MacGuyver brews in a bag...

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Well-Known Member
Nov 26, 2006
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EDIT: links are busted, the links in my sig.

Ok, here are the pics of my ghetto phabulous all grain setup. Here are the cost rundowns...

1 five gal Igloo cooler - $15
1 four gal pot (2 for full 5 gal batches) - $30
1 grain bag - $10
1 bottle cap (used) - $.0078
1 rubber band - $.003

And thats it! Total cost in equipment for this 3 gal condo batch = $55.00


This is the tiny kitchen in which I have to work.


From left to right, my HLT (also known as the Pasta Pot) and my Kettle (I know, he's a little guy, but with two you can do a full 5 gal batch, my electric stove can't handle the single big ones)


The bag itself, hung up so you can get an idea of the scale. Yeah, it's big.

Defrosting the water I had in my trunk (it's cold on the east coast!)


All doughed in, this is only a 3 gal batch (got to love condo living)


My hastily purchased hydrometer to replace the one that I broke 10 minutes into the mash


My sparge mechanism

I learned its important to use a cap from a Sierra Nevada Celebration for this step, and the ones you use to cap your own bottles simply won't work. (and you won't have a tasty SN to drink in the meantime...)


The application of the sparging mechanism


Pulling up on the bag a little to restart a slow sparge


And the boil

And there you have it!

Yeah, but can you blow up the bad guys with nothing but a paper clip and a piece of gum? I thought not.

Hehe, I love that ghetto spigot-holder-downer.
He did, I think I saw it in an episode once. It wasn't for brewing though, it was for blowing something up... can't remember exactly what...

...or why...

haha that's histerical.

you know there should be a contest for the cheapest/ simplest way to brew AG and the most complex ala Rube Goldberg.
Hey, mine's way smaller (envision removing the dishwasher and the above countertop/cabinet space, and then leaving only 2.5 feet of manouvering space)! And I manage 10 gallon batches. Well, I do have a gas stove, and that goes a loooong way when it comes to AG :D.

Welcome to the AG obsession. Once you go grain, extract causes pain :p.
Silviakitty said: kitchen's smaller than that, but not by much. I bet I could do that in my place.

Dangit. Another level to the obsession.
Not only do I have a smaller kitchen, but I have metal cabinets right out of 1955. It is nice to use a magnet on them to hold my brew sheet out of the way. I do have a gas stove with one big burner on it that can bring 4 gallons to boil in about 25 minutes though.

I do like the method. I may have to try that on a 2 gallon mini-MLT for a PM.
z987k said:
out of curiosity, what kind of efficiency?

Well, on the batch that I was making in those pics I ended up with 70%, which isn't bad seeing as how I formulated the recipe around 65%. On the Foxy Brown batch I did a week ago, I hit a solid 80%. Like people always say, its about knowing your system. The first time I did this method I ended up with 55%, so like everything it takes some dialing in.

Oh and I would love to write a wiki for this, but you just gave license to a guy who likes to be long winded ;)

I don't remember exactly, the biggest damn one they had. I think it was 24 X 30 or something along those lines.

I have that same boiling pot! Bought it cause it was the only one locally I could find that was 5 gallons. I wasn't for sure if it was ok to use or not. Good to see someone more experienced uses it. woohoo.
Hey, you can totally do a full boil indoors. Just build a heat stick (plans are all over the place, including the most recent Zymurgy). I have a very similar set up and that's what I use to do a full boil.

Huzzah for indoor brewing!
Wow, and here I used moving my brews outside as a selling point to SWMBO to go to AG....
deathweed said:
Wow, and here I used moving my brews outside as a selling point to SWMBO to go to AG....

O believe me, swmbo is not happy with this setup. I tried to explain my excitement about this whole thing to her, but she responded with "didn't you say you'd have to go outside to do that all grain thingy?"

She was obviously disappointed at my ingenuity... :p

Now the blog and the pics are gone. I guess this thread is dead. It's probably gonna bother me for the rest of my life that I didn't get to witness this ingenious little bottle cap application for myself ;-)
Holy dead thread risen from the grave Batman!

Hey all, I'll try and scrounge the pics from this, I have no idea where they are. No promises though