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100% Greenie coming out of Adelaide, come help a man out!

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SugarCain

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Hi all,

Name is Cain, young guy coming from Adelaide and wanting to dip into home brewing. Work currently at a craft beer pub called Gilbert Street Hotel, big supporters of Pirate Life Brewing, though personal favourites being Little Bang, Balter and Garage Project!

Trying to find like minded people, learn alot out of the forums, and hopefully get on to making some cracking beer! (Hopefully some I could share too!)

Got a few links of where I have been looking to start with Brewcraft brewing kits. Give any tips, links or advice you have, I am all ears... or just come say 'Hi!'

Cheers!

Brewing Starter Kit: https://www.brewcraft.com.au/produc...bottle-retail-value-19225-save-4325#brewcraft
30L Plastic Fermenter (dimensions): https://www.brewcraft.com.au/product/30-litre-fermenter#brewcraft
PET Glass Flip Top Bottles: https://www.brewcraft.com.au/product/flip-top-bottle-500ml-carton-12-grolsch#brewcraft
Cupboard to store equipment/fermenter: https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/henley-beach/cabinets/ikea-cupboard/1241910736
Mercury Thermometer (where is the best to get one like this?): https://www.cleverbrewing.com.au/th...rJAmFcSZHKwLEQ_Ide-DlP8fzHGZIT2IaAmvlEALw_wcB
 

MHB

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If you are starting with kits, any of the starter packages on offer should give you the basics, you will grow your collection of stuff from there.
One thing you probably wont need is a Mercury Thermometer, the one in the link and most of those available outside laboratory suppliers are going to be Alcohol Thermometers (use alcohol rather than Hg, not for measuring Alcohol).
For kit brewing a thermometer is probably going to be less important than it is to a grain brewer where mash temperatures are really critical.
When the time comes to buy a thermometer buy a decent one, I had a look at a bundle of cheap Chinese ones, there was a 20oC spread on the readings (useless). Alla from France are widely available for less than $20, they are generally pretty good for the money (some good homebrew shops stock these or contact Winequip they have a presence in SA).
High-end laboratory thermometers can cost hundreds of dollars, I have a certified NATA calibrated thermometer that would cost over $400 to replace, only used to check other thermometers and sensors, you don't need anything like that but a decent one is a must.
Use it as a reference, plenty of electronic ones out there, problem is you don't know if its working properly or not so check it against your reference thermometer regularly.

The one thing you really do need is temperature control of your ferment. I would rate this above moving to all grain brewing, in fact above almost everything except good hygiene (Cleaning and Sterilising).
Get an old fridge, get a temperature controller, put a small fan in there for best results.
You can get a decent controller off eBay for less than $20 (search for STC 1000) if you are comfortable doing some basic wiring, or get one from your local home brew shop or a forum supporter (like, Inkbird at the top of the page).
Without temperature control its impossible to make consistently good beer all year round!

First thing is good hygiene, get a good cleaner and sanitiser, only ever clean brewing equipment with a soft cloth (abrasives will make scratches where bugs can live). There are lots of options, I use Sodium Percarbonate as my general cleaner and a peroxide based sanitiser or 70% alcohol (ethanol) in a spray bottle to sterilise . Also have a collection of other products that I use from time to time or for special jobs like yeast culturing where you need to be ridiculously careful.
If you think its clean and sterile, you are wrong, be sure!
Mark
 

koshari

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again pretty good advice from Mark,

especially his 2nd paragraph.
 

Grmblz

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Join Coopers club https://www.diybeer.com/au/customer...vYWNjb3VudA,,/?SID=01toa3ndrsrqa395pcotqtbd15 10% off retail prices (or more if your LHBS is a rip off merchant like mine) and free shipping offered around the 12th of every month (sign up for email notification, and watch out for recipe of the month packs, it coincides with their free shipping) All you need to know as a beginner is on their site, look at their recipe section for clones and general inspiration.

