Author Topic: Most important next purchase to make my brew better  (Read 2677 times)

Offline kramerog

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Re: Most important next purchase to make my brew better
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2016, 10:18:14 PM »
If you live somewhere cold enough, an aquarium heater, ice packs and a water bath can do the job.  That way you can save money for kegging.  Of course, there is always a need for more gadgets.  Since I already do water baths and kegs, I'm waiting for a fridge or freezer to come my way for even better fermentation control.

Offline euge

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Re: Most important next purchase to make my brew better
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2016, 10:38:38 PM »
Temp control above everything.

This^^^!

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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Most important next purchase to make my brew better
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2016, 11:32:54 PM »
I've seen folks spend nearly $300 on a cool huge boil kettle with a valve and a sight glass and a thermometer,  but pass on doing temp control until they can afford it. Makes no sense to me. Reminds me of kids back in my high school days who put a huge decked out stereo in their 74 Pinto with bald tires. $300 invested in a small freezer and controller will improve beer infinity more than a $300 BK

Offline tommymorris

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Re: Most important next purchase to make my brew better
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2016, 12:59:50 AM »

I've seen folks spend nearly $300 on a cool huge boil kettle with a valve and a sight glass and a thermometer,  but pass on doing temp control until they can afford it. Makes no sense to me. Reminds me of kids back in my high school days who put a huge decked out stereo in their 74 Pinto with bald tires. $300 invested in a small freezer and controller will improve beer infinity more than a $300 BK
+1000

Offline gmiller598

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Re: Most important next purchase to make my brew better
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2016, 01:12:38 AM »
I guess that all settles it.

I've had pretty good success with keeping good temperatures for the various yeasts in various places in my house but I would love to be able to move to the next step of lagering at some point as well. Looks like the search is on for a good size chest freezer to use. I've seen some in the range of 7 cu ft that look like they are big enough to hold 2 carboys in the event I have 2 batches going at the same time so that may be the route I go unless anyone has any suggestions based on what size the use.

Offline Stevie

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Most important next purchase to make my brew better
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2016, 01:19:32 AM »
Costco tends to stock a 7.1 cf danby for about $190. If your Costco doesn't stock them, ask the service desk to check other local stores. 15x26 without the hump. it holds two of the tall format 6gal glass carboys or two of the 6gal better bottles without issue. It's a Costco model number, but I believe it is identical to others of the same size.

You can also find something on CL for less, but I haven't had the best luck with used freezers lasting more than a couple of years.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2016, 01:22:17 AM by Stevie »

Offline sonex

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Re: Most important next purchase to make my brew better
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2016, 02:47:03 AM »
temp control, the inkbird itc308 plus is half the price of the auber temp controler. if your watching your pennies.


Offline kpfoleyjr

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Re: Most important next purchase to make my brew better
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2016, 05:54:09 AM »
My most recent purchase was a 10 cu ft chest freezer with an Auber controller.  $259 from Menards and will hold up to six 5-gallon kegs and two 2-1/2 gallon kegs on the hump.  Can fit a carboy in for lagering if you take out a few kegs.


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Offline jmitchell3

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Re: Most important next purchase to make my brew better
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2016, 08:26:42 AM »
Checkout the inkbird controllers on Amazon. They are half the price of most others and come in dual stage prewired varieties. I just bought one last week (have two ranco units also) and fermented a batch with it, no problems.


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Offline cempt1

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Re: Most important next purchase to make my brew better
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2016, 10:06:43 AM »
I have a inkbird and a johnson.  The inkbird was way cheaper a way easier to use.  It also controls heat and cool at the same time.  The Johnson can only do heat or cold and you have to take it apart and move some ity bity jumpers to change its function. I use the inkbird with a 8.0 cf freezer and tape a fermentation wrap for heat if needed to the fermenter.  "The little black box" that Marshall mentions on his website looks cool but the guy makes a few at a time.  I put my name on his waiting list 2-3 months ago and haven't heard back.

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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: Most important next purchase to make my brew better
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2016, 10:11:16 AM »
I've had the Inkbird for a couple of months now. No complaints so far.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Most important next purchase to make my brew better
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2016, 11:32:48 AM »
I agree with the others on temperature control.

I would add something else. _Brewing Better Beer_ by Gordon Strong. Small investment with loads of information to take your beer to the next level. I'm still working on changes suggested in the book.

+1

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Offline denny

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Re: Most important next purchase to make my brew better
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2016, 03:59:22 PM »
Temp control is a no brainer

Yep.  We talked about this on the last podcast.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Most important next purchase to make my brew better
« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2016, 04:40:33 PM »
Procedure trumps gadgets. I am an engineer and love gadgets, but procedure is where you make the best beer.

I'll go along with that after a point. I feel that having some correct and useful gadgets are important for success, but after that success is based on procedure.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Most important next purchase to make my brew better
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2016, 04:54:18 PM »
+1 temp control. My basement is natural temp control for ales. stays at 60F and depending on where I put carboy, I can add temp or subtract temp very easily.

for lagers and cooler yeast ales, love my freezer with johnson controls.
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