The Great Bottle Opener Giveaway

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Making the AG jump-vital stats

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 04-09-2007, 07:41 PM   #1
BrewDey
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 457
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default Making the AG jump-vital stats

So I've been enjoying extract brewing a lot, but I feel like I've gotten the hang of the general process pretty well and would eventually like to go AG for taste and a better cost per batch. I don't even fully understand the whole process of mashing/sparging, but I'm interested in the investment necessary in terms of equipment. About how much could I expect to spend to have all-grain equipment? Is it readily available? Equally important is the amount of time needed per batch-I love the fact that I can do a batch of extract brew after work (even after dinner), and still get to bed at a reasonable hour during the week. How much time does going AG add to the entire brewing process? Finally-and I know it's subjective-how much better is AG beer? Any help is much appreciated!

__________________
BrewDey is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2007, 08:01 PM   #2
Lil' Sparky
Cowboys EAC
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Lil' Sparky's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 4,013
Liked 47 Times on 32 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewDey
About how much could I expect to spend to have all-grain equipment?
How much do you want to spend? You can go with a cheap setup (turkey fryer: $30 + bucket-in-a-bucket lauter tun: $20) or you can go on up from there. Most people use a cooler converted into a mash/lauter tun with a spigot and SS braid or copper manifold. I'm guessing the total cost there is $40-50. Most people eventually want a larger boil kettle than the 30 qt pot that'll come with the turkey fryer (although it can work). For that you can go with a converted keg or some other big pot. Prices vary from $50 - $200+. You'll also need some kind of chiller if you don't already have one since you'll be doing full boils. You can buy a pre-built chiller for ~ $60 last time I checked.

Lots to choose from. My suggestion is to read as much as you can, check out other people's setups, choose what you want based on what you can spend and then go for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewDey
Equally important is the amount of time needed per batch-I love the fact that I can do a batch of extract brew after work (even after dinner), and still get to bed at a reasonable hour during the week. How much time does going AG add to the entire brewing process?
I can be done w/ an AG brew day and cleaned up in just less than 4 hours. Most people take more time, but if you get your process down, it can go pretty quick. It will take more time than extract/PM brews.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewDey
Finally-and I know it's subjective-how much better is AG beer? Any help is much appreciated!
This is very subjective. You can make good beer either way. AG gives you more control, and most people do it because they like it.
__________________
Lil' Sparky is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2007, 08:05 PM   #3
Ryanh1801
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Ryanh1801's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Addison,TX
Posts: 2,717
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

Default

I am in the middle of making the switch and my cost for the switch is going to be around 150 this is including mash turn, propane tank, and wort cooler (man those things are expensive.) All i have left to get is the wort chiller, but im not sure what im going to do for it. I really hate spending 60 bucks on one, so im still looking around.

__________________
Ryanh1801 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2007, 08:08 PM   #4
Cheesefood
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Poo-Poo Land
Posts: 6,809
Liked 27 Times on 18 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewDey
About how much could I expect to spend to have all-grain equipment?
Some people here have ghettorrific setups, and then there's BrewPastor. You can get a burner from Home Depot for $45 and pick up keg for anywhere from free to $300, depending on your thoughts on "borrowing". Or you could probably DIY one out of an old waterheater if you're apt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewDey
Is it readily available?
Is what readily available? Ingredients? Depends on where you live. Have a local homebrew store that sells grains? If not, order some.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewDey
Equally important is the amount of time needed per batch-I love the fact that I can do a batch of extract brew after work (even after dinner), and still get to bed at a reasonable hour during the week. How much time does going AG add to the entire brewing process?
Takes a lot longer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewDey
Finally-and I know it's subjective-how much better is AG beer? Any help is much appreciated!
If you and a friend both caught the same fish and cooked it the same way, who's would taste better?
__________________
Past Winners: Caramel Cream Ale #1, Hoegaarden Clone, Boom-Boom Vanilla Ale, Lazy Monk Abbey Style, Amarillo Cream Ale. (AG),

Buy a shirt now!!! Please! Did I help you? Buya shirt!
Cool Shirts.


Cheesefood is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2007, 08:31 PM   #5
tbulger
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: MA, NH
Posts: 419
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

I thik my total for AG was ROughly $90, i think thats probably the lower end, turkey fryer, cooler and IC. Took me four hours to do my first all grain with batch sparging.

__________________

primaries: BRown Ale
secondaries: Rye IPA
Bottled: IPA, Pigs ear brown clone, stovepipe porter, German Alt, Oktober fest ale, Smoked IPA, failed pale ale, 1st AG ESB, belgian wit, Ipa#2, , Lake wheat, fish Red ale, Smoked wheat,
KEGS: blonde Nugs , Sugar pale light, chin nook ale (gone in 1 week)

tbulger is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2007, 08:42 PM   #6
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 21,823
Liked 900 Times on 600 Posts
Likes Given: 26

Default

Here are the real bottom lines that you can use to do your own calculations. This is based on a 5 gallon net batch.

