AG equipment on a budget - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > AG equipment on a budget

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-27-2007, 12:12 AM   #1
ryan_boc
Recipes 
 
Oct 2007
Huntsville, AL
Posts: 47


Hey all,
I am really wanting to start AG, but I am not completely sure on all of the equipment I need. I was going to make my mash/lauter tun out of a big cooler like I've seen many other people do. Other than that, what do I need to get this stuff going?
__________________
Primary - nothing
Conditioning - nothing
Bottling - nothing
Drinking - nothing
Up Next - an IPA or a Mead

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2007, 12:50 AM   #2
billtzk
Recipes 
 
Apr 2007
Dallas
Posts: 1,624
Liked 23 Times on 21 Posts


You don't say, but I'll assume you've been brewing extract batches and you have all the basic gear (hydrometers, airlocks, carboys or fermenting pails, thermometer, tubing, sanitizers, etc.). If not, you should buy a basic or deluxe type brewing gear kit.

For AG, you'll need at least one more kettle and a wort chiller and a way to boil large volumes of liquid to cover the basics. A propane burner like a turkey fryer is recommended since you're going to want to do full boils, and most indoor ranges won't boil very large volumes of liquid. They just don't get hot enough.

You can use a single kettle as both a hot liquor tank and a boil kettle. I did that for a long time. You need something that you can boil 7 gallons in for a 5 gallon brew, which means you need about 8.5 to 9 gallon capacity to avoid messy boilovers. Best bet is to use a converted 15.5 gallon keg so you can do 10 or 11 gallon batches (boiling down from 12 or 13 gallons of wort).

You need a big heavy stirrer or paddle for stirring the mash. It doesn't need to be fancy but it does need to be strong, as ten to twenty pounds of grain in your mash is quite thick.

The wiki probably has more info.

One other thing. Define your long term goals and buy/build/acquire gear to match. If you know you are going to do 10 gallon batches some day, don't spend money on gear that is only suitable for five gallon batches.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2007, 01:38 AM   #3
eriktlupus
 
eriktlupus's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2007
Cereal City, USA
Posts: 2,618
Liked 13 Times on 11 Posts


1. cooler for mash tun 5 gal min 10 gal better
2. turkey fryer set-up w/pot(look at gander moun tain if you can they sell one with spigot drain for the oil
3.long handled SS spoon (lhbs or restaurant supply)
4.wort chiller (can be built for the same or less as new)
5. parts for cooler tun (false bottom or SS braid, ball valve, nipples, washers and nuts
patience for getting your effficiency up to reasonable
__________________
primary1 :UTOPIA BABY(still searching for it)
secondary:middling bastard ipa
kegged:simcoe blonde, crystal pale ale, yellow jacket golden ale, lemon shandy blonde
DRINKIN DAWG BREWERY
LET'S GO RED WINGS


join michigan mashers here

extraction calculator
grains in pounds(G) X 36(average points per gallon of grains) / batch size in gallons(g) = maximum efficiency(ME)
OG / ME = brewhouse efficiency

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2007, 03:03 AM   #4
Dark_Ale
Recipes 
 
Jan 2005
Liberty, Texas
Posts: 623
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts


Check this out, In the past I have done it this way several times
http://cruisenews.net/brewing/infusion/page1.php

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2007, 03:59 AM   #5
malkore
 
malkore's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jun 2007
Nebraska
Posts: 6,922
Liked 37 Times on 35 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by eriktlupus
1. cooler for mash tun 5 gal min 10 gal better
2. turkey fryer set-up w/pot(look at gander moun tain if you can they sell one with spigot drain for the oil
3.long handled SS spoon (lhbs or restaurant supply)
4.wort chiller (can be built for the same or less as new)
5. parts for cooler tun (false bottom or SS braid, ball valve, nipples, washers and nuts
patience for getting your effficiency up to reasonable
that's a pretty good list. I would only add a few specifics.

2. you really want 8 gallons or larger for the boil pot. 7 gallons will be barely scraping by. depending on your old brewpot size, it might be big enough for your hot liquid tank. If you plan to batch sparge (and I'd recommend it) you shouldn't need to heat more than 4 gallons at a time.

4. wort chiller is a must have. cold water baths just aren't very efficient on full boils. 25' is the smallest immersion chiller you'd want to buy or build.