What MHB said about temp control/cleaning, and sanitising is paramount,this https://www.kegland.com.au/mkii-10-30amp-temperature-controller-heat-cool.html or this https://www.keg-king.com.au/mkii-10-30amp-temperature-controller-heat-cool.html the same unit I don't want to be accused of favouritism ;) this has a good reputation https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Inkbird...403?_trksid=p2349526.m4383.l4275.c10#viTabs_0 not as sophisticated as the other two but all you need right now, and easier to program.
Plus a fridge off gumtree or facebook buy swap sell, just make sure it's big enough, height is the usual problem, especially if your fermenter is like one of these https://www.kegland.com.au/fermzilla-27l-conical-uni-tank-fermenter-now-with-stainless-handle.html or https://www.keg-king.com.au/g3-fermenter-king-pressure-fermenting-kit.html sure start off with a bucket just be aware that if the bug bites you will wish you'd bought a tall one.
 

SugarCain

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Hey Cain, Welcome mate.

My first step would be to remove what appears to be your home address from the side profile bar ;)

Ah shit, cheers on that. Instantly removed that info. Let's hope their were no screenshots of it
 

SugarCain

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If you are starting with kits, any of the starter packages on offer should give you the basics, you will grow your collection of stuff from there.
One thing you probably wont need is a Mercury Thermometer, the one in the link and most of those available outside laboratory suppliers are going to be Alcohol Thermometers (use alcohol rather than Hg, not for measuring Alcohol).
For kit brewing a thermometer is probably going to be less important than it is to a grain brewer where mash temperatures are really critical.
When the time comes to buy a thermometer buy a decent one, I had a look at a bundle of cheap Chinese ones, there was a 20oC spread on the readings (useless). Alla from France are widely available for less than $20, they are generally pretty good for the money (some good homebrew shops stock these or contact Winequip they have a presence in SA).
High-end laboratory thermometers can cost hundreds of dollars, I have a certified NATA calibrated thermometer that would cost over $400 to replace, only used to check other thermometers and sensors, you don't need anything like that but a decent one is a must.
Use it as a reference, plenty of electronic ones out there, problem is you don't know if its working properly or not so check it against your reference thermometer regularly.

The one thing you really do need is temperature control of your ferment. I would rate this above moving to all grain brewing, in fact above almost everything except good hygiene (Cleaning and Sterilising).
Get an old fridge, get a temperature controller, put a small fan in there for best results.
You can get a decent controller off eBay for less than $20 (search for STC 1000) if you are comfortable doing some basic wiring, or get one from your local home brew shop or a forum supporter (like, Inkbird at the top of the page).
Without temperature control its impossible to make consistently good beer all year round!

First thing is good hygiene, get a good cleaner and sanitiser, only ever clean brewing equipment with a soft cloth (abrasives will make scratches where bugs can live). There are lots of options, I use Sodium Percarbonate as my general cleaner and a peroxide based sanitiser or 70% alcohol (ethanol) in a spray bottle to sterilise . Also have a collection of other products that I use from time to time or for special jobs like yeast culturing where you need to be ridiculously careful.
If you think its clean and sterile, you are wrong, be sure!
Mark
Awesome, cheers on all that info.

Loving that quote of "If you think it's clean, you are wrong. Be sure!". Going to have to frame that somewhere.

Didn't know about the old fridge idea, but makes complete sense. Assumed the fridge wont be on, but used as an insulated space where temperature can be easily regulated with temperature controller and fan?

Also, had never heard of temperature controllers. Thought a few heated blankets or ice would be the trick, too low budget and ghetto?

Anyway, with this info along with others. Going to buy my first kit when the next paycheck comes in!
 

Eddy Monsoon

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Didn't know about the old fridge idea, but makes complete sense. Assumed the fridge wont be on, but used as an insulated space where temperature can be easily regulated with temperature controller and fan?

Also, had never heard of temperature controllers. Thought a few heated blankets or ice would be the trick, too low budget and ghetto?

Anyway, with this info along with others. Going to buy my first kit when the next paycheck comes in!
As above, I can't recommend enough for you to get an old working fridge, a heat mat and an Inkbird temperature controller.

Inkbird turns the fridge on when the temperature gets too high, turns it off at the right temp. Then if the temp gets too low turns Inkbird turns the mat on, and off again when it's warm enough.

Frigging around with Ice and Blankets is just not worth it,
 

MHB

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Absolutely a working fridge! If you put a little fan in there you wont need a heat mat, a 25W fan is a 25W heater (isn't that the first law of thermodynamics?)
A fan will also give you faster cooling and a more even temperature throughout the fridge.
If you don't agree on the fan, go find one commercial fridge or cold-room that doesn't have a fan, it will be the first one ever seen.
Mark
 

SugarCain

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Ah right, in that case of the fridge being functional. What's the added elecricity usage/cost with the fridge + temperature controller?

