Homemade Equipment

Buying, building and using brewing equipment and apparatus. Product reviews and questions.

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Homemade Equipment

Postby mprofitt » Sun Nov 30, 2003 11:11 am

Does anyone have some homemade equipment they would be interested in sharing along with pictures and a mini how-to?
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What level brewer are you ?

Postby Azorean Brewer » Mon Dec 01, 2003 8:23 am

MP,

I am interested in knowing if you are extract, partial mash, or all grainer, it makes a differecne when you are looking for equipment ...

Paul.
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Reply to

Postby mprofitt » Mon Dec 01, 2003 9:14 am

I am a beginner and I am using extract.
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Equipment

Postby bigdosgood » Mon Dec 01, 2003 11:16 am

Most any Homebrew Shop has equipment and it isn't that expensive compared to the headaches of making your own. Check out www.schoville.com he has some stuff he made to show. www.brewtree.com has also got the real stuff so you can compare. Just do a search for homebrew supplies and tings like that, you will be suprised what all you can find.
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The truth

Postby fitz » Tue Dec 02, 2003 4:18 am

Since many of us here are seasoned brewers, most of us say the bigger is better. Homebrewing is a great hobby/lifestyle, but some get frustrated and don't continue. Since you are just starting, you will need:
-A primary fermentor 6.5 gal + This can be a bucket that you can attach an air lock to This can be made if you can find a big enough bucket
-A secondary fermentor usually glass carboy
-Bottling bucket Can be same as primary if it has a spigot as long as you do the secondary ferment
-a LARGE pot to boil your wort(bigger is better)
-transfer tubing, racking cane, hydrometer, capper, thermometer, bottle filler, air locks, rubber stoppers to fit the airlock, etc.
Or you can buy a beginners brewing kit to make sure you like the hobby, and go from there
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I agree

Postby bigdosgood » Tue Dec 02, 2003 7:24 am

One thing is for sure, back when I got into this, I didthe same, I bought the basic kit, fell in love with the process and now have "King Size" everything and wish I had more space! Brewing 5 gals is ok, but the same work goes into 10. Just try it and see, some say it is too much work so see if you like it, just remember, SANITIZE!
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Mr. Beer

Postby mprofitt » Tue Dec 02, 2003 4:13 pm

I have started with a Mr. Beer and enjoy it with the results. The only problem is the beer is gone within 2 weeks. I want to do it on larger scale so I have some beer to share with my friends.

Please explain the double fermenting and why can't I use a carboy for primary fermentation.

Thank You guys for your wonderful input.
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Think of it This Way

Postby BillyBock » Tue Dec 02, 2003 6:23 pm

Welcome to the hobby. A good on-line primer that should answer all of your questions is at www.howtobrew.com

It's not really "double fermenting" per se, as it is phases: a primary phase, and then a secondary phase. The primary is where all the action takes place. Transferring to another vessel to accomplish the secondary is optional. However, it does give you a cleaner tasting beer. You don't want the beer to stay on the primary yeast cake too long, or it will contribute rubbery off-flavors. So alot of folks transfer to a secondary and let the beer clear a week or so before bottling.

You can use a carboy for primary fermentation. It has its advantages and disadvantages. But it's usually a good idea to oversize your carboy. For instance, use a 6.5 gal carboy if you ferment 5 gals. The reason is you want to make sure you have plenty of headspace for the foam to rise--and it will rise. If you used a 5 gal carboy to do this, you could clog the airlock and create a beer bomb. At the least you'll end up with beer on your ceiling. At the worst you'll have glass shards in your wall (or on you) depending on when it blew up. If you use a 5gal for a primary, limit your volume to 3 to 4 gals.

But check out the link, it'll answer everything in greater detail.

v/r
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I have tried

Postby fitz » Wed Dec 03, 2003 4:33 am

I have tried beer made in a Mr. Beer.
Once you have had beer made with a better system, you'll never go back. The Secondary(like Billy said) is only another phase. It settles the yeast,and give the beer some extra time to temper the flavors. Also, if you would eventially want to dry hop, the secondary is the time to do this.
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Quantity!

