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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: dannyj621 on February 06, 2010, 01:51:29 AM

Title: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: dannyj621 on February 06, 2010, 01:51:29 AM
i currently have a kit from more beer bottling deluxe is what it was comes with bottling bucket 5 gallon boil pot spoon syphon steeping bags capper and some bottles.  But like i mentioned before in my post about all grain im trying to make a switch so what would be some cool things to get with my return.  I was thinking about buying a chest freezer and buying a temp controller and turning into a nice temp controlled enviornment or maybe a mash tun
Title: Re: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: tygo on February 06, 2010, 01:54:21 AM
If you want to spend some of those bucks to help you with an all grain setup the mashtun would be a good first step and then maybe a bigger brewpot so it's less of a hassle to do your boils.  Also, with a bigger boil you'd want to think about a wort chiller.  Out of those the pot is probably going to be the most expensive.
Title: Re: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: dannyj621 on February 06, 2010, 01:59:55 AM
If you want to spend some of those bucks to help you with an all grain setup the mashtun would be a good first step and then maybe a bigger brewpot so it's less of a hassle to do your boils.  Also, with a bigger boil you'd want to think about a wort chiller.  Out of those the pot is probably going to be the most expensive.

thanks tygo i have the wort chiller already i was just thinking more a less of healthy fermentation so should i just use denny's setup for building a mash or do you have any sugestions
Title: Re: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: homebrewgamecock on February 06, 2010, 02:01:01 AM
I agree with the mashtun.  I would also check Craig's list for a freezer or even brewing equipment. 
Title: Re: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: beerocd on February 06, 2010, 02:04:37 AM
I think it's early in your brewing career for a fermentation chamber - KEGERATOR is the way to go.
How much are you letting us spend? Pumps, stainless steel rigs, pids, burners...
Title: Re: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: dannyj621 on February 06, 2010, 02:12:22 AM
.How much are you letting us spend?


haha i mean $500
Title: Re: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: tygo on February 06, 2010, 03:12:58 AM
Denny's setup is the way to go.  Maybe add a fancy ball valve into the mix  ;)

I got a 70 qt coleman xtreme on amazon for $36.  I  just checked that site and they don't currently have a good deal on them but I'm sure they will again.

I used these instructions to convert it, which were posted in another thread:

http://brewing.lustreking.com/gear/mashtun.html

Works great.
Title: Re: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: bendbrew on February 06, 2010, 03:04:44 PM
Denny's setup is the way to go.  Maybe add a fancy ball valve into the mix  ;)

I got a 70 qt coleman xtreme on amazon for $36.  I  just checked that site and they don't currently have a good deal on them but I'm sure they will again.

I used these instructions to convert it, which were posted in another thread:

http://brewing.lustreking.com/gear/mashtun.html

Works great.

I just bought the same cooler.  Thanks for the link regarding how to convert it!
Title: Re: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: majorvices on February 06, 2010, 03:31:40 PM
Temp control will make the biggest impact and improvement on your beer. Full boil and outdoor burner are probably next. Then all grain. FTR you can make a MT on the cheap - http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/
Title: Re: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on February 06, 2010, 04:30:26 PM
I would go keging before going all grain.
Title: Re: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: denny on February 06, 2010, 04:32:02 PM
thanks tygo i have the wort chiller already i was just thinking more a less of healthy fermentation so should i just use denny's setup for building a mash or do you have any sugestions

I agree with you.  Whether you brew extract or AG, your beers will improve if you can control their fermentation environment.
Title: Re: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: denny on February 06, 2010, 04:32:51 PM
Denny's setup is the way to go.  Maybe add a fancy ball valve into the mix  ;)

FWIW, I found that in my setup a ball valve actually made it perform worse.
Title: Re: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: beerocd on February 06, 2010, 05:09:27 PM
I agree with you.  Whether you brew extract or AG, your beers will improve if you can control their fermentation environment.

What if he's got a basement that holds fairly steady temps already? Granted you're not "controlling" it; but if you're already at suitable temps down there, wouldn't a different purchase be in order, maybe? If he's fermenting next to the couch while watching TV then I would agree; but we don't know his whole process.
Title: Re: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: denny on February 06, 2010, 05:27:29 PM
What if he's got a basement that holds fairly steady temps already? Granted you're not "controlling" it; but if you're already at suitable temps down there, wouldn't a different purchase be in order, maybe? If he's fermenting next to the couch while watching TV then I would agree; but we don't know his whole process.

And what if he doesn't?  Neither of us knows the answer to that.  In any case, I still think that fermentation control is the single biggest improvement you can make to beer quality...bigger even that switching to AG.  And when you do switch to AG, you already have the temp control covered.
Title: Re: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: beerocd on February 06, 2010, 06:02:39 PM
What if .....; but we don't know his whole process......

