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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Talk me out of it. . .
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Old 04-15-2008, 06:11 PM   #1
pava
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Default Talk me out of it. . .

I have never hombrewed before in my life, never seen it done, and only ever had a handful of the fruits of others homebrewing labors. I finally decided this was the year to scratch that homebrewing itch that I have had for several years now and after much reading and research I have decided to skip the extract and pm options and dive head first into the world of AG. I am used to cooking and baking and while I am not a gourmet chef by any means, I can find my way around the kitchen pretty well. . .I am also an avid BBQ'er so I understand how to work through a lengthy cooking process while keeping equipment and tools in safe sanitary condition.

That said, here is a list of equipment that I either have already bought or am planning on buying. . .

1. Northernbrewers Deluxe starter kit - http://www.northernbrewer.com/starterkits.html
2. A 25' immersion chiller
3. A 9 Gallon pot - for boiling
4. A 5 Gallon pot - for heating strike and mash water
5. Bayou Classic SP10 propane burner with the 20psi regulator
6. A mash paddle
7. Coleman extreme 52qt cooler to convert to a MLT (will this be ok for 5 gallon batches assuming I am batch sparging??)
8. Barley Crusher with 7# hopper - I figured if I am going to go all grain I might as well reap some of the benefits of buying bulk grain and crushing it myself.
9. Star San
10. A plethora ("jefe would you say I have a plethora?") of Bottles and Caps.

In addition to all the equipment, I have been lurking on HBT for over 6 months now and have read most of Palmers book several times over so I am trying to get as much research done before I take the plunge so there will be fewer surprises on brewday.

So the floor is yours. . .I value the opinions of those on this site and while it may be too late to really talk me out of this, I thought I should at least ask those here to try. . .also if there is anything in my list of equipment that is either missing or not needed please comment on that as well. Thanks all.

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Old 04-15-2008, 06:17 PM   #2
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Sounds like you're well on your way! Looks like you're pretty well set-up, a LOT better than most of us were when we began! Congrats!

Ideally, you could find someone local to walk you through the process the first time, but if not - nothing wrong with jumping in feet-first.

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Old 04-15-2008, 06:19 PM   #3
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I won't try to talk you out of it. If you want to start of all-grain, then I stand up and applaud. Go for it. It really is not that much harder than extract. If you do a single infusion mash and batch sparge, you do not add much time to your brew day, either.

When it comes to brewing day, I also would have a healthy supply of light DME around. You just do not know where your efficiency will come out on that first batch, so pack a little insurance.

It's not a bad idea to have a secondary, either. However, you can wait until after your brew day to decide on that.

I also recommend some good brewing software, so that you can easily make adjustments on the fly (i.e., see above). It certainly is not necessary, but hell, you're buying a mill before you've even brewed a batch.


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Old 04-15-2008, 06:31 PM   #4
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I think most of us who ultimately went AG wish we had done it sooner. It's not nearly as difficult to do as I had it built up in my head to be. With extract kits you have to worry more about the freshness of the extract or else deal with the typical "twang" associated with it. To date I have never had an issue with AG ingredients and haven't produced an undrinkable beer from the process. I say, go for it!

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Old 04-15-2008, 06:36 PM   #5
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I would never dream of talking you out of brewing. I would encourage you to keep adding equipment to you system however. Misery loves company - if you don't believe me check out my garage!

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Old 04-15-2008, 06:42 PM   #6
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DON'T DO IT....STEP AWAY FROM THE LEDGE!!!!
If I were you I'd find a local home brew club and tag along with someone on a brew day. There you will find out if you'll enjoy it, and also you'll see the equipment in use and likely learn what you need. If you're serious about going all grain you can expect to spend between $600-$1000 for a good, yet basic setup.

Don't be afraid...We brewers are a friendly type.

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Old 04-15-2008, 06:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enohcs
Don't be afraid...We brewers are a friendly type.
Speak for yourself!
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Old 04-15-2008, 06:46 PM   #8
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The only thing I would change on your list would be your kettle sizes--especially your HLT kettle. I would go with at least a 7 gallon or larger. I do 5-6 gallon batches, I have a 7 gallon and I wish I had a 10 (but then again I'm fly sparging). It takes a long time to get your mash out/sparging water hot and it *really* sucks to run out of hot water in the middle of sparging. Inevitably you'll want to do a 2 hour boil, a larger batch size, your evaporation rate will be higher than you think, etc. so always go a bit bigger than you think on your kettles.

Other than that good luck & have fun!

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Old 04-15-2008, 06:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enohcs
Don't be afraid...We brewers are a friendly type.
Just don't ask BrewPastor about dry yeast.
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Old 04-15-2008, 06:55 PM   #10
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Noooo!! Run like buggery in the other direction!! Brewing sucks up incredible amounts of time and no small amount of money, so get out before you get hooked. Do something less destructive. Like maybe heroin.

Or to put it another way, go for it. You sound very well prepared for a first batch, and going AG right from the start is certainly doable. The two bits of advice I found most helpful when starting are (i) everything tastes better with patience - the longer you're able to leave your beer, the better it'll be; and (ii) start your second batch soon after your first batch. Beer can take a couple of months to be ready for drinking, and five gallons doesn't last as long as you might think.

Welcome aboard!

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