I have always brewed in a bag. I have a effective way to do continuous sparge and I get gravities higher than NB kits and I match or exceed commercial brew recipe OG. The pain I feel relates to the weight of the bag and temperature control. I don't just bring it up to temperature and let it sit, I move the bag up and down so the wort is mixed and I can read temperature accurately and control it. I also periodically lift the bag out of wort and allow it drain for a minute. I can maintain +/-2F with this technique. But my arms get tired and I would like to do +/- 1F. When I want more unfermentable sugars, I mash at 158 so I don't like temperature swings. When I sparge, I do it with the bag in a turkey fryer insert thing that has a lot of holes in it. I do up to 5 slow sparges with slow pours then add at least the first 3 sparges to the boil. The rest sparges I boil separately in case I need it and if gravity is high enough, use the drainings for a starter. I bought a winch already will use it next time I mash.
So I figure electric heated continuous sparge is the way to go. Tell me if my thoughts are wrong. I visited NB milwaukee and had someone show me the grain father. I want 10 gallon pot btw. I can not see how I could do continuous sparge with that equipment as I would be lifting the dripping grain holder out and doing a continuous sparge with the pot trying to get to boil would make a heck of a mess. So I am thinking I will need a separate mash equipment from boil equipment. Input appreciated...tell me if I am wrong.
I will likely do the same thing as Ed did a while back on his 2000 dollar expansion that had to come in well over 5000. I am starting with 5000 and who knows what final number I will hit before wife hits the wall. So what I buy now should fit in with a setup like Ed's eventually. I grow weary of using a kegerator for low temperature control so want glycol system for fermentation. I also will have glycol system for temperature control as I am piping from my kegerator to upstairs great room with several beers on tap coming out of wall. One glycol system to do both would be nice. My new basement is set up with brewing in mind. Have a big fan and ventilation for moisture control and 30 amp 240 V outlet.
What equipment manufacture should I look at. Blitchman??? Anvil??? Also I have assumed best temperature control is electric but saw blitchman has gas fired as well in their 4999 offering. I am stuck with propane here in boondocks. I know this is a lot to ask. My head is swimming right now.