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Old 02-10-2013, 02:52 AM   #1
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Default Mash Tuns, Coolers, and E-Brew Oh My!

After several hundred gallons of BIAB batches I think I'm at the point where I'm going to switch to a dedicated MLT/HLT. Plus, I melted part of my bag when it hit the side of my burner and I don't feel like making another. However, I have a couple of things that I'm racking my brain over and I'm looking for suggestions/advice/opinions/ramblings.

I got an award at work that resulted in a cheesy certificate and a $200 visa gift card. I know I can get a 10gal Igloo cooler MLT/HTL kits from a number of places for $250-300 (sans shipping). I also have wild aspirations of eventually doing a E-brewery build like Kal's Electric brewery that most everyone drools over. I currently have a 60qt bayou classic pot with a valve, thermometer and sight glass that I use for BIAB. I also have a SP10 burner for heating the mash water and boil.

Here's my thought process and potential choices:

1) Buy 10gal cooler kit to use until enough money is saved to gratuitously splurge on E-brewery build. There's a high potential that most of the equipment won't be able to be re-use in E-brew build. Cost range $250-300

2) Use money towards otherwise largely expensive metal pot based MLT/HLT including false bottom. Ideally 15 or 20gal Blichman, but more likely Polarware or cheaper. Can re-use pots for E-brew, but would need to upgrade burner for more precise mash temp control. Likely will also require a structure. Cost range $650+

3) Buy another curtain to make a new BIAB bag. spend the rest of the money on beer related goods. (lame sauce)

I'm leaning towards option number 2, but I'm wondering what other people have done. If you had the chance to do it differently what would you do?


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