heard some people don't like those. I really want to get a see through for my primary so I can see the process.
 

humann_brewing

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I see you posted the same post in the Beginners forum too. You only need to post things once by the way.

But as far as beginning, welcome to the club and enjoy the ride. A couple of notes on things to watch that will help immensely in making great beer even as a beginner is to:

I am assuming your starting the extract too:

-Keep to your times for things such as hop additions

-Keep the portions in check if you involved multiple extracts or especially specialty grains

-Cool your wort as quickly as possible after done boiling

-Do not under pitch your yeast. If you don't do starters, buy double the amount.

-Keep your fermentation temperature constant

-leave your beer along when it is fermenting, let it finish out and test with a hydrometer, not the airlock

As far as things needed, I assume you have bottles too right? Also there is the obvious cleaning tools that you may or may not have, scrubbers, sanitizers etc...

You will found out very quickly what you need and what is the most important thing to add to your gear at this point in time. It may be a starter kit for growing yeast, it may be a chiller, may be creating a fermentation chamber and the list goes on.

Just wait until you get into all grain if you do. The list just keeps going until you say that is enough, but that never happens.

All of these topics have been discussed daily on this site and the wealth of knowledge here is far more than anyone needs to be a good brewer. Use it wisely.
 

llazy_llama

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What is wrong with the glass carboys? I've heard some people don't like those. I really want to get a see through for my primary so I can see the process.
The first post in this link talks about the pros and cons of buckets, better bottles, and glass carboys. Read up, and make up your own mind.
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/vs-pro-con-analysis-109318/

Honestly though, I think you'll be best served by just picking up a starter kit that's going to have a lot of the things you don't yet know you need. I started off with this one, and the only thing I needed to buy right away was a few larger carboys to use as primaries. Brewing Intermediate Kit- with Two 5 Gallon Better Bottle Carboys :: Midwest Supplies Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies
 

humann_brewing

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What is wrong with the glass carboys? I've heard some people don't like those. I really want to get a see through for my primary so I can see the process.
I have both a Glass and Plastic fermentors. I personally like the glass as I can use the bent brush inside it but that is not recommended on the plastic as you don't want to create cracks for stuff to grow in.

I have found that letting the plastic one sit full of water for a few days softens up all the crap that a good splashing of water cleans it up mostly. Then another round with sanitizer is done on brew day that should pick up anything left over.

Again there are pros and cons and ultimately it is up to you, you have glass now and if you like that....stick with it.

Someone posted a good pros - con on the two but I can't find it. Someone else may chime in with it though. edit (looks like someone did before I finished this)
 

llazy_llama

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Oh, and humann_brewing: Do you have a jet bottle washer? I've found that a few hours of a water/oxiclean soak followed by a short blast with the jet washer cleans out anything including stuck on hop gunk that's been there for a month.

Using a brush is like work, which I try to do as little of as possible.
 

humann_brewing

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Oh, and humann_brewing: Do you have a jet bottle washer? I've found that a few hours of a water/oxiclean soak followed by a short blast with the jet washer cleans out anything including stuck on hop gunk that's been there for a month.

Using a brush is like work, which I try to do as little of as possible.
Hmm... that is a thought. I do have one of these:


I could just hook it onto the end of the hose so I don't have to hold the carboy upside down over the sink and get sprayed in the face ;)


:off: Holy crap, you have like 1550 posts and you joined 2 months ago. Do you have a hack to up your count or do you just not sleep?
 

llazy_llama

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That's the exact bottle washer I ues (I know, there's only like 2 different models out there) and I use it on my sink. No face spray so far, unless I forget to screw it or the adapter on all the way.
 

SumnerH

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What is wrong with the glass carboys? I've heard some people don't like those. I really want to get a see through for my primary so I can see the process.
You can see through plastic (PET) carboys too. See lazy_llama's this vs. that post for a comparison of what's different between them.

Buckets are nice because they have a big opening for pouring the wort in vigorously (helps aerate, and going into the primary is the one time that you _do_ want to aerate) and that you can get into for cleaning (primaries get a lot more stubborn muck in them than secondaries), and they're cheap. And they come in bigger sizes to help prevent blowoffs.
 

llazy_llama

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And they come in bigger sizes to help prevent blowoffs.
To help prevent, but not to eliminate. I know this, because I was up late last night cleaning blowoff from a robust porter I racked straight onto a yeast cake. It got violent.

I know, I know, I really should have called the police, but that beer... she loves me. :eek:
 

MNBugeater

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I think things I would add right away would be a chiller of some sort and a good sanitizer process. If you are starting small, extract, brewing in your kitchen, etc. look into an immersion chiller that fits in your boil kettle. Get a bucket of sanitizer and a spray bottle mixed up and ready. StarSan is popular, but you can use whatever you are comfortable with.

Next steps would be to look at temperature control measures (both cooling the wort and fermentation) and yeast starters. There is much discussion on "Where to expand...What should I do next?" type questions and others will have different opinions, but I think these two areas have the biggest impact to the overall quality of your finished product.
 
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