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Old 02-22-2013, 10:45 PM   #1
Mutt98
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I'm currently planning on moving up to all grain brewing, but I'm trying to do so on a tight budget. I'll convert an old cooler to a mush tun cheap enough I am having trouble with a brew kettle though. Will it be worth the extra money to pick up a kettle with a valve and thermometer built in? I plan on batch sparging by the way.

Also, I'm going to wait to get a mill and was wondering if anyone has experience buying pre crushed grain from northern brewer? I've read several posts concerning poor crush from the lhbs and didn't want to get stuck with bad grains. Thanks for the help.

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Old 02-22-2013, 10:50 PM   #2
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On a budget, I just use a standard Stainless Steel Stock Pot without all the fancy gadgets and a Big Daddy Dial Thermometer. Works like a champ. As for crush, AHS does a pretty good crush but now that Im in the business myself I use a Corona Mill and get a good crush after adjusting. I hope my customers feel the same about it as I do.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:51 PM   #3
woknblues
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If you are looking to save, just get a regular kettle and get your valve and thermometer added later. If you are open to it, you can get an aluminum kettle at half the price or so than SS. Go to your lhbs and ask them about their crush. Mine are happy to double crush for me (BIAB), but I am in there twice a month

Reason: specified aluminum kettle

 
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:55 PM   #4
OrdinaryAvgGuy
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In order to give you the best possible answer, we must know your age.

@ 30 years old I purchased a plain ole SS kettle without all the bells or whistles. Another 10 years and a drain valve would be a necessity.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:58 PM   #5
Mutt98
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Feb 2012
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Unfortunately I'm a couple hours from the nearest homebrew shop (st Louis). I will be heading that direction tomorrow though and hope to check one out. That's why I was curious about pre-crushed from online retailers. I plan to add new items over time but wanted to go ahead and try to get a few batches under my belt while I was slowly upgrading.

 
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:59 PM   #6
Mutt98
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Lol. 32 and fairly strong when my back's lined up correctly

 
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:04 PM   #7
Yooper
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Here's a photo of my first AG set up!



The larger pot is a turkey fryer pot, and the one one the left is my old canning pot. I used the canning pot to heat sparge water. Not fancy, but it worked!

You can start as ghetto as I did, or start with a better/bigger pot or have a burner outside. But one crucial item is a good thermometer- it should be accurate even if cheap. You can get a decent one for under $20.

I ordered grains (crushed) from northernbrewer.com, and from austinhomebrew.com and I got about 65% efficiency with both. From brewmasterswarehouse.com, I got about 72%.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woknblues
If you are looking to save, just get a regular kettle and get your valve and thermometer added later. If you are open to it, you can get an aluminum kettle at half the price or so than SS. Go to your lhbs and ask them about their crush. Mine are happy to double crush for me (BIAB), but I am in there twice a month
+1 on this

I got this one

http://www.amazon.com/Bayou-Classic-...rds=Bayou+1044

 
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:15 PM   #9
Mutt98
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Sounds great. I had talked myself out of all grain before because it seemed so costly. I was just infatuated with all the gadgets.

 
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper
Here's a photo of my first AG set up!

The larger pot is a turkey fryer pot, and the one one the left is my old canning pot. I used the canning pot to heat sparge water. Not fancy, but it worked!

You can start as ghetto as I did, or start with a better/bigger pot or have a burner outside. But one crucial item is a good thermometer- it should be accurate even if cheap. You can get a decent one for under $20.

I ordered grains (crushed) from northernbrewer.com, and from austinhomebrew.com and I got about 65% efficiency with both. From brewmasterswarehouse.com, I got about 72%.
Ack! That's my exact setup except I have a rectangular cooler. I never thought of it as ghetto!

Edit: I think I actually have a SS brew kettle, but it certainly looks the same as your turkey fryer.

 
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