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Old 01-26-2005, 04:30 PM   #1
DeRoux's Broux
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Default All-Grain Kits?

Okay, I'm a extract/grain brewer, and have been for about 4 years, and I'm ready to make the move to all-grain. But, I don't want to spend tons of cash on a big system. I have been surf'n the net looking at all grain systems, and found one that uses Igloo/Coleman type water coolers converted to mash/lauter tuns, w/ false bottom and Phil's Sparging arm, etc. Has anyone used a similar style set up? I also read a conversion set up to do myself in BYO for an Igloo/Coleman type water cooler kit, but wasn't to sure about taking on that project. I don't care to brew outside and fight Mothra type mesquito's, 100% humidity and 100 degree weather, etc. Are these set ups practical in the kitchen?

Thanks.
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Old 01-26-2005, 04:55 PM   #2
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Hmm...I avoid indoor brewing like the plague. Much easier to clean up and all that outside, but to each his own. Are you married?

Anyway, my first all grain setup was a coleman cooler type like you are describing (actually one of those orange Gott coolers). As I have said elsewhere, I never had luck with false bottoms so I just made a loop of tubing and poked holes in it and put that at the bottom of my cooler. I like those Phil's sparge arms though.

The system works pretty well. I even made my first RIMS system with the same cooler. One downside is that over time, the hot mash will start to warp the plastic lining and it will peel away from the cooler. You get a lot of batches out of it before it's garbage, though.

As far as indoor goes, sure I guess. If you have the space and tolerant wives, husbands, roommates and whatnot. You can put the mash tun on the counter and flow down to the kettle on the floor or on a table.

Good luck!

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Old 01-26-2005, 08:51 PM   #3
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Eh, my wife's down with the brew'n stuff. She just splits for the day!

I was concerned on how the coolers would take the heat. I don't brew near as much as it you do, si they should last me a while. Did you build it, or buy it set up? I noticed Northern Brewer has a kit for 5 g ($159) and a kit for high gravity or 10 g batches ($199). I figure I could build it for a little over $100. Did you just heat water and poor it into the mash/lauter tons?

BTW, my Rye Pale Ale has been fermenting like mad! Probably go another two days. You need to try it again. I can e-mail that recipe from Bear Republic too if you want?

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Old 01-26-2005, 09:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeRoux's Broux
Did you build it, or buy it set up? I noticed Northern Brewer has a kit for 5 g ($159) and a kit for high gravity or 10 g batches ($199). I figure I could build it for a little over $100.
I always build my stuff, but I have no idea if it really saves me any cash in the end In this case there's not too much to build...more just assembling the parts. I'd price the parts and then compare to the NB kit...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeRoux's Broux
Did you just heat water and poor it into the mash/lauter tons?
You heat it to about 170 (depending on strike temp desired, etc), and you add the water and grain at the same time, mixing thoroughly. That way the grain is never too hot and is thoroughly wetted down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeRoux's Broux
BTW, my Rye Pale Ale has been fermenting like mad! Probably go another two days. You need to try it again. I can e-mail that recipe from Bear Republic too if you want?
Hmm...we'll see if I try it again. If I do, and I get a stuck mash, I'm coming after you! You have the Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye recipe? Or am I misunderstanding?
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Old 01-27-2005, 04:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeRoux's Broux
Eh, my wife's down with the brew'n stuff. She just splits for the day!

I was concerned on how the coolers would take the heat. I don't brew near as much as it you do, si they should last me a while. Did you build it, or buy it set up? I noticed Northern Brewer has a kit for 5 g ($159) and a kit for high gravity or 10 g batches ($199). I figure I could build it for a little over $100. Did you just heat water and poor it into the mash/lauter tons?

DeRoux's Broux
I bought a 15 gallon cooler for about $30 at costco, and the piping / valve, etc... at a local hardware store for about the same price... For $60, it's an effective mash/lauter tun that's good for 10 gallons. You just can't be afraid to make it yourself. Soldering copper pipe is easy (make sure to get lead-free solder), and the rest just snaps together with a little planning...
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Old 01-27-2005, 01:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janx
I always build my stuff, but I have no idea if it really saves me any cash in the end In this case there's not too much to build...more just assembling the parts. I'd price the parts and then compare to the NB kit...



You heat it to about 170 (depending on strike temp desired, etc), and you add the water and grain at the same time, mixing thoroughly. That way the grain is never too hot and is thoroughly wetted down.



Hmm...we'll see if I try it again. If I do, and I get a stuck mash, I'm coming after you! You have the Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye recipe? Or am I misunderstanding?
Sounds easy enough. I started pricing coolers and found that the Igloo 10 g runs about $50.00. Probably find one a little cheaper.

Easy now! Do you suscribe to "BrewYour Own" magazine? A few issues back they did 10 most hoppy beer clones article w/ several recipes from the brewers themselves (or some one @ the brewery). They did Saint Arnold's Elissa IPA, Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye & Racer 5, Dogfish Head 90 Min. IPA, Stone's Ruination IPA. Some good ones if you like agressive hoppy beers. I can e-mail it, post it, fax it. Just let me know.

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Old 01-27-2005, 01:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Fat
I bought a 15 gallon cooler for about $30 at costco, and the piping / valve, etc... at a local hardware store for about the same price... For $60, it's an effective mash/lauter tun that's good for 10 gallons. You just can't be afraid to make it yourself. Soldering copper pipe is easy (make sure to get lead-free solder), and the rest just snaps together with a little planning...
Oops! Sorry Uncle Fat, didn't mean to snub ya. I found a real descriptive parts list in an issue of BYO and I may try to do that. Buy a little at a time. I don't have much patience, so this may put me to the test! One reason I force carbonate my brews!!!!

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Old 01-27-2005, 02:15 PM   #8
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Ooh yeah, post that Hop Rod Rye recipe if you get a chance. Great beer!

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Old 01-27-2005, 05:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeRoux's Broux
Okay, I'm a extract/grain brewer, and have been for about 4 years, and I'm ready to make the move to all-grain. But, I don't want to spend tons of cash on a big system. I have been surf'n the net looking at all grain systems, and found one that uses Igloo/Coleman type water coolers converted to mash/lauter tuns, w/ false bottom and Phil's Sparging arm, etc. Has anyone used a similar style set up? I also read a conversion set up to do myself in BYO for an Igloo/Coleman type water cooler kit, but wasn't to sure about taking on that project. I don't care to brew outside and fight Mothra type mesquito's, 100% humidity and 100 degree weather, etc. Are these set ups practical in the kitchen?

Thanks.
DeRoux's Broux
-------------
I started by spending a couple saturday morning cruising the garage sales. I picked up old cauldrons, plumbing stuff, and assorted hardware and ended up spending more for the 3/4" hole saw than anything.

Made my manifold out'a pvc with holes drilled in it and havent had a stuck sparge yet.

Strike temp was the BIG problem so I urge you to use this as an aid (i found out about it after 3 low mash-temp batches

http://brewery.org/files/Mashcalc.zip

helps calculate strike temps given the grain volume and temp.

Expect the first AG to take twice as long and be twice as messy as an extract mess while your'r learning

FUN!

Yodar
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Old 01-27-2005, 05:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yodar
Made my manifold out'a pvc with holes drilled in it and havent had a stuck sparge yet.
Sounds like mine. I would recommend using CPVC, though (the beige stuff) as it is hot water and potable rated...PVC isn't rated to very high heat I don't believe...
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