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Old 11-23-2012, 12:41 AM   #1
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Order of Equipment Purchase From Extract to All Grain:

We have been brewing for several years now and have various equipment, some that we use every brew day and some that we never touch anymore. I was thinking that if I knew now could be applied when I decided that I was a brewer and needed some equipment to do so. We took the path of Extract to Partial Mash (Steeping) to All Grain. We also went from 5 Gal to 20 Gal batches. Since there are 3 of us so that is not that much as we have lots of friends.
We have a great setup in my barn with a Cool Room (that I can get to 50 in the winter but mid sixties in the summer in Texas. We also use chest freezers and corney kegs for fermentation of Lagers.

This list is my wish list and I have the space and room for it. Obviously, if you do not have a barn with a dedicated cool room, you might have to think about this differently. We also save up for what we want and some is not cheap. The idea is to get quality equipment that we can grow with and not have to re buy bigger or better.
Feel free to add your own wish list. I wished I had come across a thread like this when we decided to get serious about equipment.
The one thing that has caused us the most grief is “not big enough”.
This assumes that you have brewed a couple of batches on a kitchen stove using a carboy to ferment and are ready to go all in. You have bottles and a bottle cleaner.

You will see that I put Stout Conicals in the attributes because I would not go any other way now.
http://conical-fermenter.com/

Equipment for Extract:
1. Hydrometer and Test vessel.
a. Get 2 set ups. And maybe an extra Hydrometer as well. These tend to break when you need it. While no necessary for extract, you cannot know if your fermentation is done without one. Also you need to be very familiar with its use later in All Grain.
b. A 50 ML vial and a jeweler’s scale (reading in 10th of grams is a good way to measure the SG of Hot Wort for less than 20 dollars and makes you a mad chemist.
2. Brew Kettle
a. Bigger is better. I would get double the size of what I will be brewing. Having a spout to control the outflow is worth it weight in gold if you do not have one.
b. http://conical-fermenter.com/
c. 19.8 is the size I would get. When we moved to larger batches, this is great for heating water for sparge and top off and can be part of a HERMS setup.
d. I would get the one with Tangential Inlet, a Sight Glass and a “TC” thermowell. I would also get a TC port for an electric element. (I have not gone electric but wished I had put the ports in.) Note: You have to specify the “TC” thermowell.
e. Stout Kettles are welded. Regardless of which you buy or build, I would not go weldless. Over time they leak. Even a small leak can be a PITA. Once we were going to do a lager with distilled water for 50% of the water. I filled my Blichmann kettle the night before brew day and came out to find a very wet floor and nothing in the kettle in the morning.
3. Banjo Burner & Propane Tank. Of Couse if you are heading to an Electric Brewery, change to heating element if you ordered the Stout with the Electric TC fittings.
4. Fermenter
a. Get a Stainless Steel Conical
b. http://conical-fermenter.com/
c. I would get the 14.5 gallon one. It is great for 5 or 10 gallon batches and we still use it when making a new brew that we want to try. It is so much better than a carboy and easy to clean and sanitize.
5. Wort Chiller
a. Chin Chiller Counter Flow. We have an IC Chiller that sits on the wall. I used the IC Chiller and it worked, just that the Chin Chiller works better if you have a wort pump. It sort of goes hand in Hand with #6.
b. This looks really cool and works well and had a future use in all grain as part of HERMS. It works better with a pump for the wort and garden hose water can really cool your wort even in the summer. While it will not get down to pitching temperature, it will go towards it quickly. You can add a cheap pump from Harbor Freight and pump chilled water to cool down to pitching temp.
6. Pump & Associated Hose and fittings
a. Chugger Center Inlet Pump http://www.brewershardware.com
b. 5/8 inch Silbrade® Braid Reinforced Silicone Tubing http://www.usplastic.com for the inlet. Use ¾ fitting to connect to pump and kettle.
c. ½ inch silicone hose (lots of places but we like http://brewhardware.com (not the same as the chugger pump)
d. Fittings http://www.brewershardware.com , http://www.stpats.com , http://www.bargainfittings.com , or http://store.proflowdynamics.com
• You need to make a choice. We went 3 different types and we would go with all three now as well. We use the Plastic QD on the outlet side and on our cooling garden hose and filtered water supply. We can interchange our hoses and move from tap water to chilled water for chilling quickly.
a. Tri Clamps (Connect to Stout Equipment and on all inlet side as they do not leak)
1. Expensive
2. Stainless
3. Take two people when Hot (When cleaning after the Brew)
4. Easy to clean
5. Connects to Stout Equipment
6. Leak proof when connected properly
7. Seals are easy to replace.
8. May or may not have threads or barbs
b. Plastic Quick Disconnects
1. Cost more than Camlocks
2. One handed operation even when hot
3. Small ID not suitable for inlets
4. Leak and not suitable for inlets
5. Thread or Barb
6.
c. SS Camlocks (We use on dedicated outlet hoses that are not interchanged)
a. Stainless
b. May two people when Hot
c. Easy to clean
d. Leak proof when connected properly
e. Harder to replace seal
d. Ball Valve for outlet ( We Have a SS Tee with 2 Ball Valves with a Plastic female QD. Easy to bleed and switch outlet hoses.)
7. HLT (A Second Identical Brew Kettle)
a. Bigger is better. I would get double the size of what I will be brewing. Having a spout to control the outflow is worth it weight in gold if you do not have one.
b. http://conical-fermenter.com/
c. 19.8 is the size I would get. When we moved to larger batches, this is great for heating water for sparge and top off and can be part of a HERMS setup.
d. I would get the one with Tangential Inlet, a Sight Glass and a “TC” thermowell. I would also get a TC port for an electric element. (I have not gone electric but wished I had put the ports in.)
8. Banjo Burner & Propane Tank. Of Couse if you are heading to an Electric Brewery, change to heating element if you ordered the Stout with the Electric TC fittings.


