So I picked up some homebrew supplies on Craiglist and I think I'm pretty close to where I need to be to start AG brewing.
First, I got this unusual electric bucket. It seems like your typical 6 gallon primary fermentation bucket, but it has a heating element inside, a dial outside and it plugs in. Weird! Honestly, I'm not even sure if it works yet...
My thought: hot liquor tank?
Next, the real score - a keggle.
But it has a false bottom, so I'm not sure if this would be better used as a brew kettle or a mash tun. I was thinking I'd rather get a separate, cooler-style mash tun, but now I'm not so sure. What do you guys think?
So what do you think would be a better use of the equipment? Keggle as a brew pot, or as a mash tun? What about the electrified bucket?
I really don't have a suitable AG boil kettle or a mash tun right now.
First of all, my recommendation would be to use that electric bin as a HLT for sure! If it sanitizes easily and there's not a lot of crevices and such on the inside-boom you've got a self contained HLT, that thing is wild! Second, use that thing as a mash tun for sure! That's a major come up, most kill for that and there not cheap to put together on your own. You can do direct fired, stepped mashes and fine tune your brewskies down to the decimals. Go out and grab another keggle if funds provide, or a 12 gallon brew kettle and gravity feed from the keggle into the stock pot using the bucket as a HLT if you so decide (and if it can get hot enough?). And what you need now are some out door burners, a mash rake, and some gumption to take the plunge.
The bucket's definitely an HLT, so that's my plan - there is a spigot on the other side. I'm not sure if the pickup in the keg is galvanized - is there any easy way to determine that? I'm not much of a metallurgist. Per Pliny's suggestion, I think that would be a good mash tun and I'm looking forward to the possibilities.
Found some info on "Electrim Bin" if anyone's interested - it's really just a simple bucket with a heating element inside. The website says it can be used for heating water or mash, but I think it's probably best just to use it for water.