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

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4answers
775 views

First Time Brewing…am I doing it right?

So I went to my local brewing store, and got a starter kit. It came with a 7 gallon fermenter, a siphon tube, a floating thermometer, bottle caper, bottle caps, bottle scrubber, and sanitizer. By the ...
12
votes
9answers
12k views

Using a Induction cooktop

I have been brewing in my kitchen using a giant stockpot. My brother (my brewing partner) was thinking about picking up propane top and moving it outside. I think that it would be better to use an ...
3
votes
2answers
346 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 ...
8
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2answers
1k 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 ...
3
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2answers
528 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 ...
6
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1answer
4k views

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/ ...
2
votes
1answer
381 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) ...
4
votes
3answers
304 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
420 views

Did I Break My Airlock?

I don't really know what I did here. I cut off the bottom little cross guy on the stem of the airlock because it was getting clogged up during vigorous fermentations. Now the middle piece just kind of ...
5
votes
2answers
225 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
292 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 ...
5
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3answers
2k views

[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, ...
7
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3answers
2k views

How do you degas an empty Sanke Keg?

When folks legally acquire Sanke kegs for conversion to kettles, mash tuns or HLTs, the first step is often to relieve the pressure inside the keg before dismantling the spear and valve. How best is ...
7
votes
3answers
542 views

Cask beer at home

Anyone have a good source for getting smaller versions of a firkin for home use? I am interested in casking some beer at home for parties and special occasions. Are there any good links out there for ...
6
votes
3answers
9k views

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?
3
votes
3answers
193 views

Buying equipment in bulk

If one wanted to buy homebrew equipment in bulk, is there a way to go straight to the distributor? Bypass the LHBS / Northern Brewer / etc., and buy straight from the supplier? IF so, does anyone know ...
3
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
12
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4answers
15k views

Choosing a good refrigerator/freezer for kegerator conversion

Does anyone have experience and recommendations for a good fridge/freezer for conversion into a kegerator? I'm basically choosing between a full sized fridge, a mini-fridge and a chest freezer. I'll ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Why use a synthetic bag for BIAB?

Everywhere I see conversations about BIAB, people are always referring to nylon or polyester bags. Why can't one use, let's say, a cotton bag, since it will be so thin it won't hold any water?
3
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2answers
8k views

What is a grant?

How is it used? What does it do?
13
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1answer
8k views

What is a hopback?

How do you use it? What does it do? Do you pass finished wort through it hot or cold?
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Brass vs. Stainless Steel for fittings

I see both brass and stainless fittings for sale. Which is appropriate to use when?
2
votes
1answer
356 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Pro Mash Tun design

I was wondering if anyone had a link to a graphic of what the typical profesional mash tun is like. Specifically I was wondering if the majority of professional scaled mash tuns draw from underneath ...
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6answers
7k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
862 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
804 views

Bag-in-box packaging

Is it suitable for beer "bottling" or would the pressure tear it apart? If it's suitable it could be really useful since it can contain a large quantity of liquid with low package weight.
5
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6answers
1k views

How do you clean scorched wort off stainless steel?

Kettles, mash tuns, infants, etc
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2answers
245 views

What characteristics should a bucket have to be suitable for a mash tun?

Does it need to have anything special or any food-grade bucket would do?
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2answers
4k views

Using a keg for secondary fermentation and natural carbonation?

I would like to transfer a beer that has been fermenting for about 3 weeks directly into a Cornelius keg for secondary fermentation AND carbonation. I would like to add priming sugar and naturally ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Kettle volume measurements

Eventually there comes a time where just boiling 6 gallons for 60 minutes and taking it on faith that you have 5 gallons left doesn't cut it anymore. What tools can I use to measure the volume in the ...
4
votes
1answer
448 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
2k 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?
34
votes
24answers
17k views

What are the easiest and hardest commercial beer bottles to re-use for homebrew? [closed]

One of the great perks of homebrewing is the ability to reuse, rather than just recycle the bottles that come into your house. You just soak off the labels and re-use! All bottles are not created ...
2
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
36
votes
18answers
4k views

Improving Your Brewing Significantly

I made this wiki to allow folks to post what upgrades in process or equipement really take one's beer brewing to the next level. The bottle-necks to better and better brewing if you will. (This was ...
2
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1answer
8k views

Carboy dimensions

What are the dimensions of a 5.5 and 6 gallon standard glass carboy?
9
votes
2answers
5k views

What is a whirlpool chiller?

What is a Whirlpool Chiller and how does it work? What are the advantages or disadvantages?
6
votes
3answers
3k views

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?
9
votes
2answers
1k views

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 Since there hasn't been much activity on the ...
21
votes
4answers
718 views

Open-Fermented or Native Yeast Beers

I've always been very careful about control and sanitation with beer. But with my wine I do some native yeast Pinots, and some friends of mine are into the same with beers- they like funky, ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
266 views

Small Space & Apartment Brewing: Diacetyl Rest

When brewing a lager in an apartment, you will most probably use a small refrigerator for the lagering process. If the refrigerator does not allow you to choose the exact temperature, but instead you ...
7
votes
6answers
7k views

Airlock Alternatives

Imagine that brew-day rolls around and you find yourself without an airlock for your carboy or bucket. What other things can you use in it's stead? Further imagine that you do not have the ...
5
votes
2answers
999 views

Copper versus Stainless for Jockey Box

Not having room or budget for a kegerator at the moment, I am considering building a jockey box for kegging homebrew. There are a lot of plans on the internet for building your own, including ...
11
votes
6answers
3k views

Small Space & Apartment Brewing: Equipment Storage

Given the limited space of an apartment, what tips do you have for storing your equipment? Do not consider budget to be a factor. This is the first question in a series of discussions about ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it okay to ferment a 5 gallon batch in a 14 gallon conical fermenter?

I am considering getting a either a 7 gallon or a 14 gallon conical fermenter and am wondering if it would be okay to ferment a standard 5 gallon batch in the 14 gallon or if that would be a bad idea. ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
926 views

Plastic or Glass

Plastic or Glass fermentors? (Lets keep stainless steel out of this debate for now) Each has ups and downs. What are the main differences for the following aspects: Shapes and configurations Heat ...