Basic All Grain Process - 1st Time

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mrgrimm101

mrgrimm101

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The only reason to buy a kettle larger than 10 gallons is if you think you might start doing 10 gallon batches. If you think that's a possibility down the line then it might be better to go larger than 10gal now as opposed to buying a 10gal and then upgrading later.
For me I really don't think I'll be doing 10 gallon batches, and if I do I don't mind buying a bigger kettle later. For you it might be different.
You won't have a boilover in a 10gal pot.
Thanks, that's pretty much what I was thinking. I think a 10 gallon kettle will do just fine for now. I can't see myself doing 10 gallon batches in the near future..
 
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mrgrimm101

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So life got in the way, and I am JUST about to do a batch this weekend. I ended up getting a sankey keg and converted it so I have a 15.5 gallon keggle ready to go. I think I have the process down so it should be smooth. The only things I need to figure out are:

1.) What sort of receptacle to use to catch the vorlauf and pour back in. I'm thinking my keggle is WAY too big for this, and my 5 gallon kettle will be on the burner with sparge water heated up. I have a glass jug that is used for sun tea, I was thinking I may be able to use that until I get something else.

2.) Hooking up my chiller. I bought an IC with standard fittings and it works well in my kitchen sink. However, I will be brewing out on my back porch, which isn't too far from my garden hose spigot. Could I attach the chiller to my garden hose spigot successfully, considering it has a standard hose and clamp fitting? Or would I have to install a compression GH fitting onto the chiller itself?

3.) Actually chilling. My chiller is just too damn small for my keggle. Would it be a good idea to bend the copper arms up a bit so they are more vertical, but allowing more of the chiller to be in the keggle? With the arms at 90 degree angles, it kind of blocks it from being able to get down where the wort will be.


Thanks for all the advice so far, and thanks in advance for further advice!
 

ThomasPaine

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I use a pyrex measuring cup to vorlauf. You only want to drain a liter or two at a time before gently pouring it back on top of the grain bed and repeat a lot of times. I just got a pump to do this for me, but haven't tried it yet. Trying to visualize what you are saying about the chiller. You can just hook up the chiller to the hose. Be very carful with bending the copper. Use something round to bend against so not to crimp. I would make sure to bend my copper up and out to the keggle and down a bit so that if you have a leak it won't go into the wort. If yo have less than 50 feet, then your chiller is a little small.
 

ThomasPaine

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If you have $50 buy 50 feet of copper coil from Home Depot, two hose clamps and some clear hose to clamp on to it. You will need to adjust for garden hose fittings that work for you. I use a submersible pump in a cooler filled with ice and water to circulate through the chiller. But that's more $
 
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mrgrimm101

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Unfortunately I do not have the funds currently to make a new chiller at the moment. I got a 25' a while back before I bought the keggle. I was just going to get a 10 gallon kettle, and the chiller would have worked for that.

I have a glass measuring cup, but it's only 2 cups. I may have to go buy something that will work. Would a glass sun tea jug not work? Or would it have to have a particular temperature rating?
 

ThomasPaine

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If you use glass it needs to be like a Pyrex that won't break from the heat. The two cup one would work fine. Just keep filling and pouring. I used a 25' chiller in my keggle a couple times before I purchased a 50' just make sure your connections are leek free. I now use my old 25 foot chiller inline with my 50' one in a bucket of ice. Works well.
 

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Not sure if its been mentioned, but there are a few tricks to prevent boil over

- spray the top of your wort with water or starsan to kill the foam
- use some fermcap-s (usually availabel at any homebrew store). A few drops go a long way
 

normonster

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That's kind cray cray Moops...why not just stand near it and watch? I boil 14 gallons in a 15 gal kettle and it works 9/10 times.
 

m00ps

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well fermcap is made to be added to beer, and water or starsan isnt going to hurt it at all. I havent had much close calls with boil overs, but the few times I have, those little tricks have saved me a huge mess. Sometimes you cant really avoid them depending on the grain bill. If you want to get it to boiling, you need to have so much heat applied and that can cause it to foam up
 
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Considering I will still be doing 5 gallon batches to start, and will have roughly 8-10 gallons pre-boil (depending on the recipe), I don't think I will have to worry about a boilover in my 15.5 gallon keggle. I could be wrong..
 

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Considering I will still be doing 5 gallon batches to start, and will have roughly 8-10 gallons pre-boil (depending on the recipe), I don't think I will have to worry about a boilover in my 15.5 gallon keggle. I could be wrong..
May be a stupid question, but when would a 5 gallon batch have 10 gallons pre-boil? Do you mean total volume pre-mash and everything?
 

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May be a stupid question, but when would a 5 gallon batch have 10 gallons pre-boil? Do you mean total volume pre-mash and everything?

In his case it doesn't apply but I lose a bunch to chiller, pump, lines, trub & dead space. If I end boil with 13 gallons I'm lucky to get an even 10 in fermenters.
 

ThomasPaine

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Considering I will still be doing 5 gallon batches to start, and will have roughly 8-10 gallons pre-boil (depending on the recipe), I don't think I will have to worry about a boilover in my 15.5 gallon keggle. I could be wrong..

You will want to keep an eye on it. In my experience, you will get the same speedy boil over with 5 gallons as you would 10 in a keggle. Though easier to control.
 
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