the Equipment

One Pot Brewing consists of 12 items and 2 optional items. Yeah you heard me: 12 items. Buying everything new, it costs about $245 for the equipment and about $20 per batch of beer after that (5 gal). See also cost and process. (note: some of this stuff I got from Craigslist much cheaper than the price shown. I suggest you do the same).

Update: A reader of the blog created a nice Amazon List, for your convenience. Because prices fluctuate, the list comes out closer to $281 total and doesn’t include a barley crusher or fermentation chamber.

We start with a big ass pot:

13 gallon pot

$50 Pot (Amazon)
The crown jewel of One Pot Brewing, a 52 quart (13 gallon) aluminum tamale steamer. If you get a tiny weak ass pot, you will probably have to sparge like a little bitch (which involves more equipment). This fits a ton of grain and water, allowing bigger beers or batch sizes. The only vessel in the One Pot Brewing system.

Now, something to bottle from:

new spigot

$16 Spigot (Amazon)
A spigot to bottle from. Believe it or not, this little fucking spigot was the hardest piece of equipment to find. Punch a whole in the pot, about 2 inches from the bottom, so that all the gunk and crap can settle below it, leaving the beer nice and clear. I had a friend punch the hole for me, but it’s not hard. Looks like this installed:

cropped-img_20150919_1242442311.jpg

Next a custom made bag (seen above):

brew bag

$30 Bag (BrewinaBag.com)
It’s strong, durable bag to hold all the barley in; customized to the pot, convenient, and easy to clean. The beauty of using a bag is that, once you soak the barely in hot water, you simply pull the bag out, squeeze it, and throw the grains away.

Speaking of squeezing a super hot sack of barley. Don’t burn yourself. You need gloves for that:

chemical gloves

$5 Gloves
Chemical gloves. You can find them at the grocery store or hardware store.

Next a heat source. Trust me: the kitchen stove takes forever. Get a propane burner:

bayoo burner

$50 Burner (Amazon)
For the price, the Bayoo is a good burner. I get to mash temp (155F) in about 15 minutes or so, and get from 155 to a boil even faster. Try Craigslist.

propane$45 Propane Tank (Lowes, filled)
Refills cost me about $15. Walgreens is around $25. Can’t remember how long they last for, but I want to say 10 batches or so? If propane goes out while brewing (it did once), throw it on the stove.

Plastic_Spoon_large$5 Spoon (homebrew shop or online)
To stir the grains into the hot water, to stir after adding hops, and to stir while chilling. You need it. Plastic works just fine.

thermometers_new

$13 Thermometer
When you soak the barley in hot water, it should be around 155F. When you ferment, it should be around 70F.

red capper$14 Bottler (homebrew shop or online)
I’ve been using this since batch number one (I’m now at batch 50). Very easy.

caps$3.30 Caps

22-oz-bottles-amber-case-of-12_1_1$30 Large Bottles (optional)
You obviously don’t need to buy bottles. Almost all commercial craft brew bottles work (no screw-tops). I use big 22 oz bottles (called ‘bombers’) because they make bottling day faster, take up less space, and require less caps. At my homebrew store, they come in 12 packs for $15. Two cases is roughly a 5 gallon batch, roughly 44 beers. So you can get by with 2 cases. I have 4 cases of them – $60.

Domino-Sugar-Cubes-1-lb

$2/box Sugar Cubes
These are nothing more than sugar cubes, cane sugar to be exact. I was so happy to experiment with these little assholes! The cheapest way to carbonate your beer, by far! Just add one cube for a 12 oz bottle, two cubes for a 22 oz bottle (which is what I use), and that’s it. Previously I was using special ‘Carb Drops’ from my homebrew store. They were sort of the Achilles heel of One Pot Brewing; although convenient, very expensive considering the fact they are just….sugar. Carb Drops were costing me about 4 dollars per batch (50 beers). These bad ass Domino Sugar Cubes, on the other hand, cost only 50 cents per batch! In other words, one box will make around 100 22oz bottles, about 3.8 batches of beer. Boo yah!

