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Old 01-13-2011, 09:41 AM   #1
seasum
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Default All Grain Equipment needed for somebody trying to start going AG?

I'm probably minimum six months away from this, but I'm hearing some conflicting things, and I'd rather ask you guys on this one.

I've just been doing extract brewing and so far we just got a Turkey Fryer with a 7.5 Gallon aluminum pot. We have a 4 gallon as well. No coolers or anything. No wort chiller yet either. Though I heard you can make one utility copper which is much cheaper.

What other things would we need to go from Extract to All Grain? I'm really most concerned about cost. Just got the Turkey Fryer and a kegging system so I'm tapped out on spending money on homebrew equipment for the time being, but I really want to try out this AG stuff before the end of the year.


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Old 01-13-2011, 10:41 AM   #2
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Search BIAB. This is the most basic form of all-grain. Just like any hobby it really depends on how extreme you want to get. If you don't have a chiller I would put that on my short list regardless of extract or AG. I am doing my first AG this weekend and the only thing I have really invested in outside of my extract gear is a round 10G cooler mash tun at a cost of about $65.

I know you just got it but that 7.5G aluminum pot is going to be tough to do full 5G boils in....

Jason


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Old 01-13-2011, 11:21 AM   #3
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+1 on the cooler MLT. I bought mine from Home Depot including the fittings to convert.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/chea...version-23008/
Watch Ebay for copper tubing to make your chiller. Copper is expensive nowadays. Making your own chiller is easy to do also.
HBT has tons of DIY ideas.
The search tool is your friend!
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:48 AM   #4
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A cooler for the mash tun would be a must have. A chiller would be good. Especially in Texas. Then a few random fittings and things. All grain does not have to be expensive.

If you have an Academy sports in your area they have the Igloo Cube cooler cheap. I got a 48 qt one for less then 20 bucks.
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:59 AM   #5
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Dennybrew.com is a great one page resource. All the processes are covered. check it out.
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:37 PM   #6
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This one works great http://brewing.lustreking.com/gear/mashtun.html

Also, since your doing full wort boils, I'd say a chiller is a must. The kettle is good for now but 7.5 gallon is really pushing the limit. I used one for a couple year before getting a 10 gallon pot and was using Fermcap-S foam control and a spray bottle of water to prevent boilovers.

Other nice things to have but not necessary:

Refractometer
PH Meter
Your own Grain mill
Fermentation control ( I have a chest freezer with dual stage thermostat and heat pad )
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:40 PM   #7
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BIAB is the cheapest way of going AG.. it would cost you about $7-10 for the material to make a grain bag. you can do 5g boils in the 7.5g pot but, you'd be fairly limited on the amount of grains unless you used the 4g pot to dunk sparge in. or unless you made 3g batches to get started. for a chiller, either use one or don't.. there's a method called no-chill brewing. look it up, it works great
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:24 PM   #8
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You don't need a chiller as long as you are okay pitching your yeast the next day. Just lid it in a 5 gallon bucket and let it air cool overnight. It's separate from the outside air, so a clean space.

I have a 5 gallon drink cooler with some wire mesh for a false bottom. I use the spout that came on it. It's not optimal, but works fine until I gear up bigger this summer.

I have done a few BIAB batches, but went back to my MLT since I already had it. The batches I did in a bag came out great though, just a little messy.

As for the pot being too small, that's not the case. Mine is 6.5 gallon and I have no problem with 1.050 beers, and my bigger ones are using sugars anyway so it isn't a limiting factor. If you want to do big batches of barleywines and RISes, get a keg and do a keggle conversion.
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Old 01-14-2011, 04:52 AM   #9
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I would say wort chiller, and a cooler mash tun. I use a rectangular rubbermaid from wally world, and it was $15. 5-10 later for fittings and a valve, and I have a wonderful mash tun. Probably have brewed 30+ batches in it, no issues.

A bigger pot as I normally start with 7.5 gallons of wort, but you should be able to get by for a while.
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Old 01-14-2011, 06:05 AM   #10
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You can go cheap if you like to scrounge and DIY...I found my 10 gal round rubbermaid coooler for like $3 at a yard sale. Check thrift stores too. I got a $400 winer fridge at my local senior center for $12...instant fermentation chamber!!! I bought the fan and hard drive from them for my stir plate too and a cigar box from the local cigar shop.

Your pot is fine. I brewed AG for a while with a 5 gal pot and a 3 gal pot. I started w/ 4 gal in one, 2 gal in the other, and combined when I had enough boil off in the big pot...not ideal but I made a sh!tload of great beer!!! I cooled with sterile ice blocks (boiled water and racked to gasketed plastic containers and froze) which also brought my volume up to the desired 5.5 gal. Again, not ideal but just some examples of how you can be creative and brew w/ in your equipment limits.

You will get tired of the extra work and eventually collect more and better equipment. I bought a keg from the local recycle guy for $20, he just won't sell the new ones that belong to local distributors. A weldless kettlevalve can be had for another $20, put em together and you have a $40 15 gal stainless keggle!!!

Check the My Ugly Junk thread for how to make a cheap and effective grain mill.

Welcome to your new obsession


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