Author Topic: Opinions on Homebrewing Equipment  (Read 2249 times)

RPIScotty

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Opinions on Homebrewing Equipment
« on: December 20, 2015, 02:03:57 PM »
In the age of the Internet and the massive amounts of instant information we have at our disposal, one could drive themselves nuts ooh-ing and ah-ing over the large selection of equipment for Homebrewing.

A personal brewing system can be as simple or advanced as the Brewer desires.

Is it too much? I've found myself, in other hobbies as well, crippled by what the Guitar community calls GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) but have tried and so far succeeded at keeping my homebrew aspirations simple and reserved.

What is everyone's opinion on simplicity in brewing? Does your equipment fit the model of simple and pragmatic? Could you be accomplishing more with less?

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Opinions on Homebrewing Equipment
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2015, 02:16:44 PM »
My actual brewing system is simple - cooler with braid (though I did bling it with a SS valve). I have tons of kegs and a couple kegerators that ate up plenty of the $. I prefer to cooler mash because I just like the simplicity of it, and secondly because it doesn't make inferior beer to any system. There are definitely a lot of shiny, cool brewing systems out there, though. 
Jon H.

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Opinions on Homebrewing Equipment
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2015, 02:25:31 PM »
I'm actually considering "downgrading" from an electric PID BIAB system to batch sparging in a cooler. But we'll see.

When it comes to guitar stuff GAS is a serious problem for me, especially when you factor in how little time I have to play guitar anymore.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Opinions on Homebrewing Equipment
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2015, 02:30:56 PM »
My system is simple out of necessity, mainly. I brew smaller batches in my kitchen on my stovetop. Between work and family, I don't have a whole lot of time for brewing, either. Any gear I acquire has to either make my brewday simpler or reduce my footprint. I'm always looking to pare back rather than expand.

My gear acquisition is primarily additional fermenter space. The only big ticket items I want are a kegerator and a Zymatic. I don't see that sort of capital available in the near future, and it would still have to compete with my instrument G.A.S. if I did free up that sort of cash.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline erockrph

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Re: Opinions on Homebrewing Equipment
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2015, 02:34:00 PM »
When it comes to guitar stuff GAS is a serious problem for me, especially when you factor in how little time I have to play guitar anymore.
I'm in the same boat as you. Every couple of years I start to get hung up on something new and the Jones won't go away until I buy it, even though my playing time has been severely limited since fatherhood. The new Ibanez fanned-fret basses are really giving me the itch right now.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

RPIScotty

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Opinions on Homebrewing Equipment
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2015, 03:03:58 PM »
In an effort to get myself brewing in the basement (and out of the kitchen) I'm putting together a simple small batch system:

Heat Source: Waring Pro SB30 Single 1300W Electric Burner

Mash Tun: Cheap 12 Qt. SS pot with false bottom

BK: Cheap 16 Qt. SS pot with bazooka screen

Fermenters: Either 2 gallon buckets or Little Big Mouths

Temp Control: 48 Qt. cooler and Ice

Also I am looking to get a small tube amp and a telecaster and get back into playing guitar again.

Offline Joshua82

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Re: Opinions on Homebrewing Equipment
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2015, 03:13:31 PM »
I want a black Les Paul Custom in the worst way........

I need new corny kegs and a pump.......

Oh and Santa's coming to see my five year old next week......

Guess which one gets precedent though 🎅🏼🎅🏼🎅🏼🎅🏼🎅🏼

So much want, not enough funds

RPIScotty

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Opinions on Homebrewing Equipment
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2015, 03:16:58 PM »
I want a black Les Paul Custom in the worst way........

I need new corny kegs and a pump.......

Oh and Santa's coming to see my five year old next week......

Guess which one gets precedent though

Take a tip from my wife: buy ALL YEAR for the kiddos. Distributing the cost is key. A little here and a little there allows for everyone to get what they want! Even us!
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 03:30:11 PM by RPIScotty »

Offline tommymorris

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Re: Opinions on Homebrewing Equipment
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2015, 03:21:29 PM »
My brewery is on the simple side by modern standards.

