Author Topic: What next?  (Read 1046 times)

Offline mbalbritton

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What next?
« on: December 29, 2014, 02:23:28 AM »
So I've got a little left over Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket. I want to put it towards my all grain cooking set up.

Currently I have a turkey fryer burner that I've modified to hold my keg boil boil pot. No valve or false bottom or anything. Just a hole in the top and a 12" glass frying pan lid. I use a 10gal MT and I have the various little utensils and such.

Eventually I want my set up to be another keg for a hot water tank with it's own burner and a valve that will dump into my MT by gravity. Then that will gravity dump into my Keggle which I would like to have a valve to dump into my ferment bucket.

So I eventually I still need 2 valves, 2 thermometers, 2 site tubes, a false bottom, a stand with 2 burners... And whatever I'm forgetting right now.

But I want to put my money to its best use as I go. For several years I've also been into building Jeeps for off-road, so I know about sinking money in the wrong place at the wrong time and finding a better cheaper way to do it later on.

I can weld and build most anything I need for this except the valves and thermometers.

I've got about $250 to spend right now. What would you do?

-finish building the wort boil keggle I have now?
-start building the stand and get a hot water keg?
- fermentation temp control?
- something else?

$250 won't last long on some of these parts so just looking for ideas.

Offline Stevie

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Re: What next?
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2014, 02:28:48 AM »
Temp control. Keep on the lookout for sales.

Close second for me would be adding fittings to the vessels. Bargainfittings.com is my favorite source.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: What next?
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2014, 02:35:36 AM »
+1 to temp control first, and to bargainfittings. Good site.
Jon H.

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: What next?
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2014, 03:36:20 AM »
Yep. Temp controller.
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Offline mbalbritton

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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: What next?
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2014, 03:34:20 PM »
Anyone try these?

http://morebeer.com/products/cool-brewing-insulated-fermentation-bag.html?gclid=CKObpqqv6sICFataMgodnAcAbw

seems pricey for what's essentially a bucket parka. you still have to control temp with ice packs or similar.

for 250 you could easily get a nice two stage controller and a decent chest freezer. I'm guessing you've already got an engine lifter or similar around the place so you don't even have to worry about lifting full fermenters up and into a chest freezer
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Offline mbalbritton

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Re: What next?
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2014, 03:49:35 PM »
No where to really put a chest freezer unfortunately. At least not until we get into our new house next year. At that point I'll have a nice concrete floor basement and plenty of room for a freezer. Some day!

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: What next?
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2014, 03:54:35 PM »
in that case the brew bag or similar might be just the thing. you can accomplish the same thing with a 12 dollar rubbermade tub, and some foam insulation scraps or even an old comforter and some ice pack. which will leave you with 230 bucks to spend on fittings and, more importantly, ingredients for more brews. because beer is made out of ingredients not equipment.

by the way, for $230 bucks and what you already have you could put together a denny style all grain system and still have $100 left over for practice ingredients.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: What next?
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2014, 05:02:26 PM »
I would definitely find a way to control temperature before anything else. It may not bring you the convenience of some of the other things you want to do but it will have the greatest positive effect on your beer. There are a number of DIY options out there that are smaller than a chest freezer or a fridge if space is a concern.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing

Offline brulosopher

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Re: What next?
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2014, 06:51:05 PM »
I no sparge every 5 gallon batch these days and love it! I still batch sparge my larger batches only because I can't fit the full volume of liquor in my MLT with the grains, but I would if I could. I regularly hit 73-75% efficiency with no sparge, which is only about 3% less than when I batch sparge, negligible in my book. The beers come out just as good and it makes for a simpler brew day.

Here's my no sparge how-to with a BeerSmith tutorial, perhaps you'll find it helpful:

http://brulosophy.com/2014/08/27/no-sparge-brewing-with-a-beersmith-tutorial/

Cheers!

Offline fmader

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Re: What next?
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2014, 08:29:59 PM »
I've built 4 temp controllers out of these...
http://m.ebay.com/itm/281294885235?nav=SEARCH
Each set up is in a metal box with a built in outlet. I Have one controlling the temp for my keezer and the other three are for fermentation temp control. I'll try to remember taking a pic of one tomorrow.

In the summer, I ferment in a mini fridge. Now that it's winter, the basement stays in the 50's so I hook these heat blankets up to the temp controllers with good results.
http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/electric-fermentation-heater.html
Frank

Offline denny

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Re: What next?
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2014, 08:34:15 PM »
My favorite controller these days is this one...http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=334 .  Not as inexpensive as the STC, but ready to go and it works great.  Did I mention I hate building equipment?
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline JT

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Re: What next?
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2014, 10:51:35 AM »
My favorite controller these days is this one...http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=334 .  Not as inexpensive as the STC, but ready to go and it works great.  Did I mention I hate building equipment?
Looks like a great buy.  Around half the price of a Ranco, and the Ranco doesn't have an anti short cycle delay.  I don't recall seeing these around when I purchased, unfortunately.

Offline 69franx

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Re: What next?
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2014, 02:40:50 PM »
My favorite controller these days is this one...http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=334 .  Not as inexpensive as the STC, but ready to go and it works great.  Did I mention I hate building equipment?
Denny, when using this, what setting are you using? I recently bought one as well, and my temp seems to fluctuate a bit more than when I had 2 johnsons running heat/cooling. Do you set heat and cool to same temp, 1-2 degrees different, and where do you set diff, and other settings. I think I will really like this unit as well, just need to dial it in
Frank L.
Fermenting:
Conditioning:
In keg:
In Bottles:  
In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline denny

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Re: What next?
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2014, 05:32:00 PM »
My favorite controller these days is this one...http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=334 .  Not as inexpensive as the STC, but ready to go and it works great.  Did I mention I hate building equipment?
Denny, when using this, what setting are you using? I recently bought one as well, and my temp seems to fluctuate a bit more than when I had 2 johnsons running heat/cooling. Do you set heat and cool to same temp, 1-2 degrees different, and where do you set diff, and other settings. I think I will really like this unit as well, just need to dial it in

I try not to set the differential lower than 2F to prevent constant cycling of the freezer.  For a normal fermentation, I'll set CSP to 64-65 and HSP to 60-61 to keep it around 63.
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

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell