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Old 03-17-2011, 02:32 PM   #1
Kaz
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Default What can I do with my equipment?

I've been brewing extract w/steeping grains for a little over 2 years now. I just recently tried my first partial mash and upgraded to a larger kettle. Now I'm looking at what I have available to use and wondering if I have enough stuff to try an all grain batch without making any immediate investment new gear. Here's what I have...

1 x 5 Gal. aluminum kettle
1 x 8 Gal. aluminum kettle
1 x 10 Gal aluminum kettle
1 x Immersion Chiller (am able to get full 6 gal. boils down to @65F in 30 mins)
1 x Bayou Classic SP-10 Gas burner

I'm thinking about adding some weldless valves to some stuff, but wondered how the different size kettles could be used in an all grain set up, how much grain I could mash, if I needed to stick with BIAB etc. Thanks for any input!

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Old 03-17-2011, 02:39 PM   #2
EzMak24
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I'm new to all grain but I'm pretty sure you have almost everything you need.

you would have to add a valve to the one you would be using for your mash tun and have someway to filter the mash. False bottom, bazooka tube, or cheap homemade SS braided filter.

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Old 03-17-2011, 02:40 PM   #3
JayAre
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I'd use the 5 gallon for sparge, the 8 for a mashtun, and the 10 for your boil kettle. You will need to put in some valves. Then you need to consider if you want to invest in pumps of go with a gravity system. Also, you will have to either move your burner, or buy two more. Either way, it looks like you'll be able to do 5-gallon batches with the equipment you have.

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Old 03-17-2011, 03:00 PM   #4
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+1 JayAre

Except, if you want to do higher gravity beers like an IPA you might need more space for the 12+ pounds of grain needed and the water on top of that. I use a 52-quart Igloo Cooler I converted (13 gallons); I did a beer recently with 12 pounds of grain and it was a few inches from the top; I had space for more grain if needed.

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Old 03-17-2011, 03:06 PM   #5
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When it comes to all grain and the mash tun...is it beneficial in the end to have a converted cooler over a kettle? Is the insulated cooler more efficient at holding the temperature? I guess no matter what, if I'm not looking at BIAB do I need a pump to sparge with? I guess its the sparge that has me confused, I know its rinsing the remaining sugars from the grain bed, but how is it normally accomplished? Do you pour more warm water into the mash tun after first runnings? Anyone have a good link to different sparge techniques and setups? Thanks for the info so far!

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Old 03-17-2011, 03:11 PM   #6
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Sparging will most likely be the first place you problems with all grain. Get a false bottom to install in your Mash Tun, and then read very carefully on here about avoiding a stuck sparge. The best advice I have found is this:

1. Use rice hulls as a bed on your false bottom - about 1/2 pound
2. Pour your strike water - or at least half - in first, before your grain
3. Don't try to sparge too fast. It should take 10+ minutes to drain your mash tun on the first sparge
4. Batch sparge. Drain off your initial mash, then pour in your sparge water at about 180 degrees. Stir it up and let it sit a few minutes, and then drain.

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Old 03-17-2011, 03:25 PM   #7
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Check out DeathBrewer's thread Easy Stovetop All-Grain Brewing (with pics). I know you have a gas burner, but he describes a simplified way to sparge without a mashtun and HLT. Not the most efficient method but it will work with the equipment you have.

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Old 03-17-2011, 03:29 PM   #8
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two basic ways to sparge (prolly more, but this is the basic idea):
1) batch sparge (as above) by simply pouring sparge water in the drained mash tun and drain it. repeat
2) fly sparge. Same as batch sparging, except the water is poured in at the same rate as the first runnings are drained out. this is done either with a pump, Or with gravity (3 tiers - sparge on top draining into mash, mash above boil kettle, draining into that. with 1 pump, 2 tiers. with 2 pumps, 1 tier)

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