The various hardware items for producing beer or wine. Includes buckets, carboys, kegs, hoses, airlocks, etc.

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Electric Kettle with thermostat

What's your opinion on them? Have you ever used one? I was thinking of buying one (specially designed for brewing, even has a tap on). How is it different from the more traditional methods? Is it ...
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6answers
5k views

Converting your fermentation bucket into a mash tun

Most people use coolers for mash tuns, but living in an apartment myself I can tell that having the least possible equipment is a priority. I know some people use their secondary fermenters as mash ...
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3answers
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Conical fermenter: worth it?

I am considering purchasing a conical fermenter but I'm not sure if it would be worth the cost. I feel like it would allow me to make better beer with less effort, but it would be nice to hear from ...
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4answers
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Using Plastic Water Jugs as Fermenters

I asked this on Twitter a while back, but I thought I might get some other thoughts on it. I have one of those 5g Poland Spring water jugs. If I get a bung that fits it, is there any reason I couldn't ...
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1answer
410 views

What is a swamp cooler?

What type of equipment do you need to build one? How do you use it? What are the realistic expectations of using one?
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2answers
751 views

Keeping a bottle of no-rinse sanitiser

Some sanitisers, like star-san, chemipro oxi and betadine are no-rinse in certain dilutions. Star-san can additionaly be kept diluted in a bottle for months and used whenever one wishes. Can the same ...
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2answers
489 views

Open Fermentation Process

Can open fermentation be done simply by putting the fermenting beer in a bucket carboy and covering it with foil? The purpose of the foil would be to just keep airborne contaminants from falling into ...
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2answers
325 views

Recirculating wort chiller

I am building an recirc arm for my chilling set up. Should my recirc have a gentle bend in it to 90degrees or would it be OK to just use a 90degree elbow of a piece of straight pipe under the wort ...
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1answer
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What's the ideal size for a mash tun?

This question has been bothering me for a while and I looked it up using google. The only related search result was this thread http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/how-big-your-mash-tun-needs-123585/ ...
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1answer
296 views

Is normal PVC tubing okay for a racking tube?

I'm having a few issues finding food-grade plastic tubing to use a racking tube. Is normal clear PVC tubing that you'd get at a hardware store okay for this? (Once it's been sterilized etc of course) ...
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3answers
282 views

What are some good places to get a keg for a brew kettle?

I got my first keg from a beer store, whom I asked if they had any kegs I could buy outright. The keg they "sold" me was in really good condition, and only cost me $30. I'm looking to get a second ...
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2answers
197 views

Dispensing beers at two different pressures?

I'm working on getting a dual-tap kegerator. Is it worth it to pay the extra to dispense two beers at two different pressures? I can see dispensing a low-carbonation ESB and a high-carbonation ...
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1answer
284 views

Use of a mash screen

I have recently had some problems with my false bottom and want to experiment with a mash screen. This might be a bit of a stupid question but I have never used one before: Can you do the mashing with ...
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3answers
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[Wiki] What extra equipment do I need to make wine?

Considering I have all the necessary - and some unnecessary - equipment for making beer at home, what additional equipment do I need to make wine at home? If it's easier to just make a full list, ...
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3answers
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How do you clean and fill a keg manually?

What equipment is required to clean and fill a commercial keg (not one adapted for homebrewing), before paying for a full blown keg washer and filler? Is this even possible?
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2answers
881 views

Fermenting 1/2bbl and 1bbl batches

As I start planning my pico brewery, I've been thinking about fermenters. I'd love some thoughts on ways to ferment 1/2 and 1bbl (15.5 - 31 gallon) batches. Options for when price is and is not a ...
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3answers
711 views

How do I use this Digital Temperature Controller?

For my birthday, I asked my sister for a Digital Temperature Controller. Rather than buy the one from Norther Brewer, I found what I thought was a better deal from Pex Supplies. However, it looks like ...
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1answer
436 views

Is the price of copper making plate chillers the better choice?

This copper-in-plastic counter-flow chiller seems to mitigate the effect that the high price of copper has on all-copper counter-flow chillers. I'm not sure the Chillzilla even has to have an ...
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2answers
2k views

Brass vs. Stainless Steel for fittings

I see both brass and stainless fittings for sale. Which is appropriate to use when?
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1answer
261 views

How big do the holes need to be in a Zapap style Mash/Lauter Tun?

I'm looking to make one of the mash tuns out of a plastic bucket. I find instructions like "drill a bazillion holes into the bottom with a small drill bit". How small? Is there a size that's too ...
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7answers
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About going all-grain

I have made 7 or 8 extract brews over the past year and am interested in moving up to all-grain. What equipment is needed, and what steps are added to the process.
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6answers
833 views
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Gravity Measurement Tools

What tools for measuring specific gravity are available to the homebrewer? EG: refractometer, hydrometer. What scale do they measure? EG: Brix, plato
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4answers
1k views

Can a twist-off bottle be capped?

Out of curiosity (and appreciation for Boulevard's bottle's form-factor), can a twist-off bottle be reliably capped?
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1answer
605 views

Fermenter Heating Belt

Is it worth using? I was thinking of getting one to use on my first fermenter for a german weissbier so that the yeast flavour and aroma is more present in the final result. By how many degrees does ...
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1answer
672 views

Which size auto siphon to empty a 5 or 6.5 gallon carboy?

I got an auto siphon as a gift recently. Unfortunately, it only reaches about half-way down into the carboy. All the brew supply sites and the fermtech site, itself, aren't exactly clear about the ...
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1answer
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Carboy dimensions

What are the dimensions of a 5.5 and 6 gallon standard glass carboy?
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Immersion chiller or counter-flow chiller?

Based on your actual experience with each, what are the pros and cons of the two most common types of wort chillers - immersion and counter-flow? Which do you prefer?
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2answers
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Should I & how do I use a mash tun brew kettle with a false bottom?

I'd like to make the move to all-grain, but it's fairly equipment-intensive. I see combination mash tuns and brew kettles. Are these a solution? Can I use the kettle for mashing, then transfer to ...
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3answers
659 views

Bottling vs. Kegging

I have been home brewing for along time now, but have never kegged my beer. I hear a lot of people saying how much easier and better it is, but my main concern is the cost and equipment needed. What ...
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3answers
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Is a 5 gallon bucket too big for 3 gallon recipe?

I have a few Mr Beer extract kits left over from when I started this hobby. Can I ferment a 3 gallon recipe in a 5 gallon bucket? Will there be too much head space?
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2answers
515 views

Propane tank usage in winter time

Today is 14F here in the northern suburbs of MA. In the winter time it can be tough to brew outside if you are a propane cooker brewer such as myself. When the tank is going full bore it tends to ...
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4answers
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Wort Chiller Cool Down Times?

What tools or tricks is everyone using to cool their wort down after the boil? How long does it take you to get down below 70 degrees? I am using an older copper wort chiller (hooks up to a garden ...