Like a lot of homebrewers, we started with a pot on the stove in the kitchen to brew our beer. It got the job done but we hogged up the kitchen for hours on end. We should have known this wouldn't last long and quickly made some moves.
Fast forward a couple months and the first course of action was to move brew day out of the kitchen. After a little research and some impulse buying while at the home brew store, we went with the Grainfather G30. It's been a good unit with a couple quirks but overall much better than just the 7 gallon pot. Added in a sparge heater shortly there after because, why not.
Years went by and all was well in brewland...except for fermentation. The Fast Ferment was fastly becoming a cog in the gears and really limiting us to what we could do. It was time for an upgrade. Behold, the Spike conical CF10! Outside of double the capacity, there are almost limitless options to accessories you can buy for this thing which will allow us to continue to make the fermentation process more controlled. Its also real shiny which makes it reeaaallll nice.
What's the next upgrade for Iron Bird Brew Works? Glycol chiller sounds like a solid next step...
And would you look at that...we have a glycol chiller! We attempted a DIY setup with a cooler for cold crashing but it was a huge pain in the rear and couldn't get down to the temperatures we wanted for a long period of time. We went with Spike Brewing/Penguin Chillers 1/3HP glycol chiller. This should allow us to cold crash more efficiently and make some lagers which require a colder temp for an extended period of time.
I think we may have been bit by the equipment upgrade bug as of late...we'll keep you updated on how this transpires.
The Grainfather G30 did ok but as always, it was time to upgrade and we went with the G40. The G40 has a larger capacity and 220v power to speed up the time it took to get to temperature which helped a lot. We've used the G40 for several brews now and it's certainly an upgrade, but still has small quirks. Overall a nice piece of equipment to brew with.