Putting Together My All-Grain Kit.

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Skeptidelphian

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I'm slowly putting together my all-grain equipment. My friend is giving me their old 10 gallon box cooler. I have a 7.5 gallon brewpot that will double as a hot liquor tank (my bottling bucket will collect wort for me).

What do I need to get this operational?
1. I noticed that there are a few different lautering mechanisms - copper/pvc braid or manifold, screen, or false bottom. The braid or manifold is a no-go since I don't have tools or know how nor a lot of money. Can I use a bazooka screen for this? This leads to...
2. How do I replace the cooler valve with a ball valve?

I may get one of the no-weld ball valves for my brewpot as well. I have an immersion chiller and I won that awesome steel hop spider (woo!).

Should I invest in some brewing salts (I have to get the real water report for Philadelphia) and PH strips as well? I wanna do this right.

I also have a lab thermometer and a floating dairy thermometer. That's good enough, right?
 
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