This is my idea setup for Extract Brewing and is obviously overkill, but I see All Grain in my future. I would have been the envy of my fellow extract brewers with a good setup for future expansion.

Moving on to Partial Grain.
1 . Grain Bag (http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/muslin-mesh-bag.html). These can also be used for hops later on. I buy the 100 at a time to save a few coppers. I do not reuse them, There are bags that you can reuse but they are a PITA to clean.
2. Plate Chiller. www.kegcowboy.com
a. 40 plates is the minimum size I would get
b. Plate Chillers are better at cooling. You could have this instead of the Chin Chiller in the extract section but I wanted a real improvement for you when you start Partial Grain. You will not believe how quickly it cools your wort.

3. Harborfreight Submersible Pump www.harborfreight.com in order to pump chilled water (may not be necessary in the winter).


I would hook up my Chin Chiller to a tap water for chilling and then pass the wort through the plate chiller that has chilled water pumped by the submersible pump. You may be surprised at how little ice it takes and the required temperature of the chilling water.
Not too much new equipment or even changes in process, the move to Steeping is very easy and improves the beer giving it a nice grainy undertone.

All in: All Grain

1. MLT
a. Stainless Steel with a False bottom and Bottom Outlet
b. http//conical-fermenter.com
c. 30 gal size for those extra heavy beers you are going to make.
2. Pump #2
a. Chugger Center Inlet Pump http://www.brewershardware.com
You should have plenty of ¾ hose left over and know what fittings you need.
3. Large Double Wheeled Barrow to move the grain waste to the compost.
4. Stand.
I still have dreams on this one. We bought a Lowe’s heavy Duty Stand and have been playing with it so we will know what we want. Not quite there yet but some things are a must.
a. Built in plumbing for propane.
b. Wheels
c. Pump mounts
d. Place to hang Plate Chiller
e. Place to hang Chin Chiller
f. Tip System for MLT



I use the Chin Chiller as a HERMS, recycling the Wort to the MLT with one pump while using the HLT water on the “chilling water” side. This has worked very well for us. We did purchase a HLT with HERMS and to be honest, the Chin Chiller system works better and is easier to control. It may be growing pains but the Chin Chiller worked very well before we got our HLT with HERMS coil.

I did not list everything and there are some things you may already have or can use something else. We used a large trash can for iced chilling water but for our last 2 brews, we filled up a 5 ft chest freezer (again a “too small mistake”) and ran the freezer overnight. We had plenty of 40 degree water (enough for a 20 gallon and 10 gallon batch as we did a double brew. (One of the advantages of buying too small, we have extra equipment.)

Again, this is my list as a Monday morning quarterback on my own experience and what I like. I am a great fan of Stout Conicals and Brewers Hardware, but have had good dealings with the other websites I listed. I am not of fan of weldless fittings and will never buy any equipment with them again.

I also support my LHBS when I can if their price is not far off. I buy all my grain and yeast there. I want to be able to get something today. If you do not support your LHBS, you may have a brew disaster that cannot be fixed with a quick trip.

I did not mention a Grain Mill as I use the one at the store. To do it right, you should have a separate room for grinding from what I read but that is another thread.

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Old 08-05-2013, 07:18 PM   #2
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Wow, thanks for this.

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Old 08-05-2013, 07:47 PM   #3
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That's a nice list. Thanks for the write-up.

I don't have anything to add except that I think BrewersHardware deserves a look for kettles and conicals as well. Not saying either is better or worse, but I spent months going back and forth between the two and ultimately went with BH for my kettles. They appear to both use nearly identical kettles with slightly different fittings and configurations. Check them both out before you make a decision. I agree about the weldless fittings. They can be a pain sometimes.

Do you have any advice or additional lists related to kegging and cleaning?

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Old 08-05-2013, 11:13 PM   #4
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Given that stout has distinct offerings for HLT, MLT, and brew pots, can you explain why you chose to use the "same" brew pot as the HLT? Redundancy, perhaps?

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Old 08-07-2013, 10:15 AM   #5
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I like the configuration of the Stout equipment and the fact that it is custom at a stock price. We do HERMS and circulate our HLT water though an added whirlpool inlet. On thing I would change now is to have added the fittings for electric. May never go there, but if we do, major upgrade now. If we had paid a little extra up front, there would be not pain to go electric. I would also specify all TC fittings for the Thermometers.

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Old 08-07-2013, 10:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headwall View Post
That's a nice list. Thanks for the write-up.

I don't have anything to add except that I think BrewersHardware deserves a look for kettles and conicals as well. Not saying either is better or worse, but I spent months going back and forth between the two and ultimately went with BH for my kettles. They appear to both use nearly identical kettles with slightly different fittings and configurations. Check them both out before you make a decision. I agree about the weldless fittings. They can be a pain sometimes.

Do you have any advice or additional lists related to kegging and cleaning?
I really like Brewers Hardware as well and they were not selling kettles when I first wrote this. I would give them a chance as well.
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:03 AM   #7
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Man... thanks for posting this info... I am getting my equipment back together and since my budget is a little bigger than when I brewed 10 years ago... this is just the list I need to get my equipment back together.....

Also going to follow another post about getting back into brewing..... cant wait for my first brew day....

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