5. there's an awesome write up on the 5 or 10 gallon Rubbermaid brand cooler - to - mashtun right here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com//showthread.php?t=23008

I find Lowe's is the easiest place to get every part, including the Watts pieces by part number. Home Depot often carries the 5 and 10 gallon coolers, near the building supplies/lumber.
__________________
Malkore
Primary: English Mild
On tap: Pale Ale, Lancelot's Wheat, English Brown Ale, Steam Beer, HoovNuts IPA
Bottled: MOAM, Braggot, Raspberry Melomel, Merlot, Apfelwein, Pyment, Sweet mead, Cabernet
Gal in 2009: 27, Gal in 2010: 34, Gal in 2011: 13, Gal in 2012: 10

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2007, 04:33 PM   #6
explosivebeer
Recipes 
 
Dec 2007
Tacoma, WA
Posts: 437

Hi Ryan,

I recently converted to AG and it really didn't take much from my previous extract setup. I got an 8-gallon aluminum pot ($20) and a 10-gallon cooler ($25) from Walmart. Other than that, I only needed a metal mesh plumbing thread and some fixtures to adapt it to the cooler, as well as do the runoff hose. All in all, it was around $60 for me to convert to AG.

Then again, I still don't have a chiller so I've been leaving my batches overnight in an ale pail and then pitching yeast and putting into my big carboy in the morning. I'll be making a chiller soon, but this method has worked for me in the meantime.

I've done two batches with it and am going to do the third today, which means that it'll have paid for itself in only a few weeks since I was spending about $20/batch on malt extract. I've been doing batch sparging and hit 80% efficiency on my first batch and 86% on my second.

Anyway, good luck finding the supplies and making the jump!
__________________
"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer."
-Abraham Lincoln

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2007, 10:59 PM   #7
ryan_boc
Recipes 
 
Oct 2007
Huntsville, AL
Posts: 47

Quote:
Originally Posted by explosivebeer
Hi Ryan,

I recently converted to AG and it really didn't take much from my previous extract setup. I got an 8-gallon aluminum pot ($20) and a 10-gallon cooler ($25) from Walmart. Other than that, I only needed a metal mesh plumbing thread and some fixtures to adapt it to the cooler, as well as do the runoff hose. All in all, it was around $60 for me to convert to AG.

Then again, I still don't have a chiller so I've been leaving my batches overnight in an ale pail and then pitching yeast and putting into my big carboy in the morning. I'll be making a chiller soon, but this method has worked for me in the meantime.

I've done two batches with it and am going to do the third today, which means that it'll have paid for itself in only a few weeks since I was spending about $20/batch on malt extract. I've been doing batch sparging and hit 80% efficiency on my first batch and 86% on my second.

Anyway, good luck finding the supplies and making the jump!
How are you sparging? Did you build/buy something?
__________________
Primary - nothing
Conditioning - nothing
Bottling - nothing
Drinking - nothing
Up Next - an IPA or a Mead

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2007, 02:48 AM   #8
explosivebeer
Recipes 
 
Dec 2007
Tacoma, WA
Posts: 437

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan_boc
How are you sparging? Did you build/buy something?
I'm using that 10-gallon cooler (actually it may be slightly larger but who's keeping track?) for sparging. It's touted as being able to keep food cold for five days, but also does a great job at keeping my mash at the exact same temperature for an hour or two.

I preheat it with a gallon of hot water for 10-15 minutes before I start the mash. It's a small waste of water, but it serves as a final cleansing of the tun before putting in the grain and mash water.

I just had to build a system to attach the metal mesh and the runoff hose. It's a little ghetto, but it works like a charm. In retrospect, I probably should have just followed the directions on the link pointed out by Dark_Ale, as that is a fairly simple and foolproof setup.

Anyway, good luck!
__________________
"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer."
-Abraham Lincoln

 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2007, 02:56 AM   #9
BierMuncher
...My Junk is Ugly...
HBT_MODERATOR.png
 
BierMuncher's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2007
St. Louis, MO
Posts: 12,402
Liked 789 Times on 435 Posts


Turkey Fryer from big box store ($50.00)
A coil of felixable copper and some vynil tubing $45.00)
Some scrap copper and a few extra pieces ($20.00)
A good digital thermometer ($19.00)

Brewing craft beer from whole grains...(priceless).

Click image for larger version

Name:	Wort_Chiller.JPG
Views:	147
Size:	88.5 KB
ID:	3803

Click image for larger version

Name:	InsideSetupA.jpg
Views:	149
Size:	30.4 KB
ID:	3804

Click image for larger version

Name:	Manifold_Unfiltered.JPG
Views:	149
Size:	32.4 KB
ID:	3805

Click image for larger version

Name:	Thermometer.JPG
Views:	125
Size:	32.0 KB
ID:	3806

Click image for larger version

Name:	OutdoorSetup.JPG
Views:	145
Size:	72.5 KB
ID:	3807

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Do you have a beer budget? Matt Up North General Beer Discussion 38 02-26-2009 02:56 PM
AG in my Apt..and on a budget hammacks All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 2 07-13-2008 10:18 PM
AG on a budget Green Tarp All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 10 11-06-2007 12:07 AM
Budget Can Crusher uniconfis Drunken Ramblings and Mindless Mumbling 5 08-24-2007 01:59 PM


Forum Jump