Author Topic: What comes first AG or kegging?  (Read 8372 times)

Offline BigBry68

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What comes first AG or kegging?
« on: June 16, 2014, 01:01:07 PM »
I am considering my next steps in brewing.  Newbie as of this year.  I wonder for those looking in hindsight if you would recommend getting set up for brewing AG or set up to start kegging first?  Obviously there are advantages on both sides.

Thanks. ;)
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Offline Slobrew

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Re: What comes first AG or kegging?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2014, 02:16:01 PM »
Well, here is my thought process. If you start kegging then you make the beer making process more efficient. If you start AG then you make it a little more complicated. So, I started kegging first then went to AG. I do not miss cleaning beer bottles. Both of your choices involve more money. Kegging - need a place to keep the kegs and a means of dispensing. I also added an adjustable fridge to use as fermenter cooler. AG - probably need a bigger pot, mash tun, water analysis, grain mill, etc. I also started yeast starters at this stage. Just my opinion, I'm sure you will get more. Enjoy.

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: What comes first AG or kegging?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2014, 03:22:53 PM »
I moved to all grain first because at the time I didn't have a place to put a keg fridge, and because of the cost. Though I agree about cleaning bottles. Don't miss that one bit.

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Offline BigBry68

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Re: What comes first AG or kegging?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2014, 03:30:32 PM »
I already have a garage frig that is barely used.  So that seemed like the easy part.   ::)

Thanks for the feedback

I also feel like I am not nearly a good enough connoisseur for all the specific nuances that seem associated with AG brewing.   :o
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KernelCrush

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Re: What comes first AG or kegging?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2014, 04:50:06 PM »
I would get a temperature controller for the garage fridge first.  It will drastically improve your beer, ag or extract.  Of course you will need another used fridge from craigslist to store and dispense.  Measure your carboys and take a tape with you when you go to buy. A 25 cu ft fridge I think I got for 50 bucks holds 6 cornies or 4 X 6-1/2 gallon carboys.  an inexpensive temp controller is the stc-1000, if you can do some wiring. They are less than 20$ at amazon.  Not sure if you are doing full wort boils but that will improve your extract beer and you can move to ag when your ready

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: What comes first AG or kegging?
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2014, 05:16:52 PM »
Two things I would place before AG or kegging would be absolute fermentation temp control and rapid chilling of hot wort.  Those two things will dramatically improve all beers if you're not already doing them.   Solid sanitation plus those two items and you can make plenty of great extract beers.  AG gives you more control over certain things and may make some difficult styles accessible where the extract version may be ho-hum.  And kegging simplifies packaging and saves those that lose the will the bottle. 

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: What comes first AG or kegging?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2014, 03:43:45 PM »
Quote
I also feel like I am not nearly a good enough connoisseur for all the specific nuances that seem associated with AG brewing.   :o

It's a lot easier than it looks on paper. Seriously.
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Offline Wingeezer

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Re: What comes first AG or kegging?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2014, 03:54:53 PM »
I tried brewing way back in the seventies - and never could make a good beer!    I was using extracts and I was bottling.  After pouring a half a dozen batches down the sink I gave it up as a bad job!


When I decided a couple of years ago to give it another try, I did a lot of reading first and decided that if I was going to gee brewing another try, it would only be with all-grain and with kegging.

So I equipped myself accordingly and away we went!  never looked back!

Why not make  both changes at once?!    I had no problem at all going that route.

Brian.







Offline Brewmex41

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Re: What comes first AG or kegging?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2014, 03:58:18 PM »
Ferm temp control. But after that I'd say Kegging. You can slowly work your way up to ag. After you get the keg setup once you can afford it, buy a kettle big enough for full boil and do full boil extract. Then all you'll really need is a mash tun. I use a full half bbl keg for my boil kettle and a $4 turkey fryer from Walmart. it came with a 7.5 gallon pot that i use for heating my strike and sparge water. I built the mash tun from a rectangle cooler with a false bottom for maybe $80-$100.
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Offline BigBry68

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Re: What comes first AG or kegging?
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2014, 05:45:22 PM »
I would get a temperature controller for the garage fridge first...an inexpensive temp controller is the stc-1000, if you can do some wiring. They are less than 20$ at amazon.
it for

So you hard wire this into the frig?  Not to difficult from the looks of it and you are right pretty cheap.  What is the range?  Can I use it for colder temp fermenting 65 degree ranges? or will it create that much flexibility?
You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of football team, or some nuclear weapons, but in the very least you need a beer.
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Offline BigBry68

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Re: What comes first AG or kegging?
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2014, 05:52:39 PM »
Why not make  both changes at once?!    I had no problem at all going that route.Brian.

Costs my friend costs.  Operating on a shoestring.  One kid in college with two more coming through high school.  I feel fortunate when I can budget in the ingredients for my next batch. lol   

Scouring craigslist for deals to move my set up along.

All in due time all in due time.  Thanks for the plug though
You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of football team, or some nuclear weapons, but in the very least you need a beer.
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Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: What comes first AG or kegging?
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2014, 06:22:53 PM »
Quote
Costs my friend costs.  Operating on a shoestring.

Which to choose based upon cost. That's a tossup.

Kegging requires buying a keg or two, a regulator, and a deposit on a CO2 tank. Then you need a tap and lines. You said you've already got a fridge. I ended up getting a chest freezer and thermostat.

With AG you can likely use things you already have. For example instead of buying an Igloo with a false bottom you could use a stock pot and sleeping bad for the mash, and turn some of your buckets into a "Zapap" lauter tun (google it).  You do need a large brew pot and some way to heat it. That can get pricy.

Either way you should have a chiller or some sort if you don't already. I built mine from a copper coil and plumbing parts from the hardware store. I find that they can be quite helpful when you tell them you're making beer.
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Offline jomebrew

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Re: What comes first AG or kegging?
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2014, 07:48:00 PM »
+1000  Fermentation temperature control.   AG is wasted and kegging bad beer is worse.     Then I would keg of that is how you plan to serve 95%.   last would AG only after you churn out some great beer, not just OK beer.

I would get a temperature controller for the garage fridge first.  It will drastically improve your beer, ag or extract.


KernelCrush

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Re: What comes first AG or kegging?
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2014, 02:47:09 AM »
Quote
So you hard wire this into the frig?  Not to difficult from the looks of it and you are right pretty cheap.  What is the range?  Can I use it for colder temp fermenting 65 degree ranges? or will it create that much flexibility?

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/stc-1000-wiring-333680/

This link and many others on that site will give you a lot of pointers and pitfalls.  The range is way more than you will ever use. 

When you get it going read up on temperature ramping as opposed to holding one specific temperature.  Tom_Hampton has some excellent posts on the topic.

Offline jtoots

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Re: What comes first AG or kegging?
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2014, 07:17:38 AM »
+1 for kegging.  once you stop bottling you'll brew more beer.  more beer is good.

 

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