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Old 02-23-2006, 11:45 PM   #11
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ajf's Avatar
Oct 2005
Long Island
Posts: 4,646
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Nobody has mentioned the three tier set-up yet.

Absolutely, you do need one, but it doesn't have to be elaborate.

My top tier is a footstool on the kitchen counter.
My middle tier is a chair.
My bottom tier is the floor.

A dedicated system would be easier to work with, and would save some lifting, but it still works reasonably well, and takes no storage space.


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Old 02-24-2006, 12:38 AM   #12
Brewsmith's Avatar
Aug 2005
Torrance, CA
Posts: 6,252
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I did only 2 all extract brews before adding specialty grain, and it was only a couple of those before I was doing partial mashes. All I needed to make the jump to all-grain completely was the mash tun and a turkey fryer. I built the mash tun from a 5 gallon igloo cooler, and the turkey fryer came with a pot big enough to use for all-grain. Do you need a thee tier system? No. Will I probably eventually get one, yes. And as far as the cost per bottle for ingredients, I bought the ingredients for my next batch for a total of around $18. About 10.5 lbs of grain, A pack of hops, and a vial of yeast.

$18 ÷ 50 bottles = $0.36 per bottle.

Now I did have some hops already in the fridge, but I also have some other strains of yeast saved from other batches in the fridge also. Those batches where I don't have to buy yeast will definately be cheaper.
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Old 02-24-2006, 01:01 AM   #13
boo boo
Jun 2005
Hearts's Delight, Newfoundland
Posts: 4,165
Liked 36 Times on 31 Posts

Originally Posted by Janx
Beer brewed all-grain is definitely that much better than extract.

And the process is much more fun and rewarding. You are involved and have control over many more aspects of the process.

If your primary reason for homebrewing is to save money, you'll probably be frustrated in that goal. At least that's what I've seen. You end up spending money on lots of things once you go AG if you get into it.
Very well put.

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Old 02-24-2006, 02:13 AM   #14
davy's Avatar
Feb 2006
Richmond, Va
Posts: 104

I agree that you should not just leap into AG from extract but of course there is a happy middle point of course which is partial mash. Roughly half grain and half extract. Three tier systems are great but you can make your own "ghetto brewery" three tier system to steal a term from Dude hope you don't mind. A couple of Rubbermaid cooler or rectagular coolers some copper tubbing or pvc tubing and plumbing fittings and a lot of trial and error. This is a good site to get plumbing fittings cheap the only problem is you have to get the o rings in bulk.
Good Luck and keep posting.

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Old 02-24-2006, 02:23 AM   #15
RichBrewer's Avatar
Feb 2006
Denver, Colorado
Posts: 5,901
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Everyone has brought up some great points!
From my perspective I would suggest trying some extract recipes first and see how you like home brewing. I've introduced a couple people to home brewing and after one batch they lost interest. Just wasn't something they wanted to do. If extract brewing isn't all that much fun for you, you will hate AG.
Another idea is to find a Home Brew club near you and maybe you could watch and assist someone to get an idea of what our hobby is like.
Myself? I brewed about 3 batches of extract and then jumped in with both feet to AG. It's in my personality. I love to have as much control over things as I can.

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Old 02-24-2006, 03:16 AM   #16
Bernie Brewer
Grouchy Old Fart
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Feb 2006
Eldorado, WI
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I brew beer because I enjoy it, not because I want to save money. Yes, AG brewing is cheaper, once you get past the initial investment of equipment, but I doubt that for 35 cents per bottle you'll get anything better than a BMC clone.
I like to squeeze the nickle until the buffalo craps-mt rob

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Old 02-24-2006, 05:03 AM   #17

Originally Posted by Sasquatch
... I would master brewing from extract kits first, before plunging into all grain. It's nice to limit the problems and get good at the whole process before adding in mashing and sparging and all that stuff....
Well, put; I couldn't agree more! I went extract, then steeps, then partial mashes for eight years before going AG last July, '05. I'm not suggesting anyone wait that long! I love AG and, at times, wish I'd switched over sooner. But I'm glad I took my time and waited until I was ready - on my own terms.

IMHO, it's not about saving Money, but enjoying Quality. And having fun!

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Old 02-24-2006, 08:19 PM   #18
Dec 2005
San Diego
Posts: 848
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Let's see.. For Brown Rye, about 6-7% abv: 6# pale @ .79, 4# specialty at $1.59, 2oz Hops= $2.50, one package dry yeast @ 1.50, Tap water, $0, re-use yeast, $0. Household Chlorine, $0. Caps, $.02 ea, comes to $17 for 50 bottles, 34 cents/ bottle.

Some swap meet "kit" $20, had thermometer, hydrometer, 6 gal bucket, bottle rinser, plugs, bubblers. Bottling bucket (pickles, from restaurant dumpster) $0 fittings from auto parts store, $5. My old cooler for mashing $0, transfer mash to
bottling bucket for sparging. False bottom, perforated SS from friend, $0. Burner from a wall furnace, $0. Glass carboy from swap meet,$5. My old home made SS bean pot, 7 gallons, $0. Bench capper, swap meet, $5. Vinyl hose, Home Depot, $5. 200 bottles from dumpsters, $0. $40 for equipment to get started AG.

Reloading beer bottles is lots cheaper than reloading ammo... but I do hit my target better in 12 oz groups get lots of flyers...
So far, I've had more experience thinking than I've had don't think they are mutually exclusive, do you?

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Old 02-24-2006, 08:24 PM   #19
Janx's Avatar
Dec 2004
San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 1,677
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You use a pickle bucket for a bottling bucket?!?!? I thought that smell NEVER came out of plastic...

Or is "pickle" the house flavor?
Oh don't give me none more of that Old Janx Spirit
No, don't you give me none more of that Old Janx Spirit
For my head will fly, my tongue will lie, my eyes will fry and I may die
Won't you pour me one more of that sinful Old Janx Spirit

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Old 02-24-2006, 08:26 PM   #20
Baron von BeeGee
Beer Bully
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Jul 2005
Barony of Fuquay-Varina, NC
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Mmmm....fried pickle chips and an APA.

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