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Old 02-14-2010, 05:51 PM   #1
BHowe
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Default About to Switch to AG, equipment ideas.

Hey HBT'ers,

I have successfully produced about 30 gallons of brew now and am ready to step up to AG. I think it would be great to have a full blown single tier brew stand.

However, in all reality this does not make since for us at this time. So we are looking for ways to make the process as simple as possible. I currently have a propane burner, IC, and a 7.5 gallon stainless brew kettle.

Things I think I'll need...
Another burner?
7.5 gallon kettle used for heating sparge water in?
15 gallon brew Kettle
60qt rectangular cooler
false bottom
Software? I have Mac and PC machines

Am I missing anything on this list? I don't think we would ever do more then a 10 gallon batch at this time. And we want to keep it as simple and clean as possible.

Any recommendations or ideas are very welcome.

Brandon

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Old 02-14-2010, 06:10 PM   #2
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Well, I am very new to AG brewing, but I can tell you that if you are looking to run software on you mac, check out BeerTools Pro. I just started using it w/in the last few days, and it's great. The others (promash/beer smith) are not available on mac unless you run windows on your machine.

Also, I use a much smaller mash tun than 60 quarts. If you are going to be limited to a 7.5 gallon brew kettle then I would say you won't need 60 quarts. However, if you ever want to step up to 10 gallon batches, then it might be worth getting the big one. It will be a bit awkward for low gravity 5 gallon batches, but it should still work.

I would also recomend that instead of getting another 7.5 gallon kettle for use as a HLT, that you get a bigger kettle (w/ ball valve preferably) and use your current kettle as your HLT.

Hope some of that helped.

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Old 02-14-2010, 06:11 PM   #3
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you will need a chiller unless you are going to take up the whole no chill process.

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Old 02-14-2010, 06:13 PM   #4
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He said that he has an IC. Are you saying that he will need another type, or did you just miss it? I assume you just missed it.

And don't call me stupid!! ;-)

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Old 02-14-2010, 06:32 PM   #5
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I have a decent little IC that I can probably work to fit in a 15 gallon kettle. The plan would be to keep my existing 7.5 and buy another kettle.

Here's the thing guys, I'm not afraid to spend decent money to get equipment that I won't want to replace in 2 years.

I just want to be sure I'm doing it right the first time around.

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Old 02-14-2010, 07:36 PM   #6
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If you want to do it right the first time around. Get yourself a 15 gallon kettle with ball valve and thermometer (or make one out of a sanke keg - this is really the preferable method) so you can do ten gallon batches. Get that 60 qt cooler. Skip the false bottom and just do whirlpooling. False bottoms don't work that well with pellet hops so unless you use a lot o leaf hops the false bottom for your kettle isn't really worth it.

Then, make a whirlpool IC based on Jamil's design. This will require a march pump which will cost 150 bucks. (Is this more than you want to spend?) Other than that you can probably retrofit your IC that you already have. I would say that a whirlpool chiller will by itself very much improve your beers. It can cool 5 gallons of wort by 100 degrees in less than 2 minutes - this does wonders for eliminating DMS. At the same time, it performs a whirlpool for you giving a nice little cone of hops in the middle of your kettle.

And if you still have money to play with, get an oxygenation system.

How's that.

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Old 02-14-2010, 08:03 PM   #7
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I'm talking false bottom for the MLT. The 150 for the pump is not to much, however the pump gets me away from keeping it simple.

I also think I would actually rather have nice kettles instead of converting a sanke.

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Old 02-14-2010, 08:12 PM   #8
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I second the idea of the nice kettle versus a converted keg.

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Old 02-14-2010, 09:20 PM   #9
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really the only thing that you need is some sort of mash tun. This can be made from a cooler or you can do the brew in a bag method. You could also buy a mash tun. I would recommend just make one out of a cooler with a stainless braid.

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Old 02-14-2010, 09:53 PM   #10
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I think a cooler will fit the bill nicely, no false bottom for the cooler?

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