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Old 08-20-2009, 12:19 AM   #1
phished880
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Default I'm gonna do this.... Now What?

ok after too many extract batches i've decied i'm gonna make the conversion. The only 2 "rules" from the wife. 1. Only if you can do it for under $150 2. Don't take up too much room.

Number 2 could be a problem living in the city.
So I need to call upon all of you for some help. Are there any sites or links with some options and plans? All suggestions would be great.

I want to make 5 gallon batches. For a MLT I figure cooler will be easiest.

Should i go with a 5 gal round igloo $19.88 from sam's club?
or a 60+ qt square cooler?
What type of fittings should i use?
with this cooler what shall i use copper? SS braid? or CPVC? or buy false bottom?

do i need a HLT? or could i use multiple pots on the stove to heat sparge water? (will this work to have a stove to do all my heating???

finally i guess chilling..... what would you suggest? this is the area i have done the least research......

thanks again. Please also if i have missed anything.... let me know. Hopefully i'll be able to make this all happen in time for a baby brew.

cheers, jeremy

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Old 08-20-2009, 12:31 AM   #2
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With easy storage and low cost in mind:

5 gallon Igloo should work out just fine. As long as you realize you won't be making 5 gallon batches of big Russian Imperial Stouts with a 5 gallon MLT. Most everything else, it'll be fine. Although if you can swing it and it won't cause SWMBO trouble...always nice to have some extra capacity.

I'd use the fittings in FlyGuy's MLT thread. SS braid or CPVC manifold...both cheap and work fine. I have a CPVC manifold; I'm sticking with it.

Buy a 50' roll of copper tubing (check coppertubingsales.com) and make an immersion chiller. It's easy to do. $30 or so. Check Home Depot as well. If you're just doing partial boils, just use an ice water bath for chilling.

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Old 08-20-2009, 12:33 AM   #3
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This is the youtube video that made me switch to All Grain:

Very simple and very cheap.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:44 AM   #4
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You could heat multiple pots for an HLT, but chances are your going to need a bigger brew kettle to do full boils, so you can just use your old one as an HLT.

If cost is a high priority, SS braid would probably be cheapest for starters and you can always do something different later if you like.

Either cooler would be fine and you can find the parts list for the fittings with a quick search.

Good luck and have fun!

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Old 08-20-2009, 12:47 AM   #5
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That's a great video, but you can actually get easier than that -- and cheaper, too. I brew on the stovetop (but I'd rather have a turkey frier setup), and I just use a grain bag in my stockpot. I use cold water in my kitchen sink (along with stirring -- no reason not to use ice except that I'm cheap). I found that my added expenses going from extract to all grain were minimal - about $12 Cdn for 2 grain sacks made of nylon. I do have one question for Mr. Osborne, though... what do you do if your temperature is not right?

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Old 08-20-2009, 12:48 AM   #6
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I brew in a condo in Southie using the following dirt-cheap but highly effective setup:

-Mash tun: I use 2 kettles, both 20 qts, on the stovetop for mashing. I split my grain bill in half into two grain bags, one bag for each kettle. I heat about 2 gals of water to 168 in each pot, then drop in the grain bags and mash it around, make sure the water gets absorbed, make sure the temp is right (152-156) and put the lids on and leave it for 60 mins.

-Sparge: I got a 60 qt rectangular plastic cooler at Stop & Shop in Southie for $19 a couple weeks ago. In a third pot (technically my hot liquor tank), I heat 2 gals of water up to about 190, dump it into the cooler and close the lid. Then I heat another 2 gals up to the same temp, dump it in, close the lid. I now have 4 gals of water that is usually right around 170 at sparge time. To sparge, I take the covers off my two kettles, hold the grain bags up so the wort can drip out, then once the dripping slows I dunk them both into the cooler with 170 water at the same time, close the lid and let them go 15 mins or so, swishing them around occasionally.

