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Old 08-12-2008, 10:39 PM   #1
NoNothing
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Default AG Equipment/Moving to AG too soon?

I have done searches and I have been watching the AG forum I just have a few questions that I cant seem to find the answer to elsewhere.

First off, Im loving homebrewing. I mentioned to my dad that I was homebrewing and he about died. He mentioned he used to want to get into it but never got around to it and wants to help me out however he can. I started talking to him about how I eventualy wanted to go to all grain and he said why not just do it now. Well, thats a pretty damn good point. Why not? Ive only made 1 homebrew so far and it was extract. Ive been reading about all grain for a long time and some things are still confusing me, but thats what google/HBT is for .

So, does anyone think it could be "too early" to get into all grain? Should I stick to extract for a few more months to learn more about brewing as a whole?

I have a 30qt pot right now I use as a boil kettle, I was planning on using that to heat up my sparge water and the initial water that goes in the MLT. I am planning on a cooler for an MLT but still confused about why get a false bottom over a mesh screen? And I am making 5 gal batches and dont plan on changing the size I make for a while so I was thinking just getting a 10gal+ cooler for my MLT.

And what is the advantage of getting a HERMS setup?


Thank you for helping another lost noob.



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Old 08-12-2008, 11:44 PM   #2
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I think it's fine to go AG whenever you like. For many people, extract works fine forever, or at least lets them get a good grasp of the fundamentals without worrying about strike temps or whatever.

FWIW. I brew low-gravity 5gal batches; they fit (tightly) in a 30qt brewkettle and 5gal MLT cooler.



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Old 08-13-2008, 12:06 AM   #3
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i am about to start doing all grain. The only problem i see is like the above post mentioned 30qt is small. You will be boiling about 6 gallons if you are going to try to get good efficiency.

i am using fly's 10gallon drinking cooler MTL, + homemade wort chiller (50ft)+ 9.5 gallon pot( got for 20 dollars used) making the first batch next week.

the false bottom is the least of the methods i have seen. Most seem to use the copper pipe or cpvp manifold. At the moment i am using a stainless steal braided cord but i will switch to a manifold after a few batches.

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Old 08-13-2008, 12:07 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by NoNothing View Post

So, does anyone think it could be "too early" to get into all grain?
Never too early to go AG if you can afford the equip. For me, Cost and fear were my big EXCUSES not to go AG. I finally had to quit sniveling and MAN UP! (No Offense Yooper, Nurmey, Laurel...any other women that would kick my All Grain A$$)
For the cost of 2 or 3 extract kits, I went all grain. There is no reason you (or a crafty buddy) cant build a manifold and figure out how to take the drain plug out of a cooler. Cabalas has fryers on sale for like $30 some times, so that isn't even an excuse. I'm A Totally Low Rent Ghetto As Hell Hill Billy Red Neck Beach Bum Brewer, but I'm doing it ALL GRAIN.
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Old 08-13-2008, 12:17 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by BigKahuna View Post
Never too early to go AG if you can afford the equip. For me, Cost and fear were my big EXCUSES not to go AG. I finally had to quit sniveling and MAN UP! (No Offense Yooper, Nurmey, Laurel...any other women that would kick my All Grain A$$)
For the cost of 2 or 3 extract kits, I went all grain. There is no reason you (or a crafty buddy) cant build a manifold and figure out how to take the drain plug out of a cooler. Cabalas has fryers on sale for like $30 some times, so that isn't even an excuse. I'm A Totally Low Rent Ghetto As Hell Hill Billy Red Neck Beach Bum Brewer, but I'm doing it ALL GRAIN.
Well, BK, you got a quote there for my signature now!

I don't know anything about HERMS set ups, or anything "fancy"- I'm still brewing in my kitchen with pieced together equipment. My point is- you don't need much to go AG. Sure, a HERMS or RIMS is awesome. But, you can make good beer with a bucket in a bucket if you have too. You will need some sort of brew kettle, and that's the big expense. Actually, you need two bigger pots, one for heating sparge water while the first runnings are being drawn off. I use my "old" brewpot for the sparge water, and the turkey fryer pot for my brewpot. You can easily build a MLT with a cooler if you don't have a keg MLT. There really isn't a ton of stuff you need, since you'd have most of the equipment already with extract brewing.

If you're down in the central UP sometime, you are invited to come to a brew day at my house and you can see an AG batch with minimal equipment. Just let me know if you're interested.
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Old 08-13-2008, 01:05 AM   #6
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Old 08-13-2008, 01:16 AM   #7
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Cost and fear were my big EXCUSES not to go AG.
Cost isnt as huge of an issue for me but fear is what Im most concerned about. I do plan on still just buying "kits" while brewing AG for a while, but grain kits .

Is there a large advantage to a manifold vs a mesh screen like the Bazooka screen on NB?

And it sounds like a 10 gal brewpot is in my future alongside an MLT.


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Old 08-13-2008, 01:49 AM   #8
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One thing I should mention that I am still confused about.

What negative would there be for buying a larger MLT than I need. I plan on doing only 5 gal batches for a while. If I were to go with a 10Gal Rubbermaid cooler would I be shorting myself good beer?

I was thinking of just going with the 5 Gal AGS on the top of the page here http://www.northernbrewer.com/allgrain.html
Apart from cost is there an advantage to just building my own? Though cost is a huge one, I dont know that I really need the other 5Gal cooler for sparge water. However, I could put a water heater element in it and use it as a HLT like: http://powersbrewery.home.comcast.net/~powersbrewery/hlt.html

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Old 08-13-2008, 01:54 AM   #9
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If you want to do all grain, I don't see an advantage to waiting. I've never used extract, but it seems to me the things that are unique to all grain you don't get practice while doing extract anyway, like hitting your mash temps, water profile, etc.

Maybe it will reduce your fear to research, learn, and plan. In my case it took me a while to feel like I was ready ready to start. I think if you have a good plan it can't go wrong. And don't worry about hitting your temps and OG exactly -- if you have a good recipe it will still be good.

I think brewing all grain is more than worth the extra bit of work.

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Old 08-13-2008, 02:03 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by HotbreakHotel View Post
If you want to do all grain, I don't see an advantage to waiting. I've never used extract, but it seems to me the things that are unique to all grain you don't get practice while doing extract anyway, like hitting your mash temps, water profile, etc.

Maybe it will reduce your fear to research, learn, and plan. In my case it took me a while to feel like I was ready ready to start. I think if you have a good plan it can't go wrong. And don't worry about hitting your temps and OG exactly -- if you have a good recipe it will still be good.

I think brewing all grain is more than worth the extra bit of work.
i started typing something out, but decided to just quote you instead b/c you said exactly what i was going to.

also, i like your username


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