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Old 03-05-2013, 09:11 PM   #101
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If you collect wort in a bucket, use a bottling bucket. This way you can slap some tubing on the spigot and gravity drain the wort into your kettle to avoid excessive aeration.
you are about to boil why would you be worried about air then you aregoing to stir to get oxygen before pitching yeast
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:08 PM   #102
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My setup is a 10 gallon igloo cooler for a MLT. I made a copper manifold. My boil kettle is 8 gallons and it has a ball valve and a thermometer. I also collect the runnings in a bottling or other food grade bucket.

I heat the strike and sparge water up in the boil kettle on the propane burner. Since I recently learned how to solder copper pipe, I also made an attachment that screws into the ball valve, turns 45* down, and has about a 6" spout. This lets me safely drain hot water into a pitcher where I can pour the water into the cooler until it gets low enough to just pick up the kettle and dump the rest in.

By the time the kettle is empty, the bucket is almost full. I dump the bucket into the kettle and as soon as I've got the amount of wort I want, fire it up.

My sparging setup is a kinda ghetto. I use a spaghetti strainer that sits on top of my MLT. I line the strainer with a couple of paper towels and this helps keep the flow manageable, i.e. not too fast. One problem is that the manifold likes to disconnect from the ball valve on the inside. It's a mess when this happens. I try not to stir it too vigorously but I've got to come up with a better solution in the long run.

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Old 03-06-2013, 05:56 PM   #103
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I just started AG brewing a few months ago and my setup is pretty simple. Like a lot of other guys, I tend to get equipment envy. All the pix of what others have done gets my little pea-brain buzzing with ideas to improve my equipment.

My 7 1/2 gal. brew kettle serves to heat my strike water. I use a big measuring cup to move the water to the tun. While the mash is going on I heat another 5 gallons or so in the smaller kettle. If I have it just a tad hot when the mash is finished it holds the heat OK while I drain my first runnings into the BK. Then the pitcher moves the sparge water to the tun for batch sparge. After its drained off the 5 gallon kettle gets filled with warm water and PBW for cleaning equipment.

The problem with this setup has been, as others have posted, I'm moving 5 - 7 gallons of really hot water, lifting and pouring it by hand. Also, I don't have the capability of doing anything but batch sparges or taking my mash up through rests. Would like to reassign the current cooler to hot liquor tank and add a second burner and kettle/mash tun so I could heat the mash. Also need to be able to drain the wort into buckets via a valve instead of lifting and pouring. A perfect upgrade would include a change-over to natural gas for my burners - much cheaper to run and no trips to get the tanks refilled!

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Old 03-06-2013, 07:47 PM   #104
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Ramping up is fun and exciting and for a gadget guy like me, and most of us are, its fun and awsome to watch it come together. On that note it is expensive and time consuming, I have spent 3 months and countless dollars putting together the dream brew system and haven't brewed on it or my old 10 gallon system for that same period of time, and sometimes I look and my other system and think what am I doing.
Ok all that said if all works out I will use the system to open a Nano Brewery in (hopefully) the not too distant future.
"Puddlethumper" take it a piece at a time and you will get there with little $ and little time and have a perfectly managable system.
I think nowadays with the great access to great grain doing step mashes is overated, My opinion only.

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Old 03-07-2013, 12:18 AM   #105
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Ramping up is fun and exciting .... On that note it is expensive and time consuming, I have spent 3 months and countless dollars putting together the dream brew system ...

"Puddlethumper" take it a piece at a time and you will get there with little $ and little time and have a perfectly managable system.
I think nowadays with the great access to great grain doing step mashes is overated, My opinion only.
Thanks for your comments. You have a beautiful system! Hope it works as good for you as it looks!

I like to build stuff and don't mind spending a few bucks if I need to, but hate to spend the same money twice. So your suggestion to take it slow is good council. I like the Costco rack on wheels some of the guys here have built and I'm noodling the idea of something along those lines with natural gas burners under the mash tun and brew kettle.

Was watching a tv show about brewing the other evening and the guy from Budweiser said they brew with step mashes (he didn't call it that cause the show was aimed at non-brewers). Palmer describes it and gives a nod to its value in his book. Made me think it was probably a place I'll want to get to at some point. With that in mind I didn't want to "spend the same money twice" by making an Igloo cooler mash/lauter tun, but rather go ahead and spend the bucks on a decent SS kettle with ball valve, thermometer, etc.

Your thoughts on that move?
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:09 AM   #106
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Thanks for your comments. You have a beautiful system! Hope it works as good for you as it looks!

I like to build stuff and don't mind spending a few bucks if I need to, but hate to spend the same money twice. So your suggestion to take it slow is good council. I like the Costco rack on wheels some of the guys here have built and I'm noodling the idea of something along those lines with natural gas burners under the mash tun and brew kettle.

Was watching a tv show about brewing the other evening and the guy from Budweiser said they brew with step mashes (he didn't call it that cause the show was aimed at non-brewers). Palmer describes it and gives a nod to its value in his book. Made me think it was probably a place I'll want to get to at some point. ith that in mind I didn't want to "spend the same money twice" by making an Igloo cooler mash/lauter tun, but rather go ahead and spend the bucks on a decent SS kettle with ball valve, thermometer, etc.

Your thoughts on that move?
There was a good kettle on Homebrew Finds that i saw today,
http://www.homebrewfinds.com/2013/03...orts-8999.html
paste the link above, its 89.99, you could buy the ball valve and thermometer pretty good deal. Whatever you do enjoy.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:46 AM   #107
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That is a smoking deal! Should serve as a brew kettle or mash tun. I gotta go count my shekels! :-)

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Old 03-07-2013, 10:58 AM   #108
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I have spent 3 months and countless dollars putting together the dream brew system .
What kind of burners are you using? Propane, natural gas or electric?
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:50 PM   #109
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What kind of burners are you using? Propane, natural gas or electric?
I using propane and 32 jet, Jet burners. For my smaller system (15.5 gallon brew pot) I use the 12.5" banjo burner from Boyou classics, this burner is awsome and can be fitted for natural gas.
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:54 PM   #110
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That is a smoking deal! Should serve as a brew kettle or mash tun. I gotta go count my shekels! :-)
Yes HomeBrew Finds is bookmarked in my beer folder and I go there daily,
They have free books once in a while and ill grab those too.
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