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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Starting All Grain - Coolers or Kegs?
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Old 09-09-2005, 02:17 AM   #1
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Default Starting All Grain - Coolers or Kegs?

I believe it's time to start some all-grain. Looking at either a 15 gal keg setup or 10 gal cooler. Anybody have strong opinions one way or another?

Thanks - Paul

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Old 09-09-2005, 04:22 AM   #2
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You can get started fairly cheap with 10 gallon coolers and make fine beer. Check out my 10 gallon brewery in the gallery, very simple. I am proud of it!

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Old 09-09-2005, 12:08 PM   #3
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I think cost and time will be the deciding factor in your decision. If you can find cheap (or free) kegs and have the means to modify them yourself, you can't go wrong. If you have to pay someone to modify the kegs for you (or you just purchase them modified), kegs will be much more expensive than coolers.

Like Born Brewing said, you will make fine beer with coolers or kegs.

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Old 09-09-2005, 01:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Born Brewing Co.
You can get started fairly cheap with 10 gallon coolers and make fine beer. Check out my 10 gallon brewery in the gallery, very simple. I am proud of it!
Where did you get the parts for your setup?
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Pimary: Good God She's Empty

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Drinking:
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Austin's Amber Ale
Holiday disaster
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Old 09-09-2005, 03:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatboy
Where did you get the parts for your setup?
I'd recommend the cooler as well. I know some such as TNlandsailor even with all his fancy stuff still uses a cooler for his mash because of the heat retention. I got my parts from Ace. I used a round Rubbermaid from Walmart. I used a 5g and should have used a 10g but will switch eventually and use the 5g for the HLT. You basically remove the little liquid dispensing valve and replace it with the connectors. Below is a picture of my parts used to create mine along with the homemade manifold (can't see the slots cut). I bought a Phils Sparge arm, but in hindsight not sure if those are neccessary to sparge. It looks cool spinning though...



Only thing I'd add is I had problems keeping it from leaking. Keep the original gasket (I used that as well, not shown) but I needed those black rubber washers as well to make the seal. Probably $40 with cooler (60 with sparge arm). My manifold may not be as fancy as others with more piping etc but I get great efficiency.

My total investment was $79 which included lumber to build a stand with two levels. I'd never go back. With AG and saving yeast I can make 1.050+ batches in the 14-$20 range. Naturally your adding hours to the process though.
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Old 09-09-2005, 04:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatboy
Where did you get the parts for your setup?

Lowe's or Home Depot will have all the parts you need as shown by Desertbrew. My spouts are identical to Desertbrews. However, I use a stainless steel braided hose as my manifold.
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Old 09-10-2005, 03:35 PM   #7
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Default 15 gallon keg mash tun

fatboy, I have a 15 gallon keg mash tun with a stainless steel false bottom with ball valve included looking for about $ 150.00 or trade for new march pump 809 email me for pics or I will post later today

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Old 09-12-2005, 01:02 PM   #8
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Born Brewing Co,

Could you please describe your stainles steel mesh hose a little more, please? I upgraded to a 10 gallon cooler (from a 5) and I'm using the same phil's false bottom, and I'd like to upgrade that. Your idea interests me.

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Old 09-12-2005, 03:38 PM   #9
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Born Brewing Co,

Could you please describe your stainles steel mesh hose a little more, please? I upgraded to a 10 gallon cooler (from a 5) and I'm using the same phil's false bottom, and I'd like to upgrade that. Your idea interests me.

The stainless steel braided hose, is simply the hose that you would connect water lines to say a washing machine. They are found in the plumbing department of any hardware store. I took a 15" length of this hose and snipped the ends with wire cutter. I pulled out the plastic hose and was left with the outer steel braided hose. The steel braided hose is like woven mesh, it lets the wort through, but keeps out grain. This apparatus connects to the inside barb connect. the 15" of braided hose lay flat around the bottom of the cooler. I've yet to have a stuck run-off and my efficiency has been around 85-90%. I will post a picture tonight in the gallery, as a pic is worth a thousand words, and a visual will help show what I am describing.
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Old 09-13-2005, 12:36 AM   #10
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Steve, picture of stainless steel hose is in my gallery.

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