I started brewing because my wife bought me a recipe kit off Amazon (True Brew Porter) for Christmas of '11. I found an old homebrewing book from Goodwill dated back to the 80's and decided to flip through and see if I could learn the basics.
Also, a big thanks to everyone here because I have saved so much time and headaches reading over the BIAB threads and DIY on chillers, etc.
Fast forward a year and a half and found a clearance 30 qt SS Kettle at a kitchen supply store for $26.50. Decided it was time to move to all-grain. So I took the kettle to one of my customers and asked him if he could weld a sanitary ferrule on it. Amassed a few fittings from work and ebay and behold I was ready to jump into BIAB.
That Ikea digital thermometer was off by 20 degrees and turned my 90 minute mash into 2 hour mash.
Went initially with threaded fittings/valve with option of making it all sanitary clamped later down the road due to budget. Bushed down to 1/2" stainless braided hose instead of silicone tubing (a little cheaper and looks cooler in my opinion). Valve has locking handle so not accidental bumps.
Nice grain shot, kept stealing little bits and pieces to chew on, sure is tasty.
Just squeezed the bag and brought to boil. First time shot, and now know I need to top up the kettle with about 2 gallons of water to get 5 gallon batch.
The next few batches moved on to sparging with 2 gallons of water around 170 degrees out of my bottling bucket then squeezing the bag to get ready for a boil with approximately 6 gallons. I have been hitting about 70-73% efficiency with double crush and sparging. Tried a dunk sparge with my last batch, in my opinion more messy and didn't improve efficiency, so probably will stick with my version of sparging.
I took 25' of 3/8" copper tubing from work and shaped around a smaller stock pot and put brass barbs on both ends attached to 1/2" hose that in turn hooked up to my garden hose. I hate dragging it in and out of the hose so I bought a faucet adapter and doesn't fit...
Just got in my micro pump from ebay and put new Blue Monster teflon tape (best tape ever) on all fittings and cranked down hard with wrenches. Took an old ac adapter from modem that met the specs and spliced the wires. I knew buying that 2nd braided hose would come in handy. On another plus note, I can submerge this in my sink and run the faucet through my chiller without dragging hose and bits of mulch through my kitchen. Also, threw that digital thermometer away and just kept the dial thermometer (much more accurate just takes longer to read).
I have been brewing slight deviations of an old Amber Ale recipe, and my last batch was for a brew competition where everyone was given the same grains and able to add a secret ingredient. I've got mine picked out, trying to decide how to add it to the secondary.
I am looking to go electric soon (110V) and move my brewery into the laundry room; it has a nice utility sink right next to a window that would be perfect. Plus with BIAB, it won't take up much footprint down there. I'm mostly lost on the electrical side of things (I know my fittings and valves very well). I stumbled across a SSVR and knob DIY kit from stilldragon.com for within my budget, but I would like to add two toggle switches for the pump and element to keep me from plugging/unplugging the pump when in use and possible a 110V outlet to plug the pump ac adapter in. It will be a few months before anything of substance comes from that (need input and some more research). Also, planning a small cart build with slotted strut to mount all the hardware.