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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Unique AG setup
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:23 PM   #1
adeas
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Default Unique AG setup

Hey guys,

Wanted to share my (What I think of as unique) AG setup. My background - did 3 all extract brews, and decided to just go for it, after reading a few good books (How To Brew, Clonebrews, Designing Great Beers, Brew Like A Monk). I'm the sort of person who loves to read all I can about something, then just jump in for it.

I started with a 70Q Coleman Extreme cooler from WalMart. Being December, I couldn't find these in store, but you can order them off their website (And if you're not in a rush for it to get there, they'll ship it for less than $1). Why 70Q? In case I ever get crazy and want to do 10 gal batches. Cost - $36.

For whatever reason, I found myself enamored with the idea of using mesh tubing vs copper pipe or CPVC. So after much time at Home Depot, I picked up a 2 pack of 60" washing machine hoses, and decided I would use these for my piping. Cost - $16.

So why 60" washing machine hoses? I wanted to use both, and run them in a loop from the end of the cooler to the end and back (See the pic below if you can't visualize that). The Coleman cooler is about 25-28" from one end to the other on the inside (I'll admit, I didn't measure... Used the old "It's a bit longer than my arm" method), but this ended up being the right size.

Now, how to hookup the hoses? I needed enough parts to put together a manifold & bulkhead fitting with 4 inlets, and an outlet for the bulkhead, feeding into a 3/8" ball-valve. This took a bit of creativity, and some research as I know nothing about plumbing. But I ended up with the right components after about an hour at HD comparing all the parts. Cost - about $50.

I also needed some larger washers fit to the right size for the fittings, and some rubber washers and o-rings, which I had a hard time finding at HD, so I went to my local TrueValue (Who unfortunately didn't have all the fittings, hence starting at HD), and picked up all those bits for about $5.

The last steps before assembling it all where to strip the rubber piping from the dishwasher hose, and then reinforcing it with 14g wire - I wanted to use 1" mesh hose originally, but could only find 18" lengths, which were pricey. So I went with the 5/8" and reinforced it (Just in case! Or if I want to do a 10 gallon batch).

The results were quite good - I brewed my 4th batch of beer ever out of the mash-tun with great results (I think! It's still fermenting, but the OG was spot-on per BeerSmith - 1.074 for a Belgian Strong Ale) - only real mistake was I didn't recirculate til I had clear wort running out - newbie mistake. I'll keep you guys posted on the brew, but wanted to share.



List of fittings used:
Center section - 3 x 3/8 female Ts, 3 x 3/8 1" nipples (two to connect the 3 Ts, one to run out through the bulkhead)
Connectors - 1 5/8 to 3/8 reducer to connect to one part of the T, with 5/8" compression fitting, and a 3/8 to 3/8 compression elbow
Inner Bulkhead - Large washer (Can't remember the size, took the fittings into TrueValue to get ones the fit over), o-ring, then snug fitting rubber washer
Outter Bulkhead - a few orings to help snug up the inside, rubber washer, o-ring, then washer, 3/8 female to 3/8 male, 3/8 ball-valve, then 3/8 male to 3/8 barb

Thanks and good brewing!



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Old 12-26-2010, 11:31 PM   #2
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Dang You got you stuff strait, and thats I nice looking mash tun. I put the steps and a few picture up on the one I made but not on here its at:http://winklerbrewery.blogspot.com/2...-mash-tun.html
I did the same kinda thing when I stepped into AG, i think I was on my 6th batch of partial mash before I stepped over.
What kinda brew sculpture are you working with for the AG brewing process?


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Old 12-26-2010, 11:38 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by FLBrewMeister View Post
What kinda brew sculpture are you working with for the AG brewing process?
Brew sculpture? Not sure I'm getting you there! Help out a bit? :-p

Yeah, I decided to skip the partial mash and go AG - I have a buddy at work who said "You do AG once, and you'll wonder what you ever thought was so hard about it" so I just went for it after a bit of research. YouTube and this place are great jumping-off points for researching how to build a MLT :-)
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:01 AM   #4
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Brew sculpture as in like some gravity or pump fed system that kinda connects all parts of AG brewing. Theres a lot of pictures of some online from really ornate to very simple.

Ya AG is great, I definitely ran into some small problems on my first batch but its something you just got to do and it will get smoother with every brew. I'll never go back its awesome!
Where do you buy your Barley/Malt from?
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:02 AM   #5
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brew sculpture=platform system, tier set up for brewing

http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&q...w=1600&bih=813
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:31 AM   #6
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Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! Brew sculpture. I like it.

No fancy setup as of yet - all manual. Burner is out on the deck, I'll dump the strike water into the cooler then it goes up on a desk for the mash. I'll do the running, then sparge on the desk. Then back out on to the deck for the boil.

I'm selling my house and hoping to move soon, so we'll see what sort of setup comes next :-)
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLBrewMeister View Post
Where do you buy your Barley/Malt from?
FLBrewMeister - we have a great homebrew shop in CT I've been going to - Maltose Express - www.maltose.com - Very well known place. The owners are the authors of CloneBrews.
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adeas View Post
Hey guys,

Wanted to share my (What I think of as unique) AG setup. My background - did 3 all extract brews, and decided to just go for it, after reading a few good books (How To Brew, Clonebrews, Designing Great Beers, Brew Like A Monk). I'm the sort of person who loves to read all I can about something, then just jump in for it.

