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Old 01-27-2008, 08:37 PM   #1
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Default Going AG, Gotta Shop First

I want to go all grain with beer batch number 4--that's happened within a few weeks. My current inventory is:
* 6 gallon stainless wort pot (okay for extract and feeding the masses)
* Rubbermaid 5 gallon cooler with spigot--SWMBO is alloying me to use it if don't ruin it.
* hydrometer
* everything else needed to ferment, rack and bottle

My stove is an electric with ceramic glass top--I'm not going to put 70 lbs of liquid in a pot on it. So, I'm probably looking at a propane fired turkey fryer right? What size is ideal for the standard 5 gallon (2 case) beer batch? What specifically do you folks recommend picking up, because with extract prices whatever I get probably pays for itself in 6 months...

Also, other than a huge honking wort pot and chiller, what other equipment will I need that I don't have?

Also correct me I'm wrong, but the basic concept is roughly the same as extract with specialty grain. I'm thinking the process would go kinda like this:
* heat the liquid to about 145 - 150F or so
* transfer to the Rubbermaid cooler and steep grains for a period of time (too the right gravity)
* transfer back to wort pot (leaving grains behind)
* boil and hop, with another smaller pot of plain water boiling to make up for liquid loss in wort boil...
* cool and ferment
Am I missing anything here?

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Old 01-27-2008, 08:45 PM   #2
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Well, I have a feeling that you will "ruin" the cooler, so you may need to start looking for a cheap one now!

You'll heat the liquid to a temperature in the 160s, so when you add your grain, you'll be in the right area for mashing. Then, you drain it after an hour or so, and then you have to sparge (rinse) the grains, and add that to the wort you've already drained. I do that twice. You should end up with about 6.5 gallons of wort to boil down to a 5 gallon finishing batch. You don't need another pot with more water in it- you should have your boil volume just from the mash/sparge.

The rest of the procedure is exactly the same!

Howtobrew.com has a wonderful chapter of AG mashing in a cooler.

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Old 01-27-2008, 08:47 PM   #3
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http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter18.html
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:37 PM   #4
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You need a bigger boiler........ 12 - 15 gallons will do.
You need a bigger mash tun 10 to 15 gallons.
You need a chiller. either an imersion chiller or a counterflow chiller.
If you do not have a mash paddle or large spoon you need that too.
Propane fired turkey fryer right? Yes Yes Yes

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Old 01-27-2008, 09:41 PM   #5
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if it is a 5 gallon round cooler you won't ruin it if you remove the existing spigot and replace it with a bulkhead fitting with valve. there is anaexample int he DIY section if memory serves me. really prettty easy to convert . and able to convert back to original as needed.

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Old 01-27-2008, 10:50 PM   #6
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Okay, so there's two schools of thought on how big a mash tun (cooler) to use. Why? I mean sure, I also have a somewhat larger rectangular cooler with a screw thread drain. Be easy enough to use it instead. But what are the folks using a 5 gallon round cooler and those using the 30 quart rectangular cooler doing differently? Which is better and why?

And how do you keep the grains from draining out. I've heard some use a basket with a bunch of holes--makes me wonder about a restaraut size spaghetti pot--and I've heard some managed to swirl the grains to the center while draining with good success. What works, what do you folks recommend?

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Old 01-27-2008, 11:01 PM   #7
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I have a round 10 gallon cooler with a false bottom and bulkhead fitting.

Like this only 10 gallon: http://morebeer.com/view_product/17497/102308

And this false bottom: http://morebeer.com/view_product/15571/102309

Lots of people make copper manifolds or use a stainless braid in the bottom, though.

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Old 01-28-2008, 12:22 AM   #8
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You don't HAVE TO use a cooler. A plastic bucket will work just fine.

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Old 01-28-2008, 12:46 AM   #9
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good grief.......

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Old 01-28-2008, 12:50 AM   #10
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All you need is a cooler, a big mesh bag, a bottle cap, a rubber band, and a six pack of something hoppy

mike

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