Author Topic: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?  (Read 641 times)

Offline denny

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2019, 04:50:01 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.

Well said!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline Megary

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2019, 09:54:50 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.

This.  A thousand times this.

Online ynotbrusum

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2019, 10:11:32 PM »
Indeed, what gets you there is unimportant.  It’s arriving to the point you want to reach that is the key.  But human nature, such as it is, will make you curious to try new things and do the same things new ways.  BIAB is the one thing that I adopted for the longest while, but now I am back to batch sparging a lot, using the bag as a recirc filter...so there you go!

Cheers to your next step, whatever you decide that to be.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline charlie

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2019, 12:40:17 AM »
I ran a 5 gal AG rig starting Jan 11, 2009, and made 23 batches that calendar year. I might have gone smaller if the equipment had been available because I was worried that I would screw something up. That didn't happen, and it didn't take me long to realize that I could have made 50 gallons in the same time it took me to make 5 gallons. So on Jan 10, 2010 I mashed in on my new 10 gallon rig, and have been pretty happy with it.

My 5 gallon AG rig was a 7.5 gallon stainless HLT (about $120.00), a 7.5 gallon Polarware BK (another $95.00 or so), and a 7.5 gallon SS Blichmann mash tun that  cost me well over $450.00! What I am coming to, by degrees, is that you can get old 15.5 gallon beer kegs on Craigslist for $35-$45 dollars! When I completed fabricating my keggle MT, BK and HLT I only had about $150.00 in that system! And here we, are almost 10 years later.

Of course there were other expenses along the way. Temp controllers, another pump, a fermentation chamber, stuff like that. But the keggle system is by far the least expensive and most productive system you can get in the 10 gallon range.

Charlie (wishes they still made 1 bbl beer kegs!)
Yes officer, I know that I smell like beer. I'm not drinking it, I'm wearing it!

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2019, 12:59:50 AM »
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.

You said this very well. Make the beer you want to make on the system you can afford, and physically operate.

I know two guys who have a metric boatload of awards that have simple systems, but solid process that works on their system for their beer styles.  One mashes in a zappap lautertun, and has a ceramic canning kettle to boil in.

Much of making quality beer happens after the boil. We tend to for get that sometimes.



Jeff Rankert
AHA Governing Committee
AHA Lifetime Member
BJCP National
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline Visor

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2019, 02:22:13 PM »
   I whole heartedly agree with Kevin and others, but also know from decades of making/building/growing/doing stuff that better tools make it easier to achieve better results, but they also don't guarantee better results. The right tools can sometimes make it possible to do things that are otherwise impossible. The trick is knowing which are the right tools for you, I'd love to have back all the money I've blown on stuff that when I bought it I thought was going to help me walk on water or provide the secret to life, the universe and everything.
I spent most of my money on beer, tools and guns, the rest I foolishly squandered on stupid stuff!

Online BrewBama

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2019, 03:52:33 PM »
   I whole heartedly agree with Kevin and others, but also know from decades of making/building/growing/doing stuff that better tools make it easier to achieve better results, but they also don't guarantee better results. The right tools can sometimes make it possible to do things that are otherwise impossible. The trick is knowing which are the right tools for you, I'd love to have back all the money I've blown on stuff that when I bought it I thought was going to help me walk on water or provide the secret to life, the universe and everything.

Any job worth doing requires a new tool.


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Offline Robert

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2019, 03:57:14 PM »




Any job worth doing requires a new tool.




Corollary:  Any job requiring a new tool is worth doing. 
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline denny

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2019, 04:11:10 PM »
I hate buying tools and building things.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

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Offline MNWayne

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2019, 08:09:14 AM »
Go the direction your heart/mind/soul leads you.  It's possible you are at the perfect place right now.  Keep brewing as you normally do, in another batch or 10 batches, or 100 batches, you might find a new and improved path, if not, then stay the course until the next obvious change presents itself.  Ask yourself; Am I happy with my finished product?  Am I happy with my process?  If you answer "no" then something has to change. If you have 2 "yes's" then you are right where you need to be.
Far better to dare mighty things....

Offline Visor

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #25 on: October 24, 2019, 03:35:29 PM »




Any job worth doing requires a new tool.



Corollary:  Any job requiring a new tool is worth doing. 

     ^^^^
    This!!
I spent most of my money on beer, tools and guns, the rest I foolishly squandered on stupid stuff!

Offline charlie

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #26 on: October 24, 2019, 10:16:29 PM »
   I whole heartedly agree with Kevin and others, but also know from decades of making/building/growing/doing stuff that better tools make it easier to achieve better results, but they also don't guarantee better results. The right tools can sometimes make it possible to do things that are otherwise impossible. The trick is knowing which are the right tools for you, I'd love to have back all the money I've blown on stuff that when I bought it I thought was going to help me walk on water or provide the secret to life, the universe and everything.

True, but if you do stuff there are certain minimum tools that you must have: Sockets ratchets and adapters, drill, drill bits, rotary tool, circular saw, saber saw. The basics. And as you become more advanced the tools become more specialized: Miter saw, table saw, drill press, bench grinder, air compressor, band saw. You can see where I'm going.

I have been playing that game for longer than I care to mention, but the upshot is that these days I can walk in my shop and do damn near anything I want to do without making a trip to Home Depot!

They say that money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy tools, and sometimes that's pretty much the same thing. :-)
Yes officer, I know that I smell like beer. I'm not drinking it, I'm wearing it!

Offline Visor

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #27 on: October 25, 2019, 02:17:02 PM »
   Amen to that brother, my younger self would have thought I had died and gone to DIY heaven if I had the shop and tools I have now. The real sad thing is that I never seem to find much time to play with them unless I have a pressing, urgent need for something I can't find or buy and therefore must [read get to] build or make myself. The happy thing is that more often than not I have the tools and skills to do so.
   I'll pretend I didn't read Denny's blasphemy about hating tools, hope he doesn't get struck by lightening for that one.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2019, 02:19:58 PM by Visor »
I spent most of my money on beer, tools and guns, the rest I foolishly squandered on stupid stuff!

Offline denny

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #28 on: October 25, 2019, 02:30:54 PM »
I have a decent collection of basic tools, but I long ago learned that I prefer to have someone else do it.  I consider building brewing equipment a somewhat necessary evil .  I'd rather spend my limited time using something than building it.
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

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Offline Robert

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Re: What is the next step after a 5 gallon setup?
« Reply #29 on: October 25, 2019, 02:47:55 PM »


   
   I'll pretend I didn't read Denny's blasphemy about hating tools, hope he doesn't get struck by lightening for that one.

No, no, he's not gonna get hit by lightening.   It's not Zeus and the thunderbolt, pretty sure Thor's gonna take this one and get him with the hammer.  Tools and all. 

Seriously, I can see Denny's side.  We all have to prioritize.  We all have only so much time to allot and have to decide how we most want to spend it. 

Pretty much the lesson of this thread.  It's not an upgrade if your new system has you spending time on aspects  of the process you don't find rewarding.

Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.