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Want to start all grain

Hey guys, site looks good. I’m new to the forums. I’ll introduce myself by saying I live in Canada and have extract brewed a fair bit but am now getting into all grain brewing. Im a welder by trade so I want to build my own gear.

I’m looking for kettle brewing designs for the specifics like tube size, pump strength, best hole placement on kettles, false bottoms etc. Some of the items I have but much is in the ‘attempting to acquire’ phase. So in this aspect I’m open to suggestions on things like should i culture my own yeasts, whats the best grain crusher or beer storage. In the meantime however I have 3 50 litre kegs that I have plasma cut the tops out of so I want to start here. I’m not sure about the re circulating systems…someone can dissuade me here I guess. Was thinking about a basic system that has an HLT, mash tun and boiler with a pump and lines and quick connects for moving liquid here and there. I’d use a copper counter flow chiller ? and I have a couple coney’s for storage. I think propane is the route I’d go but again I’ll weigh the pros and cons before deciding. I would also look at 2 deep freezers. One for fermenting and one for finished beer keg storage. It can go on here…

As you can see there are many bridges for me to cross but I have no fear! Im a DIY kinda person and while I know I can build this stuff the real deal is you guys providing me with proper design elements that prevent unnecessary re-building on my time. If theres anything you can spare me in way of tips id be grateful. Thanks !

Have you searched the forum for designs? Use “brutus” as a start (it’s a popular system design that uses three kegs). There’s one current thread here:
http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=117595

Have you considered adding a catwalk?

[quote=“PZZ”]Hey guys, site looks good. I’m new to the forums. I’ll introduce myself by saying I live in Canada and have extract brewed a fair bit but am now getting into all grain brewing. Im a welder by trade so I want to build my own gear.

As you can see there are many bridges for me to cross but I have no fear! Im a DIY kinda person and while I know I can build this stuff the real deal is you guys providing me with proper design elements that prevent unnecessary re-building on my time. If theres anything you can spare me in way of tips id be grateful. Thanks ![/quote]

Have you looked up Denny’s simple all grain set up? I believe it is dennybrew.com. Man, if it were me, I would start there and be brewing while you figure out what you want or need. Personally I think it is crazy to start by thinking you need all this complicated stuff to make good all grain beer.

I would definitely be using a frame of some sort. Its just not a priority yet. I am hunting around the site to see whats the best approach for the kettle construction. I like to research things first and build once.

weld that $#@t. Unless you want to gravity feed, you will need to invest in some pumps. If you have the ability (and expertise, as it sounds) to weld, I would UNEQUIVOCALLY opt for tri-clover clamp hookups for your hoses, as opposed to quick disconnects, as the latter are expensive and junky IME.

For your design, I would check over on HBT, AHA Forum and Probrewer.

One thing you didn’t mention is where and how you are fermenting. Temp control will make a much bigger difference in your beer than sexy welded stainless steel, so if you haven’t already, make sure you can dial in fermentation temp really well (dual-stage controller plus cooling/heating elements and chamber). Brewers make wort, yeast make beer.

:cheers:

Ohh its gonna be welded! The tri clamps look better don’t they. I’ll checkout those forums too. Thanks!

Look at electric brew systems. They can live inside where it’s cooler (I’m in Florida; you may also find there are times when it’s better to be inside).

I’ve built an electric HERMS pot that begins the brew session as my heat exchanger and ends as a boil kettle. I drive the water heater element with 240 V to get to temperature, then switch to 120 V controlled with a Johnson digital. It’s very simple and easy to build. No PIDs or other fancy wiring required.

Check http://theelectricbrewery.com/ for info on punching (or hole-sawing) holes in your brew pot.

[quote=“560sdl”]

Have you looked up Denny’s simple all grain set up? I believe it is dennybrew.com. Man, if it were me, I would start there and be brewing while you figure out what you want or need. Personally I think it is crazy to start by thinking you need all this complicated stuff to make good all grain beer.[/quote]

I agree with that!! You can convert what you’re doing now into an AG system pretty easily, in most cases. Anything you’d build would be able to be used when you upgrade. It’s nice having a little experience with AG brewing before you made a big build. That way you know exactly what you want. I’ve been slowly upgrading as I gain more experience, with a BRUTUS type system as my end goal.

