Author Topic: starting all grain brewing  (Read 2495 times)

Offline jscrmr001

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starting all grain brewing
« on: November 23, 2016, 01:29:50 AM »
Hi, this is a question that has probably been asked before, if it is, sorry. I am ready to start all grain brewing, but I am trying to decide on what equipment to get. I am looking between a 7 gallon equipment starter kit that uses coolers and a 10 gallon kit that also uses coolers. I will be brewing 5 gallon batches, with some maybe up to 7 -8 percent alcohol, but normally lower alcohol content, probably up to 6 percent. Right now the 10 gallon kit is on sale $30 less than the 7 gallon kit. Is there any disadvantages to using the 10 gallon kit verses the 7 gallon kit if I will normally be brewing the lower alcohol beer instead of the 7-8 percent because of the coolers being bigger, or would it be better to go with the 7 gallon kit?     

Offline GS

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Re: starting all grain brewing
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2016, 01:33:01 AM »
No, because the first time you want to brew a big beer, you will be glad you got the 10g kit.

Besides, the 10g set is on sale. Why would you pay more for less ?

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Offline curtdogg

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Re: starting all grain brewing
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2016, 01:33:29 AM »
Not sure what the kit includes? Likn?

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Offline jscrmr001

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Re: starting all grain brewing
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2016, 01:58:34 AM »
Here's what it contains: Fermenter’s Favorites® Hot Liquor Tank
Fermenter’s Favorites® Mash/Lauter Tun
Titan 11.5" Stainless Steel False Bottom
Bronze Ball Valve Cooler Kit with Barbed Hose Fittings (QTY: 2)
Siphon Sprayer
Thermoplastic Tubing 3/8” ID
Hi-Temp Clear Vinyl Tubing 3/8” ID
Teflon Tape
Worm Clamps (x2)
Instructions
 I was wondering if there would be a significant problem because of the difference in head space between the 7 gallon cooler and 10 gallon cooler, as far as keeping a constant temperatures? Maybe I'm overthinking this, I just want to make sure I get the right equipment for what I want to do. Thanks for any help!

Offline curtdogg

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Re: starting all grain brewing
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2016, 02:54:25 AM »
I use a 5 gallon cooler and my mash generally stays at the 3 gallon mark.
I only lose 2 degrees during a 90 min mash.
Shouldn't be an issue with the head space.
I'd go with the 10 gallon kit if you plan on making big beers.


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Online bboy9000

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Re: starting all grain brewing
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2016, 06:56:14 AM »
Check out Denny's system:

http://www.dennybrew.com

Or make your own MLT with a cylindrical cooler using the same idea.  I got my 10G igloo for $1 at a flea market and used a plastic valve until upgrading to the  SS valve kit and a bazooka screen.
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Offline curtdogg

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Re: starting all grain brewing
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2016, 06:52:37 PM »
Same here,  I made my own using an old cooler and parts from my local homebrew store.
Bazooka screen works just fine.


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Offline roll1814

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Re: starting all grain brewing
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2016, 03:03:04 AM »
IMO, you wont regret the bigger system if you have room for it.  The bigger system will give you more flexibility in the future and you can always brew smaller batches in it.
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Offline Werks21

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Re: starting all grain brewing
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2016, 06:52:41 AM »
+1 on going big. Im guessing its grain bed depth your concerned about? I had concerns too but read about some brewers doing small mashes in big vessels. I now do 5 gallon mashes in a 15 gallon vessel because it was already on hand. I do ten gallon batches in it too which still leaves ALOT of room at 1.5qts per pound for a regular strength beer. Bigger=Flexibility and options
« Last Edit: December 07, 2016, 06:56:45 AM by Werks21 »
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: starting all grain brewing
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2016, 04:23:47 PM »
I bought a ten gallon cooler because everybody says someday you'll want the extra space. In six years of all grain brewing that hasn't been the case. I generally brew small batches and bought a two gallon cooler for that purpose. You can brew smaller batches in a larger cooler. The problem is the geometry changes which can have an effect on efficiency and definitely affects your ability to maintain temperatures. The smallest volume I will do in the ten gallon cooler is three gallons and I'll see a loss of both efficiency and temperature.

