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Old 08-29-2012, 03:38 AM   #1
instinct2
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Oct 2011
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Been searching through archives and not really finding what I'm looking for. I've been strictly brewing extracts. So, I just understand the basic needs of all grain, but thinking about picking up the equipment. When I bought my kettle I went ahead and upgraded with the thought of all-grain brewing some day. I currently have a 15 gallon Blichmann and Blichmann burner. My question.... going into all grain is it better to go with coolers or drop the money and purchase more Blichmann kettles with the equipment needed? What size would the other kettles or coolers need to be for 10 gallon batches? Eventually I like the idea of the Top Tier for space saving issues in my garage. Personally I would rather do it the right way from the start than going back and buying different equipment as I outgrow it. Thanks!

 
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:46 PM   #2
swackattack
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Dec 2011
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If you have the cash and think youll stick around hobby for a while, get the top tier and get another kettle. I was going to get a top tier mash tun, decided against it as cooler batch sparging is easy and I dobt like beers that require step mashes, therefore no need for rims/herms. To me a direct fire mashtin without recirculation is a recipe for scorched wort

 
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:14 PM   #3
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Yeah, Blichmann is making all of their new products so that they are modular and integrate into the top tier. Sound like with two 15 gallon Blichmanns and a Blichmann burner already, you have a bit of expendable income to put into the hobby. If I were you, I'd go with another 15 gallon Blichmann, then the Blichmann top tier, and start saving up for the Blichmann Tower of Power (with pump and Thermonator) and another burner to have a nice nice controlled, recirculating, direct fire RIMS system. BLING!!!
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:57 PM   #4
slarkin712
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For 10 gallon batches I would recommend the 20 gallon boilermaker. For all grain you will have more than 10 gallons in the boil. Often when I do 10 gallon batches I have 12.5 gallons to start and then boil down. It'll be easy to boil over with that much wort in a 15 gallon kettle. You should be good with a 15 gallon mash tun and false bottom and 20 gallon boil kettle for 10 gallon batches. If you go the cooler route, get one at least 60 quarts for 10 gallon batches. The one thing I like about coolers, aside from them being inexpensive, is that that hold temps great. Over the course of a 60 minute mash I might lose 1F. With a stainless steel mash tun you'll have to find a way to insulate it or direct fire it, which will require recirculation of the mash.

 
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:20 PM   #5
ArcLight
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May 2011
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Save yourself a ton of money and search for BIAB (Brew in a bag).
You dont need any additional equipment other than a fine mesh nylon bag, like a wilserbag.

You can do 10 gallon BIAB batches in 15 gallon kettles, but you have to watch the boilover.
Worst case scenario is you pour in a gallon of chilled water after cooling , to get to your final volume, and lower the wort temperature a few more degrees.

 
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:48 AM   #6
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I am going to chime in here. If you have the cash the Top tier system is great. I have a three burner set up. I direct fire my mash and have never enjoyed the process more. I have a ton of control and love it. There will be a ton of people who tell you to save your cash. IMO it is the best money I have spent. I have been brewing for over three years and bought the top tier about six weeks ago. Have brewed four batches on it and cannot wait to brew more.
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Old 08-30-2012, 03:49 PM   #7
Xpertskir
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcLight View Post
Save yourself a ton of money and search for BIAB (Brew in a bag).
You dont need any additional equipment other than a fine mesh nylon bag, like a wilserbag.

You can do 10 gallon BIAB batches in 15 gallon kettles, but you have to watch the boilover.
Worst case scenario is you pour in a gallon of chilled water after cooling , to get to your final volume, and lower the wort temperature a few more degrees.
I thought about doing just this. But decided it was just an intermediary step to full on AG and didnt want to spend the time getting good at BIAB to switch to batch or fly sparging in a cooler.

To the OP, unless you really plan to stick around in the hobby, go the keggle and or cooler route.

 
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:39 AM   #8
ArcLight
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>>I thought about doing just this. But decided it was just an intermediary step to full on AG and didnt want to spend the time getting good at BIAB to switch to batch or fly sparging in a cooler.

There are quite a few of us BIABers who do not consider this an intermediate step.
We consider it a final destination, with no intention of using a separate mash tun and liquor tank.

 
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Old 08-31-2012, 03:22 AM   #9
barleyboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xpertskir

I thought about doing just this. But decided it was just an intermediary step to full on AG and didnt want to spend the time getting good at BIAB to switch to batch or fly sparging in a cooler.
BIAB IS all grain brewing.

 
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:01 PM   #10
wilserbrewer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barleyboy View Post
BIAB IS all grain brewing.
For lots of us BIAB is not an intermediary step, but just another simple alternative way to make beer. I have several cooler MT's and brew BIAB as well as using a MT and batch sparging w/ a braid.

If one starts BIAB, there is no difficulty switching to a cooler or vise versa.

 
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