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Old 07-03-2012, 11:12 PM   #1
drummerboyas157
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Default Thinking about all grain

So I have been wanting to go to all grain and I just wanted to know what I should get for it. anyone know of any all grain kits? I have been brewing extract for about 2 years now and love it now that i switched to kegging. Right now I am finishing up my kegerator which should be able to hold 4-5 corny kegs. Once I finish that up I will be looking more into allgrain.

Some things I am worried about with all grain are space, time, and money. Right now I brew in a 5 gal pot on the stove, I am pretty sure I will have to go turkey fryer and 7gal pot but where can I do that? you cant use a turkey fryer indoors and my garage is packed full (i have 4 other roommates) I am worried if i do it outside stuff will get into my wort (leaves bugs etc) Secondly I think my brew day already consists of about 6 hours between cleaning sanitizing bringing water to a boil (long time on a electric coil stove) brewing and cooling followed by cleanup.

I hated bottling but when i switched to kegging I love making beer now haha, I am just hoping that will continue if i go to all grain has anyone regretted it?

What would be a estimated total for getting all the allgrain stuff i need? cheapest and more expensive? Any tips or comments would be appreciated.

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Old 07-03-2012, 11:24 PM   #2
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I spent less than $100 all together on all my equipment but I do full volume boils indoors on my gas stove. Coolers converted to mash tuns with stainless braids are inexpensive depending on how you do it. I suggest an 8 gallon pot as a minimum, 10 gallons is better so you don't have to watch for boilovers as closely. Many people use the propane burner outdoors with no issues, notch the lid on your brew kettle for the chiller so you can keep it mostly covered when cooling. It cost me maybe $15 to convert a rectangular cooler I had lying around and I spent $20 on an 8 gallon aluminum pot. My system is basic, but it still works and works very well. The high end are the RIMS/HERMS systems that people build or buy pre-made (SABCO Brew Magic) that can be thousands of dollars. IMO it's the brewer that makes the beer, not the equipment so I spend less on equipment and more on ingredients and focus on doing thigs right so I end up with good beer.

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Old 07-03-2012, 11:32 PM   #3
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Don't worry at all about brewing outside- tons of people do, I'd say most. If you do go the turkey burner route, that's all you need to buy apart from a mesh bag for brew-in-a-bag (BIAB). No extra equipment needed, no additional cost or space, and it makes exactly the same beer as fancy three-vessel rigs. You can't go wrong!

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Old 07-03-2012, 11:32 PM   #4
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If you're only going to make 5 gallon batches, get at least an 8 gallon pot (10 gallons is MUCH better though) and convert it into a kettle. You can use either aluminum or stainless for this (I've used both). Eventually you'll want a sight tube on that, but you can do without initially. Get a cooler (10 gallon RubberMaid from HD/Lowes) and convert that into a mash tun (done that too). Just be sure to get 1/2" stainless ball valves all around (3 piece if you can, there are plenty of online vendors selling them pretty cheap right now). You'll probably still use your current 5 gallon pot as a HLT (heating the sparge water up).

Best way, IMO, to really see what you need is to either visit some other home brewers on a brew day, or go to brewing event. At events you'll be exposed to a wider range of hardware choices than just going to a single brew day. If there's a HBC in your area, look into joining one and talk with members.

BTW, having a wort chiller (IC, CFC or plate) will shave a good deal of time off your chill stage.

Also, I have zero regrets about going all grain (did it early). I do regret going with cheaper hardware at points, since I ended up spending more later getting the better grade equipment. I'm apartment hunting now. One of the things that's high on my list is making sure there's a place (and storage space) for my brewing. I'm looking at first floor apartments, or a house, so that I can easily get another fridge/freezer (for kegging and fermenting) into the place.