Think about how you brew and how you will brew. Will you ever want to brew bigger batches of fairly stout ABV? Desire to fill two kegs off a single batch? If so, you probably want the larger cooler. If you feel like you struggle to polish off five gallon batches then you probably want to go smaller.
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Offline Phil_M

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Re: starting all grain brewing
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2016, 06:07:47 PM »
I bought a ten gallon cooler because everybody says someday you'll want the extra space. In six years of all grain brewing that hasn't been the case. I generally brew small batches and bought a two gallon cooler for that purpose. You can brew smaller batches in a larger cooler. The problem is the geometry changes which can have an effect on efficiency and definitely affects your ability to maintain temperatures. The smallest volume I will do in the ten gallon cooler is three gallons and I'll see a loss of both efficiency and temperature.

Think about how you brew and how you will brew. Will you ever want to brew bigger batches of fairly stout ABV? Desire to fill two kegs off a single batch? If so, you probably want the larger cooler. If you feel like you struggle to polish off five gallon batches then you probably want to go smaller.

Good points. Something else to consider, do you entertain? That's one reason I bought into the option of 10 gallon batches. If you have 25 people over, and they all have two beers, then you've just drained a 5-gallon keg.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

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Offline BrewBama

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starting all grain brewing
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2016, 02:21:20 PM »
As far as a mash tun goes, the best piece of equipment I've purchased is a Brew Bag filter. I can crush finer with no stuck sparge, don't have to vorlauf with zero grain in the kettle, and cleanup is nothing more than lifting it out, dumping it, and rinsing out the tun and bag. Over several brews using it, I have learned to reduce strike water, sparge water, and grain bills from my former recipes sensa bag to hit OG targets.


http://www.brewinabag.com/

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« Last Edit: December 14, 2016, 02:25:48 PM by BrewBama »
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Offline denny

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Re: starting all grain brewing
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2016, 06:25:09 PM »
As far as a mash tun goes, the best piece of equipment I've purchased is a Brew Bag filter. I can crush finer with no stuck sparge, don't have to vorlauf with zero grain in the kettle, and cleanup is nothing more than lifting it out, dumping it, and rinsing out the tun and bag. Over several brews using it, I have learned to reduce strike water, sparge water, and grain bills from my former recipes sensa bag to hit OG targets.


http://www.brewinabag.com/

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I recently acquired a couple bags to start playing with and the guy who sent them touted this as a great advantage.  But I already crush as fine as my mill will go and I've never had a stuck run off on my cooler tun.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: starting all grain brewing
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2016, 06:36:05 PM »
As far as a mash tun goes, the best piece of equipment I've purchased is a Brew Bag filter. I can crush finer with no stuck sparge, don't have to vorlauf with zero grain in the kettle, and cleanup is nothing more than lifting it out, dumping it, and rinsing out the tun and bag. Over several brews using it, I have learned to reduce strike water, sparge water, and grain bills from my former recipes sensa bag to hit OG targets.


http://www.brewinabag.com/

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I recently acquired a couple bags to start playing with and the guy who sent them touted this as a great advantage.  But I already crush as fine as my mill will go and I've never had a stuck run off on my cooler tun.


Just bought one myself, Denny. Curious to use it. I don't have a lot of dead space in my cooler, but being able to take out the braid brings the drain point closer to the edge. So I'm assuming it should cut the dead space down to very little. Definitely looks like a better fine filter. We'll see.
Jon H.

Offline The Beerery

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Re: starting all grain brewing
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2016, 06:38:04 PM »
We should talk about crushing.



What we care about here is the Acrospire. When we crush that, and it is exposed to oxygen the Lipogenases(LOX) will start the oxidation process. When the malt is added to hot water that is also saturated in oxygen hot side aeration occurs. Coarseness of crush, is a factor in this. The finer, the more Acrospire reacting to oxygen you have. Some European breweries even sift it out completely.