PeterPi
I've done loads of research on forums, YouTube, eBay, Amazon ETC and the more I read the less clear I am on what I need to buy. 

From what I can see I need the following.

1: A mash tun to extract the sugars from the grain. I would like to get an electrically heated one and use an add on thermostat to control the temperature. Maybe a unheated container and add a heating element. I am able to do the electronics myself. What would you recommend I get and what sort of capacity. Boil in the bag or a sparging filter? Any recommendations?

2: Plastic fermentation vessel about 25 litre. There seem to be loads out there quite cheap.

3: Syphon. Any recommendations.

4: Fermentation trap. Any Recommendations.

5: Hyrometer

6: Bottles and caps.

7: What about storing and conditioning in a cask and drawing off with a beer engine?

Thanks in advance.

Pete





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Clibit
Most people are using a mashing bag these days, it seems, which only requires one vessel, like an electric urn. You can then mash and boil in the one vessel, just lift the bag out at the end of the mash and boil. 

You might want a hop filter. Or you can put hops in hop bags.

Syphon - I just use a length of tube.

Fermentation trap  - I don't bother with one.

Thermometer - essential

Capper - for capping bottles

Cask and beer engine - one for later IMO

Welcome to the forum!  What sort of beers do you go for?
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Womble
PeterPi wrote:
I've done loads of research on forums, YouTube, eBay, Amazon ETC and the more I read the less clear I am on what I need to buy. 

From what I can see I need the following.

1: A mash tun to extract the sugars from the grain. I would like to get an electrically heated one and use an add on thermostat to control the temperature. Maybe a unheated container and add a heating element. I am able to do the electronics myself. What would you recommend I get and what sort of capacity. Boil in the bag or a sparging filter? Any recommendations?

2: Plastic fermentation vessel about 25 litre. There seem to be loads out there quite cheap.

3: Syphon. Any recommendations.

4: Fermentation trap. Any Recommendations.

5: Hyrometer

6: Bottles and caps.

7: What about storing and conditioning in a cask and drawing off with a beer engine?

Thanks in advance.

Pete







Clibit will come along soon and give you a pertinent and useful answer.  Here's mine.  Have you ever brewed before ? If not, do a couple of two can kits before leaping into all-grain ... it'll get the basics sorted.

buckets, fermentation traps etc ... whatever you can get hold of.
syphon ... you can pick up food grade plastic tubing down at the DIY store ... generally in the aquarium or gardening section.  It's sufficient.

Hydrometer ... one for beer if you are making beer ... don't get a wine hydrometer.  Most beer hydrometers have multiple units on them.  Some wine hydrometers can be in degrees plato or Brix.

If you want to bottle ... you can start off recycling old PET lemonade / coke bottles. It's enough for the first couple of brews.  I bought myself about 200 75 cl brown beer bottles and a bench capper ... the bigger volume bottle reduces bottling time.  The fact that they are also the same size makes a bottling session MUCH easier. I also know that they all take the same size crown corks.  And I also have the excuse that once I have opened a big bottle of brew I have to finish it.

Pressure barrels ... if you are serious about brewing and sure that you'll carry on, I would say forget the plastic pressure barrels and get a steel soda keg straight off the bat ... they are more expensive but you'll only buy them once.  Avoid the plastic bargain pressure barrels with the small tops ... you can't get inside the things to clean them properly.  You will eventually realise that they are not very good and then upgrade to something better ...

As for your electronically controlled mash tun thing ... can't help you with that ... I use a picnic cooler mash-tun.
Multi-tasking, easy, drink beer and watch telly.
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Womble
cappers => don't buy the very cheap wallop with a hammer capper ... you'll bust half the bottles.

The double handled cappers are more convenient but they quite frequently rip the tops off the bottles plus you have to hold each bottle with one hand while you operate the capper with your other two free hands.

A bench capper that is screwed down is the best solution ... but it will become a permanent feature of the dining room table if you decide to screw it onto that ... it might upset the missis. 
Multi-tasking, easy, drink beer and watch telly.
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Halfacrem
Ask away for advice. I know it's a bit daunting at first, but once you get your head around what's required, it's much easier than it might appear at the moment. Don't forget cleaning and sanitising gear!



