Build an Urn-father vs buying a grainfather

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RevA

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With the quarantine I've had more time to brew than in a very long time and have gotten a bit fed up with mashtuns and cleaning. I wanted to buy a grainfather (the cheapest electric single vessel system in South Africa) but will have to wait a month or so for one to be sourced.
The other option is buying an urn (electric coffee/tea water heater in 8 gallon) and add a temp controller and pump.
Has anyone got an opinion on which would be the better option?
 

jswillbrewforbeer

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I see those urns at the thrift store all the time for a few bucks and always thought it could easily be turned into a single vessel brew system. Will be curious to see if anyone has done it!
 

bleme

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It has been done.
Here is an example:
 
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RevA

RevA

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It has been done.
Here is an example:
Thanks. It helps seeing how others went about it.
 

Paul Lowe

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I use the grainfather watersparge urn as a brew kettle but use a power controller to control the vigour of the boil. The temperature seems to consistently run 5 to 7 degrees higher than the setting on the urn. I use a mash tun rather than a boil in the bag method
 
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RevA

RevA

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I use the grainfather watersparge urn as a brew kettle but use a power controller to control the vigour of the boil. The temperature seems to consistently run 5 to 7 degrees higher than the setting on the urn. I use a mash tun rather than a boil in the bag method
Thank could work! Are you happy with this method?
 

Paul Lowe

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Thank could work! Are you happy with this method?
Yes, for small batches although i am changing my entire set up to an induction cooktop system. I make good beer with the urn. I use it because i already have the equipment. If you are budget consious I would think carefully about what your long term set up will be and how this could fit into that. Incremental purchases without a clear end goal can be quite expensive (in my experience)
 
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RevA

RevA

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Yes, for small batches although i am changing my entire set up to an induction cooktop system. I make good beer with the urn. I use it because i already have the equipment. If you are budget consious I would think carefully about what your long term set up will be and how this could fit into that. Incremental purchases without a clear end goal can be quite expensive (in my experience)
Makes sense.
I started all-grain with a cooler mash tun 5 gallon batches and downscaled to one to two gallon batches as that suits me better. Currently doing either BIAB of in a small cooler, but I want move to an electric system as the small town I live in doesn't always have refills for propane when you want.
 
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