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Best approach to moving to all-grain in steps?

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DanInMadison

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I'm looking to move to all-grain.

Here are some items I'm looking at purchasing, but can't afford everything at once...
External propane burner. (Using an electric stove now).
8+ gallon pot (using a 5 gallon that I figure can be used for sparge water).
Mash/lauter tun.
Wort chiller since it will be full boils.

My thought...
  1. Get the mash/lauter tun. This would make temperature control much easier for the partial mashes that I'm currently making. Electric stoves suck.
  2. Get the wort chiller since this will make cooling easier and faster.
  3. Likely look at getting one of the turkey fryers with larger pots. First priority would be burner though since the larger pot may be too much weight for the flat top stove.
  4. Eventually get rid of bottling and moving to kegging.

Does this sound like a good approach? I know, there will be lots more to purchase after that.

Any good online places to purchases some of these items at reasonable prices?
 

Castawayales

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That is the path I took.

Research your options so you don't have to redesign your system several times. Items like manifold vs. false bottom, type of chiller that would work best. Decide the size you want to go for to start with. It sucks to be stuck with equipment you can't use.

Do several mini mashes to get yourself used to the process adding more grain and less extract each time you succeed.

One item not on your list is brewing software. It is key to fine tuning recipes, fixing your water issues, and telling the success you are achieving.
 

david_42

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Sounds good. As Spring approaches, there will be opportunities to buy insulated coolers again. They make great mash tuns. Get something in the 40 quart range. People who buy 5 gallon coolers almost always end up buying bigger.

I have a 48-quart IceCube and use boiling water to pre-heat it.
 

bad coffee

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Here's what I did:

Used a 3 gallon enameled pot until I found a bigger pot on sale (AHS sale, 8 gallon pot for ~$45)

As soon as I could, I bought copper and made a 25' IC.

I only did partial mash in my pot until I bought my 10 gallon igloo.

I crushed my grains with a rolling pin until I got a mill. (A corona mill, but up soon is a barley crusher. If I had the choice again, I'd just go for the crusher.)

Thermometer- I started with glass, then just went right for the digital with remote probe. Get a waterproof on or make the one you get waterproof.

Hope this helps you save a few bucks along the way.

B
 

Parker36

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Looks like you have it planned out pretty well. Maybe look into the chiller first depending on how well your system right now works.
 

Stinkonamonkey

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How handy are you? Lots of bargains out there for the build it yourself people.
 

Yooper

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I'd get the chiller first, because you can use it now while doing partial mash and partial boils and it can improve the beer. Then I'd get the larger pot/burner together, because full boils will also improve the beer. Then, I'd go to the MLT after that. You can do partial mash as a full boil, and make some fantastic beers.
 

madewithchicken

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If you want to keep using your stove top get another 5 gallon pot and split the batches in half for the boil. If may be a waste of money if you are sure you want to brew outside on a turkey fryer, but if you want to stay inside the house two pots is not that bad.

I do the two pot thing when I brew at home (electric stove) but usually we use my friends gas stove. It is almost as good as a turkey fryer.
 

sterling214

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I would make a IC first also.
I did my first all grain batch using an unmodified cooler that I already had as a mash ton.
I made a zapap lauder ton using free buckets from a bakery.
I used my 5 gallon boil kettle to boil 4 gallons of my wort, and used a 2 1/2 gallon stock pot to boil the rest. This could be done on a stove top.
I cannibalized an old propane grill to make my brew-stand, while not ideal, it was free.
I made my IC from copper I had laying around, and cooled my wort in my fermenting bucket.
My next purchase will be either a larger kettle or a cooler for a MLT.
 
OP
D

DanInMadison

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Thanks for all the tips.

Never thought about using two pots on a single stove. Will a flat top stove be able to handle the weight?

After reading some of the DIY posts, I'm looking into making my own IC. It sounds like a fun little project and nice money saver.

Not sure if I'll make my own cooler MLT or not. I'll have to see what kind of price I can find on the 10 gallon cooler.
 

Iechyd Da

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I'd get the chiller first, because you can use it now while doing partial mash and partial boils and it can improve the beer. Then I'd get the larger pot/burner together, because full boils will also improve the beer. Then, I'd go to the MLT after that. You can do partial mash as a full boil, and make some fantastic beers.
That's the ticket right there.
 

Cpt_Kirks

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I have built a keggle, a 5 gallon Igloo MLT and a wort chiller. I use a cheapie 5 gallon pot I got for xmas to heat strike and sparge water. Right now, I am using a borrowed propane burner.

Next, I am getting my own burner. After that, I will be getting a 10 gallon water cooler to use as a HLT. It will just hold propane heated water for now, but will be electric later. My keggle will be electric, too. I will probably wind up with a 10 gallon MLT, maybe a RIMS or HERMS setup.

One step at a time...
 
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