Author Topic: New brewer...very soon..I hope  (Read 11048 times)

Offline top_jimmy44

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Re: New brewer...very soon..I hope
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2013, 08:42:02 AM »
Thanks everyone for the feedback.  I actually found a local brew club that I am going to try to meet up with.  I am a few chapters into "How to Brew" now and am trying to get a handle on what I will need.  What I have decided so far is I think I want to start with all grain brewing.  I would like to brew 10 gallon batches, which, I believe, means I think I will buy two 10 gallon Igloo coolers, the round ones, and modify one to be the mash tun and the other to be a HLT.  I will need to get two 5 or 6 gallon carboys or buckets to ferment.  What do you suggest I get to boil water though?  I haven't gotten to the chapters yet that talk about all-grain brewing, but, in general, how many gallons of hot water will I need to mix with the grain in the mash tun?  I think 1.5-2 qt per lb of grain, is what I read.  So how much grain would be required in a 10 gallon batch? 

I do understand the cost savings may not be there, with all of the equipment involved, but I do think it will be a lot of fun.  That does bring up an interesting question though.  What do you need to do to make this economically viable?  I am assuming you can cut your costs a good bit if you buy bulk grains, say 50 lb bags of it..

Jim

Offline Mtnmangh

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Re: New brewer...very soon..I hope
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2013, 06:37:59 PM »
What do you suggest I get to boil water though? 

***I use a propane burner.  Simple but effective, especially after I got kicked out of the kitchen for stinking up the house for days with my early brews.

I haven't gotten to the chapters yet that talk about all-grain brewing, but, in general, how many gallons of hot water will I need to mix with the grain in the mash tun?  I think 1.5-2 qt per lb of grain, is what I read.  So how much grain would be required in a 10 gallon batch? 

***This is a loaded question.  It completely depends on what style you are making and what kind of strength you are looking for.  I personally usually only make beers that are 6% or above (just personal preference), though I have a clone I made recently that is in secondary at about 5.3%.  Different styles take different amounts of grain.  My average beer uses about 12-15 lbs of grain for 5 gallons.  So for ten gallons you may be in the range of 25-30 lbs.  I don't do 10 gal batches but that would seem to be a lot to mash in one cooler. 

I do understand the cost savings may not be there, with all of the equipment involved, but I do think it will be a lot of fun.  That does bring up an interesting question though.  What do you need to do to make this economically viable?  I am assuming you can cut your costs a good bit if you buy bulk grains, say 50 lb bags of it..

Jim

Bulk grains are cheaper, but you are still going to need to buy specialty grains for most recipes.  You will need a way to mill the malt (I want a mill, but still don't have one.) Also, hops will have to be purchased, and yeast each time (unless you harvest yeast and do similar style batches.) 

I typically spend about $40-$45 per 5 gallon batch (including shipping - I have no local store). You also have the peripherals you can't forget about (Caps, priming sugar, bottles (unless you are like me and recycle), Cleaning and sanitation supplies, etc.)  It's cheaper to buy beer than make it, though all grain can be somewhat cheaper than extract.   

For me, it's the art of it that I enjoy.  And making something I really like is fun.  Tweaking recipes, trying to perfect it, and experimenting is just a load of fun to me and I sit at my computer and play with recipes quite often. 
Drinking: Belgian Golden Strong ale
              Step Up Porter
              Oktoberfest
               Brown IPA

Primary:  Step up Porter

Secondary: nada

Offline SharpsRifle

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Re: New brewer...very soon..I hope
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2013, 07:00:01 PM »
I do understand the cost savings may not be there, with all of the equipment involved, but I do think it will be a lot of fun.  That does bring up an interesting question though.  What do you need to do to make this economically viable?  I am assuming you can cut your costs a good bit if you buy bulk grains, say 50 lb bags of it..

Jim

one of the best ways to save money is to not be cheap when you buy stuff.  Bigger and better than you think you'll need every time and you will save a ton on equipment that gets replaced when you upgrade.
15 gallon boil pot is the minimum for 10 gallon batches.   I'm going to upgrade my keggle to a much larger pot. 
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Offline Mtnmangh

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Re: New brewer...very soon..I hope
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2013, 07:04:43 PM »
+1.  I REALLY wish I would have got a bigger  boil pot.  I've been drooling over the Blickman 15 Gal. Boilermakers recently, but they are pretty high $$$ for me right now.  I need a 15 gal pot though if I ever want to do 10 gal batches.
Drinking: Belgian Golden Strong ale
              Step Up Porter
              Oktoberfest
               Brown IPA

Primary:  Step up Porter

Secondary: nada

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: New brewer...very soon..I hope
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2013, 06:40:21 AM »
Quote
(including shipping - I have no local store)

Do you have any health food stores nearby? They often carry homebrewing supplies and may order stuff for you, saving you the cost of shipping.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline Mtnmangh

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Re: New brewer...very soon..I hope
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2013, 06:26:46 PM »
Quote
(including shipping - I have no local store)

Do you have any health food stores nearby? They often carry homebrewing supplies and may order stuff for you, saving you the cost of shipping.

The closest one is 45 minutes west.  I've tried about every avenue.  There is a lady in town who sells kits (Brewer's best) who can order anything for me, but until I get a grain mill, it's not practical.  Once I have a mill (Hopefully early next year), I may order bulk base and see what she can do for specialty grains to save some $$.  Sometimes the problem with small town stores is that they have to charge such a huge margin to compete that the price goes above what it would cost to ship from an online retailer.  I understand the quandary (you want to support the local business - but with a limited budget, the bottom line definitely has an influence.)
Drinking: Belgian Golden Strong ale
              Step Up Porter
              Oktoberfest
               Brown IPA

Primary:  Step up Porter

Secondary: nada