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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Hi! New AG brewer looking to get a setup for 500 ish

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Old 02-14-2013, 06:36 PM   #11
Hank_McGee
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Originally Posted by Darwin18 View Post
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.
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/boilermakertm-10-gallon-kettle.html
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/hot-liquor-tank.html
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/propane-stainless-steel-single-burner-patio-stove-1114.html
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/stainless-steel-immersion-wort-chiller.html
So i did a little research and this is what i came up with, the kettle looks fantastic and has excellent all round reviews. So I am quite sure about the kettle but i am wondering if everything else looks like a good buy and if that cooler needs anything else added to it, such as a sparge arm or anything like that? or will i be good to go with some tubing? and also wondering what accessories have made things go a lot easier for you? i have found i love accessories like carboy dryers, finally got some of those after one of my carboys tipped and shattered on my hand, so i love getting accessories before i learn the hard way haha.
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:44 PM   #12
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I love my burner. It may not be made of SS like the midwest one, but it's the same damn burner and it's half the price and you'll be in diapers again before it rusts away. This one:
http://www.amazon.com/Bayou-Classic-SQ14-Single-Outdoor/dp/B0009JXYQ4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360870842&sr=8-1&keywords=bayou+classic+burner

I use it to boil 9 gallons in quick time. I also use it to boil down 40-50 gallons of maple sap for syrup, and it has fried up several batches of chicken for me. So versatile.

BTW, it has not been mentioned I don't think, but you can save on the mash tun and buy a BIAB voile bag for $5.

Just sayin...

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Old 02-14-2013, 06:57 PM   #13
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Well i did a little research on the BIAB sounds like an excellent idea not to mention space and money saver, and knowing that your bayou burner holds out well i will get one of those =).

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Old 02-14-2013, 06:59 PM   #14
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You may want to check out these guys. Maybe you can call them and see if they can beat that price.
http://www.spikebrewing.com/product/10-gallon/10-gallon-brew-kettle-stainless-steel-with-3-couplers
That is a decent price if shipping is free, otherwise you could make your own easy.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank_McGee View Post
Well i did a little research on the BIAB sounds like an excellent idea not to mention space and money saver, and knowing that your bayou burner holds out well i will get one of those =).
BIAB is a great idea for 2 or 3 gallon batches. If you are moving up to doing 5 gallon or more, you will need a good way to move that bag around. It will weight alot
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:05 PM   #16
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you bring an excellent point haha, i might just have to stick with an HTL, and shipping won be too much of an issue, im also going to buy a bunch of ingredients to stock up and i think i may have a free ship over like 300 so..

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Old 02-14-2013, 07:21 PM   #17
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Just to comment...

Stainless steel is a very poor heat conductor compared to copper. Yea, it looks cool, but it won't cool nearly as well as its copper counterpart.

For a given amount of time, copper will conduct nearly 30 times the amount of heat.

In other words, it will take more time to transfer the heat from the wort into the water in the chiller. Not necessarily 30 times as long, but copper is much more efficient in this case.

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Old 02-14-2013, 07:24 PM   #18
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Also, keep in mind, for 5 gallon batch, the most grain you can put in is about 12 lbs, into a 5 gallon round cooler. So you will always need less than 4 gallons of water at a time. So for now, a 10 gallon HLT is probably overkill.

If you are handy, you could even go to a large grocery store chain, buy a SS 20 or 30 quart pot, drill a hole in it, add a spigot, and make that your HLT and add another burner if you wanted to.

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Old 02-14-2013, 09:31 PM   #19
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I have read a 10 gal is a very reasonable size for 5 gal, you can upgrade to 7.5 gal or 10 gal batches if properly done, but also leaves it so that when i do want to make larger batches i wont have to upgrade a small size just to do so. Feels reasonable to me but of course i am the newbie here so i am open to advice before i blow 600 bucks on said equipment


Drinkin an irish amber fresh out of conditioning

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Old 02-14-2013, 09:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank_McGee View Post
I have read a 10 gal is a very reasonable size for 5 gal, you can upgrade to 7.5 gal or 10 gal batches if properly done, but also leaves it so that when i do want to make larger batches i wont have to upgrade a small size just to do so. Feels reasonable to me but of course i am the newbie here so i am open to advice before i blow 600 bucks on said equipment

Drinkin an irish amber fresh out of conditioning
I went with a ten gal cooler simply because it would likely take me longer to outgrow. The cost for the fittings to make it into a mlt is the same if the cooler is five gal or ten. So it came down to 60 for a ten gal mlt or 40 for a five gal mlt.

I don't see myself doing anything larger than a five gallon batch for quite some time. The only exception would be if I were to brew for a large family function.
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