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Old 02-21-2012, 03:18 AM   #1
Chaddyb
 
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Im wondering exactly how big or small I should go as far as exactly what equipment I should start acquiring. I am undecided if I should start with the bare minimum, or if I should just bite it and start to build a big three kettle brew stand? My line of thought is that, if im gonna just eventually upgrade, why waste the money on the beginner stuff, and why not just go all out? obviously the bigger setup is more expensive to start. Im just wondering what other peoples thoughts are on this?
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:35 AM   #2
Misplaced_Canuck
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You're going to get answers all over the place on this. Personally I don't like brew stands because they take too much storage space. I have a 2-pump "break away" system that I really enjoy. 2 keggles, 1 picnic cooler mashtun, 2 pumps, a heat exchanger and a few small doodads.

Tear-down + clean-up is pretty much the same as a brewstand, so no loss of time there.

As far as size... I like to brew 11 gallons and end up with 2x 5-gallon kegs.

MC
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:42 AM   #3
bhondorp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaddyb View Post
Im wondering exactly how big or small I should go as far as exactly what equipment I should start acquiring. I am undecided if I should start with the bare minimum, or if I should just bite it and start to build a big three kettle brew stand? My line of thought is that, if im gonna just eventually upgrade, why waste the money on the beginner stuff, and why not just go all out? obviously the bigger setup is more expensive to start. Im just wondering what other peoples thoughts are on this?
I actually made the jump a little while ago with a 2.5 gallon test batch. I was like, what the hey, why not? I highly reccomend trying BIAB (brew in a bag), there is all sorts of info about it here and at biabrewer (google that). The only additional equipment is a bag! Now that is not a hard bullet to bite. I have to say, for all of the talk about how difficult it is to go all grain... if you can watch a thermometer and adjust your heat, you can do this. Try it out! My founders breakfast stout clone done as a biab all grain cost me about ~1/2 the cost of with malt extract and tastes like heaven in a glass.

 
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:52 AM   #4
poislb
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Either do BIAB or get a 5 gallon cooler and convert it and do 3 gallon batches. Ya should still be able to use your 5 gallon extract kettle this way. Get yourself a 3 gallon carboy and your under 50 bucks to go all grain..

 
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:54 AM   #5
bbrim
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If you can visualize your final goal you can piece it together in a way that makes sense. I have been steadily building my system for about 4 years now and have not gotten rid of any original equipment. I started with a basic setup for brewing 10 gallon batches and have improved my system to improve quality and consistency. That said, if it is not a great financial burden for you to do it all once then you should. Just make sure you are committed enough to the hobby to justify it.

 
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:56 AM   #6
Chaddyb
 
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I've been doing extract for a little over a year now. I was leaning towards finally building a basement bar like I've always wanted to, but decided since I have a kegerator, I would instead upgrade ny equipment and techniques. I wouldn't mind trying the biab technique, but ultimately want to be doing at least 5 gallon batches. I also won't be buying all of ny equipment in one shot, I will slowly piece it together. I guess in that light maybe I would be better off trying to build a keggle, and getting a cooler a cooler for a mash tun, then converting when I get all the pumps and more keggles....
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Secondary: Coffee brown ale
Next Up: ?

 
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:31 PM   #7
RM-MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaddyb View Post
I've been doing extract for a little over a year now. I was leaning towards finally building a basement bar like I've always wanted to, but decided since I have a kegerator, I would instead upgrade ny equipment and techniques. I wouldn't mind trying the biab technique, but ultimately want to be doing at least 5 gallon batches. I also won't be buying all of ny equipment in one shot, I will slowly piece it together. I guess in that light maybe I would be better off trying to build a keggle, and getting a cooler a cooler for a mash tun, then converting when I get all the pumps and more keggles....
Um... So tell me, what equipment do you plan to buy for doing 5 gallon BIAB? I bought a turkey fryer that has a 30 qt kettle and a burner and a cheap grain mill and a pair of 5 gallon paint strainer bags. I think all of that came to less than $100. It doesn't take very many batches of all grain to save that much over doing extract kits.

 
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:52 PM   #8
Chaddyb
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
Um... So tell me, what equipment do you plan to buy for doing 5 gallon BIAB? I bought a turkey fryer that has a 30 qt kettle and a burner and a cheap grain mill and a pair of 5 gallon paint strainer bags. I think all of that came to less than $100. It doesn't take very many batches of all grain to save that much over doing extract kits.
Well, I don't know exactly what equipment I need, that's why I'm asking you more experienced folks. Truth be told I really didn't know much about the biab method. After reading the sticky, this seems like a method I would like to try. I see he uses the no sparge method , with your 7.5 gal brew pot, do you do the no sparge method or no?
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Secondary: Coffee brown ale
Next Up: ?

 
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaddyb View Post
Well, I don't know exactly what equipment I need, that's why I'm asking you more experienced folks. Truth be told I really didn't know much about the biab method. After reading the sticky, this seems like a method I would like to try. I see he uses the no sparge method , with your 7.5 gal brew pot, do you do the no sparge method or no?
Most of the time I sparge. I have a 20 qt stock pot from when we were doing the garden thing so it really easy for me to sparge. I found that with the full volume of water in my turkey fryer it was really near the top when I added my grains so I decided to work with just a little less water and sparge a little to get my volume up before I started the boil. After reading a bunch on here I started sparging with cold water so I could squeeze better without burning my hands and my efficiency went up so I must have been leaving too much sweet wort in the grain before.

 
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:05 PM   #10
Chaddyb
 
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Also, what is the downfall to not sparging? I'm reading the efficiency is affected?
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Kegged: Grand cru, Ferocious IPA
Bottled: Java stout, Hanks hefeweizen, Grand cru
Primary: Chocolate milk stout, pumpkin ale, Belgian Wit
Secondary: Coffee brown ale
Next Up: ?

 
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