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Old 08-16-2007, 01:56 PM   #11
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I'm curious how these LHBSs are "refusing" to sell you stuff for AG? Is it that they're simply *recommending* that you start off with extract to get the feel for brewing?

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Old 08-16-2007, 03:13 PM   #12
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Hey DrunkenSailor

I found (on this site) the DIY instructions for making the lauter/mash tun out of a cooler. I made one with a ten gallon rubbermaid round as a mater of fact mine even has the home depot logo on the front.

The key is the good fello that posted it also put up a parts list that has all of the part numbers and everything. He even has photos of the parts in the order he put them together.

Here is a frustration saving heads up. When you buy that stainlest steel braided line make sure it IS stainless and not the silver plastic stuff. Look real close don't be fooled!

I am very pleased with the way my mashtun works even with one third of the grain bill on my brew being wheat. There was absolutely NO clogging.

One other heads up. When I started I poured about a gallon of 175 degre water in, then dumped in my crush, then poured four gallons of 175* on top of it and started stiring. within about 20 seconds I started hearing this scary cracking sound. I thought that the inside of my newly made mashtun was cracking.

However the outside was fine as was the inner liner. The big cracky noise had to have been what ever spray foam instalation they use inside the walls. After the brew day was over and I was cleaning up my equipment I gave it a three point inspection and all was fine.

Okay I searched out the thread http://www.homebrewtalk.com//showthread.php?t=23008

The only thing I did diferent was if you look at the picture those three big washers are bigger then the ones I bought. If you look at the spicket on the cooler you see that the base is round and is recessed into the side of the cooler. I bought washeres that fit into the recessed base spot. I used a reamer to make the holes (of the washers) just a smidge bigger as I couldn't get them over the nipple threads without forcing them.

I think I have a total of 71.00 dollars invested into my mashtun. The cost at your local HD my be different. I hope this helps you get your whole grain brewing off the ground. It is easy and fun.

I watched a video called "Easy Home Brew-How to brew beer with all grain". Kind of informitive, but I get more info from the book "How to Brew" by John J. Palmer copyright 2006. This book is loaded with in depth info which is good, but it also has alot of "Quick start" stuff that gets you brewing now and you can read the rest while you nurse a tasty brew.

Good Luck and Good brewing! - Robar

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Old 08-16-2007, 03:15 PM   #13
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Yes. Thats what I got from them. They were just not that interested in giving me much info/help in getting started with AG. I can understand their position, it is probably better to brew a couple of extract batches to get the feel for the process. The guy I talked to was very helpful in getting me up and running with an extract kit, and did offer to get me moving in AG once I had a little experience, and I am planning to go back for that discussion.

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Old 08-16-2007, 03:18 PM   #14
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Robar,
Thanks for the info and link.

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Old 08-16-2007, 04:04 PM   #15
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I would agree that all grain is not that difficult once you read enough to understand at least the basics of mashing/sparging. However, equating all grain to tea is a bit of an oversimplification. I don't think steeping tea is anything at all like the enzymatic activity within a mash. At the very most, it's a good analogy for the sparge and that's it.

Mash temp is probably the most important variable to understand and that's why a book, thermometer, and (optionally some $25 brewing software) is the place to start.

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Old 08-16-2007, 08:08 PM   #16
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AG is pretty easy. I just takes alot longer, but well worth it.

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Old 08-16-2007, 10:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjon88
AG is pretty easy. I just takes alot longer, but well worth it.
I agree with this. The real thing is that at first your ag brew "might" not turn out as good as a extract brew due to inexperience with the mashing/AG thing.

But as you go through the mash and gain experience with how your grain reacts with water at a proper PH/water temperture and mineral content, then you will fully realize just how good and easy AG really is.

I guess what the LHBS guy really wanted was for you to gain some experience with homebrewing so you wouldn't be overwhelmed with the process of AG along with the general brewing process.
Still it you are game than go for it.

Cheers and good luck
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:42 PM   #18
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Almost was the key word in refusing. The guy made a very strong recommendation to use a extract kit and when I veered from it he would go back to the multitude of reasons why a newb should use extracts the first time. No problem, I can see that as both customer service as well as trying to insure return customers, by giving them the best chance for a positive outcome with their brew.

Bobby Sorry you didn't like the analogy, I thought it was pretty slick myself. I know there is lot of science and chemistry involved in making beer, I just like to keep it simple is all.

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Old 08-17-2007, 12:11 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robar
Almost was the key word in refusing. The guy made a very strong recommendation to use a extract kit and when I veered from it he would go back to the multitude of reasons why a newb should use extracts the first time. No problem, I can see that as both customer service as well as trying to insure return customers, by giving them the best chance for a positive outcome with their brew..
Yep that's why we would like to keep you brewing.
I have been brewing extract for about 25 years on and off and only AG for the last 2. The last 2 have been the best brews of my life.
But with the experience gained from these forums, I can safely say no matter what, I'll brew good beer. Ag or extract.
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Old 08-20-2007, 04:57 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrunkenSailor
Yes. Thats what I got from them. They were just not that interested in giving me much info/help in getting started with AG. I can understand their position, it is probably better to brew a couple of extract batches to get the feel for the process. The guy I talked to was very helpful in getting me up and running with an extract kit, and did offer to get me moving in AG once I had a little experience, and I am planning to go back for that discussion.
AS someone who has put on quite a few demos and taught brewing to countless people (I'm definitely not an expert) I have on most occasions encouraged new brewers to stick with brew kits for at least 8 batches.

This gives you time to master sanitization practices as well as gain a working knowledge of yeast, hops, grains (mini mash) . There is plenty to learn about brewing beer without having to worry about mashing and such.
Many people are under the impression that switching to ag brewing will automatically give you better results. This most often is not the case (at least in the beginning).
I am in no way trying to discourage you, I am just in agreement with the camp that suggests using kits for a while.

Good Luck!
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