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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Trying to go all grain.
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Old 09-20-2011, 03:14 AM   #1
Zeal
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Default Trying to go all grain.

I'm trying to go all grain and would prefer to start doing 10 gallon batches. I just recently got into the hobby, but I have already amassed a lot of equipment.

I have,
1 15.5 gallon brewpot
1 6.5 Gallon Glass carboy
2 6.5 Plastic fermentor
1 6.5 Plastic bottling bucket
and most other basic equipment.

I need a Mash-tun and would like to know what the ideal size would be for 10 gallon batches. I was thinking I would go with a rectangular cooler.

Also Would I need another brewpot? I figured I just could use one to heat my water and collect my runnings in two of my plastic buckets and transfer that into my brewpot after I empty the remaining sparge water. Also should I invest in a refractometer to monitor my runnings?

Opinions / Advise would be appreciated.

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Old 09-20-2011, 03:30 AM   #2
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I have the 10 gallon rubbermaid cooler for a MT, it works great. I know several who use the rectangular cooler, it works great too. I do 5 gal batches, but for a big 10 gallon batch, you would probably need somewhere in the range of 20 gallons of MT space... the "can I mash it" calculator here (http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml) is a quick way to see how big of a MT you need

I currently use my electric keggle to heat mash/sparge water and collect wort runnings in another pot and transfer as you described. I eventually will build a HLT, but it works for now.

As far as refractometers go, if you have the cash, it would be a decent investment in terms of speed. I use my hydrometer to monitor SG and it works for me... I wouldn't think a refractometer is a need... just my $0.02

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Old 09-20-2011, 03:35 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by phidelt1499 View Post
I have the 10 gallon rubbermaid cooler for a MT, it works great. I know several who use the rectangular cooler, it works great too. I do 5 gal batches, but for a big 10 gallon batch, you would probably need somewhere in the range of 20 gallons of MT space... the "can I mash it" calculator here (http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml) is a quick way to see how big of a MT you need

I currently use my electric keggle to heat mash/sparge water and collect wort runnings in another pot and transfer as you described. I eventually will build a HLT, but it works for now.

As far as refractometers go, if you have the cash, it would be a decent investment in terms of speed. I use my hydrometer to monitor SG and it works for me... I wouldn't think a refractometer is a need... just my $0.02
Thank you. I figured I could just transfer it wasn't sure though.
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Old 09-20-2011, 03:42 AM   #4
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I use a converted round 10 gallon igloo drink cooler. It works well but I am planning on switching it out for a 15.5 gallon keg mash tun hopefully with an electric element, although if insulated properly I think it would hold temps just fine. I currently do the brew pot shuffle with sparge water and buckets, Soon I plan on fixing that. Really if you want bare-bones go with one pot and some buckets. I am 27 and poor so I don't mind lifting heavy crap so it works - if I were 60 I might consider a pump system and the proper number of vessels. If I could afford it I might get a more streamlined system just to help with brewdays.

I started with a brew kit with hydrometer, I found it so cumbersome to use I stopped. as a result I didn't keep records well. I bought a cheap ebay refractometer - although buying one from Bobby might be a better option as far as warranty etc, - and I love the thing. I can take readings on the fly, and its easy to keep around. I say buy one if you can afford it.

Also , try to develop some type of temperature control for your fermenting beer - it plays a great role in the final product - as does pitching proper amounts of yeast.

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Old 09-20-2011, 03:50 AM   #5
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Also , try to develop some type of temperature control for your fermenting beer - it plays a great role in the final product - as does pitching proper amounts of yeast.
Yeah I learned both of these from extract brewing. My fermentor sits in front of an air conditioner in the summer, and since my house never drops below 68 in the winter I have pretty good control over it. Sure it's not the best, but I can't afford all the bells and whistles as of right now.

As far as yeast go I just started making starters for every batch.
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Old 09-20-2011, 03:56 AM   #6
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10 gallon batches are THE reason to do all-grain.

You don't necessarily need a second brew pot to collect runnings, but I'm thankful that I also have a 10 gallon kettle along with my 15 gallon kettle.

Why?

Because it saves money. My 10 gallon kettle will fit on my stove (across 2 burners), inside the house, whereas my 15 gallon is stuck outside (propane). It allows me to heat mash/sparge water in the 10 gallon for pennies, instead of wasting the propane I need for the boil. Propane is expensive where I live.

I chose a round MLT because it insulates better (less lid area to lose heat from + lid is insulated better)

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Old 09-20-2011, 06:30 PM   #7
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Making 5 gallon batch above 1.080 becomes a challenge with a 10 gallon Igloo based on my experience.
Why brew big beers? Why not...

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