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Old 03-04-2005, 02:37 AM   #1
rightwingnut
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Default AG Equipment

Alright, guys, I'm gettin' my all-grain on, but I need some help. I've got the kettles, and I think I'm gonna go with the stainless weldless spigots from Morebeer. Now, what else do I need? Something for the mashtun...false bottom? Phil's sparge arm for the sparge? Burners...will one work, just rotating it as needed between kettles? I'll build some kind of three-tier deal. Thermometers... What else? Thanks in advance...



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Old 03-04-2005, 04:18 AM   #2
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I prefer a manifold made of some sort of tubing, with holes drilled in it rather than a false bottom. False bottoms always screw up on me, and besides, making a loop of tubing out of copper or cpvc, then drilling holes in it is easy and cheap. Plus it does a better job.

Phil's sparge arms...if those are the twirly sprinkler thingies...are definitely nice. They work well.

One burner...hmmm...we have two, but we almost never have both going. Still, I think we need two, or at least I'm glad we have them. It means a lot less shuffling around of big, heavy, hot things. But then I used to brew for years with one...

You probably could do with one burner if you wanted to. It's less convenient and takes longer at several steps, but one can definitely do it, especially if one has strong friends to help lift heavy kettles of water and mash and move them about. It'll be fine with 5 gallon batches.

Put a thermometer in all three vessels. You don't have to. But it's rad if you do.

My weldless fixtures leak.

I'm sure you're ready to go. The *key* thing to all-grain brewing is the sparge. Don't sweat the mash temperature...get it where you want and leave it alone. You don't need to check it every 10 minutes. The grain we all get is so highly converted that all starch goes to sugar in about 15 minutes as far as I can tell. Conversion happens.

Screw protein rests and all that. Do a single step infusion for your first batch.

When you sparge, just go nice and slow. Don't disturb the mash. It's a slow, gentle rinse.

Have fun!



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Last edited by Janx; 03-04-2005 at 04:19 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 03-04-2005, 03:24 PM   #3
DeRoux's Broux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rightwingnut
Alright, guys, I'm gettin' my all-grain on, but I need some help. I've got the kettles, and I think I'm gonna go with the stainless weldless spigots from Morebeer. Now, what else do I need? Something for the mashtun...false bottom? Phil's sparge arm for the sparge? Burners...will one work, just rotating it as needed between kettles? I'll build some kind of three-tier deal. Thermometers... What else? Thanks in advance...
I'm doing my first AG tomorrow. I have a converted Rubbermaid cooler for a mash/lauter tank, and one burner. No false bottom. Goona try one of those mesh SS screens. If it doesn't work, I'm gonna try Janx's method. I got a 11 gallon SS keetle that I drilled a 7/8" hole, and did the SS weldless fitting (it did drip a little when I tested it with water last night).
I have one burner, but I will be doing 5 g, so it shouldn't be too hard to move. I don't have a sparge arm YET, but by the next batch I will. Just gonna wing the sparging process w/ a nice big SS ladle. Other than that, I'll use my regular grain/extract equipment. I'm sure I'll tweak and wantto add equipment before the next brew.
Like Janx said, go with a single infusion mash first. It maybe the only way I ever AG?

Cheers!
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Old 03-04-2005, 05:11 PM   #4
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Good luck DeRoux's Broux! Be sure to let us know how it goes...I'll be very interested to know..since I plan on going all grain someday

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Old 03-04-2005, 10:52 PM   #5
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I was gonna move the burner around, not the kettles, but whatever. Janx, can you describe your copper manifold in detail? Is it just one loop at the bottom that connects to the spigot at one end and just capped off at the other? Or is it a coil, like a wort chiller? How do you connect it? The grain just goes right on top of it, right? Tell, tell, tell!!! (Or pic, pic, pic!)

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Old 03-04-2005, 10:56 PM   #6
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Alright, I remembered you posted a picture, so I went and found it. I think I get the jist, but if you have any pointers on putting it all together, I'd love to hear 'em.

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Old 03-05-2005, 12:13 AM   #7
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Yeah, the pic pretty much describes what I have. I've had a couple very similar setups, and I always prefer them to a false bottom. I even tried going back to a false bottom when building this setup and when it failed on the first batch it went on the shelf.

Our kettle has a threaded coupler welded on the outside. There's a stainless ball valve screwed into that on the outside. The manifold on the inside is made of CPVC, which is heat tolerant. You put it together with primer and CPVC cement. You can guess how it goes together...some elbows, some T's...there are lots of ways that could work. On the arm that goes to the outflow, you just glue a male threaded fitting. That arm goes to the center of the keg, makes a right angle turn down, and then there's another threaded male. There's a threaded female on the square of pipe that does the actual collecting of wort. So you screw in the arm to the outflow coupler (from inside the keg of course), then screw the manifold onto the male threaded piece that faces downward. I always drill the holes in the bottom of the tube/pipe. It seems to work best. Lot's of little holes.

There are a million ways to do this same kind of thing. I've done it several different ways before.

The grain goes right on top of it. It has only once had a problem, and that was when we put a bunch of flaked barley right on top of it. Well, that stuff turns to oatmeal and will clog anything. We put flaked on top of the bed nowwhen we use it. Otherwise, it has worked flawlessley.

Let me know if any of that isn't clear. Cheers!

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Old 03-05-2005, 01:14 AM   #8
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Perfectly clear...I just have to get the right fittings...can you recommend a morebeer item#? If not, I'll figure it out....

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Old 03-07-2005, 02:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hops, Tx
Good luck DeRoux's Broux! Be sure to let us know how it goes...I'll be very interested to know..since I plan on going all grain someday
Well Hops, it went real smooth, I think? It took pretty much all day Saturday, but I had some repairs to make. My hose from my lauter tun was leaking, so I had to get some small hose clamps. The weldless fitting on my kettle leaked a little during sparging, but once the boil started, no problems. It took me a while to do the sparge. Low and slow. I didn't do any kind of pH or Iodine test. The run-off was getting real light in color (almost clear) and didn't taste sweet like the earlier run-offs. I recirculated the wort for about 20 minutes (tried to set my flow at about 1.9 L a minute during recirculation). Once I finished that, I started flowing to the kettle and topping of w/ about 168 degree water @ about 1 L/minute. Tried to keep a 1-2" water level on top of the grain bed. Took about 2 hours to use all my sparge water and drain the wort in the kettle. I didn't have a stuck sparge or any problems. I think my efficiency may be a little down though? Mash and sparge water totaled 7.5 gallons, and when I added to my fermentor it was less than 5 gallons. All in all, it was easy and fun. Just can't get side tracked when your sparging (at least w/ my set-up).
I do have one question? My primary went ape-**** last night. It was one of the shortest lag times I've ever had (about 10-12 hours). Last night about 1030, I had foam coming out the air lock. At 0130 am, the freak'n lid blew off, and did it again @ 0245 am this morning. I finaly just left the cap and float off the air lock so it wouldn't blow again. I've never had a batch do that? Is it from more fermentable sugars from all-grain or what????? Does that mean my brewing was efficient???? I aerated the proper amount, chilled to 70 degree's before pitching, etc???? I had to leave the cap and float off when I came to work because it was flow'n like a river of foam!

Thanks!
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Old 03-07-2005, 02:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rightwingnut
Perfectly clear...I just have to get the right fittings...can you recommend a morebeer item#? If not, I'll figure it out....
Sorry, didn't see your post. This looks like the piece for the coupler:
http://www.morebeer.com/product.html?product_id=17445


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