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Old 02-14-2013, 02:41 PM   #1
Hank_McGee
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Default Hi! New AG brewer looking to get a setup for 500 ish

Hi,
I have done a lot of extract brewing but i finally think its time to get into all grain brewing.. I am looking to get a setup and have been looking at northernbrewer, etc. what caught my eye is something like this, http://www.midwestsupplies.com/8-gal...ettle-kit.html it looks top line and ive heard only good things from people who are willing to drop the money and upgrade from a cooler.. anyone have any suggestions on ALL equipment i need for all grain batches and where to get it from? im also curious about standing burners, are they worth it in the gas (i have an electric stove so heating takes forever hence the want of a non cooler all grain system =P).. anyways I am looking to buy the complete setup for all grain brewing and would love some help from experienced, thanks everyone.

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Old 02-14-2013, 03:15 PM   #2
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Congrats on wanting to go all grain! You will love it once you get your system/process hammered down.

Maybe I am reading your post wrong but you do NOT want to do a cooler MLT? You want to do SS but you are on an electric stove? Words of warning lol you will burn the hades out of the top of your electric stove. Wife still tosses a look at me now and then from just heating up strike water on the electric stove. You will 100% want a turkey fryer or some gas burner to heat your boil kettle. I tried once w/o a fryer and it almost collapsed the top of my stove due to the weight/extended heat time. I will NEVER do that again lol. If your stove is able to handle it more power to you !

I see you have done extract but was it 5gallon extract? I am basing the below on a basic 5g system.

Simple things you need (will want) for all grain...

MLT SS or Cooler. I personally love my el cheapo 10g MLT. Built if for about 55-60 bucks.

5-8 gallon kettle for heating strike water.

8 gallon boil kettle I would suggest 10g simply for boil over mess reasons

Mash paddle or VERY sturdy spoon

Wort cooler: (can be built at home in about 20 mins for the cost of copper tubing at your home supply store)

Those are the main things that jumped out at me when I 1st went All Grain! Good luck with your brewing!

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Old 02-14-2013, 03:25 PM   #3
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I think you would be ok with that kit, but use the top kettle with a false bottom for boiling the wort and draining it. Use the bottom one with the temp guage as a strike water tank, and then make your own mash tun out of a 70 quart coleman xtreme cooler, that can be done for under $100 easy.

However, you may want to buy Stainless Steel ones, one with a guage and spigot, and one with just s spigot, and maybe a false button, and then do your own mash tun like i said. And I agree with the above, maybe even get a 12 - 15 gallon SS one, incase you decide to move up to 10 gallon batches.

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Old 02-14-2013, 03:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank_McGee View Post
Hi,
I have done a lot of extract brewing but i finally think its time to get into all grain brewing.. I am looking to get a setup and have been looking at northernbrewer, etc. what caught my eye is something like this, http://www.midwestsupplies.com/8-gal...ettle-kit.html it looks top line and ive heard only good things from people who are willing to drop the money and upgrade from a cooler.. anyone have any suggestions on ALL equipment i need for all grain batches and where to get it from? im also curious about standing burners, are they worth it in the gas (i have an electric stove so heating takes forever hence the want of a non cooler all grain system =P).. anyways I am looking to buy the complete setup for all grain brewing and would love some help from experienced, thanks everyone.
The equipment that you linked to are two 8 gallon stainless steel pots with a few fittings, a false bottom, and tubing for $359.99.

In my opinion, that is a poor buy. An 8 gallon pot isn't doesn't leave you with a lot of volume if you're going to be doing standard 5-gallon batches. You'll be very close to full capacity while boiling and are going to have problems with boil overs unless you watch it like a hawk, and turn the heat source on/off.

You can spend $500 in so many better ways. I use a cooler as a mash tun and I love my beer. It has won several ribbons. I don't have experience mashing in a kettle but I'm aware that it takes a lot more work on the part of the brewer. Mashing in a cooler is simple, easy, and effective.

Here's what I recommend for you to do:

- Purchase a quality brew kettle. If you're going with 5-gallon batches then you should be considering a minimum of a 10-gallon pot. The kettle should at least come with a ball valve. I highly recommend a temperature gauge if you're going to use your kettle to heat strike/sparge water.

I have a 10-gallon Megapot with a ball valve and brewmometer. I love it. It is high quality and will last me forever so long as I take proper care of it. This is likely the most expensive item you'll buy so take some time and do some research.

- Purchase a 10-gallon Rubbermaid cooler. Install a bazooka screen assembly with a ball valve and you're done. Easy, quick, and affordable.

- Purchase an immersion chiller. There are many out there. You can even build it. I purchased a 25 foot stainless chiller when I was poor from Morebeer.com. It works well enough for my purposes although I am considering upgrading it.

