Thinking about going all grain.

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ChuckCollins

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:mug:Hey I need help, Thinking about going all grain, and I need some advice about equipment, I want to do 5 Gal batches or 10 gallon batches. as of now all I have is a 5 Gal pott.what would be the best way to go for setting up with a budget but I want to do it right the first time around.
 

avidhomebrewer

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I would suggest getting at least a 10 gallon pot. You will need some sort of sparging device. I have a modified Igloo 10 gallon cooler with a 1/4" ball valve, along with some braided ss line for filtering. I also have a 5 gallon cooler set up the same way. I would suggest getting at least a 10 gallon cooler; my 5 gallon can only handle about 12# of grain.

I think you should get a propane burner if you don't already have one. You will need some sort of stirring spoon if you don't have one. A wort chiller is needed too. I'm sure there is more, but off the top of my head, this should get you started.
 

kappclark

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I have an 8 gal pot, but wish it were bigger... soon hoping to go to 10G batches..

AG seems complicated, but you will get a routine going, and find ways to tweak..the beer is better (IMO), but I occaisionally do an extract for the pure simplicity and to save time...

Be prepared for more of a time commitment...chilling will take longer as you are doing full wort boil.
 
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ChuckCollins

ChuckCollins

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I will keep that in mind I normally do it in my bath tub full of ice,with a the wort chiller
I have use a sump pump to move the water thru the chiller!
 

Flic

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Do you have a mash tun? In addition to a 10 gallon brew pot, I use a 10 gallon Rubbermaid cooler with SS braid as a filter. I'm not sure the 5 gallon pot would be much use as you would need 10 gallon minimum size for brew kettle as well as 10 gallon for mash tun for a 5 gallon batch. See this post for instructions on the mash tun...very easy!!:

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/cheap-easy-10-gallon-rubbermaid-mlt-conversion-23008/

Like the above post by avidhomebrewer, you should also have a propane burner. It will take a few brews to figure out your system but they will be better beers (assuming you can control your fermentation temps well!).

Oh yeah, and buy a program such as Beersmith!
 

hops2it

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+1 on the 10 gallon pot. Perfect size for 5-6 gallon batches. Do you use a sump in order to transfer cold water due to a warm tap? Do you have a place to brew outdoors?
 
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ChuckCollins

ChuckCollins

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I use sump in order to transfer cold water thru my wort chiller to save on water,and not
to waste live in az yes i have a place
 

hops2it

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Sounds good, the propane burner should be a go then. I was just thinking maybe you could run a garden hose into a secondary chiller or even tubing in a bucket of icewater, then run the supercooled water into your actual chiller inside your kettle. Just a thought. I've not tried it but seems like it could work and maybe easier than the pump.

Anyway, good luck. You'll really enjoy making the switch. I know I did.
 

Golddiggie

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For a boil vessel, look to get a keggle... That will work for both 5 and 10 gallon batch sizes. Especially since you're on a budget. I plan to get one made into a mash tun at some point, so that I can directly fire it to increase the mash temp (to get the grain bed up to sparge temp without adding more water).

I have an 8 gallon aluminum stock pot converted into a kettle, plus a 10 gallon Blichmann kettle now. I have a propane burner, 10 gallon and 70qt cooler mash tuns, plus grain mill, plate chiller, and other assorted gear. I've lost track of how much I've spent, but I consider it all money well spent. I do wish that I had listened to people telling me to get a plate chiller early on. I went through the cheaper/easy to make IC phase, before getting fed up and going to the plate chiller. I can't see ever going back now.

There will always be some piece of gear that you'll see and want to get. Don't think that you'll be set for the long term with your initial gear purchases. Once you do start brewing 10 gallon batches, you'll probably need to adjust your hardware to reflect. Unless you have a monster IC, you'll want to get a good wort chiller. Plate chillers work by chilling the wort as it goes into fermenter. You can get one that will work with your ground water temps, and get the wort to your desired temp easily. I picked up the Chillhog 4000 and RebelSmart from Rebel Brewer. This combo allows me to see the temp of the wort leaving the chiller and adjust the flow to make it hit my desired temperature. It doesn't get much easier than that. Well, it will once I add a pump to the mix. :rockin:
 
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ChuckCollins

ChuckCollins

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If I use a rubbermaid cooler is there a limit as far as what types of beer/ brew i can do as in the original specific
gravity? I brew Hefe,Stouts ,Bocks .
 

Bigscience

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If you want to see if you really like AG first, you could build a keggle setup with a false bottom to strain hops and start with BIAB. If you really like it, you'd just need to add a HLT and MLT at later dates. Add a burner and you're all set up and can do AG or extract if you choose. This is what I'm setting up now for a buddy of mine that is limited on space.
 

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tesilential

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I do 5 gal AG batches with a 5.5 gal pot and a fermentation bucket as the mash tun. space is tight and I use a small pot to boil a gallon of wort that I toss into the large pot when it has room. A large pot would be more comfortable but you can get started with just a paint strainer bag from home depot.
 
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ChuckCollins

ChuckCollins

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Thoughts,advice I can score two 15 gal keg potts one has HLT the other has
a boil kettle and use a cooler as my mash tun?? just need a burner. the kegs will be about $350.00 plus $40.00 shipping thoughts on this or should I some out switch something around??
 

gannawdm

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I do 5 gal AG batches with a 5.5 gal pot and a fermentation bucket as the mash tun. space is tight and I use a small pot to boil a gallon of wort that I toss into the large pot when it has room. A large pot would be more comfortable but you can get started with just a paint strainer bag from home depot.
I use a similar approach. I brew in my apartment, so I don't have tons of room for extra equipment. I heat up my water in my kettle. When it reaches strike temp, I turn off the burner, put my grain bag in the kettle and dump the grain in. After stirring well, I put the top on and then wrap the kettle with my super warm ski jacket. The temperature holds quite well.

When I'm done mashing, I pull up the whole grain back and transfer it to a bottling bucket with a spigot. You have to put some sort of strainer/filter inside the bucket in front of the spigot or it will get stuck. I pour the wort over the grain, drain it back into the kettle, and repeat this a couple times. Then I do a batch sparge.

The downside of this system is that I can only do all grain batches under 1.065 gravity (5 gal), but rarely do I brew bigger beers. The nice thing is that I don't need any equipment that I don't already have from partial/extract brewing.
 

tesilential

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ChuckCollins said:
Thoughts,advice I can score two 15 gal keg potts one has HLT the other has
a boil kettle and use a cooler as my mash tun?? just need a burner. the kegs will be about $350.00 plus $40.00 shipping thoughts on this or should I some out switch something around??
Just buy a bag for $5 at home depot and try it out. When I move and have more space in a month I'm going to get a single 10+ gal pot and be done with it. I have no use for a dedicated MLT or mash tun.
 

rjschroed

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+1 there will always be something else that you want to get.

I use my old 5 gallon boil kettle as an HLT now. sometimes space can be tight but so far so good, that is until I want to do something that requires me to mash with more than about 4.5 gallons of water. which would be roughly 14.5 lbs of grain. Just FYI
 
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