Postby bigdosgood » Wed Dec 03, 2003 10:47 am

Hey, I hear a lot of people starting with a Mr Beer, like you said the only problem is the quantity! A Carboy can be used as a primary but don't fill it too full, when tat yeast does its thing you get te krausen, foam, and that can make it overflow. With a big bucket, 6.5 gal, a 5 gal batch has room. I now brew 10 gallon batches and use a plastic 15 gal drum for a primary. Since I keg it, I have beer in 2 weeks.Te longer it sets the better but I get in a hurry. Just go to your local homebrew shop, they'll hook you up.
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is it safe to boil 10 gallons in a 15 gallon "keg" pot?

Postby joemez » Wed Dec 03, 2003 2:54 pm

now that I am making good beer I am also making more friends! So now the 5 gallon batches I make are barely lasting over a week. This is a problem since I cant start a new batch every week.
Basically assuming I can boil 10 gallons in my pot I would then split it up into 2 carboys to ferment? I use a chiller so the 15 gallon bucket wont work for me.
Those who do larger batches than 5, I would love to read your process and thoughts on this.
I am still in the extract phase by the way
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Room for Boilovers

Postby BillyBock » Thu Dec 04, 2003 12:53 am

Ahhh, new "friends" come out of the woodwork don't they when the news spreads. I've had this problem too :-) I have them help pay for ingredients though. Glad to hear that you're now over the slump. Keep it up!

Just make sure you leave enough room for boilovers...and you will have a boilover. A handy trick is to keep a spray bottle of water on hand and spritz the foam when it starts rising, and that'll calm it down until you can turn the flame down a bit. I usually fill my 15 gal kettle to the 13 gal mark. As far as the type of boil, you want a good rolling boil. You don't want a violent boil that causes wort to jump out of the pot.

Yes you could fill two carboys. If you use an immersion chiller, you could run a hose from the kettle, split it with a "T", and have a line go to each carboy. What kind of chiller do you have, immersion our counterflow? And do you plan on gravity draining or pumping? I can give you some other suggestions if I know the answer to this.

v/r
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Bill is right

Postby bigdosgood » Thu Dec 04, 2003 6:11 am

A 15 gal keg is perfect, that is what I use. Just like Bill said, you will have a boilover! Also, he said he boils 13 gal, I boil 12, that is 1 extra for evaporation and 1 that stays behind or gets spilled. The boil time is what determines how much you need. I boil for 60 minutes after it gets going, some people boil for like 2 hours or more. I have multiple burners so I can heat up more than one kettle at a time, that gets the water hot faster and allows me to disolve my extracts slower in one to avoid scorching, then I dump that into my main kettle. It is a matter of preferrance, that is all.
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homemade equipment

Postby gene » Thu Dec 04, 2003 9:53 am

for 5 gallon batches you should have a 7 or 8 gallon boil vessel and a 6.5+ glass fermenter. you really don't need a secondary yet. for 10 gallon batches you should have a 13 to 15 gallon boil vessel and 2- 6.5+ gallon glass fermenters. a plastic bucket is fine but if you are going to spend the money for a glass carboy also, then I say forget the bucket and use the glass carboy for your only fermenter.
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mprofit

Postby fitz » Thu Dec 04, 2003 10:17 am

Have you tasted a homebrew made with an advanced system, and also a secondary fermentor?
I wasn't knocking the Mr. Beer, It is still better than Bud. One reason for the Glass carboy is that plastic breathes, and the beer won't last in plastic. A plastic primary fermentor is great though, and it is cheaper to buy than Two glass carboys. Although, most of us have many glass carboys now. I have to warn you Homebrewing is a uncontrollable sickness. Since none of us want help, it spreads quickly. One other thing about the Mr. Beer. The friend of mine whom had one, couldn't understand why his lighter beers tasted off. When he invited me over to view his process, I pointed out table sugar will give brew a winey taste, although Mr. Beer recommends using table sugar to raise Alc. and for priming. Try all malt, or corn sugar if you must, but table sugar will create wine like flavors.
Good luck.
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