That's really all you need for all grain right there. I highly recommend that you purchase a propane burner so you can brew outside and away from the wife and kitchen.

There are many accessories that you can purchase on top of that but those three items - brew kettle, Mash Tun, and chiller are what you need to go all grain. Everything else is just accessories.
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:28 PM   #5
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The equipment that you linked to are two 8 gallon stainless steel pots with a few fittings, a false bottom, and tubing for $359.99.

In my opinion, that is a poor buy. An 8 gallon pot isn't doesn't leave you with a lot of volume if you're going to be doing standard 5-gallon batches. You'll be very close to full capacity while boiling and are going to have problems with boil overs unless you watch it like a hawk, and turn the heat source on/off. .
I can boil 6 gallons in my 30 quart just fine, so a 32 quart(8 gallon) should be fine. But yes you need to watch it. I do agree, bigger is better, but you can get away with an 8 gallon.

Quote:
- Purchase an immersion chiller. There are many out there. You can even build it. I purchased a 25 foot stainless chiller when I was poor from Morebeer.com. It works well enough for my purposes although I am considering upgrading it.
Personally, I went to lowes, got 20' of 3/8 ID 1/2 OD copper tubing for only $13 and made my own wort chiller pretty easy, and it does a good job.
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:34 PM   #6
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Agree with you 100% Jflongo but if he's going to drop $360.00 on a set up, he should at least get a 10-gallon pot out of it. I brewed all grain for a long time with my old 8-gallon pot and it worked great. I bought an 8-gallon pot because it was cheap though!

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Old 02-14-2013, 05:46 PM   #7
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I was going to comment that getting into all grain isn't that expensive, and that 500 was a LOT of money until I noticed you say you didn't want to use a cooler for your MLT.

you can probably still make a cheap setup with stainless. About $100 for a kettle, $30 for fittings, and another $20 or so to make up some kind of insulation if you are the handy type. You have a stainless mlt for about $150.

Heck, there are stainless steel kettles with thermometers and drains on them on Ebay fairly cheap. $120 for a 32 quart kettle. I'm on my phone otherwise I would post a link. Insulate that and you have a mlt, or you can look at temperature control instead.

Me? I prefer simple and inexpensive when possible.

I just got a cooler and all the fittings for a mlt and built my own for about $60. I already had a kettle for extract brews and another stock pot I can use for a hlt, so the cost of going to all grain can be quite minimal if desired.

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Old 02-14-2013, 06:15 PM   #8
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Thank you all for the great advice, i think i infact will go with a simple cooler, sounds like a smarter way to spend money.. and I am DEFINITELY going to look into a portable burner cause the electric stove i use takes at least an hour to reach even close to boiling point for 3 gallons of water =/ and thats even blasting 2 burners at maximum capacity.. so, does anyone have any recommendations on what kind of burner works well? like a blichmann or bayou? just what has worked well with your experiences, etc. and great advice im going to use the money i planned on dropping on a very nice kettle with mometer n spigot and yes this is for mainly 5 gal batches for now

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Old 02-14-2013, 06:22 PM   #9
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I'm sure the Blichman burners are very nice, but at $159.00 it's a luxury item IMO. I use a Bayou Classic model that I purchased for $50 off of Amazon. IMO if you're going to drop serious money into a brewing component - spend it on the kettle or invest in temperature control/yeast starters.

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Old 02-14-2013, 06:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank_McGee View Post
Thank you all for the great advice, i think i infact will go with a simple cooler, sounds like a smarter way to spend money.. and I am DEFINITELY going to look into a portable burner cause the electric stove i use takes at least an hour to reach even close to boiling point for 3 gallons of water =/ and thats even blasting 2 burners at maximum capacity.. so, does anyone have any recommendations on what kind of burner works well? like a blichmann or bayou? just what has worked well with your experiences, etc. and great advice im going to use the money i planned on dropping on a very nice kettle with mometer n spigot and yes this is for mainly 5 gal batches for now
Burners can vary by a ton. Depends on how much you want to spend, personally I didn't have much. I just bought a Bayou Classic SP10, it can boil 5 gallons of water pretty fast.

Also, as far as the cooler goes, think about your batch sizes. If you think you will be doing 5 gallon for a LONG time, then just get a Igloor 5 gallon water cooler from you local store, lowes, home depot, etc. There are TONS of videos on how to convert them, it's pretty easy. If you are thinking 10 gallon isn't too far away, then get a Coleman Xtreme 52 or 70 quart cooler and convert that.

Also, if you think 10 gallon batches aren't too far away, then get a 15 gallon kettle, if not, then definitely 10 gallon if you can.
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