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Old 07-20-2010, 04:17 AM   #1
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Default suggestions of all grain set up

Hello
I am going to make the leap to all grain and wanted to make sure I am getting the right size equipment. I would eventually like to build a gravity sculpture using custom natural gas but for now will still be using the electric range in the basement. My plan is to convert my current 6 gallon brew pot to an HLT ( and add a ball valve for convenience during sparging). I will then use a 10 gallon converted cooler for the mash/lauter and then invest in a good 8 gallon brew kettle. Will this work for most all grain recipes? Will I ever wish I had bigger / different equipment? Is 6 gallons enough for HLT? I really dont plan on making more than 5 gallon batches (I say that now). Thanks for anyone out there reading and willing to help out a beginner.
Ben

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Old 07-20-2010, 04:23 AM   #2
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Ben,

what you are proposing will work.....














......until you decide you want to do 10 gallon batches

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Old 07-20-2010, 04:24 AM   #3
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although - u might not be able to boil that volume on an electric stove.

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Old 07-20-2010, 01:11 PM   #4
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I would add a propane burner. boiling 7+ gallons on a stove takes a loooong time.

Also add a chiller and maybe a grain mill.

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Old 07-20-2010, 02:19 PM   #5
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I would recommend a larger brewpot too - 8 gallons will be filled nearly to the top to boil 6-7 gallons down to 5. I have a 10 gallon brewpot and boil 7.5 gals down to make 6 gallon batches - about a gallon boils off and a half gal or so is left with break and hop material after racking to the fermenter - with an IPA you lose a little more due to the excessive hop residue. And like AZ said - you may want to make bigger batches at some point. I've been AG since January and I'm already trying to justify a 15 gallon pot for 10 gallon batches.

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Old 07-20-2010, 03:11 PM   #6
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If you use foam control, an 8 gallon pot will work fine for 5.5 gallon batches. Even with a 90min boil you should have just enough room in the pot. But a larger pot would make it that much easier.

Similarly a 15 gallon pot is really tight for 10-11 gallon batches. I just got a 15 gallon pot from morebeer and am now wishing it was just a bit bigger. :0 It's workable but for the longer 90 min boils I top it up during the boil.

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Old 07-20-2010, 06:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maida7 View Post
I would add a propane burner. boiling 7+ gallons on a stove takes a loooong time.

Also add a chiller and maybe a grain mill.
I can boil 7.5 gallons in about 45min on my electric stove. The key is insulation, plus I bought a canning element (bigger burner) to replace the bigger element which upped my heat output. My 8 gallon pot sits on both the front huge burner and the back smaller burner (covers about 1/2 the back one). I use fermcap-s to control boilovers if boiling a large volume.

I take out the heating elements, lay long strips of aluminum foil across them in both directions (it overlaps by a good two feet on either side), punch holes for the elements, put them back in, put my pot on them, then fold the overlapping foil up around the brew kettle (you can hook it to the top if it reaches, if not just proceed to the next step to hold it in place). Then I take two extra strips of foil and wrap them around the brew kettle.

I save the 'wraparound' foil for use between brews and discard the 'underneath' foil as it becomes brittle.

Using this method I can achieve a rolling boil in a very reasonable amount of time. While heating I leave the lid fully on until the wort is close to a boil, then I leave it halfway on, then I either take it off or leave it partway on depending on how the boil is going that day (sometimes the weather seems to affect it).

I also use my boil kettle to heat the mash water, then I fill it up again and add sparge water, move the sparge water to an extra 5 gallon container (I have a cooler I use), then I draw the wort into the brew kettle.

Less equipment = good for small apartments.

So... an 8 gallon pot on an electric stovetop works just fine, IMO.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bovineblitz View Post
I can boil 7.5 gallons in about 45min on my electric stove. The key is insulation, plus I bought a canning element (bigger burner) to replace the bigger element which upped my heat output. My 8 gallon pot sits on both the front huge burner and the back smaller burner (covers about 1/2 the back one). I use fermcap-s to control boilovers if boiling a large volume.

I take out the heating elements, lay long strips of aluminum foil across them in both directions (it overlaps by a good two feet on either side), punch holes for the elements, put them back in, put my pot on them, then fold the overlapping foil up around the brew kettle (you can hook it to the top if it reaches, if not just proceed to the next step to hold it in place). Then I take two extra strips of foil and wrap them around the brew kettle.

I save the 'wraparound' foil for use between brews and discard the 'underneath' foil as it becomes brittle.

Using this method I can achieve a rolling boil in a very reasonable amount of time. While heating I leave the lid fully on until the wort is close to a boil, then I leave it halfway on, then I either take it off or leave it partway on depending on how the boil is going that day (sometimes the weather seems to affect it).

I also use my boil kettle to heat the mash water, then I fill it up again and add sparge water, move the sparge water to an extra 5 gallon container (I have a cooler I use), then I draw the wort into the brew kettle.

Less equipment = good for small apartments.

So... an 8 gallon pot on an electric stovetop works just fine, IMO.
Sounds like you've got it worked out. It also does not sound like the average stove. I spend years brewing on a kitchen stove. I'm very happy to have a burner.

If your doing AG, always have the lid OFF when boiling to avoid having DMS in the beer. Not so much of an issue with extract.
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maida7 View Post
Sounds like you've got it worked out. It also does not sound like the average stove. I spend years brewing on a kitchen stove. I'm very happy to have a burner.

If your doing AG, always have the lid OFF when boiling to avoid having DMS in the beer. Not so much of an issue with extract.
I don't think my stove is anything special. It's pretty old and came with my apartment. IMO the key is the canning element and the insulation.

I always leave plenty of space for air to escape, even with the lid partway on. It's only halfway on at most once the boil starts, the DMS can escape just fine. Usually I just set the lid aside but sometimes during the first 20min of the boil the lid helps keep it boiling strong, then once there's some boil off it's fine without the lid. I put it partly on for a couple minutes too when I toss my immersion chiller in there just to allow it to heat up the chiller a little quicker.
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