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Old 04-27-2013, 04:23 PM   #1
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Default All Grain equipment question

I am working towards upgrading to do AG brews & have a question or two about equipment...

I picked up a 10Gal round cooler from HD and outfitted it with a 1/2" valve from bargainfittings.com. My brew kettle is a 10Gal Bayou Classic. I am planning on picking up another kettle to use as a HLT. Ideally, I would like the HLT kettle to have at least a valve (for ease of filling my pitcher for sparging -modified fly sparging using a colander) and maybe a thermometer.

So, my dilemma is whether to go with an economy type kettle for ~$90 (and having to add the valve, etc myself) or spending about twice the $$ for something like a higher end kettle with the valve/thermometer or a keggle....At some point in the future I'd like to set up a brewtus style rig but that could be a while...Thoughts or suggestions?

Cheers lads & lassies!

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Old 04-28-2013, 06:04 PM   #2
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I went with buying an economy kettle and adding a spigot for both my boil kettle and HLT. If you do it right (step drilling bit is what I used) and have the right hardware it will work just as well as those that are pre-made. With that being said, it took a few trips to the homebrew store to get the right hardware, but that's mostly because I tried to rush it.

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Old 04-28-2013, 06:19 PM   #3
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Size wise 10 gal is fine. In addition to a thermo and valve a site gauge is a really nice feature to have on your HLT. If you're able I'd go with the cheaper pot so you can add all these features yourself. Another 10 gal Bayou Classic would fit the bill and match as well :-)

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Old 04-28-2013, 06:24 PM   #4
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Without turning this into an aluminum vs ss battle, the hlt is the one place I don't mind aluminum. It's cheap, you're not heating to boiling, not needing to clean wort off of it, and it's really easy to drill for weldless fittings.

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Old 04-28-2013, 07:28 PM   #5
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I'd go with another 10/11gallon bayou classic.

I've seen some pretty cheezy "economy" kettles


get a bayou off amazon with free shipping and go the ghetto route.

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Old 04-28-2013, 10:51 PM   #6
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FWIW, I brew 5 gallon all-grain batches with ONE 44qt bayou classic kettle (with a 1/2" valve and a sight glass/digital probe thermometer combo), a 10gal beverage cooler MLT (with a stainless false bottom and 3/8" valve), and a 5gal beverage cooler HLT.

I heat my strike water in the kettle, transfer it to the MLT, and pour in the grains. When the mash has about 20 mins left I heat up sparge water in the kettle. When conversion is complete, I transfer hot water from the kettle to the MLT to get to mashout temp and transfer the rest to the HLT. When mashout is complete, I sparge from the HLT, lautering into the now empty kettle.

That wouldn't work well for doing more than one batch at a time, but I haven't felt the need to punish myself with that anyway. Besides, I do have another kettle, I just don't use it in my process at the moment.

Cheers!

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Old 04-28-2013, 11:01 PM   #7
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I have a 33 Qt Aluminum HLT that has a valve, 3 inch temp guage and a sight glass that I installed all of. My Mash tun is a 10 Gallon Igloo round cooler with a CPVC manifold, bulkhead fitting and valve. My Boil kettle is a 50 Qt Alunimum with a bazooka screen under the steamer plate and a valve. All of the vessels have 1/2 QD Camlock style fittings to connect to my March pump if gravity needs a boost. So far no off flavors or issues with aluminum and I managed to keep the cost way down as part of the experiment. I am currently building a slotted metal 3 tier brew stand and designing/building the electrinics and control systems to accomodate my special requirements. So far so good, and I am way way way under 700.00 at this point.

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Old 04-29-2013, 12:25 AM   #8
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Some people have to have bling, some just want to make beer. How much money do you have to spend?

I have a turkey fryer, a tub to hold water for chilling, a Corona mill and a paint strainer bag. Want to put your beer against mine in competition?

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Old 04-29-2013, 07:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spintab View Post
Without turning this into an aluminum vs ss battle, the hlt is the one place I don't mind aluminum. It's cheap, you're not heating to boiling, not needing to clean wort off of it, and it's really easy to drill for weldless fittings.
Good point! I got a great deal on my Bayou Classic kettle in December. Maybe it was a Christmas sale or something but the price has gone up considerably since then...
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
I have a turkey fryer, a tub to hold water for chilling, a Corona mill and a paint strainer bag. Want to put your beer against mine in competition?
Dude, RDWHAHB.

I'm not bashing anybody for their gear but trying to figure out what's going to work for me as I'm new to the game. Sometimes you don't know what you don't know...I am inclined to stay to the economical side but don't want to buy something that won't work for me in the future thereby causing me to spend more $$ upgrading and leaving me with an 8Gal pot I don't have another use for.

Cheers.
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