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Next upgrade/purchase?

I’ve been brewing extract for a little under a year now. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my new hobby and I’ve made it very clear what I’d like for Christmas this year. That being said, I’m expecting some NB gift cards during this holiday season. I have already started kegging and have upgraded to a nice Blichmann burner. Some other recent upgrades this past year have included a chiller and temp controller. I’m still using a 7.5G kettle which I would love to upgrade. I’m also very interested in all grain brewing. I would love some feedback from all the experienced brewers as to what my next upgrade/purchase should be. Your thoughts…

Do you any equipment to do yeast starters? Stir plates and flasks are nice to have. If your handy, you can build the stir plate. If you aren’t interested in stir plates, a 1gal glass wine jug and the intermittent shaking method works well also.

Extra fermenters are nice to have.

Getting into AG doesn’t have to be pricey. Building your own MT can be a fun project.
If you plan on getting into AG I highly recommend picking up a mill.

+1 on a mill. Being able to control the consistency of your crush is really nice and buying your grain in bulk can be a big cost saver.

Also a bigger kettle, like a 60QT, will server you well. A lot of us move up to bigger batches eventually.
Perlick taps are a really nice upgrade if you don’t have them already.

+1 on the Perlicks. Great investment.

I’ve been a good boy this year, so santa dude is bring me perlicks.


I am hoping to receive a thermapen for xmas. We shall see.

I was thinking of getting a cast iron wood stove to do my brewing on outside.

Thanks guys. Love this forum!

Happy Holidays.

That’s a cool idea! Might be kind of tricky to regulate the temps though, until you get the hang of it. If you’ve got the wood, why not? How would you vent that thing? A long pipe straight up?

To the OP - I think you’d be most pleased with a grain mill and a Denny-style AG system. With Denny’s method, you can be brewing AG for the cost of a hose braid and not much else.

You should also start looking for a bigger kettle. If you can find a half-barrel keg, that’s probably your cheapest option, although I prefer my 10-gallon pot for 5-gallon AG batches.

That’s a cool idea! Might be kind of tricky to regulate the temps though, until you get the hang of it. If you’ve got the wood, why not? How would you vent that thing? A long pipe straight up?
I was thinking of building a brick enclocure then have the stove pipe in the back of the stove go into a chimney. kinda like a fireplace.I could then build a fire wood bin and acsessory bin into the base with work space on either side of the stove.

That sounds awesome. Be sure to post pictures.

You already have the one upgrade that most affects beer quality (fermentation temp controller) and the one that saves the most effort (keg setup). I’d recommend you get a grain mill, bigger kettle and decent thermometer (love my thermapen) before you go to AG. Not much more than that is needed, but then what cool gadgets do you want? That’s the bigger question.

what’s a Denny-style AG system?

what’s a Denny-style AG system?[/quote]

lots of choices for you above; I went this route recently:

  1. moved to a mostly mash PM, still using my stove top…about 4 lbs grain, 1lb of DME (working on low ABV beers currently, around 1.40 starting)

  2. barley crusher…love it

  3. 5 gallon steel braid equipped cooler tun

  4. 3 gallon keg so I can travel and share without bottling

Going to go balls out later this winter, install a home built vent hood, get a visit from the electrician, before I move toward my 20 gal electric brewery…but I’m not in a rush, I want to do this properly.

I would suggest moving into the partial mash after you get the yeast figured, being able to fart around with my own recipes has reinvigorated my brew world; before making the jump into AG, there is plenty to start getting right, like water.

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