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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Which All Grain Brewing System should I buy/make
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Old 03-31-2011, 12:52 AM   #1
triptens
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Default Which All Grain Brewing System should I buy/make

I'm going from a couple years of extract brewing into all grain(finally), and truly know nothing about the equipment. I love to brew and will be doing this for years to come so I want to get it right the first time. I have about $2000 to spend. Any help is much appreciated.
Cheers,
Joe

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Old 03-31-2011, 12:54 AM   #2
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2k? Dizzam. that's a start!

So, i guess you are wanting a brew stand?

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Old 03-31-2011, 12:57 AM   #3
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Depends on a few things...

Batch size?
Amount of space you have to brew?
Do you care about bling?
How many fermenters do you need, or are you all set there?

IF I had $2k of funds to spend on this, I'd go with at least one or two large kettles (one for a HLT, the other to boil), burners, build a stand to hold them, keep my current mash tun cooler (70qt so good for even 10 gallon batches) and see where I was at... I would also get either an IC and set it up for whirlpooling, or get a wort chiller that works for where I live. With the stand, if you go single tier, you'll probably want a pump, or two, for moving the wort/water around. If you want to use gravity to move things, then you'll need a multi-level/tier stand... Both options work fine, more personal preference...

Depending on the route you take, $2k might not go very far...

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Old 03-31-2011, 01:46 AM   #4
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You can buy a lot with $2k, but you could get away with prolly 40 bucks. Some things you might want to consider for your money won't really have anything to do with going all grain. You could also blow the whole two grand on just a couple things. So As Golddiggie said, you have some decision making to do:

Batch size - 5, 10 or more gallons?
Bling Factor - Fancy, shiny stuff or plastic coolers?
Do you want to do lagers?
Do you like your current fermenting ability? Conical Fermenter?
Gas or Electric?
Do you want a welded brew stand?
Maybe you want to consider kegging?
Do you want to build things yourself? (like a brew stand, mash tun, etc)

That said, I do have a couple suggestions. Buy a BIG pot or keggle (15 Gals+), the incremental cost difference is worth the versatility of brewing bigger batches if you choose. Since you have some money to spend, I would go with stainless over aluminum.

It's not absolutely necessary, but I really like having my own grain mill. I buy my grains in bulk and just grind what I need when I'm ready.

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Old 03-31-2011, 02:15 AM   #5
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Batch size - 10 gallons
Bling - I would prefer stainless
Lagers - Last on my list
Fermenting Ability - ?
Gas or Electric - Gas
Brew Stand - Yes
Kegging - Yes
Build things yourself - Possibly, but I'm not very mechanically inclined

I do have ample space, big garage, driveway, etc.

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Old 03-31-2011, 02:31 AM   #6
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2K, holy crap I'm not sure where to start. What equipment do you have now from extract brewing?

Don't worry too much about your mechanical inclination. If you can control a drill, your golden.

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Old 03-31-2011, 03:05 AM   #7
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All I have right now is the brewers best starter kit with about 8 5 gallon fermenters. I use an aluminum 6 gallon pot and gas burner for my boil. I also have a copper wort chiller.

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Old 03-31-2011, 03:37 AM   #8
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Do you enjoy the DIY aspect of things, and accumulating tools? If you buy used kegs you can make keggles, which make the cost less for the HLT/MT(unless using a cooler)/ a BK, but you'll probably need some minimal new tools to do it for weldless. Or you can go prebuilt kettles from one of the many suppliers and just spend some more $$ to have them do the work, and do it 100% correct the first time.

I personally like that each new project i do is an excuse to buy a new tool so the next time I've got the equipment to do it already. Of course, you end up with a bunch of tools that you may never use again if you didn't enjoy the DIY aspect, and the final product can have some 'lovable quirks' to it since you learned on it.

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Old 03-31-2011, 04:11 AM   #9
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Based on what you've said so far, I'd focus on a stand first. Then you'll know how much money you have left for the rest. Buying a readymade stand from a brewshop could cost you more than you have.

It would be helpful to browse through this thread to see the realm of possibilities. Then decide what type of stand you want, and if you think building it is possible.

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Old 03-31-2011, 04:24 AM   #10
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First, if you don't have fermentation control, spend the first bucks on use fridge/freezer and a controller for it.

Now, I'm not going to say it's wrong to jump into a full on brewing system when you go all grain but I'd recommend a manual simple setup first. Start with a nice brew kettle at a capacity that can handle your largest planned batch size. 10gal for 5 gallon batches and 15 gal for 10. Then build a cooler mash tun and go from there. Of course, you'll also need at least one burner also. Brew on this for a while and be conscious of things that frustrate you. Plan a dream system with those things in mind.

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