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Old 06-14-2012, 05:36 PM   #1
timmah84
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Default Beginner AG Equipment List - help

Hello,

I began home brewing with extract last year. I have had a great time thus far and have been wanting to make the jump to All-Grain. I don't mind upgrading / buying new equipment either.

Background:

I am planning on getting a Blichmann Boiler Maker, propane tank/gas burner and was going to follow the many DIY guides on making a mash tun for sparging. That's where my item list ends and I am not sure what size to go with on the boil maker or if a false bottom is needed since I plan on making a mash tun.

I have a 30 qt aluminum pot for my extract brewing, but figured the boil maker pot could be used for initially getting the mash/strike water heated. I also don't know if this will be a big enough water heating (is HLT the right term?) pot either for AG.

I plan on keeping my batches at 5 gallon for now (will probably go bigger down the road up to 10gal.)

Question(s):

What other items are needed for starting out?

List so far (may not be correct)-

*30qt pot for heating water (maybe bigger for the wort boil?)
*BoilMaker pot / false bottom (?)
*Mash Tun
*Mashing paddle
*Burner / Propane tank
*Milk crates to do gravity feed
*Immersion chiller

Will it be OK to mash in a normal pot (that has no spigot) and pour into a mash tun?

Will the BoilMaker remove the need for a Mash Tun?

I know I am asking a lot of potential open ended questions, so I'll clarify as needed.

Appreciate any help to fuel my favorite hobby!

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Old 06-14-2012, 05:49 PM   #2
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30qt. is plenty big enough for heating strike/sparge water, acting as an HLT.
False bottom is up to you. Could get clogged with hop debris/trub. I tend to just whirlpool and whatever makes it into the fermenter, makes it in.
Mash-tun, get something large so you're not limited to small beers. You want at least 10g. cooler for a 5g. batch. Hose braid is cheap/easy if you're batch sparging (which I recommend at first).
Mash paddle, stainless spoon, whatever is long enough and you like most.
Milk crates are strong. Put plywood on them for anything hot that will rest on them, though.
Make an immersion chiller from refrigeration coil. 25ft. is cheaper and 50ft. is not twice as fast, maybe 30% faster. Hose clamps, 1/2" vinyl hose and a hose barb (if going to a garden hose) and/or sink adapter if going to a sink.

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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:03 PM   #3
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To answer your questions;

Yes, you can mash in a pot without a spigot and dump it into your lauter tun (something with a false bottom in it).

Yes, the BoilMaker would make a great mash tun and would eliminate the need to mash in a separate pot.

If you purchase another pot for hot water/boil or made a mash tun out of a cooler you will have everything you need. I would recommend spigots in everything in a gravity fed system though.

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Old 06-14-2012, 08:17 PM   #4
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So it sounds like the ideal set would be two 30 qt pots. One for heating the strike and sparge water, one for the wort boil / hop additions (the typical 60 min boil), and the boil maker for mashing/sparging.

Think it could all be done with a single burner, or would it be better with two?

I guess the water used to sparge would need to be heated while the grains are being mashed though, right?

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Old 06-14-2012, 08:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmah84 View Post
So it sounds like the ideal set would be two 30 qt pots. One for heating the strike and sparge water, one for the wort boil / hop additions (the typical 60 min boil), and the boil maker for mashing/sparging.

Think it could all be done with a single burner, or would it be better with two?

I guess the water used to sparge would need to be heated while the grains are being mashed though, right?
This is why a lot of us use a cooler mash-tun. That way your HLT can be heating sparge water while you mash because the cooler maintains heat without being heat-ed.

Two pots, one cooler, or one pot, one cooler. You can use a single pot to heat all water and then collect runnings in a bucket if the pot still has sparge water in it. I did this for many brews, too.

Also, you want about a 10g. brew kettle for all-grain.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davekippen View Post
Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:51 PM   #6
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On transferring sparge water, does it need to be trickled into the mash tun, or can it be gently pour in from a pot (with no spigot.)

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Old 06-14-2012, 09:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmah84 View Post
On transferring sparge water, does it need to be trickled into the mash tun, or can it be gently pour in from a pot (with no spigot.)
Many people pour it with a pitcher or sauce-pot. It's fine that way.
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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tre9er

This is why a lot of us use a cooler mash-tun. That way your HLT can be heating sparge water while you mash because the cooler maintains heat without being heat-ed.

Two pots, one cooler, or one pot, one cooler. You can use a single pot to heat all water and then collect runnings in a bucket if the pot still has sparge water in it. I did this for many brews, too.

Also, you want about a 10g. brew kettle for all-grain.
True. I use one 40qt aluminum pot for HLT, I use it to heat strike water, I drain my mash into a marked 6 gallon bucket as I heat my sparge water, batch sparging here, upon dumping that into the mash tun, I dump the first runnings in the marked bucket into the HLT which is now my empty brew kettle. It helps to be organized when multi tasking w/ limited equipment. Organize your brew day by getting the most use out of what you got.
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crushingblackdoom

True. I use one 40qt aluminum pot for HLT, I use it to heat strike water, I drain my mash into a marked 6 gallon bucket as I heat my sparge water, batch sparging here, upon dumping that into the mash tun, I dump the first runnings in the marked bucket into the HLT which is now my empty brew kettle. It helps to be organized when multi tasking w/ limited equipment. Organize your brew day by getting the most use out of what you got.
Did that for many a brew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davekippen View Post
Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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