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Old 12-18-2009, 05:53 PM   #11
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I've done 20+ batches that way. It works well and it's cheap and simple. I do have a ball valve on the cooler, but no manifold/false bottom. My last few batches are at about 82%.

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Old 12-18-2009, 06:02 PM   #12
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It's dead easy to convert a cooler and in the long run you'll be happy you did. If I can do it, _anyone_ can do it! See dennybrew.com for details.
Are you the Denny from dennybrew.com?

If you are:

I found that page when I was researching all-grain, and found it to be very helpful, and in simple terms...I like the "cheap and easy" approach.


Edit: I just clicked on your homepage link on your profile; you are indeed "The Denny", kudos to you sir!
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:36 PM   #13
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Thanks all for the replies.

I'm just now getting to understand all-grain brewing. I really like when I can break seemingly complex processes with a lot of jargon (sparge, mash-tun, lauter-tun) into their basic components (i.e. "extract sugars from grain by placing in hot water for an hour").

By doing a "bare bones" sort of deal with a cooler and a grain bag, I can witness firsthand the problems (if there are any) of the process, then assess firsthand what sorts hardware I should install to make the process go smoother.

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Old 12-18-2009, 06:42 PM   #14
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I was using my 5 gallon drinking cooler with a 5g paint strainer beg with c clamps to keep the bag open, then i would mash in, remove the clamps, and replace the lid, then wait my desired conversion time, sparge and boil. It worked like a champ until I put together the ball valve with braided hose in. The brew in a bag works well.

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Old 12-18-2009, 07:47 PM   #15
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here is mine:


It actually can be used without the bag, but I find it much easier to clean with the bag:

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Old 12-19-2009, 03:33 AM   #16
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Yup I do all grain with an unmodified 5 gal cooler and 1 5-gal paint strainer bag. You don't need any ball valves or false bottoms or any of that stuff. The bag can be bought at Lowes/HomeDepot in the paint section for $2.

Put the bag in the cooler, pour 10lb grain into the bag, heat 13 qt water to 169F, pour in, stir until you get the desired temp (155-150F, stir longer for cooler temp), mash for an hour (stir every 20 min), lift bag out, dump the wort out into your kettle, put bag & wet grain back into cooler, add 12 qt 174F water, stir and drain into kettle 10 min later.

This is the easiest way to do all grain that I know of, and its how I have done my last 10 batches or so. Efficiency is in the high 80's most times, but make sure to tell your shop to crush your grain pretty fine.

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Old 12-19-2009, 03:48 AM   #17
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Sweet... so why aren't we telling new home brewers how easy it is to brew with just a cooler and a grain bag?

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Old 12-19-2009, 03:53 AM   #18
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Sweet... so why aren't we telling new home brewers how easy it is to brew with just a cooler and a grain bag?
I honestly have no idea and it pisses me the f*ck off!

I so often see someone say that they want to go from partial mashing to all grain and some brewer will start telling them how they need to build their water profile and get a fly sparge arm and show them a stupid brew sculpture bah bah freakin' blah! That's such BS! Sure, you can do all that to really get 100% control over your process, but for most folks, a cooler/bag setup is a cheap and very effective way to get into all grain.

I've shown 2 friends how to brew with the cooler/bag method and they love it. One friend has never even brewed w/ extract at all, she started right with all grain with this method! And she just started drinking a summer wheat ale she made that to me, is slightly BETTER than Sam Adam's Summer Wheat.
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Old 12-19-2009, 12:42 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghpeel View Post
I honestly have no idea and it pisses me the f*ck off!

I so often see someone say that they want to go from partial mashing to all grain and some brewer will start telling them how they need to build their water profile and get a fly sparge arm and show them a stupid brew sculpture bah bah freakin' blah! That's such BS! Sure, you can do all that to really get 100% control over your process, but for most folks, a cooler/bag setup is a cheap and very effective way to get into all grain.

I've shown 2 friends how to brew with the cooler/bag method and they love it. One friend has never even brewed w/ extract at all, she started right with all grain with this method! And she just started drinking a summer wheat ale she made that to me, is slightly BETTER than Sam Adam's Summer Wheat.
+!, I have brewed about 15 extract batches so far. Every time I thought about going AG, I would read about all the eqipment needed & I would just brew another extract batch. Well; after reading about BIAB, cooler/bag, & Deathbrewers stove top methods; my next batch is going to be AG. I already bought the paint bags from HD
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Old 12-19-2009, 03:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kinison_fan View Post
Are you the Denny from dennybrew.com?

If you are:

I found that page when I was researching all-grain, and found it to be very helpful, and in simple terms...I like the "cheap and easy" approach.


Edit: I just clicked on your homepage link on your profile; you are indeed "The Denny", kudos to you sir!
Guilty as charged! Thanks, glad to be able to help.
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