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Old 01-19-2013, 02:36 AM   #1
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Default I know this is probably in here, how do I go from extract to all-grain brewing?

I have made a few batches of extracts, I would like to transition to all-grain brewing. What would I need and about how much would it cost? I want to start making my own recipes and with extracts that is hard to do.

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Old 01-19-2013, 08:01 AM   #2
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You would need a mash tun with a false bottom and valve. I would also recommend a small 5 gallon pot for heating sparge water (this depends on how you are going to sparge). I'm sure I'm forgetting something little, but its early here

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Old 01-19-2013, 08:10 AM   #3
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I've done four all-grain batches thus far and learned much of what I know from these forums. I posted recently about moving from extract to all-grain on a similar thread to this recently so I'll just quote some of that post here...

Originally Posted by thadass View Post


For the record, those first two extract batches were the last extract batches I did. I don't have anything against it, and it was a nice way to learn the basics of brewing, but once I did an all-grain batch I was just that much more hooked on brewing. I do a modified brew-in-a-bag process, very similar to DeathBrewer's very popular guides (All-grain and Partial Mash). I have an 8 gallon pot ($30 aluminum tamale steamer from amazon) that needs two burners on my stove PLUS a heatstick I made (example instructions here) to boil 6+ gallons.

Plenty of online shops have a wide variety of liquid and dry extracts, ranging from british pale to rye to pilsen extract. My local shop though has "light, medium, and dark. you want that in liquid or dry?" haha. Moving to all-grain really opens the doors to being able to vary your base flavor as most local shops do carry a fair variety of base malts (at least an american pale, british pale, and german pilsen).

The all-grain BIAB with a batch sparge only added like an hour onto the brewing process versus the extract batches I did, and it was super satisfying and delicious! (and the all grain ingredients are less expensive as well)

To sum up and answer your "what equipment?" question, what I added to my kit between extract an all-grain were:

A big pot (mine is 8 gallons). Aluminum is cheap, light, and wonderful.
A way to heat the pot. My solution was the heatstick. Many use an outdoor propane burner.
The nylon BIAB bag. Mine is wide enough to fit over the mouth of my pot. Common are the paint strainer bags from home stores. Mine doubles as a hop bag (I dump the grains post-mash and rinse it out before my boil starts)
A better way to cool your wort. My kettle barely fits into my sink, so I set it in there and use a DIY immersion cooler in the wort that then drains into the sink cooling the outside of the kettle as well.

And that's it really. The kettle, heatstick, and cooler were all about $30 each, and as far as I'm concerned, I'm set.

a good video that helped me decide on the brew-in-a-bag setup was

I think it gives a lot of flexibility with minimal investment and gets you to true all-grain brewing quickly. It also lets me stay inside!

One thing that has been invaluable though is brewing software. I got BeerSmith and it really helps me set up things to match my process and what I can do, or just what I'm comfortable doing at that time. I've done a 3 gallon batch of 1.072 OG, a 5 gallon batch of 1.045 OG, and two beers at about 4.25 gallons and 1.060 OG. Of course, all 4 recipes started as a standard 5 gallon batches. It really helped me get more comfortable with the process and handling a smaller grain bill for the first two batches helped me focus on all the new intricacies of all-grain brewing. Also all my carboys are 5 gallons because I bought my starting equipment from a wine maker haha.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:21 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by TimothyTheGreat View Post
I have made a few batches of extracts, I would like to transition to all-grain brewing. What would I need and about how much would it cost? I want to start making my own recipes and with extracts that is hard to do.
There's no real answer for that, not a simple one anyway. You need to think about how much you have and how much you want to spend and then start reading about all the options and choose. You'll need a mash tun of some type, a way to separate your run-off from the grain and a pot big enough to boil off about 7-8 gallons for a full boil. You have the rest, for now. I got kegs and made keggles, got a 10 gal. igloo cooler for a mash tun, made myself a copper manifold for the tun, and made myself a 3 tier system. You just have to pick a path and start.
BTW, those can not be drunk in multiple count if the day’s plan includes finish carpentry work or power tools.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:16 PM   #5
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When I made the jump from extract to all grain, I spent about $3K and went directly to 220v all electric and 10gal batches... Not necessary but I followed the mantra, "Buy big or buy twice." I was sure I was into brewing for a long time and I wanted to skip several generations of gradual upgrading, losing money at each step. I also wanted to establish a brewing process that eliminated as many variables as possible.

Then again, the wife want happy about it and the last 1K was the "last thousand dollars and then you are done right?".... Absolutely, Babe.
And now you see that Evil will always triumph, because Good is dumb!
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:00 PM   #6
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When I went from extract to all grain I bought a Corona style mill and a pair of paint strainer bags for a total of about $30 and did half size batches in the 5 gallon pot that I had for extract brewing. My local supply doesn't have a mill but if your does you can have them double mill the grain for you and get by with just the paint stainer bags for $4. As far as I can tell that is the least expensive way to get into all grain brewing.

I've since purchased a turkey fryer so I can do a full 5 gallon batch BIAB. When I want to brew my weather is really crappy, snowing or extremely cold, like -20 to -30 so I do it all indoors except for the wort chilling. My electric stove is capable of boiling 6 1/2 gallons but yours may not.
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:38 PM   #7
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When I made the jump to all grain, I already had a 5 gallon kettle. I now use that for heating my sparge water. I bought a bayou burner, an 11 gallon brew kettle and a 50 quart Igloo rectangular cooler which I made into my mash lauter tun by constructing a cpvc manifold. I batch sparge so I didn't need a hot liquor tank. So adding it all up I spent about $75 on the kettle, about $45 on the cooler, about $20 on the cpvc and a ball valve, and about $50 for the burner. So for under $200 I'm all set to do 5-8 gallon all grain batches. Well worth the investment in my opinion.

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