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Old 04-21-2012, 06:27 PM   #1
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Default Can someone help me transfer from kits to all grain?

I want to stop using kits and extracted ingredients. I would like to use fresh ingredients eventually, that I grow on my farm, but I am confused with the transformation from kits to buying my own ingredients( not extracts)... Any reading recommendations?



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Old 04-21-2012, 07:01 PM   #2
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Well first I guess would be to read up on the common techniques and decide which one sounds best for you.

There are:

Single vessel system (BIAB)
2 or 3 vessel Batch Sparging
3 vessel Fly Sparging

2 Things you might want to keep in mind are whether you plan on brewing inside vs outside and the size of batches you will likely be doing.

From there you will start to understand what to look for as far as equipment and we can help with that.



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Old 04-21-2012, 07:02 PM   #3
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When I switched to all grain, I purposely used kits - just all grain kits instead. The switch takes a lot of getting used to, so I wanted to minimize other changes until I got the hang of it.

I'd reccomend something similar, once you have your all grain feet under you, you can start experimenting with your own recipies. If you get your stuff online, there are a ton of great kits available.

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Old 04-21-2012, 07:15 PM   #4
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I will be brewing inside, and for now, just 5 gallon batches..

But where can I find the all grain kits? Any recommendations?

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Old 04-21-2012, 07:17 PM   #5
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can you boil 7 gallons on the stove top or are you using more than 1 pot? most online places have all grain kits...

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Old 04-21-2012, 07:19 PM   #6
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I have a 20 qt enamel pot that I have been using on my stove top.

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Old 04-21-2012, 07:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddPacker69
I will be brewing inside, and for now, just 5 gallon batches..

But where can I find the all grain kits? Any recommendations?
Austin Homebrew, Northen Brewer, Midwest all have a good selection. Brewmasters Warehouse has a ton of user supplied recipe kits.
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Old 04-21-2012, 07:26 PM   #8
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If you want to get away from using kits, then you'll need to learn what the different grains, hops, and yeasts add for flavors and such. I would start by getting the gear you'll need to start brewing all grain (pick your method first) and then start making recipes. There are plenty of sources out there that will tell you what a specific grain will add for flavor, character, etc. to a brew. Same thing with yeasts (look to the lab's sites for best info) and hops. You can also start by looking up recipes of brews you already like and seeing how much of each grain is used in them.

Personally, I went from my first two batches (slightly modified kits from the LHBS) to the third heavily modified 'kit' from the LHBS to making my own recipes.

I would also heavily advise using software when you're putting together a recipe. I've been using BeerSmith for some time now (since before it went 2.0) and really like how I can adjust a recipe almost on the fly and see what the results will be (before crushing the grain).

Depending on which type of method you go with, you'll need to calibrate the results from said setup. I know a lot of people are lauding BIAB as the new coolest method. Personally, I see it as having far too many limitation, at least for me. With a three vessel setup (propane burners) I can easily mash about 30 pounds of grain without worrying about the grain bag ripping, or getting hurt lifting (and then holding) it up to drain. As I see it, BIAB is viable for 5 gallon batches, of moderate strength. Once you get to something stronger, or larger batches, it quickly becomes an issue. But, with how little you can spend initially with it, it's not a bad start. I used it for several batches before moving to a cooler based mash tun, then finally transitioning to a keg mash tun.

As for using ingredients you actually grow yourself... You can easily grow hops to use. Trying to use your own grain can present you with a entirely new set of issues. IMO, better to purchase the malted barley already ready for use. Get involved in a local HBC (HomeBrew Club) that does periodic group grain purchases. Or get into one of the group buys from HBT members that gets posted. Depending on how much you brew, you might be able to purchase most of your grain at one shot. Just get the grains you know you'll use enough of.

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Old 04-21-2012, 08:11 PM   #9
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You're asking two questions and have gotten answers to both. Moving extract to all grain is one thing, making your own recipes is another.

The search feature is your friend. For recipe formulation: go to the top and look in the recipe section to see what a recipe of a style you'd like to do actually consists of. Compare a few well-received examples of the same style to see what the common elements are, what are the proportions of ingredients (5% caramel malt or 15%?), and what the statistics are. Then tweak what you want. Also, consult the recipe and ingredient forum.
For technique, read the all-grain forum and technique forum.

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Old 04-21-2012, 08:14 PM   #10
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Great advice thanks. I am probably going to stick with doing 5 gallon batches until I get it done a little better. I eventually want to sell my product. I guess I will try an ALL GRAIN KIT first.

Mashing does sound really interesting, I guess I will have to read up on the process.



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