Author Topic: All Grain pt. 2  (Read 1248 times)

Offline flbrewer

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All Grain pt. 2
« on: December 17, 2014, 01:21:31 AM »
Just trying to wrap my head around the cost of various AG Stainless setups, and wanted some input. Looking at the Bentley (IMO) of setups, the Sabco below costs around $2,600 and includes (3) 1/2 bbl keggles, some little stands, a pump, and 3x burners.
https://www.brewmagic.com/craft-brewer-system/

If I wanted to piece together something similar on a smaller scale, couldn't I simply get something like this x3?

http://spikebrewing.com/collections/10-gallon-stainless-kettles/products/10-gallon-home-brew-kettle-2-vertical-couplers

Additional equipment would be:

-Burmers (do I need 3?)
-Pump
-Stands
-False Bottom

By my estimates, it's around $570 for the 3 kettles, $300 for a couple of Blichmann burners ( I own one already), $179 for the pump, $50 or so for the bottom and no clue on the stands.

That's around $1,200, not cheap, but far less than the Sabco setup.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: All Grain pt. 2
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2014, 04:49:47 AM »
Looks like the Spike 10 gallon is ten gallon capacity,  too small in my opinion. I hate boil overs. I boil my 5 gallon batches in a 14 gallon pot. For 90 min boils I start with 7 gallons at least plus you have the volume taken up by the chiller.

By the way, stands are outrageous. When I was shopping around the best deal I found was some bbq outfit in texas. About $600 if memory serves. Ive seen stainless 3 burner stands for close to $2k

Edit: its tejassmokers.com and its $340. I think the $600 was on one that I asked them to custom build, which would be wider and longer to accommodate 3 20" kettles comfortably.

Heres a pic of the $340 one, which I think would look sharp with a chugger mounted under it. They also add wind shields around the burners for ? Extra.


« Last Edit: December 17, 2014, 05:01:17 AM by klickitat jim »

Offline flbrewer

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Re: All Grain pt. 2
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2014, 11:22:05 PM »
Can anyone else with a SS all grain setup chime in? Would love to see some pictures.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: All Grain pt. 2
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2014, 11:37:03 PM »
Drew had an article in zymurgy a while back about building a stand with uni-strut. I think his build cost was in the 400-600 range all said and done. something to think about.

Personally I would be hesitant to drop 600-1000 bucks on a system that was limited in size. I might only brew 5 or 10 gallon batches now but even if only occasionally I want to brew 15 or 20 gallons of a particular beer it sure would be a lot easier on a 1/2 or 1 bbl system and if I was going to drop that kind of change I would seriously consider whether it makes more sense to build out a system that could brew a 15 gallon batch. It would probably not cost twice as much.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: All Grain pt. 2
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2014, 12:52:33 AM »
Can anyone else with a SS all grain setup chime in? Would love to see some pictures.
https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=17805.0

This is my current system, all SS and works great. Some day I would like a nice big three burner stand but its not necessary

Offline wingnut

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Re: All Grain pt. 2
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2014, 01:45:52 PM »
In my opinion, the stainless stand looks nice... and I would love to have one to look at.... but as you say, the price is kind of prohibitive.   In my system, I cheaped out on the stand, and put my money into other things... temperature probes and burner control to automaticaly maintain mash temps...etc.   I put the money into things that will make the brewing process easier and more consistent, vs looking nice.  (Not that I did not spend HOURS and HOURS trying to convince myself that I needed a pretty brew stand!)

I still have the hurricane burner stands, but I retro-fitted better burners and went to natural gas vs propane... those were all things I thought were more important than a blingy stand.  I later put a cheap automation controller on the valves and burners so that wort production more or less runs itself... maintaining mash temps and pumping things over to the boil kettle.  (I still have issues with the march pump getting air logged though, and not priming and pumping)

The other nice thing about not having a stainless stand.... if it gets dirty from a boil over... no one cares!!!!

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Re: All Grain pt. 2
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2014, 03:55:03 PM »
May I make a suggestion?  The KISS (Keep it simple, stupid!) principle is something that all engineers embrace at some point in their careers.  A simple brewing system beats a complex system hands down.  A simple brewing system is more reliable because it has fewer points of failure. It is also usually easier to clean.

With that said, I would hold off on building a complex and expensive all-grain setup until you have experience with the process.   One can burn through a lot of money toying with all-grain ideas, especially when dealing with stainless.  Have you tried BIAB?  If you are not happy with the results from BIAB, all one needs to make all-grain beer is a heat source, a single kettle, a vessel (mash/lauter tun) that will hold temperature and allow one to lauter, and another vessel (hot liquor back) that will hold temperature long enough to lauter one's mash.  A simple three-tier system can be made using one's counter top, a chair, and one's floor.   

