Equipment to upgrade from extract to all grain?

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jabumbo

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So after playing around with extract brewing for a while now, i have fully decided that all grain is the way I want to go. My only question is what all do I need to have to make this switch successfully?


I currently have the standard starter kit with a couple extra carboys, a 3 gallon pot and a couple corny kegs. I use an electric stove top as my heat source as well.


So is any of this equipment still usable with an all grain setup? What are all of the elements i need to do this right?

(as a side note, i have no problem searching out and building my own items as needed)
 

boogyman

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Are you looking at doing 5 gallon batches? or something smaller? For the "traditional" method, at the bare minimum, you at least need something for a Mash Tun (MLT) like a converted cooler with either a braid or a false bottom. If you're doing 5 gallon (or larger) batches, your pot is a bit on the small side too. I would also get some high temp food grade buckets so you can transfer liquids without a lot of extra pots.

If you don't want to get any of that stuff, you could do a mini version of the brew in a bag (BIAB) with your 3 gallon pot. Should work out ok..

It really just depends on what you want to do. Small batches on the stove, or all out batches on fancy equipment? Your budget will also have a say in what equipment you get.
 

Tinga

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assuming you did and still want to do 5 gallons batches you would need

bigger boiling pot
mash tun of some sort. cooler and a false bottom/manifold of some sort
if you want to sparge your need that apparatus
more buckets for temporary holding

and a lot of know how to find strike temps and volumes and such. there are a lot threads below this one that are basically the same thing as well if you wanna cruise through those.
 

SumnerH

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So after playing around with extract brewing for a while now, i have fully decided that all grain is the way I want to go. My only question is what all do I need to have to make this switch successfully?


I currently have the standard starter kit with a couple extra carboys, a 3 gallon pot and a couple corny kegs. I use an electric stove top as my heat source as well.


So is any of this equipment still usable with an all grain setup? What are all of the elements i need to do this right?

(as a side note, i have no problem searching out and building my own items as needed)
Most of the kit and kegs are completely reusable. The easiest way to start off is to do brew-in-a-bag all grain first, which is cheaper, faster, and easier than 3-vessel all-grain. Everything you buy for that is also something you'd use for 3-vessel, so if you decide to switch later (for bigger mashes, more complicated mash schedule, long sour mashes, etc) you won't have wasted anything.

If you want to do partial-boil batches (not many people do with all grain), you can use the current pot. You need a 5 gallon paint strainer bag.

If you want to do 5 gallon batches, you need a 7.5 gallon pot and a larger paint strainer bag. You probably also need a propane turkey fryer or other heat source, unless your electric stovetop is powerful enough to get the full 6 gallons-ish to a boil.

If you're going to mill your own grain, you need a grain mill; you can purchase premilled grain if you do it soon before brewing.

You need to get a water report to figure out your water chemistry, then you need some consumables. The main ones that are all-grain specific are salts (gypsum, calcium carbonate, etc--which you need varies based on your water chemistry) to adjust your water profile, pH strips to measure mash pH, and iodine to test for conversion.
 
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jabumbo

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oh wow, i didn't even see those older threads pop up in my search. musn't have been looking for the right thing!

i'd probably want to stick with 5 gallon batches for now. i figure a larger pot and burner would probably be worth picking up.


i was planning on trying to work this setup into some slight remodeling in my garage. how much of a budget is reasonable? i had someone tell me they spent another $300-400 on their setup, and while i could probably sport that over time, i don't know that its as practical for me to grab it all up at once.
 

boogyman

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Without getting a bigger pot, you can get a cooler & convert it for ~$50, and some buckets for another $20. You can definitely get away with spending less than $100 if you have a basic kit already. A bigger pot will put you over the $100 mark though.
 

SumnerH

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You can buy a big pot, a burner, and a bag for under $70, maybe $80-90 with shipping, and that's all you really need. Personally I'd spend a little more to get a big enough pot and burner to handle 10 gallon batches, even if you're only doing 5 gallons now.

