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Old 02-16-2012, 10:04 PM   #1
Budzien
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Default Ready for All Grain. Need Advice on Equipment Build

I'm ready to start all grain brewing. I have decided I would like to use Igloo style water coolers for my mash tun and sparge tank. What i don't know is if I need a five gallon or a ten gallon cooler. I will only be brewing 5 gallons at a time, so... Also, some of you guys have really cool fly sparging setups. Any DIY help on building a really good fly sparge arm setup that would work off of gravity fed water?


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Old 02-16-2012, 11:06 PM   #2
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10 gallon, so you can upgrade.


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Old 02-16-2012, 11:09 PM   #3
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Oh yes, I forgot. Spend your money on something else other than a sparge arm. Your hose and some tin foil is all you need.
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:22 PM   #4
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Hose and tin foil?
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Budzien View Post
Hose and tin foil?
Set a silicon hose on top of the grain bed and maintain 1" of sparge water above the grain. No need for a sparge arm. I assume the tin foil referenced above helps avoid disturbing the grainbed, many people use stainless steel pet food bowls, milk jugs, old plastic fermenter lids, etc for that purpose.

Reason: typo
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:40 PM   #6
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Definitely opt for a 10 gallon. A 5 gallon MLT will limit the amount of grain you can mash for higher gravity batches.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:28 AM   #7
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I have the 5 gallon igloo mlt and hlt from homebrewstuff.com. I don't fly sparge any more, I prefer batch sparging. But it is a decent set up for the money. I still use the mlt and can get 14lbs of grain in there.
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Old 02-17-2012, 03:25 AM   #8
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I don't even do the hose sparging thing... Common practice is to keep a steady amount of water above the grain bed. That really isn't necessary. Once you have established a certain amount of water above it, get the rest in as quickly as possible without serious disruption. Low stress, simple and it does the job. I do my vorlauf, start running to kettle, take sparge water by the pitcher and pour it over a wooden spoon. A leisurely 10 minutes and it's all in, then it does it's thing for the next 50 minutes of the runoff. The insulation of the cooler coupled with the thermal mass keeps the temp where it should be. I used the same basic process for years in 4 commercial breweries (learned it at Bell's 20 something years ago) it just works
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:07 AM   #9
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+ 1 on the 10 gal MLT and the 5 gal HLT. You will max out a 5 gal MLT real fast. Pick up a digital thermometer so you can closely watch temps and a digital timer and scales to weigh hops and grains. You will eventually need a grain mill to get good efficiencies. Until then see if your grain source can double grind/crush your grains for you. I would go with dry yeast until you can get a stir plate, then always prepare starters. Very important as well to be able to control ferm temps closely. Most of these things aren't exclusive to AG but come when your techniques get more advanced and you hone your skills. +1 also on the no need for an elaborate spare system.
Good luck!
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:31 AM   #10
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Thank all of you very much. I think I will go with the 10 gallon and skip the sparge system. Any other advice is always appreciated.

Prosit!


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