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Womble
Clibit wrote:
Most people are using a mashing bag these days, it seems, which only requires one vessel, like an electric urn. You can then mash and boil in the one vessel, just lift the bag out at the end of the mash and boil. 

You might want a hop filter. Or you can put hops in hop bags.

Syphon - I just use a length of tube.

Fermentation trap  - I don't bother with one.

Thermometer - essential

Capper - for capping bottles

Cask and beer engine - one for later IMO

Welcome to the forum!  What sort of beers do you go for?


an air-lock is reassuring early on ... providing it works of course.

I still like to have an air-lock ... bloop bloop ... can't beat that sound

Multi-tasking, easy, drink beer and watch telly.
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PeterPi
Thanks for all the answers. I do like an IPA with citrus and elderflower flavours, like Citra or Jaipur. The Gower Brewery is only ten minutes away and I like their Gower Gold and Lighthouse Lager, which is sold, cask conditioned, in my local. So if there are any recipes, which you think might suit my taste, please point me toward them.

My experience of home brewing is rather limited to HWE kits like Unican, which might explain why it's taken forty years to have another go, that's why I want to start with AG brewing. I have made a start, since my first post, by buying a 30 litre electric boiler with thermometer, ball valve and bazooka hop filter. I'm going to get a temp controller from eBay, about £12.00.

What about wort coolers? The price of stainless steel coils seem a lot, when you look at what you get. Is there a viable, lower priced alternative? I could make my own using 8 or 10 mm copper, but do wort and copper go together? And why is it important to cool the wort quickly?

So many questions, but plenty of accomplished brewers on this forum to help.

Pete
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Clibit
PeterPi wrote:
Thanks for all the answers. I do like an IPA with citrus and elderflower flavours, like Citra or Jaipur. The Gower Brewery is only ten minutes away and I like their Gower Gold and Lighthouse Lager, which is sold, cask conditioned, in my local. So if there are any recipes, which you think might suit my taste, please point me toward them.

My experience of home brewing is rather limited to HWE kits like Unican, which might explain why it's taken forty years to have another go, that's why I want to start with AG brewing. I have made a start, since my first post, by buying a 30 litre electric boiler with thermometer, ball valve and bazooka hop filter. I'm going to get a temp controller from eBay, about £12.00.

What about wort coolers? The price of stainless steel coils seem a lot, when you look at what you get. Is there a viable, lower priced alternative? I could make my own using 8 or 10 mm copper, but do wort and copper go together? And why is it important to cool the wort quickly?

So many questions, but plenty of accomplished brewers on this forum to help.

Pete


Loads of recipes, that's not difficult, check out the recipe forums and ask about ones you like the look of. 

Lots of people use copper wort chillers, they work well. Being a bit controversial, perhaps, I don't believe it is super important to chill the wort quickly. It does drop proteins out of the wort - but I don't chill mine and I don't have any problems. The main benefits of chilling IMO are to get things done quickly, and to protect the wort from contamination. The quicker the yeast is in the wort, and multiplying, the less chance there is of other organisms getting a head start (but this needn't be a concern if you clean and sanitise things properly). And getting the wort chilled and into the FV and the yeast pitched quickly is just convenient, you can get on with your life.  

I make mostly half size batches though, and I do cool them in the sink, in cold water, down to about 40C, when the cooling really slows down. Then I whack it in the FV and put the lid on and wait for it to cool to 20. There is a method called 'no chill' which involves siphoning the beer from the kettle to one of those big solid plastic water carrier things while it is still hot, usually called a cube in the brewing context, and leaving it in there to cool. You are done for the day once its in the cube, you just have to transfer it to FV the next day, or any other day really, and pitch the yeast.

If you make 5 gallons it makes sense to have a chiller I think - making one from copper tubing is a good way to go, cheap and effective. Or a cube, which works just fine.The heat of the wort sterilises the cube so it's no hassle at all. 




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Womble
Cooling the FV in a water bath, as Clibit says.

it takes longer but I get decent results doing it that way.
Multi-tasking, easy, drink beer and watch telly.
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PeterPi
OK, I think that's it for the moment. I'll check out some recipes and go from there. 

Thanks again.

I may be back.
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Clibit
PeterPi wrote:
OK, I think that's it for the moment. I'll check out some recipes and go from there. 

Thanks again.

I may be back.


Ok, good luck.    [thumb]
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