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Old 02-26-2007, 05:00 AM   #1
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Default All grain setup help

I have decided to convert and build an all grain setup, I would like some suggestions, I have no intention of ever doing more than 5 gallon batches as I would like to brew different brews more often. Will 7.5 gallon brewpots be large enough? Any suggestions on all aspects would be extremely helpful as well, what would you all have done different? Should I do a hlt or will a cooler setup be just as well? I won't even ask for advice on stainless vs alluminum. thanks in advance
edit, I should have mentioned that I was thinking of a 3 tier propane setup.

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Old 02-26-2007, 05:11 AM   #2
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Joining the dark side eh? A 7.5 gallon pot can be big enough, I use one but you have to watch for boil overs all the time. Coolers are a nice way to keep the cost down while getting the performance that we all are looking for. Some people will tell you to get a bulkhead and a ball valve and all that jazz. All you really need is a drilled stopper like used on a carboy but make sure it fits in the whole of the cooler, a 4" piece of 3/8 OD copper tube, a stainless braid from a toilet supply line, and 6 feet of 3/8 ID siphon tubing. Stick the copper tube into the rubber bung, slide the braid over the tube on the inside of the cooler(might want to clamp down with SS tube clamp) and attach the siphon tube to the other end of the copper tube.

Edit: You might want another vessel(bottling bucket is good for this) to hold the sparge water when draining the MLT.

Here is a link with pics to show what I'm talking about http://cruisenews.net/brewing/infusion/page1.php

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Old 02-26-2007, 01:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewBrewer25
I have decided to convert and build an all grain setup, I would like some suggestions, I have no intention of ever doing more than 5 gallon batches as I would like to brew different brews more often. Will 7.5 gallon brewpots be large enough? Any suggestions on all aspects would be extremely helpful as well, what would you all have done different? Should I do a hlt or will a cooler setup be just as well? I won't even ask for advice on stainless vs alluminum. thanks in advance
edit, I should have mentioned that I was thinking of a 3 tier propane setup.
I have an 8 gallon pot and it's JUST barely big enough for full boils. I'd think that a 7.5 would be a HUGE PITA.
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Old 02-26-2007, 01:34 PM   #4
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7.5 is too small IMHO.

Here's why:

I have a 9 gal. pot and about 1 gal. is below the bulkhead/ballvalve also I need about 2 gal head space. That leaves me with 6 gal. that I can easily get into the mash tun.

I tried to make a true New Castle ale clone recently and the first batch of beer requires mashing with 8 gal. then boiling for 2 hours down to 5 gal.

7.5 gal. would be too small to do all that in one batch.

You can do it but you'll increase your hassle factor, limit the beers you can brew, and you'll have to watch that pot like a hawk to keep if from boiling over.

My former supervisor had a saying: Buy cheap and Buy Twice

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Old 02-26-2007, 01:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwj
I have an 8 gallon pot and it's JUST barely big enough for full boils. I'd think that a 7.5 would be a HUGE PITA.
I have an 8 gallon pot too and I always boil 7 gallons down to 5.5 without an issue because I use a spray bottle when it first begins to boil and when I add hops.

Here's 7 gallons starting to boil.

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Old 02-26-2007, 02:56 PM   #6
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I've said it before but it really depends on how skinny/tall the pot is. In a 30qt (7.5g) turkey fryer, the slim profile usually leaves quite a bit (in height) of headspace. I was able to do a 6.5g boil in it with a couple close call boil overs (outside who cares). The problem is, the runnings toward the end were still about 1.015 meaning I could have eeked another 2 quarts though to get more sugar out but my pot just couldn't take anymore. Can't wait to get a burner for my keggle.

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Old 02-26-2007, 03:01 PM   #7
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I have been using 32 qts for a while, I jusst purchased a 15.5 gallon Sankey for $10, no more boilovers when I run off 7 gallons of wort...

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Old 02-26-2007, 05:05 PM   #8
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Ok I found some 8.5 gallon pots, now should I go heated lauter tun or cooler style

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Old 02-26-2007, 05:24 PM   #9
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I do the coolers, this is why. I used to heat a kettle, but I was CONSTANTLY heating it and adjusting it and mixing the mash to assimilate temps. With my 10 gallon coolers, it is easy to calculate a strike or infusion water temp for the ammount of grain I am utilizing, put the lid on it, and it will lose maybe 1 degree every hour or two? It is just alot easier IMHO and it allows you to maintain a much more precise temp.

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Old 02-26-2007, 05:32 PM   #10
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pros and cons from personal experience anybody?

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