hydom

$6 Hydrometer (Optional, homebrew store)
It’s heresy to say a hydrometer is optional for making beer. But I didn’t use one for 50 batches. So, suck it. However, using a hydrometer is not a bad idea; I actually use one now, just to make sure. It’s the only way to be certain that the beer is done fermenting. If you bottle the beer prematurely, the bottles can explode or be over-carbonated.

fridge

~$80 Fermentation Chamber (Optional, Craigslist)
This is highly optional but highly convenient. My thoughts here. It allows you to set any temperature you want, hot or cold: for fermenting, cold crashing, and bottling. Parts: (1) cheap fridge from Craiglist (2) plug and play temperature controller (3) some sort of heating device that plugs in. Requires virtually no mechanical skills. After you get several batches under your belt, I do recommend it. It makes brewing so much simpler.

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20 thoughts on “the Equipment

  1. Hey there, not sure how active you are on here. Just wondering how the spigot+bottling valve is working. Never seen one like that, seems like a brilliant soution and I wonder why more people don’t have one like that instead of the common straight ball valve setup.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just brewed my first batch with it a couple days ago, so stay tuned! I should be bottling in a week or so. Previously, I was using a similar spigot which worked just fine. This spigot should allow me to use a “bottling wand” or bottle filler. However, what I can say is that the diameter of the spigot is larger than the diameter of the bottling filler that I have (is that what you’re referring to?). So, connecting my bottle filler to the spigot will take a few inches of at least two sizes of tubing…hope that makes sense.

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  2. Cory says:

    Super stoked about finding your website! I have been on the internet for three days getting a handle on all grain, BIAB brewing and small batch brewing and now I am blown away by your simplicity and logic.

    I”ll be getting in touch with you shortly after I re-read all you posts as I want to use your system for a 11litre (3gal) stove top set up using a standard 20 quart stainless pot.

    Thanks again for taking the time to document your endeavours.

    Cory

    Liked by 1 person

      • Doppler says:

        Don’t know where to find them in the US.
        Hacker Pschorr beer usually comes in this format. You can buy their beer and keep their bottles. In Germany, by law, bottles are recovered, washed, and reused by the original brewery, so my guess is that they last for long time. Their glass wall are thicker than average bottles.

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    • Awesome to hear Jeremiah.. Don’t remember the size of the brew bag. On brewinabag.com, click on “size my kettle.” It will ask for the dimensions of the kettle which I believe are 17x16x17. It’s $34.90 with shipping.

      A fermentation chamber is very convenient and makes homebrewing a lot more fun. Rather than get an old craiglist fridge (like I did), I would suggest getting an upright freezer instead. It gets colder (for cold crashing), and it’s better to just have one compartment instead of two (the freezer of my fridge ends of being useless dead space. Or, try to get one of those beverage center fridges with a front glass door. As for a temperature controller, I would get the new inkbird STC-1000. Just plug-and-play, no wiring at all.

      I would get a bottling wand (not shown above), to attach to the spigot at bottling. It makes bottling a little faster and less air is introduced to the beer. Since the bottling wand doesn’t attach directly to the spigot, you have to get some small pieces of tube to attach it. I have two, one inch pieces of tube, which does the trick and easy to clean.

      Also, gelatin is not show above. I like to use it for clearing the beer fast (while cold crashing…optional but effective). The alternative is having gunk at the bottom of your bottles and pouring slowly (not that big of a deal).

      A big decision is whether you want to keg or not. With kegging, you can drink your beer in a few days. With bottling, it can take from one week to several weeks to carbonate (I don’t know why it varies so much). If you might want to keg, start planning for that now. It basically requires another fridge, or kegerator – which is why I don’t do it.

      Hope that helps!

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  3. I really appreciate your help.

    Well I just acquired a free refrigerator so can’t really follow your advice there. I picked up the Inkbird STC-1000 and a Lasko #100 MyHeat Personal Ceramic Heater because it gets incredibly cold in ND and the fridge will be in the garage.

    Already figured on the bottling wand and got some tubing to connect to the spigot.

    I’m not kegging at this time, I’ll probably invest in that later when I can get a nice kegerator. I got some nice fliptop bottles in a 32oz size, what would you use to clean them? I do have a dishwasher.

