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Big Upgrade

I am looking for a huge upgrade, but I don’t know whether to put it towards an entire RIMS or HERMS, or a big badass 27 gallon temperature controlled conical.

So, if you all had a choice, where would you put your big lump of money towards? Fermentation temperature or mash temperature? I know the simple answer here is both, but bear with me.

I guess it depends on how big of a lump you’re talking about and what you like.

I bought a Brew Magic RIMS system about 8 years ago. I love it. If my house ever catches on fire, It would be the first thing I’d save. (after the family, of course…) However, I think it requires a pretty hefty lump of cash these days. Mine was much less costly than the current iteration.

If you like to fabricate, then spend the money building a similarly designed system. It’d be less expensive and you could customize it as you like.

I’ve toyed with the conical purchase. But the logistics of my brew set-up (water, gas, ferm fridge) kind of make it more trouble than it’s worth. I bought some “Bubblers” recently and am stoked about how much I like them compared to glass.

Good luck.

A temp-controlled conical would be my choice. I can see brewing on a modest system and adding the beer to the coniocal, but brewing on a fancy system and fermenting in buckets would be kind of a letdown.

Where is your equipment most lacking right now? Are you currently not able to conduct a temperature controlled fermentation?

+1

I considered buying SS conicals for a couple years, and almost pulled the trigger more than once… Really glad I did not though, in hindsight. To be honest, if you have a temp. controller and a chest freezer - I just don’t see what a temp. controlled conical brings to the table. You can ferment multiple beers in a chest freezer for a fraction of the cost.

I would spend a bit of money on a freezer and a temp. controller, and then put the bulk of it to the system upgrade for sure.

I’ve spent a boatload of money on brewing over the 15-20 years. I always say that the ONLY regrets I have had are when I bought cheap, because I always came back and bought better later. That is true in every aspect of my brewery, except one. I am really glad I ferment in buckets instead of SS conical.

How would you fill that conical? Doing multiple small batches in one day on a regular basis would be a lot less fun that one batch out of a barrel system.

oooh yea. That would be awesome.

Thanks for the responses guys. :slight_smile:

I think my fermenting temp is struggling the most, and yes I have a external thermostat and fridge for my fermenting beer. The temps still don’t seem to hold steady enough.

I also want bigger batches with better efficiency. I am brewing 10 gallon batches of lighter abv beers, but can’t seem to get more than 5-6 gallons of high alcohol brewed beers (>7.5 abv).

Maybe I’ll just invest in a march pump, some nice big ass SS kettles, and some burners. Build my own temperature controlled freezer with the probe going directly into the beer (I think I have seen those around).

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/stopper-thermowell.html

I don’t see how just taping the probe to the side of the fermenter would not be as close as the thermowell or a jacketed conical.

There is always going to be a lag in the cooling device getting the temp of the wort down as fermentation is happening.

I think the best option would be a coil inside the fermenter.

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