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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: eaholljr on November 05, 2009, 07:21:19 PM

Title: New to all-grain brewing
Post by: eaholljr on November 05, 2009, 07:21:19 PM

I have almost ALL my equipment for my all grain (Going cheap, cause I'm poor). I need to know what works best with food grade buckets. Styrofoam, Blankets, or sleeping bags? I don't want it to be cumbersome though...any suggestions?

Thx

-Eldon
Title: Re: New to all-grain brewing
Post by: Kaiser on November 05, 2009, 08:44:43 PM
Try blankets and/or sleeping bags first. I assume that this is what you have at home and that you would have to buy styrofoam. I cover my mash kettle with blankets for the rests. I also suggest going with a thinner (1.5-2.0 qt/lb) mash since that will increase the amount of water in the mash and with it its ability to hold the temperature. Aside from that, thin mashes are also easier to work with.

Kai
Title: Re: New to all-grain brewing
Post by: denny on November 05, 2009, 09:20:58 PM
Eldon, when you're ready to move up from buckets, check out my Cheap'n'Easy system.  It's....well....cheap and easy!   ;D

www.dennybrew.com
Title: Re: New to all-grain brewing
Post by: richt on November 05, 2009, 11:09:24 PM
+1 to the cheap and easy method, if all you have left to get is a mash tun you can be on your way for 40 bucks or less.
Title: Re: New to all-grain brewing
Post by: jds on November 06, 2009, 05:53:51 AM
+2, although I wasn't aware of Denny's site until after I started brewing from grain.

OP, keep in mind that in the long run, "cheaping out" on equipment can be more expensive, when you have to replace something that works, but not as well as you'd hoped for.

That said, when I built my first mash tun, I found an Igloo cooler on clearance at Wally World for about $15. Another $10 in parts, and I had a really functional mash tun that I still use today.

Of course, I just HAD to build a version 2 mash tun. The MashTun1.0 still works great, though.
Title: Re: New to all-grain brewing
Post by: eaholljr on November 07, 2009, 07:20:34 AM
Denny, thx!

When I can find a cheap rectangular igloo of sorts, I'll upgrade to the "cheap & easy". This site ROCKS!

-Eldon
Title: Re: New to all-grain brewing
Post by: dennis5280 on November 07, 2009, 08:17:23 AM

I have almost ALL my equipment for my all grain (Going cheap, cause I'm poor). I need to know what works best with food grade buckets. Styrofoam, Blankets, or sleeping bags? I don't want it to be cumbersome though...any suggestions?

Thx

-Eldon

If you were in Colorado you would be welcome to my Denny cheap n easy mash tun I started with...I have since moved up to a 10 gallon electric HERMs.  If anyone else is interested in it and live in the Denver/metro area you are welcome to it, just pm me.
(http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v2335/205/122/1234533959/n1234533959_30296830_8000.jpg)
(http://photos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v2335/205/122/1234533959/n1234533959_30296831_8228.jpg)

Update: I have received a request for this and it is no longer available.
Title: Re: New to all-grain brewing
Post by: smurfe on November 08, 2009, 06:53:48 PM

I have almost ALL my equipment for my all grain (Going cheap, cause I'm poor). I need to know what works best with food grade buckets. Styrofoam, Blankets, or sleeping bags? I don't want it to be cumbersome though...any suggestions?

Thx

-Eldon

If you were in Colorado you would be welcome to my Denny cheap n easy mash tun I started with...I have since moved up to a 10 gallon electric HERMs.  If anyone else is interested in it and live in the Denver/metro area you are welcome to it, just pm me.
(http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v2335/205/122/1234533959/n1234533959_30296830_8000.jpg)
(http://photos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v2335/205/122/1234533959/n1234533959_30296831_8228.jpg)

Great idea! If anyone is in the Baton Rouge/New Orleans area and needs a mash tun I have a rectangular cooler set up around here somewhere as well I would pass along to a beginning brewer or one making the move to all grain. PM here as well and I'll dig it out of the shed.
Title: Re: New to all-grain brewing
Post by: denny on November 08, 2009, 08:31:13 PM
These last 2 posts are just more evidence of why homebrewers are some of the greatest people on earth!
Title: Re: New to all-grain brewing
Post by: bonjour on November 09, 2009, 03:46:08 PM
I brew with a 10 gal igloo with a falsebottom (perferated disc) on the bottom and fly sparge ALL my big beers, (batch sparge the small ones) and I ALWAYS show the "quick and easy" mash tun and then state that if they are interested I can get difficult and complicated and ask them if they would like me to.  They always say no.  Go figure  ;)

fred

Title: Re: New to all-grain brewing
Post by: denny on November 09, 2009, 04:50:03 PM
Go figure! 
Title: Re: New to all-grain brewing
Post by: wilypig on November 20, 2009, 06:32:27 PM
I use a Cube cooler with a slotted copper manifold. I think that with the valving and all the copper it would cost about $50 to build. I go the cooler as a gift and had copper laying around from a previous project. All I really had to buy was the valve - $6. I have never had a stuck mash with this set up. The 60 qt size allows me to mash up to 36# of grain for a single infusion mash at about 1.3 qt/lb. I routinely get efficiencies in the high 80%. I built 2 more just like it for my brew partner since he does larger batches. Works great, last long time. The geometry is good for carrying around and lifting safely as well. 
Title: Re: New to all-grain brewing
Post by: pashusa on November 29, 2009, 05:16:23 AM
I am finally going to do my first all grain this weekend, actually 2 of them. The Helles kit and the Oatmeal stout kit from NB. Will crush the grains Thursday after we get home from the Inlaws and since the kids are staying there and the Wife works, I will have a long brew day on Friday. Wish me luck.
Big ambitions.
I got the oatmeal stout brewed and in the fermenter at about 8:00pm Fri.. It all went well but after 7 gallons on the preboil and 75 min. on the boil I came out 1/2 gallon short on the 5 gallon target. (I did 2.5 gallon on the first infusion at 156* for 60 Min. then did 3.5 on the second infusion at 170* for 10 Min. then mashed out. At 45 Min. into the boil I saw that I was going to be short on the final batch size so I did another infusion at 170* for 1 additional Gal. 10 min. added it and continued the boil 15 min.).
 The OG was high though so I added THE half gallon of water into the fermenter and the OG is now at 1.046 which is pretty close to target. I used the dry yeast for the first time, added it to about 8 oz of pre boil wort to proof then dumped it into the carboy when it was 65*, its bubblin away now.
I have a soft water machine here and I have a 5 micro filter that I run that water through. I put 1 tsp of gypsum in the mash.
 Do you think it will be OK?? Or even good?

I guess the helles will be next week end as my wife has me doing "other things today and tomorrow. At least the Oatmeal will be done by X-mas. The helles will still be ready by Easter.