I know that you are not crazy about using a cooler as a mash/lauter tun (MLT), but the plastic inside of most coolers is polypropylene, which is good to 140C/284F.  I have been using beverage coolers as my MLTs and HLBs since 1993.  I have experienced no health problems that could be traced to using a cooler in my brewing process (http://www.livestrong.com/article/158674-which-plastic-containers-can-i-safely-use/).  I have always mashed and lautered in comfort of my kitchen.  I boiled in the rear basement entrance of my former home to shield my burner from the wind.  I now boil in my garage.  I own a March pump, but it has never been used.  It's just one more thing that I would have to haul out of my basement.  I recently moved to using a portable induction range as my boil heat source.  I am considering installing a low watt density heating element in my larger non-induction-ready kettle because electric brewing is much quieter than gas.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2014, 03:57:53 PM by S. cerevisiae »

Offline wingnut

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Re: All Grain pt. 2
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2014, 04:22:55 PM »
May I make a suggestion?  The KISS (Keep it simple, stupid!) principle is something that all engineers embrace at some point in their careers.  A simple brewing system beats a complex system hands down.  A simple brewing system is more reliable because it has fewer points of failure. It is also usually easier to clean.
 

+1 on that.   

My system was VERY simple for a long time.  (turkey fryer pot and a cooler) The more parts, the more you have to haul out every time. (and more reason for the pain to keep you from brewing)   It was not until I had a dedicated room in my house for brewing, that I stating to aquire "parts".  Up until the point... more stuff to pull out actually made brewing happen less often.  (more stuff to clean, more stuff to haul up to the garage from the basement...etc. )

Long story short, you become a better brewer by brewig... The more you brew, the better at it you become and you learn what is critical and what is BS... (and what is BS often depeds on how/what you brew).  So the real criteria for choosig a system is:
1.)  What will let you brew most often.
2.) What will let me brew more easily.
3.) What will let me brew more consistetly.

Regardless.... brew often and ENJOY!!!
-- Wingnut - Cheers!

Offline tommymorris

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Re: All Grain pt. 2
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2014, 05:03:03 PM »
I personally agree on the KISS concept for my brewery. I am an engineer and my personality drives me toward KISS and cheap.

However, this hobby is different thing to different people. Lots of folk seem to have fun building their breweries, kegerators, etc. I am continually amazed what some folks can do.

Offline narcout

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Re: All Grain pt. 2
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2014, 05:28:33 PM »
A simple three-tier system can be made using one's counter top, a chair, and one's floor.

Yeah, that pretty much describes my setup.

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: All Grain pt. 2
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2014, 05:30:20 PM »
Another nod to KISS.  Brew a bunch of batches working on things like volumes, ingredients, pH - ie., consistency.  Then if you want to spend a bunch on a pricey system, you'll feel ready.  My$0.02
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: All Grain pt. 2
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2014, 06:30:44 PM »
There is a guy in our club who had won many awards, including a NHC gold on a very simple system. He then won a BOS at a large in state competition that had a $1000 for BOS. He may have made some improvements with that. A good strategy for a brewer to follow.  :)
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Offline flbrewer

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Re: All Grain pt. 2
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2014, 11:07:22 PM »
I think you all have good points. I'm leaning towards getting a 10 gallon Igloo setup as the MT and investing in a 10 gallon kettle w/ ball valve for the HLT, no pumps just a gravity setup.

Do I need a ball valve on the brew kettle? I suppose this would save me from hoisting the 5 gallon batches up and pouring them into my fermenter. Any other value in this?


Getting excited. ;D

Offline JT

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Re: All Grain pt. 2
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2014, 11:30:01 PM »
I would go ball valve or siphon.  Lifting and dumping = catastrophe at some point. 

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Re: All Grain pt. 2
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2014, 03:05:21 PM »
I think you all have good points. I'm leaning towards getting a 10 gallon Igloo setup as the MT and investing in a 10 gallon kettle w/ ball valve for the HLT, no pumps just a gravity setup.

Do I need a ball valve on the brew kettle? I suppose this would save me from hoisting the 5 gallon batches up and pouring them into my fermenter. Any other value in this?


Getting excited. ;D

You do not need to use a kettle for your hot liquor back (HLB).  You can use a cooler for that task as well.  I have never used a kettle for a HLB even though I have always owned more than one kettle.  A beverage cooler holds temperature much better than a kettle, allowing one to concentrate on other tasks instead of fussing with a stove to keep one's sparge water at the correct temperature.  All you need to do is to heat your sparge liquor in your brew kettle and transfer it to your HLB.  Having a ball valve on your kettle makes transferring sparge liquor to your HLB and wort to a fermentation vessel much easier.