Once the grain bags have been swished in the 170 sparge water inside the cooler, I combine the 4 gals sparge water in the cooler with the remaining sweet wort in the kettles and mix them up. At this point there's about 7 gallons of wort total. I put 3.5 gals in each of the two kettles I used for mashing, and bring them to a boil as you would any other wort, then proceed as usual with the hops/pitching etc.

The advantage to this method is you don't need to build any cooler equipment for sparging, you can just use a standard cooler that'll hold 4 gals of water and a couple bags of wet grain. If you don't have enough kettles (3 total) then you can get cheap enamel ones (blue/white lobster pot style) at Target for about $15 each.

The other big advantage when splitting 7 gals of wort between two pots is that you get the benefits of a full boil without needing an immersion chiller, I just ice-bath the kettles after the boil and they get down to pitching temps in 20-30 mins no problem. The 7 gals is necessary for evaporation (the evaporation rate is doubled using 2 boil kettles) so when I go to boil with 7 gals, I usually come out with exactly 5 gals of finished fermentable wort.

I routinely get 78% efficiency using this method so it's not like you're missing out on anything by not doing the batch or fly sparge with the manifold etc. And all-grain recipes cost dramatically less than extract so you will make back your sparge cooler and kettle investment very quickly. My all grain batches with recycled yeast usually run me no more than $20 in ingredients at the Modern Brewer in Cambridge.

Full disclosure: I am looking to get into the turkey fryer club soon and use that as my mash tun/boil kettle but still apply the same mash-in-bag and sparge procedure. So if you can swing a $50 turkey fryer and you have room in the yard for it, that might be a good choice too.

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Old 08-20-2009, 02:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phished880 View Post
I want to make 5 gallon batches. For a MLT I figure cooler will be easiest.

Should i go with a 5 gal round igloo $19.88 from sam's club?
or a 60+ qt square cooler?
60 Qt from Walmart for about the same price.


I've got the 19.98 5 gal igloo round, and it just always feels cramped. I almost always have to mash on the think side, and I'd liek to be able to make that choice myself, instead of being forced into it.


I got my brew pot (34 qt aluminum steamer, with steamer basket) at walmart for $20.99
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phished880 View Post
ok after too many extract batches i've decied i'm gonna make the conversion. The only 2 "rules" from the wife. 1. Only if you can do it for under $150 2. Don't take up too much room.

Number 2 could be a problem living in the city.
So I need to call upon all of you for some help. Are there any sites or links with some options and plans? All suggestions would be great.

I want to make 5 gallon batches. For a MLT I figure cooler will be easiest.

Should i go with a 5 gal round igloo $19.88 from sam's club?
or a 60+ qt square cooler?
What type of fittings should i use?
with this cooler what shall i use copper? SS braid? or CPVC? or buy false bottom?

do i need a HLT? or could i use multiple pots on the stove to heat sparge water? (will this work to have a stove to do all my heating???

finally i guess chilling..... what would you suggest? this is the area i have done the least research......

thanks again. Please also if i have missed anything.... let me know. Hopefully i'll be able to make this all happen in time for a baby brew.

cheers, jeremy
Jeremy,
A very accomplished brewer on these boards has a thread you may be interested in reading. It's stove-top all grain.

Have a look here
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh_Jass_Gnome View Post
Jeremy,
A very accomplished brewer on these boards has a thread you may be interested in reading. It's stove-top all grain.

Have a look here
Check that link before you buy any equipment! DeathBrewer inspired me to get back into all grain after getting frustrated and giving up on it years ago (back when my former LHBS claimed fly sparging was king and batch sparging was a waste of time). I've modified the DeathBrewer method to mash in a cooler so I only need one kettle but it's the same idea at heart. I advise his method for anyone looking to get into all grain without investing in a bunch of equipment beforehand.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby_Brew View Post
This is the youtube video that made me switch to All Grain:
YouTube - Easy All Grain Brewing - Batch Sparge Method
Very simple and very cheap.

Yeah, I have seen that video also!

Very good!
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