1. A way to heat at least 3 gallons of water to about 180dF in a reasonable time (this is for your intial grain/water mix (mash) as well as doing it again for your sparge. You can keep reheating new batches of water as necessary to reach your target boil volume (or until you can't get anymore sugar out of the grain).
2. A container to mix grains and water in for the mash, preferably one that will hold heat (hence the common use of a cooler).
3. A way to strain the wort out of the grains.
4. A way to boil 6-7 gallons of wort down to about 5.5 gallons. Some buy bigger pots (7+ gallons) and run them on outdoor burners and some split it between two medium pots on the stovetop.
5. A way to cool it down in a reasonable time.

That's really it. You can do that in more elegant ways with more expensive equipment, but it's not really necessary.

__________________
BrewHardware.com
Sightglass, Refractometer, Ball Valve, Weldless bulkhead, Thermometer, Decals, Stainless Steel Fittings, Compression Fittings, Camlock Quick Disconnects, Scale, RIMS tube, Plate Chiller, Chugger Pump, Super Clear Silicone Tubing, and more!

New Stuff?
Bobby_M is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2007, 08:52 PM   #7
Sir Humpsalot
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Sir Humpsalot's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,043
Liked 81 Times on 65 Posts
Likes Given: 22

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
Here are the real bottom lines that you can use to do your own calculations. This is based on a 5 gallon net batch.

1. A way to heat at least 3 gallons of water to about 180dF in a reasonable time (this is for your intial grain/water mix (mash) as well as doing it again for your sparge. You can keep reheating new batches of water as necessary to reach your target boil volume (or until you can't get anymore sugar out of the grain).
Can be done on a stovetop.
Quote:
2. A container to mix grains and water in for the mash, preferably one that will hold heat (hence the common use of a cooler).
Can be had for $15 at WalMart
Quote:
3. A way to strain the wort out of the grains.
stainless steel braid. $10 to $20 depending on whether you want fancy things like ball valves or if you're going to control the flow with something like a clothes pin instead.
Quote:
4. A way to boil 6-7 gallons of wort down to about 5.5 gallons. Some buy bigger pots (7+ gallons) and run them on outdoor burners and some split it between two medium pots on the stovetop.
You forgot a third option. I can boil 5.5 gallons. I keep the kettle topped off for 50 minutes, never adding so much that it hampers the boil. It's a bit of a PITA, but if you already have the kettle, it's an option.

Quote:
5. A way to cool it down in a reasonable time.
Ice is pretty nearly free.

Quote:
That's really it. You can do that in more elegant ways with more expensive equipment, but it's not really necessary.
Yup. Pretty much every one of the cheap ways I mentioned can be improved upon for less than $50. After you do an AG batch or two, you'll know which steps irritation you the most and then you'll know where to spend your money on upgrades....
__________________
In Process: Mango Beer, Homebrewers Pale Ale
Bottled/Kegged:Spicy Light Rye, Rice-adjunct Pale Ale, Mild Bourbon Porter, Roasty Stout, Basic Light Mead, Bourbon County Stout Clone
Up Next: Berlinerweiss, Chocolate Raspberry Ale, and American IPA
Sir Humpsalot is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2007, 08:56 PM   #8
Evan!
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Evan!'s Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 11,901
Liked 66 Times on 60 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewDey
So I've been enjoying extract brewing a lot, but I feel like I've gotten the hang of the general process pretty well and would eventually like to go AG for taste and a better cost per batch. I don't even fully understand the whole process of mashing/sparging, but I'm interested in the investment necessary in terms of equipment. About how much could I expect to spend to have all-grain equipment? Is it readily available? Equally important is the amount of time needed per batch-I love the fact that I can do a batch of extract brew after work (even after dinner), and still get to bed at a reasonable hour during the week. How much time does going AG add to the entire brewing process? Finally-and I know it's subjective-how much better is AG beer? Any help is much appreciated!
Most of the posters have already answered your Q's regarding equipment investment. You can get a SS false bottom that fits into a cylindrical picnic cooler, and a spigot that fits it, and you have a mash/lauter tun.

For me, the big jump in time was when I went from extract to partial-mash. Essentially, you add at least an hour and a half to your brew time. And that's assuming a hefty burner element that heats up your mash water quickly, and a simple single-infusion 60-minute mash, with quick sparging and draining and no hangups. In the real world, you're looking at roughly 2 hours more, plus the extra equipment to clean up at the end. You also need to realize (which I didn't when I started AG) that going all-grain means that, often, you start off with pre-boil wort volumes that need to be boiled down (evaporated) before you can even add your
boiling hops and start your boil timer. Otherwise you end up with post-boil volumes in excess of 6 gallons for a 5-gallon batch. In other words, in order to rinse enough of the sugar from the grains to get good efficiency, you need to sparge with alot of water, which leaves you with large pre-boil volumes.

