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Old 07-13-2010, 04:58 PM   #1
jabumbo
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Default Equipment to upgrade from extract to all grain?

So after playing around with extract brewing for a while now, i have fully decided that all grain is the way I want to go. My only question is what all do I need to have to make this switch successfully?


I currently have the standard starter kit with a couple extra carboys, a 3 gallon pot and a couple corny kegs. I use an electric stove top as my heat source as well.


So is any of this equipment still usable with an all grain setup? What are all of the elements i need to do this right?

(as a side note, i have no problem searching out and building my own items as needed)

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Old 07-13-2010, 05:18 PM   #2
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Are you looking at doing 5 gallon batches? or something smaller? For the "traditional" method, at the bare minimum, you at least need something for a Mash Tun (MLT) like a converted cooler with either a braid or a false bottom. If you're doing 5 gallon (or larger) batches, your pot is a bit on the small side too. I would also get some high temp food grade buckets so you can transfer liquids without a lot of extra pots.

If you don't want to get any of that stuff, you could do a mini version of the brew in a bag (BIAB) with your 3 gallon pot. Should work out ok..

It really just depends on what you want to do. Small batches on the stove, or all out batches on fancy equipment? Your budget will also have a say in what equipment you get.

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Old 07-13-2010, 05:26 PM   #3
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assuming you did and still want to do 5 gallons batches you would need

bigger boiling pot
mash tun of some sort. cooler and a false bottom/manifold of some sort
if you want to sparge your need that apparatus
more buckets for temporary holding

and a lot of know how to find strike temps and volumes and such. there are a lot threads below this one that are basically the same thing as well if you wanna cruise through those.

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Old 07-13-2010, 05:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabumbo View Post
So after playing around with extract brewing for a while now, i have fully decided that all grain is the way I want to go. My only question is what all do I need to have to make this switch successfully?


I currently have the standard starter kit with a couple extra carboys, a 3 gallon pot and a couple corny kegs. I use an electric stove top as my heat source as well.


So is any of this equipment still usable with an all grain setup? What are all of the elements i need to do this right?

(as a side note, i have no problem searching out and building my own items as needed)
Most of the kit and kegs are completely reusable. The easiest way to start off is to do brew-in-a-bag all grain first, which is cheaper, faster, and easier than 3-vessel all-grain. Everything you buy for that is also something you'd use for 3-vessel, so if you decide to switch later (for bigger mashes, more complicated mash schedule, long sour mashes, etc) you won't have wasted anything.

If you want to do partial-boil batches (not many people do with all grain), you can use the current pot. You need a 5 gallon paint strainer bag.

If you want to do 5 gallon batches, you need a 7.5 gallon pot and a larger paint strainer bag. You probably also need a propane turkey fryer or other heat source, unless your electric stovetop is powerful enough to get the full 6 gallons-ish to a boil.

If you're going to mill your own grain, you need a grain mill; you can purchase premilled grain if you do it soon before brewing.

You need to get a water report to figure out your water chemistry, then you need some consumables. The main ones that are all-grain specific are salts (gypsum, calcium carbonate, etc--which you need varies based on your water chemistry) to adjust your water profile, pH strips to measure mash pH, and iodine to test for conversion.
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Last edited by SumnerH; 07-13-2010 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 07-13-2010, 07:40 PM   #5
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oh wow, i didn't even see those older threads pop up in my search. musn't have been looking for the right thing!

i'd probably want to stick with 5 gallon batches for now. i figure a larger pot and burner would probably be worth picking up.


i was planning on trying to work this setup into some slight remodeling in my garage. how much of a budget is reasonable? i had someone tell me they spent another $300-400 on their setup, and while i could probably sport that over time, i don't know that its as practical for me to grab it all up at once.

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Old 07-13-2010, 07:57 PM   #6
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Without getting a bigger pot, you can get a cooler & convert it for ~$50, and some buckets for another $20. You can definitely get away with spending less than $100 if you have a basic kit already. A bigger pot will put you over the $100 mark though.

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Old 07-13-2010, 08:02 PM   #7
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You can buy a big pot, a burner, and a bag for under $70, maybe $80-90 with shipping, and that's all you really need. Personally I'd spend a little more to get a big enough pot and burner to handle 10 gallon batches, even if you're only doing 5 gallons now.

If you want to get in really cheap, you can go with a smaller burner and a 30 qt aluminum pot (they're fine, but you have to be a little careful to keep a layer of oxidation on them) for like $60:
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/306..._fryer_kit.htm

But going with something like this:
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/sq1...ane_burner.htm (Burner, $53)
and picking a stainless pot from here:
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/sta..._stock_pot.htm
or an aluminum one from here:
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/aluminum_stock_pot.htm

would give you a fine burner for future 10 gallon batches and let you pick a pot with plenty of room to grow.

The only other thing you _need_ is a nylon bag for <$10.

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On deck: Little Bo Pils, Bretta Off Dead (Brett pale)
Secondary: Oude Bruin, Red Sky at Morning (Sour brown ale)
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Bottled: Number 8 (Belgian Strong Dark Ale), Eternale (Barleywine), Ancho Villa (Ancho/pasilla/chocolate/cinnamon RIS), Oak smoked porter (1/2 maple bourbon oaked, 1/2 apple brandy oaked)

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Old 07-13-2010, 08:55 PM   #8
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Not sure how much you're willing to spend, but I've had success with deathbrewer's method of stovetop AG brewing:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/easy...ng-pics-90132/

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Old 07-13-2010, 09:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabumbo View Post
oh wow, i didn't even see those older threads pop up in my search. musn't have been looking for the right thing!

i'd probably want to stick with 5 gallon batches for now. i figure a larger pot and burner would probably be worth picking up.


i was planning on trying to work this setup into some slight remodeling in my garage. how much of a budget is reasonable? i had someone tell me they spent another $300-400 on their setup, and while i could probably sport that over time, i don't know that its as practical for me to grab it all up at once.
$300-$400 might be a little on the high side. The big components you need are a bigger pot, a heat source for 5 gallon boils, and a mash tun. The mash tun is optional, since you could do BIAB. I got a 30qt SS pot for around $75. My 54k btu ring burner was between $40 and $50, and my mash tun (which is a 10 gallon round cooler with a braid) cost me about $60 for all of the parts. That's still under $200.
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Old 07-13-2010, 10:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJL View Post
$300-$400 might be a little on the high side. The big components you need are a bigger pot, a heat source for 5 gallon boils, and a mash tun. The mash tun is optional, since you could do BIAB. I got a 30qt SS pot for around $75. My 54k btu ring burner was between $40 and $50, and my mash tun (which is a 10 gallon round cooler with a braid) cost me about $60 for all of the parts. That's still under $200.
I agree with JJL, with one exception. Get a bigger pot. I have a 30 qt and I wish I'd got a bigger one. Just as soon as SWMBO gets over the Barley Crusher Malt Mill that just arrived today ,I'm getting a 40 qt SS pot. Here's two from AHS that I'm looking at...

Economy Brew Pot (40 qt)
Super Brew Pot ( 40 qt)
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