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Old 05-08-2006, 06:34 PM   #1
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Default An apprasal of doing AG without large equipment

My problem with doing all grain is something that I'm sure many have. No very large pot at the moment..... living in an apartment... on the second floor no less. Wanting to do it in my kitchen... on my stove... I had inicially set out to do PM thinking that AG was just not what I was going to be doing for a while. I found this site sockmonkeysandbeer:

http://www3.telus.net/sockmonkeysand.../howIbrew.html

He describes a method of doing AG in two smaller pots instead of one large one that you typically can't do on a smaller home stove in an indoors setting and this is what I attempted to do for my first try at AG. I had a lot of different problems that made things challenging, however in the end I was able to follow the general process of this method. Being the process was not what was challenging but the normal first time AG stuff was the challenges.

Outside of the recipe challenge that I had (used 5 lbs of wheat that gave stuck mashes) and the low temp hose that came undone between the false bottom and the connections to the outside assembly. One other problem is that I came up far shorter in a 5 gal quantity then wanted. I have no markings on the pots to show me where 2 1/2 - 3 galons are so it was realy hard for me to judge if I had enough.

Another challenge I had was I did not pre-calculate the amount of sparge water needed. I just filled my HWT as much as it went and attempted to judge from what I collected in the pots if I had enough. I think this problem would be solved next time I do this if I mark the pots to show where the amounts are. I also have Promash now, which will help with this greatly.

Another problem I had which will be resolved is I did not have a wort chiller. I thought well since I'm working with smaller batches, the ice water in the sink will work fine. I think it could... however when working with two at the same time there is A LOT OF THINS HAPPENING. A wort chiller will at least take that part out of the equation and my focus will come back on what they need to be on.

Don't know.... I've had a few weeks to mull over what happened as well as all the great input I got from you guys on the thread I posted.

Has anyone else used this method?

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Old 05-08-2006, 06:50 PM   #2
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Honestly, that sounds like a huge hassle to me. I'm about to try my fist AG batch in a few days, so we'll see how that goes on the hassle scale, but...

If I were in your position (which is kind of a funny thing to say to God, now that I think about it), I'd probably stick with partial mash. You really can do almost any beer that way.

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Old 05-08-2006, 07:05 PM   #3
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Sounds like you've thought it out. Go for it, I say.

The biggest problem I had with my first AG a few days ago was preparing enough fly-sparge water at 80 degrees C, but that was because I underestimated how much time the lauter would take, so it was sitting there for a while cooling down. Think this part out carefully and you should be alright. I guess doing a batch 'sparge' would get around that.

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Old 05-08-2006, 07:05 PM   #4
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Although I'm a big AG fan, I think I agree with cweston here. Assess the reality of your situation and then go for the appropriate brew style. If I couldn't brew outside I definitely wouldn't be doing AG (UNLESS...I could rig up an electric brewery...).

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Old 05-08-2006, 07:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysterio
Sounds like you've thought it out. Go for it, I say.

The biggest problem I had with my first AG a few days ago was preparing enough fly-sparge water at 80 degrees C, but that was because I underestimated how much time the lauter would take, so it was sitting there for a while cooling down. Think this part out carefully and you should be alright. I guess doing a batch 'sparge' would get around that.
I'd love a pump... but MAN are the expensive. That was one thing I saw at National Homebrew day that was cool... most of the people were using pumps.
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Old 05-08-2006, 07:23 PM   #6
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Default I get the sense many AG'ers dont walk stairs....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron von BeeGee
Although I'm a big AG fan, I think I agree with cweston here. Assess the reality of your situation and then go for the appropriate brew style. If I couldn't brew outside I definitely wouldn't be doing AG (UNLESS...I could rig up an electric brewery...).
Do you live in a house... or ie... not have to walk up stairs to get to your apartment? Was actually thinking if my primary fermentor was not a carboy it would not be all that bad. Being if I used a bucket with a handle on it you know....
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Old 05-08-2006, 07:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GOD
Do you live in a house... or ie... not have to walk up stairs to get to your apartment? Was actually thinking if my primary fermentor was not a carboy it would not be all that bad. Being if I used a bucket with a handle on it you know....
Yep, I live in a house and brew in my garage. If you can brew outside then it might be worth it. But also think about hauling all your equipment out to brew, and then hauling it all back in. I hate just straightening up the garage afterwards.
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Old 05-08-2006, 07:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron von BeeGee
Yep, I live in a house and brew in my garage. If you can brew outside then it might be worth it. But also think about hauling all your equipment out to brew, and then hauling it all back in. I hate just straightening up the garage afterwards.
That was another thing I saw last weekend.. some people had to rent a small Uhaul to get thier stuff to the event. I can see how it would be an incredible pain.
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Old 05-08-2006, 07:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GOD
That was another thing I saw last weekend.. some people had to rent a small Uhaul to get thier stuff to the event. I can see how it would be an incredible pain.
My setup is small enough I could probably get it in my car or wife's VUE and get it around, but that'd be a pain. I pretty much store everything in the garage and only move the fermentors inside the house when they've got something in them. My challenge this summer is to somehow get the garage organized so my equipment is not just laying about all over the place.
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Old 05-08-2006, 08:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron von BeeGee
My setup is small enough I could probably get it in my car or wife's VUE and get it around, but that'd be a pain. I pretty much store everything in the garage and only move the fermentors inside the house when they've got something in them. My challenge this summer is to somehow get the garage organized so my equipment is not just laying about all over the place.
That is finally what I did. I used to have all of my equiopment scattered about the garage, and during brewday I was always running from there, through the kitchen, and out to the back where I brewed. It was a pain in the arse.

Now I have everything in the garage and I brew on the stand right outside it. Everything is less than 10 feet away. It is really nice.

I'm happy with that set-up for now until we move and I actually have a dedicated shed for a brewery, but I definitely feel the pain of the apartment dwellers because I was always running around and never had dedicated space for brewing.
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