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Old 07-03-2012, 11:59 PM   #5
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+1 on kegging, bottling used to be the only part of the processed I loathed. As far as all grain, there are certainly no regrets. I brew about 1 batch of AG a month, and another batch or two partial mashes or extract. It's not like you can't still brew extract batches when you don't feel like blowing a whole 8 hours brewing. Some styles are more suited for extract. I go back and forth depending on time and style of beer. FWIW, I went with the BIAB method to avoid the start up costs of a mash tun. It's easy, and a great way to get into it is my using death brewer's partial mash tutorial on this forum!

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Old 07-04-2012, 12:14 AM   #6
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Just go for it. I did my first ag on mon all i have is 48 qt cooler with the braided toilet hose, an old 8 gal enamel pot and a wort chiller

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Old 07-10-2012, 12:10 AM   #7
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Soooooo I think i hate homebrewing in a good way It takes all my money away! I will have to use my food money on beer for the next month but it will be ok! Just got a 10gal megapot and this burner that seemed like a good deal.
http://www.amazon.com/King-Kooker-94...ds=king+kooker
I know its a bit much probably but i figured it would be useful if i was going to spend over 60$ on a crappy burner
Not to mention i just bought 2 more kegs and a 3 way air deal. Man... tell me its going to be alright!

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Old 07-10-2012, 12:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drummerboyas157 View Post
So I have been wanting to go to all grain and I just wanted to know what I should get for it.
Right now I brew in a 5 gal pot on the stove,What would be a estimated total for getting all the allgrain stuff i need?
Get your feet wet, go buy a 5 gal paint strainer bag for 3 bucks and do an all grain batch similar in technique as you are doing now for extract....sure you cant do a full volume boil, but simply mash and sparge and boil, depending on gravity achieved dilute to 4 to 5 gallons w/ top up water just like you do for extract brewing.

If you ae taking 6 hours for an extract, something must be wrong?

OK edit..........missed the post above, now you have two pots, so you can either build a cooler MLT, or get a grain bag and do a dunk sparge in the new pot and mash in your 5 gal...happy brewing!

If money is as tight as you say...find a way to buy grain by the sack and hops by the pound...your costs will be less than half compared to buying "kits". check out yakimavalleyhops.com fwiw
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:45 AM   #9
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I went AG a few months ago and I love it! I purchased a Bayou Classic fryer and 32qt pot from someone here on the forum for $40 and a 2 pack of paint strainer bags at Lowes are $4.

I can do a 5 gallon batch in 5 hours from start to finish cleaning up and all, so in your case it will be a shorter day.

If you are gonna purchase a pot seperately I'd recommend buying the biggest one you can afford, I was ok with 5 gallon batches but now I want to go bigger cause the only difference is the amount of grain you will use.

Keep your eye out on Cl for a fryer and pot they are on there you just need to keep your eye out. Good luck !

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Old 07-11-2012, 02:28 AM   #10
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You can really do any size batch for all grains just liket extracts you just have more steps and have to be more particular on your temps and times. This weekend I am doing a small 3 gallon batch from leftover grains, hops, and yeast I have just to try something new. I made pretty much all my stuff from scratch minus the 8 gallon brew pot and the propane burner. But everything cost me I would say maybe $200 all said and done. I recently changed my setup from the steel braid to a PVC manifold in my mash tun, and made a PVC sparger that I think works much better now. I would caution you at buying parts from a Home Depot or Lowes as they do not have much stainless steel parts. Brass Leechs lead won't kill ya but bothers me just knowing thats in there. Use only stainless steel fittings, PVC, and good hose. Watch some youtube videos of peoples setups and photos on here and get some ideas and go at it. I have been usually brew a batch and I end up either adding something or tweeking something in my setup. Hopefully in a few years I will have my perfect setup.

As for time. It is much more time intensive but that part of the fun for me. It takes me about 6 hrs from setting up to cleaning up and racking in the primary. Thats organizing the grains, mash in, mash out, sparging, boil, and chill. the mash in - sparging usually takes me about 3-4 hours. I do it really slow.

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