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Old 12-12-2009, 02:54 AM   #1
eps2103
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Default Buying a new rig for AG

I've been mooching equipment off my friends for the past few brews, and I think I'm sufficiently hooked on home brewing to get my own setup. I'd really like to give AG a try, so I've decided to buy some equipment to that end and give it a go.

Here's what I'm thinking: get a PolarWare 10 gallon with ball valve and false bottom. I'd like that kettle to do it all - mash and boil. I'm also planning to get a round Gott or Rubbermaid cooler fitted with a ball valve to hold sparge water.

My proposed process: heat the sparge water in the kettle and transfer it to the cooler. Then do the mash in the kettle and drain to my fermenter bucket and sparge with the water from the cooler. Clean the kettle, remove the false bottom, add the wort back to the kettle and boil.

I've read *a lot* online about AG brewing, but I have not really seen proposal addressed.

So, what's wrong with my plan?

Thanks for the input.

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Old 12-12-2009, 03:18 AM   #2
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Nothing wrong with your proposed process. I'm curious why are you thinking about using the cooler as a hot liqour tank instead of a mash tun. I think it would save you time if you used it as a mash tun.

In your process, you will heat the sparge water first, move it to the cooler. Then you will heat your mash water and you will have to wait to mash until that water is heated.

If you used the cooler as a mash tun, you would heat the water for the mash first, and while the mash is resting, you would heat the sparge water.

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Old 12-12-2009, 03:46 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pappers View Post
Nothing wrong with your proposed process. I'm curious why are you thinking about using the cooler as a hot liqour tank instead of a mash tun. I think it would save you time if you used it as a mash tun.

In your process, you will heat the sparge water first, move it to the cooler. Then you will heat your mash water and you will have to wait to mash until that water is heated.

If you used the cooler as a mash tun, you would heat the water for the mash first, and while the mash is resting, you would heat the sparge water.
What he said... I was thinking exactly the same thing.

OR you could simply heat the mash water in the polarware with false bottom pot and dough in. Then if you had a second pot you could use it to heat your sparge water in and use it as your boil pot. Thus you've got one fancy expensive polarware pot and a second possibly less expensive pot for multiple uses.

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Old 12-12-2009, 12:52 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. Yes, I realize it would take longer because of the serial nature of heating the water. That seems to me like the big drawback.

What you say makes sense...I'll look into picking up a second cheap pot to heat the sparge water. More likely I'll just keep mooching my friend's boil pot.

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Old 12-12-2009, 01:34 PM   #5
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another thing htat I noticed was that you are looking at a 10gal pot... why 10gal? I would go 15 so that you can step up and do 10gal batches....

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Old 12-12-2009, 02:01 PM   #6
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Eps2103 I think what Papppers is saying that you should get 1 kettle for strike water/ boiling/ sparge water and 1 cooler for mashing/ lothering/ sparging.

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If you used the cooler as a mash tun, you would heat the water for the mash first, and while the mash is resting, you would heat the sparge water.
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Old 12-12-2009, 06:31 PM   #7
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I have slowly over the year taken small steps toward AG, currently still PM.

I use a very similar process currently as I've been using equipment that I have with little changes to equipment.

I use a 14 Qt pot to heat water in (185 deg) then store in my 5 gal cooler with (metal ball valve) as Sparge etc.

With 5 gal in cooler, I then use 1.5-2 gal in my pot to protien rest grains, then steep (148-155 deg), Adding from the 5 gal to maintain temps. Then strain out into boil kettle (7.5 gal) with mesh bag. Followed by using the water in the cooler to slowly rinse the grain bag.
Then I use my 14 Qt, adding the DME, LME, Sugars etc. with the rest of the water, bringing it all into solution and rinsing out the containers so that I have 0 waste.

With 3.5 gal and the grain bag drained, I move the boil kettle to the turkey fryer and heat, then adding the contents of the 14QT to bring up the volume to 6.5-7gal and begin boil off and hops additions etc etc.

I am looking though for a larger kettle for the stove (use for steeping AG) as my 14 QT is just not big enough nor is my 5 gal cooler for AG grain bills with needed water to maintain tems.

Thinking about either a 48Qt or 60Qt... but I'm limited by my Glass stove top.... So it will probably be the 48 Qt. Price ranges are $40-60 locally procured (aluminum) I think Aluminum would be fine for Steeping as long as I oxidize the inner and not scrub it off into my wort in the mash process.

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Old 12-12-2009, 06:59 PM   #8
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check home depot... this time of the year turkey fryer kits go for about $35 and come with a burner and alum 7.5gal pot... That was the first step I took, I now use the small pot that came with it as my HLT Use a Keggle for Boil and Cooler for mash

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Old 12-17-2009, 11:34 PM   #9
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OK, I took the advice. I have a 48-qt rectangular Coleman cooler in my basement that I normally only use once or twice a year anyway, so I'll convert that to do my mash.

Also, I went the turkey fryer route - instead of dropping all that money on the nice brewpot, I found a deal on Amazon for a stainless 9-gallon pot and a Bayou Classic propane burner for about a third of the price. I decided to get the burner because my dinky stove will most likely not be powerful enough to keep a large volume boiling. And this way I'm portable so when my wife kicks me out of the kitchen I can set up the whole thing out back.

Thanks for the advice. I'll let you know how my first AG batch turns out.

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Old 12-18-2009, 01:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnadamn View Post
another thing htat I noticed was that you are looking at a 10gal pot... why 10gal? I would go 15 so that you can step up and do 10gal batches....
This is great advice. The one thing new brewers could learn early on is not to buy equipment twice. Don't put yourself in a position to have to go back and upgrade.
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