Overwhelmed with style/recipe options. Help!!

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by SabreSteve, Jul 25, 2020.

  1. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    @J A is not wrong, but if you're going to buy a pot, go for a 10 gallon minimum. A 7 gallon would do in a pinch or two, but you'll soon tire of the hassles that another few bucks could easily solve.
    Engineers tell me all day long the numbers work, but while I work away in the field, common sense tells me numbers aren't always the deciding and best factor.
     
  2. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I did 5 gallon batches in a 6.5 gallon kettle like that.
    You'll definitely like things better when you can get a bigger kettle. I used an 8 gallon very handily for 5.5 gallon batches but if you can jump to the 10 it's probably better. In the meantime, don't be afraid to experiment with what you have. I would say that if the Fryer has actually been used for frying, you'll have to be really careful of any residual oil it might have. That could ruin a brew for you.
    Good luck! ;)
     
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  3. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    Not trying to push you at all.... Just thought I'd share what I have just in case you decide to buy your own pot for future BIAB brews. I have three BALLINGTON pots in graduated sizes up to 10 Gallon). They are very nice and easy to modify with valves, site glass etc. They come with a solidly built "steamer" tray works great to keep your bag off the bottom.

    Like I said, I bought 3 for 160 bucks 5 or 6 years ago. I gave the smallest (6 gallon) one to a friend and I just added an electric element to my 8 gallon one to heat up my sparge water. I do have the 10 gallon pot and tray still... I hold onto it because I feel like I'll use it someday - lol
    Anyway,
    You can find them on EBAY.

    There is a 13 gallon pot for 98 bucks and
    There is a 20 gallon pot for 116 bucks...
    - Not a huge price difference.

    - Just FYI - Extract keeps the brew day a bit shorter, and simpler and makes great beer. - Eventually you won't be able to fight the urge to do all grain but there certainly isn't a rush. :)

    Brew on Buddy and let us know what type of beer you decided to go with! - Fall is coming so a Brown Ale or Brown Porter might not be too bad!
     
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  4. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    A great intermediate step is to brew an extract batch, but with a mini- mash. I did this for quite a while and made some very good beer.

    I used about a pound of 2-row for diastatic enzymes and up to 2 pounds of other malts. Better conversion than steeping and it allows for used of malts that can’t be steeped. Then you can run a partial boil with the extract making up the remaining fermentables.

    This is a good way to learn while making good beer.
     
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  5. SabreSteve

    SabreSteve Well-Known Member

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    I definitely would like to go bigger but these things are so dang expensive I don't know what to do. I wanted to get something with an onboard thermometer and ball valve but now I'm wondering if I should just find the cheapest 10 gallon kettle on the market cause if I try dropping $100+ on a kettle my wife may kill me.

    The fryer I think was used as a fryer maybe once. I believe it has more recently been used for lobster boils than for turkey. It has been thoroughly cleaned.
    I've definitely thought about either an amber or brown ale for fall but just couldn't settle on anything when looking at them. Definitely both styles I enjoy. I typically prefer something malty/caramely to something extremely hoppy.
     
  6. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    I completely understand! As JA said, You can get by with what you have. That and staying extract for a bit only simplfies things.

    I'll see about taking my brown ale recipe and rebuilding it for extract. :)
     
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  7. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    And then there is the all in one systems, which are basically BIAB,but with a SS basket instead of a bag. The following link is a really good value, including free shipping from Morbeer. Includes timers, temperature control, pump, chiller, etc. With a couple of accessories you could have almost everything you could possibly need for the brewing side of making beer. I have a 3 tier keggle based system with two pumps, and two burners, and I love it, but I have it up for sale right now. It is really ig,takes up a lot of space, and is a lot of work to clean. I am looking at the same unit except the 65L version.
    It is just a good option to look at if you are truly hooked on brewing. Maybe stick with what you have for now and work with the numbers as @JA suggests, and put one of these on your radar.

    https://www.morebeer.com/products/brewzilla-v31-grain-brewing-system-pump-35l925g.html

    Here is a picture of my system, compare this to the brewzilla...
    20200713_125445.jpg
     
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  8. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    There are others, grainfather for one, but my research has told me that the Brewzilla is the best value for the money. One really nice aspects about the all in ones (some, not all) is the delay start timer. You can set it up to have your strike water at the correct temperature when you get up in the morning, or get home from work.

