Author Topic: Wanted: Homebrewers Consumer Reports  (Read 2451 times)

Offline yso191

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Wanted: Homebrewers Consumer Reports
« on: October 03, 2014, 10:56:19 PM »
Apparently I hate money because I'm talking myself into throwing a wad away on upgrading from keggles. 

I'm inclined toward Blichmann primarily because their thermometer face can be positioned to where i dont have to get on my knees to read it.  But I've never used one and as you know they are the most expensive.  It would be so nice to have a resource like Consumer Reports for Homebrewers...

So what brand of boil kettle/mash tun do you recommend? 

Apologies to Denny, et al., but I just can't bring myself to use a plastic cooler mash tun.  They hold heat better than anything, but even in the face of scientific evidence I would feel that carcinogens or other nastiness would be leaching into my beer.  Irrational or not, that is not an option for me.  Chalk it up to OCD.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2014, 01:30:05 AM by yso191 »
Steve
All Hands Brewing
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Offline narcout

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Re: Wanted: Homebrewers Consumer Reports
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2014, 12:01:46 AM »
What is it about your keggles that is making you want to change?
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Wanted: Homebrewers Consumer Reports
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2014, 12:07:54 AM »
Steve, I use the economy morebeer 15 gallon kettle with a fixed face blichmann brewmometer, stainless ball valve, and I use a dome false bottom from morebeer. I mash with recirculation and a low flame to control the temp. Ive recently played with step mashing and it works but takes attention. A digital igniter would solve that.

So, get a 15 gallon blichmann boiler maker with flexible faced brewmometer and their false bottom, and a tower of power for temp control. Then when you up grade again call me, I'll take all of your hand me downs ;-)

Offline duboman

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Re: Wanted: Homebrewers Consumer Reports
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2014, 01:04:44 AM »
So I'm kind of DIY like what Brewer isn't;)

I went restaurant supply house and got some awesome heavy duty 15 gallon SS pots, bought the ball valves, etc from suppliers on sale, took everything to my welder/machine shop buddy and had him do all the mounting/drilling/etc, half the price of pre fab and couldn't be happier:)

It would be cool though if there was a resource like that focusing on brewing equipment
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Offline yso191

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Re: Wanted: Homebrewers Consumer Reports
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2014, 01:30:48 AM »
What is it about your keggles that is making you want to change?

Lighter, easier to clean... and cooler.
Steve
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Wanted: Homebrewers Consumer Reports
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2014, 01:52:10 AM »

... and cooler.

As I brew in my garage for all the neighbors to see, I can relate. I get a lot of stares and I attribute part of it to the fact that it's a hacked together system with a beer keg and whole lot of copper. "Must be making liquor or meth."  A proper kettle adds some legitimacy to the operation.

Offline yso191

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Re: Wanted: Homebrewers Consumer Reports
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2014, 04:55:05 AM »

... and cooler.

As I brew in my garage for all the neighbors to see, I can relate. I get a lot of stares and I attribute part of it to the fact that it's a hacked together system with a beer keg and whole lot of copper. "Must be making liquor or meth."  A proper kettle adds some legitimacy to the operation.

And my next door neighbor has an all-Blichmann electric brewery.  Very shiny, with cool lights and numbers and stuff.
Steve
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Offline yso191

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Re: Wanted: Homebrewers Consumer Reports
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2014, 05:04:49 AM »
Jim do I understand correctly that your mash tun will not maintain temperature without the low flame/recirculation?

Because of the mass involved, preheating, and a layer of insulation, I lose maybe 2* over 60 minutes with my keggles.

I would like to save the $ by buying the MoreBeer kettles.  What do you use for a false bottom/screen, and do you like it?
Steve
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Offline james

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Re: Wanted: Homebrewers Consumer Reports
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2014, 05:15:31 AM »
I think the best part of the blichmann equipment is the false bottom.  It's simply the best I've used.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Wanted: Homebrewers Consumer Reports
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2014, 05:56:58 AM »
Jim do I understand correctly that your mash tun will not maintain temperature without the low flame/recirculation?

Because of the mass involved, preheating, and a layer of insulation, I lose maybe 2* over 60 minutes with my keggles.

I would like to save the $ by buying the MoreBeer kettles.  What do you use for a false bottom/screen, and do you like it?

It depends on the ambient temp. Also pumping moves a 1/2" thick stream through about 10' of tubing and the pump, so not much mass while its in there. Before I got the pump I used my yoga mat MT cozy (see last year's zymurgy gadget issue). In that mode with ~45º weather I might lose a couple degrees in an hour. With my direct fire recirculation method I set the flame as low as it will go without dying. If its really cold out I might have to turn it up a little.  My false bottom is the morebeer dome that draws from the center. I think its about 12" across. Ideally I'd like to have one that covers the entire bottom, but its not been an issue so I haven't spent the money.

Offline waltsmalt

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Re: Wanted: Homebrewers Consumer Reports
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2014, 03:47:33 PM »
What is it about your keggles that is making you want to change?

Lighter, easier to clean... and cooler.

I currently use keggles and I was thinking of changing to a nice kettle when I convert to electric later this winter.  However, my mind changed when I lifted up a 15 (or 20?) gallon Mega Pot at Northern Brewer and realized that the weight factor would disappear rather quickly once I added in valves similar to what I have on my keggles.  I do agree on the bling factor though.  My keggles are not bright and shiny.  End of the day I'm just going to convert my keggles to electric this winter and move on.  I guess I could always polish them for the bling factor.

Offline narcout

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Re: Wanted: Homebrewers Consumer Reports
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2014, 03:55:31 PM »
I use megapots (the older ones, not the v1.2s) for my HLT and boil kettle. 

The build quality on those things is seriously impressive.  I have no doubt I could brew with them for the next 30 years.

I don't mash in them though, so I can't comment on their performance for that application.
It's too close to home
And it's too near the bone

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Wanted: Homebrewers Consumer Reports
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2014, 09:39:16 PM »
Steve, you could also go with the heavy duty pots like the morebeer ones and take them to a body shop and have them polished. Shiny like chrome equals cool.

Offline yso191

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Re: Wanted: Homebrewers Consumer Reports
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2014, 10:46:31 PM »
Yeah, for a total cost of around $900, 48% of my brain says it isn't worth the money to buy new.  I could polish the keggles (I already wire-brushed them so they don't look horrible). 

But honestly another part I didn't mention is the whole stealing the kegs part.  I didn't know that when I bought them off of Craigslist.  When I learned that I even went to the local distributor to see how I could pay AB/InBev for them - they told me I couldn't.

I do want to keep one which is from Bert Grants though.  Partly because it was purchased legitimately, but mainly for the historical connection.  I plan to use it for the HLT.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2014, 02:38:15 AM by yso191 »
Steve
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Wanted: Homebrewers Consumer Reports
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2014, 12:09:04 AM »
Ya, you don't want to be in an election for County Sheriff and have your stolen brewery come up at a debate.