My timing for 2 side-by-side batches is usually as follows: assuming I've measured out my grain ahead of time and I can start heating my mash water right away, I'm looking at 6 hours from first flame to squeaky-clean brewhouse and fully aerated and capped carboys. This past weekend, I started at 10am, and brewed one AG and one PM. I was cleaned up and breathing easily at 4pm. This is the life of AG. You can't really do an AG on the fly, like you can with extract, and still be in bed at a normal hour. I usually wake up before sunup on a weekend day, and finish by noon, so I can have the second half of my day for other stuff.

As for the taste/quality difference...so far, I noticed a bigger difference between extract and partial mash than between partial mash and AG. My best batches, IMHO, have been during my PM phase. I would suggest going PM before going AG. You get most of the control over your grain bill, without worrying so much about efficiency, etc. But when you go to PM from extract, you will notice a huge jump in quality. Extract, I think, has a distinct extract-y "fake" taste when used in large quantities.
__________________
MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers


.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
Evan! is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2007, 09:13 PM   #9
Sir Humpsalot
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Sir Humpsalot's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,043
Liked 81 Times on 65 Posts
Likes Given: 22

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan!
My best batches, IMHO, have been during my PM phase. I would suggest going PM before going AG. You get most of the control over your grain bill, without worrying so much about efficiency, etc. But when you go to PM from extract, you will notice a huge jump in quality. Extract, I think, has a distinct extract-y "fake" taste when used in large quantities.
I guess I don't consider myself an All Grain brewer. I have easy access to LME/DME at the LHBS, so I see no reason to shy away from using it. Yes, I have a cooler conversion MLT that's good for 20+ lbs of grain, but sometimes my efficiency is a little off or I need to adjust something here or there, so I throw in a little DME. The intent is to get the best possible beer and if I can throw in a pound of DME to get my OG where I want it, then I think I'd be foolish not too. Why wouldn't I? For the sake of losing the title of "All Grain Brewer"? That's absurd.

So then it's just a matter of degree. Do you add 6 lbs of DME and call yourself a Partial Masher? Or do you add a half a pound? If you add 6, most would say you're Partial Mashing. If you add one pound to cover up a surprisingly low efficiency, then I'd say you're All Grain (or Large Grain) brewing.

What I'm saying is that if you have a 4 lb bag of DME on the side, there's no reason to fret so much over your efficiency. It doesn't mean you include it as part of your recipe, you just use it to cover up any short-comings or mistakes.


Seems to me like that's a reasonable approach....
__________________
In Process: Mango Beer, Homebrewers Pale Ale
Bottled/Kegged:Spicy Light Rye, Rice-adjunct Pale Ale, Mild Bourbon Porter, Roasty Stout, Basic Light Mead, Bourbon County Stout Clone
Up Next: Berlinerweiss, Chocolate Raspberry Ale, and American IPA

Last edited by Sir Humpsalot; 04-09-2007 at 09:15 PM.
Sir Humpsalot is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-09-2007, 09:31 PM   #10
BierMuncher
...My Junk is Ugly...
HBT_MODERATOR.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
BierMuncher's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 12,117
Liked 558 Times on 330 Posts
Likes Given: 198

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryanh1801
I am in the middle of making the switch and my cost for the switch is going to be around 150 this is including mash turn, propane tank, and wort cooler (man those things are expensive.) All i have left to get is the wort chiller, but im not sure what im going to do for it. I really hate spending 60 bucks on one, so im still looking around.
Go to Lowes and in the plumbing department, look for flexible copper tubing. They sell it in prepackaged 30' lengths. Probably about $36.00.

I was afraid that that would not be enough but it turned out to work fine. Drops my wort from boiling to 75 degrees in about 15-20 minutes.

Couple of cheap hose clamps and some vynil hose with garden hose connectors and.....done.

wort_chiller.jpg
__________________

*******
Check Out My Rolling Kegerator

BierMuncher Tried & Trues:
Tits-Up IIPA (3-Time Medalist), Black Pearl Porter, Kona Pale Ale, Outer Limits IPA, Centennial Blonde (4.0%), Nierra Sevada (SNPA), SWMBO Slayer Belgian Blonde,

BierMuncher is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Making the Jump with the Pump olllllo Equipment/Sanitation 24 01-05-2012 07:30 AM
Making the jump to kegging... UnaBonger DIY Projects 4 09-20-2009 01:06 AM
Making the Jump mbaker33 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 2 08-27-2009 09:42 PM
Making the AG jump in Colorado BeavBrew Introductions 8 03-26-2008 08:17 PM
Making the jump. Need a few pointer Liquidicem All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 9 03-26-2008 04:23 AM