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stunsm

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I recently restarted extract brewing after taking a good amount of time off, and the so-far, so-good results have me thinking about heading to all-grain. I don't mind having to buy new equipment, but I want to buy the right gear the first time around. I live in a large, but second floor apartment, so everything will be indoors. I've also committed to using corney kegs for fermenting as well as kegging, so I'll be looking at only ~4.5 gallon batches. I currently have a 5 gallon kettle, a decent assortment of buckets and carboys that aren't being used, and a whole mess of kegs. I'm thinking about adding the 8 gallon megapot, deluxe 5 gallon cooler kit and a grain mill from northern brewer. So, if you were in my situation and could start over, does this sound like a good direction to go in, or is there a better way to go about it? Also, anyone ever use kegs for long term grain storage? I figure they're airtight, light-proof and easy to purge with co2, might not be a bad way to store large amounts of grain for a while.
 
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If I was starting all over and in an apartment, I would build jkarps 3.5G system. I'm building one for indoors for my winter setup actually to accompany my 10G scaled version for the garage. It takes 1 standard 20A kitchen outlet to operate and very little space.
 

coypoo

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I think your plan sounds pretty good. Chilling is important and a grain mill will save you a lot of money. The only thing I wished (so far) that I had done earlier was get a temp controller and a spare fermentation fridge
 
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stunsm

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Thanks. Also should have mentioned a few more things. I already have an immersion chiller, and basement access for keg storage and possible fermentation in the summer (never gets much above mid 60's down there during the hottest months), and while I have looked at the electric heaters, I don't think getting another 20A circuit in a usable spot in the kitchen is going to happen.
 

TheMan

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I think you will end up buying a new pot eventually. 15 gallons is my minimum recommendation. However, I don't know if that would fit on your stove. I doubt it would. If this matters you'll have to take it ento account. Also, you can brew 5 gallon batches for your corny kegs...This is how I brew. Use Fermcaps. You can get 48 bottles from it every time.

The deluxe 5 gallon cooler kit is a waste in my mind. Build your own for a fraction of that cost. You will want more than a 5 gallon mash tun as well. You will find it limits you and just purchase a 10 gallon eventually.

A grain mill is a good choice. I like that I get the same crush every time with my mill. It eliminated one variable from brewing.
 

waldoar15

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I wouldn't store grain in kegs, unless you never plan on putting beer in them. There's wild yeasts and bacteria on grains.
 

iijakii

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and while I have looked at the electric heaters, I don't think getting another 20A circuit in a usable spot in the kitchen is going to happen.
What you do is unplug your oven and jack its outlet when you brew.
 

chiefbrewer

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I am starting over. When I first started, i went all in...bought a 300 dollar brew pot, immersion chiller, burner, got a spare fridge, glass carboys, temp control, the works. I had a lot of money at the time, and i spent it.

After a few extract/specialty grain batches..I was about to go to all-grain...then I wound up having to sell my whole set-up. Economy, layoffs...big sob story.

Anyway, I am getting back into it. I learned a lot of lessons. I learned that you need to start small, and taylor your equipment for what works best for YOU. If you see some cool looking shiney piece of equipment and think "wow...if only I had that, my beer would be awesome!!...but I can't afford it" ask around on these forums...there is probably a cheaper alternative. It is better to brew with cheap equipment that gets the job done, than not brew at all waiting to get that perfect high dollar set up.
 

iijakii

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Honestly I think BIAB method needs to be pimped more. With a big $100 15.5gal pot (or keggle) and a bag, you can do big batches, full boil all-grain.

I still have a real problem with wanting to spend all of my money though. Seeing bastards with stainless steel automated Brutus rigs make me want to convert to a life of thievery :p
 
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stunsm

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I wouldn't store grain in kegs, unless you never plan on putting beer in them. There's wild yeasts and bacteria on grains.
Maybe I'm missing something, but wouldn't basic sanitation take care of that?

What you do is unplug your oven and jack its outlet when you brew.
Hadn't thought about that, I suppose I won't need the electricity once the burner is lit, thanks!
 

weirdboy

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If I was starting all over and in an apartment, I would build jkarps 3.5G system. I'm building one for indoors for my winter setup actually to accompany my 10G scaled version for the garage. It takes 1 standard 20A kitchen outlet to operate and very little space.
This, so much this.

Except my wiring isn't up to par (only 15A) so it's not a viable solution for me just now.
 
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stunsm

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Why, is that a bad idea? I figure as long as I just seal up all the doors and windows... :drunk: Of course I'm not! I do, however, have a gas stove!

wut?

You're not planning on using propane indoors, are you?
 

iijakii

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Nice. I wish I had a gas stove.

(I still would go heatstick route if I could do it all over / had the money)
 

homebrewedipa

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The deluxe 5 gallon cooler kit is a waste in my mind. Build your own for a fraction of that cost. You will want more than a 5 gallon mash tun as well. You will find it limits you and just purchase a 10 gallon eventually.

A grain mill is a good choice. I like that I get the same crush every time with my mill. It eliminated one variable from brewing.
QFT. Don't waste your money/time/frustration on a 5 gallon setup. Build a 10 gallon MT yourself. You can do small batches in it now and later you won't need to build a new one if you want to step it up. Follow this guide: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Converting_a_cooler_to_a_mash_tun

I also hear this same statement about a grain mill over and over; it will improve your efficiency and eliminate variables from your setup. (Disclaimer: I don't have a grain mill because I'm lucky to live in Seattle where there's a dozen homebrew shops with decent mills... it's much easier for me to just mill at the LHBS while I'm measuring grains than to take it home and do it there)
 
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