Start up tips

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stewartparker

Start up tips

Post by stewartparker » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:10 pm

Evening all,

I am looking to start up a small scale operation in the next few months. I have a little cash put aside (around £1200). All i have currently are empty bottles and 2x20ltr food grade buckets. I would like to dive in at the deep end and go all-grain to start with.

Any recommendations for a fool hardy amateur are welcome

Stewart.

dmuz

Re: Start up tips

Post by dmuz » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:35 pm

Others will be along shortly to recommend lots of beautiful equipment for you for an ag setup as im fairly new. My best purchase has been my cornelius kegs, a great way to store, carbonate and serve beer without the hassle of bottling. Mine were about £150 for 3 kegs including gas and beer taps around 3 years ago.

£1200 is a lot for a starter ag setup, im sure the good people on here can recommend the equipment to brew beer well for less than half of that moneys.

Cazamodo

Re: Start up tips

Post by Cazamodo » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:07 am

I wish I had £1200 to start out with :D

I would say the best thinngs to get right from the start, would be a good sized boiler/MT/and HLT. You could get tehse pre-made with valves and such with that budget I imagine, o go the DIY route.

The next thing I would reccomend as a nessecity, is a form of fermentatipn temptrature control. There are a few ways to do this, but all depends on the space and budget you have.

Then from there its just a case of seeing something new and wanting to upgrade to it :D haha

boingy

Re: Start up tips

Post by boingy » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:00 am

Spend as little as possible until you're sure that you like brewing and that you have the time to brew!
You wouldn't be the first to dive in, spend a fortune on kit then end up selling it a short while later.

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orlando
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Re: Start up tips

Post by orlando » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:39 am

dmuz wrote: Mine were about £150 for 3 kegs including gas and beer taps around 3 years ago.
Check eBay, you will be horrified at the prices now, I've just been through it and to build a keezer (admittedly brand new chest freezer) I still spent £500 on the rest so my tip would be to concentrate on getting the front end right first, after all this is what makes the beer. So 3 vessels to meet your needs are essential but controlled fermentation is important too and with that budget easy to accommodate. It is amazing how all the little bits add up too so don't get carried away with the 3 V's and find you bust the budget buying a hydrometer :D
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

Fermenting: Indian Summer
Conditioning: Brown Girl In The Ring, He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (Wee Heavy) till December.
Drinking: Mama, He Treats Your Porter Mean (1838 Reid's Porter), The River, Comfortably Numb, From Russia With Love (RIS)

Up Next: Kings & Queens, Eldridge Pope Royal Oak clone, Stout! In The Name Of Love, Elusive Butterfly
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Dave S
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Re: Start up tips

Post by Dave S » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:08 am

Cazamodo wrote:I wish I had £1200 to start out with :D

I would say the best thinngs to get right from the start, would be a good sized boiler/MT/and HLT. You could get tehse pre-made with valves and such with that budget I imagine, o go the DIY route.

The next thing I would reccomend as a nessecity, is a form of fermentatipn temptrature control. There are a few ways to do this, but all depends on the space and budget you have.

Then from there its just a case of seeing something new and wanting to upgrade to it :D haha
I would add a wort cooler to the list of necessities.
Best wishes

Dave

darkonnis

Re: Start up tips

Post by darkonnis » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:22 pm

The DIY route will save you a pretty penny. You can do it for a few hundred and have absolutely everything you need, or you could spend all your money and still only have absolutely everything you need.
A wort chiller is one of the few things I'd just buy. I built one, by the time I was done, I saved £10 on if I'd just bought the damn thing for £40. Other things, boilers and the like, I made myself and saved quite a bit though on ebay theres now a few not HALF bad set ups for a reasonable price.

lord groan
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Re: Start up tips

Post by lord groan » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:44 pm

stewart,

I'd go with the diy route for your first kit and brews, that way if you don't like it or never get the time you've wasted very little. Going cheap and cheerful will mean you pick up on any little niggles with the kit, identifying problems and ways it could be better. That way it means when you do come to buy more expensive kit you will will have a really good idea of what works for you and what doesn't. You'll be much more confident you're getting the right gear

I've done a really cheap build ( viewtopic.php?f=6&t=58027 ) for trying out AG brewing, I certainly learned a lot from doing the build this way, mind you I've only done a test run with water so far.
hope this helps
lg

firstandlast

Re: Start up tips

Post by firstandlast » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:11 am

For £1200 you should have plenty left over for ingredients and a comfy armchair to enjoy the first brew. You can certainly get a pretty high spec system for a lot less than £1000.
I have just purchased 100l boiler/HLT (SS from Bergland24, Germany via, but not through e-bay/paypal), 80l MT (SS insulated Thermos also Bergland), 3 piece valves, 8.5 KW burners, silicone tubing, 2 totton style pumps, various camlocks, 100kw cooler and other bits and pieces for about £700ish (and counting, FB/spage arm left).

The key to keeping the costs down was to spend a bit of time searching the web for bargains whilst still sourcing good quality kit (valves/SS fittings etc...). Not putting in dial thermometers saves a few quid and buying all fittings at the same time saves on postage. If you want some links I can do that.

I am sure I could have cut a few more corners or searched a bit harder to make it cheaper but I suppose a budget is there for a reason and the new shiney equipment does look great!

Good luck and happy surfing/brewing.

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Horatio
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Re: Start up tips

Post by Horatio » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:09 am

One thing to consider from the outset is how you want to heat your water/liquor/wort; Gas or electric? If electric make sure you have a suitable power supply and if gas, a suitable location (well ventilated etc). Then you will need to decide on brew length and gas burner or elements types. There is a wealth of great knowledge on Jims and many will be happy to help you on your way once you decide how you want to do things. Keep asking the questions and keep searching through old threads and posts. Also see if you can find someone near you and look at there set up and see if you can take any tips from that? Good luck with it. :D
If I had all the money I'd spent on brewing... I'd spend it on brewing!

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