Advice from experienced brewers please...

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by blackcats, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. blackcats

    blackcats New Member

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    #1 blackcats, Mar 15, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
    Hello friends,
    I'm a newbie brewer and I'm just gearing up to do 5 gallon batches. Looking ahead, I want to eventually dive into all-grain, but I am undecided about larger batch sizes.

    Please help me with these questions.

    1. I just bought a Tall Boy 10 gallon. My stove top can boil 4 gallons in it, I'm in fact doing it now, lol. Does that mean that I can do 5 gallon Brewers Best kits indoors? I did also buy a Darkstar 2.0, so I'm still in business outside either way.

    2. Should I drill holes in the Tall Boy at some point to add a thermometer and ball valve or should I shop for a new kettle down the road? How will this kettle fit into my evil plans as I go to all-grain and possibly go to bigger batch sizes?

    3. Should I swap out the regulator in the Dark Star or will the 5 PSI regulator that came with it be sufficient for what I'm doing?

    Thanks...and CHEERS!
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    welcome to the site and brewing

    both are fine for extract or bib all grain, with that size pot you can only brew a 5 gallon all grain batch and the stock regulator is fine for either, I would nail down your process with that set up first before going bigger, you don't need to get fancy right out of the gate unless you just have money to burn, get a good paddle and any hand temp probe, analog or digital will work to start, see if you get bit by the bug then make your changes, you may just like the ease of making your own extract recipes
     
  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    First, congrats on buying the big pot out of the gate. You'll need it when you eventually "graduate" to full boils. And welcome to the hobby! As far as procedure goes, the "Palmer Method" of doing concentrated boils - brews where you boil less wort than you need, then "top off" with water, is a good one to practice and it's available on his "How to Brew" website. To your questions: First one, yes, you can do 5-gallon kits indoors. Most of us start that way. Check out the reference above, it has instructions on how to do so. Second one: Up to you. I just bought a ten-gallon Megapot and do not intend to drill it because I'm what we call a "dumper". That means, I keep the hop debris out of the wort and dump everything in the kettle into the fermentor. Again, your call, solely dependent on the process you choose to follow. And third: Don't swap out the Dark Star, it's a good burner, but do get a 15 PSI regulator. You won't need the full 15 PSI but you'll have a wide range of burner settings.

    Hope that helps!
     
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  4. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    What's the opinion on a Brewers Best 16 gallon with 2 ports? That's what I've had my eye on. I do all grain and 5 gallon batches
     
  5. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I wouldn't have anything bad to say about that kettle or company, seems sturdy go for it
     
  6. JS

    JS New Member

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    I started with an 8 gal kettle thinking I would never need a larger kettle. The next was a 15 gal (blichmann) and the follow up was 20 gal. It never ends.

    Take a look at the "all in one" brewing pots like the Grainfather and the couple of clones. I picked up the
    https://www.homebrewing.org/Brewers...MIs_6iwv-23gIVwkSGCh2qug28EAQYASABEgK8mfD_BwE

    as an excuse to do small "test" batches. I've used it for both all grain and extract. I already use a counterflow chiller with my larger setup so I didn't need a unit with the chiller. Looking rearward, the Grainfather (and one other) has a pump built in for recirculating during mash (for when you move to all grain). I was "all in" for equipment when the Grainfather hit the market...

    I do all my brewing indoors (240 v Blichmann gear) so the Mash & Boil fits in to run a 5 gal batch while the larger equipment is in use. I've also used an immersion chiller but prefer the counterflow as I whirlpool after the boil for knockout hops. If you do all grain with something like the Grainfather you will need another way to heat water to sparge your grains after the mash.

    For fermenters I use Fast Ferment Connicals and Big Mouth Plastic Bubblers
    https://www.northernbrewer.com/collections/big-mouth-bubbler

    Big Mouth now comes with the option of not siphoning.

    For fermenter clean up I do a soak in water/Oxy Clean so I don't have to scrub the plastic fermenters.

    There are also some great stainless fermenters made by Anvil and SS Brew Tech. I haven't traveled down that road. Yet. Then there is the stainless conical option which includes heating and chilling attachments. I strayed off of the path of stainless conicals (for now) and instead invested in an Oktober can seamer.

    This is not an inexpensive hobby. But it is highly enjoyable.
     
  7. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    The OP's links are unrelated spam.
     
  8. JS

    JS New Member

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    Clever but evil.
     
  9. N0mad

    N0mad Well-Known Member

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    Those Austinites have a sense of humor... Don't they
     
  10. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Am I blind? I don't see any links.
     

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