It can cost a lot of time and money to make a big system. If either of those aren’t issues, then go nuts!! Definitely don’t want to talk you out of it, just give you something to think about.

And as already mentioned, you really should add in a catwalk.

Thing is I’ve got time, so I’m planning a nice build that I will appreciate down the road. Just mulling over some details before committing to a plan.

As for fermentation I’d like to get a freezer with a dual stage controller and a couple sankes.

And what is a catwalk? Is this the frame that houses the burners etc?

[quote=“PZZ”]And what is a catwalk? Is this the frame that houses the burners etc?[/quote]No serious homebrewer would be caught without a catwalk:
http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=59548

:shock: Don’t open that post!

[quote=“PZZ”]Thing is I’ve got time, so I’m planning a nice build that I will appreciate down the road. Just mulling over some details before committing to a plan.

As for fermentation I’d like to get a freezer with a dual stage controller and a couple sankes.

And what is a catwalk? Is this the frame that houses the burners etc?[/quote]

Skip the dual stage controller. No need to have a heater AND a cooler running, competing, spinning the electric meter. See my signature line for a controller that will run both, but not at the same time.

Besides, if you are fermenting in a fridge/freezer inside the house, how cold does it get in your home? 60f (15c)? Sounds like a perfect temp to me.

Ermagawd. Catwalk!

I’m going to have one installed by my toilet immediately.

[quote=“Nighthawk”][quote=“PZZ”]Thing is I’ve got time, so I’m planning a nice build that I will appreciate down the road. Just mulling over some details before committing to a plan.

As for fermentation I’d like to get a freezer with a dual stage controller and a couple sankes.

And what is a catwalk? Is this the frame that houses the burners etc?[/quote]

Skip the dual stage controller. No need to have a heater AND a cooler running, competing, spinning the electric meter. See my signature line for a controller that will run both, but not at the same time.

Besides, if you are fermenting in a fridge/freezer inside the house, how cold does it get in your home? 60f (15c)? Sounds like a perfect temp to me.[/quote]

IME a dual stage controller is nice if you like to conduct a staged fermentation, which I do on most beers, especially saisons. That way, you can pitch in the low-mid 60’s, hold during the yeast’s growth phase, then raise temp to ensure full attenuation. Dual stage allows you to not have to open your project box/controller to switch from cooling to heating.

Does your build allow for this? If so, I might get on it!

[quote=“Pietro”][quote=“Nighthawk”][quote=“PZZ”]Thing is I’ve got time, so I’m planning a nice build that I will appreciate down the road. Just mulling over some details before committing to a plan.

As for fermentation I’d like to get a freezer with a dual stage controller and a couple sankes.

And what is a catwalk? Is this the frame that houses the burners etc?[/quote]

Skip the dual stage controller. No need to have a heater AND a cooler running, competing, spinning the electric meter. See my signature line for a controller that will run both, but not at the same time.

Besides, if you are fermenting in a fridge/freezer inside the house, how cold does it get in your home? 60f (15c)? Sounds like a perfect temp to me.[/quote]

IME a dual stage controller is nice if you like to conduct a staged fermentation, which I do on most beers, especially saisons. That way, you can pitch in the low-mid 60’s, hold during the yeast’s growth phase, then raise temp to ensure full attenuation. Dual stage allows you to not have to open your project box/controller to switch from cooling to heating.

Does your build allow for this? If so, I might get on it![/quote]

Basically as for fermenting I want to be able to do the full range of temps required. Love pilsner a and saisons. So if I see a nice upright freezer for cheap I’d have a hard time not buying it. Throw in a dual stage, heat pad and away you go. Nice system IMO.

Nighthawk said he had a controller. Have to check out his line.

And a catwalk ftw.

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