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Old 04-09-2012, 05:00 PM   #1
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Default Another AG noob - a few questions.

I have drank my first homebrew that I made myself and I am hooked!

I have learned a lot by lurking around here, learning from other's experience and mistakes.

I plan on building a Brutus style brew sculpture and I am still watching everyone else's builds to steal all their good ideas, but that's a topic for another thread.

I am asking questions now about what to do in the meantime...

I could just stick to doing extract batches until I get my Brutus build done, but where's the fun in that?

I was fortunate to find 5 ball-lock corny kegs on Craigslist at a fantastic price, and I just bought a 15.5 gallon Sanke keg for $40 that I plan on turning into a boil kettle. I can easily do a cooler conversion for a Mash Tun.

I have this to use until the Brutus is built:

I have started work on a fermentation chamber using a window a/c unit. (Summer's coming and it gets triple digits at my house)

I'm still in planning stages for a keezer, until then it's all about the party tap!

I have several glass carboys for fermentation.

OK, long intro.
But here are the questions.

Can I use one keggle for HLT and boil kettle? I realize this means cleaning in the middle of my sparge, which could get hectic. Or should I just go ahead and get another keg to convert?

What size false bottom should I use for the keggle?

How important is it to whirlpool my wort? I realize it gets a lot of the trub out before fermentation, but that's one more fitting to solder/weld on the keggle.

I am thinking of putting a plate chiller on the Brutus, but that forces the issue of needing to buy a pump, correct? I guess I would have to do that eventually anyway.

What other pitfalls am I not seeing?

Serving: Skeeter Pee
Nut Brown Ale
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:06 PM   #2
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Well, how much hot water do you need at once?

I don't have a 'fancy brew sculpture'...I have one 7gal HLT aluminimum kettle, and one 9gal boil kettle. I have to put my strike water in my MLT (converted igloo cooler), then lift the MLT onto a desk in the garage so I can drain it into the boil kettle...then put it back on the ground so I can add the sparge water...and then lift it back up on the desk to collect the second runnings.

So, no, you do not "need" another 15.5gal keg for an HLT at this time...possibly never, depending on how you want your process to roll.
I don't mind a little workout on brew day, at least while I am still young enough to do that kind of lifting
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:08 PM   #3
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I just barely made the switch to AG and use my BK as my HLT and batch sparge in a cooler-tun and simply collect my first runnings in my fermenter bucket while my BK is holding the hot sparge water. I can't really speak to your sculpture build or keggle questions, but you can do AG with very minimal equipment. I have a buddy that has been brewing AG for years and he just uses a cooler tun, and a turkey fryer and wins awards in competitions FWIW.
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