If you want to get in really cheap, you can go with a smaller burner and a 30 qt aluminum pot (they're fine, but you have to be a little careful to keep a layer of oxidation on them) for like $60:
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/3066a_turkey_fryer_kit.htm

But going with something like this:
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/sq14_propane_burner.htm (Burner, $53)
and picking a stainless pot from here:
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/stainless_steel_stock_pot.htm
or an aluminum one from here:
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/aluminum_stock_pot.htm

would give you a fine burner for future 10 gallon batches and let you pick a pot with plenty of room to grow.

The only other thing you _need_ is a nylon bag for <$10.
 

JJL

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oh wow, i didn't even see those older threads pop up in my search. musn't have been looking for the right thing!

i'd probably want to stick with 5 gallon batches for now. i figure a larger pot and burner would probably be worth picking up.


i was planning on trying to work this setup into some slight remodeling in my garage. how much of a budget is reasonable? i had someone tell me they spent another $300-400 on their setup, and while i could probably sport that over time, i don't know that its as practical for me to grab it all up at once.
$300-$400 might be a little on the high side. The big components you need are a bigger pot, a heat source for 5 gallon boils, and a mash tun. The mash tun is optional, since you could do BIAB. I got a 30qt SS pot for around $75. My 54k btu ring burner was between $40 and $50, and my mash tun (which is a 10 gallon round cooler with a braid) cost me about $60 for all of the parts. That's still under $200.
 

JakeTheHopDog

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$300-$400 might be a little on the high side. The big components you need are a bigger pot, a heat source for 5 gallon boils, and a mash tun. The mash tun is optional, since you could do BIAB. I got a 30qt SS pot for around $75. My 54k btu ring burner was between $40 and $50, and my mash tun (which is a 10 gallon round cooler with a braid) cost me about $60 for all of the parts. That's still under $200.
I agree with JJL, with one exception. Get a bigger pot. I have a 30 qt and I wish I'd got a bigger one. Just as soon as SWMBO gets over the Barley Crusher Malt Mill that just arrived today:ban: ,I'm getting a 40 qt SS pot. Here's two from AHS that I'm looking at...

Economy Brew Pot (40 qt)
Super Brew Pot ( 40 qt)
 

Richabt

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I think you have got some good ideas from the other post.
The main thing I'd reiterate is to start with a good sized pot. You could make do with 7.5 galllons, but would be much better off at 10 or better.
I went from a 6 gallon pot to a 15 gallon keggle. It cost me $15 bucks for used keg at a flea market, and I cut the top out. I still do 5 gal batches, but now i can do 10 just as easy. The BIAB option is a good way to transition into all grain brewing without a lot of expense.
 

joety

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I went from a 4, to an 8, to a 15 gallon SS pot. I still use all three on brew days. The 8 is used to heat the strike and sparge water on the kitchen stove, while the 4 heats the mash-out water to boiling temperature. The 15 gallon is my BK now, of course, but it also serves to collect the crushed grain underneath by grain mill. I don't think I've ever "retired" a piece of equipment, although some like my original primary (a white plastic trash can which I later used to sanitize equipment) died in the line of duty (direct hit from a runaway CO2 tank).
 

bullinachinashop

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With a basic setup already, you can go AG for under $100.

I bought a 43 qt. ss pot on ebay for $45. + $20 shipping.

Convert your old primary into a Papazian style false bottom lautering tun.

Buy a new primary bucket. $10

Total $75

Time investment 10 min +/-

Bull
 

instapman

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I think everyone will agree that you need a bigger pot. Walmart of all places sells the Bayou Classic stock pots for cheap online.
$75 for the 36qt
$96 for the 44qt
$120 for the 62qt
$150 for the 86qt
Great pots, great deals. Since you are sticking with 5 gal batches let me recommend the 36 qt plenty of room so you dont boil over, however, IF you ever plan on doing 10 gal batches you might as well go with the 44qt. Thats 11 gal. if I did the math right. and its only $21 more. That will be the best $21 you could spend on your brew set up.

