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Old 06-27-2011, 04:09 PM   #1
phoenixs4r
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Hello all,

I've lurked the forum a lot and read a bunch, but now I have a question before I go further.

Ive done about 10 extract kits, slowly replacing and buying equipment as necessary. I've been wanting to try all grain, but just couldn't justify buying the cooler and building the stuff to sparge (I want to fly sparge). Luckily, my girlfriend accidentally picked a lager recipe, and don't u know, I just HAD to buy a 10 gallon beverage cooler so we could keep it cold enough for first fermentation (capatalizing on her mistake ftw) .

Anyways, long story short. I only have 1 8 gallon SS kettle, and the beverage cooler. Can I:

A: Use said kettle as a HLT, sparge using the beverage cooler, and drain into a food grade bucket, then when its all done transfer back to the kettle for boiling. In essence, does the final wort have to remain above a certain temp or do I have some leeway?

B: I have an 8 gallon pot I could use as a HLT, which frees up my SS kettle, the only issue is this pot is aluminum, which I keep being told is a no - no for brewing related activities by my LBS, but have read mixed results online.

Which would be the better scenario?

Thanks!


Last edited by phoenixs4r; 06-27-2011 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 06-27-2011, 04:34 PM   #2
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Well first off, there is no good evidence to suggest that you can't use an aluminum pot. Your LHBS sounds like they are stuck in 1980's. Next, I have an 8 gallon kettle and a 10 gallon igloo cooler for my set up. I heat up my mash water in the kettle then pour that into the cooler. I then mix in the grains and seal up the cooler for the mash time. Although I batch sparge, I essentially do what you propose in "A." I drain the wort into an ale pail then add my sparge water. Let sit for 10 minutes, drain and repeat. I then transfer the wort to my kettle and start the boil process. Works just fine.
And no, you do not have to maintain a strict temperature of the final wort. Once it is collected, you are fine to let it sit for a while. Heck, some mash one day and boil the next day. That works just fine too.

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Old 06-27-2011, 04:37 PM   #3
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Sweet, thx!

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Old 06-27-2011, 04:38 PM   #4
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A. Wort temp is only important for grain starch-to-sugar enzymatic conversions. Once these conversions are complete, if the temp drops, it's no big deal. It'll just take more energy and time to bring it up to a boil. Just remember to keep all your pots and pans as clean as possible. And having multiple sticky pots makes clean up a bigger pain, in my opinion, but it doesn't hurt the beer at all.

B. Aluminum pots are perfectly fine (I use one exclusively). It would ideally have an oxide layer to protect the surface, but again, if it's clean, and you're not scraping the sides with a metal spoon, you'll be fine.

Either scenario can give you great beer, I personally would use the version that has me cleaning less stuff

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Old 06-27-2011, 04:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
B. Aluminum pots are perfectly fine (I use one exclusively). It would ideally have an oxide layer to protect the surface, but again, if it's clean, and you're not scraping the sides with a metal spoon, you'll be fine.
Bingo. Fill your 8gal Al pot with about 7-8 gallons of water. Boil that water for 30 minutes, or until the inside of the pot turns a dark grey color. That's the aluminum oxidizing. Once you do that, you're done, brew away.
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:01 PM   #6
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Looks good to me. If you haven't put a ball valve on you kettle now is a good time. Also if you don't have an IC might be a good idea to get one. Cost almost the same to build one as to buy one. (Just bought a SST one off ebay for $82 shipped, can send link.) Five gallons of boiling hot wort in bucket that takes forever to cool to a pitching temp.

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Old 06-27-2011, 05:15 PM   #7
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Ya I have a chiller. Getting some ball valaves from a friend. I'm glad my setup will wirk. Now I just need to wait a month to transfer the lager into a keg for its lagering phase so I attach a shower head to the top and do all grain. Can't wait.

Thanks again!

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Old 06-28-2011, 05:20 AM   #8
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Dont store the copper chiller in the aluminum pot

I did that once and the oxydation was impressive

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