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Moving to All Grain - Equipment List

ZenFitness

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I have a two-stage fermentation kit with a bottling bucket and some other miscellaneous parts.  I'm wanting to make the transition from kit beers to all grain beers, and I'm thinking of picking up the following:

1. Rubbermaid 10 Gallon Cooler for a mash tun ($45)
2. Parts to convert #1 ($10)
3. 12" Phil's Phalse Bottom for #1 ($25)
4. Heavy Duty 15 Gallon Brew Kettle with Ball Valve ($250)
5. Burner ($100)
6. Wort Chiller ($70)

I plan on batch sparging to begin with, and I'm thinking of the ball valve kettle for when I eventually move to a more expensive wort chiller.  I can't seem to find a 15 gallon stainless steel kettle that will fit on my stove - if I could, I would ditch the burner and the ball valve kettle and save some money.

Aside from tubing, is there anything I am missing here, or am I going overboard in some way?  The plan is to use the cooler as the mash tun, batch sparge it, and use the wort chiller to cool the wort in the kettle.  Eventually I would get a pump and use the pump to vorlauf and to suction the wort through a plate wort chiller.  I figure those parts are investments on down the road.
 

SharpsRifle

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You are on the right track.
I assume you have another pot already.  You need a pot of sparge water ready while you are running off into the boil pot.
The round Rubbermaid cooler is a great mash tun.
A 15 gallon boil pot is small for ten gallon batches.  Add in hop loss, boil off and the fact that you want 11 gallons in the fermenter and 15 is tight with robust boil.

Most of the rest is stuff that you already have.
 

SharpsRifle

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A couple more things. 
First you need a mash paddle.
Second, where did you find the cooler and false bottom at those prices?

 

Mtnmangh

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You could save on the false bottom by making a copper manifold.  I think I ended up putting about $10 into mine.  You just need 5 copper tees and 4 90 Degree angles and 5' of tube and you can cut the holes with a dremel ALA Palmer.  I have NEVER had a stuck sparge, even with relatively high rye content.  I love it!

Also, if you're gonna spend $70 for a wort chiller, you might consider a plate chiller for a few more $$.

If that is not an option, I have a copper immersion chiller laying around that I need to get rid of.  PM me and we can talk about it.
 

SharpsRifle

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Mtnmangh said:
Also, if you're gonna spend $70 for a wort chiller, you might consider a plate chiller for a few more $$.

If that is not an option, I have a copper immersion chiller laying around that I need to get rid of.  PM me and we can talk about it.

With the plate chiller, do you worry about getting it completely clean inside?  How do you clean it?
 

jomebrew

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You could try this http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1708005089/picobrew-zymatic-the-automatic-beer-brewing-applia

 

durrettd

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If you haven't already, read Palmer (old version free at      http://howtobrew.com/)    and    dennybrew.com   

I use a HERMS system, but had I know about dennybrew, I'd have gone with his system.
 

Mtnmangh

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I use Iodophor to clean my Therminator chiller.  I  back flush immediately after using it until the back flush water comes out crystal clean.  I then soak in the leftover Iodophor from my fermenting bucket.  Then, before I use it again, I submerge in Iodophor.  My wort is usually pretty clean anyway because I use hope bags, so there's not usually a huge amount trying to pass through anyway.

I have seen a bunch of suggestions about drying, including the oven (relatively low temp for a couple of hours) but I haven't tried them yet.  Drying is the only concern, especially with the therminator. 

To me, the plate chiller is a no brainer.  Living in the South, it would take me as long as 90 minutes to cool my wort with a 50' immersion chiller.  With the plate chiller, I'm down to about 4 minutes, of as quick as I can get it through the chiller. I LOVE mine.
 

Rep

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As you build your brewery try to look to the future.  What is the highest capacity you may consider moving to over the years?

A 15 gallon boil kettle will not help you at the 15 gallon finished beer capacity.

Don't purchase equipment twice.  But it looks like you are on the right track.
 

MaltLicker

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Mtnmangh said:
Living in the South, .................

Well, finally!  I was starting to think everyone here was in Washington State.  Or Maine.  Or Wisconsin. 

Cheers to brewing south of 40 degrees North!  It's been 75F and sunny for weeks.......... :D

With a sump pump and an IC, you can get down to 65F in about 25 minutes with ice in a cooler.


 

SharpsRifle

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MaltLicker said:
Mtnmangh said:
Living in the South, .................

Well, finally!  I was starting to think everyone here was in Washington State.  Or Maine.  Or Wisconsin.  ler.

Maybe some areas ( like the Northwest ) are just full of beer lovers who love to give advice and help out others.

Or maybe it rains so much around here that we have the time to post a lot more!    Based on downpours recently that were intense enough that visibility was to bad to drive without slowing down a lot, I'm going with the rain keeping us in near the keyboard.
 

MaltLicker

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Yea, I have the opposite problem here.  The heat zaps my will to brew from June to August.  That with an open flame and boiling heat sink of a keggle is too much.
 

Mtnmangh

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I have a friend who lives in Bozeman, MT.  She called yesterday to tell us it was snowing there.  It was in the 80s today here.  I too hate brewing in the heat of summer, mostly because I'm afraid to ship yeast even on ice from Nashville.  I Wish there were more brewers in my local area.  There are a few.  A lot of people making 'shine, however.  I have a few requests for it, but I think beer is my thing, though I may try wine making someday.
 

Scott Ickes

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Mtnmangh said:
I have a friend who lives in Bozeman, MT.  She called yesterday to tell us it was snowing there.  It was in the 80s today here.  I too hate brewing in the heat of summer, mostly because I'm afraid to ship yeast even on ice from Nashville.  I Wish there were more brewers in my local area.  There are a few.  A lot of people making 'shine, however.  I have a few requests for it, but I think beer is my thing, though I may try wine making someday.

To combat the issue of not wanting to have yeast shipped from Nashville, have you tried harvesting your yeast.  I've cut my yeast purchases to about 20% of what they were before, by harvesting my yeast.  I can usually get enough yeast out of my primary for three more batches.  I then get 3 more out each of those.  If you use the same yeasts for most of your brews, it's a real money saver, it's actually fun, and you always have the right yeast on hand!
 

Rep

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MaltLicker said:
Mtnmangh said:
Living in the South, .................

Well, finally!  I was starting to think everyone here was in Washington State.  Or Maine.  Or Wisconsin.  ...

MaltLicker, Most people are, "from" Wisconsin.  More specifically Green Bay, but they just don't know it yet.  Hehe
 

SharpsRifle

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I agree about the thermometer and refractometer.
I use at least two thermometers at any given time for assurance and have found one that quit being accurate this way.
The refraometer makes sampling comparatively quick and easy on brew day.  Low volume samples when you take a reading during fermentation.
 

Mtnmangh

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Scott Ickes said:
To combat the issue of not wanting to have yeast shipped from Nashville, have you tried harvesting your yeast.  I've cut my yeast purchases to about 20% of what they were before, by harvesting my yeast.  I can usually get enough yeast out of my primary for three more batches.  I then get 3 more out each of those.  If you use the same yeasts for most of your brews, it's a real money saver, it's actually fun, and you always have the right yeast on hand!

I do harvest yeast and have used it.  But, I work a weird schedule and sometimes have long lag times between brew sessions, and also I tend to try and mix up the type of yeast I use, hence the shipping.
 
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