Hi all. I’m a real newbie, made just a few 1 gallon batches using the glass carboy starter kit from NB which includes one carboy, blowoff assembly, airlock, bottle filler, siphon, and bottle capper. I also invested in a hydrometer. What should my next piece of equipment be to bring my brewing up a notch? Thanks in advance for your time!
Have you thought about going to 5 gallon brews. Little more than a single notch because of the need for a large kettle. The means to boil and cool more volume and a larger fermentor. The fermentor can be a plastic bucket if you don’t mind not being able to watch the fermentation.
Then I would recommend a bench capper later on if you go to 5 gallons.
I have considered it, but i love that the small batch gives me around 9 bottles, just enough for me to savor till my next batch is up. I feel like more beer would just mean more bottles sitting in my fridge…
I can understand that. My wife bought me a refrigerator just because my harvested yeast was filling an entire shelf in the kitchen frig.
My thoughts were along the same line as flars - 5 gallon batches, which requires a fair investment in equipment, but is very little more effort per batch than doing one gallon. But seeing as that doesn’t hold appeal for you at this time, then there are two possible suggestions I would make:
A 2 gallon bucket. This will allow you to have more than one batch in process at a time, which allows you to experiment with more beers. And it is a very cheap upgrade. Alternatively, you can instead get a second 1 gallon jug with airlock or blowoff, but I’m a big fan of plastic for this purpose.
Look into fermentation temperature control. This will do more for the quality of your beer than any other upgrade you do. There are many different ways to handle it, and some of them can be pretty expensive. But the cheapest option is called a “swamp cooler”, which in the case of beer is simply a shallow pan of water into which the fermentor is placed. You then drape a t-shirt over the fermentor so that it wicks up the water, and the evaporation off the t-shirt causes the fermentor to cool.
Get a paint strainer bag and do biab all grain. Simple way to do one gallon batches
Thanks for all the ideas…i was expecting someone to suggest buying another bucket/carboy for secondary fermentation. What do you guys think?
Secondaries aren’t too popular around here. Usually, they aren’t needed. That being said, some of us still do them. Don’t buy one because instructions say to secondary. Decide if you want to secondary, then plan accordingly.
Yeah, I wasn’t suggesting another bucket so you could do a secondary, but rather so you could have two beers in process at once. If you enjoy doing something, it’s nice to be able to do it more often.