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All Grain beginner

Ok so I’m currently in love with All grain brewing and I’ve been doing small 1 gallon batches with no problem but I just was gifted a five gallon starter kit to up my game. I want to step up to five gallons but I’m trying to figure out the most cost effective way to do all grain in 5gal. Im thinking make my own mash tun out of a cooler vs BIAB. With the cooler way I’d build my own which seems cheap but still need a decent 5 gal pot which can get pricey or I can do BIAB for full volume I would need an 8 gal pot. Any help for a cash strapped new brewing dad would be amazing

For a 5-er, you would want a 10 gallon kettle… I’ve an older 8 gallon kettle I started with and it was boil over city every time I brewed… If you lived here in Mn. I’d have some of my old gear to help you with… Sneezles61

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I wish I was in MN and could take advantage of that. Now I’m thinking of a way to get to MN to “relieve” you of unused gear

You should be able to find a 10+ gallon bayou classic kettle on amazon for under $100. Add a mesh bag for BIAB, and that’ll probably be the cheapest way to get started. I’m personally not a fan of the BIAB process and went with a cooler mash tun with bazooka tube, but you can’t argue with the economy of BIAB. Kettle, bag, and a burner large enough to get it going is about all you need to start.

You can boil 5 gal in an 8 gal BK. I did it for years. Just pay attention for boil overs. Our host just had a 20% off one item sale (code RESOLVE). They may honor it still or you can wait for another sale.
If you go with a MT then you’ll need a BK and a HLT. BIAB is more cost effective as you’ll need a bag but a bigger BK to hold both the grain and wort.

Follow up question. I have an electric stove and it works fine but if I move to an 8 gal kettle and do a full volume mash BIAB will that work? Or will it take forever? Any experience?

At first I was thinking the stove would be awful. Thinking about it though, if you use your hot water tap to fill for your strike water and sparge it will be okay. Your strike and sparge volumes are relatively small and are separate so you can heat your sparge on another burner while mashing. My HW heater supplies about 130 degree F so you’re only coming up a bit from that if yours is close. A propane burner is better for two reasons- boil overs and BTUs so if you can swing it… Happy brewing!:slight_smile:

You can always boil a gallon less and just top off when the boil is over. But really I wouldn’t do more than 2 or three gallons stove top

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I agree with the stove input. I was doing extracts and it got to the point trying to get my 2.5 or 3.5 gallon back up to a boil after adding the extract took forever… I think I waited almost 2 hours at one point. I use the dark star propane burner now and it is very fast compared to electric. I do all grain 5 gallon batches now so there is no way to do that on a stove. if you check the different brew equip sites you can sometimes find a deal on the burner and the pot. I have a 10 gal pot and am now thinking about doing 10 gal batches… so I am putting a 20 gal pot on my never ending wish list… Its a great hobby but it has sucked me in big time and I am afraid to add up all I have spent in the last 12 months. But there are definite ways to save bucks over what I did. I am a sucker for all the shiny toys. Have fun!

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Thanks for the input guys. I just spoke with the wife and she’s going to clear a spot for me in the garage and wants me to get a Dark star burner and 10 gal pot for my birthday in June. Good to have a wife that helps out with my hobby. I guess I’ll keep doing 1 gallon batches for now until it warms up


She sounds like a “keeper” man, that is awesome!

The other thing I do… mainly because I am paranoid that I will run out of propane at the wrong time (which is the only way you run out I guess) I picked up 2 tanks. So I always have a full one on deck in the shed. Sometimes it will be used by the gas grill if that runs dry, then I will just refill that one as my spare.

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She’s getting you brewing equipment and cleaned the garage? That’s awesome


Have you got a water report? Using water from the HW heater can add dissolved minerals that sit in the tank. If you’re using this to mash you may want to get a report on the water from the tank.


Those on demand heaters are the way to go. I have a portable one that works off an RV hose

Tankless/On-demand water heaters are good to go. They don’t have this affliction as they have no tank, obviously. Many breweries use these for sparge water and use a 2 kettle system.

I would get a propane burner. With lots of btu. It makes the boil go quik. And i do use a 10 gall iglo cooler. With a bazooka tube. For the mash. For. Boil kettle. I have a 20 gall stainless steel. Kettle. I drilled some holes in and did atach. Some ball valves. Works great for transfering. The wort once cooled down to the primary fermentors. At the monent me working on building a new brew system. Herms

Damm i need a wife like this. My wife suports me with my hobby but to a specific level

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Don’t want to hijack the thread but thanks for the tip on this. I went back and reread the thread on hot water heaters. One thing that comes to mind is they advertise some as “glass lined”. Not sure what effect that might have on the issue but thought I’d muddy the waters a bit more. Pun intended.

Just out of curiosity I did a taste test between my hot and cold taps. No discernible difference for me. We’ve been using the hot supply since we started AG with no recognized ill effects in the end products. I think for science we may have to do a double brew day and do one with all cold supply and one with all hot supply. :wink: I know my water is fairly hard here as we get precipitate when we boil it. Thanks again @loopie_beer More to think about!

Glass lined I think refers to the Fiberglass insulation to help keep it from making condensation, thus, rusting out the unit… Sneezles61

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