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Old 08-10-2012, 01:58 AM   #1
Jmkunis
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Default Building an all-grain setup, need input

I currently have a setup for doing 10 gallon extract batches, which I have been splitting with a friend. For my birthday this year, my dad is giving me the money to upgrade to all grain. Since I am using a keggle to boil and a normal 15.5gal Sanke keg to ferment, I was thinking of doing 12 gallon batches: 5 in my keg, 5 in my friend's, and the extra two to bottle as gifts. Based on some research, and reading in Palmer's How To Brew, I'm looking at a 60 quart cooler for a mash tun:
http://www.academy.com/webapp/wcs/st...=60+qt&Ntk=All
with a stainless steel braided ring (assembled per Palmer's instructions) made from this piece:
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...1#.UCRezKOJ7wo
plus a bulkhead fitting for the outflow.
I am thinking 60 quarts because I like my high gravity beers.
I have a single burner, but I have a second smaller kettle (~8gal) for sparge water.

So here's the questions:
1. Is 60 quarts about right for high-ish gravity 12 gallon batches?
2. If I am batch sparging, can I heat the water in my keggle, pour it into the mash tun, then empty into the same keggle an hour later or whatever after it is done?
3. Or do I really need a separate HLT, and if so why?
4. Is the part linked above the right thing to get the stainless hose from?
5. Outside of a bulkhead, vinyl tube, and mash paddle, is there any other equipment I will need?

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Old 08-10-2012, 02:40 AM   #2
DrewF
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmkunis View Post
1. Is 60 quarts about right for high-ish gravity 12 gallon batches?
2. If I am batch sparging, can I heat the water in my keggle, pour it into the mash tun, then empty into the same keggle an hour later or whatever after it is done?
3. Or do I really need a separate HLT, and if so why?
4. Is the part linked above the right thing to get the stainless hose from?
5. Outside of a bulkhead, vinyl tube, and mash paddle, is there any other equipment I will need?
I'll take a stab at those:

1) Seems like that is a good size. I don't do 12 gallon batches but have a 10 gallon recipe in Promash that has a 30 lb grain bill (for a 1.100 beer) that needs 45 quarts of water to reach a water/grain ratio of 1.5 qts/lb, so you should have a little room to spare.
2) Sure.
3) Need, no. Could be handy if you went to a HERMS system or started fly sparging.
4) It looks like it would work. Of course you know you only want the outside mesh and should discard the rest. If you are getting a 1/2" bulkhead anyway I like these for only a little more and they are ready to use out of the box:
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/the-bazooka-screen.html
5) Everything you mentioned is important. After them on the list I would add: a hydrometer/refractometer, if you don't have one already. A couple of good thermometers too. Also a grain mill, because every store grinds a little differently and a consistent crush is important. Similarly, some accurate scales to weigh your grain.
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:48 AM   #3
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12 gallons is a lot to lift and cool.

I would suggest a pump and some method to cool the wort.

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Old 08-10-2012, 04:06 PM   #4
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I've got a CFC for chilling, a hydrometer, and a hydraulic crane for lifting, so it looks like with that setup, a spare thermometer, and a grain mill I'll be good to go! Thanks for the advice, I'll let you guys know how it goes.

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Old 08-10-2012, 05:53 PM   #5
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My only though tis boiling headspace. I brew to achieve 10 gallons into the keg so I usually rack 11 gallons into my fermentor with about .5 gallon left in the brewpot deadspace/hop absorption, etc. So that is 11.5 gallons post Boil and pre boil is about 13 gallons. I boil in a keggle like you so if you are going to do 12 gallon batches you are going to have very little headspace and will need to keep a close watch on the boil for boilovers. Keep in mind that all-grain will have much more break material than extract, so you will need an extra .5-1 gallon of beer in the fermenter to yield a full keg.

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Old 08-10-2012, 06:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbauer013 View Post
My only though tis boiling headspace. I brew to achieve 10 gallons into the keg so I usually rack 11 gallons into my fermentor with about .5 gallon left in the brewpot deadspace/hop absorption, etc. So that is 11.5 gallons post Boil and pre boil is about 13 gallons. I boil in a keggle like you so if you are going to do 12 gallon batches you are going to have very little headspace and will need to keep a close watch on the boil for boilovers. Keep in mind that all-grain will have much more break material than extract, so you will need an extra .5-1 gallon of beer in the fermenter to yield a full keg.
I agree, you may find out that you have to top off with water to do a 12 gallon batch without boiling over. My boil off is close to 1.5 gallons per hour in my keggle.
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:16 PM   #7
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I'd go bigger on the cooler. Say, 70 qt. For the rest, see www.dennybrew.com. An extra pot to heat water will smooth out the brewday and won't cost you a lot.

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