Cheers regardless for the clarification on it being a working one!
 

MHB

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Well as the fridge will be running at fermentation temperature (say 20oC) you wont use heaps of power.
Sure occasionally you will turn it down to cold crash but odds on you wont be brewing all the time when you aren't, just turn it off so not too dear.
You will make better beer so a small price to pay.
Mark
 

SugarCain

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Hey all, had gone AWOL and off the grid. But still here

Admist all the pandemic finally dipped my toes into it. Did go a cheaper alternative to see if I truly have interest in the art of hombrew. Bought one of those Coopers DIY Brewkits, just before I blow 100's on fridges, carboys, temp controllers and the like.

Have had great fun with it having brewed my first batch, and it sitting in bottles for another 2 weeks before drinking.

But for the time being, before I invest in a fridge and temperature controllers (already have my eyes set on a few fridges). Does anyone have cheap sneaky tricks to regulate temperature better? Finding mine sits a little too high around the 22/23 mark.

Cheers, thought most deserve some sort of update!

P.S No shortage of drinking good craft beers though 😂

- Cain Roselt
 

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SugarCain

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Hadn't seen any fridges for free, Jeezus. And house mates have the concern of electricity costs, as much as I explain it -_-

As for controllers, hadn't seen that model or brand. Looked more around the 30/40 mark. And with the fan example? Do they just connect up together? (Have no tech knowledge)

But cheers nonetheless, had no idea that I would need to install a fan , just assumed you plugged the temp controller between the PowerPoint and fridge, and then it regulated the fridge temperature. But I assume you're implying the fan does that and instead the fridge is just insulation?
 

Grmblz

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Read posts #10 and #12 from MHB
Google STC 1000 wiring diagram.
If you're not comfortable working with 240v then DON'T!
You'll then be up for $39 for an inkbird Temperature Controller ITC-308 | INKBIRD buy direct ebay resellers rip you off.
or $49 for a KL MKII - Temperature Controller (Heat & Cool) [4mm Probe for Distillation] - Alarm Inbuilt | KegLand
fwiw I've got both, the inkbird was faulty on arrival but replaced with no hassle after a photo was sent, of the two I think the inkbird is easier to program, the quality of both seems very similar, but the KL uses an unusual resistance on its temp probe.
So $57??? Although if you just lost your job that might be a small fortune.
Do a search for fermentation fridge STC 1000 for a few variations on how to do it.
My latest build has full temp control, heating in the winter (or using a strange yeast called Kveik) cooling in the summer, a fairly new big fridge (so a conical fermenter fits) and I got change from $200.
 

SugarCain

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Read posts #10 and #12 from MHB
Google STC 1000 wiring diagram.
If you're not comfortable working with 240v then DON'T!
You'll then be up for $39 for an inkbird Temperature Controller ITC-308 | INKBIRD buy direct ebay resellers rip you off.
or $49 for a KL MKII - Temperature Controller (Heat & Cool) [4mm Probe for Distillation] - Alarm Inbuilt | KegLand
fwiw I've got both, the inkbird was faulty on arrival but replaced with no hassle after a photo was sent, of the two I think the inkbird is easier to program, the quality of both seems very similar, but the KL uses an unusual resistance on its temp probe.
So $57??? Although if you just lost your job that might be a small fortune.
Do a search for fermentation fridge STC 1000 for a few variations on how to do it.
My latest build has full temp control, heating in the winter (or using a strange yeast called Kveik) cooling in the summer, a fairly new big fridge (so a conical fermenter fits) and I got change from $200.
Sweet cheers, had been heavily looking st the Inkbird Temp Controller, and looked user friendly and everything I would need, while still being at an affordable price.

I have heard of the Kveik strain of yeast. Its some Nordic yeast that ferments at real high temps right? Tried it in Shapeshifter Brewing Co's Nordic IPA, was real interesting!

Cheers for all the advice and tips. Got an idea of what I am going to do for setup. Excited to crack onto it!

Just as excited to finally try the first brew when its done, will taste like a small victory that it's atleast passable and drinkable 😂

- Cain
 

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