Recommendations / advice for an all-grain system

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Jan 20, 2012
Reaction score
This is a little long, but bear with me please. I want to put together an all-grain system essentially from the ground up, but have some special considerations.

My progress as a home brewer is probably similar to most people - started with basic extract kits and partial boils, and eventually progressed to all-grain, picking up any necessary equipment as it was needed. In my case the result is an ad-hoc mishmash of brewery equipment that works well enough.

I've been contemplating a number of upgrades, essentially a replacement of my current "stuff", to get my brewery out of my cramped (and barely adequate for 5-gallon batches) kitchen. After tallying the bill of materials, I realized the expense would be quite high, and I'd have a ton of individual components to to store, when storage is already limited. It's not so much that space is an issue, though that's somewhat of a problem, it's that I'd need to invest in some more shelving etc, further increasing the cost. It's also important to note that I'd still be dealing with a lot of component equipment to take out and set up, break down, clean, and stow on brew days. I'm moderately disabled and struggling with a variety of brewery components is difficult.

At first glance, the a commercial brew stand system seemed cost-prohibitive, but not so much compared against the total cost of the equipment I was looking to buy.

There's a plethora of DIY designs of course, and some DIY projects are doable for me, but with my disability and the lack of skills or tools for metalwork and welding or the time to do larger DIY projects, in this case DIY is not for me. I expect that hiring out the metalwork, welding etc and sourcing the parts myself and doing what little DIY I could do might save some money, but that's not a major concern as long as I can get what I need within my budget.

So - it would seem that I can either upgrade my ad-hoc brewery, purchase a commercial or custom system, or find a local resource to help do a custom build.

I like the hands-on aspect of brewing, so automation isn't needed although having the option to add it later is desirable. I'm limited to 110/15A electrical service where I brew, so I'd either need to use propane for heating, or an electrical system that is compatible with 110/15A service. A system that doesn't require a lot of heavy lifting is a necessity (moving 5 gallons of liquid at a time is reasonable), and it should be relatively self-contained for storage (a typical single/three tier system on casters would meet this need - if I can shove it in the corner/side of the garage under cover on the patio that works). I need to be able to do batches as small as 6 gallons, and want to be scalable up to at least 10, anything more than that is nice but not necessary. My current process is infusion mash and batch sparge, having the option to step mash and fly sparge would be nice. Beyond all of that, I don't really have any preferences.

My preferred budget is around $2000-2500, and no more than $3000. Within that budget, I need everything necessary to go from crushed grain to cooled wort. The only equipment I already have I can see not replacing are my cooler MLTs and (gravity-fed) plate chiller, though I'm not married to either.

Given these constraints / considerations, what would you recommend?

Latest posts