Mash tun: 5G Igloo w/braid
Kettle: 30 qt aluminum no ports
Fermenter: 5G ported big mouth bubbler
Ferm chamber: 5 cu ft chest freezer w/ Johnson Controls temperature controller
Kegerator: used side by side fridge with cobra taps
Kegs: 2; 2.5G
Chiller: immersion copper length=?
Boil: homemade heat stick (I use propane on Blichmann to get to boil, heat stick only during boil)
Mill: 2 roller monster mill

I am very happy with my system. I have a very easy brewday. Smaller batches make cleaning very easy, make lifting easier,  use less yeast (less starters), and allow me to brew more often.

My equipment has evolved overtime. The Blichmann gas grill is left over from when I heated exclusively with propane. It is over kill now. I use it about 5-10 minutes per batch now.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Opinions on Homebrewing Equipment
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2015, 03:46:22 PM »
I want a black Les Paul Custom in the worst way........

I need new corny kegs and a pump.......

Oh and Santa's coming to see my five year old next week......

Guess which one gets precedent though

Take a tip from my wife: buy ALL YEAR for the kiddos. Distributing the cost is key. A little here and a little there allows for everyone to get what they want! Even is!
Best thing we've done is buy off-season clearance and sale stuff for my son year round and stash it away. He's always a year ahead in clothes and it's a fraction of the cost. We buy for his June birthday starting after Christmas and start stashing away Christmas presents in the summer. That's a big time/money/stress saver.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

RPIScotty

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Opinions on Homebrewing Equipment
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2015, 03:55:35 PM »
I want a black Les Paul Custom in the worst way........

I need new corny kegs and a pump.......

Oh and Santa's coming to see my five year old next week......

Guess which one gets precedent though

Take a tip from my wife: buy ALL YEAR for the kiddos. Distributing the cost is key. A little here and a little there allows for everyone to get what they want! Even is!
Best thing we've done is buy off-season clearance and sale stuff for my son year round and stash it away. He's always a year ahead in clothes and it's a fraction of the cost. We buy for his June birthday starting after Christmas and start stashing away Christmas presents in the summer. That's a big time/money/stress saver.

My wife just had our second child on 11/30. We had the presents we had gathered all year wrapped, tree up and decorated and outdoor lights on before she came. We are now kicking our feet up, real easy-peezy like drinking wine and beer waiting for the "man with the bag".

There is no replacement for being ahead of the game. Life is difficult enough without running around like a maniac for no reason.

Offline udubdawg

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Re: Opinions on Homebrewing Equipment
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2015, 04:02:09 PM »
Simplicity in my brewing is the only thing that lets me afford the amount of honey and cider apples I buy.  I suppose *needing* to acquire a new expensive honey could be similar though.

For actual gear acquisition, I'm familiar with this more through my reefkeeping than brewing.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Opinions on Homebrewing Equipment
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2015, 04:04:20 PM »
Take a tip from my wife: buy ALL YEAR for the kiddos. Distributing the cost is key. A little here and a little there allows for everyone to get what they want! Even us!


Absolutely. My wife is a master at that.
Jon H.

Offline coolman26

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Re: Opinions on Homebrewing Equipment
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2015, 04:23:57 PM »
I've done the bling.  Built the HERMS, bought huge kettles, and made structures.  Pumps, tri-clovers, and gadgets galore.  I'm now into the simple, cheap just happens to part of the simple.  I do like my pump, but the rest would be Denny style.  Buy to fit your style.  I just spent $1,200 on kegs and kegerator equipment.  The great thing is you can get outfitted cheap, or spend a ton.  In the end, if brewed right, the beers will be the same.  All the bling won't make great beer obviously.   Kind of like golf, you can have a $3,000 set of clubs and still shoot 110.   
Jeff B

Offline ccfoo242

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Re: Opinions on Homebrewing Equipment
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2015, 04:45:11 PM »
Hello. My name is Steve and I have GAS.
Intra cervisiam est deus.