And what if he doesn't?  Neither of us knows the answer to that.

Ah, you're just trolling for a fight now.  ;) 

I'll start another thread on Ferm Temp. It's interesting, and seemingly underdiscussed.
Title: Re: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: a10t2 on February 06, 2010, 06:05:00 PM
I'll start another thread on Ferm Temp. It's interesting, and seemingly underdiscussed.

Clearly you don't have an account at Northern Brewer. ;D
Title: Re: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: beerocd on February 06, 2010, 06:21:16 PM
I'll start another thread on Ferm Temp. It's interesting, and seemingly underdiscussed.

Clearly you don't have an account at Northern Brewer. ;D

Nope. I only went when the other boards would cross post links to show what was going on over there. Pumps, rigs, chillers, burners seem to get the most attention. I put a poll in the Fermentation section to see what most people do here.
Title: Re: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: dannyj621 on February 06, 2010, 09:07:31 PM
i actually dont have a basement, and i do struggle with temp control my house gets very cold and i worry about my beer i mean i have some loot to play with no worries
Title: Re: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: beerocd on February 06, 2010, 09:48:16 PM
i actually dont have a basement, and i do struggle with temp control my house gets very cold and i worry about my beer i mean i have some loot to play with no worries

I guess a chest freezer is cheaper than a new house.
Title: Re: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: dannyj621 on February 07, 2010, 12:12:24 AM
haha i guess so
Title: Re: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: yugamrap on February 10, 2010, 01:40:44 AM
With $500, you should be able to go all grain AND get a handle on temperature control.  A Denny-style MLT can be built for under $50.  A temperature controller can be had for $50-$100, and you should be able to find a good used freezer or fridge on Craig's List for well under the $350 you'd have left.
Title: Re: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on February 10, 2010, 01:51:58 AM
...and you should be able to find a good used freezer or fridge on Craig's List for well under the $350 you'd have left.

I bought new dent and scratch fridge from Sears for $320. You can buy new chest freezer from $150.
So if you would be buying anything "pre-owned" for more than $150, give it a second thought.
Title: Re: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: theDarkSide on February 10, 2010, 01:22:23 PM
I bought my 2 chest freezers at Lowes.  A 5 cu ft for fermentation ( $168 I think ) and 7.2 cu ft for $229 ( kegerator ).  I also went to the post office and got one of the moving packets, because there was a 10% off Lowes coupon in there.

I believe fermenation control was the most important upgrade to my process.  Being able to dial in the exact temp I want, being able to raise for D-rest and crash for dropping the yeast all with a touch of a button is great.  My fermentation chamber is the 5 cu ft chest freezer ( I typically only have one going at a time ), Ranco Dual-stage Temp Controller I got prewired from Morebeer.com and the Fermwarp taped to the inside of the freezer with electrical tape.  Works like a charm.
Title: Re: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: dean on February 10, 2010, 08:04:59 PM
I'd look on  http://craigslist.org/  select your state in the right hand column and go from there.  Look (search) for a chest freezer, I wouldn't spend more than $50 to $100 on that, then put "brewing" in the search and see what you find... maybe you'll find more stuff you want.  Go to a department store and pick up a cooler for your mashtun... about $16 to $50 depending on size and make etc.  Buy some tubing, an 8 to 15 gallon stockpot... $100 to $200.  Get a stainless steel canestick for siphoning... ~ $12.  Get some Starsan... ~ $17.  Get some LME (so you can still brew that if you want), get 10 to 20 pounds of base grain, a pound or two of crystal, and maybe another pound of specialty malt.  Get some yeast while you're at it.  As has been said... valves etc. are "not" required unless you want them.  Get a turkey frier... if you buy a turkey frier kit, you don't need to buy another brewkettle (stockpot) for a while and that will save you more because you also get the burner with the kit.  Get at least one 20 pound propane tank.  Get some whirlflock tablets.  Don't forget the Temperature Control.

Hmmm... thats about it off the top of my head, and you should have money leftover even.  Oh.... one more thing... get a Water Report... another ~$22 to $25 by the time you include shipping.   8)  Once you run out of those ingredients you'll probably know exactly what malts you want anyway. 
Title: Re: what should i buy with my tax return
Post by: euge on February 15, 2010, 05:16:39 PM
I like the idea of a freezer and a controller Danny. If you shop/look around for used or new you should have enough left over for a kettle and a burner. Or you might get lucky on Craigs list. I believe Ferm control is right up there with sanitation. You can do everything right and ruin it with improper or swinging fermentation temps

A keg setup without a kegerator will still run ya $150 more or less new. 

My suggestion is to not jump the gun on anything. Plan very carefully. How much you want to normally brew and serve at one time etc.

If you get lucky and buy with discretion- you might be able to get everything you need for $500. Unlikely- but I've heard stories.

Best of luck.