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Old 09-15-2010, 04:05 PM   #1
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Default Equipment needed to go all grain?

I'm certain this has to have been covered at one point here, but I've been searching for quite a while and not finding a clear answer.

Basically I'm just getting started in brewing. I have all the equipment I need to do extract batches. But being that I am a bit of a perfectionist, I would really like to get into AG brewing at some point. Not only for the per batch cost savings, but moreso so that I can create my own beers rather than going by the kit.

My current equipment consists of:
10gal SS Kettle (no valves or anything in it)
Propane burner (from a turkey fryer kit)
2 6gal glass carboys
2 5gal glass carboys
2 6 gal plastic fermenter buckets
25' copper IC wort chiller

I won't be bottling, as I've just completed my kegerator to hold 4 corny kegs.
Which at the moment I have 3 kegs, but will be getting at least 1-2 more in the future.

on a side note I also have a rubber coated miller keg and the tools to cut the top off.

So my question is, what equipment would I need to start doing 5gal AG batches? I'm not sure how to best utilize my current equipment to make the change cost me the least.
I'm guessing (and this is definitely just a guess!) that I can probably use the Miller keg as a MLT? I've read the rubber does provide some insulation for the mashing process. But again, not sure if that's my best bet.

Also, I don't have a 220v circuit near my brewing equipment, or the ability to add one. So that puts out any 220v heating elements that I may have been able to use with the rubber keg.

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Old 09-15-2010, 04:12 PM   #2
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You need a mashtun. My advice is the 10 gallon round orange home depot water cooler. You see them on the back of construction trucks for their crew. They cost around $40
You also need a way to seperate the wort from the grains, you can use a toilet supply line attached to the inside of your cooler, or if you want to do it the right way, the 1st time, buy a false bottom like one of these http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/all-grain-equipment/false-bottoms

good luck, check out the similar threads below

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Old 09-15-2010, 04:13 PM   #3
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You can dabble into AG simply by buying a really big nylon grain bag. Your 10 kettle is big enough to do a 5 gallons no sparge, brew in a bag (BIAB). The next best thing would be a converted cooler.

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Old 09-15-2010, 04:16 PM   #4
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Read up on Fly Guy's sticky for a Cheap & Easy DIY Cooler conversion.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/cheap-easy-10-gallon-rubbermaid-mlt-conversion-23008/#post223137

Plenty of people do All Grain with just a converted cooler as their mash tun & a turkey fryer. How far you want to go above that is just kind of up to you.

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Old 09-15-2010, 04:18 PM   #5
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Agrreed. Try BIAB or build Fly Guy's MLT. Other than that you' are set.

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Old 09-15-2010, 04:23 PM   #6
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With all grain, you mix the grain with water at in a certain temp range to trigger starch conversion. Then you separate the grain from the mash water and boil. Everything else is just a matter of how efficient and/or easy the mash can be.

So it looks to me like at minimum you need a thermometer you can trust to within a degree or two and a way to separate the grains from the mash water after mashing. You can get by with a paint strainer bag as Bobby suggests for separating the grains from the mash water. If you want to batch sparge, you could still use a bag method and use one of your plastic buckets to hold the first runnings while sparging (or do a kettle dunk for the sparge and then add your first runnings).

Personally, I think running the mash from a kettle is a PITA so when I do a bag brew, I mash in a paint-strainer-lined water cooler, but there are a million ways to skin that cat. If it were me, I'd do whatever requires the least time, effort, and money until I found out what techniques works for me.

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Old 09-15-2010, 04:24 PM   #7
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I don't have a problem converting a cooler if that's the best bet. And I probably would go the false bottom route as I've read about some people having occasional problems with the supply lines clogging up on them.

What about a grain mill? I'm new to this, so I'm not sure if I'd need one or not.

Also, how would the process go using my current kettle and a converted cooler. Would I still need some type of HLT for sparge water?

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Old 09-15-2010, 04:24 PM   #8
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I agree on getting a 10 gallon size cooler or bigger.

The only thing I do not agree upon is Copper Manifolds are a MUST for filtering. Especially if you don't know anything about welding. I built mine out of CPVC because it's easy to use and it is very very cheap.

I posted some videos on my profile and on the forums on how I made my 5 gallon cooler into a CPVC/Brass Mash Tun.

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Old 09-15-2010, 04:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krazydave View Post

What about a grain mill? I'm new to this, so I'm not sure if I'd need one or not.

Also, how would the process go using my current kettle and a converted cooler. Would I still need some type of HLT for sparge water?
Grain Mills can be used at the Brew store if you have one near you. If you're a customer, you are more than likely allowed to use theirs. Just ask them.

Otherwise...Ask BobbyM or Revvy or someone on here. There are a lot of Tech Savvy guys on here who know how to build and know where the good deals are on equipment.
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3PegBrew View Post
I agree on getting a 10 gallon size cooler or bigger.

The only thing I do not agree upon is Copper Manifolds are a MUST for filtering. Especially if you don't know anything about welding. I built mine out of CPVC because it's easy to use and it is very very cheap.

I posted some videos on my profile and on the forums on how I made my 5 gallon cooler into a CPVC/Brass Mash Tun.
Like the background music to your first video!
The CPVC idea does seem like a good one, I'll definitely keep it in mind!

Would there be any reason why I couldn't use the rubber coated miller keg as a mash tun instead of buying a cooler though?
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