Times are tight, hops are expensive, malt is on the rise, inflation is taking its grip and your brewing dollars just don’t go as far as they used to. But who cares — you’re still a homebrew gearhead and you want that new shinny kettle or keg.
I was thinking about the next piece of major equipment I need to buy (need being a very inaccurate word). I know that first and foremost my kegs are just too warm and lonely sitting in a garage without a kegorator to house them in. So that should be where I invest my spare brewing pennies. I do, however, have a couple other pieces of equipment I have had my eye on and I thought I’d share with you what I am mulling over.
March Pump – This is one slick piece of equipment. If I purchased this I would put it to use straight away doing a recirculating-whirlpool chill technique that Jamil Zainasheff has described as a great way to maximize the potential of an immersion chiller. Getting a pump for wort and water would also facilitate maybe moving up to my next equipment want.
Plate chiller – I am a big fan of the ease of use that an immersion chill provides. But I also like my toys small and easy to store (my backpacking background). The plate chiller is just that, a self-contained slab of copper and steel chilling dynamo. The use of a pump would make its operation that much simpler. My only concern with the plate chiller is I don’t do a good job of seperating hops and break material from my kettle to my fermentor. So that would require some more kettle mods, more upgrades and more money.
Brewing stand – Getting back to my comment about my love of all things compact and easy to store, the brewing stand is large but would be a great addition. I think that getting a brewing stand together, on wheels, would make a nice permanent place for my brewing set up. I could just wheel it out, brew, then wheel it away. Nice clean and tidy set up. Now all my brewing stuff is scattered on several shelves and I have to haul it out and put it away. I never do that. My kettle and burner just sit in the garage until I get tired of tripping over it or walking around it.
Alas, good things cost money, even if I make them myself. For now I’ll just keep on keeping on with the equipment I have. I am still making good beer regardless. It’s just the equipment changes that help keep it new and fresh and easy. Ahhh, it’s fun to dream.
What’s in your bag of “must haves”?