I started with a 70Q Coleman Extreme cooler from WalMart. Being December, I couldn't find these in store, but you can order them off their website (And if you're not in a rush for it to get there, they'll ship it for less than $1). Why 70Q? In case I ever get crazy and want to do 10 gal batches. Cost - $36.

For whatever reason, I found myself enamored with the idea of using mesh tubing vs copper pipe or CPVC. So after much time at Home Depot, I picked up a 2 pack of 60" washing machine hoses, and decided I would use these for my piping. Cost - $16.

So why 60" washing machine hoses? I wanted to use both, and run them in a loop from the end of the cooler to the end and back (See the pic below if you can't visualize that). The Coleman cooler is about 25-28" from one end to the other on the inside (I'll admit, I didn't measure... Used the old "It's a bit longer than my arm" method), but this ended up being the right size.

Now, how to hookup the hoses? I needed enough parts to put together a manifold & bulkhead fitting with 4 inlets, and an outlet for the bulkhead, feeding into a 3/8" ball-valve. This took a bit of creativity, and some research as I know nothing about plumbing. But I ended up with the right components after about an hour at HD comparing all the parts. Cost - about $50.

I also needed some larger washers fit to the right size for the fittings, and some rubber washers and o-rings, which I had a hard time finding at HD, so I went to my local TrueValue (Who unfortunately didn't have all the fittings, hence starting at HD), and picked up all those bits for about $5.

The last steps before assembling it all where to strip the rubber piping from the dishwasher hose, and then reinforcing it with 14g wire - I wanted to use 1" mesh hose originally, but could only find 18" lengths, which were pricey. So I went with the 5/8" and reinforced it (Just in case! Or if I want to do a 10 gallon batch).

The results were quite good - I brewed my 4th batch of beer ever out of the mash-tun with great results (I think! It's still fermenting, but the OG was spot-on per BeerSmith - 1.074 for a Belgian Strong Ale) - only real mistake was I didn't recirculate til I had clear wort running out - newbie mistake. I'll keep you guys posted on the brew, but wanted to share.



List of fittings used:
Center section - 3 x 3/8 female Ts, 3 x 3/8 1" nipples (two to connect the 3 Ts, one to run out through the bulkhead)
Connectors - 1 5/8 to 3/8 reducer to connect to one part of the T, with 5/8" compression fitting, and a 3/8 to 3/8 compression elbow
Inner Bulkhead - Large washer (Can't remember the size, took the fittings into TrueValue to get ones the fit over), o-ring, then snug fitting rubber washer
Outter Bulkhead - a few orings to help snug up the inside, rubber washer, o-ring, then washer, 3/8 female to 3/8 male, 3/8 ball-valve, then 3/8 male to 3/8 barb

Thanks and good brewing!
with that cooler which i have (22 bucks walmart), you can take 3' of 3/8" id(180*F rated) vinyl tubing, 1 small ss toilet water supply braid, 2" piece of a 3/8" od racking cane, 1- 1/2" ss worm clamp, 1 roll teflon tape. and a plastic dura loc clamp, all for under 10 bucks and use the coolers original drain.

the tubing slides right inside the drain and will not leak..

all that extra washing machine braid does nothing, and was a big waste of money and un-needed parts to make it work.

I can pull the tubing out of the 70's drain and throw it into a 38qt. or any size of the coleman extremes. they all use the same size drain plug set up.

remove the braided tubing set up and you can use the cooler for a picnic if needed.
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OLDBREW View Post
with that cooler which i have (22 bucks walmart), you can take 3' of 3/8" id(180*F rated) vinyl tubing, 1 small ss toilet water supply braid, 2" piece of a 3/8" od racking cane, 1- 1/2" ss worm clamp, 1 roll teflon tape. and a plastic dura loc clamp, all for under 10 bucks and use the coolers original drain.

the tubing slides right inside the drain and will not leak..

all that extra washing machine braid does nothing, and was a big waste of money and un-needed parts to make it work.

I can pull the tubing out of the 70's drain and throw it into a 38qt. or any size of the coleman extremes. they all use the same size drain plug set up.

remove the braided tubing set up and you can use the cooler for a picnic if needed.
Your rig looks great & if it works for you then it is doing its job right?

What oldbrew was getting at (said with far less tact than was necessary--just sayin') is that more is not always better. In the case of a mash tun using a braid, almost all of the filtering happens right by the valve so you don't need 60" of braided stainless as 12" works just as well.

As far as the permanent setup goes, I went that route along with oh, THOUSANDS of other brewers. I have plenty of coolers for picnics or icing down beer but my MLT is my freaking MLT and I will kick anyone's ass who tries to ice down there cokes in it

Welcome to your new addiction my friend
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Old 12-28-2010, 04:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TANSTAAFB View Post
Your rig looks great & if it works for you then it is doing its job right?

What oldbrew was getting at (said with far less tact than was necessary--just sayin') is that more is not always better. In the case of a mash tun using a braid, almost all of the filtering happens right by the valve so you don't need 60" of braided stainless as 12" works just as well.
Haha, oh totally, I'll admit on going slightly overboard on it. It was a fun adventure :-)

And actually, I can still take the manifold off and throw the old tap back on it. But I'm with you TASNTAAFB - not sure I want to put cokes into the same thing I'm mashing in!


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