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Thinking about going all grain for Christmas

So I think I may go the all grain route as a Christmas gift.

It looks like the 5 Gallon kit that they have here would work - but I noticed that the coolers are really overpriced - I can get Home Depot branded coolers for half the price. So, would it make sense to get a 10 gallon cooler for the mash tun and a 5 gallon cooler for the sparge water?

Also, I noticed that they do not include a kettle - I am guessing that my little 5 gallon pot is not going to work is it? What do you all recommend for size and extras on the kettles? I see that the ones with a spout and thermometer are really expensive, but is it worth it?

thanks all

Jon

There are many different ways to brew all-grain, with batch-sparging falling in the middle of the range for price, ease, and efficiency; check out
http://www.dennybrew.com
for the basic batch-sparge setup. There are lots of threads on this site about kettle and cooler selection as well as the various methods of producing wort, too.

You can find all of things you need here or sometimes cheaper elsewhere. Like here for example. http://bayouclassicdepot.com/1064-bayou … spigot.htm That being said, Northern Brewer is a great store and will have everything you need as well.

If you plan to ever do larger batches, I recomend a larger kettle like the one in the link.

OK, so a standard 10 gallon kettle should be fine though? No real reason for the spickot or thermometer on it?

Has anybody purchased a 5 gallon mash tun and regretted the size?

5 gallon mash tun seems a little small, maybe go with a 10 to be safe, also, 10 gallon boil kettle is cutting it a little close on a full boil, and doesn’t leave room for expansion. Id at least get a 12.

So yes they will both work, but it might get a little tricky at times.

I do BIAB with a converted keg, and it works great!

Go bigger than you think you need. I have a 70 qt cooler and an 18 gallon pot. 5 gallon batches are super easy and I have plenty of room for 10 gallon batches.

Not sure why you need 2 coolers.

I’ll join the choir and say pony up for a 10 gal. IFor a kettle that big, a ball valve spigot is very handy, but I’d say you can skip the built-in thermometer. No need for a cooler for the sparge water, your little 5 gal pot will work fine for that.

I mentioned in another thread today, the rectangular coolers are cheaper for more space. You can pick up a 48qt/12 gallon cooler usually under $35. 10g water cooler run $50+.

Denny’s site has been linked, here is an upgrade to his work.

http://brewing.lustreking.com/gear/mashtun.html

10 gallon for mash - good way to go. There are plans for adding the valve, etc, so you can save a bundle doing it yourself:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/cheap-e ... ion-23008/

I have a 5 gallon for sparge water - the reason being that I can heat the sparge water while the mash is steeping, then hold at temperature, rather than fussing with the flame. I did not add a valve, I just dip the water out with a sauce pan.

My boil pot is wide and 8 gallon. The width made it bad for use in the kitchen (it throws heat from underneath and the heat goes out to the sides, melting nearby controls). So I cook outside. I also feel a bit cramped with the 8 gallon size, because a full boil comes awful close to the top - not much room to fight off potential boil overs. I wish it was bigger than 8, and also narrower and taller.

I have seen a few plans like these - I think I will consider building it myself. Does the braided stainless steel supply hose really work as good as a false bottom? Doesn’t it clog up with the grains?

[quote=“gusrotteyman”]Does the braided stainless steel supply hose really work as good as a false bottom? Doesn’t it clog up with the grains?[/quote]Having never used a false bottom, I can’t compare the two, but my braids don’t clog even with up to 50% rye. The braid simply holds the grain back from the pickup forming a filter bed.

I didn’t make my own tun. Mine has a false bottom and works fine.

[quote=“Nighthawk”]I mentioned in another thread today, the rectangular coolers are cheaper for more space. You can pick up a 48qt/12 gallon cooler usually under $35. 10g water cooler run $50+.

Denny’s site has been linked, here is an upgrade to his work.

http://brewing.lustreking.com/gear/mashtun.html[/quote]

I don’t know if I’d call that an upgrade as much as a variation. I tried using a ball valve for a while and found it didn’t do as well for me as the cheap nylon valve/tubing set up.

It works better than a false bottom. The wort clears much more quickly and it’s much less prone to a stuck runoff than a manifold or false bottom. I’ve used mine for 15 years and 427 batches. If it caused problems I would have switched a long time ago.

Thank you so much everyone - I love all the support here. I will save my money by building my own with parts from Home Depot and then spend my savings on the nicest kettle I can afford.

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