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View Full Version : What do I buy, what do I buy??



Echostatic
06-03-2011, 09:49 PM
I was just gifted with a couple of auto siphons and $130 in brewing-related giftcards! Thrilling, to be sure, but I dunno what to do with it all, so I was wondering if you guys knew what else might come in handy to have. So far I have...

Two auto siphons
Three 3 gallon glass carboys with bungs and airlocks
One bottle brush
One hydrometer
One wine thief
Sorbate and sulfite chemicals
Sanitizing solution
Seventy four 375ml blue wine bottles
Lots of corks
Floor corker
Oak cubes
Bentonite

And I guess that about covers it... I'm pretty well supplied, really, but I'm sure there's more stuff I could get to make things faster/easier. I do want to get a couple 3.5 gallon fermentation buckets and some 1 gallon carboys... Maybe some stuff to expand into beer... I dunno, any ideas would be appreciated!

YogiBearMead726
06-03-2011, 10:15 PM
I'd go with a 5 gallon glass carboy and a 7 gallon plastic bucket if available. Then you can make 4-6 gallon batches an big melomels and still be able to top off the carboys with some to spare.

If nothing else, get a lees-stirrer (if possible) that you can attach to a drill. It really is nice for aerating, and, variable speed drill assuming, a great way to mix the lees back up without aerating. Oskaar recommends one, and I can honestly say it is my favorite "brewing tools". Makes aerating in a big bucket really easy, and can also fit into the neck of carboys.

Or go crazy on ingredients for a monster batch. :p

That's what I'd do anyway. Brewing stuff can get expensive if you want to do more than boil some water and dissolving extract. But that's just my $.02

Oskaar
06-03-2011, 10:24 PM
I was just gifted with a couple of auto siphons and $130 in brewing-related giftcards! Thrilling, to be sure, but I dunno what to do with it all, so I was wondering if you guys knew what else might come in handy to have. So far I have...

Two auto siphons
Three 3 gallon glass carboys with bungs and airlocks
One bottle brush
One hydrometer
One wine thief
Sorbate and sulfite chemicals
Sanitizing solution
Seventy four 375ml blue wine bottles
Lots of corks
Floor corker
Oak cubes
Bentonite

And I guess that about covers it... I'm pretty well supplied, really, but I'm sure there's more stuff I could get to make things faster/easier. I do want to get a couple 3.5 gallon fermentation buckets and some 1 gallon carboys... Maybe some stuff to expand into beer... I dunno, any ideas would be appreciated!

You're missing a lees stirrer ;)

Cheers,

Oskaar

Chevette Girl
06-03-2011, 10:31 PM
I was just gifted with a couple of auto siphons and $130 in brewing-related giftcards!

SCORE!!!
:hello2: :occasion14:

Always have a spare hydrometer... and I like having a spare bung and airlock kicking about. Have survived this long without a lees stirrer, am making do with a beverage frother because I don't want to have to get a drill just for winemaking and my current drill is so full of Bondo dust it's not allowed anywhere near my wines.

If you're big into mels, you might want some pectinase. And a fermentation bucket (with bung and airlock) and fruit bag if you want to get into using fruits... so much easier than dealing with racking losses and icky fruit stuck in the carboy...

I use an assortment of different brushes for washing bottles and scrubbing carboys, just make sure you can reach all areas of all containers with what you have.


Some of the little things that I've found most useful:

bottle filler (tube that has a valve at the bottom and goes on the end of the racking hose when you're bottling, stops the flow between bottles)

bottle drying tree, especially when you're bottling 5-gal batches

spray-bottle of sanitizer for sanitizing things that don't fit into the sanitizer jar (like, oh, say, a bottle tree!)

bottle washer (holds about a litre and a half and you invert a bottle over it and push, and it squirts water or sanitizing solution into the bottle), some of them fit tidily on the top of the bottle tree but mine apprently doesn't :p

bottle blaster, screws onto the tap and has a valve at the bottom so you can just leave the water on, pushing the bottle down over it allows the water to spray through the bottle, great for rinsing after washing (mine wouldn't fit on kitchen sink but is immensely useful with laundry tap)

2-3 gal bucket that fits 7 wine bottles for soaking labels off, that way I limit water use and don't take up the WHOLE sink.