    What would be ideal to order for ingredients? I plan to brew at least once a month and am not sure what stock I should have, where to order from, or what would be the most cost effective long term.

    Thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve learned that using the freezer part of the fridge is much better for bottling – otherwise you really have to bend over. So, for IPAs, after I dry hop, I will move it to the freezer part. For other beers, the Pot will start and stay in the freezer part. Or you could build a platform for the fridge and raise it up.

    I would clean the bottles in your dishwasher, especially if it has a “sanitize” feature – that gets the bottles really really hot and kills any bugs. It’s very convenient but does take a couple hours of planning. Other options: bathtub with sanitizer, or large tub. Pain in the ass. Or use a “bottle tree” – google it. I think they’re silly but a lot of people use them.

    If you don’t have a local place to buy ingredients, NorthernBrewer.com is probably good and closer to you. If you plan on grinding the grains, I would buy everything in bulk. I would buy a huge 50 pound sack of Briess 2 Row Brewers malt for only 34 bucks. You will use a lot of it for almost all your recipes. Chocolate malt is popular for Browns, Porters, and Stouts. Roasted Barley for Stouts. If you’re making Belgian beers (e.g. Belgian Tripel), get a big sack of Pilsner malt. “Caramel” malts add sweetness and are in a lot of recipes, but in small amounts. For a lot of English style beers, Maris Otter malt is a popular base malt which I like – in that case you could get a lot of it. For most 5 gallon batches, you are looking at around 12 pounds of malt total – depending on ABV of course.

    http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-ingredients/maillard-malts-malted-grain/bulk-brewing-grains

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  5. I could be confusing this with older posts, but have you found a new spigot that lets you use the bottling wand? I was looking on HomeBrewSupply and came across this: https://www.homebrewsupply.com/stainless-steel-ball-valve-3-4-inch-npt.html. Are there pros and cons to something like this vs the one you recommend in the post?

    Have you ever thought about putting together a kit that you could assemble and resell? Or creating a linkable list on Amazon to put everything in one place (and collecting a little affiliate cut)?

    Thanks for putting this together!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks David, that SS Spigot looks great actually, as long as there are no issues mixing aluminum with steel (some metals don’t play nice together..not sure about those two).

      I’m fairly happy with the spigot in the post, that’s the one I’ve been using for a while. It’s lightweight, short, and keeps a good seal. It does work with a bottling wand, although you have to attach two small pieces of plastic tubing to make it fit . You can also transfer to a keg, but it requires that you to suck on it to get a good flow going – perhaps a better spigot wouldn’t require that, not sure. Physics!

      I have thought of creating a “kit” of some sort. If I was smart enough I would do it! My focus now is publishing an article in Zymergy (probably July), then hoping that could lead to a book deal (not likely), then hoping that could lead to a “kit” of some sort. Also my blog is not popular enough to justify the work. If my blog was more popular, I might put more thought into it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I had a little time this evening so I polished and shared the Amazon list I’d already started based on your equipment list: https://smile.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/CHFLRO10UUFS. There isn’t any affiliate anything and I disabled my home address so nobody accidentally buys me a present from the list. :-p

        I picked products that were rated highly with the best prices. The total I see right now is $281.80 for everything required (including shipping and tax for me on the custom brew bag ($35 + 4.90 S&H + 2.45 tax) and a local refill of the propane tank). That excludes everything below the sugar cubes, though it seems like the barley crusher should probably be required too based on what you say about it.

        That price is a bit higher than you estimated, but not by a lot. If someone waits for deals, shops around, or looks locally at the brew shop or craigslist I’m sure it’d come down a lot.

        Thanks again for sharing your experiments!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow, that’s great David. Thanks for doing that. Looks like the prices changed since I first estimated. I didn’t know how Amazon lists work: how does a person find your list exactly?

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      • Amazon used to have a system for creating lists of things for situations like this, but I don’t think it exists anymore. As it is, you have to use this exact link to find the list. Not ideal, I know.

        I’ve seen folks create groups of things for kits in other third party websites. Maybe one of those would work better. Maybe if I have some more time I can check out that option this weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

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