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Old 11-01-2010, 07:58 PM   #1
MississippiSlim
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Default Thinkin bout going all grain...

So I have made several Extract brews the last year but just recently came to own a Sankey keg. I figured "Nice brew pot!" but then got to thinking. "Hmmmmm, I could go all grain with a few more pieces of equipment." I have right now:

15g Keg that I am gonna cut to top out of
Propane burner (not sure of the btu's, use it for boiling crawfish)
A 10g (I think) igloo cooler that I could make into a MLT (Whatever that is)

What else would I need. I want to get the necessities first and if I like AG as much as extract I can expand.


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Old 11-01-2010, 08:22 PM   #2
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Here's a link to turn your cooler to a mlt

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/chea...version-23008/

I actually did it yesterday to an igloo and it worked great. Only hard thing to find was the 3/8" fender SS washer, but to convert it was about $25 from home depot

Looks like you have everything you need to at least get started, which is where I am at. I just need to pick up a bigger kettle soon and a better wort chiller and I am in business!


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Old 11-01-2010, 08:25 PM   #3
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You'll absolutely need a chiller. Immersion chillers are the best bang for the buck.

Possible a second pot to use for heating sparge water.
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:42 PM   #4
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I have a 4 gallon pot I use for extract brews. I guess that would work. I have some tubing just waiting to be turned into a chiller. Now I just gotta figure out HOW to all grain brew. It sounds like a foreign language when I hear folks talking about it.
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:57 PM   #5
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It just looks hard and intimidating, if you can extract brew, you can run a basic all grain brew setup. I just made the swap myself a few months ago and it is amazing how much better the beer tastes, using an igloo cooler for a MLT is an awesome way to get set up without spending an arm and a leg.
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:55 PM   #6
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I'd also suggest spending 20.00 and treating yourself to beersmith software. It really helps keep track of the mash and sparge water calculations. Efficiency, etc... Makes going all grain much less confusing.
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:08 PM   #7
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Totally worth it. The only extra investment for me was converting a cooler into my mash tun. I know a lot of people will convert another into a hot liquor tank and build a sparging device, but I just batch sparge and get exceptional results!
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:08 PM   #8
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I have beersmith on my computer at home. So I got that much going for me.

So the basic process would be:

Heat Strike water
Pour in MLT
Pour in grains
let sit for allotted time and be heating sparge water
run a few pitchers of strike water out of bottom and pour back in MLT
Run off first runs to boil pot
Start boil pot on flame
Run sparge water over grains
run off sparge water into brew pot
bring to boil
add bittering hops
boil allotted times and add hops at specified times.

Have I got this basically right??
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:15 PM   #9
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More or less, yeah. I like to let my sparge water sit on the grains for ten minutes or so. Picked up 2 points of efficiency when I started doing that.
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bottenbrew View Post
It just looks hard and intimidating, if you can extract brew, you can run a basic all grain brew setup. I just made the swap myself a few months ago and it is amazing how much better the beer tastes, using an igloo cooler for a MLT is an awesome way to get set up without spending an arm and a leg.
Use an igloo cooler, forget about anything else other than batch sparging. Get beer smith for sure. Do a lot of reading but just get the basics down. Get a second pot for sparge water, make your chiller, use a bazooka tube in the bottom of the MLT. So much better than extract and you can tailor make your beers buy getting to know all of the malts out there. that was the most fun for me. once you get your temps right and your yeast under control you will be amazed at the quality improvement, i dont care what anyone says, all grain is superior considering extract quality and other factors. once you get the hang of it you can make beers just as good if not better than any brewpub or 6 pack you buy at the store. i wish i would have just gotten into all grain to begin with so i could have made the mistakes earlier. definitely dont be scared though. if you are sitting reading how-to's and what not, just try it, just bite the bullet. then you will understand what everyone is talking about, mash out, sparge, vorlauf, etc.

oh yeah and grain is ridiculously cheaper than extract. that is a huge plus if you are trying to justfy equipment expenses.

hope this helps. i changed to all grain about 8 months ago i couldnt love it more. then i started kegging and now i need more friends to drink my beer so i can have more space to make more beer. it really is a wonderful problem to have. i brew every other weekend and would do it every weekend if i had more time.


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