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Old 10-28-2011, 01:42 PM   #1
keys2heaven
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Default Heading into all grain....RIMS or Gravity?

I've been brewing for a couple of years, all extracts with specialty grains. And while you can brew some great beer with extracts, I can't help but feel the beers could be so much better going to all grain.

I've been reading up on the different setups and wanted some professional input. Would you recommend to an extract brewer making the move to AG to get a cooler setup (10 gallon MT and HLT) and start with batch sparging or invest the money into a good RIMS setup?

RIMS looks like the direction I want to go eventually (although I would love to come up with an ingenious point of use steam generator for SIMS).

Is a RIMS setup something best suited for those who have already been doing AG for awhile?

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Old 10-28-2011, 01:57 PM   #2
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RIMS are great, but are more expensive than a cooler set up. I would go with a cooler to start with

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Old 10-28-2011, 02:18 PM   #3
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The cooler setup is simpler (less gear), so it's a good start. That's why I thought I'd still use it even after I set up my RIMS. Didn't turn out to be the case though...I always end up reaching for my RIMS gear. Takes a bit more effort to set it up, but once it's going...it's easier to hit your temps, easier to get a clean wort, easier to step mash, etc.

So, I'd say get the cooler, you'll always have use for it. But if you feel confident about your desire/ability to jump right into RIMS, there's no reason to hold back. Once you get it up and running, it can make your life easier.

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Old 10-28-2011, 03:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobbyBeers View Post
The cooler setup is simpler (less gear), so it's a good start. That's why I thought I'd still use it even after I set up my RIMS. Didn't turn out to be the case though...I always end up reaching for my RIMS gear. Takes a bit more effort to set it up, but once it's going...it's easier to hit your temps, easier to get a clean wort, easier to step mash, etc.

So, I'd say get the cooler, you'll always have use for it. But if you feel confident about your desire/ability to jump right into RIMS, there's no reason to hold back. Once you get it up and running, it can make your life easier.
Right, if I'm going to invest some money towards an AG setup, I want to do what will help me the most. I think RIMS would do that. I keep scouring CL and the classifieds here and there are good deals to be had. Now if these were just closer to home!
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:40 PM   #5
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I would start with at a minimum of a round 10 gallon beverage mash tun, 10 gallon boil pot and 2 plastic buckets to collect the runnings. Others would say, a huge rectangle cooler.

You will know after a while if you want to 'build' something, which it sounds like you would.

Anyway, you can see my progression of equipment into AG in my Flickr link below. Early photos from 10/2010 - 12/2010 show a change in a burner and a MLT. I also went from a stainless conical to a plastic bucket.

Now I'm using a keggle and pressure fermenting in a corny... Things change... change is a constant.

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