Poll

what do get to upgrade my homew grewing gear? And how my make a stronger beer?

cooler for a mash tune
8 (88.9%)
or a 15 gal pot with false bottome and ball spout
1 (11.1%)

Total Members Voted: 9

Author Topic: Upgrading Homebrewing gear!  (Read 609 times)

Offline JoelValach

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 17
    • View Profile
Upgrading Homebrewing gear!
« on: July 28, 2014, 04:04:01 PM »
so i am getting into making lots of all grain beer. I am wanting to get a mash tune and am looking at different options. I am looking at using a cooler but also looking at getting a 15 gal stainless steel brew kettle with a false bottom and a spout on it. Im not sure if i could use that same kettle for boiling? I guess im not sure what the best option would be? If I use a cooler then I will be getting a bigger pot to boil so i dont have to go add more water after im done boiling the wart to make a 5 gal batch. It would be great to get some advice from you on what to get. I have a 5 gal pot to boil in right now and a fermented bucket. but if i ever want to do a bigger batch or anything it would be nice to have the option. Also i am wanting to make some higher alcohol beer around 8% how do you get a beer with that high of content? Any other suggestions on equipment or beer making would be great! there is some much to learn!

Offline jamminbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 820
  • theAntipunk
    • View Profile
Re: Upgrading Homebrewing gear!
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2014, 06:17:31 AM »
Welcome, Joel!
You can use the same pot for boiling and mashing, but where will you keep the wort while you clean the pot from the mash? What will you sparge into? In my opinion, it is best to have 2 vessels for mashing and boiling. I use a cooler mashtun, and a 10 gallon pot for boiling.
As far as a higher alcohol beer, there are several ways to boost your abv... Use more grain/extract. Or use less water. I sometimes add some plain table sugar, it helps to dry out the beer, and adds to the abv as well. It could be important to make sure you have a yeast strain that is tolerant of higher alcohol content if you want to go really big...
Member, AHA
Member, Brew Brothers of Pikes Peak
BJCP judge# D1248
In caelo cerivisiae nil, hic igitur bibimus.

Offline dkfick

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 996
    • View Profile
Re: Upgrading Homebrewing gear!
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2014, 06:30:14 AM »
It really depends if you want to do multiple steps during your mash or single temperature infusion mashes (cooler)
BJCP A0936 National Beer Judge and Mead Judge
Cicerone Certified Beer Server
AHA Member
CRAFT Homebrew Club
Sons of Liberty Homebrew Club
HBT "mors"

Offline Slowbrew

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2015
  • The Slowly Losing IT Brewery in Urbandale, IA
    • View Profile
Re: Upgrading Homebrewing gear!
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2014, 06:43:56 AM »
I think you are better off, when just getting started, to keep it simple.  Get a good sized cooler with good insulation and invest in a good kettle.  Later when you've mastered the single infusion methods and are really planning to expand your setup you will have a much better idea what direction to go.

This is what I've done and am not really looking to expand the equipment pile much.  This is after 12 (or so) years of all grain brewing.  I've changed my cooler setup at least 3 times but haven't felt the need to invest in a direct fired mash/tun.  Lots of reasons for that but the main one is I like the beer I make and don't see any need to "upgrade" just 'cuz.  Others are 2 kids in private schools and 2 in college but money could be found if needed.  ;)

Most of all dig in, have fun and see where it takes you.

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 13813
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Upgrading Homebrewing gear!
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2014, 07:53:39 AM »
It really depends if you want to do multiple steps during your mash or single temperature infusion mashes (cooler)

No reason you can't do steps in a cooler.  I've done it (too) many times.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline dkfick

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 996
    • View Profile
Re: Upgrading Homebrewing gear!
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2014, 07:56:06 AM »
It really depends if you want to do multiple steps during your mash or single temperature infusion mashes (cooler)

No reason you can't do steps in a cooler.  I've done it (too) many times.
Yeah I suppose I've done multi infusion mashes in one as well.  I'm just not a fan of it I guess.
BJCP A0936 National Beer Judge and Mead Judge
Cicerone Certified Beer Server
AHA Member
CRAFT Homebrew Club
Sons of Liberty Homebrew Club
HBT "mors"

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 13813
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Upgrading Homebrewing gear!
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2014, 07:57:18 AM »
It really depends if you want to do multiple steps during your mash or single temperature infusion mashes (cooler)

No reason you can't do steps in a cooler.  I've done it (too) many times.
Yeah I suppose I've done multi infusion mashes in one as well.  I'm just not a fan of it I guess.

I'm not a fan of step mashes, but that's not becasue of the cooler.  If you want to do one, it's pretty simple.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline dkfick

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 996
    • View Profile
Re: Upgrading Homebrewing gear!
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2014, 08:00:37 AM »
I just feel that multi infusion step mashes introduce too many variables for my liking with not only adding heat to raise the temp but also diluting the mash down further.  Now if you're using a RIMS or HERMS you will be fine of course...
BJCP A0936 National Beer Judge and Mead Judge
Cicerone Certified Beer Server
AHA Member
CRAFT Homebrew Club
Sons of Liberty Homebrew Club
HBT "mors"

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6433
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Upgrading Homebrewing gear!
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2014, 08:17:59 AM »
I just feel that multi infusion step mashes introduce too many variables for my liking with not only adding heat to raise the temp but also diluting the mash down further.  Now if you're using a RIMS or HERMS you will be fine of course...

I agree
Jon H.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 13813
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Upgrading Homebrewing gear!
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2014, 08:48:53 AM »
I just feel that multi infusion step mashes introduce too many variables for my liking with not only adding heat to raise the temp but also diluting the mash down further.  Now if you're using a RIMS or HERMS you will be fine of course...

I agree

I never get a very "diluted" mash until after the sacc. rest.  I'm not sure that really matters much.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Online morticaixavier

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7458
  • Underhill VT
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Upgrading Homebrewing gear!
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2014, 08:59:27 AM »
I'll step mash once in a while in my cooler. not that big a deal. I no-sparge a lot and it's no more difficult to do a two step. I haven't tried more steps than that though.

there is always decoction if you want to step your mash without adding more liquid.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
-A Einstein

"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
- J Joyce

Offline jtoots

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 149
    • View Profile
Re: Upgrading Homebrewing gear!
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2014, 11:12:47 AM »
I've been thinking about moving from fly sparging to no sparging because for a 5 gallon batch my tun is big enough... any knowledge you'd like to pass along on that technique?  Pros/cons?  The pro I'm thinking of is that I wouldn't have to pay as close attention during sparging...

Online morticaixavier

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7458
  • Underhill VT
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Upgrading Homebrewing gear!
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2014, 11:27:21 AM »
I've been thinking about moving from fly sparging to no sparging because for a 5 gallon batch my tun is big enough... any knowledge you'd like to pass along on that technique?  Pros/cons?  The pro I'm thinking of is that I wouldn't have to pay as close attention during sparging...

you lose a few points on efficiency but that is easily dealt with by adding an extra lb or so of base grain to the recipe. no sparge gets tricky and expensive for really big beers though. I usually do it with small beers like bitters. I do partigyle which is kind of no sparge for big beers and i generally hit about 55% efficiency on first runnings. on an ordinary bitter I come in somewhere around 65-70% no sparge.

it makes water chemistry a lot easier as you are manipulating your mash in water only enough to achieve your mash pH and calcium goals and can spice the kettle for everything else. I perceive it as a richer malt character but that is pretty subjective.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
-A Einstein

"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
- J Joyce