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Old 12-09-2008, 03:52 PM   #1
Sep 2008
Posts: 260

Everyone has been so helpful on this site. I've learned so much since I started. So I've done about 12 partials, 3 all-grains and I'm totally hooked on brewing.

I was having one of my oatmeal stouts last night and I just sat there thinking "damn, I would definitely pay $4 for one of these in a pub. It's a great feeling isn't it?? I'm totally hooked but it puts me in a dilemma.

How did you figure out what the best setup would be for your situation? I want to "Go Big" with my system but not insane. Right now, I'm doing All-grain batches with a single turkey fryer, and the Zapap lauter tun. So obviously, I have some improvements to make to my system.

What I'm realizing though is that you can waste A LOT of money doing small upgrades to your setup and then making another addition only weeks later that turns out you could have bought and saved money in the first place. Am I making sense?

I'm looking to build a semi-permanent system that I can use for a long time without making adjustments but there are so many variables, I'm wondering how you would evaluate making this decision if you had to do it all over again?

I do have limited resources (like most of us) but I would like a solid brewing setup. Even if I have to keep using the equipment I have now for current brews, and I just add one piece of equipment on at a time towards my ultimate setup. I just don't want to purchase anymore equipment that becomes obsolete for my purposes.

Guidance on how to narrow down the most cost effective, best all-grain setups???
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Old 12-09-2008, 05:37 PM   #2
944play's Avatar
Jul 2008
Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 2,726
Liked 46 Times on 41 Posts

Originally Posted by mangine77 View Post
Guidance on how to narrow down the most cost effective, best all-grain setups???
Denny Conn has been using his same rig for 300-some batches:
OD: ?
Keg: Simple AIPA (2-row, Chinook, Cascade, WLP090)

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Old 12-09-2008, 05:43 PM   #3
Boerderij_Kabouter's Avatar
Dec 2007
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,760
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I feel your pain.... I have wasted a bunch of cash on small upgrades that were later replaced with another small upgrade.

My advice is to spend the time and really plan out your design on paper. If you click my build link in my sig you will see the process I am going through. I have finalized my design down to every last fitting and will not waste another penny with other equipment. I would suggest something like that. Once you see it on paper, it is easier to critique your design, cut fat, and save money.

Hope that helps!

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Old 12-09-2008, 06:33 PM   #4
Jaybird's Avatar
Jul 2006
Posts: 7,888
Liked 1086 Times on 760 Posts

Originally Posted by Boerderij_Kabouter View Post
My advice is to spend the time and really plan out your design on paper. Once you see it on paper, it is easier to critique your design, cut fat, and save money.
This is GREAT advice!!!

I too would like to add. I spent over a year designing my system, down to the tippy tun the flow of wort and electrical design and I can tell you I made some mistakes, like the height of the system. I wish it was about 10" taller. I wish I had put in a 1" BOTTOM drain in the boil kettle and things like thermowell placement, ETC. If you are going to build a system from scratch, do your homework, spend some time looking, thinking and asking "WHAT IF"!!! It will save you a bunch of cash and you won't need an upgrade for some time.

I would suggest nothing smaller than a 10 to 12 gallon system. You can pump out a ton of beer w/ a system of that size, I do LOL!!!. Make it EASY to clean because you will spend more time cleaning than you do brewing if you don't.
Good luck on the system.
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