I also echo the need for a good heat source. spend $45-$75 on a good propane burner and you set.

Mash Tun...Tons of good stuff on here, just look at the project locater on the DIY thread. Braid for batch, Manifold for fly $50-$60

So lets do the math..
96 (SS pot)
+75 (burner)
+60 (mash tun)
-----
$231 and thats on the high side....$170 for the 36qt and shopping around for some bargins....GOOD LUCK!
 

joety

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I can't see doing 10 gallon batches in an 11 gallon pot. You almost need to finish with 11 gallons for trub allowance; you have no room for boil off or foaming.

I use a 15 gallon pot for 5 gallon batches. I'm sure it would work for 10 gallons, but no way I'd go any smaller.
 

boogyman

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Walmart of all places sells the Bayou Classic stock pots for cheap online.
$75 for the 36qt
$96 for the 44qt
$120 for the 62qt
$150 for the 86qt
Amazon has them cheaper (go figure). I just bought the 62qt bayou for $112 w/ free shipping & no tax.
 

instapman

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I can't see doing 10 gallon batches in an 11 gallon pot. You almost need to finish with 11 gallons for trub allowance; you have no room for boil off or foaming.

I use a 15 gallon pot for 5 gallon batches. I'm sure it would work for 10 gallons, but no way I'd go any smaller.
Point taken. I think it can be accomplished with a little top off water...but your right, it would be a pain.

I will be ordering my 62ct from Amazon then. That is a steal

Every one says: GET A BIGGER POT
 

david_the_greek

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Sorry to hijack on this thread, I just didn't want to waste thread space if possible. I know a lot of people use 1/2 barrel kegs and 10 gallon coolers when going all grain, my question is what if I only have a 1/4 barrel and 5 gallon coolers!? I'm going to assume I can do 5 gallon batches if I convert what I have? I'm looking to build/make some kind of set up, I have a huge aluminum turkey fryer pot (can't find the burner :-(! ), one 1/4 barrel keg, three 5 gallon orange colored coolers (round sides and tall, gatorade style) and PLENTY of carboys, buckets, and cornelius kegs. I'm sick of doing extract and want to start "saving money" on beer... alright I just want to brew better stuff.
 

Stuntman

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I think everyone will agree that you need a bigger pot. Walmart of all places sells the Bayou Classic stock pots for cheap online.
$75 for the 36qt
$96 for the 44qt
$120 for the 62qt
$150 for the 86qt
Great pots, great deals. Since you are sticking with 5 gal batches let me recommend the 36 qt plenty of room so you dont boil over, however, IF you ever plan on doing 10 gal batches you might as well go with the 44qt. Thats 11 gal. if I did the math right. and its only $21 more. That will be the best $21 you could spend on your brew set up.

I also echo the need for a good heat source. spend $45-$75 on a good propane burner and you set.

Mash Tun...Tons of good stuff on here, just look at the project locater on the DIY thread. Braid for batch, Manifold for fly $50-$60

So lets do the math..
96 (SS pot)
+75 (burner)
+60 (mash tun)
-----
$231 and thats on the high side....$170 for the 36qt and shopping around for some bargins....GOOD LUCK!
Amazon has them cheaper (go figure). I just bought the 62qt bayou for $112 w/ free shipping & no tax.
Where were you guys a month ago? I spent 178 for a 64 qt!
 

instapman

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There's a huge difference in quality from pot to pot.

Just because its cheap does not mean its a bad pot. Also, I would think that a 5gal batch of your best homebrew in a "good" pot would taste the same as a 5gal batch of your best homebrew in the one I recomended...
 

phecke

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There's always the $20 option from Target here. May not be the best pot in the world and it's the dreaded aluminum, but I'm sure that it would work fine. I may buy the 20-qt version for my sparge and mash water heating, or I may just go to a 40-qt brew kettle and use my 30qt turkey frier kettle for the sparge and mash.
 
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