Yet another all-grain noob

So I am hooked on brewing and I want to make the plunge to all-grain. The problem is, I’m not the richest guy around so I can’t just buy a whole bunch of kit and start.

My question is: What do I absolutely need for all-grain brewing?

I already have everything in the NB Starter Kit as well as a hydrometer and a digital thermometer.

How big is your boil kettle and what types of beers do you want to brew? You can BIAB(brew in a bag) cheaply. All you’d really need is the bag and a 5 gallon paint strainer might work depending on the grain bill.

Good point on the BIAB (brew in a bag), this is the cheapest route to go. If you want to do full volume batches yielding five gallon results you’ll need at the absolute minimum a 7.5 gallon kettle to boil in and a paint strainer bag to mash with. If doing BIAB you might need a bigger kettle to mash some beers, ten gallons would work but that 7.5 gallon is the minimum cutoff because you’ll need room for boiling. You can get aluminum kettles as a cheap (read: cheap and probably will be replaced in the future) option at walmarts or on amazon. The health factors have been debated about aluminum kettles and I think it’s accepted that they are alright for use. There is a great tread on homebrewtalk about this if interested.

If you want a mashtun read up on Denny’s cheap and easy batch sparging. You’ll need a few odds and ends and a cheap rectangular cooler. This will tack on a little more money. You could start BIAB and move up to this when you have the cash.

So kettle, paint strainer bag or mashtun cooler and the final thing is the wort chiller. You don’t want to mess around with cooling that much liquid in a water bath. Since you are saving cash on a kettle and a mashtun I would get a nice one of these because I’ve used a small cheap one before and hated it. Super slow and just wastes a ton of water.

Any specific questions? As listed above, there are cheaper routes to go than brewing with equipment from our hosts store.

I’m in the same boat… I’ve been putting together some all grain equipment one piece at a time, but I think it will pay off in the end, since all grain is relatively inexpensive (especially buying in bulk).

I started with a turkey fryer doing extract, so I’m not getting a big pot (I plan on using fermcap and a spray bottle to prevent boilovers), so no cost there…

Cooler: $20 at Target for a 56 qt rectangular cheapie
Ball valve: I splurged and got the stainless ball valve for $20
Stainless braid, clamps, etc- maybe $5
Grain mill (optional, but I’m buying bulk grain, so I went for it): $25 corona style mill off of Amazon

Now I just need a chiller of some sort, then I can buy ingredients. If you can set aside $20 a paycheck, you can put together a system pretty quickly if you want…

Go all in now…you may regret it later if you don’t. Especially if you really enjoy brewing. I think the biggest invest you should have is a good kettle. Pre built kits are extremely overpriced. Just itemize what you need and shop around. Most all grain equipment is very reasonable.

A big kettle (10 - 12 gallons) is a must for AG no matter how you brew, so buy that first. Then buy a package of 5-gal nylon paint strainer bags for mashing in the kettle a couple times to get your feet wet and learn a few things. Once you have that down, you can either stick with the bags and keep progressing in your technique or move to a mashtun, with the cooler being the cheapest way to go (and easy too).

+1…personally…I think getting a 5 gallon pot is a waste and everyone should start with full boils and a 10 gal pot…I sure wish I had, would have saved me money.