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What is your favorite upgrade?

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kscaglio

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Not the one that improved your beer the most but the one that you like the most. For me it is my brew pot, didn't really help me brew better beer I just like the looks of it.
 

milldoggy

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My kal control panel is number 1, 2 is my ferm chambee that I flush mounted the love controller in, 3 my bowie bottle adapter thing.
 
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kscaglio

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I think mine will soon change to being my keezer with 4 perlick taps. Just ordered the faucets and shanks. NO MORE PICNIC TAP!!!
 

1971hemicuda

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I hate cleaning...I built a keg/carboy cleaner. 1 5-gallon bucket, a sump pump. Some PVC and some quick disconnects and I just flip everything upside down and walk away.
 

BBKing

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Surprised no one said it yet, but my AG equipment! I've had so much more fun brewing since I upgraded.

If that doesnt count I'd have to say a more efficient propane burner. Brings wort to a boil in half the time using roughly the same amount of gas. Love it.
 

pm5k00

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Surprised no one said it yet, but my AG equipment! I've had so much more fun brewing since I upgraded.

If that doesnt count I'd have to say a more efficient propane burner. Brings wort to a boil in half the time using roughly the same amount of gas. Love it.
which burner do you use?
 

Diaperload

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For me I'd have to say wort chiller. I did my first 5 batches of extract brew using the ice bath in the sink method. I just love the wort chiller. Time saver extraordinaire.
 

slothorentropy

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My mill, hands down. If you're brewing AG on the regular & don't have one, you owe it to yourself to make it your next investment. It affords you so much more control--control over when you brew & your efficiency. I dunno what else I coulda purchased for ~100 bones that would've given me the same return.
 

blizzard

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Shanks, faucets and collar. I drink a lot more now that I don't just have picnic taps in a keezer. Before that it was probably the heat sticks I built.
 

ruralbrew

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I would have to say my wort chiller too. It is only a home made immersion chiller, but in the time it takes to have a smoke my wort is at pitching temperature.
 

unionrdr

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So far it's a toss up between my bottle tree/vinator & the bottling bucket I made. Bulk priming is way more fun & accurate than carb drops.And I placed the tap on said bucket near enough to the bottom to get all but a couple TBSP's of trub grainy beer on the bottom. & the vinator & bottle tree make that part of the job enjoyable rather than messy,time consuming tedium. The whole process is def more enjoyable now.
 

noise

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So many to list!

1. 10g kettle and cooler mash tun to go AG
2. Kegging setup and keezer conversion (sooo much easier than bottling and just feels right pulling a tap instead of cracking 12oz'ers)
3. March pump to avoid some manual transfers/lifting and side bonus of whirlpool while chilling

Next up? Grain mill, ferm chamber, keezer collar or tower and real taps, EBIAB rig for winter brewing...
 

makomachine

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Temp controlled fermentation chamber.
This. I've got a fancy automated electric AG system, stir plate, and kegging system but this is what netted the single best improvement in the quality of my beers. The others were great, but this is where the money should go first - thus being my favorite.
 

Rev2010

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I can't pick just one. :D Just got a Boilermaker 10 gallon and a copper immersion chiller just recently. Both of these will make my brewing so much more enjoyable and quicker.

The brew kettle:

1. No longer have to lift it to pour into my fermenter. Hookup the vinyl tubing and open the ball valve - YAY!! lol
2. With the level gauge I now know how many gallons I have in my kettle as well as compensate if I boil off a little too much.
3. The temperature gauge means I don't have to keep dipping in my lab thermometer to check temps. What a relief.
4. Being 10 gallons I can now do full boils.

Immersion chiller:

1. No more ice bath and taking an hour to drop the wort temps!
2. Tested on 5 gallons boiling water so far and got my temps below 100 in about 15 minutes and down to 80 in about 22 minutes - this was with 70 degree water. Will be even quicker soon with the colder weather coming.
3. Again, no need to even lift the pot off the stove.


I'm pretty pysched and can't wait to brew with this new gear this weekend.


Rev.
 

944play

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Mrott

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I find that each and every purchase/build just stacks on top of the previous. Going from partial mashes on the kitchen stove to AG in turkey friers was huge. I have my new 80qt pots and BG-14 banjo burners... huge... grain mill, immersion chiller, pumps, etc... I'm planning to pick up a 15 cu ft chest freezer tomorrow (for only $50 woohoo!) and in turn begin building my keg supply. I've had the supplier lined up for months, just waiting for the freezer before starting to buy.

I see it all as a natural progression. Generally speaking you're not going to have a 6 tap keezer if you're only doing some partial mashes on the kitchen stove, there's no need for the grain mill if you're only doing extract, not much of a need for a chiller if you're doing 2-3 gallon boils and can chill it pretty quick with ice in the sink (compared to 5-10+ gallon boils), using a pump for only 2-3 gallons isn't really needed, etc...

If I had to pick a certain thing I would pick the group buys on the forum. Since I can purchase a ton of grain (maybe only a 1/4 ton at a time) for prices waay cheaper than I would pay at the local LHBS it's saving me plenty of extra money to invest into all this other wonderful whatnot. I figure I am saving at least 50% if not more, so that's a few hundred saved (or re-invested).
 

jfowler1

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Very simple and I have not seen it mentioned yet;

One of my favorite upgrades was switching from the kit included "One-Step" over to a combo of PBW and Star-San.

I am sure that some have happily stuck with the one-step, but I found that my sanitation issues really went away once I switched to the Five Star products.
 

Sacdan

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Blichman Beer Gun. Hands down. I keg everything. When I need to bottle, this is the best way to do it.
 
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