    Just pointing out options, personally, I wish now that I had gone this direction previously.
     
  9. SabreSteve

    SabreSteve Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I'm a few years from something like that.
    I mean call her crazy but my wife would rather pay off all our loans and buy a house than let me sink a ton of money into my hobbies. Something about not wanting to live in a 2 bedroom townhouse forever (that and that if we throw another kid in here it'll probably start to get too crowded). So basically any improvements to my setup are really going to be small and incremental or the result of gifts/gift cards. About half the money currently spent on my setup was Amazon gift cards. I'm definitely putting anything that catches my eye on my wishlist too. I just decided to quit letting money be the excuse to not do something I've wanted to do for nearly a decade.
     
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  10. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I hear you there for sure. I was just pointing out an option not having any idea what your financial situation might be.
    Cheers
     
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  11. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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  12. SabreSteve

    SabreSteve Well-Known Member

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    I definitely appreciate the input. Thank you!
     
  13. SabreSteve

    SabreSteve Well-Known Member

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    Would you ever do two identical kits on the same day, one after the other, and just pour both worts into the same fermenter?
     
  14. Bulin's Milker Bucket Brews

    Bulin's Milker Bucket Brews Well-Known Member

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    Man, you sound like me a year ago...I also tend to overthink(obsess my wife would say) things. If you don't have a burner(other than the turkey fryer that needs to go back). Digiboil kettle is a great option on a budget(I LOVE my 17 gallon one). You could always upgrade to the Digimash kit later if you choose to go all grain. If you have access to 220 power, the 17(65l) is really hard to beat for the money you spend.
     
  15. Bulin's Milker Bucket Brews

    Bulin's Milker Bucket Brews Well-Known Member

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    Buffalo right? Gets cold there, you may have to explain to your wife that the upgrade to an electric kettle is because you have her safety in mind. You may need to explain how much safer it is than a a 60,000 btu gas burner in a garage with a half closed door. It was all I had to tell my wife here in Wisconsin and she never even questioned it as long as I retired the propane.
     
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  16. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    I have the brewzilla and love it! Highly recommend! However, tough it out for a handful of years and you can do like I did and build or buy a house with a brewery in mind!

    BTW - converting my brown or even porter over to extract was harder than expected... SO I put something else together. Basic Brown Ale... Here's the link. (Oh, and the other recipe I mentioned is pretty much an Oktoberfest/Festbeir with a minimash.... - Still my recommendation :) )

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/1029554/basic-brown-ale-extract
     
  17. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    I've also come from the "we can't afford that" camp. About three years ago I purchased a 10 gallon kettle on ebay that came with a ball-valve, thermometer and a drill-bit for drilling the holes. It was a pain to drill the holes but, it saved me some money. I think it was about $120.

    It's probably a combination of my Scottish & German ancestry but, I cost justify all of my brewing purchases. If it allows me to make beer cheaper, then it's an easy decision. If it just makes brewing more convenient, then I wait and use Christmas money from my in-laws for it. So in your case @SabreSteve, calculate how much money you spend in a year on beer. Then calculate how much money you would have spent if had brewed that same amount of beer (extract and BIAB). Then you have your return on investment (ROI). For me, the ROI was about 18 months. After that, everything I had purchased to go all-grain paid for itself.

    The other think to look at is DIY. Many of the things you may want, you can make yourself for a lot less $$$.
     
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  18. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    If you pay attention to online sites like craigslist or kijiji in canada you can find some really good deals from someone who got into brewing and either didn't like it or got bored. Especially entry level stuff.
     
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  19. SabreSteve

    SabreSteve Well-Known Member

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    I definitely will scout things out on Craigslist or LetGo to see what I can find.
    The brown ale looks good, sounds simple enough, honestly both recipes sound good. I might try one and stick the other in my back pocket for a later date.
     
  20. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    I agree. I seldom brew kits, but when MoreBeer has a sale on them or some other promo that is included with a kit, I'll order one or more. Every kit I've brewed of theirs has turned out above expectations. Just look at the variety of their kits and I'm sure you'll find one that appeals to your taste. Even if you prefer to buy the ingredients separately, they freely share recipes for most of their kits, both extract and all grain.
     
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