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Old 03-30-2011, 03:30 PM   #1
tbworth
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I was just wondering if anyone knows of a good place online to buy all grain equipment that is ready to use that doesn't cost an arm and leg? It seems like a lot of people put together their own equipment.

I already have the chiller, kettle with ball valve for full boils, etc for extract brews. Any info would be appreciated!

 
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:53 PM   #2
weirdboy
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The price difference between building your own and buying ready-to-use is pretty substantial. I mean you can easily DIY a cooler mash tun in an afternoon even if you've never put one together, and the cost is $75 or less even if you buy the overpriced fittings at Lowe's or Home Depot. But to buy the same cooler already built you're looking at $150+.

 
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:07 PM   #3
Powers
 
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if you want it preassembled, you're going to pay more regardless. Midwest has a pretty decent price on a 10 gallon mash tun. Otherwise, I agree you'll probably spend around $75 to make one yourself. That's mostly because the 10 gallon cooler's don't come cheap. And really, you're going to want a 10 gallon cooler for the extra space. A 5 gallon cooler will be cheaper, but you will be limited on your grain bill for bigger beers.
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:39 PM   #4
DrawTap88
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It is much cheaper to build everything yourself. Should you decide to go that route, I suggest getting fittings for yoru cooler from Bargain Fittings instead of having to chase everything down at the local hardware megastores. Otherwise, the best bet would be to check out the classifieds on HBT or craigslist for brewers that are upgrading their AG equipment and getting rid of their stuff for cheap.
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:41 PM   #5
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Where are you located? Saw a cheap 3 tier on CL today for 170 bucks or something. Wood stand, cooler MLT, burner and SS pot. Looked like a 5 gallon set up though.

Central Oregon.
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:51 PM   #6
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+1 for getting the fittings from an online source like bargainfittings. it's a pain to run around to lowes/home depot/other hardware stores to get the right parts. plus, if you're going to put forth the effort, you're going to want to go all stainless, or at least bronze. the problem with local hardware stores is some of the stuff isn't labeled, and you wind up with nickel plated or galvalized washers/parts that you don't want in your system.
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:22 PM   #7
tbworth
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Thanks for all the info! After looking around it does seem like buying something already made does came at a pretty hefty markup. I am currently in Italy and will be headed back to the states this summer.

I'm pretty limited as far as what I can do here, but I plan making the jump fairly soon after I settle in. Besides the additional time it takes, is the final product that much better than the extract kits or is it more of the process itself that makes it more rewarding?

I'm not trying to start an all-grain vs. extract debate, but I've only done extract so far.

I like the idea of being in control of 100 percent of the process. Either way, I'm very pleased with the beer I've made so far and 75 percent of it is stuff you flat out just can't get here in Italy.

 
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:50 PM   #8
DrawTap88
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There is a good deal of satisfaction that comes with controlling 100% of the process. If you're into cloaning beers, then you can get that much closer to the commerical product. If you like coming up with your own recipes, then there are little tweaks that you can make to try and make your beer better instead of leaving out or adding more or additions of grain "x." Also, there are a lot more things to screw up, but that's what makes AG that much more fun.
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:50 PM   #9
weirdboy
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There are some things you can do with AG or PM brewing that are not as feasible with extract. Lots of different types of grain you can use that need to be mashed, that aren't readily available to extract brewers.

On the other hand, it takes a lot more time, requires more equipment and preparation, and you need to have a better understanding of the process to get a good beer out of it.

AG is typically also a lot cheaper for me, at least when I buy grains in bulk.


However I still sometimes brew extract batches. It is easy for me to spontaneously throw together an extract batch and get it done in a couple of hours in an evening, whereas I don't even consider starting an AG batch in the evening.

 
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Old 03-30-2011, 07:56 PM   #10
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for getting into AG brewing for the cheapest price and as fast as possible look into Brew In A Bag brewing (BIAB). You already have the needed equipment except a big bag to mash in and that only cost a few dollars

 
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