Poll

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

cooler for a mash tune
11 (91.7%)
or a 15 gal pot with false bottome and ball spout
1 (8.3%)
how to make stronger beer
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 12

Author Topic: Upgrading Homebrewing gear!  (Read 963 times)

Offline jrhomebrewing

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Upgrading Homebrewing gear!
« on: July 28, 2014, 11:42:45 PM »
o 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 duboman

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Re: Upgrading Homebrewing gear!
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2014, 12:07:57 AM »
If you are looking to eventually do 10 gallon batches then you need a minimum 15 gallon boil kettle with a spigot to hook up to a chiller. You are not going to want to try and pick up +/- 100 lbs of wort:)
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Offline denny

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Re: Upgrading Homebrewing gear!
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2014, 01:06:15 AM »
I've used coolers for a lot of batches and I'm completely happy with them.  Take a look at www.dennybrew.com
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline BrewBama

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Upgrading Homebrewing gear!
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2014, 01:22:37 AM »
I followed Denny's lead on the cooler. I love the no babysitting: I loose less than 1*F on a 60 min mash.


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Offline fmader

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Re: Upgrading Homebrewing gear!
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2014, 02:04:27 PM »
I followed Denny's lead on the cooler. I love the no babysitting: I loose less than 1*F on a 60 min mash.


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After I mash in, I fix a huge brew day breakfast with the only thing to worry about is turning the burner back on for the sparge water.

I don't lose any temp in my cooler in the summer. Last winter it was incredibly cold and I'd lose a degree.
Frank

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Upgrading Homebrewing gear!
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2014, 02:29:16 PM »
You definitely need a larger kettle if you plan on doing even five gallon batches but you should really think about the maximum size you might want to brew in the future because it's cheaper to buy one big kettle now than a medium sized kettle now and a bigger one later.

You could use a fifteen gallon kettle as a mash tun and use your five gallon kettle to heat sparge water, at least on five gallon batches, but it's a set up you will probably get tired of quickly. You will need a third vessel to hold the runnings while you drain the mash and sparge. Then you will have to clean out the kettle before you can dump all the runnings back in and start the boil. You will spend considerably more time having to clean before the boil and you will lose heat in your pre-boil wort while you clean so it is less efficient in both time and money.

The huge exception there is if you have any desire to mash in the brew in a bag (BIAB) technique. Then you really only need the large kettle. You can do no-sparge BIAB all in the large kettle or you can do something more akin to the traditional set up and mash in one kettle and use the other kettle you have for heating sparge water. Then there's no need for a third vessel because all the runnings stay in your kettles and the grain is easily and quickly dumped by removing the bag.
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Offline fmader

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Re: Upgrading Homebrewing gear!
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2014, 02:40:22 PM »
Yes, I misread your OP. You're going to need a bigger kettle. But with the batch sparging technique, you aren't spending a ton of money to modify a cooler into a mash tun. You're going to need both. As mentioned above, you can use your 5 gallon pot to hear sparge water. Here's how I roll on brew day... I heat up my bash water in my brew pot, which is a modified 15.5 gallon keg. I run it into my mash tun (Igloo cube - great for 5 gal batches but adequate for 10 gal batches because the grain bed is thick and get stuck mashes from time to time). I heat my sparge water up in a 5 gallon pot. Run the mash into the boil pot. Then pour the page water in. This is pretty much a general technique but just wanted to paint a picture for you of what you're going to need.
Frank

Offline Stevie

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Re: Upgrading Homebrewing gear!
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2014, 03:19:45 PM »
I use a single kettle and a cooler. I sparge into buckets and pour into the kettle after I have pulled all the sparge water out. I have heard about hot side aeration, but I have not experienced it as far as I can tell.

I brewed at a club brew day two weeks ago and the other members were flipping out when they watched me dump the wort into the kettle.

Sure, I would like to use two kettles, but I brew solo pretty much every time and would not be able to move the full kettle on my own.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Upgrading Homebrewing gear!
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2014, 11:30:35 AM »
I use a single kettle and a cooler. I sparge into buckets and pour into the kettle after I have pulled all the sparge water out. I have heard about hot side aeration, but I have not experienced it as far as I can tell.

I brewed at a club brew day two weeks ago and the other members were flipping out when they watched me dump the wort into the kettle.

Sure, I would like to use two kettles, but I brew solo pretty much every time and would not be able to move the full kettle on my own.

I pour also, but recently read this:

http://morebeer.com/articles/oxidation_in_beer

I am going to gently siphon the next batch and see what effect it has.  However, the last paragraph of the article says to try different things and go with the process that works best for you.  Shelf life is not a problem with most of my beers - they are gone in a few weeks, before oxidation shows up.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Upgrading Homebrewing gear!
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2014, 01:16:16 PM »
Thanks for that article, it has some items that I want to think about. Dr. Bamforth has said more recently that HSA is the last thing that a homebrewer should worry about, as there are other things in the brewing process to get under control first. The yeast will also clean up most of the oxygen products, so he said a good healthy fermentation will take care of a lot of problems.

I have brewed Joe and Andy Hudecek, who pour and splash with reckless abandon. Their beer turns out to be very good, and will win awards 6 to 9 months later. They do have some of the freshest yeast that you can get when they ferment. This has made me less paranoid about splashing on the hot side. I still try not to abuse the mash or wort on the hot side, but a if I have to do something to make the brew day go along, so be it.
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Offline darwin18

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Re: Upgrading Homebrewing gear!
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2014, 03:26:20 PM »
I use a single kettle and a cooler. I sparge into buckets and pour into the kettle after I have pulled all the sparge water out. I have heard about hot side aeration, but I have not experienced it as far as I can tell.

I brewed at a club brew day two weeks ago and the other members were flipping out when they watched me dump the wort into the kettle.

Sure, I would like to use two kettles, but I brew solo pretty much every time and would not be able to move the full kettle on my own.

This is pretty much spot on my set up.  I've never had any adverse effects with using one kettle, one cooler, and a couple of buckets to hold runnings and water.  My beers typically score well in competition so I have little to no concern with HSA.  I'm more focused with my water chemistry and fermentation temps.
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