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Old 01-14-2014, 05:45 PM   #1
jhudson3030
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Default cheap all grain brewing system?

Hi, I'm looking for an economical approach to all grain brewing. I've found some pretty cool gravity flow set ups but they're a little out of my price range. Any ideas?



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Old 01-14-2014, 05:47 PM   #2
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I started with a round cooler and false bottom. In total it cost me about $65 (put the mash run cooler together myself). I batch sparge and am pretty happy with the results. You could also go BIAB.



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Old 01-14-2014, 08:19 PM   #3
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I'd say that the absolute cheapest way is to go BIAB. You can get a bag for right around $10. If you already have a bottling bucket, you can buy another bucket, drill a bunch of holes in the bottom, set it inside of the bottling bucket, and use that as a super cheap lauter tun. Next step up would be the previously mentioned cooler based mash/lauter tun.

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Old 01-14-2014, 08:40 PM   #4
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I put together a mash tun from a 48 qt coleman cooler and hardware store parts, and do a split boil on the stove top in 2 five gallon stainless pots.

Probably not the cheapest, but the total setup to step up from extract was ~$100.

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Old 01-15-2014, 02:20 AM   #5
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Turkey Fryer + BIAB is the cheapest route.

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Old 01-15-2014, 02:59 AM   #6
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Biab

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Old 01-15-2014, 11:54 AM   #7
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I bought a pair of paint strainer bags from Home Depot for less than $5 and used them with my 5 gallon pot that I had used for extract and did a 2 1/2 gallon batch to see if I wanted to continue with all grain. If you have a pot that is larger you can do a 5 gallon batch that way too. I do it with a 7.5 gallon turkey fryer.

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Old 01-15-2014, 01:18 PM   #8
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Cheapest all grain is probably this method.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/easy-stovetop-all-grain-brewing-pics-90132/
If you have brewed before you probably have everything already.

If you are going to be doing full boils a burner is your best bet as most stoves will not boil more than a few gallons.
You can get a pair of 5 gallon paint strainer bags from your local hardware store for < $5 usually.
A large pot to hold/boil your wort is necessary obviously.
If you are mashing in your pot, it is not a bad idea to use old comfortors/blankets/winter coats to maintain temps if you are not using something insulated.

That is bare minimum. I have been making beer with a burner, large pot (I find at least 5 gallons more than your batch size is needed if doing full boils), and a second pot to hold runnings or sparge water, a cooler with bazooka screen and valve and a piece of heat resistant hose and an home made immersion chiller as my equipment for over a year now with no trouble and great results.

If you can afford it build or buy for what you want in the long run as you will spend less as a result in the end. Check on craigslist for homebrewers selling off equipment for deals, and if you are slowly building up your equipment you can always sell your old equipment off on CL. Another great resource, at least so I am told (I am not a member of one), is through homebrew clubs.

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Old 01-15-2014, 11:41 PM   #9
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1+ for BIAB. Not only is it cheap but it is simpler too. It's the route I went to get started with all grain and I'm glad I did.

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Old 01-15-2014, 11:49 PM   #10
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Another vote for the Turkey fryer + nylon bag (BIAB) method. Home Depot sells a fryer with kettle for about $65. 5 gal paint strainer bags are 2 for $5. And you're good to go.

I see no reason why I'd ever "upgrade" to a more expensive system. I make great beer, and it costs very little.



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