If you go into smaller batches and get gallon jugs, I sawed about a foot off the bottom one of my racking canes and it's immensely useful with light containers that tip over once they're empty, also easier to get siphoning started when not using an auto-siphon.

wine racks for finished product (I made my own out of a sheet of 1/4" plywood to fit the 375 mL bottles, for 750 mL bottles I like these, (http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/8/KitchenBath/Barware/WineRacks/PRDOVR~0423782P/30-Bottle%252BWine%252BRack.jsp?locale=en)I have several clipped together)

Echostatic
06-03-2011, 11:27 PM
Awesome suggestions so far folks! Reckon some of these things will come in real handy. I wanna get some 1 gallon carboys for experiments. Lees stirrer, fruit bags, etc... All sound real handy, as I'm a fan of the mels.

wildoates
06-04-2011, 03:08 AM
I vote for all the above. :)

Medsen Fey
06-04-2011, 09:17 AM
A pH meter, some calibration solution and some potassium bicarbonate will serve you well.

I wouldn't buy 3.5 gallon buckets. I'd buy the 7 gallon size as you can make a small batch in a big bucket with no problems.

A brew-hauler to making picking carboys up a safer experience may be well worth it.

And there is no way to ever have enough carboys or aging containers.

Echostatic
06-08-2011, 03:47 PM
I went to the LHBS today :D

Here's what I got... In the form of an itemized list!

Two 6.8 gallon fermentation buckets with lids, no spigots

One lees stirrer "the whip"

One backup hydrometer

Two 6 gallon carboys

Three 1 gallon carboys

Stoppers and airlocks for carboys, plus an extra airlock just in case

Fermax yeast nutrient

Calcium carbonate

Pectic enzyme

24 swing top bottles (amber, 16oz)

Packet KV-1116 yeast

2 packets W-34/70 yeast (hard lemonade experiment)

And there ya have it... I spent a wee bit more than my gift card covered, but it put a good sized dent in the bill! The fun part was making it all fit in my car.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v252/echostatic/6482ce7c.jpg

Mars Colonist
06-09-2011, 02:03 PM
Doing 1 gallon batches, I find these things helpful:
0-40 Brix Refractometer
Mini-autosiphon that fits in the neck of 1 gallon jugs

Matrix4b
06-14-2011, 11:55 AM
This all sounds awesome. Score on the brew buckets and the 6 gal glass carboys. I find that I don't need the 1 gal carboys, I just buy my apple juice in the 1 gal glass containers and send those through the dishwasher and sanitize, then boom, instant 1 gal carboy. And all for the price of having 1 gal of whole apple juice. Oh, Darn what am I going to do with all this juice?

I know Cyser! Or do my annually winter spiced cider, non-alcoholic, for parties.

Echostatic
06-15-2011, 02:29 AM
I tend to get stomach aches when drinking apple juice. Shame, it's tasty stuff. They weren't very expensive at least, $5 each. I just scored a 5 gallon carboy free, apparently a neighbor used to brew beer and had it sitting on the curb. I imagine it will clean up well.

wy_white_wolf
06-15-2011, 10:26 PM
Little sis likes to buy a cheap chianti in 4L jugs. They make nice fermenters that'll rack into a a 1 gallon without much headspace.

Chevette Girl
06-15-2011, 10:47 PM
I tend to get stomach aches when drinking apple juice. Shame, it's tasty stuff. They weren't very expensive at least, $5 each. I just scored a 5 gallon carboy free, apparently a neighbor used to brew beer and had it sitting on the curb. I imagine it will clean up well.

Nice score!

About the apple juice though? Just ferment it! :) (I can't stomach apple juice at all, apple cider's a little better)