Author Topic: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?  (Read 645 times)

Offline jakey

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What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« on: October 21, 2019, 10:03:21 PM »
Thanks to the community in advance for any opinions! I was curious what other people have done when they are ready to step up from a basic 5 gal system? What kind of equipment did you go after?

Cheers,

Jake

Offline denny

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2019, 10:16:43 PM »
I still make 5 gal. batches 99% of the time mainly using my cooler and propane burner.  What are you usong now and what kind of "step up" do you have in mind?
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Offline jakey

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2019, 11:08:06 PM »
Thanks Denny! Just a basic stove top setup. I don't have a cooler. Very "un-pro".

Jake

Offline Bob357

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2019, 11:48:48 PM »
Can we assume that you're brewing with extracts? Some information is always helpful.
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Offline tommymorris

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2019, 11:51:01 PM »
Thanks Denny! Just a basic stove top setup. I don't have a cooler. Very "un-pro".

Jake
Are you already an all grain brewer? If not, any all grain is a good next step. If you are there are tons of choices. I like my Grainfather and Picobrew Z1. There are lots of other systems. Automated, not automated. Homemade, prefabricated. 2.5, 5, 10,... gallons. And many more choices.

Offline jakey

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2019, 01:08:47 AM »
I've been doing extracts but the next batch is going to be all grain. Tommy, do you find either of those setups makes it "too easy"? Both of those setups look really slick!

Offline tommymorris

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2019, 02:12:18 AM »
I've been doing extracts but the next batch is going to be all grain. Tommy, do you find either of those setups makes it "too easy"? Both of those setups look really slick!
I started with batch sparge and did BIAB for several years after that. I recommend starting with one of those two if you are worried about being “too easy”. I like that my first 7-8 years homebrewing were totally manual. I finally bought a Grainfather 2 years ago and the Picobrew a few months ago. I like both but I feel I understand and appreciate those machines because I spent a lot of time learning with the more manual methods.

The cost of entry is also much cheaper with BIAB and batch sparge.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2019, 02:49:09 AM »
Kegging. Lots of fridges, keezers, tap handles on all of those, CO2 tanks, regulators, and so on.

Nothing like a good pint at home, and saying I brewed this.



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Offline Robert

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2019, 03:27:24 AM »
Kegging. Lots of fridges, keezers, tap handles on all of those, CO2 tanks, regulators, and so on.

Nothing like a good pint at home, and saying I brewed this.



My Two Hearted Clone.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
That is a beautiful looking, crystal clear (clarity and foam among my obsessions of course!) pint.  Rankert over Mallett in this Bracket. 
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2019, 03:59:05 AM »
Kegging. Lots of fridges, keezers, tap handles on all of those, CO2 tanks, regulators, and so on.

Nothing like a good pint at home, and saying I brewed this.



My Two Hearted Clone.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
That is a beautiful looking, crystal clear (clarity and foam among my obsessions of course!) pint.  Rankert over Mallett in this Bracket. 

It is the basic THA recipe with some modifications. Bell's Select Centennial and the Imperial Bell's House yeast. Some time to let it clear.
Jeff Rankert
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Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2019, 11:46:42 AM »
To the OP:

I would look at Denny’s Cheap and Easy system or Brew in a Bag as your first step, unless you have a bit of money to burn on one of the all in one systems, which are quite popular.  Those all in one systems range from a couple hundred to a couple thousand, depending on features.  They all brew beer, though.
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Offline BrewBama

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What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2019, 01:11:04 PM »
To the OP:

I would look at Denny’s Cheap and Easy system or Brew in a Bag as your first step, unless you have a bit of money to burn on one of the all in one systems, which are quite popular.  Those all in one systems range from a couple hundred to a couple thousand, depending on features.  They all brew beer, though.

If you go the ‘Cheap and Easy’ route and if you’re like me and learn from watching, Don Osborn has a bunch of videos on You Tube. He bases his brewing on Denny’s (giving full credit to Denny’s method) and showed me just how easy it is. 

I found Don O by watching the videos Jake Keeler, Michael Dawson, and Chip Walton were doing for Northern Brewer at the time. I found Denny’s site by watching Don O.  I used Denny’s site for theory but Don O’s videos for the demonstration.

Underneath my current setup there’s a cooler and a boil kettle that  was patterned after ‘Cheap and Easy’. Over the years I added a filter bag for better wort clarity and easier clean up, kegging to eliminate bottles, a mill to control my own crush, an immersion chiller and recirculating pump to chill wort faster, a pump and hoses to eliminate lifting pots full of hot liquid, a RIMS for mash temp control, induction to get me out of the weather, some techniques and processes to reduce O2, etc., etc., ...but the basis for my all grain brewing is still one brew kettle and a cooler.

I say all that to say this: think about where you want to go with this. If resources are constrained, periodic upgrades to a base system over time as resources become available can get you up and running now with full feature status in the future. Begin with the end in mind.


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« Last Edit: October 22, 2019, 01:24:21 PM by BrewBama »
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Offline denny

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2019, 02:33:48 PM »
Thanks Denny! Just a basic stove top setup. I don't have a cooler. Very "un-pro".

Jake

Check out www.dennybrew.com.  These days I have severqql fancy brewing systems, but why houses on the website is still what I use 90%  of the time.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline denny

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2019, 02:34:36 PM »
I've been doing extracts but the next batch is going to be all grain. Tommy, do you find either of those setups makes it "too easy"? Both of those setups look really slick!

Too easy?  What, you want to ourposely make it more difficult?  😉
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline Kevin

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2019, 04:44:23 PM »
Thanks Denny! Just a basic stove top setup. I don't have a cooler. Very "un-pro".

Jake

There is no step up... there is no step down. And thinking you need to be "pro" is not way to think at all. I started on the kitchen stove with 5 gallon extract batches. My next system was a turkey fryer from Wallmart and a round coleman cooler for a mash tun. Then I bought a three vessel system made of used 15.5 gallon beer kegs and started making 10 gallon batches. Eventually I began using only one of those keggles as a BIAB MT/BK. Last year I sold that and bought a 3 vessel eHERMs set up with all the bells and whistles. So how did I brew my last two batches? On the kitchen stove doing 2.5 gallon BIAB using the same 5 gallon stock pot that I started with.

Each of those systems cost more than the one before and each added more technology, complexity and shiny stainless steel bits. But none of them inherently made better beer than the other. That is up to the brewer.

It is a natural tendency to see the fancy set ups others have and want that too. But the hobby is not a race. There is no winner and one brewers bigger, shinier kettle is not better than another. Become the best brewer you can be with the equipment you have now and if what goes into your glass makes you happy then you have arrived.

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