Author Topic: Torn between purchases  (Read 1217 times)

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Torn between purchases
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2014, 03:19:30 PM »
Yeah, I used to use the frozen bottles in the tub back in the day. It was a PITA, but it was a step up in beer quality for me, compared to pitching @ 70F and winging it when I started. Nothing like a fridge with a controller though - NO substitute there.
Jon H.

Offline jaftak22

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Re: Torn between purchases
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2014, 05:28:22 PM »
Does sound like a little bit of a Hassel but hey, it should help. All my darker beers turn out great. I know with my wheat beers and such I have been sucking. Its discouraging but my some of my beer has been frickin amazing. Gonna try the tub thingy until I can get my hands on a temp controller

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Torn between purchases
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2014, 03:28:29 PM »
Fermentation chamber for sure. I like having my own mill but a good fermentation chamber will make a much bigger impact on beer quality.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Torn between purchases
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2014, 10:45:36 PM »
A mill is a great purchase, but there are plenty of ways to adjust for efficiency if you're off. There's no way to adjust for poor fermentation control.
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Offline S. cerevisiae

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Re: Torn between purchases
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2014, 07:07:31 PM »
I personally do not see the need for an ale fermentation chamber.   I have never needed one.  However, then again, I have always fermented in a basement with a concrete floor that sinks heat.
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Online Jimmy K

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Re: Torn between purchases
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2014, 07:29:55 AM »
I personally do not see the need for an ale fermentation chamber.   I have never needed one.  However, then again, I have always fermented in a basement with a concrete floor that sinks heat.
I think you hit the proverbial nail on the head there. Temperature control is key but you may not need a temperature controlled chamber to do that.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Torn between purchases
« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2014, 07:48:16 AM »
I personally do not see the need for an ale fermentation chamber.   I have never needed one.  However, then again, I have always fermented in a basement with a concrete floor that sinks heat.

in the summer where I live it is not uncommon for it to be > 100*f in the summer sometimes as high as 115* they do not put basements in houses here and I do not have air conditioning. I would not even be able to brew saison well in the summer without some form of temperature controlled chamber. evaporative cooler might get me 90* on those really hot days and a ice bath with lot's of ice could probably work but at that point i'm using a freezer to freeze ice so not really any different, probably less efficient. it's all about situation.
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Offline euge

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Re: Torn between purchases
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2014, 03:20:49 PM »
Maybe one in 10k houses have a basement here. Less even, though it would make sense to have a nice cool basement right?

Well brewing season is officially over in Central Texas. I mean if you don't have some way to keep the temp down. It's been about 100F for the last three days and high 80's for about 2 weeks already. Nights aren't too bad thankfully but there'll be little relief until October. 

It goes the other way too! You guys up north have to keep their fermenters from freezing solid or staying warm out in the garage etc...
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Offline swlusk

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Re: Torn between purchases
« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2014, 03:27:09 PM »
I'm cheap by necessity so I came up with this fermentation chamber. It's a drug shipping box designed to hold temps in the 35-40 degree range for 2-3 days at a time. I use it to ferment ales and lagers with a bottle or 2 of ice or better yet, freezer bricks and I can lager usually at around 40. I change bricks out about once every 24 hours. You can make the same thing with a tote and 3-4 inches of foam padding. Works great on the cheap but trust me If I had the room for a fridge, I'd be all on it! ;D

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Offline euge

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Re: Torn between purchases
« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2014, 03:34:10 PM »
That looks pretty damn awesome. Those blocks look like the ones EMS uses to immobilize heads but i't probably just packing material...
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Torn between purchases
« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2014, 03:43:48 PM »
That's damn resourceful !  Hey, I posted the other day that I spent a couple years early in my brewing using a tub of water with frozen water bottles added to control fermentation temps. And, all in all, it worked pretty well. It was just a pain swapping out bottles, and needing to plan to be home to swap them.  That setup will work with some trial and error. Nice job !
Jon H.

Offline swlusk

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Re: Torn between purchases
« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2014, 03:52:22 PM »
That looks pretty damn awesome. Those blocks look like the ones EMS uses to immobilize heads but i't probably just packing material...
The foam blocks are actually what the drug companies use to plug the top opening of the box to hold in cold but vent dry ice. The shipping boxes are 2 inch thick polyurethane on the bottom and sides. These crazy things have a crush compression capacity of around 5000lbs, they're sturdy as hell. The crazy thing is they cost like 80$ each, but we get them at work with drug shipments so I getem for nuthin repurpose them ;D
« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 04:15:15 PM by swlusk »
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Offline svejk

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Re: Torn between purchases
« Reply #27 on: April 29, 2014, 08:00:08 AM »
Jumping in late on this one, but seeing as nobody suggested going for the grain mill I figured I would add my 2 cents.  There is no doubt that fermentation temperature control would do more for the quality of your beer, but a mill is one of the few pieces of equipment that will pay for itself and then allow you to save enough to buy that fermentation chamber. 

I pay about $0.77/lb for bulk base grain, while the LHBS charges $1.60/lb for the same grain by the pound.  For every 10 pounds of grain I use, I save over $8.  Over the last decade my mill has paid for itself many times over. 

As an added bonus, if you ever get into a bind and need to sell your mill, used mills go for almost as much as new ones so it is really a no-brainer!

Offline euge

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Re: Torn between purchases
« Reply #28 on: April 29, 2014, 08:34:25 AM »
I think he can have both. Go with cheap and easy fermentation control and get an affordable mill such as a Barley Crusher. Both of those together will run less than a new freezer and controller. Then look for a hand me down fridge or the like in the future and pick up an analog JCI for less than $40.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

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