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Old 08-05-2008, 03:53 AM   #1
Wild Duk
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Default All grain equipment

I'm slowly buying and setting up myself for converting to all grain. I still need to buy a cooler for the mash and an immersion chiller. I'm between two rubbermaid coolers on sale at Home Depot, a 5 and 10 gallon. I don't see my self doing 10 gallon batches in the near future, and am wondering if the 5 gallon cooler is big enough. I would like to do some high gravity brews.

Also as far as the immersion chiller goes, is 25' enough or do I need to goto 50'

Thanks

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Old 08-05-2008, 04:01 AM   #2
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All grain is pretty awesome, you'll have a blast! As for the cooler, the consensus around here is to get the ten gallon cooler. That allows you to do the high-gravity 5 gallon brews you might want, as well as allowing the option to move to ten gallon batches. This is a useful website.

Many people do fine with a 25' copper coil in their chiller, so if money is not plentiful, 25' would be fine. If you think you'll ever move to 10 gallon batches, it'll be cheaper in the long run to get the 50' chiller.

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Old 08-05-2008, 04:10 AM   #3
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About 4 months ago, I was in the same position you are in.... and I went for the 10 gallon. I also never planned to do a 10 gallon batch (and still don't) but I like the idea of eventually doing high gravity 5 gallon batches, and this will require a 10 gallon cooler.

Plus, I MAY do 10 gallon batches in the future... who knows. I like knowing I won't have to buy another cooler when I do get to that point. If you buy a 5 gallon and then realize you need a 10 gallon, it will cost you more in the long run than if you would have just gotten the 10 gallon right off the bat.

The best part of the 5 gallon size is the smaller size though. If you're an apartment dweller like I am, this is invaluable.

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Old 08-05-2008, 04:16 AM   #4
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defiantly get the 10 gallon cooler...5 gallon may get u close to overflow depending on your grain bill, like if u are doing a stout

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Old 08-05-2008, 06:01 AM   #5
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I would like to add, I went with the 68qt Ice Cube and batch sparging. I think the bed size would be OK with sparging if I went with a manifold but right now I'm using a basic SS braid. The only difference from converting the 10gal Igloo was a 45 degree elbow, and a 1 1/2 inch connector. With the cubes the precut section is at an angle pointing up. The cooler was pretty cheap from Walm$rt.
Best of luck, the key to any equipment is a few AG batches and learning how to maximize what you got. Have a few pounds of LME around just in case reality does not meet your expectations.

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Old 08-05-2008, 06:24 AM   #6
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I would go with the 10 Gallon Cooler, too. I wouldn't have been able to fit 15+ lbs of grain and all the water in a 5 Gallon when I did my Wee Heavy last weekend. Also, even with a regular grain bill for a 5 gallon batch a 10 gallon cooler allows you to experiment with different mash routines. It's really hard to pull off a Mash Out with 10 - 12 lbs of grain in a 5 gallon cooler.

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Old 08-05-2008, 09:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Duk View Post
I'm slowly buying and setting up myself for converting to all grain. I still need to buy a cooler for the mash and an immersion chiller. I'm between two rubbermaid coolers on sale at Home Depot, a 5 and 10 gallon. I don't see my self doing 10 gallon batches in the near future, and am wondering if the 5 gallon cooler is big enough. I would like to do some high gravity brews.

Also as far as the immersion chiller goes, is 25' enough or do I need to goto 50'

Thanks
I have also been upgrading to go to all grain and I originally purchased a 5 gallon and then returned it for the 10. Why risk spillage. Check out this video, look how full they get, its one reason I went with the 10 gallon. As for the chiller my last batch was my first full boil and I was able to chill my brew to 80F in about 17 min with a 25' IC and a recirculated ice bath. 3 days prior I froze 3 gallons of water in gallon size milk jugs, cut them open to have large ice blocks and filled a rubbermaid bin with water circulating with a 300GPH pool cover pump and ran the outlet down the driveway. When the outlet water was cool enough to handle I ran the outlet directly over the ice blocks to recirculate the ice water. works great.
recirculation thread --> http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthre...highlight=bath
[youtube]jXPzkvWN07Y[/youtube]
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:28 PM   #8
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My tun is a 48qt Igloo cooler. ~$25 at Wally World. I drilled holes in the lid and filled it with foam insulation since the lid was hollow. I used it because it was what I had lying around the house. It has plenty of room to move up, too.

25' should be fine on the chiller. When I start doing 10 gallon batches I will switch to using a CFC.

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Old 08-05-2008, 12:31 PM   #9
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I am also moving up to all grain and I am going to 10gal. Talk about sticker shock! I previously brewed in a 4 gal economy kettle which was fine for 5gal partial mash but now I am about to purchase a 15 gallon modified tri-clad kettle to accomodate 10gal all grain. Realizing I ideally need 3 of these almost made me cry. (Well not really but you get the point.) Then I obviously have to ditch the kitchen stove and go gas among other things...

I started my upgrade with a 14.5 Blichmann tri-clamp that should be here in about a week. I also have a regulator, 3 burners, jets, adapters, ball valves, gas pipe, and the needed fittings that are due to my house tomorrow. Once that arrives I am welding up a frame that will be a replica of the gravity sculpture from Morebeer.

I can't wait until the investment part of this is over with!!!

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Old 08-05-2008, 12:35 PM   #10
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If you plan on doing 10 gallon batches and some high gravity beers, the 10 gallon cooler is mandatory.

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